The Babbel Blog

Online Language Learning

A few words about Obama’s language

Posted on January 24, 2009 by


Obama is a language master, not many would disagree. Even at the inauguration, when renowned grammatical stickler Chief Justice John Roberts spontaneously corrected a split-infinitive in a fixed constitutional text when swearing him in, Obama righted the snafu in the act not just for legal accuracy, but for flow.

The speech that followed was rather spare, at least in comparison to the soaring rhetoric to which his campaign followers had become accustomed. Some interpreted it as taking inordinate amounts of slings at the departing administration, while others saw the simple prose, calling for responsibility, duty, service and sacrifice as a nod to, or a “reclaiming” of (an even Reagan-esque) right-wing type of talk.
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The Big “1″: Babbel.com celebrates its first anniversary

Posted on January 15, 2009 by

Polyglot happy wishes to Babbel.com that hasn’t stopped talkin’ since it launched in January 15, 2008! (Pictured at a little birthday shindig from a hazy last night in Berlin above.) Have any multilingual birthday wishes? Comment away… and check out some of behind the scenes features below to see a bit more how the intuitive, interactive language learning platform ticks. Alles Gute zum Geburtstag, happy Bday, feliz cumpleaños, joyeaux anniversaire, buon compleanno!

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Inside Babbel.com: Curiosity is Key

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The Babbel Blog team took a short trip on the UBahn over to the Berlin office of Babbel.com, the interactive language-learning platform, to speak with Ulrike Kerbstadt (right) and Sylvie Roche (left). They are Just two of the folks responsible for the learning content at the website. Click here to listen to the interview that is part one in a series taking a gander “Inside Babbel”.

Babbel Blog: What do you do at Babbel?

Ulrike Kerbstadt: I’m responsible for language learning content. I develop the material with a team of native speakers and have the didactic background.

Sylvie Roche: I’m content editor and work with the same team developing other kinds of content.
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Babbel investor Kizoo: “In business, at the end of the day, you have to trust each other”

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Babbel Blog’s Interview with Frank Schüler und Matthias Hornberger of Kizoo, a Babbel investor. Schüler is Kizoo’s president and was managing director of subsidiaries of Web.de; Hornberger is Kizoo’s CFO and responsible for Finance, Controlling, Investor Relations & Corporate Affairs. (For the original German version click here
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When did you first hear about the “internet”?

Frank Schüler:

In business terms it was around 1995. We probably all figured out what roll the internet was going to play at the university. For me personally, in ’91 and ’92, it was a communication tool between universities. I myself was in New York then, and at the time the internet was already an important communication tool with people back home.
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Martes trece, bad luck in Spanish

Posted on January 13, 2009 by

Babbel.com is closing in on its first anniversary on Thursday, the 15th, when we will be launching an ‘Inside Babbel’ series chronicling a bit of the goings-on behind the scenes at the language-learning website. But we thought in the meanwhile we’d give you the heads-up on a slightly older anniversary today, which would be the biblical confusion of languages at the Tower of Babel, which ostensibly happened on a Tuesday, the 13th.

While Anglo-Saxon cultures tend to avoid unnecessary travel and watch their backs on Friday the 13th, in Spain, Latin America and Greece Tuesday is the day to look out for. As Martes (Tuesday) in Spanish is linguistically linked with Mars, the god of war and violence, its combination with number 13, long a bad luck número, is almost too much for some to take. According to wikipedia, there’s actually a condition called Trezidavomartifobia, a paralyzing phobia of Tuesday the 13th.

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