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Monthly Archives: January 2015

Taglish, motherf*@ker! Do you speak it?!

A funny thing you`ll notice when you visit the Philippines – especially Manila – is that people do a lot of codeswitching, meaning they switch between languages, mid-stream (as opposed to switching languages for different activities). Tagalog speakers often codeswitch into English and then back into Tagalog, based on what seems to me to be random whims. Continue reading

Philippines flag on brick wall

Filipino (Tagalog) – the Lingua Franca of a Hugely Diverse Country

Western countries like Canada and the United States pride themselves on being “multicultural”, but I think it`s a myth. In reality all of the various cultural communities merge into the mainstream and adopt its language after usually one generation. But there are Continue reading

Japan flag and Saudi flag

Can you learn two languages at the same time?

If you are a language enthusiast like me, then there are probably a dozen different languages that you would like to study at any given time. The world is so linguistically rich and diverse that there is always something new and interesting to discover. If you`re studying Spanish, then maybe Catalan catches your interest because you want to see how similar they are. Continue reading

Ganbare Nihon Japan

Japanese – One of the Hardest Languages in the World?

According to the American Foreign Service Institute, which provides intensive language training to American diplomats before their placements overseas, Japanese is one of five languages that are considered the most difficult for native English speakers to learn (the others being Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Arabic). Diplomats learning these languages undergo 88 weeks of fulltime language training Continue reading

french flag map

Why French is Still a Great Language to Learn

Whenever I tell someone that I`m focusing on studying French these days, there`s about an 80% chance that they`ll reply with “Why don`t you learn Spanish instead?”  While it`s true that Spanish has become an important language and it has more native speakers than French (Spanish has around 400 million while French has around 75 million Continue reading