Just like how I learned my first language

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Ciao Bliu Bliu!

Your site has now become a daily routine for me.
I love the simple and non pressuring method. This allows me to familiarize with the new language just like how I learned my first language when I was younger.
My favorite is the drilling and the music videos. I used to go to youtube and open the lyrics site, but this allows me to listen, watch and read on the same page.
I wish google translate was more accurate but that’s an added challenge I guess
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Take That Tech to UK

Last week we were invited by UK Trade & Investment at the British Embassy in Helsinki with 9 other startup from Scandinavia and the Baltics.
Take That Tech to UK was very well organized, we met lots of interesting people and WE WON a ticket to London Technology Week 2015.
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Here our pitch at the British Embassy in Helsinki

Quality is not the best but some higher quality version might come next month.

Talking about this

http://sc.bns.lt/view/item.php?id=174108

http://www.baltic-course.com/rus/good_for_business/?doc=99172

http://www.arcticstartup.com/2014/11/25/top-10-startups-ready-to-expand-to-the-uk

This is the inspiring message we got from Nicole Yershon at the end of the event
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Languages, Music, Photography, Nature

Today we are really please to introduce you to Andrew Williams – not only a polyglot with more than 60 languages under the belt, but also an extraordinary person with such a beautiful story to share.

Who are you and where have you lived in the last 12 months

My name is Andrew Henry Williams. I live basically in England, UK, but in the last 12 months I have spent time in Germany, Denmark, Singapore, Australia, Dubai, Netherlands, Belgium and Italy, sometimes more than once.
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What languages do you speak?

I speak 10-20 or so fairly well, but I have worked on over 60.
I can work up the others to speaking levels, if required.

Languages are just a hobby or you make money out of them?

I sometimes make money out of them. They are more than a hobby, they are a deep part of my being and daily life.

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Tell us something about your First Time.

I grew up bilingual with English/Hindustani/Hindi, I don’t know if that counts as First Time. I went to a wonderful primary school in Calcutta/Kolkata, India, where I also started Latin (Latin with Laughter was the textbook), French and German. After that, the first language I chose to study on my own was Italian, when I went to Rome on a school trip in 1963, aged 15.

Any terrible experience? Like a language you could not learn and you gave up…

I NEVER give up! But I am struggling at present with understanding spoken Danish and speaking it. Reading it is no problem. I used to speak it quite well 40+ years ago. Since then I have learnt and used Swedish a lot, and coming back to Danish I find it has changed a great deal. Those two things seem to put a block on my path to recovering spoken Danish, so far. But I will keep trying!

What about an “easy” experience

Italian, but only in the early stages.

Why languages and not…..

I do and am interested in loads of other things, languages help with them, as well as being interesting in themselves.
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Do you have a mentor? Does anybody inspire you?

No prime mentor, except that I am inspired by anyone who can speak or knows anything!

Do you have a secret weapon to learn languages?

Not that I know of.

Can you share with us your language learning routine?

I use every method possible. Generally if I want to learn a new language I get something like Teach Yourself X or the Colloquial series and work through that, trying not to go too fast. Very important to hear and speak as much as possible, to chew and eat the words till they become part of my being, not just to read with the eyes. Finding a native speaker who can help (not always easy) in the right way, is good. Repetition, better to do 5″ a day than 2 hours a week ( though that is how I learnt Japanese in a very good immersion class 25 years ago!).

Do you try to read/watch content at your level? Is it easy to find?

Yes, I try to read, watch and hear as much as I can.

Your final words: share anything you want with our passionate community of language lovers.

Just keep at it! I sagged in my middle years when I paid less attention to languages and learning or maintaining them, but at 67 I have come back to them fulltime now. Finding the wonderful Polyglot Gathering in Berlin have been a terrific boost and encouragement to me, and a confirmation that one was on the right path all along, if a bit alone, with only a few companions on the road. Now I know there are loads of us around!
Ciao

Andrew

 

Find out more

Check out this beautiful interview of Andrew at ActualFluency.com

Natalia – Passion for Foreign Languages

I met Natalia at the Polyglot Conference in Novi Sad. I am always impressed when a foreigner can speak Italian as good as a native, sometimes even better than I do.

