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Thoughts about learning foreign languages and news about PhraseMix.com

Uncommon Common Phrases

I was going through a list of English phrases that I collected from watching TV, reading online articles and so on.  I came across this one:

Are we still on for Saturday?

As natural an English expression as one could hope for, but not something I expect to hear from my students or friends...

Speaking phrases vs. Listening phrases

Ever buy a book of idioms or phrases in the language you wanted to learn? Somewhere at my wife's parents' house in Japan is a book that I bought several years ago with several hundred pages of phrases.  I tried studying some of them, but at some point tried out a few on native Japanese...

The Scrabble Method to achieving super fluency

In order to speak a foreign language well, you’re supposed to think in that language. We all know this. The idea is so widely accepted among learners that it’s almost a cliché. So why don’t we do it?  Why don’t we think in the language that we're trying to...

Finding Good Learning Material, Part 3

One other aspect of finding good learning material that I wasn't able to touch on in my last post is the issue of variety.

Let's say that you've found a great, convenient study method for building vocabulary and reading comprehension. You've found a good news site that provides video clips and an...

What a Japanese proverb taught me about learning English grammar

Don't learn; absorb

There's a phrase in Japanese that I love: narau yori nareru (習うより慣れる). 

You'll sometimes see this translated to English as "practice makes perfect", but what I like about this is the way that it's phrased. Narau (習う) means "to...


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