Get Fluent Fast
As you may already know, I am an advocate for the immersive learning approach and I encourage language learners to surround themselves as much as possible with the target language.
One of my favorite tips for language learners looking to get fluent fast is to watch movies and TV shows in the target language with subtitles on.
Hearing the language exposes you to real-world phrases, a variety of speaking patterns, and accents in the target language.
Watch something you've seen before in another language.
That way, you'll already have an idea of the premise of the movie and understand what is going on so your brain can really focus on distinguishing between the sounds of the new words you're hearing.
I highly recommend watching Mean Girls in another language (fun fact: the movie is actually called Girls Club in the German version) or a sitcom like Friends.
Challenge Yourself Polyglot Style
If you really want to challenge yourself polyglot style - watch the show or movie with the audio in an unknown to you foreign language with another foreign language's subtitles.
When I was first learning German, I watched a classic French teen movie with German subtitles on. It really made me pay attention to the movie in great detail and I learned so many new words in both languages. I still remember that movie so fondly!
Have you ever seen La Boum or La Boum 2?
Living That Prime Life
I am obsessed with Amazon Prime for so many reasons.
I have a private Google document with my friends with our favorite Amazon purchases.
Along with that amazing 2 day shipping on every purchase, you also have access to thousands of hours of entertainment from around the globe.
This is an absolute game-changer for people who want to learn another language!
Here are my current favorite multilingual movies and shows for language learning:
Girl on a Bicycle
This is a great watch. It has the feel of a chick flick and is ideal for polyglots and language lovers everywhere as you'll immediately hear French, German, Italian, and English. Highly recommend you watch this one with your sister or your girlfriends.
Beautiful Ana breezes into Zurich without a care in the world. She soon starts working in a cafe, injecting new spirit into the hum-drum lives of the cafe workers--throwing parties and inspiring love affairs. But her boundless energy and sexuality soon push the limits and a terrible secret comes to light. This one is in Swiss German and Bosnian with English subtitles.
Le Grand Voyage
Reda, a handsome young man living in France, embarks on the trip of a lifetime as he drives his father to Mecca, experiencing exotic towns, breathtaking landscapes and life-changing adventures. This one is in Arabic and French with English subtitles.
Srugim is a drama series which deals with the life of religious bachelors from Jerusalem. The series offers a glance into the lives of intelligent and educated young males and females which can't find their place in the existing religious frames, which based mostly on family, thing which brings them, like bachelors from other sectors, to live in rented apartments in a specific geographical area.
Ekaterina: The Rise of Catherine the Great
This major international production traces the sensational rise of Catherine the Great, renowned Empress of 18th Century Russia. She begins her journey as a young German princess selected to marry Peter the Third, heir to the Russian throne. She shows that even in an age of imperial dynasties and arranged marriages, power is not given. It is taken.
A romantic comedy starring Audrey Tatou (Amelie), set on the French Riviera where nothing comes cheap. And when it comes to men, Irene has very rich taste. One very confusing night, she is duped at her own game. Her knight in shining armor turns out to be a bartender. Irene, however, is the woman of Jean's dreams. The only way to win her heart back is to turn the tables on her.
An engaged young car salesman with a bright future commits a hit & run but must face his own guilt when he begins an affair with a witness who has befriended the victim's wife.
An unspoken connection between two elderly neighbors, who share a daily ritual but have never actually met, deepens when they face the inevitable...together.
An incredible story about a rebel who challenged nature, the regime and his own shortcomings. It is a film about the first successful heart transplant in Poland performed by Professor Religa in Zabrze. Tragedy of failed surgeries, fight for each single heartbeat, grand ambitions and painful defeats, solitude of a genius who embarked on a single-handed quest against his mentors.
300 mil do nieba
The screen play is based on the famed escape of brothers Zieliński from Poland to Sweden in 1985. Grześ, aged 12, and Jędrek aged 15, stow away in the undercarriage of a truck train to flee poverty, but also to find freedom. Emaciated and starving, they reach the West. Harassed by the Polish consular authorities, they refuse to return to Poland.
