Monthly Archives: September 2011

107

European Day of Languages

We at busuu.com love languages and as it’s the 10th anniversary of the European Day of Languages we would like to present you with one curious language fact for each year.

Before we get going, we have great news for you! Our back-to-school promotion was such a success that we decided to extend the offer and grant you a 15% discount on all our products until Sunday, the 2nd of October 2011.

Just like the Council of Europe, which created the European Day of Languages as part of the European year of languages in 2001, busuu.com wants to encourage language learning, not only in Europe but across the whole world. In case you didn’t already know, our online community connects people from over 200 different countries, with each person teaching their native language whilst also learning new ones.

Today’s blog entry is not so much about learning languages (for study advice, check our motivational tips), but about language curiosities. Did you know that:

1. There are between 6,000 and 7,000 languages in the world – spoken by six billion people.

2. Experts warn that by the end of this century half of these languages will disappear if nothing is done.

3. It is estimated that in the United States alone, 115 out of 280 languages disappeared in the last five centuries.

4. The majority of the world’s languages are spoken in Asia and Africa.

5. At least half of the world’s population are bilingual or multilingual.

6. Bilingualism not only makes the learning of additional languages easier, it enriches the thinking process, as well.

7. Many languages have over 50,000 words, but in everyday conversation people use the same few hundred words.

8. Languages are constantly changing: In the past, English borrowed words from other languages, now many languages borrow English words.

9. At the age of five, a child already has a vocabulary of several thousand words.

10. Back to Europe: There are about 225 indigenous languages in Europe. That’s 3% of the world’s total.

If these facts make you thirstier for more language learning, don’t forget that until the 2nd of October 2011, you get discounted access to our premium memberships and additional products!

PS: Let’s be honest. We didn’t come up with all these facts ourselves. Further information can be found on the website of the European Day of Languages and in the UNESCO‘s data on endangered languages.

 

 

106

New Grammar Guides on busuu.com

We are proud to announce that we are strengthening our partnership with PONS. In addition to our existing Grammar Guides, we are offering new Spanish and English Grammar Guides on busuu.com!

busuu.comPONS

The PONS Grammar Guides for English are now available for Portuguese and Russian native speakers, and we are also now offering PONS Grammar Guides for Spanish for Italian and French native speakers. With these guides you have access to detailed grammar explanations that are directly linked to our existing grammar units.

You should also know that your grammar learning is in the hands of professionals: PONS has been developing language learning material and dictionaries for over 30 years and forms part of the publishing house Klett Group, one of Europe’s largest providers of educational services and supplies. We are very proud to be able to offer you the expertise of PONS and thus further enhance your language learning experience on busuu.com.

From now on, by clicking on the new PONS button within the grammar units you will receive detailed explanations about a specific grammar topic.

Grammar Guide

You can also access your Grammar Guide directly by clicking on the PONS symbol on your homepage or in your course area. This way you can choose which topic you would like to learn, or simply revise earlier lessons. The Grammar Guide covers important topics such as tenses, sentence structure, phrasal verbs, etc.

Grammar Guide

And we saved the best part for last! With our back-to-school promotion, you will automatically get a 15% discount on your Grammar Guide by using the promotion code SEP2011 when upgrading your account – only valid until the end of this month.

So Premium Members Premium Crown can access the Grammar Guide for only 6.79 EUR and free members will only pay 8.49 EUR until the end of September 2011.

Have a look at the grammar guides that are available in your language and brush up on your grammar skills now!

105

Boost your language learning with our motivational tips

The holidays are over, so it’s the perfect time to take up your language learning again.

But we know that it can be hard to find the right motivation, so we are offering a back-to-school promotion – enjoy a 15% discount on all our products until the end of September!

And that’s not all. We also created a top ten list of busuu.com tips to help you find fresh enthusiasm:

1. Set a goal – Easily track your learning progress with mybusuu to see how much time you should study each week to reach your aim.

2. Have a ‘foreign language’ day – Immerse yourself in the culture of the language you are learning: watch a foreign movie in the original language, listen to songs, or cook a typical foreign meal.

3. Read the newspaper or watch our Live Units – Pick out an interesting topic and write a review about it. Your desire to express your opinion will give you extra motivation!

4. Make a list of your favourites – Whenever you come across a word or expression you find particularly interesting, write it down and create a list of your favourite words from the language you are learning.

5. Talk to native speakers – It’s an essential part of learning. Not sure who to talk to? Try out busuu-talk and have a conversation with a native speaker!

6. Take a walk with a notebook – Try to translate everything you see in your head. If there’s something you can’t remember, look it up when you get home!

7. Fill your home with post-its – Every time you want to remember a phrase or word pop it on a post-it and stick it to the doors of your home! Make sure you get
into the habit of seeing if you remember the words on leaving each room.

8. Be brave – Everybody makes mistakes when learning a foreign language, so help out others by correcting their posts. They will do the same for you!

9. Share your progress – Have you just finished a learning unit? Be proud of your achievement and share it with your friends on Facebook or Twitter.

10. Don’t stress, have fun! – Remember that it is all about your learning experience. Here’s the key: the fun you have during the learning process itself is more important than reaching your goal in time!

Don’t forget about our back-to-school promotion which gives you a very motivational 15% discount until the end of September! Make use of our premium functions to boost your language learning!

What about you? Do you have a special motivational tip we didn’t mention? Feel free to add your own ideas to our list!

104

busuu.com launches Business English Course!

This summer, we have been working hard on our new Business English Course! This intensive course has more than 600 words and key phrases to help you improve your Business English and succeed in the professional world.

Boost your Business English on busuu.com with the following topics:

  • Applying for a job – make a good impression with your CV, cover letter and in interviews
  • On the telephone – manage phone calls, messages and complaints
  • Writing emails – learn to write professional business emails
  • In meetings –  handle formal meetings and discussions
  • Presenting – tips and useful phrases for presentations
  • Marketing I – discuss products, pricing, distribution channels and promotions

The Business Course is designed for intermediate to advanced learners. The course material is only available in English. Of course, all your efforts will be rewarded with busuu-berries and you will receive a special ‘Manager’ badge when you finish the course.

To access our new Business English Course, simply go to the ‘Courses’ menu and choose ‘Business English‘ or click on the new icon on the left side of your home area.

Of course our Business English Course includes:

  • More than 600 vocabulary and key phrases with pictures and sounds
  • Real situation dialogues pronounced by native speakers
  • Sample texts such as business emails, cover letters or CVs
  • Recording exercises to test your pronunciation skills
  • Video-chat with role plays to test your business skills with our community

In addition, we included brand new exercises, where you will have to complete formal texts, like emails or cover letters, and relate the learned vocabulary to situations of your every-day professional life.  This will help you identify and masterfully handle typical business situations.

Throughout September, we are offering a huge 15% discount on all our products, including our new Business English Course!  With this discount, you can get access to the Business English Course for just 25.49 EUR for one whole year!

So take advantage of our special promotion to upgrade your account or buy our new Business English Course now!