Same French, everywhere. Really?

  Many people believe a language does not change in the different countries where it is spoken: Of course, it is not true at all. A clear example is Spanish and English. The Castilian spoken in Spain is not the same spoken in South America; the same issue between British and American English. And in […]

Read Full Article
Posted on December 30, 2017 by

Language Family Tree

One of my previous articles was about Chinese Family Tree, so it gave me the opportunity to think about a wider concept of family tree.   Before speaking of a language family tree, it might be useful to introduce the concepts of familiarity and kinship in languages. There is a genealogical classification for languages used […]

Read Full Article
Posted on December 15, 2017 by

Chinese Family Titles & Greetings

In my previous article I gave you a headache with the Family Tree in the Chinese language. Now let’s see other titles and how to address people. I have divided everything into specific categories, in order to make them easier to memorise. Titles 先生 (xiān sheng, Mr.) 女士 (nǚ shì, Ms.) 太太 (tài tai, Mrs.) […]

Read Full Article
Posted on November 30, 2017 by

Chinese Family Tree

I still remember the first time I was invited in a Chinese family party. Everybody started to tell me to who are related. Of course, I did not understand anything. Firstly, because my Chinese was not that good at that time and secondly because a Chinese Family Tree gives you a headache. Surely, remembering 爸爸(baba/father) […]

Read Full Article
Posted on November 15, 2017 by

I want the best teacher ever

Reading around the web, I realize several students struggle to find a suitable teacher for their needs. I stress this point: suitable does not mean good. Compromising is vital. I summarize here the most important factors to choose (or not) a teacher: 1)The teacher has to know the subject what he/she is teaching. If a […]

Read Full Article
Posted on October 30, 2017 by

YOUR MOTHER TONGUE

Warning: contains coarse language I knew it! You read “coarse” and you are curious about this article. So, pardon my French and keep reading it. From the back cover: After centuries of war we Europeans are trying to get along together, but we keep treading on each other’s toes. Tread on an English toe and […]

Read Full Article
Posted on October 15, 2017 by

Russian language: some tips by an expert

According to Professor Viktor Shaklein, who has been teaching for 40 years the language of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, learning Russian is not that easy but not impossible, of course. So I decided to translate some excerpts from his recent interview appeared on this website. His answers provide very useful tips about how starting to learn […]

Read Full Article
Posted on September 30, 2017 by

Step by step and you will learn it!

    Recently, I was in a conference and some students asked me: Matteo, are there any steps we should follow to learn a foreign language properly?  I think about it. My conclusion is: there are no official steps to reach, for example, an intermediate level in a language. But, surely, there are some steps […]

Read Full Article
Posted on September 15, 2017 by

Watching video (for Advanced Learners)

In the previous article, we questioned if the potato couch method (aka lying down on a couch to watch passively movies or any kind of video in your target language, maybe eating junk food) helps your learning experience. We keep going here, focusing on advanced learners   Advanced Level If you use subtitles, use them […]

Read Full Article
Posted on August 30, 2017 by

Introductory Guide to Watching Videos for Language Learning

A typical mistake made by some language learners, at the beginning of their studies, is believe to this statement: if I start watching movies and TV series as much as I can I will speak a foreign language magically. Not at all! If you think so, I know you feel frustrated when you watch that […]

Read Full Article
Posted on August 15, 2017 by