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Geeking Out at The Language Show Live

This weekend saw an early alarm on a Saturday morning to head down to London for this year’s Language Show Live! I think I’ve attended every year since 2010 now so it’s kind of become a thing. Every October, I enjoy a day in London and a few hours trawling The Language Show Live picking up tote bag upon tote bag, chatting to lots of cool language folk, and discovering all about the new language tools on the block. It’s fun!

I’d seen Kerstin’s event on Facebook promoting a Language Lovers’ Meet Up for after the event and so decided to attend and meet some of these online folk in person – all people no pixels. This meant that I headed to the Show itself pretty late in the afternoon – but still with enough time to make my way around!

Some highlights for me were meeting the FlashSticks team in person (finally!), discovering Clik2Speak and WeSpeke.com, both of which I’m keen to try out very soon; and geeking out at the Japan Foundation stand.

Oh yes, yesterday afternoon, I finally ventured into the tote bag…these are some of the findings… bag of language lindsay does languages blog Things that made me wish I lived in London… lindsay does languages blog Two packs of English FlashSticks I’m going to experiement with for learning the other languages on them! flashsticks english beginner and imtermediate packs lindsay does languages blog Lots of exciting new language learning initiatives… lindsay does languages blog And finally, two things that I’m ridiculously excited about! japanese viral video europass language show lindsay does languages blog Totally entering the Viral Video Competition!

I even bumped into Gareth who I’d met a week before in Novi Sad! It was so fun to see him again so soon! As 5pm came, I headed out and over to The Hand & Flower to meet Kerstin and other language lovers; namely Angelika of Angelika’s German, and J who writes Compassionate Language Learner. Blogging tucked up at your desk can get quite lonely sometimes so it’s nice to be able to put faces to the names and talk all things language and blogging with some like-minded ladies! We had a great conversation dispelling the myth of the word ‘polyglot’ before heading up to the private ‘after-Language-Show’ party hosted by Vocab Express and Linguascope among others. After more chatting over our free drinks, Gareth joined Kerstin, J, and myself – just before Kerstin left, but just in time for the language pub quiz! I have to say, we very nearly aced it with what we thought was a pretty pathetic 46 and a 1/2 until we heard 3rd place announced with 47! No way! So close yet so far. Next year…

On losing the quiz, me and J left and headed back on the Tube together before parting ways. I’ve mentioned Kerstin on the blog before, and I’ve been tweeting with Angelika for a while so I felt like I knew them slightly – albeit virtually – although it was still great to finally meet them in person! However, I’d only briefly come across J’s blog before, so it was a pleasure to meet her face to face before coming home and adding her to Bloglovin’ and feeling a sense of empathy as I read through her old posts. I definitely recommend all three bloggers as great sources of language inspiration if you haven’t already checked them out!

Were you at The Language Show? What was your favourite discovery this year? I’d love to know in the comments!

When Taylor Swift Met Japanese Music.

I almost burst with excitement. On the hunt for Japanese music to fill my ears with, I had a brainwave upon reading this post from Eurolinguiste. Why have I not yet searched for Japanese versions of English songs? Oh boy, I was in for a treat. First off, it didn’t take me long to discover this guy.How awesome is he?! Also, I think I’m a bit of a closet Taylor Swift fan. A Swifty? A Swifter? A Taylorette? I don’t know. Anyway…that’s out there now.

I had a feeling I was onto a good thing so I thought I’d put together a new 8tracks playlist. SoundCloud is connected to 8tracks so typing in ‘Japanese version’ found me a few more artists including this brilliant channel and then I headed back to YouTube and discovered Maco. Miley Cyrus in Japanese. Mind well and truly blown. Mission accomplished.Not all of these songs were avaliable on Sountcloud but I found plenty of others to keep my little ears pricked up when I’m working at my desk. Enjoy this playlist as much as I am!

Do you know of any great cover versions of well known songs in the language you’re learning? Share them in the comments!

A Little Video of The Polyglot Conference Novi Sad 2014.

