Tag Archives: busuu.com

Find Out What These 16 Wonderful Untranslatable Words Mean

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Untranslatable words

There are about 6500 languages spoken around the world. Of those, about 2000 are spoken by less than 1000 people, including busuu, which is spoken by just a handful of people in Cameroon. The most widely spoken language is Chinese, with over 1 billion speakers worldwide.

With so many languages it’s hardly a surprise that some words are untranslatable. Whichever language you’re learning, you might come across words that can’t be translated into your native language.

Here are some of our favourite untranslatable words:

  1. Akimbo – English

The position of standing with your hands on your hips and your elbows pointing outwards.

  1. Friolero – Spanish

Someone who is especially sensitive to cold weather and low temperatures.

  1. Dépaysement – French 

The feeling you get when you’re not in your own country.

  1. Schnapsidee – German

An idea that sounds so crazy you’d think someone had it while they were drunk.

  1. Schilderwald – German

A street that’s got so many street signs on it you get lost.

  1. Culaccino – Italian

Sounds like a coffee but it actually means the mark a wet glass leaves on a table.

  1. Saudade – Portuguese

A sad yearning or pining for something that probably doesn’t exist, a bit like nostalgia in English.

  1. Tosca – Russian

Longing, restlessness, anguish or boredom – when you ache for something.

  1. Pochemuchka – Russian

Someone who asks too many questions.

  1. Zalatwic – Polish

Working for cash but also using bribery, your charm, friends, connections or family to get something done.

  1. Yakamoz – Turkish

The luminescence a certain sea creature creates on the surface of the water.

  1. Inshallah – Arabic

Literally translated into Enlglish it means, “if Allah wills it”, but in Arabic its meaning differs depending on slight changes in tone. It can also mean that something is unlikely to happen.

  1. Kyoikumama – Japanese

A mother who pushes her child to achieve academically.

  1. Tsundoku – Japanese

The act of buying a book and then not reading it and adding it to a pile of other un-read books.

  1. Shān zhài – Chinese

Innovative businesses that can be very successful and are based on fake or pirated goods.

  1. Shàng huŏ – Chinese

A term used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, it means having too much internal heat.

Those are our favourites, what are yours? Let us know by commenting..

Continue your language learning today!

Goodbye to one of the best years for busuu!

 

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What have we done to improve your experience with busuu?

We have been working to create a better user experience for you and to make your language learning easier and more enjoyable.

Here are some of examples

  • We launched a brand new learning platform with:
  1. New content – our language experts have created new English and Spanish vocabulary and grammar units. The new Grammar units are designed to develop your skills in an intuitive and natural way, while keeping you motivated.
  2. Digestible learning units and activities – It is easier to complete shorter lessons while keeping you more motivated
  3. Objective based content - each lesson will help you achieve a specific objective.
  • We are delighted to be partnering with Pearson English to bring you a new online language test, GSET (Global Scale of English Test)

This is a brand new test that will revolutionise the way your level of English is measured! busuu is currently the only place where you can take this test and get your certificate, so you will be one of the first people in the world to benefit from it!

  • New mobile apps

Our apps have been radically re-designed to improve the user experience, while still providing free access to engaging content and courses. The new release features more interactive exercises, an attractive fresh design and improved navigation to make your language learning experience easier and even more fun!

All of these improvements have been recognised several times throughout the year:

EdTech Innovator Award 2014

busuu has reached the short-list for the EdTech Innovator Award 2014, an award set up by Edmix to reward the world’s hottest education tech start-ups and highlight innovation in the education sector.

Best App 2014

At the end of every year Apple releases a list of its best Apps.

And this year our busuu app is featured on the list of the Best of 2014 in Switzerland.

We are included in the “MUST HAVE APPS”

Our Android app has been selected by Google among the 127 best Android apps in the world, These “Must have apps” will be featured in the Google play store.

Busuu is joining Tech City UK’s Future Fifty Programme

We’re delighted to be joining Tech City UK‘s Future Fifty programme, alongside companies such as Onefinestay, Made.com, Skyscanner and many others. As a fast-growth UK-based business, we’re looking forward to being a part of this exciting network of peers, as well as getting support from the Future Fifty’s private sector partners.

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But our best award is our global community of language learners!

In 2014, busuu reached the milestone of 50 million users worldwide!

It’s a pretty amazing achievement given that busuu was only set up six years ago and it is now the largest online language-learning platform on the planet!

Up to 40,000 users join busuu every single day!

We want to thank all of our users for their continued support.

Busuu would not be what it is today without its global community of language learners!


Thank you!

 

Complete a Live Unit in 48 hours to earn 100 busuu-berries!

Here’s a quick challenge for you!

Complete a Live Unit on busuu.com between Wednesday, 03 July 2013 at 3pm GMT and Friday, 05 July 2013 at 9pm GMT and earn bonus busuu-berries!

Once you have completed the Live Unit, you will earn 100 busuu-berries as a special reward!

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Maybe you can use them towards an animated gift from the busuu-Shop to help bring your Language Garden to life or get a discount on our Premium Memberships!

Don’t miss out and complete the Live Unit now!

Imitation is the key to learning languages

Did you know that if you mimic someone’s accent, you’ll be able to better understand what they say? As playwright George Bernhard Shaw once said: “Imitation is not just the sincerest form of flattery – it’s the sincerest form of learning.”

That’s what psychologists at the UK’s University of Manchester and Holland’s Radboud University discovered in a study in 2010. The results showed that imitating the person you’re talking to helps your speech comprehension.

So for language learners, this means it’s best to practise your conversation skills with a native speaker.

Loving couple having fun on the beach

Imitation speeds up learning

In the 1970s, American psychologist Andrew N. Meltzoff identified so-called ‘social learning’, where people or animals observe and then copy their companions.

“Imitation accelerates learning and multiplies learning opportunities”, he noted. “It is faster than individual discovery and safer than learning by trial and error.”

 

Practise talking with a native speaker

So if you want to learn a new language, don’t just study books. Make contact with native speakers to set up a language exchange – you’ll learn, have fun and make new friends, all at the same time!

People who want to learn at any time and anywhere have met native speakers from all over the world on busuu.com, the online language-learning community. Its integrated video-chat function makes it easy to log in and start talking.

 

Hot tip for learning even faster

Don’t simply imitate your partner’s way of speaking, accent or intonation; try to mimic their gestures and facial expressions too. Not only will you sound like a native speaker, you’ll also act like one!

There are so many benefits to learning a language like this. As well as having a great time and enjoying interesting conversations, you’ll practise your observation and socialising skills.

Tell us what you think! What languages have you learnt by interacting with native speakers? What extra benefits have you found? And do you have any tips for successful conversations?

New busuu.com TV-spot in Germany!

We have just launched our brand new busuu.com TV-spot in Germany!

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As it’s in German, we have added English subtitles so you can all have a look at it!

Have a look and share it with your friends now!

Use the following link to share the clip with your friends on Facebook! www.busuu.com/enc/tvspot