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Who are you and where have you lived in the last 12 months?

My name is Natalia Ursu. I am a student of foreign languages. For the last 12 months I have lived in Udine, Italy.

What languages do you speak?

I speak Russian, which is my mother tongue, Serbian, Italian, English and currently I’m studying French at the university.

Languages are just a hobby or you make money out of them?

Since I’ve moved to Montenegro at the age of 12 I discovered that studying languages is actually easy. I don’t remember when exactly, but I decided that one day I’ll be studying foreign languages. I can’t say that for me studying languages is a hobby, it’s more like preparation for my future job. It’s great when you can make money out of something you love.

Tell us something about your First Time.

My first time? :) Well, despite of difficulties I had by moving to a completely different country it was an amazing experience for me, which inspired me to move on with languages. The first foreign language I’ve learnt was Serbian. I didn’t use any particular techniques, I simply started to go to school, to speak with native people and I did it. Now I consider Serbian my second mother tongue.
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Any terrible experience? Like a language you could not learn and you gave up…

I usually never give up, but if I do it’s because I don’t really want to do something. I’ve never started to study a language by my own, every language I speak I learnt it by living in the country where it’s spoken.
As for me, it’s the best way to get to know a language.

Why languages and not…..

I like this question.. :) I believe that’s the only thing I’m really good at :)

Do you have a mentor? Does anybody inspire you?

I don’t have a mentor and nobody to inspire me but myself. It’s a great feeling when you’re able to speak a foreign language like it was your native.

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Do you have a secret weapon to learn languages?

Absolutely not. I think there’s no secret weapon, you just read, listen to the music, watch the movies and the most important, you speak to people.

Can you share with us your language learning routine?

I don’t have a routine when it’s about learning languages, because, like I said before, every language I’ve learnt, I did it because of living in the country where it’s spoken. I lived in Montenegro for seven years so I speak Serbian, now I live in Italy for two years. My next place will be somewhere in France :)

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Do you try to read/watch content at your level? Is it easy to find?

The language I’m trying to learn currently is French, so yes, I’ve already read some books in French, I listen a lot to French music, and I regularly watch movies in French without subtitles. I can say that it’s very useful and it helps a lot!

Have you already used Bliu Bliu? :)

Not really :) I discovered it a few days ago and I think I’ll use it to improve the languages I already speak.

Your final words: share anything you want with our passionate community of language lovers.

If you want to communicate with people of a different culture, if you want get other people to know your culture, the traditions of your country – the foreign languages are absolutely the best way to do it!

There is an Serbian adverb that says: “ Bogat si onoliko koliko jezika znaš” which means: “ You are as rich as many languages you know”.
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How can people get in touch with you…

You can find me on facebook :)
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100006672648873

The Mello Method

Jimmy Mello is the inventor of the Mello Method, a revolutionary approach to language learning and language teaching. We met Jimmy at the Polyglot Gathering in Berlin where he shared his insights on how to be a better teacher.

Who are you and where have you lived in the last 12 months?

I am Jimmy, I was born in Brazil and in spite of traveling quite a lot, I have never lived abroad.
In Brazil I run a language school and I write language books.

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What languages do you speak?

It is a hard question, to answer it properly we really need to discuss some issues. As many people know, there are many controversial forms to measure and determine our fluency levels, so I am going to define my fluency in terms of what I can do in the language:
1- I can travel, teach and live comfortably in countries which languages are Portuguese, English, Spanish, Italian and French.
2- I can interact with people, exchange information and pass a week in places that speak Catalan, Polish, Russian and Esperanto.
3 – I can order a coffee and read some basic things in German, Norwegian and Greek.
4- I am currently learning Mandarin, Hindi and Japanese
But I have already come across many other languages, but keeping them has been a difficult thing for me.

