Category Archives: quirk

Language Distinction: Going Dutch and Coming Back Afrikaans

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In the same way that everyone knows the words to Bon Jovi’s “Living On A Prayer” without knowing how, why or where we learned the lyrics, everyone also knows that Dutch is closely related to Afrikaans (maybe some of you know “Living On A Prayer” in Dutch and Afrikaans; if that’s the case, we want(…)


9 Surprising Facts About the Russian Language

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So you’ve learned about the rise and fall of the USSR, you’ve read Tolstoy’s War and Peace, and you’ve even listened to some operas by Tchaikovsky. But how much do you really know about the Russian language? Did you know that astronauts have to learn Russian before going into space? Or that Russian speakers are(…)


5 great films to help you learn Italian

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Learning Italian? Want an easy way to check your understanding? Italian cinema is here for you! What better way to recap your studies and get real Italian pronunciation and language in use without doing anything more strenuous than pointing your remote at the TV. Here are some of the best Italian films to help you(…)


Could the Languages We Speak be Inherently Sexist?

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The language we choose to use is important, both in terms of the individual words we say and getting our point across. Language reveals us, our values and our views in the words we choose and the ones we carefully omit. But what if our mother tongue is inherently biased in its word choices? What(…)


New Year’s Eve Celebrations Around the World

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New Year’s is just around the corner, putting an end to turkey and chocolate feast and probably putting an end to that glorious time off work. Yes, soon you will have to put on real clothes, not pyjama onesies and venture back out into the world. But before you do, there’s one last party to(…)


There’s More that Meets the Eye: Languages of the United States

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So America is the land of the monolingual, the place where only English is spoken and no other language exists—aside from for the more than forty million people who speak Spanish as a first language, and the estimated eleven million speaking it as a second, of course, but who’s counting those? And other than English(…)


Guarani in Paraguay: An Indigenous Outlier

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When you think of the languages of South America, it’s a fair bet that Portuguese and Spanish are the first ones most people will come up with. English, French, and Dutch might also get a mention owing to colonial history. But in addition to these, there are a wealth of indigenous languages spoken, some of which share(…)


English Alternatives: The Most Common Second Languages to Learn

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English might be the most popular second language for people around the world to learn, but it certainly isn’t the only one. Which makes sense, right? We live in a society where people are constantly moving, and that often means relocation for jobs, remote working, communication with overseas clients, etc. There is definitely more than(…)