Not Quite Fluent

How to get over your fear of speaking

My school has a pretty large population of international students—roughly 10% of our student body does not live in America. The vast majority of them are from China, so I’ve really been working a lot on Chinese this past semester.
But I always am so afraid to speak to them in Chinese!

My fav YouTube channels for language

To practice listening and learn about culture, all you need is wifi. YouTube is the best tool out there for getting to grips with some authentic material, and it is a fun way to do it! Here’s a compilation of some of my favorite channels if you’re looking to learn Spanish, Chinese, or advanced English….

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QUIZ: find your polyglot “spirit animal”

According to Urban Dictionary, saying someone is your spirit animal means that that “person or thing is a representation of you or what you want to be.” In other words, a role model. I’ve put together a quiz to help you figure out which of my five favorite language bloggers and vloggers you should be…

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Interpreting: insanely scary but totally rewarding

It’s not a big crowd, but I’m still nervous standing in front of a couple dozen people while clutching two microphones in my sweaty palms. The forty people in the room are there because they need to receive food and clothes from my local church’s ministry called the Healing Center, and I’ve been randomly selected to…

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3 secrets to Chinese characters

It’s easy to speak Chinese. The tones just make it more fun, and the one-syllable words are hard to forget. But writing Chinese…. well, that’s a whole other beast! In struggling to learn to all the different characters, I’ve figured out the top three ways to really sink them into your memory. #1: Repetition and…

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“What’s the most random way languages have helped you?”

So I’m scrolling through Facebook and I see this question: “What’s the most random way your language skills have helped you?” Huh. Well, do I have a story for you. A couple years ago, way back in the sixth grade, my friend and I were on obsessed with two things: Spanish and Christianity. One day…

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Learning through song made easy

The reason I started learning Italian was because of how much I loved the band “Dear Jack”, but little did I know that it would shape how I learned my third language. Here’s the four phases I used to hone my listening and speaking skills through song. […] ​ Stage One: Binge Listen I gathered…

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My routine: the when and how of language learning

Personally, my favorite interviews, blogs, and articles are when language learners divulge exactly how they learn best. Print or online? Asimil or Rosetta Stone? Free or expensive? It fascinates me to know their routines. So when I was asked about mine, I knew I had to share. […] ​ ​I received an email asking about…

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Are polyglots more likely to be insomniacs?

Apparently, yes. A couple weeks ago I sent out a Facebook survey to see what the demographics of the polyglot community are… and I got some rather cool results! Here is an infographic with the results of the survey.

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Circumlocution: the essential word you’ve never heard

I’m fortunate to be good at memorizing vocab, but for a lot of people, it’s a struggle. Getting to native like fluency requires thousands and thousands of words that you may not ever need to use. Honing this one awesome trick will help you get there faster… read on! Circumlocution is the art of expressing…

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