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Ask A Linguist: Your Language Questions Answered By Linguists From Talk The Talk

Linguist hour! Lindsay and I bring you an interview with one of our favourite podcasts, the linguistics show Talk the Talk from Australia. Please take 5 minutes to take our Fluent Show survey! ( We don't often have research scientists on the show, so this was a huge opportunity for the Fluent Show to go into science. We posed your "Ask a Linguist" questions on these topics: Is it a language? Is it a dialect? Talk the Talk had a few insights that I had...


Language Immersion On Any Budget

It's January, time for new year's resolutions and long weeks waiting for pay cheques. Please take 5 minutes to take our Fluent Show survey! ( If you're finding yourself motivated but broke this month, don't worry! I've got your back because this week I'm answering the question: What are ways to immerse in the language without traveling or spending a heap of money for studies? Immersion was one of my KEY words for 2018, and that's not just because of the...


What Did You Learn in 2018? (with Shannon Kennedy)

Happy New Year! 🎇 Please take 5 minutes to take our Fluent Show survey! ( In this episode, I hung out with friend of the podcast Shannon Kennedy to talk about saying goodbye to an old year and welcoming a new one. Shannon is an accomplished language learner who's studied over 10 languages including French, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Italian, and Russian. Her year has always been about languages, and with her recent move to work with language app Drops...


Better Vocabulary Learning: Say Goodbye To False Friends

It's so annoying when you say a word in your target language and you're 100% SURE it's going to mean one thing...and then it turns out to mean something completely different. Ugh, awkward! When those words look the same as your native words, you've hit upon false friends. They're a common frustration in language learning, and in this episode I've got some tips that you need to hear if you want to get better at dealing with them. In today's episode: * the most interesting false friends in...


Understanding TV and Film Dialogues Without Subtitles (with Cara from Leo Listening)

This week, my guest on the podcast is Cara Leopold, an English teacher who focuses on helping her students enjoy TV and films in English by improving their listening skills. Some of Cara's top tips: Don’t mess around with TV and films initially. They're more challenging than many of us like to admit, and it can be disheartening even at B levels to miss big chunks of action because we insist on switching off the subtitles. Instead, stick to curated materials for learners Look for natural...


Notes From An Intermediate Speaking Dilemma

What's more frustrating than speaking at intermediate level, where we stutter and stumble over words, and leave....lo o o o o in sentences because the words just won't come into our brains. This week on the show, I'm answering a listener question from Elisabeth who is stuck in that dilemma. She says: My tutor says I'm very close to B2. I've been hit with a puzzle though. (..) I have a lot of vocabulary but there seems to be a disconnect between my thoughts and my speech. (..)...


What the Heck is Word Of The Year?

Self-care, backstop, vegan, glamping, problematic - those are evocative words and they have the power to sum up a whole year. Join us as we delve into a selection of wonderful words of the year from many languages, figure out what “self care” even means, and discuss the ban on plastic straws. Dive into this week's extra long link selection to find out more about the many words of the year we covered from Great Britain, Australia, the USA, Japan (it's a kanji!), France, Portugal, and Germany....


How to Get The Perfect Accent

Click or tap here to read the full show notes on ( Learning a language is a long journey, and even after many years of dedication it can still feel like you're far from arriving. One of the milestones we hope to hit along the way is to start creating a 'perfect accent' in another language, so we can fit in well. But how is that done? In today's episode you'll hear a listener question all about accents,...


New York Language Stories At Ellen Jovin's Grammar Table

Can you imagine how fun it would be to speak to a fellow language lover who's encouraging you to share ALL your language questions, from comma conundrums to relative clause regrets? And how great would it be to have all this language joy just outside your front door? With excitement about any language? Let me tell you, this utopia exists in New York City. In today's episode, I brought back Ellen Jovin, one of the most inspiring language lovers I know. And Ellen has a brand new project to...


Can You Decide Which Languages To Kick Off Your To-Learn List?

Every other week on the Fluent Show, I answer your listener questions. Today a question from Sheela: How to Simplify Your List of Languages To Learn Here are a few options for getting more clarity in your ‘to learn’ list: Do allow yourself a dabble in some languages and choose only one or two big focus languages every year, or even for several years. Your reasons and useful/practical considerations can always vary so of course it’s ok to focus on the languages that are most relevant to your...


