Archive of ‘ Languages ’
Learning French in Quebec
2 responses - Posted 07.22.10

So here I am at summer school in Montreal. I’m into my third week of French refresher classes at UQAM (L’Université du Québec à Montréal). Keeping up the location independent way of life, I have signed up for the intensive morning course, which leaves me with the afternoons/evenings to earn a living and pay the […]

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Why travelling ‘for free’ doesn’t work
1 response - Posted 06.16.10

Mark Boyle, the freeconomy guy who I’ve written about before, has popped up in the Guardian today talking about how to travel for free. There are no real revelations in his recommendations – Couchsurfing, LiftShare and WWOOFing all get namechecked –  but I’m happy to hear that he is going to be writing more regularly […]

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Why Couchsurfing is great for language learners
4 responses - Posted 05.13.10

I’m sure I’ve said this before, but I really can’t emphasis this point enough: Couchsurfing.com is fantastic for language learners. And not just for hosts/guests. It can be a godsend in your home town too and it needn’t involve a single couch. I have raved about Couchsurfing’s Buenos Aires forum before (see: Top three ways […]

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Learn to swear like a local in Argentina
no responses - Posted 03.09.09

You’re never truly down with the local lingo, unless you pick up the slang. This is probably never truer than in Argentina, where they speak Spanish like no other. I’m considering buying this Argentine phrase book, Che Boludo, just so I can try to fit in. The title, "Che boludo", is the most Argentine of […]

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Danger! Language barrier!
1 response - Posted 02.26.09

There’s a glitch in the Couchsurfing.com website at the moment. (Well, it’s one of many, if you listen to the discontented bunch on the site’s “brainstorming” forum, who seem perennially on the verge of a mutiny.) Before I go on, let me explain a little thing about Couchsurfing profiles for the uninitiated. Besides displaying general […]

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Going local with the lingo
1 response - Posted 12.11.08

I’ve just spent a week in Santiago, living with a friend of mine, hanging out with her mates and generally getting a feel for Chilean life. People would pay a lot of money for that sort of language immersion. But for me, it was free. Xili was a contact from Couchsurfing.com. Xili (pictured far right) […]

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Adios to Friends Abroad
no responses - Posted 11.16.08

FriendsAbroad.com is no more. The website that enabled users to practise languages with native speakers has become a part of Babbel.com. The FriendsAbroad site will be closing soon, but all profiles are being automatically migrated over to Babbel (pictured). I first wrote about FriendsAbroad for The Linguist magazine back in 2006. The site was established […]

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