Tag Archives: language learning

busuu’s mobile apps reach 20 million downloads

We have some great news:

Our mobile apps have been downloaded 20 million times!

Read a summary of our official press release here and in case you have not done it yet, download one of our free mobile learning apps!

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The first language-learning app to connect learners with native speakers worldwide is now downloaded an average of 25,000 times a day, meeting growing global demand for mobile learning.

busuu’s mobile app allows users to learn up to 11 languages and connect to over 35 million native speakers in its global language-learning community. The top three languages downloaded for learning are English, French and Spanish.

The top three countries by number of downloads are the US, Germany and Russia, although there is also rapid growth in emerging markets such as Brazil, Turkey and China. 

Interaction with native speakers is an important part of successfully learning a new language, so busuu’s huge, active community is a key feature. Via the app, users connect to native speakers by completing writing exercises and submitting these for feedback and corrections. They can then do the same in return, acting as a tutor of their own mother tongue.

Since the beginning of 2013, busuu members have completed over 12 million vocabulary exercises via the app. The general shift to mobile learning is further demonstrated by the fact that busuu users now complete 33% more exercises via the app than online. Mobile users now also have the possibility to set a learning goal on their mobile phone in order to track their progress.

The busuu language-learning app is free, with access to 20 learning units (5 for each level). Premium Members of the web version automatically have full access included in their membership.

Download our free mobile app now!

World of Work: Daniel Soto

Learning a language has lots of benefits, such as helping you to progress in your career and find new opportunities. So we are starting a series called ‘World of Work’, where we will speak to people who use languages every day.

Let’s meet Daniel Soto from Spain

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Hi Daniel! Thanks for talking to busuu. Could you tell us what you do?

I am the Reception Manager at Hotel Samos in Mallorca. It’s an independent hotel, where I work as part of a small, hands-on team who share responsibilities. I started here as a receptionist in 2002 and was already the department head by 2008.

Why are languages necessary for what you do?

Most of our clients are British, as Mallorca is a popular destination for the UK. We also have many guests from Portugal, Italy, France and Russia, and some from Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.

Thanks to the internet, we now have clients from all over the world and who book rooms directly. English is absolutely essential, from talking to travel agencies to dealing with the people staying here.

Could you tell us about the languages you speak and how you learnt them?

My mother tongue is Spanish and I studied English in school and at university, as well as using it every day at work with both clients and suppliers.

I speak fluent Italian, which I have learnt on the job from speaking to clients over 10 years. I also speak intermediate Portuguese – learnt in the same way – and know some German from studying for 2 years at local language classes.

Which language have you found most challenging to learn?

The most difficult has been German because of its grammar, such as the way certain words change their form depending on their role in a sentence. Also, I can’t practise it much at work as we do not have many clients from Germany.

And which language was the easiest for you?

English has always been the simplest and most intuitive for me, being the language of the music I listen to, the early internet and the tourism that I have mainly dealt with.

As a native Spanish speaker, the Italian that I have picked up through my work is also intuitive to me. I guess this is due to the two languages’ similarities in grammar and how they sound.

In your opinion, what’s the next important language for you to learn?

We are in a major tourist destination in Spain and the Russian market is growing quickly. Being able to speak Russian will soon be a big deciding factor in finding work and local classes are already overbooked. In fact, I downloaded busuu’s app for Russian.

Which learning materials or methods have helped you most?

As well as speaking to clients who are native speakers, audio-visual materials have always seemed to me the most natural way to learn a language. It’s the closest to learning in a real environment.

Do you have any tips for anyone who’s learning a language or would like a job like yours?

I would say to anyone who is starting to learn that it’s absolutely worth the initial effort – it becomes much easier in a short time. We were born to communicate with each other, so we have all the tools needed to learn a new language.

In the case of roles like mine, English is essential. It’s the language of business, communication and the internet. Any extra language is a plus – it’s another skill on your CV and will make you stand out in job interviews.

Daniel, thank you very much for taking the time to talk to busuu!

What did you think of this interview? Do you do a similar job to Daniel? Are there other occupations you would like us to consider for future posts? Let us know in the comments!

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!

Take part in ‘Language of the Month’

Learning a language is about much more than remembering grammar rules and memorising words. It’s about discovering new, exciting cultures and a fresh perspective on the world.

So join us here at busuu.com as we take a look at a different language every month! We’ll journey through each one, focusing on the linguistic differences as well as the cultural ones.

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Get social and get involved

How does it work? During a whole month, we’ll dedicate posts across Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to one of the 12 languages we teach on busuu.com. And we want you to get involved!

We’d love to hear about any crazy phrases or curious facts you might have about each Language of the Month. So make sure you join in the fun to discover something new about your favourite language.

Learn a language, jump into the culture

You’ll learn unusual words and phrases, and find out fun things that you won’t hear in the classroom or language classes. We’ll help you fire up your passion for each language, boost your motivation and learn faster – almost without realising it!

We’ll explore the different countries where each Language of the Month is spoken, as well as finding out interesting (and sometimes unusual) facts. You’ll learn language tips and discover new music, food and other cultural aspects.

Spanish – our first Language of the Month

We’re going to kick things off with Spanish, spoken in Spain and throughout Latin America. It has nearly half a billion speakers worldwide and it’s the second most widely used language on Twitter.

So if you’d like to know the difference between ‘estupendo’, ‘regio’ and ‘chévere’, discover Spain’s 12 cultural treasures or find out how to cook ‘mole’ (and what it is), follow busuu.com on  FacebookTwitter and Google+ ¡Hasta pronto!

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.

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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?