Monthly Archives: October 2011

busuu.com is in The Europas finals!

We’re very excited to be in the finals of The Europas – the European Tech Startup Awards! This is the third year that The Europas celebrate the best of Europe’s startups, VCs and entrepreneurs and you are the one who chooses the final winner!

Voting is easy: Go to the category ‘Best Education, Recruitment, Media Startup‘ and vote for busuu.com. In 2010 we were ‘Highly Commended‘ in the category ‘Best Learning Startup’. This year we want to do even better. Help us win the award for ‘Best Education, Recruitment, Media Startup’ and vote for us now!

Online education has grown strongly in the past few years. In the case of language learning, it makes sense to go online: busuu.com connects people from over 200 countries worldwide who teach and learn languages in our online community.

In only 3 years we have grown to become a community with over 4 million users. Let’s keep up the good work and show the world that we really are one of the best European Tech Startups! Vote for us and tell your friends, too!

The winners will be announced on 17 November 2011 in London. We will of course let you know if we are selected.

Get ready for Halloween with busuu.com!

Spice up this year’s Halloween with our busuu.com special learning unit! Find out how to say ‘trick or treat‘ in the language you are learning and discover some fun facts about curious Halloween traditions and origins.

Halloween Learning Unit

Ghosts, zombies, witches – Nothing will frighten you this year… With our Halloween unit you’ll learn how to name all sorts of spooky creatures in the language you study on busuu.com. But this unit is not just about vocabulary, you might even get some inspiration for your own Halloween Party with our pictures of scary costumestraditional Halloween games and pumpkin carvings.

Speaking of pumpkins, there are some really fun facts we would like to share with you. Did you know that 99% of the pumpkins that are sold end up as Jack O’ Lanterns? Carving pumpkins is even considered a sport by some Halloween fans. The record lies with Jerry Ayers of Baltimore, Ohio who carved a pumpkin in only 37 seconds! And last but not least, the biggest pumpkin was weighed in October 2004 at a pumpkin festival in Port Elgin, Ontario, Canada: It tipped the scales at an impressive 1,446 pounds. Halloween Learning Unit

Would you like to translate our spooky Halloween vocabulary into other languages quickly and easily? Try out the busuu.com dictionary! Simply select the language and type in the word to see your translation, a picture and even listen to the pronunciation! By clicking on the different flags at the bottom of the page, you can see the  translation for all the languages we offer on busuu.com.

busuu.com dictionary

The Halloween Unit includes all the usual exercises and if you’re a Premium MemberPremium Member, you can of course download the vocabulary in PDF and MP3 format. Go to our Halloween special by clicking on the ‘recommended unit‘ link on the left-hand side of your home area. Or just try it out now!

We wish you a HAPPY HALLOWEEN and lots of fun with our special Halloween Unit!

Happy Halloween

The Language Archive opens in Berlin

Great news for all language fans out there: This month, the Max Planck Institute has opened The Language Archive in Berlin, one of the largest linguistic archives in the world! We wish all the best to The Archive on its inauguration and we are looking forward to seeing the development of this new space for language research.

Storing information about endangered languages online is an excellent way to keep a record of their pronunciation. The special units Busuu and Silbo Gomero on busuu.com are further examples of how you can get a taste of exotic and endangered languages that you are unlikely to experience when travelling abroad. With the audio files you can try out the language for yourself, and perfect your pronunciation! You may not be likely to use it in real life, but it is certainly great fun!

      

The Language ArchiveBy creating a space for research and the conservation of languages, The Language Archive also provides an account of the cultures, people and history that the language embraces. This valuable cultural heritage is now preserved for current and future generations of researchers who log in to the database.

Storing already 80 Terabytes (written out that’s 80,000,000,000,000 bytes!!!) worth of data from over 200 languages, The Language Archive plans to further extend its collection in the future.

Languages constantly change, cease and disappear. As stated in our blog entry on the European Day of Languages, 50% of the 6,000 to 7,000 existing ones are likely to become extinct by the end of this century. However, as we have seen in this blog entry, this does not mean that they will be forgotten!

Are you ready to get out there and discover some extraordinary languages for yourself? Try out our special learning units for Busuu and Silbo Gomero – a whole new way to test your foreign language skills!

Improve your CV with our new Business Spanish Course!

We know that foreign language skills are a plus on everybody’s CV. That is why our Business Course is now available for you in Spanish! This intensive course has over 600 words and key phrases to help you master challenging business situations – such as presentations or interviews – in professional Spanish.

Just like our Business English Course, our Business Spanish Course provides you with vocabulary from typical business contexts:

  • Empleo – make a good impression with your CV, cover letter and at your interview
  • Al teléfono – manage phone calls, messages and complaints
  • Correos electrónico – learn how to write professional business emails
  • Reuniones – handle formal meetings and discussions
  • Presentaciones – tips and useful phrases for presentations
  • Marketing I – discuss products, pricing, distribution channels and promotions

Business Spanish Course

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

The Business Course is designed for intermediate to advanced learners. The course material is only available in Spanish and includes exercises which will help you identify and masterfully handle typical business situations. You will complete formal texts, like emails or cover letters, and will learn how to apply the new vocabulary to your own everyday professional life. You will also be able to record your voice and have your pronunciation corrected by native Spanish speakers of our busuu.com community.

Our Business Courses include:

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
New exercise types which help you to handle typical business situations.

 

When you successfully complete the Business Spanish Course, you can download a busuu.com certificate. This new feature is also available for our Business English Course.  After completing all exercises and tests of the Business course, all the symbols in your course overview will appear green.

In order to generate your certificate, just click on the graduation hat .  A window will open, where you can enter the name that you want to appear on the certificate. You can then save the certificate as a PDF document on your computer. The certificate states details such as the course topics, the duration and your finishing date.

In addition, all your efforts will be rewarded with busuu-berriesand you will receive a special ‘Manager’ badge when you finish the course.

Start improving your Business Spanish skills now – get access for one year with a one-time payment of only 29.99 EUR!