Tag Archives: Chinese

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2012 – what a great year it was!

2012 was a fantastic year for busuu.com which saw many improvements, new features and products!

Here is an overview of our highlights of 2012:

January 2012

  • To celebrate the new year, we launched a new language! Our users can now learn Japanese for free on busuu.com! Japanese is the mother tongue of over 130 million people and the 10th most spoken language in the world.
  • Great news for all our mobile users! We launched an update for our iPhone/iPad app. Now, all units in our popular apps for iPhone/iPad are automatically activated if you are a Premium member.

February 2012

  • Chinese was added to the list of busuu.com languages. Users can now learn Chinese for free on busuu.com! It’s the most spoken language in the world and the mother tongue of one quarter of the global population.

March 2012

  • Profile customisation: Make your profile stand out with this feature on busuu.com! If you’re a Premium Member, you can create a Photo Gallery to share your favourite images with our community.
  • New writing exercises with pictures from National Geographic: Learn with National Geographic Pictures on busuu.com as part of our Live Units! You can improve your writing skills by practising new picture-based writing exercises, no matter your level!
  • Language level test: Users can now test their language level to find out which course they should begin with.
April 2012
May 2012
  • On 10 May 2012, busuu.com celebrated its 4th birthday!
  • We have launched My Goal, our improved learning progress tracker, you can find out how many hours you should study per week to finish your course by a certain date. This way you’ll be sure to complete your Spanish Course before you board that plane!

June 2012

  • We launched two new apps for iPhone and iPad, so you can now learn Chinese and Japanese for free on your mobile. Both apps are also available for Android.
  • We launched our improved dialogues,  to improve your listening comprehension! We’ve added new functions that will help you understand the dialogues even better!

July 2012

  • busuu.com apps reach 10 milion downloads! In less than two years, our apps for Android, iPhone and iPads were downloaded over 10 million times! Since then, we register 20,000 new app downloads every day!
August 2012
October 2012
  • We were very happy to announce a €3.5 million investment in busuu.com by PROFounders Capital and private investors as well as our headquarters relocation from Madrid to London.
  • We have introduced Checkpoints – a simple new feature that will help you to learn new words and phrases and remember them!
November 2012
  • We have re-launched busuutalk – and it’s now better than ever before! Following your suggestions and feedback, we were happy to announce that busuu.com had launched a brand new version of busuutalk.
  • busuu.com won the first price at the Seven Ventures Pitch Day – a €4m media budget in Germany!
December 2012
So you can see, it was an exciting year here at busuu.com, and hopefully for you too!

Thank you for being part of busuu.com, the world’s largest online language learning community! What makes busuu.com special is our interactive community. Without you, we would not have reached all these milestones in 2011!

 

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Learn Chinese and Japanese for free wherever you are!

We have just launched two new apps for iPhone and iPad, so you can now learn Chinese and Japanese for free on your mobile. Both apps are also available for Android.

busuu.com Japanese App

Chinese is the most spoken language in the world and the mother tongue of one quarter of the global population (that is 1.34 billion people – incredible!). Japanese is the mother tongue of over 130 million people, which makes it the 10th most spoken language worldwide.

With the busuu.com apps for iOS and Android you can connect to Chinese and Japanese native speakers from the busuu.com community and send them exercises for correction! This way language learning is communicative and fun!

Best of all: Each app includes 20 free learning units! Full content can be purchased from inside the app. If you’re a Premium Member Premium Member on busuu.com, the whole content of the apps will be automatically activated:

  • More than 3,000 words and key phrases in 150 different learning units covering everyday situations
  • Courses for Beginner to Upper Intermediate level (A1 to B2), in addition to our Travel Course
  • Comprehensive and audio-visual learning tools
  • Vocabulary training, dialogues, writing exercises and interactive tests
  • Works on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Androidno internet connection required

busuu.com Chinese App

In total you can now learn eleven languages while waiting for the bus or relaxing in the sun! Learn English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Polish, Turkish, Chinese and Japanese on the go!

