The Babbel Blog

Learning and language

“Fillers and Interjections” – Stepping Stones to Fluency

Posted on November 16, 2017 by

Megan works in Babbel’s Public Relations team. Here, she looks at some of the complexities of filler and interjection words in a foreign language, and why immersion in real dialogue is essential to the language learning journey.

 

Some of English’s smallest words are currently making the largest headlines on both sides of the Atlantic. While Radio 4 listeners are up in arms over the overuse of ‘so’ on UK live radio and America waits in anticipation for the book release of the proclaimed University of Sydney linguist, Nick Enfield, “How We Talk: The Inner Workings of Conservation”, Babbel takes a closer look at the little words that are captivating our attention.
Filler and interjection words are almost always absent from traditional language curriculums, and yet they’re crucial in every language. Knowing when to use ‘umm’, ‘er’, and ‘yippee’ – each carrying different shades of meaning – bridges the gap between bumbling tourist and cunning linguist.
 
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Ghoulish Ghosts’ Global Guises: Festivals of the Dead around the World

Posted on October 26, 2017 by

Megan joined the Public Relations team this summer. Here, she looks back at some Halloween traditions from her childhood in rural Somerset, England, and some she has gathered from her international colleagues at Babbel.
 

‘‘Shadows of a thousand years rise again unseen. Voices and whispers in the trees, Tonight tis’ Halloween’’.

Dexter Kozen

 

 
Ghouls and witches, bats and black cats, tricks, treats and pumpkins, it’s the season of Halloween. Originating from the ancient Celtic Festival, Samhain – SOW-i, (possibly as far back as  3350 – 2800 BCE), ‘Hallow’s Eve’ is inherently a Festival of the Dead. On the night of October 31, the Celts believed that the dead would return to Earth. For thousands of years since, townspeople have gathered to light bonfires, perform rituals, and feast, in hope of appeasing evil spirits and protecting their families through the winter.
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How do you join Babbel’s language learning experts?

Posted on August 9, 2017 by

language learning expert at Babbel
 
Christina (second from right) has worked in the Didactics department at Babbel for three years, where she leads a team of language learning experts. Together they produce and coordinate the concepts and contents for different courses and work on new ideas for the Babbel app. She recently gave a presentation to students about career possibilities for linguists and language teachers. We took the opportunity to ask her a few questions.
 
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Teaching Swedish at Babbel, with Babbel

Posted on August 1, 2017 by


 
 
Elin, originally from Sweden, is the project manager for Swedish in Babbel’s Didactics team – the language experts who create and optimize our lessons. As a passionate polyglot (well, trilingual) herself, she delights in unravelling and understanding the intricacies behind language learning. Here, she writes about using a blended learning approach to teaching her native language to her fellow Babbelonians.
 
 
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Learn a Language on Your Own, Like Babbel’s Language Experts

Posted on July 4, 2017 by


Sara and Fidi are language learning experts in the Didactics team at Babbel. Here they share some thoughts on how to select the best language learning methods and tools from the sea of available options. Immerse yourself in learning languages from the comfort of your sofa or when you’re on the go. You’ll discover how the team at Babbel fits learning into their free time, seamlessly. Staying true to the philosophy “The main thing is that it’s fun!”, even a karaoke bar offers opportunities to improve one’s skills…
 
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Portrait: Travel to 100 countries and learn ten languages in only ten years – Was Stephan able to make his dream come true?

Posted on January 16, 2017 by

Lenin
New from our series of Babbel Portraits: here, our users introduce themselves and their experiences learning a language. If you would like to share your experiences with us, then please leave a comment below.
After his studies in business administration, at the age of 24, Stephan from Germany had a crazy idea: Within the next ten years he wanted to travel to 100 different countries and learn a total of ten languages. Just after his 35th birthday he told us whether he was able to make his dream come true.
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Portrait: The saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, … has been proven wrong.”

Posted on December 5, 2016 by

Hans
New from our series of Babbel Portraits: here, our users introduce themselves and their experiences learning a language. If you would like to share your experiences with us, then please leave a comment below.
 
“My wife died in 2009 after 35 years of marriage. She spoke fluent French and Italian, and I always felt stupid and speechless standing next to her when she was chatting away. On my many trips abroad, I had always been able to communicate very well in English. As I never managed to learn other languages in the time I shared with my wife, I thought that I could best confront feelings of sadness and injured vanity by beginning to learn French and Italian intensively with Babbel. Perhaps it is a little too late to start learning at the age of 67, but the old adage “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” has been proven wrong.”
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Portrait: Babbel, braille and beach holidays – Regina is blind and learns Italian online

Posted on August 17, 2016 by

Portrait
New from our series of Babbel Portraits: here our users introduce themselves and their experiences learning a language. If you would like to share your experiences with us, then please leave a comment.
This installment is about Regina from Switzerland, a passionate language learner. What makes Regina’s story unique? Well, Regina is learning a new language as a blind person, for one thing. Even when it gets tough, she really likes to learn. Her motivation? When she’s on holiday, she loves being able to talk to local people, and discover as much as she can about this planet. Not to mention, languages are also useful for her job. Here she tells us more:
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Portrait: Richard Janssen’s Turkish Challenge

Posted on July 8, 2016 by

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Not long ago, we met Richard Janssen, a hyperpolyglot and food fanatic from Venlo in the Netherlands. Having marveled at the extent of his linguistic abilities, we decided to push them to their limits with a test: a one-month, Babbel-only Turkish challenge. Here’s how it went down.
 
Need a recap? Check out our previous article on Richard before reading on – I promise you’ll be impressed.
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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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