The Babbel Blog

Learning and language

Valentine’s Day Tales from Europe

Posted on February 13, 2015 by

valentine’s-day-tales-from-europe

Valentine’s Day: the day of love. Every day should be a day of love, but having one day dedicated to it makes it more special, with millions of people around the world declaring their love for each other. Despite the assumption that it’s actually a holiday made up by florists and chocolatiers to sell more flowers (Did you know that it’s the one day of the year when men buy more flowers than women?), Valentine’s Day traditions actually extend back hundred of years, originating with the Feast of Saint Valentine, the patron saint of happy marriage and love. Here are some interesting Valentine’s Day tales from countries around Europe…

(more…)

Portrait: TJ, from Albany, New York

Posted on February 11, 2015 by

Portrait

We are launching a series of portraits of Babbel users – a snapshot of their lives, and the reasons why they are learning a new language. If you’d like to share your story, let us know in the comments. This is the month that we all celebrate Valentine’s day: a good reason to interview TJ, a 26-year-old software engineer from Albany, New York who is learning Norwegian for his significant other, Mari, from Norway.

(more…)

User portraits: Michèle and André, swamped retirees

Posted on January 30, 2015 by

User Portrait

We are launching a series of portraits of Babbel users – a snapshot of their lives, and the reasons why they are learning a new language. If you’d like to share your story, let us know in the comments. This month, we interviewed Michèle from Caen in France and André from Québec. Michèle and André do not know each other, yet they have a lot in common. Both are 65 and recent retirees passionate about traveling. They are learning Spanish regularly with Babbel to travel around the world the best they can. (more…)

New Year’s resolutions for 2015 – Clichés, surprises and fighting the inner temptation

Posted on January 16, 2015 by

New Year’s resolutions for 2015

The Christmas holidays have officially come and gone and many of us are now left with a combination of good memories (hopefully), nice presents (ideally) and clothes that are suddenly a little tighter than before (arrrgh). Nodding your head in silence too? Did you already make losing weight your New Year’s resolution? Could eating more healthily be your goal to follow after consuming endless amounts of roast turkey, ham and chocolate? Or are other priorities like relaxing more and feeling less stressed in 2015 more important? Let us know your personal New Year’s resolution in the comments section.

(more…)

Portrait: Daniela in Brussels

Posted on December 17, 2014 by

retratoBabbel User Portraits are glimpses into the lives of people around the world. If you would like to share your story with us, just leave a comment below. This month, we talked with Daniela Schaller who has been living in Brussels for a few months with her husband and young son, and who learned Dutch quickly with Babbel.

(more…)

Why learning a language should be your New Year’s resolution

Posted on December 5, 2014 by

New Year’s resolution

It’s that time of year again. Time to look back at the past year with pride and satisfaction, but maybe a smidgin of regret too. Have you achieved what you wanted? Did you get that raise, find that special someone, write that novel? Or are you sitting on a couch covered in stale Oreo crumbs watching reruns of Cheers and wondering where it all went wrong?

Well, it’s time to let all that go. The new year brings its own momentum, a sense of promise and the possibility of change. For all the awful clichés surrounding New Year’s resolutions, if you make the right ones they can be very motivating. (more…)

Portrait: Aldo from Trieste

Posted on November 26, 2014 by

Portrait: Aldo from Trieste

We’re doing a series of portraits of Babbel users – a snapshot of their lives, and their reasons for learning a language. If you would like to share your story with us, please leave a comment below. This month we spoke with Aldo, a 70-year old man from Italy full of energy and motivation. Canoeing in the morning, chess in the afternoon, and now a new goal: learning English. (more…)

Why age is no barrier to learning a language

Posted on October 22, 2014 by

neuroplasticity

“To me, old age is always fifteen years older than I am.”

– Bernard Baruch, American financier and philanthropist.

 

Dear reader, are you in the prime of your teenage years? Or are you twenty, fit and raring to go? Is your life laid out before you like a majestic Persian rug?

Good for you. Now shoo. That’s it, skedaddle. Vamoose. Go and read something else.

Ah, that’s better. Now they’ve all cleared out, we can talk about a somewhat delicate subject: whether it’s possible to learn a new language when you’re a bit older. Can you keep all that new vocabulary in your head? Can you learn new grammar structures? Is it too late to start? (more…)

Portrait: Mireille from Lausanne

Posted on October 17, 2014 by

Portrait: Mirelle from Lausanne

We are launching a series of portraits of Babbel users – a snapshot of their lives, and the reasons why they are learning a new language. If you’d like to share your story, let us know in the comments. This month we spoke with Mireille, a 24-year old student from Switzerland who is learning Swedish for a very good reason – love.

My first encounter with Swedish was in school. When I was 16, I met my boyfriend… who was Swedish. (more…)

How we learn languages: The Army Method

Posted on October 8, 2014 by

army method

My grandmother learned French at school in Australia in the late 1950s. For years she studied it dutifully, and the one phrase that she recalls vividly to this day is:

La plume de ma tante est dans le jardin avec le lion.

For those who never had the pleasure or pain of learning French, it translates as ‘My aunt’s pen is in the garden with the lion’. Difficult to slip into casual conversation, to say the least. (more…)