Tag Archives: Vocabulary

137

A new design for your course area!

Your learning experience is important to us! This is why we have taken a closer look at your course area to make it even more straightforward.

1. You now have a full overview of your course:

New course overview

Having an overview of the complete course, will allow you to know exactly where you are. This gives you a feeling of how you’re advancing in your language learning. The units are grouped in different lines and each line ends with a test to review the learned vocabulary.

At the end of the course, Premium MembersPremium Membership can print a certificate that states the total hours and the skills that they have achieved throughout the course. Once completed, the learning units and the final course test will turn green and you can click on the black graduation hat to generate your personal certificate.

New course overview

 

2. You clearly see which units you have completed

New course overview

Upon completing all the mandatory tasks of a unit (vocabulary, dialogue, writing exercise, busuu talk, review), the learning unit will turn green. When hovering with the mouse over the individual units, you will see the picture and title of the completed units.

That allows you to quickly see which units of the course are completed and which ones you still have to do. So no more losing track of your learning progress! Of course you can enter your completed units at any time to do the exercises again.

 

3. Your current unit is marked

New course overview

The course overview highlights the next unit you have to do by marking it with a blue frame. The course follows a specific structure that teaches you relevant vocabulary according to your position in the course.

We’re sure that this new course overview will make your learning even more effective and enjoyable! Try it out now and let us know what you think, we’re always happy to have your feedback!

134

Refresh your vocabulary with new, fun review exercises!

New Improved Review!

It’s time for spring cleaning and a fresh start! So get back into learning a language by brushing up on your vocabulary. Give our new review exercises a try – they make testing your language skills even more fun!

More fun and effective exercises

Our new review exercises will make your tests even more fun and effective. We have made some of them a little more challenging to improve your learning progress!

Increasing the number of possible answers in the vocabulary exercises:

vocabulary exercises:

Showing the answers one at a time in the drag and drop exercises:

 drag and drop exercises:

Building several phrases in one exercise, to practise your sentence structure:

 sentence structure

The new formats are designed to improve your vocabulary, spelling and sentence structure. What’s more, we have introduced more varied exercises as well as improved sounds. To help you remember the correct answer, it is now repeated automatically in certain exercise types after you have chosen your answer.

Improved Review Summary and My Mistakes

We have also redesigned our Review Summary page so that, once you finish a test, you will be able to clearly see the vocabulary you know, as well as those phrases you are more rusty on.

And Premium MembersPremium Membership get even more benefits! Correct your mistakes right away to stop the bugs from eating your language garden and choose which skills you want to practise in your Customised Review! Now you have the choice to specify whether your review is based on Vocabulary, Spelling, Sentence Structure, or any combination of the 3!

Upgrade to Premium now, from only 4.99 EUR per month!

Now there’s no excuse not to study, try out the new review exercises and boost your language skills!

129

New: Test your language level on busuu.com!

We have an exciting new feature on busuu.com: You can now test your language level to find out which course you should begin with, when taking up a new language course.

The Level Test will greatly improve your language learning experience on busuu.com. Take the Level Test to evaluate your language level, before starting to learn a new language. Depending on your test result you will automatically be directed to the course that is more appropriate to you: A1, A2, B1 or B2.

The Level Test will be accessible for all users when taking it for the first time.
Premium MembersPremium Member can take the test more than once to track their progress.

busuu.com Level Test

The test covers the most important skills in language learning: listening, reading, writing and comprehension skills.

Starting with our A1 course, the Level Test questions and vocabulary will gradually become more difficult in order to identify your level.

While taking the test, you can see the difficulty of the questions in the upper right corner to see where you’re at. The maximum score is 100%. When finishing the test, you can immediately start learning to keep improving your language skills.

busuu.com Level Test

Are you curious to see your language level progress? As a Premium MemberPremium Member, you can do the Level Test as often as you want to compare your results and check your progress. Just go to your Level Test History to see all the tests you have taken.

Whenever you add a new language, you will first be asked whether you would like to do the Level Test in order to identify the best course for you. Throughout the course you can then access the Level Test at any time via the Resources menu on your home area or your course area.

busuu.com Level Test

Not a Premium MemberPremium Member yet? Upgrade now and track your learning progress with our new Level Test!

127

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!

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!