The Babbel Blog

language learning in the digital age

Portrait: Claire, 28, learns Dutch to make a new start in Amsterdam

Posted on June 10, 2016 by

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Presenting the latest chapter of our Babbel user portraits — a snapshot of users’ lives and experiences learning a new language. Want to share your own story? Let us know in the comments section below!

Have you ever dreamt of leaving everything behind in order to make a fresh start abroad? This is exactly what 28-year old Claire did. She left her life as a city planner in Paris and moved to Amsterdam, where she met Mirjam, with whom she lives today. She talks to us about her experience learning Dutch and her new lifestyle.

 

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Following your team in France this summer? Read this first

Posted on June 7, 2016 by

 

football

This week, millions of European football fans will descend on France for the beginning of the European championships. So of course, as outspoken proponents of language learning and cultural understanding, we at Babbel feel obliged to help out any way we can. That’s why we’ve put together a simple list of dos and don’ts for the visitors. And if enough people pay attention, it might just make life a little easier for their hosts too.

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Suzy, from Passavant-en-Argonne, Learns Spanish on the Paths of the Camino de Santiago

Posted on November 13, 2015 by

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Today we bring you the latest chapter of our Babbel user portraits — a snapshot of users’ lives and experiences learning a new language. If you want to share your own story, let us know in the comments section below.

At 66 years old, Suzy has raised five children and is now a grandmother to nine. She is currently enjoying her retirement in Passavant-en-Argonne, a small village with a population of 220 in the Marne region of north-eastern France. When she’s not playing Scrabble and dominoes at the local seniors club, Suzy treks along country roads. Hiking is her greatest passion, and it’s this passion that led her to discover another: learning Spanish. She registered with Babbel on July 20th to learn the language of Cervantes, one month to the day before venturing out alone to explore the Spanish roads of the Camino de Santiago.

 

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Say “non” to faux pas: top tips for visiting France

Posted on September 30, 2015 by

France

Planning a trip to France this year? A little French will go a long way, of course, but don’t forget to brush up on the culture before you leave. That’s why we’ve enlisted the help of our favorite Frenchies to put together a handy list of unforgivable faux pas. Make sure to pay close attention: all but the most dedicated of francophiles may be blissfully unaware of some of these.

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Portrait : Pierre, 62 years of learning languages

Posted on September 2, 2015 by

Portrait

Today we bring you another installment in our series portraying Babbel users – a snapshot of their lives and their reasons for learning a new language. If you would like to share your story with us, please leave us a comment in the comments section. Meet Pierre, hailing from Bengy-sur-Craon, a farming region in central France close to Bourges. At the age of 73, this military veteran has already amassed a great deal of experience in learning languages and has now decided to take a stab at learning Spanish with Babbel.

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User portrait: Lenel, learns three languages with Babbel

Posted on May 26, 2015 by

user portrait

This is the latest in our series of portraits of Babbel users – a snapshot of their lives and the reasons they are learning a new language. If you want to share your story with us, please leave a comment.

This month, we interviewed Lenel who lives Galway in Ireland, but is originally from the Philippines. Alongside his job in a fast-food restaurant, the 24-year-old is also a blogger. Using bucketlist250.com, he created a “bucket list” of things he wants to achieve during his lifetime. Over a year ago, he began a new challenge – learning Spanish, Italian and French. Lenel decided to accomplish his goal with Babbel, and wrote about the experience in his blog. In this portrait, he tells us more about the concept of a bucket list and why learning those languages is part of his life’s goals.

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Il ministro o La ministra? The Feminine Form in Professional Job Titles

Posted on March 5, 2015 by

the feminine form of professional job titles

Little by little, women have secured professional roles that were previously unachievable. As important positions in government and society were once reserved for men, many languages never established a feminine form for certain job titles. How do languages adapt to this new reality? In the spirit  of International Women’s Day, we at Babbel – the app for easy language learning – have taken a close look at the feminine form of  professional job titles in several languages.

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Tongue-twister challenge!

Posted on October 1, 2014 by

tongue-twister

When you’re learning a new language, tongue-twisters are a great way to practice your pronunciation. Tongue-twisters are sentences or series of words that are hard to say. They often have similar alternating sounds, like ‘s’ and ‘sh’ or ‘p’ and ‘b’. Although they are typically nonsense, the English classic “She sells sea shells on the sea shore, and the shells that she sells are sea shells, I’m sure” was actually a popular song in 1908 based on the life of Mary Anning, a famous British fossil hunter and collector.

To celebrate the release of our Swedish tongue-twisters course, we’ve selected eight tongue-twisters in different languages – English, German, Italian, French, Danish, Swedish, Turkish and Russian – and turned them into short animations. Can you master them? (more…)

Not just back to school: the phenomenon of La rentrée

Posted on September 4, 2014 by

 

back to school

In France and Italy, the start of September is a time of furious activity: la rentrée, or il rientro, loosely translated as ‘the return’, or back to school.

Students all over the country go back to school. Businesses reopen. People go back to work. Stores hold massive sales. An enormous machinery cranks into gear as the country lets go of its holiday spirit and mentally shifts into a new year. (more…)

Vive la France! or further reasons why you should learn French

Posted on March 20, 2014 by

At the occasion of the International Francophonie Day which is celebrated everywhere around the world today, we conducted a little research about the French language and found out some astonishing facts which we wanted to share with you.

French is one of the very few languages spoken all over the world, ranked the sixth most widely spoken language after Mandarin Chinese, English, Hindi, Spanish and Arabic. There are currently over 220 million French speakers worldwide.

In Europe, the largest populations of French speakers are essentially to be found in Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg. French is Europe’s second most widely spoken mother tongue, after German but ahead of English.

French is the second most widely learned foreign language in the world, together with English, it is taught as a foreign language in the education systems of most countries around the world. At Babbel it is one of the most demanded learning language among our learners, and it keeps growing, along with our French team, which will keep you posted with upcoming new French courses!

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