Visiting Corinto, Nicaragua

A long time ago, in a different life, I worked aboard an ocean-going tug boat, the Falcon. Our crew personified “Southern American.” I was the youngest member of the crew by almost 10 years and had more formal education than anyone else on board. When we were tasked to haul a barge loaded with grain […]

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Posted on July 19, 2017 by   Language Covered: Spanish | 

Do not give up! – Some tips for a better language learning experience

I decide to write a post about some useful tips I usually advice to my students, especially when they feel they are not making any progress. Let’s start. Study the basic grammar. You need to study the grammar to speak a language properly. You cannot avoid it and if you know your native grammar you […]

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Posted on July 15, 2017 by   Language Covered: Other | 

Experiences in Caen, France

I had been in France for all of 5 days. The language sounded like a series of snarls and grunts. A lot like the Cajun I had become familiar with while working on the Mississippi River and New Orleans. Paris had left a bad taste in my mouth; I was an American who didn’t speak […]

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Posted on July 12, 2017 by   Language Covered: French | 

A view on the language barrier

Not many people travel abroad. Those that do have almost certainly encountered the language barrier at some point. If they haven’t, they probably haven’t experienced much of the foreign country they are visiting or traveled to a place where English is the lingua franca. I have been humbled by my inability to communicate in man […]

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Posted on July 5, 2017 by   Language Covered: Other | 


Have you ever heard about shadowing? It is a language learning technique to improve pronunciation and remember better the words used. If you do not still have time to train the pronunciation so far, I suggest to try shadowing. Shadowing in short Shadowing involves copying faithfully, like a shadow, someone’s talk, trying to correct as […]

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Posted on June 30, 2017 by   Language Covered: Other | 

How to learn some basic Korean

Korean ((한국어, 조선말, Hangugeo, Chosŏnmal)  is not only  the official language spoken in North and South Korea, but also in Yanbian, a Korean Autonomous Prefecture in China. It is a difficult and charming language, historically and culturally rich, and still debated where it comes from. If you are curious about the Korean world, follow these […]

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Posted on June 15, 2017 by   Language Covered: Korean | 

British English vs. American English

English language has several variants developed and evolved over the years, through domination and colonization. There are Australian, American and, of course, British English. There are other varieties of English, these are the main ones and the most required and taught in  ESL / EFL classes. Here we have a look at American English and […]

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Posted on May 30, 2017 by   Language Covered: English, Students | 

Anglicisms and Cognates

Nowadays,  English language is more and more present in many other languages than in the past. Have you ever heard the word “anglicism”?  It is a word, an  idiom or  a characteristic feature of the English language occurring in or borrowed by another language. In some  languages these anglicisms are sometimes  modified, in order to […]

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Posted on May 15, 2017 by   Language Covered: French, Portuguese, Spanish, Students | 

7 Chinese taboos (part 2)

  In the previous post, we talk about some Chinese taboos, here’s a few more: 4.Never say “我 不是 东西 (wǒ bú shì Dongxi)” This sentence will certainly confuse: the words “东 (Dong)” and “西 (xi)” mean east and west, right? True, but when we match them, they have a new meaning: “thing”. For example, […]

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Posted on April 30, 2017 by   Language Covered: Chinese | 

7 Chinese Taboos

Everybody knows when you visit a foreign country you should adapt to the new environment. Of course, there will be some “weird” customs you are not familiar with. Let me help you to avoid naïve behavior. Among those, there is the large taboo topic. Some of them are pretty well known:  for example, eating with […]

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Posted on April 15, 2017 by   Language Covered: Chinese |