There’s so much that can be said about The Polyglot Conference. So much so that I’m still gathering my thoughts and putting blog posts and interview videos together (so you can expect lots of stuff popping up over the next few weeks!). Because I’m still gathering my thoughts and deciding how best to get everything down on paper…well, screen, I decided that it would be best at this stage to start off with a little video of the conference. Cue montage!As I mentioned in my post earlier this week, this is a busy time and tomorrow I’ll be heading to The Language Show in London, as well as testing out a handful of language products at the moment. So if you weren’t in Novi Sad, don’t worry! The blog won’t become completely taken over by The Polyglot Conference. I don’t want to Novi Sad you out!

Are you heading to The Language Show this weekend? Were you in Novi Sad? If so, did you spot yourself in the video? Let me know in the comments!

World Cinema Club: November Film

Half way through October already and I haven’t watched this month’s film yet! Oh no! Still a couple of weeks to go until the discussion post. I’m hoping to get around to Ponyo this weekend – get an extra bit of Japanese practise in in the process!

I wanted to throw things open a bit. Did you have any questions about Ponyo that you’d like answered? Feel free to leave your questions in the comments and I’ll feature them in the discussion post at the end of the month!

In the meantime, get searching for November’s film choice: Let The Right One In. And I’m talking the Swedish original not the American remake. I saw this film once a long time ago and remember lots of snow and cold looking scenes – perfect for a chilly November evening! I’m really looking forward to seeing this one again. november let the right one in dvd foreign film giraffe animal book ends lindsay does languages blog Do you like the giraffes? I made them for my sister’s birthday earlier this year and decided to borrow them to prop up the DVD because they were the same colour theme. Guess you never know when blue giraffe book ends will come in handy, eh?

Have you seen Let The Right One In? What did you think? Maybe you have a suggestion for World Cinema Club? Share your thoughts in the comments!

So Much To Tell! – A Little Update

Phew. What a week – and it’s only Tuesday! I figured the best thing to do today was just to give you a little update as to what’s going on!

The Guardian

I was in The Guardian! Well, on the website – but still, so excited and proud to have been asked to participate in this. I’m constantly sharing The Guardian links on Twitter because they have a real strength for promoting language learning in my opinion so it’s unbelievable that my name is now on that website! The article is right here with lots of good advice from the likes of Ben Whately from Memrise and Gina Gotthilf from Duolingo.

Fluent Language Blogs List

I was also very chuffed to be featured on a recently published list of language learning blogs over on Fluent Language. Thanks to everyone who popped my name down. Also – be sure to bookmark the link for oodles of language inspiration from brilliant bloggers across the world.

More from Kerstin!

There’s even more exciting stuff involving yours truly over at Fluent Language: the current episode of the Creative Language Learning Podcast! Hooray! Thanks, Kerstin.

The Language Show

Are you heading to London next week for The Language Show? I’ll be showing my face on Saturday so if you’re around send me a little tweet and I’d love to see you there!

Polyglot Conference

Ahh, the Polyglot Conference! What a truly awesome experience. It was so good to meet so many inspiring and fascinating people – all with the same passion for languages. I’ve got so much footage, photos, notes, and the like to sort through and put together for the blog and YouTube. In the meantime, here is what will probably become the staple photo of the conference… polyglot conference novi sad 2014 serbia lindsay does languages blog Photo credit goes to whoever was on the balcony and took this! I took this photo from the Facebook group cover image.
Isn’t that just awesome? Bring on Berlin!

What’s going on with you all right now? Feel free to share your current language news in the comments!

The winner of the World Cinema Club giveaway for September has been decided and will be announced when/if the winner gives me permission to do so!

Almost Time for the Polyglot Conference 2014!

I’m very excited this week to be heading out to Novi Sad for the Polyglot Conference!

I fly out on Wednesday because RyanAir decided that moving my original crazy early Friday morning flight back to 1pm was a good idea. So after trying my best not to fly with Wizz Air (not because I don’t like Wizz Air, just because we always fly with them) I’m now flying with Wizz Air on Wednesday. And arriving at 11.40 at night. Argh!

