Tag Archives: languages of the world

153

The new busuutalk is here!

We have re-launched busuutalk – and it’s now better than ever before!

Following your suggestions and feedback, we are happy to announce that busuu.com has launched a brand new version of busuutalk. Our new busuutalk  not only looks nicer, but it is also packed with loads of new features and functionalities.

New busuutalk

  Here are the key improvements:

  1. An “Away” status, so your friends can still send you busuutalk requests when you have to pop away from your computer for a little while.
  2. Additional unit vocab and phrases, adapted to your level (A1 & A2) will help you to better engage in conversations by introducing you to new words and sentences, and helping you to use them in context.
  3. A list of useful phrases displayed in the busuutalk chat window will give you ideas for new words and sentences and guide you on how to use them.
  4. The busuu dictionary will help you find vocabulary you have seen in the busuu learning units and give you their translation, so you don’t have to worry if you can’t remember something.
  5. Special character keyboards for all 12 languages and a whole range of cool emoticons that will make your conversations even more fun!
  6. New improved sound and video quality
  7. … and that’s not all! You can also now save your conversation, print it out and review the vocabulary at the end of your chat.

As usual, you can choose to start busuutalk  from either your home page or from within a unit. Once you have selected a chat partner, a pop-up window will appear and you will be connected. Within the chat window, you can take advantage of all new functions and start improving your language skills with our community of native speakers. Our Premium MembersPremium Member can enjoy busuutalk and all of its new features absolutely free! Not a Premium MemberPremium Member yet? Don’t worry, you can still use busuutalk for just 10 busuu-berries per conversation, or upgrade now!

150

Get ready for Halloween 2012!

While Halloween, or All Saint’s Eve, is most popular in America, countries around the world are now beginning to adopt this holiday too.

Halloween

If you are planning to attend, or even host a Halloween party, you should make sure you know the most common words related to this holiday. Halloween words borrow from many different languages. Today, these words are used in countries all around the world.

Do you know where some of these words come from?

Let’s take a look at the most common ones:

HALLOWEEN

Halloween is a condensed form of the phrase All Hallow Even, i.e. All Saints’ Eve. Hallow means “holy”, so Halloween is the Eve of All Hallows, i.e. all saints. Hallow and Halloween derive from the Old English adjective halig (holy).

PUMPKIN

Pumpkin derives from the Greek pepon, a kind of melon eaten only when very ripe. The word root is very interesting: Latin took over pepon as pepo, then French produced popon/pompon, then pumpion, and finally pumpkin.

BROOM

There is no witch in town that would make a Halloween appearance without a broom. The word derives from a Germanic plant name that appears as bramo, bramma and bramio in various Germanic languages. So a broom essentially bears the Germanic name of the twig plant.

COFFIN

This word appears in various languages. In Greek it’s kophinus (a basket), in Latin cophinus and French cofin. Initially, the word meant ‘box’ but in the 16th century it took on two meanings, one of which is the dreaded coffin.

GHOST

In traditional belief and fiction, a ghost is the soul or spirit of a deceased person or animal that appears to the living. However, Halloween ghosts will be disappointed to know that their linguistic ancestors where neither scary nor vengeful. In Old English, ghost simply meant “spirit”, a meaning preserved when we refer to the Holy Ghost.

To get you in the right mood for Halloween, here are the top 10 Halloween songs of all time.

To learn more words related to this fantastic holiday, complete our fun Halloween exercise on busuu.com

 

53

Update: busuu.com collaborates with NGO in Cameroon

As you probably already know, in September 2009 we won the European Language Label for innovative projects in language learning.

The award was compensated with 1,500 EUR, which we donated to the Cameroon Association for the Protection and Education of the Child. The money was used to construct a classroom for underprivileged children.

Children school

The work has now been finished, and we are very proud that we could make our small contribution.

Christmas is the perfect time to help others, so if you are also interested in supporting the impressive work done by CAPEC, you can find more information here. You can collaborate in several ways like sponsoring a child for a school year, financing summer programs for the orphans, or even volunteering in their school as a teacher.

We already wish all of you, the team of CAPEC and the little children from their school a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

51

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! ;-)

 

9

Where the hell is Matt?

As we are pretty busy with the website development these days, I just wanted to share a video which I recently found on the internet with you.

It’s called “Where the hell is Matt?” and is from this crazy U.S. guy who travelled around the world for one year, doing hilarious dances in different places.

He made a similar video in 2005 which has already received quite a lot of press coverage. That’s why the chewing gum company Stride Gum decided to sponsor him for his next world trip in 2006 in order to create another video.  As this was an even a bigger success, they supported him in this last video again – there he travelled for 14 months to 42 different countries in order to do his weird dance again.

Check it out:

I think its really a nice viral video (over 8,5m views!!) which makes me want to go on a world trip one day again!! :-))

Additionally, we were wondering how many languages you have to speak in order to be able to communicate in all these different countries…I will send this guy an email and let’s see whether busuu.com can help him for his next trip! ;-)