Languages are just a hobby or you make money out of them?

Languages started as a hobby, and they are still my favorite hobby. As I live in the country of soccer, people usually get confused when I tell them that my hobby is learning languages, but I am a truly language addicted.
I cannot separate my life from languages, 60% of my day is dedicated to teach them and the other 40% I use to learn them. So, I cannot imagine my life without them. Can you imagine your life without air or water? So, this is how I feel about them.
I hold two university degrees: Linguistics and Pedagogy, so I am definitely involved with languages, so all my income comes from them.

Tell us something about your First Time.

My first contact with languages was at school learning English, and this was a terrible experience, that is, bad books, bad teachers, bad resources. Despite this bad experience I really felt that thing was for me, so I didn’t count on what I was receiving from the school, and I started to look for everything that I could related to this issue.

Any terrible experience? Like a language you could not learn and
you gave up…

Yes, for me Hungarian was a wall that I could not overcome. Despite trying hard I simply could not understand or even produce easy sentences. I really think that I was missing motivation to learn it, so I gave up.

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What about an “easy” experience

Even not having a good level of them I really enjoy learning Catalan and Esperanto.

Why languages and not…..

There is a Czech proverb that says “You live a new life for every new language you speak. If you know only one language, you live only once.”
I really like to live many languages and have a new perspective of life through any of them.

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Do you have a mentor? Does anybody inspire you?

Yes, when I started learning a language and decided to be a polyglot, because more than a gift, this is a decision. When I was a child there was a polyglot that was every now and again on Brazilian television, and he is the polemic and criticized Ziad Fazah. He inspired me a lot when I started! Nowadays, for sure, Richard Simcott and Benny Lewis.

Do you have a secret weapon to learn languages?

Yes, I have. I will tell it only for you, but do not spread it, it’s a secret!
Dedication and commitment. There is a quote that I usually use with my students: “Difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved; the pig is committed.” So, to learn a language you have to be really committed and put it in your routine, be the pig and put your life on it.

Can you share with us your language learning routine?

It is very easy:
I wake up at 6:00am and go to bed at 11:00pm. I usually teach from 6 to 9 hours daily: English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and French, teaching a language is the best way to maintain a language. As I am also an author, I usually take from 5 to 10 hours weekly to write, update and improve my teaching methods.

Between the lessons I teach I usually study other languages. I usually take one language a day, including skype lessons with native speakers.
On Monday: Hindi,
Tuesday: Polish,
Wednesday, Mandarin,
Thursday: Hindi,
Friday: Japanese.
Saturday is a very busy day at school, so I do not study languages, only teach them.
And on Sunday I sleep the whole day lol, lol, lol.

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Do you try to read/watch content at your level? Is it easy to find?

I love reading and listening in the language I am studying, my first reading is always “the little prince” because as I know the story I think is really easy to collect and learn new words, it is almost effortlessly. But I have to admit that it is not very easy, so I usually start with YouTube, and after I ask for help, but simply by asking native speakers.

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Have you already used Bliu Bliu? :)

Yes, and I loved it. It is a very intelligent and useful tool. I would say that it saved me time. First I started with Polish, but I found it a little bit hard in the beginning, but after getting used to the system I really loved the method used by Bliubliu website.

 

Your final words: share anything you want with our passionate
community of language lovers.

Never give up. If you really love one thing, it does not matter what it is, never give up. If anyone says you are not going to reach your goal, do not believe it! I can assure that 99% of the losers are losers only because they gave up before reaching the goal, don’t be a loser, don’t give up.