Zazdrość i medycyna
A mountain resort, the 30s of the last century. Wealthy industrialist Widmar finds out by accident about the affair his wife Rebecca. The husband started a private investigation.
Ucieczka z Kina Wolnosc
During the screening of the film "Daybreak" at the Liberty Cinema, movie characters suddenly come alive and begin to talk to the viewers. The situation surprises communist authorities who send a censor to the theatre.
The Road Home
Told in the manner of a fairy story, "The Road Home" uses allegory to explore the dilemma faced by Poland as it struggled for a new national identity amid the rise of communism.
Let me know if you have any other current favorite foreign language films on Prime!
Remember to follow along for more language learning fun on:
Travel can be stressful for a lot of people.
I like to make things as easy and comfortable for my husband and I when we travel.
We've done it enough both together and alone and have traveled in every comfort level scenario - from roughing it completely (sleeping in a car, lost in the middle of the night in Warsaw or camping in torrential downpours in tents in Slovenia).
We've stayed with other rowdy travelers above the super steep stairs of the Amsterdam hostels.
We've even gotten rewards stays and felt so fancy staying at 5 star hotels in Italy and on business trips in Dubrovnik.
Every trip we've taken has led us to learn a valuable lesson to help us now have as smooth of a trip as possible.
Do you do these 11 EXPERT things before you fly abroad?
1.) Of course, you will want to check in online ahead of time to make sure you get the best seat possible. Do this online and have a mobile boarding pass ready.
If you get to the airport early and want to feel extra secure, you can absolutely swipe your passport at a kiosk and print out a physical boarding pass to board the plane.
My super powerful secret tip:
Call the airline you're flying with the day before your departure (meaning the day you will be checking in). Ask for any upgrades or for the best seats available.
A 7 minute phone call can save you the charges of seat reservations and can score you free premium economy or even better upgrades!
I landed seats 10H and 10K on our Lufthansa flight from Philly to Frankfurt at no extra charge with extra leg room. It's the little things :)
So, if you've ever worked in customer service, you know what it's like for someone else who is working in customer service.
One of my first jobs was actually at a call center so I know how far it goes to be extra friendly, easygoing, and genuine while talking to someone on the phone.
How to reach a human on the phone:
Always remember to press zero to reach an operator and bypass all of the voice recording. If all else fails, check out GetHuman.com.
2. If you will be connecting to another city, book your train tickets in advance. My host sister in Germany clued me in on the Sparpreis you can score if you book train tickets 3 days ahead of your departure on most international train trips. More savings is always alright with me!
3. Packing cubes! These are absolutely genius and save SO much space. I'm also a fan of rolling clothes when packing. Backpack and carry-on (no checked luggage) only. Try to avoid over packing and plan out what you will wear each day of your trip. You don't want to check your luggage and risk losing all your stuff. Plus, it's so much easier to travel and maneuver around train stations and cobblestone streets if you have less stuff.
4. Collagen eye masks the day before and day of your flight keep you and your skin looking so fresh. Also, drinking a ton of water helps keep you feeling healthy and full while you travel. A lot of people see it as a downside that you have to use the bathroom a lot more but at least you'll be stretching your legs more often which is always helpful on a long haul flight.
5. Sleep masks! This is even more important than a pillow on a long flight, in my opinion. A good sleep mask that really covers everything can help you fall asleep. Add a cozy scarf or even a hood and you'll be snoozing in no time.
6. Travel uniform - find the one you prefer. Leggings, a long, soft t-shirt and a hoodie or sweater are one of my favs with either boots in the winter or Birkenstocks/Tom's in the summer. Jeans or joggers might be another option you might like. Make sure it's something you can sleep in and add and remove layers easily.
7. Don't forget to pack your vitamins & headache medicine - I found a cute little vitamin holder at Marshall's that makes it easy to keep everything in one place. Similar here.
8. Call your banks ahead of time and/or exchange money. You'll want to let your bank know you're going abroad and find out what the exchange rate AND foreign transaction fees are (there could be both - you'll want to know this ahead of time so you can plan accordingly).
