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Teaching House Nomads Blog | August 18, 2019

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Language Learning Tips

Tips on how to get around and survive abroad when you don’t know the language, funny stories of mistranslations and ways of learning a new language.

Coffee and Sticky Buns: The Practicalities of Learning a Language

April 22, 2014 | 4

I’ve lived in Italy since October 2009.

When I moved here, I assumed I’d be nigh on fluent by the end of the year. Italian would be the sixth language I’d tackled (English, Latin, French, German and Japanese being the other five), but the only one in which I’d skipped the classroom component and gone straight to the country without passing ‘Go.’

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The Joys and Frustrations of Learning a Language

April 15, 2014 | 1

Learning a language isn’t easy. Yet many of us still waltz into a foreign country figuring we’ll pick it up as we go. While I confess to subscribing to this theory when traveling abroad for vacations or short trips, I am now living in Brazil on a more permanent basis and I can’t just leave my Portuguese acquisition up to the fates.

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4 Tips for Learning a Language Outside the Classroom

March 1, 2014 | 8

I arrived in Shanghai with two bags, one Chinese course book, and a lot of hopes for communicating in my new country. Riding along a dusty highway bound for the city, I looked out at dozens of inscrutable signs and billboards whizzing by.  A fellow teacher was casually chatting with the cab driver in some impressively functional Chinese. The language gap was palpable. He turned to me and asked, “How’s your Chinese?” (A question I would be asked constantly for the next three months).

“Not great,” I admitted honestly.

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