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How can people get in touch with you…

I am an internet guy, so it is easier to get in touch over internet. I run several websites, over 25. But I am actively involved in Mello Method Organisation that is www.mellomethod.com, my blog that is www.brazilianpolyglot.com and my new project that is MyPolyglot still under construction that is www.mypolyglot.com or even its sister site, www.mypolyglot.tv that indents to be a TV channel for the best Polyglot Videos. It is always a pleasure to get new friends and followers on Facebook.com/jimmymelloreal and twitter.com/jimmymello

Love Discipline and Patience – Luis Miguel

I met Luis Miguel at the International Polyglot conference in Novi Sad, Serbia.
His lecture was one of the most interesting (you can check the video down on this page)
Read this interview to see how the passion for languages can completely transform your life.

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Who are you and where have you lived in the last 12 months

My name is Luis Miguel Rojas-Berscia. I am an Italo-Peruvian polyglot linguist, currently doing my PhD studies within the Language in Interaction Consortium at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics and the Centre for Language Studies at Radboud University Nijmegen. In the last 12 months my life has been pretty much shared by the Amazon, Tierra del Fuego, the North-Peruvian desert and the Netherlands. I live in a city called Nijmegen near the German border but I spend at least some months a year in the Upper Amazon, working with an undersdescribed language called Shawi.

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What languages do you speak?

This is actually one of the most difficult questions a polyglot can face. I have three mother tongues: Castilian, Tuscan (Italian), and Piedmontese, and I am fluent in English, French, Esperanto, Mandarin Chinese, Romanian, Portuguese, German, Catalan, Dutch, Southern Quechua and Shawi. I am conversational in Galician, Selk’nam, Russian and Japanese, and I have a good grammatical command of Ancient Greek and Latin, something which is very useful when dealing with classics.

Moreover, I have a decent grammatical command of languages such as Korean, Sanskrit, Frisian, Hebrew, Persian, Swabian, Paleo-Babylonian, Awaruna, Ligurian, Icelandic, Cantonese and Hakka.

Luis Miguel interviewed on TV about speaking a lot of languages (in Spanish)

Languages are just a hobby or you make money out of them?

Languages are my life. I always say learning languages is just my hobby but I happen to make money from my knowledge of some of them, for instance Mandarin Chinese, when I worked as a teacher at the Confucius Institute in Lima.

I love teaching. There is nothing better than getting my two life passions together: teaching and language learning.

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Tell us something about your First Time.

I do not even remember when that actually happened…I studied in a bilingual school and picked up English since very young (3-4 year old). I do not even remember how I learnt this language. It simply happened and I am happy it was that way.

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Any terrible experience? Like a language you could not learn and you gave up…

I try not to give up with any language I learn, but, come on, no one is perfect. That happened to me with Sanskrit. I am still struggling with some grammatical aspects of that language. I hope I will be good at it soon and be able to read classics in that language as with Latin and Ancient Greek.

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What about an “easy” experience

I had two very easy experiences: Portuguese & Esperanto. I learnt Portuguese in less than a week talking to friends from Portugal and then from Brazil. As a native speaker of Spanish most grammar is already there, you just have to struggle a bit with false-friends and some non-existent constructions in your language. Esperanto was “a piece of cake”. Its regularity can make any language learner, either with or without background, pick it in less time than any other language. This also let me get in touch with the Esperanto community and meet lots of people who eventually became my friends and prospective language teachers. It was one of the most beautiful language learning experiences I have ever had.

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Why languages and not…..

Language is an exclusive capacity, no other beings in the planet being able to convey meaning in the way we do. Languages are the tools of this capacity and they conceptualise the world according to what people want to say about their environment and living conditions. In think learning languages is the best way to get to know people a little bit beyond the screens of our national tv stations, our streets and our countries. Multiple language learning is the key for an “inclusive” way of thinking.

I would not encourage people to leave their passions for languages. Each one of us has his/her own thing. Learning languages was my passion and I decided to leave other possible paths: becoming a tennis player, an actor, or a hotel manager. I think it is not the matter of what is best, but what you actually prefer.

