Does Putin control the popularity of the Russian language abroad?

Vladimir Putin controlls Russian language abroad

What do you imagine when you hear the word “Russia”?

  • Its beautiful cities?
  • Its vibrant society?
  • The largest country in the world?
  • The bear?
  • Vladimir Putin?
  • Ukraine?

If you are from the Western world, you probably thought of the latter points first. And it’s not the case with most other countries. Think of the word “France”. Politics isn’t the first thing that comes to mind, right? People who live far away from France will usually think of baguettes before they think of François Hollande. A bread loaf beats the president!

Not in Russia. And yet, even with that in mind, we were surprised to see how greatly politics affect the general image of Russia. It’s clearly visible on issues that have nothing to do with politics. For example, the Russian language abroad. It’s very difficult to find people willing to learn Russian! How do we know it’s because of politics? Let’s investigate.


Russian people see their country in a completely different light than we do. The Kremlin controls the media and depicts Vladimir Putin as a hero. Some even call him a tsar. Sociologists note that according to the public opinion, western model of democracy doesn’t fit Russia. Therefore, where we see aggression, Russians see righteousness and justice. Local televisions have been recently showing Ukraine more than their own country. All this to make sure that people agree with the Kremlin idea why they’re here in Ukraine in the first place. And if not, certain agents quickly deal with anyone who dares to oppose openly. Just remember all those journalists we keep hearing about. However, Russian people don’t see any problem with such methods and consider Russia a democratic country.

The Kremlin wants you not to learn Russian


We hear what you’re saying:

Wait a minute. Weren’t you talking about the Russian language abroad? How does politics even remotely relate to language learning?

Now here’s the big picture. It’s obvious that the Kremlin uses mass media to construct the Western world as something different, something other than Russia. In some cases, as an outright enemy. The same strategy can be seen in our home country, Lithuania. We often depict Russia as an enemy here, too.

Imagine that you were among those who form public opinion. How would you strengthen this idea of an enemy? You would try to show this enemy as much foreign as possible. Someone who is impossible to understand. And what’s the most basic and important factor of understanding each other? It’s language. It’s easier to make enemies among divided people who cannot understand each other, who do not speak each others’ language. So the Kremlin wants their people not to travel abroad, not to watch media other than their own. At the same time, the Kremlin wants you not to learn Russian. And they do a very good job at that, as you can see. However, if you could understand Russians, you would see that they’re the same people as us. The only difference is that they’re living in a different culture.

Russian language abroad


Are we enemies with Russians? Countries might be enemies in the political sense. People aren’t countries. The idea of an enemy is wrong. We have learnt languages with many awesome Russians, worked with them together, had many great moments. Take Katya for example. There is just one difference between these inspiring people and those who stay in Russia without any contact to the outside world. One of the things that make this difference is language, because it breaks down the walls between people and countries. So Russians learning European languages isn’t enough. We Europeans and Americans should contribute and learn Russian as well.

Because the more people in the Western world will know it, the more peaceful the world will become.

And if you need more practical reasons…


Let’s remember the basic facts that make the Russian language important to every citizen of the world. Politics excluded.

  • Russian is the 6th most spoken language in the world with roughly 270 million speakers¹.
  • It’s the most widely understood language across the Eurasia. So it’s a must for travellers in this side of the world.
  • Although official in 4 countries only, there are many other countries where Russian is more popular than any other language.
  • Few countries don’t have one or two Russian-speaking immigrant communities. So you can use this language almost anywhere.
  • It’s quite easy to learn. Especially with Bliu Bliu.
  • If you learn Russian, it will be easier to acquire other Slavic languages: Polish, Ukrainian, Slovenian, Macedonian, Czech and so on.
  • Think that’s it? Oh, far from it. Find even more reasons right here.