I’m feeling ok about it though because Belgrade was the city to save us last Christmas so I have faith in the place! serbia belgrade beograd christmas market lindsay does languages blog I’ll be heading out to Novi Sad the following morning, hopefully by train because trains are always nice, so I’ll be spending Thursday in Novi Sad before the Conference begins on Friday.

As well as inevitably meeting lots of lovely language folk, I’m also hoping to meet lots of lovely language folk who don’t mind being interviewed as Ashley will be arriving on Saturday to film some of the event for my YouTube channel! If you’re going to Novi Sad and fancy having an on-camera chat about languages, let me know!

Ok, I think that’s it for today. Just wanted to share my excitement about this week!

Will I see you there? Let me know if you’re heading to Novi Sad in the comments – it’ll be good to have some names to put to faces!

italki October Language Challenge Pledge: Japanese

Following on from Wednesday’s post announcing my new Language Quest to learn some Japanese, I’ve been busy making my italki Pledge video for the October Language Challenge. I filmed the video yesterday after one lesson, but I had another this morning and already feel like I could say more!

That’s one reason I’ve decided to use Instagram more to track my progress with Japanese. I can upload quick daily videos from wherever I am. Also it’s surprising how much you can say in 15 seconds! Be sure to follow me on Instagram to keep track and give me some advice if you speak Japanese yourself.

Are you doing the italki October Language Challenge? Which language are you learning? Let me know in the comments!

New Language Quest: Japanese!

With my final French oral exam this Saturday and my dissertation due tomorrow, my penultimate university course is so nearly over! Hooray! This means I’ll be free from study until next February. Good times.

From now until then, I’m heading to Novi Sad for the Polyglot Conference (see you there?), moving into our new flat (so close now!), and hosting our first Christmas (ho ho ho!). So I’ll be pretty busy. Time for a break, right? Don’t be silly!

You see, a month or so ago I entered a competition over on Kerstin’s blog, Fluent Language, and…I won! Woah! Exciting times! I won a 6 month subscription to a Rosetta Stone package of my choice. I chose Japanese.

Why Japanese?

I had no real interest in learning Japanese until I started sixth form. My secondary school was pretty average and offered French, Spanish and German. In fact, we were the first year to be offered Spanish at GCSE – lucky! When I looked around for sixth forms and colleges, I didn’t know what job I wanted to do or if I wanted to go to university afterwards. All I knew was that I wanted to do Spanish. This left me with only two options – the college in the next town involving a rather early and long bus ride each day, and a local sixth form school that just happened to be a specialist language college. Where do you think I went?

And you know the coolest thing about the place? They taught Japanese! This was, and is, really unusual for somewhere around here. Unfortunately, there was no option to study it for me at A level so it was still a pipe dream.

In 2010, I left my job in a flour mill laboratory (as you do) to work in a school as a Learning Support Assistant. As it happens, it was my secondary school. Weird, I know, but these things happen. I’m glad they did because it was working here I met Ashley. When I started working there, I had plans to leave the following summer to travel in Asia, not to fall in love. But hey, sometimes plans change. For the better. My plans to travel in Asia still happened though, and with Ashley’s influence, we decided to go to Japan for a week amidst the journey.
tokyo reading lindsay does languages blog Wow. Just wow. We spent a week in Tokyo and I think it’s fair to say we both fell head over heels for the place. We ate sushi. tokyo sushi lindsay does languages blog We sang karaoke. tokyo karaoke lindsay does languages blog We shopped in Harajuku. tokyo5 It was awesome.

We’ve always wanted to live and work abroad someday and I think it’s fair to say, Japan became a viable option from how much we loved it on our trip. Not only is Japan a potential home in the future if we’re super lucky, but the culture is also really intriguing. And as for the language? Well, it’s just so different to every other language I’ve learnt and I’m totally ready for the challenge of something so new and different!

What’s the plan?

