Resources

How To Learn a Language from Home

You don’t have to travel to learn a new language. Honestly, you don’t even need to put on pants! I’ve studied several languages from home over the last decade. In fact, according to my italki stats (more about italki later), I have studied more than a dozen languages from home (including Ukrainian, Vietnamese, and Malay!) You definitely don’t have to …

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How to Use Chinese Social Media Apps to Learn Chinese

When I found out I was going to move back to China, I knew it was finally time to familiarize myself with Chinese social media. Back in 2008, when I spent my first summer in Beijing, these apps were barely on the horizon. A few short years later, they had taken over. My Chinese friends were all sending each other …

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How to Sound Like a North Korean

(Want to skip the history? Scroll down to the List of 21 North Korean Words in Crash Landing On You)   How much do you know about the North Korean accent? Netflix’s new drama “Crash Landing on You” launched last week, and suddenly the Koreasphere was all atwitter about the North Korean dialect, which is heavily featured in the show. …

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Self-Study Starter Kit: Indonesian

Did you know that Indonesian is one of the easiest languages for an English speaker to learn? Did you know it has more than 43 million speakers? In fact, if you put Indonesian together with (mutually intelligible) Malay, which has 77 million speakers, more people speak these languages than speak Korean, French, or Italian! By the way – a helpful …

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How To Learn Chinese Characters On Your Own

Are you ready to learn Chinese characters? They will challenge you at first – but trust me, the first time you read a Chinese sentence (and it actually makes sense) you will feel such a rush! Since the Chinese writing system is so drastically different from the alphabet we use for English, you learn to read and write Chinese in …

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Self-Study Starter Kit: Japanese

study japanese online

I’ve been to Japan many times now, but for some reason I always resisted learning Japanese. I suppose part of me was worried it would interfere with my Korean. Maybe a more truthful part of me was worried I would get obsessed (as I often do) and end up neglecting everything else I’m really supposed to be working on! So …

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Self-Study Starter Kit: Slovak

    At the time of writing, I’m about to attend the Polyglot Gathering in Bratislava. After hosting the event for three years in a row, this will be the last one that is held in Slovakia (for the next few years, at least). It is also, by all estimates, the largest polyglot gathering to date! Of course, to prepare …

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So You’re Not Fluent Yet: Should You Blame Duolingo?

When the recent article in The Cut came out proclaiming Duolingo useless, the glee was palpable. I get it. You’ve spent countless hours at the beck and call of that owl, and you still can’t speak Spanish, or Ukrainian, or High Valyrian. You feel ineffective, incapable. You wondered if it was just you. I’m writing this post on a long …

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