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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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Why being a translator isn’t as easy as you think

being a translatorLots of people dream of being a translator. 

Perhaps this is because you need to be very, very good at another language in order to do the job!

But how certain are you that you’d actually enjoy it? In this fascinating guest post, written by Pauline Durant, of London-based translation agency Language Reach, you’ll get an inside look at exactly what being a professional translator involves on a day-to-day basis.

Enter Pauline…


The life of a translator encompasses a number of things. There’s one thing one day and then something totally different in another.

As the saying goes, no two days are the same. I mean there are days where I am swamped with work and some days where I sit glued to my computer, hoping for a project to magically appear.

Why this career?

Well I’ve always been interested in languages and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in teaching languages. My native language is French, however I also speak Italian and German.

My initial vision was to teach French, but when that vision subsided I decided to find the next best formula, which for me, happened to be the translations industry.

Today I work as a certified translator and carry out regular work for a London based Translation Agency called Language Reach.

But irrespective of my unpredictable schedule and the prolonged hours spent in my own company, there’s just something that I enjoy about the challenges of working in the languages industry. Continue reading…

Advice On Learning Egyptian Arabic – Interview with Olly

best way to learn egyptian arabic

When my friend Jan van der Aa visited Cairo last week, we had the opportunity to sit down and talk about all things “Egypt”. In this short video, shot on my balcony, we discuss my progress since I started learning Arabic 3 months ago: How is life in Egypt? Is Egyptian Arabic more difficult than […]

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Good Study Habits…For Lazy People

good study habits

I’ve lost count of the number of books I’ve read about routine, willpower, and getting things done. And yet I still find it so hard to develop good study habits. Are there people in this world who just can’t stick to routines? Were some people simply born without the willpower gene? Well, are there? In fact, […]

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Is drinking with new friends the best language learning solution?

drinking with friends

Language exchanges have been a core part of my language learning strategy since the very beginning. Sitting down with a real person and practising a new language over a coffee (or something stronger) is one of my favourite things in life. That’s why I welcome this guest post today from Santiago Montero, founder and director of […]

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What I wish I knew about language learning 10 years ago

olly sphynx pyramid

When 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 […]

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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?

2014-08-25 08.15.58

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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