Multilingual Sussex Schoolchildren Speak 94 Languages

There are over 3,000 bilingual school children in Sussex, on the South Coast of the UK, who speak an amazing 94 languages between them, including Wolof, which is spoken in Senegal, and Igbo, spoken in Nigeria and Niger-Congo.

New figures show the top ten tongues in West Sussex are Urdu, Gujarati, Caribbean Creole French, Portuguese, Tamil, Punjabi, Polish, Bengali, French and Pashto.   [Read more…]

Election Manifestos go Multilingual

While trying to decide which way to vote in the UK General Election on 6 May 2010, I decided to browse through all the election manifestos of the major political parties.  I was pleased to discover on the Green Party website that they have their Mini Manifesto in Arabic and Bengali.   [Read more…]

HINDI LANGUAGE FILM REVIEWS

Monsoon Wedding (2001)

A language advantage film review by Sarah Carroll

The wedding celebrations unfurl during the rainy season. This film mixes traditional with modern, through great music, dance, colour and a combination of English, Hindi and Punjabi conversations. It traces five stories of love and morality across the globe as everyone descends on New Delhi. You get pulled into the movie, and almost feel like you’re there – or at least wish you could be.

The director of this film is Mira Nair. The film has won a Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival in 2001. In English and Hindi with English subtitles.

To buy  Monsoon Wedding  and other  Hindi language films>>

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East is East (1999)

A language advantage film review by Tess Bentall

The film is set in Manchester in the 1970s. It tells the story of George Khan (Om Puri),  a Pakistani chip shop owner, his British wife Ella (Linda Bassett) and their seven children whose lives are a constant struggle to reconcile Eastern heritage and the Western culture they live in. Meanwhile, their father is actively seeking arranged marriages for his sons. When Nazir (Ian Aspinall) bails out of his forthcoming marriage on the wedding day, he is considered dead by his father and moves away. This does nothing to diminish George’s enthusiasm to marry off his sons in the traditional Pakistani way and Abdul and Tariq (Jimi Mistry) are next on his list. As the future brides and their parents arrive for tea, an unwelcome sculpture by art student Saleem (Chris Bisson), another of the  sons,  ensures that chaos ensues.

This is a fun film about identity, family life and what happens when two cultures collide. It is an enjoyable comedy. All the characters are well portrayed and the unusual relationship between the parents is explored in an interesting manner.

It has won a BAFTA for best British film and has received many other nominations and awards around the world.   The film is in English but with many conversations in Urdu.

To buy  East is East  and other  Hindi language films>>


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The Oscars 2009

The 81st Annual Academy Awards ® were held on Sunday 22nd February 2009 in Hollywood.   The Oscars ® reached film fans in over 100 countries. The lower-budget, but highly-acclaimed film Slumdog Millionaire, directed by Danny Boyle, won many Oscars ®, including for the Best Picture.   It is in the English, Urdu and Hindi languages. [Read more…]

BBC HINDI URDU BOL CHAAL REVIEW

bbc-beginner-hindi-urdu-bol-chaalAn independent language course review by Sarah Maddocks

The BBC’s Hindi Urdu Bol Chaal is a beginner’s course in spoken Hindi and Urdu.
The book provides material for approximately 100 hours of study and covers topics including simple greetings, family, jobs, health and education. The book is sold separately but can be accompanied by a set of two cassettes which contain conversations, listening exercises, pronunciation guides and listen and speak practices.

I must admit I was slightly apprehensive about learning Hindi and Urdu, because up until now I have only ever learnt the romance languages such as French and Spanish, whose grammar and vocabulary are kind of similar. To attempt to learn Hindi and Urdu meant that I had to learn a whole new system of language (I suppose that comes with learning a new language and culture though, it’s all about broadening horizons!)
The book has 10 units, each with different sections, including dialogues and notes check up (just to check that you’ve understood the dialogue), keywords (pretty self explanatory I think!), sound systems (pronunciation hints), how the language works (grammar), exercises (a chance to practice what you have learnt), background (history of Hindi and Urdu – I know sounds tedious but is actually very interesting), and review sections. The exercise section is absolutely ace, you can do crosswords using the new vocabulary you have learnt and also fill in speech bubbles (it felt like I was back in school again which without sounding too much like a geek was actually fun).

