Tag Archives: busuu

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The new busuutalk is here!

We have re-launched busuutalk – and it’s now better than ever before!

Following your suggestions and feedback, we are happy to announce that busuu.com has launched a brand new version of busuutalk. Our new busuutalk  not only looks nicer, but it is also packed with loads of new features and functionalities.

New busuutalk

  Here are the key improvements:

  1. An “Away” status, so your friends can still send you busuutalk requests when you have to pop away from your computer for a little while.
  2. Additional unit vocab and phrases, adapted to your level (A1 & A2) will help you to better engage in conversations by introducing you to new words and sentences, and helping you to use them in context.
  3. A list of useful phrases displayed in the busuutalk chat window will give you ideas for new words and sentences and guide you on how to use them.
  4. The busuu dictionary will help you find vocabulary you have seen in the busuu learning units and give you their translation, so you don’t have to worry if you can’t remember something.
  5. Special character keyboards for all 12 languages and a whole range of cool emoticons that will make your conversations even more fun!
  6. New improved sound and video quality
  7. … and that’s not all! You can also now save your conversation, print it out and review the vocabulary at the end of your chat.

As usual, you can choose to start busuutalk  from either your home page or from within a unit. Once you have selected a chat partner, a pop-up window will appear and you will be connected. Within the chat window, you can take advantage of all new functions and start improving your language skills with our community of native speakers. Our Premium MembersPremium Member can enjoy busuutalk and all of its new features absolutely free! Not a Premium MemberPremium Member yet? Don’t worry, you can still use busuutalk for just 10 busuu-berries per conversation, or upgrade now!

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More reasons to learn a new language

You already know some of the benefits of learning a language – if you’re a member of  busuu.com! But are you aware of some of the less obvious reasons to learn a new language?

We all know some of the main benefits of learning to speak a new language, such as making it easier for you to meet people when travelling, or improving your skills to make your CV stand out.

But there are some more surprising reasons to learn a language . Here are a few suggestions based on recent research – do you have any more benefits to add? Let us know in the comments!

 

Languages benefits

Develop understanding and respect

By speaking another community’s language, you can really get to understand its culture and traditions. This in turn helps you to develop a fresh perspective on the world and respect for other people – and that can only be a good thing.

Improve your brain power

Learning a language could improve your brain power. A  Swedish study has shown that learning a new language in a short period of time can make specific parts of the brain get bigger.

What’s more, if you learn a foreign language for 4 years or more, you could outperform your colleagues or classmates in other areas.

Keep your health for longer

Further research suggests that people who speak two or more languages are 4 times less likely to have a cognitive impairment. You could help delay the onset of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

Learn a third language more easily

Are you finding it difficult to learn a second language? Keep working, because studies have shown that once you’ve mastered this one, you’ll find it easier to learn a third language!

Do you feel really motivated to learn a language after reading this post? Take full advantage of all our award-winning products by upgrading to Premium on busuu.com!

What benefits have you experienced from learning a new language? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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Help us to win – vote for busuu.com!

busuu.com has been chosen from over 300 start-ups and founders from 14 countries to compete for a big media prize – and we need your help to win!

We are one of just seven finalists to present live to the Seven Ventures Pitch Day (7VPD) judging panel, part of the NOAH London internet conference in London, 6-7 November 2012.

Vote for busuu.com!

 

So if you love  busuu.com, please vote for us! There are seven judges – and the seventh judge is you!

All you have to do is vote online for busuu.com before 7 November 2012 by visiting the 7VPD website

Thank you for being part of busuu.com and making us the world’s largest social network for learning languages online!

 

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Get ready for Halloween 2012!

While Halloween, or All Saint’s Eve, is most popular in America, countries around the world are now beginning to adopt this holiday too.

Halloween

If you are planning to attend, or even host a Halloween party, you should make sure you know the most common words related to this holiday. Halloween words borrow from many different languages. Today, these words are used in countries all around the world.

Do you know where some of these words come from?

Let’s take a look at the most common ones:

HALLOWEEN

Halloween is a condensed form of the phrase All Hallow Even, i.e. All Saints’ Eve. Hallow means “holy”, so Halloween is the Eve of All Hallows, i.e. all saints. Hallow and Halloween derive from the Old English adjective halig (holy).

PUMPKIN

Pumpkin derives from the Greek pepon, a kind of melon eaten only when very ripe. The word root is very interesting: Latin took over pepon as pepo, then French produced popon/pompon, then pumpion, and finally pumpkin.

BROOM

There is no witch in town that would make a Halloween appearance without a broom. The word derives from a Germanic plant name that appears as bramo, bramma and bramio in various Germanic languages. So a broom essentially bears the Germanic name of the twig plant.

COFFIN

This word appears in various languages. In Greek it’s kophinus (a basket), in Latin cophinus and French cofin. Initially, the word meant ‘box’ but in the 16th century it took on two meanings, one of which is the dreaded coffin.

GHOST

In traditional belief and fiction, a ghost is the soul or spirit of a deceased person or animal that appears to the living. However, Halloween ghosts will be disappointed to know that their linguistic ancestors where neither scary nor vengeful. In Old English, ghost simply meant “spirit”, a meaning preserved when we refer to the Holy Ghost.

To get you in the right mood for Halloween, here are the top 10 Halloween songs of all time.

To learn more words related to this fantastic holiday, complete our fun Halloween exercise on busuu.com

 

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Learn vocabulary even faster!

To become comfortable with new words, practise by using the word in your writing, speaking and everyday thoughts.

The more you use and think about new words, the better you can remember them. In order for a word to become a part of your vocabulary, you have to use and hear it in several ways.

The key to building up a good vocabulary is to be curious and to keep practising what you have learned.

This is why we have introduced CheckpointsCheckpointsa simple new feature that will help you to learn new words and phrases and remember them!

 Checkpoints

 

In addition, here are our top tips for you to remember new words:

  1. Practise saying the word and listen to others to get the pronunciation right.
  2. Try to learn the word and its meaning the first time you see it.
  3. Practise writing the word and its definition often.
  4. Take advantage of Checkpoints, our new tool to help you to remember new words.
  5. Vary the words: Try to make them plural and use them in different sentences.
  6. Repeat the word many times in your mind!
  7. And ALWAYS have fun learning new words!

CheckpointsCheckpoints is only available for Premium membersPremium! Upgrade to Premium today to take advantage of this great new feature!