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        - 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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How 7 months of learning Spanish changed my life

learn spanish ecuadorI’m very happy to host a guest post today from a talented writer, Beth Hobson, who caught my attention earlier this year with her honest and engaging writing over at

We were talking about her experiences learning Spanish in Ecuador, and how hard she was finding it. Then one day, I received an excited message saying: “Today was the first time I spoke only Spanish…not a word of English!” 

So what happened? How did Beth get from despair to spending a total of 4 days without a word of English?

This is her story…enjoy! Continue reading…

Egyptian Arabic – Week 2 Summary

egyptian arabic

This is a summary of my 2nd week of my project to learn Egyptian Arabic. In week 1, I prepared a self-introduction, looked up some useful vocabulary to talk about myself, and started to learn some of the vocabulary by starting a flashcard deck. I had planned a conversation with a native speaker, but they […]

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The Arabic Chat Alphabet – A cool alternative to the Arabic Alphabet!

franco arabic alphabet

As I started to learn Egyptian Arabic last week, I began to hear about a special form of writing, used mainly by young people. Called the Arabic chat alphabet (alternatively the Franco-Arabic alphabet, or ‘Arabizi’ عربيزي), it’s an alternative to the standard written Arabic that uses the Latin script. It’s an interesting product of the online […]

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Egyptian Arabic Week 1 Summary

olly berlin

So here I am, at the end of my first week of learning Arabic. To say that it went by quickly would be an understatement! My first thoughts are that I wasted the week. It’s funny how we have a tendency to focus on the negatives when it comes to our own accomplishments! Instead, I’m […]

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21 principles for learning a new language

language learning principles

So you want to learn a new language. What do you do? I have certain language learning principles that I strongly believe in, and I thought I’d share them with you here. These principles are things that, through a lot of trial and error, I’ve found work for me, and they guide me through the first few months […]

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Interview: How to learn Egyptian Arabic in Cairo

how to learn egyptian arabic in cairo

The Arabic language is complex… in more ways than one!Although I’ve only just started to learn Egyptian Arabic (including my first video in Arabic!), I’ve already got a ton of questions about it! That’s why I’m really excited to be able to put all my questions to Arabic expert Donovan Nagel, who writes over at the […]

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Introducing: Learn Egyptian Arabic Project

learn egyptian arabic

A few months ago, I learnt that I would be moving to Cairo. Although I was really keen to learn Arabic, I decided to wait a while before starting… I wanted to reach the 1-year mark in Cantonese first. But now the time has come. So I’m moving to Cairo, and I’m going to learn […]

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How to learn Cantonese in 1 year!

how to learn cantonese 1 year

Almost 1 year ago, I made the decision to learn Cantonese. It was kind of a crazy decision to make.

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How to get s*** done!

language setting goals

My entire experience with language learning has led me to one, important conclusion about the big question of setting goals and making progress. What matters is not what we study, it’s how we study. I use one very simple but powerful approach to making progress and getting s*** done, which I want to share with you […]

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JapanesePod101 Review – Website to Learn Japanese Online

japanesepod101 lesson list

When I first arrived in Japan and started searching for resources to learn Japanese online, I found everywhere I looked. This Japanesepod101 review will help you decide whether JapanesePod101 is right for you. Their free podcasts often kept me company on those hideously long train journeys to work at 7am on the 西武池袋線 (Seibu-Ikebukuro line) Later, […]

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