Find Friends Who Love Language Learning [with Polyglots in Ljubljana, Slovenia]

Our theme for today’s show is language learning friendship and having buddies who truly love language learning. We are recording this week in Ljubljana from the Polyglot Conference, so in the show you'll also hear from a few of the many language loving people visiting the city this weekend. The polyglots you heard in interviews from the Polyglot Conference were Katie Harris, Ruslan Kokorin, Irena Dahl, and Gabriel Gelman. Congratulations to Alex Rawlings and Richard Simcott for a great...


Top Tools for Autumn/Winter 2018

Click or tap here to read the full show notes in my blog article on ( Every month, a staggering amount of new ideas, apps and websites burst onto the scene of language learning. It can be hard to keep up, but here at the Fluent Show we've got your back. We regularly choose our list of top tools in language learning and present them to you in a special episode of the show. Listen to this to find out what apps and tools you have GOT to...


3 Useful Rules For Remembering Grammar

In today's episode I discuss the question of how to have the best memory possible for learning a langauge. There are a bunch of rules of thumb to help you work out if memorizing can help you progress from where you are right now. Speaking requires quick recall, agile thinking. Writing requires attention to detail. Rule of Thumb: Understand the concept, learn details on a need-to-know basis. Rule of Memorizing: Know the difference between cramming and acquiring. Rule of Thumb for Learning a...


How To Start An Amazing Language Journal (with Instagrammers Kathryn and Sam)

Click or tap here to get inspired with a gallery of inspiring pages from the best instagram journalers ( What if you had a language learning tool that costs you hardly anything, adapts to your own preferences, boosts your memory and helps concentration? Turns out you do, and it's probably in your bag right now: Your notebook! In this episode of the podcast, I'm joined by language lovers Kathryn and Sam who are passionate about taking...


Bored by Duolingo - What Now?

Every other week on the Fluent Show, I put aside a little time to answer your listener questions. Email your question to me at or tweet it to @thefluentshow ( Click or tap here to read the full show notes in my blog article on ( Luka asks: I have been learning Spanish for 3 months. I started learning with Duolingo and was really into it, and recently...


QUIZ! 20 European Languages In 1 Hour For European Day Of Languages

It's the European Day of Languages! Yay! Here on the show, we love to celebrate this day. 3 years ago, Lindsay and I got together to bring you a HUGE quiz (, we’ve made videos, we’ve spoken lots of European languages. We even have a European Day of Languages playlist on Spotify! And today, this special episode will bring you a quiz with a twist and you can play along. How To Play Before recording this show, Lindsay and I...


How Can I Inject FUN Into Language Learning (with Olly Richards)

In today's episode, I had planned a Q&A but what you'll hear is more of a Q&D: a question and discussion session with special guest Olly Richards from I Will Teach You A Language. You already know Olly from our recent episode documenting how we made a German course together (, but in fact he's also a language learner just like me. Click or tap here to read the full show notes in my blog article on


What To Do When You Fail To Reach Your Goals

After our live episode for number 100, we're rolling 'back to school' and reviewing summer motivation and new routines before cracking on with our topics this month. In The News We discussed this BBC news article ( about a pedantic (?) rule in French grammar...and who's trying to get rid of it. The language, ever changing, but who thought THIS untouchable rule would be questioned? How To Refresh Your Language Learning Goals In this episode we...


Help! Frustration And Mental Blocks Are Destroying My Confidence!

Listeners, this is a big question and let me tell you I wrote several pages of notes to answer it. Listener Simon from Dublin was feeling a MAJOR case of frustration and wrote in to the show. Here's some of what he said: Sometimes I just cannot seem to lock down a concept in the language I'm learning, no matter how much I try. These mental blocks can be demotivating. They force me to use simpler sentences than I know I can produce. They make me feel uncertain when trying to express certain...


Lindie Botes: Click Play For The YouTube Polyglot Community

Lindie Botes is a designer, polyglot, and popular YouTuber sharing videos with her audience of over 55,000 viewers. She loves to study languages from all over the world, including Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Hungarian. In this interview, you'll get to know Lindie and her unique language learning story, including: Growing up as a third culture kid and what that means What language learning is like in Lindie's current home country of South Africa "I don't think there's a single...