Ten Wonderful Words without an English Equivalent

Traduttore, traditore. ‘The translator is a traitor.’ This oft-cited Italian pun wittily sums up the dilemma every translator faces. Sometimes, it’s difficult to capture all the nuances of the original, and some words can only be explained rather than translated directly. Every expat may have made that experience when communicating in a foreign language. It […]

Common Misconceptions about Bilingualism

Bilingualism is not a new phenomenon. In fact, parents have been raising bilingual kids for years. I’m not going to lie: it’s not easy and doesn’t happen automatically. It takes effort and a lot of patience, but it is worth it. There are many misconceptions about bilingualism, though, especially about raising bilingual kids, and I […]

Feel the Fear and Say It Anyway

How to Overcome Your Fear of Speaking a Foreign Language in the Workplace The perception of how good we are at speaking a foreign language can vary wildly from one day to the next. Relaxing with friends, you feel almost as good as a native. The next day at the team meeting you’re unsure if […]

Speaking in Tongues: Language Diversity, Death and Revival

I’ve always been fascinated with language diversity, with people speaking two or more languages, as well as happily multilingual places — although (or maybe because) the environment I grew up in was pretty monolingual. Or so I thought, but more on that later. My current workplace couldn’t be any more different from my German-only childhood. […]

The Ten Best Tricks for Foreign Language Learners

You needn’t be a hyperpolyglot to enjoy studying a new language. Hyperpolyglots are those rare geniuses who speak at least eleven languages fluently. Apparently, learning about ten languages is still an attainable goal, relatively speaking, but after the first dozen, things get pretty tricky. Startling facts like that make me feel rather woeful about my […]

Survey Spotlight: Expats’ Language Skills

As for the Expat Insider Survey, there are several topics we’d have liked to cover in our survey report, but had to exclude due to various constraints. Expats and their language skills is one of these subjects. Fortunately, our blog provides plenty of space to make up for this lack. Number of Languages Spoken Let’s […]

Same Same But Different

Customer service in Thailand works a bit differently, as our guest blogger Connie Mudore recently found out. However, such intercultural differences – though they do sometimes need getting used to – aren’t necessarily bad… “Come get money,” the female voice on the phone insisted. It’s not often that I get such messages. Usually, I’m being […]

The Sparkly Elephant

Usually, native English speakers talk about “seeing pink elephants” when they are a bit tipsy. But what connects a sparkly pink elephant to guest author and expat blogger Julie’s German language lessons and to her honeymoon? Read on and find out! You are probably wondering what this cute little elephant has to do with expat […]

Review: Activities and Strategies for Everyday Language Learners

InterNations member Aaron Myers kindly provided us with a free PDF copy of his e-book Activities and Strategies for Everyday Language Learners. If you want to acquire this resource for yourself, we’ll tell you what you’ll get out of it. A Blog Turned Book The book is based on Aaron’s experience as an ESL teacher, […]

A Review of STAGES – Guides for the Time-Crunched Language Learner

Having to learn a new language can be a very daunting prospect. However, everyone who has ever lived abroad will probably tell you that it’s worth the effort, so instead of letting the seeming endlessness of the task put you off, just approach it as you would any other task you are faced with: systematically. […]