LEARNING TIP 3.0: TAKE IT SLOW

How often have you started learning a language only to give up soon after? I think we all know what it’s like. You get this brilliant idea “Hey, I will learn …!”, you are excited, you go buy everything you need (and even things you don’t need), you study grammar and memorize fifty new words every single day. But after a while your initial enthusiasm wears off. And you ask yourself: “Why am I doing this in the first place?” … More LEARNING TIP 3.0: TAKE IT SLOW

“KIRIBATI: COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE HANDBOOK” BY STEPHEN TRUSSEL

There are virtually no textbooks available on the Kiribati (Gilbertese) language. I have managed to find only two books, both written by the same author. Stephen Trussel’s handbooks, which were created in 1979, are long out of print, so there is little chance you will be able to buy them. However, the author has converted them into webpages, so they are now accessible online. … More “KIRIBATI: COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE HANDBOOK” BY STEPHEN TRUSSEL

MARSHALLESE 15.0: BECAUSE OF THE OFFSHORE PODCAST

In a perfect world, the written language equals the spoken language. You see a word and you know, instantly and without thinking, how to pronounce it. You hear a sentence, and you know what it means. You have no doubts, you feel confident, everything is great. Only it isn’t. Because this is not a perfect world. This is real world, in which letters and sounds are two very different things. … More MARSHALLESE 15.0: BECAUSE OF THE OFFSHORE PODCAST

WAYS TO PROMOTE MULTILINGUALISM

The choice of what language to use for what purposes and in which contexts is never easy to make, especially in a region with over 1000 native tongues and two major intrusive ones. On the one hand, there are English and French – the global languages of opportunities and the future; on the other, there are the local vernaculars – the languages of culture, heritage, and the past. Imagine that they all share the spotlight. Wouldn’t that be great? But how to achieve it? … More WAYS TO PROMOTE MULTILINGUALISM

DO YOU PARLES…? ENGLISH AND FRENCH IN THE PACIFIC

Do you think that you have to know Tongan, Tahitian, Marshallese, Bislama, or some other Pacific language in order to get by in Oceania? Well, it surely is nice to be able to talk with the locals using their mother tongue, but in the Blue Continent it isn’t really necessary. If you can speak English or parles français, you will be just fine. … More DO YOU PARLES…? ENGLISH AND FRENCH IN THE PACIFIC

MARSHALLESE 13.0: WHAT? WHEN? WHERE? WHY?

When you’re learning a foreign language, you’re often wondering: what does it mean? when to apply which grammar rule? where to put this or that word? why is the proper pronunciation so difficult to master? I’m sure you, dear learner, have asked yourself these questions hundreds of times. And although I would love to answer them for you, I simply can’t. But instead, I can tell you (all) about the WH-words in Kajin M̗ajel̗. Interested? … More MARSHALLESE 13.0: WHAT? WHEN? WHERE? WHY?

MARSHALLESE 12.0: MY ENEMY – UNCERTAINTY

Learning a foreign language is never easy. Even if you enjoy it, even if you’re good at it, it is always a hard job. You have to grasp the pronunciation, understand the grammar, memorize the vocabulary, and then put it all together to be able to make the simplest sentence. But the funniest thing is that all this isn’t the worst. So what is? … More MARSHALLESE 12.0: MY ENEMY – UNCERTAINTY

MIND YOUR MOTHER TONGUE

Each year, on 21 February, we celebrate International Mother Language Day. Around this time we talk a lot about preserving minority and indigenous tongues. We promote, we encourage, we exchange ideas. But the truth is, one day to celebrate multilingualism is simply not enough. One day will not make a difference. One day will not save hundreds of disappearing languages. To merely try to do that, we need 365 days. … More MIND YOUR MOTHER TONGUE