Of course, you can also earn busuu-berriesbusuu-berries and synchronise your progress with your online profile on busuu.com.

So start earning busuu-berries on the go by downloading your free app now!

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Get into the holiday spirit with our Travel Course!

It’s almost the holiday season! So brush up on your language skills with our interactive Travel Course and get ready to enjoy your adventures abroad!

Holidays

Learn all the essential words and expressions you need to know when travelling with the following categories:

  • Basic Expressions
  • Transportation
  • Moving around
  • Money, shopping and eating
  • Planning and accommodation

Each of these categories includes 3 learning units. Plus, you get our special Survival guide, a very useful PDF containing survival phrases to carry around while exploring the city.

The Travel Course is available in each of the 12 languages offered on busuu.com. It’s also available in all our mobile apps, so leave your dictionaries at home and improve your language skills on the way to your holiday destination! Download your app now!

busuu.com Travel Course

Access our Travel Course in three easy ways:

  1. Invite your friends
    For free access to the online version, simply invite 10 of your friends to join busuu.com. Once they’ve signed up, you’ll get access straight away!
  2. Buy it now
    If you want immediate access to the Travel Course, buy it now – just choose whether you’d like the online version or the mobile app version!
  3. Become a Premium MemberPremium Membership
    Premium Members automatically have free access to both the online version and the mobile app version of the Travel Course.

Upgrade now to enjoy our full range of award-winning learning tools!

We hope you have lots of fun preparing for your trip with our Travel Course – we’re sure it will get you into the holiday spirit!

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The busuu.com Language Barometer 2012

Key trends of language learning point towards online language learning

busuu.com is on a quest to define the future key trends of language learning. In collaboration with IE Business School, a leading postgraduate education institution, we present: The busuu.com Language Barometer 2012! 

The busuu.com Language Barometer 2012

More than 45,000 busuu.com users from 230 different countries responded to our survey, held at the beginning of March 2012. Let’s have a look at our users’ preferred methods for improving their language skills, what encourages or hampers their learning process and many more exciting outcomes!

The future of language learning relies on online methods!

With 23% of the vote, our community defines language courses abroad as the most efficient learning method. No wonder, who wouldn’t prefer to have a nice holiday abroad whilst simultaneously improving language skills? ;-)

Web 2.0 platforms such as busuu.com are a close second, with 20% preferring to study languages through these interactive online communities. Our users even found this method more efficient than learning with a personal teacher (15%)!

The survey clearly shows that language learners regard grammar books and language classes as less attractive forms of learning. Only 8% of our users like to learn languages in a classroom, and books and CD-ROMS are considered the most efficient method by a mere 6% and 3% respectively.

Interestingly, mobile learning is not yet a popular option for learning languages. Only 2% identified this method as most efficient for them. We are curious as to how this perception of mobile applications will change in the future.

 The busuu.com Language Barometer 2012

63% of our users believe that combining different learning methods will be most important in the future. Those who opted for a single method clearly preferred online learning (27%). Only 6% rely on traditional methods and 4% believe that mobile learning will be important for future language learning.

The busuu.com Language Barometer 2012

Flexibility and direct contact with native speakers are the key advantages of online learning

35% of our users who preferred online learning value this method for its flexibility which allows them to learn whenever and wherever they want. Almost a quarter of the respondents learn languages online in order to learn with native speakers. 16% believe that this method is efficient and 15% learn online because it’s an economical way to learn languages.

The busuu.com Language Barometer 2012

How much money do people spend over their lifetime on language learning?

To keep it short and simple: a lot! The lifetime average spending of our users on language learning is approximately 740 Euros (975 USD). More than 17% of our users have spent more than 1,000 EUR (1,300 USD) in language learning over time.

Those who decide to invest in language learning have a good reason to do so: 78% of our users believe that foreign language skills will improve their career prospects and 72% are confident that the ability to speak a foreign language will directly improve their financial situation.

Why do people learn languages?

