Author Archives: Fabia Alves

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Crazy carnival winning photos

Carnival photo competition, photo competition, carnival

Drum roll please…the five carnival competition winners

Thank you to everyone around the world who entered the carnival competition. We were overwhelmed by so many entries from so many countries Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Turkey, England and more.

After seeing your weird, wild and wonderful photos, we picked ourselves up off the floor (sometimes from laughing, sometimes just from surprise) and chose these five brilliant winners plus an honourable mention.

And here they are…

Lu Pereira

Carnival photo competition

黒い ハート

Carnival photo competition

Tarik Elamari

Carnival photo competition

Mateus Sousa

Carnival photo competition

Guy Simões

Carnival photo competition

Each of you crazy carnivallers win a 12-month Premium Membership to learn any or all (if you’re feeling ambitious) of our 12 languages. And you get also free access to all this on the go, via our mobile app.

Honourable mention to Ludovico Luca Santucci

Carnival photo competition

The busuu team rewards your effort and creativity with a 1-month Premium Membership.

Happy language learning!

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Children learning languages

Here at the busuu office we recently celebrated the arrival of another busuu baby; with another member of our team becoming a proud parent! So naturally there has been a lot of discussion about how children learn languages and how we can help them become fluent language speakers.

children learning languages, bilingual children, learn a language

Make it fun

Adults tend to think that learning a language is a huge challenge, and while it’s true that it does take a lot of effort, this is something that young people are not aware of. Getting children to learn through fun games and activities from an early age can mean that they grow up with a more positive attitude to other languages and the process of learning.

Keep things moving

Children have much shorter attention spans than adults and it’s important to make sure there is a lot of variety for them. The language games they play should be short enough so that they don’t get bored. Children don’t understand the logic of hard work paying off in the future, so it has to be engaging in the present!

Songs and chants

Children love to sing, and songs can be one of the best ways of helping young people become familiar with the rhythm and tone of a new language. This can have a big impact on both listening skills and on their pronunciation. It also helps children remember ‘chunks’ of language; phrases and sentences that help them to become aware of the structures of language without having to focus on grammar.

Download the busuu kids app

If you want to help your child learn English or Spanish, we have a great app to help. The app, (available for iPad and Android) is made up of 30 fun and engaging learning units, each helping your child learn 5 useful words. And because learning is most fun when it’s interactive, why not use the words from each unit to make a song or a game to play with your child at home.

The most important thing, whatever your age, is to love learning. Here at busuu we aim to make learning fun and engaging for all; whether you’re four or one hundred and four!

 

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Get your carnival photos in & win!

Carnival, photo competition, party, celebration

Last chance to get carnival crazy and win!

You’ve really shown us how your country and culture carnivals.

You’ve made us laugh, choke on our tea, even hide behind our desks with all your crazy carnival photos!

If you haven’t shown us what you’ve got yet, there’s still one week left to share your photos and win one of five 12-month Premium Memberships.

Carnival competition final entries…

Were you splattering your face with paints, making headdresses, wearing mad wigs or funny masks? Wherever you do carnival, we’d love to see your top carnival moments!

Just upload your carnival photos and show us what it means to you. You have until 21st March and we’ll be announcing winners on 25th March.

Lots of ways to enter and win

It’s easy to share your carnival photos right here and be on your way towards learning a new language with one of our Premium Memberships.

Tweet or Instagram your picture with #busuucarnival.*

*Our competition opens 21st February and closes 21st March. For full terms and conditions, click here.

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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!

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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!