The exercise section is absolutely ace – you can do crosswords using the new vocabulary you have learnt and also fill in speech bubbles.

When I first played the tapes, I felt like the course was too hard and I would never be able to pronounce the words. But I just rewound again, told myself I could do it and carried on. It did take about three plays of the same conversation before I felt I could say the words correctly. At the end of the day the course is designed to be used however you want it to be used and as long as you are learning, it doesn’t matter how many times you repeat the tape.

The tapes are used with the book; you know when to play the tape as there are small tape signs by the text. They are designed to be played with the book, and you will not get any value if you listen to the tapes without the book. You simply learn the words you have looked at in the section and hear them being pronounced. There is a man on the tape who sounds like an English-speaker but has a different accent on some words (perhaps he is bilingual!). Unlike most language tapes where you have to stop the tape, this program allows you to answer in the pauses provided and surprisingly these are long enough to answer (even with added thinking time!)

There are exercises where you have to listen and answer questions. In unit 1, they were short conversations; you have to answer the questions: “Are the greetings Hindu Sikh or Muslim? What are the names of the two people? How are they?” These may look like simple enough questions but they really help you to learn, especially when it is a language completely unknown to you. I liked the fact this tape asked you questions and you had “fun things” to do – it made learning this language a lot easier to do for me. I think even if you had some prior knowledge of the language through family and community ties, you’d still find the course useful and fun.

As mentioned above the tape is meant to be more of listening practise than actually learning new language from the tape. It is the book which provides most of the information to learning this language and the tape is kind of a back up so you can get used to hearing the language being spoken. The idea is to listen to the dialogue to get yourself familiar with the sounds of the dialogue and then to read through the book and look at key words. Then you are meant to return to the tape to listen to it again so this time you can understand what you are listening to. To me this was slightly exhausting, as I prefer to have language courses where you can listen to the tape as the main part of the course and then use the book as a back up. But then again, this was all new to me because I haven’t done a course like this before.

The tape is aimed at beginners, so the level does not change throughout. A good thing I found with this approach was that instead of recapping what you had already learnt with faster dialogues, you actually ended up learning more content. I found this better as I prefer to have more knowledge of lots of subjects rather than have knowledge of one subject but be able to speed through it so fast hardly anyone would be able to understand me anyway.

I even managed to surprise one of my friends by asking her how she was and what jobs she had done.

I really enjoyed doing this course – it really was something new for me. I live in Birmingham in the UK where there is a big Hindi-speaking population, so found this very handy. I even managed to surprise one of my friends by asking her how she was and what jobs she had done. It was only when she replied with a very long answer that I realised maybe I should go and buy an intermediate course so I can have a proper conversation with her in Hindi!

to buy BBC Hindi Urdu Bol Chaal [UK]>>
to buy BBC Hindi Urdu Bol Chaal [USA]>>
to find out more about BBC language courses>>

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LANGUAGES T – Z (USA)

Here are our recommended language courses for languages T – Z.


These links will take you to our language course stores – click on the TOP COURSES tab and then use the search box to find your language course.

Language Best Bet 1 Best Bet 2 Best Bet 3
  (audio/book) (cd-rom) (ipod/mp3)
      coming soon!
T      
Tagalog Pimsleur: Tagalog Rosetta Stone: Tagalog Pimsleur: Tagalog
Tamazight   Talk Now!: Tamazight  
Tamil   Talk Now!: Tamil  
Telugu   Talk Now!: Telugu  
Thai Pimsleur: Thai Rosetta Stone: Thai Collins: 40 minute Thai
Tibetan   Talk Now!: Tibetan  
Turkish Pimsleur: Turkish Rosetta Stone: Turkish Collins: 40 minute Turkish
Twi Pimsleur: Twi    
       