The reasons that motivate people to learn a new language have certainly changed in recent years. The main reasons for our users to take up language learning are travelling (46.5%), fun (37.6%) and business (37.1%). What is also interesting is the fact that 30% of our users learn languages for mental training.

 busuu.com Language Barometer 2012

What makes learning a language difficult?

Let’s see what our users have to say about the challenges of language learning: 23% think they don’t have enough time to learn languages. 19% believe that not having access to native speakers slows down their learning process and 14% have trouble staying motivated. No wonder over 15 million users learn languages with busuu.com, where these main challenges are tackled right away!

busuu.com Language Barometer 2012

What is the language of the future?

An impressive 51% of our users agree that English will be the language of the future! The second most voted language is Chinese with 22% and Spanish comes in third place with 7%. The rest of our users are split between languages such as Russian, Arabic, German, Japanese and others.

Concerning the topic of which language children should learn, English and Chinese are still the top choice with 40% and 11% respectively. However, the other main Western languages follow closely behind: 11% vote for Spanish, 10% for French and 8% for German.

Who learns languages on busuu.com?

Users on busuu.com cover all age ranges: Almost two thirds of our users are between 14 and 35 years old. 32% are between 36 and 60 years and a notable 6% of our users are older than 60! Congratulations to the so-called “silver surfers” for taking up the trend of online language learning!

Interestingly, an impressive 58% have a university degree and 23% have an MBA or a PhD.

The busuu.com Language Barometer 2012

This educational background is also represented in the current activity of our language students. 30% are studying and 41% are working either for a company or as entrepreneurs or freelancers. As already indicated by the age ranges, 6% of our users are retired.

The busuu.com Language Barometer 2012 

What does this mean for the future of language learning?

To sum up, people mainly learn languages for travelling, entertainment and business. However, the ability to speak different languages is also seen as very beneficial for opening opportunities for career progression and financial stability.

The numbers certainly show that, whether used in combination with other learning methods, or as an interesting alternative, online learning is the tool of the future. People look for a flexible and interactive tool that offers them direct access to native speakers. We’re glad to be on the right track with our language learning solution!

Many thanks to all of you who took part in this survey! We look forward to further discussing our results about the future trends of language learning with you in the comment section below!

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New: Learn Chinese on busuu.com!

We have exciting news for you: you can now learn Chinese for free on busuu.com! It’s the most spoken language in the world and the mother tongue of one quarter of the global population (that is 1.34 billion people – incredible).

Learn Chinese for free on busuu.com

Chinese is also the Lingua Franca of Asia. You can never go wrong with Chinese in Asia! So start learning Chinese now and practise with native speakers from our busuu.com community! You will discover one of the oldest cultures in the world with over 5000 years of customs and traditions.

Chinese is known for being a tonal language. In fact, there are 4 tones (plus a ‘neutral’ tone). This may be challenging for Chinese beginners, however, as the language has no plural and no tenses, the grammar part will be a piece of cake for you. To give you an easy introduction, our learning content is availabe in both the Latin alphabet and the Chinese script. This way you will be able to easily understand the pronunciation that is so important when learning Chinese.

Learn Chinese for free on busuu.com

And if you’re a native Chinese speaker, you can of course use busuu.com in your own language! Just go to your settings page to change the interface language to Chinese.

Start learning Chinese for free!

Begin your Chinese course in 3 easy steps:

  1. Go to ‘Add a new language‘ in your course menu.
  2. Add ‘Chinese‘ to the languages you learn.
  3. Click on the new Chinese tree in your garden to start learning.

Premium MembersPremium Member can listen to key phrases and dialogues, do voice recording exercises and access podcasts and many more tools for learning this tonal language more effectively. Upgrade now to make the most out of our Chinese course or have a look at our full list of Premium Functions here!

Do you already learn Chinese? Share your learning tips and tell us how you like our Chinese course! We’re looking forward to your feedback and hope you’ll enjoy learning Chinese with busuu.com!