9. Figure out where you are going to have your first meal upon arrival to help you adjust immediately. By having something prepared, it can help you ease into your trip and leave you not feeling overwhelmed by making a decision in another language immediately.
It can really help make you feel at home in a new place.
10. Get your phone unlocked if you're planning on getting a foreign SIM card while abroad. Alternatively, you can contact your provider and arrange an international plan before you leave home.
11. Schedule a delivery of Blue Apron 2-3 days before you leave so you don't waste any food and have just enough of what you need. You'll be so happy to not have to go grocery shopping and have exactly what you need to make delicious and healthy meals at home. I LOVE Blue Apron. Everything I have gotten has been super fresh, high quality, and flavorful. If you haven't tried it yet, you can get
Do you have any travel tips you swear by? Let me know in the comments below!
The semester is coming to an end across the world and students are about to begin their summer vacations.
Do you have a plan to keep up with your language studies over your break?
Do you have any trips planned or will you be staycationing?
The best thing you can do over the break is take the free time you have and learn another language. Even if you're not a student, take the change in seasons to start your language learning journey.
The cognitive benefits of learning another language alone should make you want to start learning.
Recently, it's been found that people who learn a second language, even in adulthood, can better avoid cognitive decline in old age.
The best news is that the "dementia-delaying effects of learning a second language are not contingent on becoming fluent; it just matters that a person tries to learn it." - Cody C. Delistraty
Get that money, honey!
If that doesn't interest you, how about making more money? Being bilinguial, trilingual, or a polyglot can earn you more money, land you the job, or give you that perfect side hustle to earn extra cash when you need it.
Being able to communicate across cultures in different languages is invaluable.
Having a skill such as fluency in a second language will always come in handy.
You can freelance, translate, and even teach online.
Here are the 7 best ways you can keep up with your German studies this summer:
1.) Take a free German Language Placement Test to figure out your proficiency level at the beginning of the summer. You can take this again at the end of the summer and will be able to see how you've improved. It's a great way to see your progress!
2.) Download DuoLingo & Memrise, play games, and learn new vocab. on your phone in your downtime.
3.) Watch Netflix shows and movies in German! You know you're gonna want to chill and watch something at some point, why not watch it in German? Put the English subtitles on in case you need it.
Here's how to find shows in German on Netflix:
4.) Listen to German podcasts to practice your listening skills. There are podcasts available on iTunes about every single topic. Search for a topic that you're interested in auf Deutsch in iTunes and choose one of the podcasts to listen. See how much you can understand. You can always try something like Coffee Break German or Slow German if you'd like to hear something more structured.
5.) Make a weekly date to Skype a German speaking friend once per week, every week. If you don't have a friend who speaks German yet, go to a meetup in your city! There are meetups happening all over the world where you can connect with other language learners.
6.) Instagram auf Deutsch once per week. Interact with people in German by commenting on their photos and Insta stories, strike up a conversation, and practice your language skills while you're at it. If you don't know who to write to, schreib mit mir!
7.) If you really want to get fluent fast, sign up for one-on-one lessons over Skype with Nikki. We'll work together to develop the skills you need,
What language do you want to master this summer?
A polyglot (noun; adjective) is a person who is able to speak, read, or write a number of languages, someone who is multilingual.
Example using polyglot in a sentence: Before the web and social media, polyglots tended to be solitary creatures studying multiple languages on their own and pursuing what were often viewed as eccentric or inexplicable pursuits.
Do you know anyone who speaks multiple languages?
What language have you always wanted to learn?
Polish-American Polyglot, Language Expert, German Teacher, M.Ed., married to my dream guy, the Croatian Sensation. Let's connect!
I aim to provide as much free content as possible to help teach others around the world how to speak another language. I am trying out using affiliate links, which means that I may earn a tiny commission if you click on a link or make a purchase through a link posted here. All opinions and materials are my own, unless otherwise stated. If you use and like my materials, let me know! :)