The survey and giveaway have now closed. Thank you to everyone who took part!
Language learners! We need your help. We want to know the different method(s) that you use whilst learning a language to accomplish your goals. This will enable us to improve and adapt to what you want.
The survey only takes approximately five minutes depending on how much you want to tell us (we are hoping lots). To say thank you for taking up your precious time, we’ll enter you into a prize draw to win an iPad mini, pre-installed with our app, uTalk, in the language of your choice. There are several different ways to enter, the more you do the greater your chance of winning the iPad mini.
Thanks for your time 🙂
And please share the link with friends and colleagues too – thank you!
The giveaway ends at midnight on June 17th 2015 (UK time), and is open worldwide to anyone aged 18 or older. The winner will be selected at random and notified by EuroTalk within 48 hours of the closing date.
The uTalk language challenge for January comes to an end on Saturday, and we’ve loved hearing about everyone’s progress! Check back here next week to see how we all got on here in the office (trust me, you won’t want to miss that), but in the meantime, we asked a few of our most enthusiastic competitors to tell us how they got on.
Has anyone else taken part in the uTalk challenge? Did you enjoy it, and most importantly will you be continuing with your new language? We’d love to hear from you, so please share in the comments 🙂 And if you missed it this month, it’s never too late to start – uTalk is available from the App Store, and you can start learning your first essential words completely free.
Don’t miss our February photo challenge, which kicks off on Sunday!
Now over to our uTalkers 🙂
Ingrid, learning Serbian
I’ve really enjoyed doing the challenge. Serbian is a language I’ve wanted to get to grips with for a long time for quite a bizarre reason (it involves a love of the Eurovision Song Contest!) but I haven’t really known where to start.
The app’s been great, although I’d recommend using it on an iPad rather than an iPhone if you can. Oh, and the range of languages available is amazing!
It’s been slow-going – well it’s a tricky language! – I tried to do some in my lunch-break and on my commute but it was generally too noisy to concentrate. I have a trip to Belgrade planned for early April and it would be so nice to communicate on even the most basic level in their own language, so I’ll definitely be keeping it up.
Patricia, learning Icelandic
My name’s Patricia and I’m from Montreal, Canada. I’m the happy owner of a wonderful Icelandic horse, Léttfeti. I’ve been riding Icelandic horses for four years and I’ve been to Iceland. And I absolutely love Björk 🙂 I took up the uTalk challenge so I could begin to learn more about the Icelandic Horse breed, about Icelandic riding and about Iceland in general. I hope to go back there soon.
The uTalk app is a whole lot of fun, filled with useful words and phrases. I particularly enjoyed repeating the words and phrases after the native speakers and then hearing my own voice. What a great tool to gain confidence and improve pronunciation! I also really liked the Iceland module, which contained many words and phrases pertaining to things that are specific to Iceland.
The app is very visually pleasing. It works offline, which is great for learning on planes, subways and other areas without internet. This app can also be used as an offline dictionary, which I find particularly useful. Thank you for this opportunity and I’m looking forward to the next Challenge!
— Patricia Ochman (@speedbird_o) January 20, 2015
Alex, learning Romanian
I found it really fun learning some basic Romanian, especially because I’ve been able to greet Ioana each day saying ‘Buna Ziua’, and trying out a few random words on her. I found the speaking and recall games the most useful as you can check you actually know the words, rather than passively recognising them. The memory game, on the other hand, is the bane of my life as I always manage to forget where one thing is and miss the full score. Overall, I’ve found uTalk really fun and easy to use at the gym while I’m on the bikes or during my lunchbreak.
Jacqui, learning Croatian
I first discovered EuroTalk when my children were involved in the Junior Language Challenge in 2010, and, as a language graduate, was very impressed with how easy it was to master the basics. Since then, I have never quite prioritised the time to learn a new language myself, so when I heard about this month’s challenge for adults, it was just a matter of picking which one to try.
Why Croatian? It’s a country I quite fancy visiting, and as I’ve never attempted a Slavic language before, it seemed like a worthy contender for the challenge. Come 1st January, it soon became clear to me that Slavic languages do not have much immediately in common with either Romance or Germanic ones, and it often felt more like a string of tongue-twisters with some different accented letters to add into the mix for good measure. Daunting, yes, but I wasn’t going to let it beat me. I discovered that standing in the middle of the room and declaiming the words in theatrical fashion was quite effective!
