Languages & Cultural Blog

Languages & Culture

Leah Simon

July 19, 2017

The one year wait finally came to an end In July 2017, and Game of Thrones fan were treated to a record breaking season 7 premiere.  With Daenerys Targaryen now in her ancestral home of Dragonstone and Jon Snow finally having been confirmed as half-Targaryen, now is a good time as any to brush up on some High Valyrian, mother tongue of the Targaryens!

Leah Simon

Learning how to eat the right way in the country you plan to visit is an important part of the prep before a trip. Just like looking up common phrases in the foreign destination’s language, or the climate your future trip location enjoys – researching the local dining etiquette can save you from seeming rude.

Tipping, cutlery usage, and even seasoning should be kept in mind, and improper technique of any of these can cause offense to your host.

Make sure you are culturally savvy - learn the dos and don’ts from popular travel destinations to help you seem just like a native on your next trip!

Sue Brett

July 17, 2017

“I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma.” This quote by Eartha Kitt is profound in that as human beings, we never truly stop learning. We learn how to walk, how to talk, to read, write, and develop as many skills as we need to become active and functioning contributors to our society. But in the meantime, have we spent enough time learning how to learn?

Sue Brett

July 12, 2017

Learning a language can be and should be a lengthy process, where keeping motivation up is sometimes more important than any other strategy. Once the honeymoon phase of language learning is completed, the intermediate stages can feel like you are standing in the same place for a while.

So what can be done to keep up motivation and not remain in the continuous spiral of the “plateau phase”?

Follow our top 5 tips to constantly maintain and track your language learning.

Leah Simon

July 6, 2017

The roots of a city’s name is often associated with the place’s culture, and understanding why and how a place was given its name can result in a fascinating outlook into its traditions, background and historical relevance.

Read on to find out super interesting historical facts about the etymologies of some of the world’s most important cities.

Leah Simon

The traditional imagery of learning a language is usually associated with books, a tutor, pen pals, and a whole lot of other seemingly endless (and heavy) material that frankly doesn’t seem practical in today’s world.

Leah Simon

July 4, 2017


American Independence Day, also referred to as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The Continental Congress declared that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, and were no longer part of the British Empire.

In the spirit of this much anticipated holiday filled with barbecues, fireworks, and unending hot dogs, read on to find some lesser known facts about the day!

Leah Simon

July 3, 2017

Defining “fluency” itself is a task that seems tricky, and yet it is the ultimate goal every language learner yearns to achieve. Linguists generally agree that foreign-language fluency is achieved when linguistic processing switches from controlled to automatic. This means that fluency of a language is attained when speaking and understanding that language is automatic and effortless. But how can you assess this?

Test your foreign language fluency with these tell-tale signs that you have truly mastered a language!

Sue Brett

June 29, 2017

Increased globalization and access to almost every part of the world has created commercial and travel opportunities that seemed unimaginable just 50 years ago. This phenomenon has sharply drawn to focus the sheer number of languages and cultures practiced around the world, and the need to be at the very least bilingual is a common trend among individuals today.

With over 7000 known tongues existing today, what are the languages that our children must learn to stay ahead of the curve?

Sue Brett

June 28, 2017

Spice up your "nice"! He's nice. What a nice dress. Boring! Learn how to impress your friends, family, teacher or boss with 50 ways to replace "nice", and add delicious flavour to your words.

One of the biggest challenges in language learning is how to avoid repetition. We know we need to learn the grammar, but what we all really want to do is have fun communicating.

So here's our cheat sheet to adding spice to your "nice" adjectives! 

Leah Simon

In a world that is constantly “shrinking”, the need for effective language communication both personally and professionally is ever increasing. With more people living, working and traveling internationally, fluency in multiples languages is an attractive skill to possess, with multinational companies like Apple and Amazon actively recruiting bilingual and multilingual employees. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics listed interpreters and translators as one of the top 20 fastest-growing occupations in 2014.

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