Luis Miguel Rojas Berscia – Pure Linguistics – from the International Polyglot Conference in Novi Sad

Do you have a mentor? Does anybody inspire you?

Yes. I had several mentors throughout my life: Mg.Pablo Carreño, my Latin teacher, Dr. José León, my Classical Greek teacher, Prof. Sorin Rîpă, my Romanian teacher, Prof. Rainer Grimm, my German teacher and Dr. Roberto Zariquiey, my BA supervisor. They all taught me many things about life and language. I will always be thankful to them. I have always been inspired by the work of Prof. dr. Cerrón-Palomino on Andean languages, Prof. dr. Mario Montalbetti on generative syntax, Prof. dr. Stephen Levinson on pragmatics, Prof. dr. Pieter Muysken, for his work on Andean languages and language diversity in South America. I am especially thankful to the last two. They are my current mentors and supervisors in my PhD track.

Do you have a secret weapon to learn languages?

The best weapons to learn languages are love, discipline and patience.

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Can you share with us your language learning routine?

I actually do not believe in language learning routines. I tried some of them though. As with poetry, I think that the best moment to learn a language is when you actually have the will to do it. If you are tired and hesitant of doing it, then it’s maybe better to leave it for another occasion. Real learning only happens when we are really motivated.

Do you try to read/watch content at your level? Is it easy to find?

I always try to read and watch content at my level. I must admit it is not an easy task, especially since I have to maintain several languages and improve the ones I’m still half-way through. Nowadays, though, it is easier to find all sorts of materials online. No one can say that there are not enough learning materials for Western languages in the cloud. That issue, however, is different for Asian and American languages. I hope we linguists and language teachers start producing more content in these languages in order to cope with that lack.

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Have you already used Bliu Bliu? :)

Yes, I am actually using it to learn some Serbian

Your final words: share anything you want with our passionate

Community of language lovers. If you want to learn a language, do not stress. That is the worst thing to do. Just take your language book, computer or language pal to the place you feel more comfortable in. Take a cup of tea or whichever beverage you prefer and start with the basics. Never frustrate if you make mistakes. Mistakes are actually the best part of language learning: they show how beautiful the language capacity can be and they help us learn the irregularities of some of our target languages. Just relax and enjoy what you are doing

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How can people get in touch with you…

They can send me an email to: luismiguel.berscia@mpi.nl or l.rojasberscia@let.ru.nl

They can also check my blog: http://blog.pucp.edu.pe/linguistiqueando, although it is still a bit outdated.

I will be more than happy to share my experiences with other language enthusiasts and answer their questions.

More videos

Naša Snajka

I met Martine/Naša Snajka at the Airport in Belgrade. We were both going to the Polyglot Conference in Novi Sad: language love at first sight. The more I listened to her story the more I was captured…and wanted to know more.
If you love languages, these are going to be the best 5 minutes of your day :)

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Who are you and where have you lived in the last 12 months

My name is Martine Alonso Marquis, but a lot of people call me Martina Španjolka. Apart from this, the question about “who I am” gives me existential sweats! :) On Twitter I described myself as a “balkanized euro-globalista”, whatever I meant with this! I am passionate about life in general, politics (even though it often gets on my nerves) and all forms of art (although I am a newbie in this field). Mastering languages gives me a way to communicate my emotions. Freedom is very important to me. This is why, in the last 12 months, I’ve been mostly flying like a bird, between Paris, Brussels and Serbia, among others.

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What languages do you speak?

If you ask me to repeat after you like a parrot, I think I can speak pretty much any language decently ;) . But on my own, I can speak about 7 languages: French, English, Spanish, German, Serbian, Slovenian and Albanian (in which I am least fluent). Also, since the wars of dissolution of Yugoslavia, some people have tried very hard to make us believe that Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian and Montenegrin are separate languages. They do this for political reasons, but I refuse to play their game. To my own disadvantage, because by considering them as separate languages, I could say I speak 10 languages instead of 7 ;) I also don’t consider my mother tongue “québécois” to be a separate language from French, even though French people can barely understand us. All in all, I always try to focus on what we have in common, rather that on our differences.