U      
Ukrainian Pimsleur: Ukrainian Talk Now!: Ukrainian Pimsleur: Ukrainian
Urdu Teach Yourself: Urdu Talk Now!: Urdu  
Uzbek   Talk Now!: Uzbek  
       
V      
Vietnamese Pimsleur: Vietnamese Rosetta Stone: Vietnamese Collins: 40 minute Vietnamese
       
W      
Welsh Teach Yourself: Welsh Rosetta Stone: Welsh Teach Yourself: Welsh
       
X      
Xhosa Teach Yourself: Xhosa Talk Now!: Xhosa  
       
Y      
Yiddish   Talk Now!: Yiddish  
Yoruba   Talk Now!: Yoruba  
       
Z      
Zulu Teach Yourself: Zulu Talk Now!: Zulu  

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COURSE REVIEWS

This is where we tell you what we really think about the language and culture courses on language advantage!

We have reviewed the best and most innovative language courses on language advantage. And we invite you to do the same. So now you’ll know what you’re really buying – from independent people that have actually done the language courses … and love learning languages! If you would like to send in a review, or find out more about any of the courses we feature on language advantage, contact us now!


think french july 2012 issueThink French online audio language magazine>>

An independent language advantage course review by Ali Gibbs – Brighton, UK

The Think French online audio language magazine is more than a simple French language course – it is designed to help you to learn French while teaching you about life and culture in French-speaking countries.  It is a much more current and engaging approach to learning French for intermediate and advanced learners, and even beginners. …>>

Read Ali’s review of the Think French online audio language magazine now>>


Michel Thomas Start Greek and Michel Thomas Start Spanish>>

michel thomas method start spanishAn independent language advantage course review by Sue Gooch and Andy Dunhill – UK

Andy Dunhill from Huddersfield, UK and Sue Gooch from London, UK both took on our request to review a Michel Thomas Start language course. Andy tried the Michel Thomas Start Spanish course and Sue tried her hand at the Michel Thomas Start Greek course. Both are interested in learning languages for different reasons. We introduced them to the Michel Thomas Start language course and both had very different things to say about their particular course.

Read Sue’s review of the Michel Thomas Start Greek language course now>>

Read Andy’s review of the Michel Thomas Start Spanish language course now>>


Think Spanish online audio language magazine>>

think spanish november 2011An independent language advantage course review by Rosemarie Goonewardene – Indiana, USA

I became interested in learning Spanish when I wanted to visit friends in Mexico.  My first attempt was a Spanish beginner’s class covering a few topics related to travel. Some time later, I took a couple of traditional Spanish classes, but the main emphasis was on grammar and there wasn’t much conversation practice. I looked at various Spanish language text books and found many of them confusing, although I did find listening to the accompanying tapes helpful.

Read Rosemarie’s review of Think Spanish online audio language magazine now>>


Other independent language course reviews:

BBC Buongiorno Italia>>
BBC Get Into Spanish>>
BBC Hindi Urdu Bol Chaal>>
BBC Quickstart Spanish>>
BBC Steps Online>>
BBC Suenos World Spanish 1>>
BBC Suenos World Spanish 2>>
BBC Talk Portuguese Online>>


Don Quijote Spanish Course in Córdoba, Argentina >>


Don Quijote Spanish Course in Salamanca, Spain >>


Earworms iPod & MP3 Rapid French Volume 1>>
Earworms iPod & MP3 Rapid French Volume 2>>


Michel Thomas French 2-hour Course>>
Michel Thomas German 8-hour Course>>
Michel Thomas Italian Language Builder>>
Michel Thomas Spanish Language Builder>>

Michel Thomas Start Greek>>

Michel Thomas Start Spanish>>
Michel Thomas Advanced Spanish>>


Pimsleur Quick & Simple Mandarin Chinese>>


Teach Yourself Instant German>>
Teach Yourself Instant Greek>>
Teach Yourself Instant Italian>>
Teach Yourself Italian Grammar and Italian Verbs>>
Teach Yourself Japanese Conversation>>
Teach Yourself One-day Greek>>


Think French online audio language magazine by Andrea Lainé>>

Think French online audio language magazine by Ali Gibbs>>


Think Italian online audio language magazine  by Andrea Lainé>>


Think Spanish online audio language magazine  by Andrea Lainé>>

Think Spanish online audio language magazine by Rosemarie Goonewardene>>


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Learn to Speak Other Languages

Learning another language?
We have language courses for over 100 other languages!
Get the language advantage!


