What is the hardest language to learn?

With over 10 million weekly visits, the bab.la community seems to be quite the bunch of language lovers! We were interested in learning more about the linguistic backgrounds as well as opinions of the people interacting with our site on a daily basis, and decided a survey would be just the thing to find out more about the bab.la community. Our hopes were to identify key statistics in order to share them and expand our resources on key areas where users either have difficulties or particular interest. With these findings we can better try to serve our user base, and you can see how others are similar or differ to you personally when it comes to languages with bab.la.

The participation was spectacular, almost exceeding the limit of total responses allowed! We are grateful for all of your participation and support with this research. If you are curious about the outcome too, here are the results! Continue reading →

Discover the Top Language Lovers 2015

The results of our yearly competition about language-related blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and YouTube channels are online! After almost 1,000 nominations and 55,000 votes, bab.la and Lexiophiles proudly present you with the lists of the Top 100 Language Lovers and the Top 25 for each category. You can explore the best online resources about languages clicking on the following button:
Top 100 Language Lovers 2015
Curious to know who made it to the Top 3?

#1 DW – Learn German, the official Facebook page of Deutsche Welle: here you can find interactive posts about the German language which will bring you a step closer to becoming part of the German-speaking community.

#2 Fluent in 3 months: Benny is the most famous language hacker on the web. He shares his tips on learning any language while he travels the world to explore new ones. His biggest piece of advice is that you should be ready to make mistakes!

#3 Easy Languages: an amazing YouTube channel hosting an international project about learning languages from the streets. Everyone can become a reporter and broadcast from their city. This method guarantees the creation of authentic and entertaining learning material.

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The absolute three winners receive fantastic prizes offered by our sister site Oxforddictionaries.com, including Kindles, yearly subscriptions to the website, and books from the VSI collection (Very Short Introductions). Apart from the prizes, taking part in Top Language Lovers is a huge source of pride for all bloggers, Facebookers, Twitterers, and YouTubers who feel the passion of their community supporting them in every stage of the competition.

Here at bab.la we are very happy about the outcome of Top Language Lovers 2015 and we look forward to the next edition. Keep sharing your love for languages!

The bab.la Immigration phrasebook is online!

New year, new phrasebook! Our new Immigration phrasebook is online.

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Browse the sentences which will help you relocating abroad: from registering in the city to opening a bank account; from enquiring about the best health insurance for you to applying for a loan. Are you enrolling at a university? Using our phrases will make you sound like a native! Would you like to ask some days off from work? Choose the best way to face your bosses among the possibilities presented in our phrasebook! We have also included more specific cases, such as buying a house and applying for disability benefits. And if you are taking your pet abroad with you, have a look at our pets abroad section.

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bab.la will make your expat life easier!

-Benedetta

 

Picture: Lal Beral, flickr

Welcome Greek!

bab.la’s array of languages and dictionaries keeps growing!

After finalizing the relaunch of our website with our last two products –  vocabulary lessons and tools & plug-ins – we are back to focusing on languages and we’ve been working pretty hard too!

So what has happened so far?

We launched www.babla.co.th – bab.la is translated in Thai, we are hoping to get the Thai-English dictionary out there very soon!

We have a brand new Polish-Russian dictionary

The Greek version of bab.la is online and the first version of the English-Greek dictionary is available.

Greece

There are 12 million native speakers of Greek and roughly 2 million of Greek learners. We welcome you all to bab.la! We do hope we’ll be able to help you as much as possible with English (or Greek) learning thanks to our dictionary!

Have you tried out our Greek cuisine quiz yet?

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What is YOUR favorite language?

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Have you ever wondered what the most popular language is? It’s a recurring question we can hardly find an answer for, since it’s a very subjective matter. Is Italian more romantic than French? Does Japanese look more appealing than Polish? How awesome is Thai? So many beautiful languages out there but only one can be THE most popular. That’s why  this year again the bab.la Language World Cup is back – 2014 edition!

Express your love for Esperanto, English, Spanish,…

We preselected 32 languages that will be put in pairs to face each other every day. The language that gathers  most votes gets through to the next round, until there is only one left: our World Cup Winner 2014!

How can I vote?

You can vote for your favorite languages on the bab.la result pages or directly on the Language World Cup page. Spread the word around you to get the language you want to see win the contest go as far as possible and hopefully strike gold! You can also support your languages via Facebook directly on the World Cup page by leaving a comment. The official hashtag is #blwc14

The contest is running from Monday 13th October on a daily basis until the 14th November 2014. We will then publish the results and the full ranking on the same page on bab.la for you to have  full overview of the contest.

Stay tuned and come back every day to support your favorite languages!

Curious about last year’s results? Check the bab.la Language World Cup 2013

Bosley’s New Friends – Bosleys neue Freunde

Recently I have gotten my hands on this new kid’s book for German and English learners named Bosley’s New Friends. This dual language book is very useful for young learners of German and English because it has a very easy to read format and is illustrated very well with good vocabulary for children.

The book also benefits from things such as important highlighted words to attract attention which aid the reader’s memorization. The story itself is a very light hearted and nice read which really supports the idea of learning languages to communicate. The bear Bosley is essentially symbolising the reader who doesn’t know a language in his environment and must learn it to communicate with others.

Essentially the story is based on Bosley, a bear in a forest, and has a hard time communicating or playing with the animals and wanders all around without luck of making any new friends until he comes back home and finds out from his family that the other animals are speaking another language.

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So Bosley’s dad takes him out to teach the languages the animals speak. During this teaching section the reader is being taught new words in both languages while in the story Bosley is learning the ways other animals communicate.

This way the young reader can see himself in Bosley and that the forest is his new environment and that the animals are the other people in his environment. This way  the sub consciousness of the reader takes this underlying hint as a note to learn languages to be able to befriend and play with other kids.

In conclusion this book offers a nice and easy read for the younger audience who are learning either German or English and teaches the reader a lot of new words and nice illustrations while explaining that learning languages is the key to communicate in a new environment.

The book can be purchased online and is available in many language combinations.

Image: Tim Johnson, www.thelanguagebear.com


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