My desk got a little messier.

Review: Tuttle Tagalog Materials

When I started out with my current Tagalog project, I approached Tuttle Publishing. They specialize in Asian-themed books, and since Tagalog is an Asian language, they seemed like the right people to talk to. So they sent me some stuff to review–that is, free swag. And not just one book, but several: Elementary Tagalog: Tara,…

By Alf van Beem [CC0], Image Source

The Radio in the Background Trick

This post is about listening to the radio, which is a pretty basic activity. So in one sense there’s no “trick” to this. But there is something specific I do to make listening to the radio more useful–and this has made a big difference in the quality of my exposure to the language. The Importance of…

For the record, this isn't a picture of me. I haven't had that much hair since the 90s.
Image Source

Managing the Chaos

Hi guys. Very quick update on the site. I started a new job recently. And honestly? I’m exhausted. We’re in a busy phase of our project, so I go home at night absolutely drained. I’ve also been volunteering and writing fiction, both of which have been good for my soul. And yes, I’ve been making…

There are multiple words to describe the Egyptian dish Koshari, but "delicious" is all that comes to mind for me.

Five Ways to Learn Adjectives

Adjectives–words that describe people or things–are vital parts of any language. They modify a sentence’s meaning, sometimes significantly. Take the sentence “My husband put a sock in the dishwasher,” for example. If you say, “My funny husband put a sock in the dishwasher,” the meaning changes a little. If you say, “My estranged husband put a sock…

By Georges Garen [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Language Learning Terms, in Plain Language

Are you trying to learn a new language, but are overwhelmed by the terminology? Feeling lost when people toss around linguistic terms in language-learning forums? Well, you’re in luck! Here are 25 language learning terms and their definitions, presented in an easy-to-understand way. (Disclaimer: This is all in good fun. Don’t use this info in…


America’s Best-Kept Secret for Korean Learners

A couple weekends ago, my friend Danny and I flew up to visit our friend Aaron. While we were up there, I realized something about Aaron’s town: It’s a mecca for Korean language learners. That small city, which is over 7000 miles from Seoul, is probably about as close as you can get to being…

Claudette Restaurant - Montreal, Canada
By Jeangagnon (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Four Random Tips for Language Learning

I’m now in the swing of things with learning Tagalog. The nice thing about starting a new language project is that I discover (and rediscover) stuff that really helps me learn. The bad thing is that I feel a little time-crunched. I’ve been really busy lately. I started a new job, which is great but…

By Magalhães (Own work (own picture)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Tagalog Project – Update #1

If you’re a part of my Language Surf Club, then you know from my newsletter that I want my Tagalog project to be my most transparent language project to date. So here’s update #1. Video For the video, I used a script to help me. I read the line, looked at the web cam, said…

Swimming Pool in Luxor, Egypt
By Przemyslaw "Blueshade" Idzkiewicz [CC 2.0] - Image Source

What to Do After Duolingo

Recently, a reader named Stefan asked me in the comments, “What do I do after Duolingo?” It was a good question, and one I imagine a lot of people have. If you’ve finished a Duolingo skill tree, congratulations! That required a lot of commitment, and by now you are likely able to do some things…