Tag Archives: German

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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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15% discount and motivational tips for language learning

The holidays are almost over and this is the perfect time for brushing up on your language skills to get ahead with schoolwork or make your CV stand out!

To motivate you, we are offering a back-to-school promotion – enjoy a 15% discount on all our products until 15 September 2012!

discount motivation

 

To get you in the mood, here are our busuu.com top 10 motivational tips!

  1. Set a goal – With My Goal your progress is monitored and you will receive personalised messages to give you a motivational boost when you need it most!
  2. Do a busuu Challenge – Motivate yourself and your friends to continue learning and challenge each other to finish 3 learning units within 24 hours.
  3. Be creative – Describe our daily updated pictures from National Geographic and discuss them with native speakers.
  4. Learn by playing – Check out the memory game on busuu.com and play by yourself or with others!
  5. Talk to native speakers – In the busuu-talk you’ll find lots of people who will help you achieve fluency in the language you are learning!
  6. Watch a video unit - Pick out an interesting topic and write a review about it. Your desire to express your opinion will give you extra motivation!
  7. Have a ‘foreign language’ day – Immerse yourself in the culture of the language you are learning: watch a foreign movie in the original language, listen to songs, or cook a typical foreign meal.
  8. Share your progress – Have you just set a goal or finished a learning unit? Be proud of your achievement and share it with your friends on Facebook or Twitter.
  9. Be brave – Everybody makes mistakes when learning a foreign language, so help out others by correcting their posts. They will do the same for you!

…and the best motivation to kick-start your language learning again:

  1. Our 15%-back-to-school discount! Take advantage of the 15% discount and become Premium Premium crown now!

It’s easy to apply the discount:

  1. Go to the order page.
  2. Choose the product you would like to buy.
  3. Copy and paste the code SEP2012 into the relevant box.

With our Premium MembershipPremium Member and our motivational tips you will get the most out of your busuu.com learning experience! Only until 15 September 2012!

Did we miss a motivational tip? Just add your own tips to our list!

 

139

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!

125

Watch out for false friends when learning foreign languages!

Everybody knows them and everybody has been tricked by them when speaking a foreign language: false friends. These sneaky little expressions come in disguise, appearing to be an obvious translation from our mother tongue when really their meaning is completely different.

So, get your imagination going and try to work out which false friend caused confusion in this situation:

 False Friends

Our guess is that the customer is a German lady in an English restaurant who didn’t get her order right. Even though English and German have a lot in common, often the similarity of words can be misleading. For example the German word “bekommen” resembles strongly the English word “become” but actually means something slightly different…

So let’s assume this German lady said: “I would like to become a steak, please” – would you not look as bewildered as the waiter? This is a classic example of a German false friend in English.

But what exactly are false friends and why do they occur?

False friends, or faux amis in French, are words that sound similar but have different meanings. Sticking to our example, you will have guessed already that the German word “bekommen” doesn’t actually translate as “to become” but as “to get”. Since German and English are both Germanic languages, both verbs derive from the Proto-Germanic word “bikweman” which means “to get something”. In Old English it changed its meaning, while in German it stayed the same. So even though these two words have the same linguistic historical origin, “become” and “bekommen” are no longer interchangeable.

Let’s have a look at another example: Imagine an English woman is going out with a Spanish man. One day the English woman spills her coffee all over her Spanish boyfriend. When she tells her boyfriend “Estoy embarazada”, she might think she is telling him that she is embarrassed, but on seeing the look of shock on his face she realises she has said something completely different! No, she has not told him that she feels ashamed of what she has done, she has actually told him that she is pregnant!

To help you avoid this kind of problem we have selected a few typical false friends that could cause you trouble:

English –> German

English word German Translation False friend False friend translation
concurrence
ankle
café
happen
Einverständnis
Fußknöchel
small restaurant
geschehen
Konkurrenz
Enkel
Kaffee
Happen
competition
grandchild
coffee
snack

 

Spanish –> English

Spanish word English Translation False friend False friend translation
asilo
raro/rara
boda
home for senior citizens
strange
wedding
asylum
rare
body
manicomio
especial
cuerpo

 

Portuguese –> English

Portuguese word English Translation False friend False friend translation
palazzo
compromisso
costume
building
commitment
habit
palace
compromise
costume
reggia
chegar a um termo comum
traje típico

In the end, being tricked by a false friend might turn into a funny anecdote you end up laughing about. Tell us your own anecdote about “making false friends” and help us extend our list!

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Are you still looking for the perfect Christmas present?

Christmas is coming soon and you are still searching for the perfect Christmas present?

For sure some of your friends are currently learning a new language and would also love to improve their skills with busuu.com!

Why don´t you surprise them with a 3 months premium language course as a Christmas present?

Christmas garden

You just have to go to our Christmas voucher page and purchase the gift online. Then your friends will receive an email (on the day you decide) and you can even print out a Christmas Gift Card to put it under the Christmas tree! As soon as they log on to busuu.com, they will automatically become a Premium Member for 3 months!

We are sure that your friends will love this very special Christmas presentso get your Christmas gift here!

We wish you all a Merry Christmas in advance, and enjoy language learning with busuu.com!

PS: Of course, you can also give this Christmas present to yourself! ;-)