After a month, I’ve made great progress. I haven’t earned maximum points (I’m on just over 4000), but I have managed to learn a lot more than I thought I would, even waking up some mornings with various phrases springing to mind! This achievement wouldn’t have been possible without something like the uTalk app. The approach of listening and repeating with a few simple games just works at this level of language acquisition.
The good news for me is that I’ve now booked a short break to Croatia in the summer – make mine a ‘čaša šampanjca, molim vas’.
Katherine, learning Czech
I chose to learn Czech as it was a completely new language to me, and I will be visiting there later in the year, so it will be fun to try out a few phrases!
I have found the app quite addictive – as soon as I’ve got a good score in one topic I want to get started on another one! The games really help you to learn quickly, and although I can’t pretend to remember every word, it will be easy to brush it up again later. So, a great challenge, and good fun!
I initially thought about learning Welsh, as I was born in Wales, so I thought it’d be a nice way to re-connect with my roots. However, having been informed that Welsh wasn’t added to uTalk yet (although it will be soon!), I ended up changing my mind, and decided on Romanian for my language.
So why did I choose Romanian? Well, I have to say the main reason is that I can try out my newly learned phrases on our reception superstar, Ioana! Everyone in the EuroTalk office knows that I like learning random words and phrases in their language and trying them out. I always like to greet Ioana with ‘noroc’ (cheers) if we have a drink together, but I thought perhaps I could manage a little better than that and at least add some basic conversational phrases to my repertoire.
Plus, I’m hoping that I can make a trip to Romania in the not too distant future, and would definitely like to be able to get around without embarrassing myself too much.
How about you? Which language will you be learning this new year?
Something a little different today, just because it’s Friday…
Like many of us, Steve will be taking on the uTalk challenge in January 2015, and he’s chosen to explain the reasons for his language choice in verse. As you do 😉
If you’d like to join Steve (in the uTalk language challenge, not the poetry), drop us an email with your chosen language over the next couple of weeks and we’ll let you know how it’s going to work. Good luck!
Last Monday I went into the EuroTalk office, had hardly taken off my hat
When Liz announced to all and sundry: ‘Now here’s a challenge and it’s no trap:
Pick any language from the uTalk App.
I don’t mind which, as long as you try;
You’ll have the month of January, no more,
To use the App and get damn good scores!’
OK, I thought, well … it’s got to be Thai.
Here goes, methinks: it’s a very fine tongue, and could just be a bit of fun!
I go there a lot, it’s lovely and hot, I like Bangkok, the people, the vibe,
But knowing no Thai is something I can’t hide.
It’s a bit of a challenge, it’s a question of pride
I’ll read a menu
In any venue
I’ll not freak out when someone phones
If I can only master those tones
That speakers of Thai use as a matter of course.
I’ll use the App to get damn good scores.
I won’t give up, I will not park it
I’ll have that chat with the guy at the market
To buy my stuff and interact.
I’ll learn some Thai from the uTalk App!
In a few weeks, I’m taking on the uTalk challenge – using the app to see how much I can learn in the 31 days of January.
I’ve been trying to decide which language to go for; there wasn’t any particular one that I needed for a holiday or work trip, so I had the full choice of 100 languages in the app to pick from. Having the opportunity to learn something just for the pure fun of it is great, although 100 is a lot of options for someone as indecisive as I am.
My first thought was to learn Catalan, so I’m prepared for my next trip to Barcelona, whenever that may be. But as I already speak Spanish, it seemed like a bit of a cheat. Although there are significant differences between the two languages, on the whole they’re similar enough to give me an unfair advantage over my colleagues!
So then I decided to use the power of Facebook, and asked my friends which language they thought I should learn. I got various suggestions – Japanese, Navajo, Lithuanian, Welsh…
There were a few reasons for this. Firstly, I never got the chance to learn German at school, because we had to choose either Spanish or German. I’ve never regretted choosing Spanish, which I went on to study at A-Level and university, but from time to time I’ve wondered what might have happened if I’d gone for the other option.
Secondly, German looks quite tricky, and I figured if I was going to take on a challenge, I might as well do it properly. I’m a bit fascinated by the language, too, with its hugely long words; from what I can tell, you can come up with a word for just about anything by sticking others together. And it has some great proverbs.
Also, Germany’s close enough for me to pop over for a long weekend if I want to practise, whereas some of the other options, like Japanese and Navajo, are spoken a bit further afield. Maybe next year…
Finally, one of my favourite words is German. Backpfeifengesicht means ‘a face badly in need of a fist’. And as far as I’m concerned, a language that can come up with a word to describe that has to be worth a look.
Anyone want to join me?