First episode of Naša Snajka

Languages are just a hobby or you make money out of them?

Languages are definitely not a hobby. For me, they are rather a life style. An integral part of who I am. I don’t “make money” directly with them, as I am not a teacher of languages or do not have any lucrative activities that involves the selling of languages services. However, I think that I got where I got in life at least partly because of my knowledge of foreign languages. It had a huge positive impact on my career.
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Tell us something about your First Time.

The first time, I was about 6 or 7 years old and got all freaked out when my dad told me we were going to Florida and visit Disney Land. I knew that Mickey Mouse spoke English, because I had seen him in Disney movies. I asked my dad, in a frightened voice “But how am I going to speak to Mickey Mouse? I don’t speak English!” My dad’s answer was “of course you speak English”. And he was right. Without even noticing, I had been watching English television and movies from my early childhood and also communicating with English-speaking relatives. In Disneyland, I met Mickey Mouse, but also Goofy and Cinderella and could test my English skills on them.

Any terrible experience? Like a language you could not learn and you gave up…

I learned Greek for two years as a young adult. I actually loved it and made very quick progress. I was among the best students of my class, even though I was the only one there without Greek origins. I was even awarded a prize by the Hellenic Studies Center of Montreal. But for some reason, when the course ended, I didn’t continue with Greek. I went to Greece only once and have not been very much in contact with Greek culture ever since. The terrible experience was not to learn Greek but rather to realize I had forgotten it completely.

What about an “easy” experience

Learning German as a 17 year old, without ever taking a German class or having a look at a grammar book. I just went to Germany and lived a complete immersion for 13 months.

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Why languages and not…..

I had never really thought about active language learning before meeting with polyglots from all over the world at an international conference in Novi Sad, Serbia. For me, languages are a natural thing. They are a part of my life, like the air I breath, and the food I eat. They come in rather easily. I find it much more difficult to dedicate to sports, for example ;) .

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Do you have a mentor? Does anybody inspire you?

I don’t have one particular mentor, but I generally try to surround myself with inspiring people. I am happy to have been inspired by the polyglot community very recently.

Do you have a secret weapon to learn languages?

Lots of love, curiosity, open-mindedness, and a sip of local alcohol ;)

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Can you share with us your language learning routine?

Immersion, even if partial, is the best language learning routine I can think of.

Do you try to read/watch content at your level? Is it easy to find?

I do it every day. I watch television series, read books and articles. As I don’t speak very exotic languages, content is very easy to find. It’s all over the internet. And when you live in a city like Paris, you can find native speakers at every street corner.

Have you already used Bliu Bliu? :)

I just discovered Bliu Bliu and it will be my best ally for learning Italian!

Martine Alonso Marquis and Branislav Sovilj – Acting and humour in a foreign language

Your final words: share anything you want with our passionate
community of language lovers.

Find the best way to connect on an emotional level with the languages you wish to learn. Find new friends, discover new music, or a new film director. With passion, all will be easier. Don’t learn a language because you think it will be good for your CV. Do it out of love.

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How can people get in touch with you…

Check out my comedy web-series in Serbian language (with subtitles in many languages). It’s called Naša Snajka (Our daughter-in-law) and it tells the life of a young Parisian who is married to a Serb and has to deal with intercultural challenges and the language barrier.
You will find it on You Tube: www.youtube.com/NashaSnajka
You can also follow it on Facebook: www.facebook.com/snajche
And drop me an e-mail at nasha.snajka@gmail.com

The Latest Episode

Berlin Residency

The Berlin residency is over

We spent 3 beautiful months here in Berlin working together with the EIT ICT Labs.

This experience really helped us shaping our company, clarify lots of ideas and getting ready to growth.