Let’s start with the basics. The word for summer in Italian is “estate”. Now, I know what you may be thinking - “That’s an English word!” Well, estate is actually a falso amico - false friend - meaning that it looks and sounds the same as in English but has a different meaning. Rather than a patch of private land with a property, in Italy the word estate indicates “la stagione estiva”, the summer season. Summer is the season of colori vivaci (bright colors) and attività all’aria aperta (outdoor activities). “Le vacanze” are the holidays. The word is plural and feminine and you need it to wish someone happy holidays: “Buone vacanze”! Where do Italians go for the holidays? … [Read more...] about How do you talk about summer in Italian?
Today we are going to talk about summer… en français. I’ve been to France over the summer season two times thus far and there’s no way I would’ve survived without memorizing these vocabulary words first! Well, okay, that might be a tad bit extreme, but the list of words and phrases that I’m about to share with you definitely came in handy during my summer trips. When we think of summer, we inevitably think of holidays - “les vacances”. Traditionally, families and friends take advantage of sunny days (les journées ensoleillées) to travel (voyager) or simply go to the beach (aller à la plage). “Je suis en vacances!” (I’m on holiday) This is what you can excitedly exclaim once you’re off your study or work duties. French people have a specific term to indicate the summer … [Read more...] about French Summer Vocabulary – Vocabulaire de l’été
It’s Valentine’s day and there’s no better language than Italian to express love, passion, and romance. It doesn't matter who you are, you will steal the heart of anybody by whispering some Italian paroline dolci (sweet nothings) in their ear. From the ever-charming “ti amo” (I love you) to the luscious “amore mio” (my love), I dare you not to succumb to the musicality of this language. Even the most passionate storia d’amore (love-story) of all times, Romeo and Giulietta, has an Italian vibe since it’s set in Verona. Need I say more? Over the last couple of weeks, I have been sharing love-related Italian words and phrases over Instagram and Facebook. A countdown to Valentine’s Day, one that combines love and education. Want to impress your valentine? Read on and try … [Read more...] about Buon San Valentino! Valentine’s day in the Italian language
There are some Christmas traditions I never ever break. Putting up the Christmas tree on December 8. Not a day before, not a day after. Eating lentils on New Year’s Eve. It is said that lentils bring luck and prosperity if eaten on that day, so… you get the point. Stuffing my face with Italian Christmas delicacies. The sweet taste of Pandoro gets me every time. As soon as I smell that vanilla-scented powdered sugar, I feel like taking a slice. And another one. And then one more. Yum. But I digress. Traditions, as I was saying, are quite a big deal for me. That’s why I created my own language traditions to go with the holiday spirit. Who says you can’t keep your language skills sharp during Christmas? Let’s dive in! … [Read more...] about How to keep learning a language during the holidays
Today we’ve got a guest post from Lucia Leite, a Portuguese native speaker who has a degree in English and German. At the moment she's taking a Master’s degree in English as a second language for young learners, while improving her Spanish and French. I’ll leave you with her now... - … [Read more...] about Music as a Learning Tool: Sing Your Way to Fluency!
Learning new languages at superspeed is probably the dream of every aspiring polyglot. Lingvist offers you just that - or at least that's what it promises. What's Lingvist? I hear you ask. Lingvist is a brand new platform, launched in 2014 and still in its beta version. Lingvist is also the tool I am currently using to practice French - I am on a 10-day streak and I have no intention of stopping! … [Read more...] about Review: Learning French with Lingvist
Author: Maîa Grégoire Skill Level: Upper-Beginner Rating: **** 4/5 This workbook was designed for beginners but despite the word “débutant” displayed on the cover it assumes some knowledge of the language. As a matter of fact, it is completely written in French - grammar explanations included - so if you use no other book or dictionary, you may find yourself a bit lost at times. You can still be a beginner and use it, but I believe it works better as a refresher for upper-beginners or intermediate French learners. If you have studied French in the past and are looking for a quick and efficient reminder of things once known, you certainly won’t be disappointed. … [Read more...] about Review: Grammaire progressive du français – Niveau Débutant
In Italian, “primavera” is the word to describe the beautiful season of spring. It can be traced back to the Latin roots “primus”, meaning first, and “ver”, meaning spring. In Italy, as in many other countries, is common tradition to do some “pulizie di primavera” - or spring cleaning - during this time of the year. Feeling inspired by my own spring cleaning, I have decided to collect into this post a handful of Italian words, expressions and proverbs that will have you ready to jump into “la bella stagione”. … [Read more...] about Essential Italian Spring Vocabulary Words and Expressions (+ Proverbs)
Today’s guest post comes from the very talented Yang, who has already previously written about Mandarin Chinese on Runaway Daydreamer. --- Learning Mandarin Chinese has become an increasingly popular endeavor in recent years, with more people undertaking the challenge every day. There are as many different reasons to learn Mandarin Chinese as there are people who take up the language. Some people learn Mandarin Chinese in order to get a new job, a promotion, or a raise. Some are planning a trip to China or another area where the language is widely spoken. Some people take up Mandarin Chinese just because they love learning new languages, or perhaps because they enjoy the sound of Mandarin. Many people take up learning Mandarin Chinese for a combination of reasons. Just as … [Read more...] about Improve Your Mandarin Chinese with These 10 Cultural Tips
Native speakers play a huge role in your language learning journey. You can buy all the textbooks you want, watch all the foreign movies you like, but nothing beats conversing directly with native speakers. It’s undoubtedly one of the most important steps in acquiring a new language and yet one of the most dreaded ones! The problem is… where do you find someone to talk to, especially if you’re not in the country where your target language is spoken and won’t be in the near future? This is where the HelloTalk App comes in. … [Read more...] about HelloTalk App Review: Practice Your Target Language On Your Smartphone