Category Archives: Other

Everything else! ;-)

busuu.com launches new design!

We at busuu.com want to make your language learning experience as comfortable as possible. With our new design, you will learn languages in an even more intuitive way!

Of course, our popular language garden and the busuu berrieswill stay the same. The most important changes have been made in the home area, the language area and the user profile. You will now be able to easily switch between different learning resources and to manage your exercises and corrections directly in your home area.

Your home area now not only shows your learning progress in all the languages you are learning, but also lets you go straight to an individual task, such as: vocabulary, dialogue and writing exercises, the busuu-talk and review test as well as premium materials such as pdfs, mp3s and voice recording. In addition to this, you can access further resources like our dictionary, games and live units. Just click on the corresponding icon or link.

At the bottom of your home area, we now offer you the possibility to manage your exercises and corrections. Here you can choose to view: ‘Others’ exercises’, ‘your exercises’ or ‘your corrections’. On the top right-hand corner of the table, you have the option to filter by language and choose whether you want to see uncorrected exercises of all our members or just of your friends.

Below this ‘Exercises’ box you will now be able to see all your different groups. Again, the filter on the top right-hand corner allows you to arrange your groups according to language.

The new design of the language area gives you an improved overview of your learning activities. The learning unit you are currently working on is highlighted (see picture below). To access the tasks and materials of the highlighted unit, simply click on the icons below, just as you would do in your home area. On the left-hand side of your language area you will also see a menu giving you access to the different courses and resources of your selected language.

As before, you access your user profile by clicking on your profile picture. On the left-hand side of your profile you will see your badges, friends and groups. In the middle part you will see your current learning units and the exercises box.

But enough of the theoretical explanations. The best way to experience our intuitive new design is to see it for yourself! We’re sure you’ll enjoy it as much as we do!

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

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.

 

 

We reached 100,000 fans of busuu.com on Facebook!

Our community is not only growing rapidly on busuu.com but also on our Facebook page. Last weekend we reached 100,000 fans and as a ‘thank you‘, we prepared a special surprise for our Facebook fans.

Do you want to know more? Become a fan yourself and check out the last posts on our wall to take advantage of this special surprise until the 7th of August 2011!

Being a busuu.com fan, you will learn how to say “Have a nice holiday” or other expressions in many different languages. You can also tell us what you know about the culture of the language that you are learning. Of course, you can apply your busuu.com vocabulary and participate in our language quizzes, where you will have to name for example five animals in Spanish or five pieces of clothing in French.

Or just take it easy and contemplate how busuu-berries taste like. Here our favourites of the most creative answers:

  • They taste like the feeling we get when we take them after a lesson! It is just the best taste! :) :)
  • It’s a universal berry. It tastes like whatever you want!
  • Like blackberry but more tasty

Don’t forget to add our “I love busuu” badge to your Facebook profile badge to show everybody just how much you love busuu.com :) Just click on the link below to access it.