Are you convinced that the popularity of the Russian language abroad matters? What do you think about this situation? Let us know in the comments! And if you agree with us, then:

What are you waiting for? ;)

1 These numbers vary according to different criteria and the time of the statistic.

How to learn languages from movies and TV shows?

Learn languages from movies and TV showsThere’s nothing like learning Italian by watching a Fellini film! It’s the same with German. Or Chinese. Or whatever. You can learn languages from movies and TV shows. They make great language learning material. It’s fun and educating at the same time. The problem is that you have to know how to use this method correctly.

Have you ever been watching a film in your target language and pausing it every 5 seconds to check what that word means? Or watching with subtitles and feeling very little progress because you were just reading and not listening at all? We have. Many times.

We still learn languages from movies and TV shows. But before doing it we always ask something like this:

Should I use French dub and English subtitles? Vice-versa? French dub and French subtitles? No titles at all? Agh!

Choosing the right combination matters. It will decide whether you have any benefit from this method. So before we tell you WHERE to find suitable films and TV shows, you have to know HOW to learn from them.

How to learn languages from movies and TV shows?

Subtitles versus no subtitles.

This depends on your current language level. Skip the subs if you understand the language relatively well. (Unless you want to see how words are written. Keep in mind that you won’t learn how to write on your own in this way. To do that, you would actually have to write.) Just focus on listening. If you haven’t developed an ear for the way a language sounds, subtitles will work well for you. The important part is not to focus your attention on them. Don’t forget to listen to the speech. If you notice when the subtitles are not accurate you’re on the right path!

Combining two languages.

We understand very little when we start learning a new language. Does this mean TV shows and films can’t help at this point? You just have to combine the new language with one of those you already know! For example, watching a movie in your preferred language and using the subtitles of a new language. Sounds good? Even if it does, this is an almost useless method. That’s because you already understand everything without the subs. And the translated subtitles are usually going so fast, you have no time to compare them to what was said. It’s useful only in one way. You get to see how various words are written. This is especially useful for languages where sounds are written differently from the way they sound. Just like it is in English.


Another option to learn languages from movies is vice-versa from the previous one. The dubbing of your target language and the subtitles that you understand well. This way you can do your best to understand everything by listening. And if you don’t, you can check the subs. Of course, this won’t work if you’re just a beginner and you need to check them constantly. However, when you begin to understand a few bits on your own, you can make enormous progress. Spoken language is much harder to understand than a written text. So as a beginner you can use TV shows to get used to the way the language sounds. You can hear the pronunciation of various words and sounds. When you’re familiar with all that you will find that there’s no need to read all the time anymore!

If your level is higher, using subtitles of a familiar language can still be useful. They can help you understand the context without having to pause. Once again, don’t cheat and try to read them as little as possible! Otherwise, there will be no progress.

In short, try to watch movies and TV shows in your target language only. Remove the language that you know well as soon as you can. You will progress faster when you do it. And always keep in mind that for noticeable results a conscious effort is required.

They're speaking to you

Where to find movies and TV shows in your target language?

If Netflix isn’t available in your country, it might be difficult to find such content. There are no free sources where you could just choose any language and watch whatever you want. Well, except Bliu Bliu. You can’t upload your own videos to it yet. However, you can watch the ones that are already there. Including music videos, excerpts from TV shows or movies and so on. And they’re all available with a transcription below. You can see which words are already familiar to you and translate the ones you can’t understand.

Other than that, we had to find the useful content for each language separately. There it is:

German: You can find various local German TV shows and other programmes from the first Channel or NDR. For example, Rote Rosen.

Italian: Here are some Italian movies, some of them with English subtitles. Alternatively, you can watch Italian TV online. For example, Rai TV or archives from other TV broadcasters.

Lithuanian: You can watch many TV shows broadcasted by LRT television.

Portuguese: Many videos of various TV series are available right here. You can choose both English and Portuguese subtitles.

