How can you become fluent in a language quickly?

Now's the time to learn the secrets of effective language learners:

        - Step-by-step guides for how to study a foreign language
        - Strategies for improving your speaking and understanding native speakers
        - Tips for remembering vocabulary, overcoming shyness, and staying motivated!

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What I wish I knew about language learning 10 years ago

olly sphynx pyramidWhen I was 20, I thought that the passing of time didn’t apply to me.

I didn’t really think I’d get old. The future was hypothetical.

As it turns out, I was wrong. Quite a few years have insisted on passing in spite of my protests.

One of the things I now know is that time will pass…however much I’d rather it didn’t.

But it seems to me that, as a language learner, this is in fact a very good thing. Continue reading…

5 study hacks that are working for me right now

olly pyramids full low res

I’m 3 months into my Egyptian Arabic project right now, so it’s high time to write a bit about what I’ve been doing, how I’ve been learning and what’s been working for me. Just to recap, my first month learning Arabic, before I left for Egypt, was spent with a variety of beginner resources. I […]

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How to start a conversation with native speakers

how to start a conversation with native speakers

I recently received an interesting email from a reader asking how to start a conversation with native speakers on a plane. And that got me thinking. I’ve come to believe that if you’re learning a new language, randomly striking up conversations with people on the street (or wherever you happen to be) may not be a […]

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5 uncommon grammar games that won’t send you to sleep


Grammar, grammar, grammar. Now, if you’re still reading, then this is the post for you! Cher Hale, who writes about learning Italian over at the Iceberg Project shares five awesomely creative grammar games that you can use to level-up your language in no time. I like this post because it forces you to get your head out […]

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olly unstoppable language

Right now, I’m feeling unstoppable. Right now, I feel like I can take over the world. Right now, I’m riding on a wave of passion, drive and hunger to study that I feel like I can harness to achieve anything. With your permission, I’d like to tell you why. 3 weeks of nothingness Only last week I wrote […]

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When is taking a break from language learning a good thing?

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I had it all planned out. I would start learning Arabic in August. I would study for a month. I would be able to speak a little by the time I arrived in Cairo in September. I would take Cairo by storm, go out every night, chat with the locals over shisha and strong coffee, […]

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3 particles that will make your Chinese sound more natural


I’m really happy to feature a guest post today from Judith Meyer. Judith is currently working on, a free Chinese course which learns your individual strengths and weaknesses and generates custom-tailored exercises just for you. Now here’s the exciting part! There is currently a campaign going on to raise money for the creation of more levels […]

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28 Insane Japanese Conversation Starters

japanese conversation starter

Many people who live in Japan report finding it difficult to strike up conversations with Japanese people. I did too, when I lived in Tokyo. Here’s why: I didn’t have the necessary language level  The Japanese don’t really have a culture of talking to strangers…at least not in the same way as we do in […]

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9 things not to do when studying vocabulary

9 things not to do when studying vocabulary

Today we have a great, straight-talking guest post on learning vocabulary from Dani Maizner, who I was lucky enough to meet in Berlin this summer! Dani is a passionate language learner from Austria who enjoys the great variety of languages in the world. You can find more information about her and her language projects on […]

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Learning Egyptian Arabic Grammar – Week 3 Summary

arabic grammar

This is a summary of the 3rd week of my project to learn Egyptian Arabic. Until this point in the project I’ve avoided any study of grammar, choosing to focus on vocabulary instead. I have quite a laissez-faire approach to studying grammar, but curiosity finally got the better of me this week and I started […]

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