January 2015 Archives

How To Untwist Your Tongue Speaking a Foreign Language


It goes without saying that learning a foreign language, like practically any other cognitive experience, falls into two categories: obtaining the necessary theoretical knowledge and putting all the acquired material into practice, ideally, combining the two all along. While most mentally healthy people may have no or little difficulty mastering the first part, they may find the second one a trifle trickier - especially if they are not surrounded by the language as they are learning it. Furthermore, practising a language may be quite a stumbling block even if you are surrounded by native speakers. That is the case if you spend most of your time within your family or a close circle of friends, who all belong to the same ethinicity as yourself, and spend far less time among representatives of the country you have come to. As a result, you may feel uncomfortable and lacking self-confidence when you have to speak in the presence of native speakers, albeit your theoretical linguistic knowledge and lexical arsenal are second to none.

Also, it is important to note that what you learn in theory might well at least slightly differ from the way native speakers express themselves in reality. Accent, word choice, and other minor nuance-related language peculiarities inherent in the speech of natives of the region you have come to may turn out to be different to the ones you have come across earlier. The linguistic adjustment can thus be quite puzzling.

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If you live in Montreal and don't speak French, you've probably wanted to pick it up sometime but for whatever reason, never did. Whether it's for professional or social reasons, knowing French in Montreal can go a long way, and learning it doesn't have to be as hard as it's made out to be. This 10-step instruction guide outlines the basic habits and tasks that are essential to learning French (or any language for that matter), which applies across the board to individuals of any learning style or level of language proficiency.

*by a new anglophone in Quebec


So you've decided to leave English Canada and settle down in Quebec. Congratulations! Quebec is a province of diverse food, people, and culture. You know you'll love it here, but there's a snag: you don't speak French (yet). Unfortunately, it'll take a while for you to get a hang of the language. All those things that can go wrong in your new apartment might not wait for you to know how to string more than three words together. At some point, you'll probably have to jump that language barrier and communicate with your francophone maintenance worker.

Not to worry! Here is a handy guide for you to pull this off without a hitch:

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