Sherlock Holmes

Russian: How about Sherlock Holmes in Russian? Unfortunately, only with English and Spanish subtitles. Star Media offers a lot of Russian TV shows, movies and other content with English and/or Russian subtitles.

Spanish: Watch various TV shows with both English and Spanish subtitles from Telemundo. Films and TV shows from TVE with optional Spanish subtitles are also available to the public.

Swedish: TV documentary Historieätarna is available online with English and Swedish subtitles. You can also find lots of content including TV shows on Swedish national television SVT.

If you want us to add another language to the list, let us know in the comments and we will do our best to expand it!

Remember what we told about choosing the right method and you will learn languages from movies and tv shows like a pro!

Have a good time watching!

Swedish for immigrants: what people say about it

Pippi LongstockingImmigrants love Sweden. Over 160,000 foreigners came to this country on 2015 alone. And it doesn’t seem like they’re going to stop anytime soon! This doesn’t scare the locals, though. They have quite a lot of experience on integrating immigrants into the local way of life. Above all, this means teaching them Swedish.

Is it even possible to teach so many people to speak the local language so fast?

Let’s look at the facts.


Sweden applies a plan that makes it very easy to integrate, assuming the immigrant wants to do it. It’s easy because everyone who moves to Sweden and legally declares it can learn Swedish for free. “Why learn Swedish?”, you might think. Swedes speak excellent English. Wouldn’t English be easier?

Nope, it wouldn’t.

It doesn’t have the same status as Swedish. They don’t want their own language to be overruled by another one.

Svenska för invandrareTherefore, the integration system is called “Swedish for immigrants” (SFI). People of various backgrounds and very diverse Swedish levels learn in one class. Ideally, they graduate with the basic knowledge of the language. They are then able to integrate into society and find a job much more easily. Or continue language studies by other means.

The problem is that 6 out of 10 participants never end this course. The fact that one can rejoin the course after any period of break doesn’t help. The main reason is that people find jobs before finishing the course. Some don’t find the time to attend. Others move to another location altogether. Some quit it willingly. Especially those who already speak some Swedish, so the course is too slow for them. Not all classes provide sufficient quality either.

Besides, some unfortunates have to spend years before they can get into the course! This has to do with delayed securing of the documents that are needed when applying for the course. So there is nothing they can do, even though Swedish people and officials would like to help. They agree that immigrants should start learning Swedish as soon as possible.


How do immigrants themselves feel about it? Is language learning an issue in Sweden?

According to Gabriella, one of “Swedish for immigrants” participants, the course is anything but bad.

At SFI <…> you get a class of students who become your friends. They come from all over the world, ages 20 to 60 plus, and you’ll make friends and business associates alike. It’s a fun course.

Another participant Mohamed reflects the fact that many people don’t finish the course.

SFI <…> gives you everything you need, but it’s your responsibility to take it.

There are other pros about this course. Meg, who came to Sweden from New York, says it all.

On top of finally learning the language that will open up lots of doors and break down lots of barriers, it is free. And as if that isn’t good enough…that’s not all. Since I am married and have family here and am living here instead of only here to work or go to school, I am qualified to receive a “bonus” for learning Swedish. If I <…> pass the exams within 12 months <…>, I will get a bonus of 12000 SEK ($1,800) – tax-free. I couldn’t believe it.

Swedish krona

Swedish for immigrants is not the only course available. There are courses dedicated to specific professions. For example, programmers course, where they learn both Swedish and programming in one. Adriana González, a computer engineer from Mexico says:

I enjoyed every single part of the course. Personally, it helped me meet people and communicate, and in my career, it improved my skills, and finally got me a job.

So those who want to learn Swedish and actually gets into a course doesn’t seem to have any issues. As we’ve seen, however, this is just a minority of immigrants.


Swedish people are concerned about immigration. According to European Commission, almost half of the population in Sweden think that immigration is among the most important issues today. So their opinion carries weight.

