Losing my languages

I was asked to translate something quickly at work today, from German into English, and I completely froze. The words jumbled on the page. I looked at certain capitalised German nouns and it was like I knew what they meant but I had no idea how to express what the word was in English. "So what's …

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The University Challenge

Language learning isn't particularly popular in the British Isles. Fewer and fewer people are studying languages at schools, which subsequently has had an adverse knock-on effect for universities. Many departments across the UK are dispensing with their language curriculum; the most recent being Ulster University in Northern Ireland. Since 2007, many ex-polytechnic universities, such as …

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Why you should do a year abroad, regardless of your university course.

Dear all, I'm sorry I've been AWOL recently! I returned back to England a month ago  and I've been getting my teeth stuck into my fourth and final year of my degree, which I can already say is the hardest and most stressful academically. Compared to my year abroad I have a lot less time …

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Nice or Niche?

Learning languages is a mountainous struggle in the UK.  Not only do we have a terrible system of teaching grammar, but by GCSE Level you only have the basic 'holiday-vocab' down to pat.    While there is a strong mentality of "Everyone speaks English anyway",  it is interesting to speak to people who, at University, have not only decided …

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Mistakes I’ve made in French

I've been living in Strasbourg in France for almost three months now and still haven't quite got the lingo down to pat.  My biggest struggle recently is differentiating between similar  sounding words. Why do VERY different words sound familiar?! And, conversely, why do similarly spelled words sound so different?! (Just think of 'Through' and 'thorough'  …

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Improve your languages by being burgled!

Two weeks ago I was burgled in my accommodation in Strasbourg (You can read about it on my personal blog here).   While I am not hoping that any of you get burgled at all, I am trying to see the positive side of things, and how this may have affected my language skills.  If …

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French Module Behaviour

Now second year is over I can reflect on my eclectic choice of modules.  My mentality was choosing exciting and different things, so I completely disregarded more traditionally academic (read BORING) subjects such as 'Women's Life Writing', 'Sociolinguistics' and anything Moliere. I will guide you through the four French modules I chose this year, and …

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