LANGUAGES A – Z: Find the language you are learning and then click through for the best and most innovative language courses.

Top 10 world languages

Languages A – C:  visit UK site | USA site

Afrikaans | Albanian | Alsatian | Amharic | Arabic (Egyptian) | Arabic (Gulf) | Armenian | Assamese |

Azeri | Basque | Bengali | Breton | Bulgarian | Burmese | Chinese (Cantonese) | Catalan | Chichewa |

Chuvash | Cornish | Corsican | Croatian | Czech

Languages D – I: visit UK site | USA site

Danish | Dutch | English (American) | Esperanto | Estonian | Farsi (Persian) | Finnish | Frisian | Gaelic

| Galician | Georgian | German (Swiss) | Greek (Ancient) | Gujurati | Haitian-Creole | Hausa |

Hawaiian | Hebrew | Hebrew (Biblical) | Hungarian | Icelandic | Igbo | Indonesian | Irish

Languages J – O: visit UK site | USA site

Jèrriais | Kannada | Khmer | Kirghiz | Klingon | Korean | Kurdish | Latin | Latvian | Lithuanian | Luganda |

Luxembourgish | Macedonian | Malagasy | Malay | Malayalam | Maltese | Manx | Maori | Marathi |

Mongolian | Navajo | Nepali | Norwegian | Ojibwe

Languages P – S: visit UK site | USA site

Papiamento | Pashto |   Persian (Farsi) | Pidgin | Polish | Portuguese (Brazilian) | Punjabi | Romanian |

Romansh | Rwanda | Saami | Sanskrit | Sardinian | Scots Gaelic | Serbian | Sesotho | Setswana | Shona |

Sindhi | Sinhala | Slovak | Slovenian | Somali | Spanish (Latin American) | Spanish (Mexican) |

Swahili | Swedish

Languages T – Z: visit UK site | USA site

Tagalog | Tamazight | Tamil | Telugu | Thai | Tibetan | Turkish | Twi | Ukranian | Urdu | Uzbek |

Vietnamese | Welsh | Xhosa | Yiddish | Yoruba | Zulu


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LANGUAGES T – Z (UK)

Here are our recommended language courses for languages T – Z.


These links will take you to our language course stores – click on the TOP COURSES tab and then use the search box to find your language course.

Language Best Bet 1 Best Bet 2 Best Bet 3
  (audio/book) (cd-rom) (ipod/mp3)
       
T      
Tagalog Teach Yourself:  Tagalog Rosetta Stone: Tagalog  
Tamazight   Talk Now!: Tamazight  
Tamil   Talk Now!: Tamil  
Telugu   Talk Now!: Telugu  
Thai Teach Yourself: Thai Rosetta Stone: Thai Collins: 40 minute Thai
Tibetan   Talk Now!: Tibetan  
Turkish Teach Yourself:  Turkish Rosetta Stone: Turkish Collins: 40 minute Turkish
Twi      
       
U      
Ukrainian Teach Yourself: Ukranian Talk Now!: Ukranian  
Urdu Teach Yourself: Urdu Talk Now!: Urdu  
Uzbek   Talk Now!: Uzbek  
       
V      
Vietnamese Teach Yourself: Vietnamese Rosetta Stone: Vietnamese Collins: 40 minute Vietnamese
       
W      
Welsh Teach Yourself: Welsh Rosetta Stone: Welsh Teach Yourself Conversation: Welsh
       
X      
Xhosa Teach Yourself: Xhosa Talk Now!: Xhosa  
       
Y      
Yiddish   Talk Now!: Yiddish  
Yoruba   Talk Now!: Yoruba  
       
Z      
Zulu Teach Yourself: Zulu Talk Now!: Zulu  

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