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It’s Language of the Month time again!

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What did you think of our facts and fun questions about English on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for our Language of the Month in October? Here’s a taste of what we talked about, as well as news of a challenging language for November!

Ask a native speaker

Heather, the busuu team’s native English speaker, was available for a live chat on Facebook to answer any questions you had. Here’s a selection of the best queries:

  • There’s a verse in Bob Dylan’s song, ‘Like a rolling stone’, that says: “You shouldn’t let other people get your kicks for you.” What does “kicks for you” mean in this case? (Alberto C Alberto)
  • What’s the most important tip you can offer adult learners? (Hiba Howard Lafoui)
  • Is there a specific word for riding the train and not paying for a ticket, like in Arabic and German (schwarzfahren)? (Simo Benziane)

Thank you to everyone who got involved! To read more questions and find out Heather’s answers, visit Facebook.

Proverbs that keep you healthy

We asked you to tell us what keeps the doctor away according to a well-known English saying. Reader Céré Lalounette replied with the correct answer in a funny rhyme: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but if the doctor is cute, forget the fruit!”

Differences within English

A big challenge for language learners is the difference between British and American English. In the USA, they say ‘candy’, whereas ‘sweets’ is used in the UK. We asked you what word you use and fan Yannick Bédouret sent us a video (in French) about ‘bonbons’.

Real tongue twisters

We gave you an example of a long one-syllable word in English – ‘screeched’ – and reader Gonzalez Sanchez Nicolas replied with lots of other examples like ‘scratched’, ‘scrounged’, ‘scrunched’ and ‘stretched’.

He also sent us some very long English words, which are extremely hard to say! They include:

  • antidisestablishmentarianism – opposition to the disestablishment of the Church of England (28 letters)
  • floccinaucinihilipilification – the estimation of something as worthless (29 letters)
  • pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis – a supposed lung disease (45 letters)

Don’t worry, these don’t appear in busuu’s Learning Units!

Language of the Month in November

The next language that we’ll explore will be a real challenge because it uses a different writing system to English. About 125 million people speak this East Asian language, which became more popular to learn from the 1980s onwards.

Have you guessed? Yes, it’s Japanese! We will take a look at Japanese culture, essential words and phrases, and provide tips on how to write Japanese characters. Learn about Japanese with busuu on Facebook, Twitter or Google+. 次回もお楽しみに!


 

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