They also think that immigration from outside EU is a positive thing. They say that the work and talents of refugees make their country stronger. On the other hand, the public opinion of asylum seekers has deteriorated since the last year. The majority of people were willing to contribute to the welfare of asylum seekers in 2015. This year, only one-third are sure about it and 26 percent said “maybe”. Despite this shift Swedish locals are still the most friendly Europeans.

Swedish for immigrants

What does this mean?

It means that this integration strategy actually works. Are there issues of accessibility to the language courses? Yep. Of availability of students? You name it. Of the quality of the course? Oh, yes.

Despite all that, locals feel positive about immigrants. And vice-versa. Foreigners get jobs almost as easily as locals do. Swedish example makes it undeniable that learning the local language is the key. It unlocks doors to integration, friendship and unity among different people and cultures.

Language practice makes you speak, studying doesn’t

Language practice worksThink about something that you do really well. Your occupation? One of your hobbies? Now consider how you became so good at it. We don’t believe there is a single person who ever became really good at anything merely by studying it.

Even if it’s chess.

Even if it’s studying itself.

We learn everything by doing it, by experiencing it. No amount of books read on swimming techniques, water, human biology, anatomy and fitness will ever teach you how to swim. Even for one second.

You have to do it at least once to be able to do it. This may sound redundant, yet it’s true. The act itself is the key. Only by act does our disability turn to ability!


Bliu Bliu uses this point of view to teach languages. Not exactly by teaching, but by language practice. By providing never-ending material for your own use. Once you immerse yourself in our database, you will never have to search for learning material again!

Bliu Bliu will estimate your language level and give you texts and videos according to it. From the very moment you start using it, it will track your progress and update the material you get. Bliu Bliu never gives an extremely difficult text. Nor a text with no new words at all. You are able to mark newly learnt words to improve and track your proficiency in such a way.

Language practice with Bliu Bliu

This is by no means magic, but it works just like it! You don’t get to study grammar, to memorize lists of rules and exceptions. Forget writing your own vocabulary, which you would forget the very next day. It’s just you using and experiencing the language. And experience is easier to keep in mind than theory.


Our Challenges help to take this experience to the next level. The level of efficient language practice. We bring learners together. They talk to each other and to a native speaker. They stop dreaming about using the language and start actually using it!

It’s difficult to step out of one’s comfort zone. However, when it’s done and the speaking starts, it comes freely and easily. It comes with many mistakes too. That’s not a problem, though. Without speaking we wouldn’t know we made mistakes in the first place!

Burn your booksSo throw your boring books away! Bliu Bliu is much more than a mere book. You get material faster and it can be translated in an instant. You immediately see what you already know and what is completely new. You read texts that you like, you speak on your own, you progress much faster and, most importantly, you enjoy it!

There’s no way to learn how to cook other than trying to cook. Even if you know how much of each spice to pour in according to the book. It won’t matter by the time the kitchen’s full of smoke and the whole thing is a burnt lump of disappointment.
So stop reading about it! Come to Bliu Bliu now and start speaking your target language!

Advantages of speaking multiple languages

Advantages of speaking multiple languagesDifferent cultures coexist in the same places. So naturally, speaking multiple languages is relevant. You might have noticed that multilingual people are common these days. What’s strange is that there still are many who know only one or two languages. And they have no idea what they’re missing! That’s why this post is dedicated to you, dear monolingual. Once you know a few benefits of speaking multiple languages, you might want to take up learning a new language on your own.


The more languages we know, the more people we can communicate with. At the same time, we can easily navigate in more places around the world. Multilingual people, therefore, are more flexible and mobile than their monolingual counterparts. In this respect, the fewer languages we know, the more handicapped we are. We have fewer opportunities regarding education, career, contacts and, ultimately, access to information. Problems in foreign surroundings follow us, even if people out there are friendly towards us. We still have to understand them to be able to accept their welcome.


