Monthly Archives: March 2014

227

Meet the team: Jonathan

We are back!

In our last ‘Meet the team’ blog post we introduced you to the smiley Maria.

This time we introduce you to Jonathan, most commonly called Jo by all of us here at the busuu office. Jo is a Product Manager for English and is extremely interested in how people learn languages, and even writes a blog about it. This weekend he will be in Istanbul talking about online language learning at the TELT conference.

Jo also likes his sport; he cycles to the office every day and he can’t say no to a ping-pong challenge! Find out more about Jo in the interview below:

meet the team, busuu team, working with languages, learn a language

How long have you been with busuu?
Around 9 months.

Where are you from?
Bath, England.

How many languages do you speak and what are they?
English and Turkish, although I don’t practise my Turkish enough these days.

Have you experienced any funny misunderstandings when learning a new language or visiting a foreign country?
When I lived in Istanbul I learned how to say ‘How much does it cost?’ before being able to understand the answers, so after asking I would just hold out my hand and let them take out the correct money!

How would you describe working at busuu?
It’s a great place to work. All the people here are friendly and really do their jobs well. It’s good to think that people will learn more and more as we continue to improve the busuu experience.

For me, language learning means …
…creating a slightly different version of yourself! You can be a different person when you communicate in another language.

Did you like meeting Jo, our Product Manager for English? Tell us in the comments!

226

Be inspired to learn by these multilingual women

International Women’s Day (8 March 2014) recognises the achievements of women worldwide. To celebrate, we want to highlight a few benefits of learning a language, supported by examples of female polyglots to inspire you!

women's day, inspirational women, international women's day

Reach more people, help create change

Speaking other languages means you can communicate with more people. You could help raise awareness of important topics in countries that speak a language different from your own.

Pakistani schoolgirl and girls’ rights campaigner Malala Yousafzai kept a blog for BBC Urdu about life under the Taliban. As well as Urdu and Pashto, she can speak English too, which has helped her reach a wider global audience as her profile has grown.

Other examples include Nobel Peace Prize winners Mother Teresa and Aung San Suu Kyi. Albanian missionary Mother Teresa also spoke English, Serbo-Croatian, Bengali and Hindi, and activist Aung San Suu Kyi speaks Burmese, English, French and Japanese.

Achieve greater success in your career

Learning a language can be a benefit in any profession. Thanks to the global nature of most industries and markets, any language skills you have could help you to get ahead.

British Sky Sports News presenter Kate Abdo is also fluent in Spanish, French and German. She has worked in exciting roles in Germany and interviewed sporting stars in their own language.

Columbian singer-songwriter Shakira speaks Spanish, English, Portuguese, Arabic and Italian. Thanks to recording in both Spanish and English, she has won fans and enjoyed success worldwide.

Tap into your creativity and inspire others

Using your foreign language skills with other people – whether personally or professionally – will awaken their curiosity and get them interested in other cultures and languages too.

British author JK Rowling was a French teacher before becoming a writer. She used her language knowledge to help make up words in her Harry Potter books, captivating children everywhere.

Linguist Susanna Zaraysky, who was born in Russia, studied 11 languages and speaks 8 of them. She’s a book author, presenter, trainer and language blogger who inspires learners worldwide.

Who is your language-learning role model?

We hope our introduction to these female polyglots motivates you to keep learning on the busuu website.

Do you know of any other inspirational multilingual women? Who are your language role models, or do you try to inspire others yourself? Let us know in the comments!