Category Archives: Language-learning tips

181

Discover our next Language of the Month!

What did you learn from our first Language of the Month?

Throughout July, we posted fun facts about Spanish on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Here are some of the highlights, as well as which language we’ll be focusing on in August!

LOTM-german-facebookcoverpic

 

Words and phrases

‘Eres la leche’ is an expression used in Spain that sounds funny if translated literally (‘You are the milk’). What it actually means is ‘You’re amazing’, as lots of people correctly said.

False friends are words that sound similar to ones in your native language, but have a different meaning. ‘Estoy embarazado/a’ sounds just like ‘I’m embarrassed’, but it means ‘I’m pregnant’!

What do ‘autobús’, ‘camión’ and ‘guaguas’ have in common? They all mean ‘bus’ in different parts of the Spanish-speaking worldFind out which words our members suggested.

 

Cultural aspects

Many of you identified our mystery landmark as Peru’s Machu Picchu, a 15th-century Inca site. Claudia Elgueta Beltrán Mayssa, a busuu.com fan, even shared a music video featuring Machu Picchu. Great link, Claudia!

Our post about the Mexican sauce called ‘mole (from Nahuatl ‘molli’) was also popular. Lots of busuu.com members took part in naming different types of mole. Fan Anke Baurott offered to help anyone looking for Mexican recipes. Thanks, Anke!

Language of the Month in August

Following the success of our Spanish month, we will be taking a closer look at German in August. It’s an official or dominant language in 7 countries (can you name them all?) and has around 90 million native speakers.

So if you’d like to tell everyone how great Oktoberfest is, discover some tasty delicacies or see beautiful sights in German-speaking countries, follow busuu.com on FacebookTwitter and Google+. Bis bald!

 

180

Tips to beat the fear of using languages

Does the thought of using a second language make you feel nervous or bring you out in a cold sweat? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! We’re here to help you overcome your anxiety, so we’ve compiled some handy tips just for you.

Tips

Boost your confidence, learn better

Are you apprehensive about talking to or understanding others? Maybe you’re worried that they will think negatively of you? Or are you concerned that you’ll do badly in a test? There’s a name for how you feel: foreign language anxiety (FLA).

Speaking, listening, reading or writing can all provoke FLA. At busuu.com, we’ll help you build your language confidence. As a result, you’ll get more out of your learning experience, whether taking part in activities or better remembering new words.

Tips for overcoming your fear

Stay focused – think about why you’re learning a language and how it will help you to reach your aims. This will motivate you to keep studying. Why not set yourself some goals to track your achievements?

Give yourself a break – communicating in any language is about getting your ideas across, not about being ‘perfect’. Everyone makes errors, even in their native tongue! No-one will judge you; in fact, they will appreciate your efforts to speak to them.

Be prepared – if you need to make a call or see someone, think about what you want to say. Practise sentences in your head and even note down some key words on a piece of paper, so you have them in front of you if you forget.

Get helpful feedback – we learn from our mistakes. Find people who will give you genuine, constructive tips. At busuu.com, our native speakers are there to do just that; you can return the favour too, by helping them with their writing and speaking.

Feel in control – if you can learn at your own pace, in a comfy location of your choice, you’ll be more at ease. Repeat exercises as often as you like, work as quickly or as slowly as you need to and talk to native speakers using a chat tool (only when you’re ready).

How did you tackle anxiety?

Did you suffer from sweaty palms or a rising feeling of panic whenever you had to use a foreign language? If so, let us know in the comments how you got over your fear. Maybe you’ll help someone else to beat their anxiety!