I have the Rosetta Stone package to play with thanks to the lovely Kerstin (I’ll be giving an honest review when I’m done by the way!), I also have a few books, various materials from the Language Show last year, a couple of audio courses, and a few apps. One thing I’m really conscious of is showing how inexpensive it can be to learn a language. I’ll be keeping tabs on how much I’m spending on my Japanese learning and putting a post together about this in the near future. pile of japanese learning books lindsay does languages blog I even have the cutest book ever in the form of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory that I bought in Japan from Book Off! for 100 Yen! So adorable! charlie and the chocolate factory in japanese book lindsay does languages blog

I was considering doing the italki October Language Challenge (SO tempting!) but I was really doubtful about having enough time. But I was feeling guilty. As if I was passing off a ready meal as my home cooking. As if I said I’d exercise every day and I missed three days in a row – consciously. As if I wasn’t learning Japanese to my full potential. The opportunity to massively improve from the start was there and I wasn’t going to take it?

So, yesterday I signed myself up for the Challenge (for the third time this year!!), I got out my diary, and I scheduled 12 lessons with a Japanese tutor. I was crossing my fingers that the tutor would accept because it was really hard to find someone to teach with the time difference between here and Japan. So much so that I’m going to be getting up really early for the month of October and having most of my lessons at 5.30am! Eek!

What else?…I got myself three new notebooks the other day to use for my Japanese. I’m still undecided about how to use each one at the moment. All I know is that I want to learn to read and write (and text – almost a new skill nowadays!) in Japanese. I’ll fill you in when I’ve decided how I’m going to use the books!

I’ve also thought up a monthly plan to keep me on track before my final (!) university course comes along and surprises me with the workload in February. I want to have a solid knowledge before then. Here’s my little plan so far.

October

  • Learn the Hirigana and Katakana alphabets.
  • Learn at least 30 Kanji.
  • Get comfortable with basic travel phrases. (where is…?, how much…?, may I…? etc)
  • Have 12 italki lessons for the October Language Challenge!
  • An Instagram video each day. At least for the month of October, I’m going to record a little 15 second Instagram video each day of my speaking a little Japanese. You’re totally welcome to follow and comment to help me with pronunciation etc! I might just carry this one on after October is through…we’ll see!
  • November

    • Learn at least another 100 Kanji.
    • Read a short article in Japanese each day.
    • Have at least 1 italki lesson per week.
    • Make a one month progress video.

    December

    • Learn another 100 Kanji.
    • Have one italki lesson per week.
    • Give a tour of the flat in Japanese.
    • Make a video about Christmas in Japanese.

    January

    • Learn another 100 Kanji.
    • Have one italki lesson per week.
    • Make a video about my New Year’s Resolutions in Japanese.

    Of course, January is blooming ages away so this little plan is definitely subject to change! Whatever happens I’m going to enjoy it. You can be sure of that!

    What language are you learning at the moment? Have you learnt Japanese before? Do you have any tips for me? Please do let me know in the comments! Arrigato!

    World Cinema Club: September Discussion (+ GIVEAWAY!)

    Why hello end of September! Have you guys watched Delicatessen? What did you think?

    In this post (the very first World Cinema Club discussion post!) I’m going to answer some questions that I asked myself during the film and then pose them to you in the comments. I want to know what you thought. Don’t be shy! And if you’ve got a film you’d just love to see shared as part of World Cinema Club then please do let me know!

    Ok then, down to business. Let’s discuss Delicatessen!

    What did you think of the colour throughout the film?

    Personally, I always take an instant dislike to a film when I can’t quite see everything. Brokeback Mountain? No idea what’s going on! Too dark! At first I was feeling the same frustration with Delicatessen (although not to the same extent) but I put it down to the film being set in a post-apocalyptic world, and dust, fog etc filling the air. So I lived with it. At the end, when the sky cleared I appreciated the colour throughout the whole film just for that moment being able to happen, and I didn’t mind it as much.

    Did you realise the frog man lived upstairs?

    So I watched the film a couple of times as it was, meaning that the third time I watched I decided to add the audio commentary, which I don’t normally do. It turned out to be really interesting! Did you realise that the man with all the frogs and the snails in his apartment lived upstairs? I totally didn’t! According to the commentary, only Japanese audiences got that!

    Before the Troglodistes appeared, how did you think the film was going to end?

