Tag Archives: language learning

Find Out What These 16 Wonderful Untranslatable Words Mean

untranslatable_words_blog

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!

Learning a language makes your travel experiences so much better

 

Learning a language makes your travel experiences so much better

Even a little knowledge of a foreign language can help you make a good impression when you meet people from other countries.

You will never truly experience the local culture if you limit yourself to interacting on a touristic level alone. A deeper level of communication will help you fully immerse yourself in the culture.

In other words, speaking another language helps to break down barriers.

Learning a foreign language can enrich your travel experience

Of course, nowadays you can travel anywhere and everywhere without speaking any other languages, but the experience can be completely different!

Learning a foreign language can help you become a more confident traveller, but also it will give you the opportunity to meet local people, explore different places off the beaten track, and learn more about the culture and cuisine of the place you are visiting…

Particularly if you are travelling alone, speaking a foreign language can make your trip so much easier, and more enjoyable too: for social reasons when meeting new people and discovering cool new places; or for personal safety reasons, like when asking for help in case of emergencies (obviously, we hope the former would be more relevant, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!).

There are plenty of good reasons to learn a foreign language and busuu.com can help you to enjoy the process of learning a new language using our app and website!

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!

 

Get your official Pearson Certificate

 

pearson.gset

What is  GSET “The Global Scale of English”?

GSET is the world’s first truly global English language  test which allows you to measure your progress throughout your English language learning journey, from beginner right through to advanced.

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

The test measures your level of English across four core skills:

  •      Speaking
  •      Listening
  •      Reading
  •      Writing

It uses advanced speech and writing recognition technology to provide the most accurate result.

Why is it useful?

This test will help you to answer three questions about your English level:

  •      How good is my English?
  •      Am I progressing?
  •      What do I need to do next?

The test provides an overall numerical score based on the Global Scale of English (GSE).

After completing the test you will receive your score and will be able to download an official Pearson Certificate.

How can I take the test, buy a test or upgrade to Premium?

12 months premium = 1 free test:

We are offering a free test as part of the busuu 12 months Premium membership.

Buy a test:

If you are a free user and you want to take the English language tests, you can buy them individually or as part of a package.

 

busuu and Pearson partner to bring you the Global Scale of English test (GSET)

busuu and Pearson GSET

Testing your English language proficiency is one click away!

We are delighted to be partnering with Pearson English to bring you a new online language test, GSET (Global Scale of English Test).

As a launch special, we are offering a free test to all our new 12 Month Premium members, so upgrade today to not miss out! All our existing Premium users will have access to one free GSET test on their dashboard.

The GSET will allow you to test your English proficiency online on busuu. As you take the test at different stages of your learning experience, you will be able to track your progress and see how your English skills improve! 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 so you will be one of the first people in the world to take advantage of it!

We advice you to take the test at multiple stages of your learning journey, and as you progress, at the end of each level part, to see how well you are advancing.

The test will be testing all language aspects: listening, reading, speaking and writing. You will go through different types and varieties of motivating exercises that test you on specific skills. The duration of the test is 35 minutes. All you need to take the test is a good internet connection, a headset and microphone. You will be prompted through every type of exercise for a smooth learning experience.

A score delivered based on a global scale

Minutes after completing the test, you will receive an email informing your that your test has been scored. The test score is based on the Global Scale of English (GSE). The GSE is a standardised, granular scale that measures English language proficiency in a way that is consistent and actionable for learners, teachers, and employers.

Unlike other frameworks, which describe attainment in broad bands, the Global Scale of English identifies what a learner can do at each point on the scale across speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.
For instance, a person who has a speaking ability of 29 can identify and order very common food and drink from a menu or someone who scores a 53 can write a letter of complaint.

You would also be able to download a Pearson-busuu Certificate with both your GSE score and your CEFR (Common European Framework) level.

What are you waiting for?

In an effort to make the GSET accessible wherever you are in the world at an affordable price, we are offering it for free as part of the busuu 12 Months Premium membership but also in separate test packs.

So what are you waiting for?

Take the test today to demonstrate your level of English language proficiency with the GSET!