    Ok. So the one thing I didn’t like about this film was the Troglodistes. They kind of cheapened the whole thing for me. You know when you watch a pretty creepy horror movie and then the “scary thing” appears and it’s laughable and it ruins the whole thing. (For me, Jeepers Creepers is the perfect example here!) That was the Troglodistes for me. But then again, I really couldn’t see a possible ending until they appeared. It just felt like the film could have gone on for ages with the same routine, each person in the building gradually being picked off until there’s no one left. Kind of dull. And to be fair, the budget for this film was really low, so I’ll let them off with the Troglodistes.

    Could you tell this was the same guy who directed Amélie?

    Yes, yes, and yes. Firstly, he clearly has well established relationships with a few good actors who looked rather familiar in this film! Secondly, there’s a few little quirky bits that just had the same…vibe(?) as Amélie. Vibe really isn’t the word I want here. Now I accidentally sound like a surfer dude. Oops. Also, the grain. Remember when Amélie dips her hand in a bag of grain? (It’s one of my favourite bits.) Well, I love that there’s a grain theme here too, as bizarre as that may sound! Anyway, watching this really made me curious to check out other films by the same director.

    Any favourite bits?

    I loved the creativity of the sex scene. There’s a sentence I never thought I’d say. For me, (and this will sound pretentious, apologies) it showed how everyone living in the building was connected to each other. I felt establishing that bond, even if the bond is undesired, was really essential early on in the film because it wasn’t a case of them liking each other, but rather that they needed each other and all lived to a shared rhythm. I also really loved the scene when Louison goes to visit Julie in her apartment and she’s trying to serve him tea without her glasses. There’s something really cute about that scene!

    Any bits you didn’t like?

    As I said, I didn’t like the Troglodistes, but I see why they were necessary to help give the film an ending.

    Finally, what would you rate the film out of 10 French flags?

    Hmm…I think I’d have to go for 7 at a first viewing and then 8 on a second viewing. It’s a grower and it definitely, for me, has a charm.

    Ok! That’s just what I think. What about you? Did you watch Delicatessen? I’d love to know your thoughts on the film. Answer one or all of the questions above in the comments and let’s chat!

    Giveaway time!

    Oh, and to celebrate the first month of World Cinema Club I’ve decided to hold a little giveaway! french dvd, book, audio course giveaway lindsay does languages world cinema club blog Due to the fact that Delicatessen was a French film, I’ve added a handful of French films, books and the like into the mix. There’s a feast of 6 Molière books, 4 DVDs (Spider, Après Vous, Le Mytho AND Delicatessen!), a handy verb guide from Harrap, and a brand new Collins Easy Learning Stage Two audio course. I’ve even got a few little extras I’ll throw in for you. Yay!

    All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is leave a comment telling me what your favourite French film is and why. Ready?…Go!

    The Nitty Gritty

    This giveaway is open to UK and international residents. Entrants are entitled to one entry per person. Entry closes at 23.59BST on Tuesday 14th October 2014. The winner will be picked at random on Wednesday 15th October 2014 and contacted via the email given on your Disqus account. If you do not have an email attached to your Disqus account (and alternatively do not provide one in the comment) then I will have to offer the prize to another entrant and pick another winner at random. The winner will be announced on the blog and/or social media should the winner give permission for me to do so. The prize will be dispatched from the UK within one week of the giveaway ending. If you are international, please be patient. There is no sponsorship or affiliate link to this giveaway. It’s purely out of good will! Some of the goods have been used and I’m now passing them on so that other language learners (that’s you!) can enjoy them before passing them on again. One last thing – due to the ratings of the films, you must be over 15 to enter. Thank you!

    Happy European Day of Languages!

    I hope you’ve all had a glorious European Day of Languages! To celebrate, I decided to make a little video. How could I not?

    I have *attempted* to say a little something in the 39 European languages that Google Translate translates. So if your language isn’t there, I apologise. I can only blame Google for not catching up with you!

    Also, I didn’t have much time to learn so if you spot a language you know, please feel free to leave comments on YouTube about pronunciation tips and the like. Much appreciated and I read every one!

    Enjoy!

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