If we know a language, we see its culture as if we were a part of it ourselves. If a language is foreign, its culture seems barbarian too. It’s like the difference between looking towards the ground from a plane on a sunny, cloudless day and when it’s overcast. If you know the language, you see the world through it, if you don’t, you are blind towards it. Of course, foreign people can tell something about themselves in English, but only by knowing their own language can we truly understand them.

Languages are like pairs of glasses. We see everything through them. So different languages offer different perspectives on the world, on ourselves and other people. Why would we need more than one pair of glasses, you might ask? Wouldn’t we get confused by all the angles different pairs of glasses reveal? On the contrary, we get to know the broader context in which we can evaluate ourselves on a much larger scale. So the more languages we are capable of speaking, the better we can understand humanity as a whole and its differences. Every language is a unique structure of thinking. For every language acquired we gain a separate identity of our own.

Pairs of glasses


If we speak multiple languages we can compare them. Different languages use different structures of words, sentences, grammar and semantics. By knowing such differences we become aware of the structure of our own language. We can better understand what it is and how it works. Ultimately, we become better at using all the languages including our own. We can express ourselves more easily, we can think more constructively and even increase our cognitive abilities. On top of that, we can see how diverse the communication can be. And with this, we might understand how diverse the cultures are. That’s where tolerance towards different people comes from. We become less foreign to each other.


Language usage has a great impact towards the way we think because it’s mainly through the language that we do it. We can’t think about something without words in our mind, can we? They still come forth no matter how hard we try to ignore them. Therefore, multiple languages provide multiple modes of thinking. And multiple ways of thinking boost our perception of abstract ideas as well as material objects around us. That’s because we gain multiple filters through which we can interpret whatever we’re thinking or observing. For example, if we are travelling in New Zealand and come across a tree of Manoao (silver pine), we can identify it if we know English, Latin or Maori language. However, there are only a few other languages which have their own name for the tree. Manoao is nothing else but another foreign tree to them.



Science has led to a conclusion that language learning increases grey matter in the brain. Not only that, it does it faster than any other cognitive activity. In case you were wondering, grey matter is responsible for pretty much everything. For example, grey matter is related to memory. That’s why language learning is beneficial for long-term memory. We use language a lot when we memorise the words and use them in the future. On the same note, speaking multiple languages repels cognitive diseases related to old age. Yep, we’re talking Alzheimer’s, dementia and other dreaded illnesses.

The benefits of multilingualism are undeniable. Learning a new language is neither quick nor easy, but our time and effort pay off in the long run. Along with other languages, we get more possibilities in our life. We gain a better understanding of the world, human brain and humanity as a whole. We stay healthy longer. So if you were considering whether you have enough time or motivation to study a foreign language, hesitate no more. We can help with motivation and there’s no need to study 5 hours per day or spend years to learn a new language. Just give it a try! If you succeed, your life will reach a whole new level of quality.

Why are Scandinavians fluent in English?

Swedes, Danes, and Norwegians speak English very well. Their English Proficiency Index is pretty much the best in the world. If there is any competition in this field, it is among these three countries.

Scandinavians fluent in EnglishBesides, it isn’t just boring statistics. Foreigners see this for themselves the very moment they step out of the airport. Anyone who’s been to Norway, Sweden or Denmark will tell you the same thing. And even if Danes aren’t that good at their own language, they are fluent in English (no offense, venner).


But why are Scandinavians fluent in English?



One reason must be that English and Scandinavian languages belong to the same language group. The Scandinavian group is North Germanic, and English is West Germanic. That makes it easier for Scandinavians to understand this language and use it on their own. Swedish and English have over 1,000 words in common, and the sentence structure is similar in all of these languages.

Surely it must be an important factor? It’s a factor all right, but it means little. If it did, French, Spanish, and Italian people could speak all three languages, since they all belong to the same language group as well. So, while this helps Scandinavians learn English faster, it doesn’t determine the outcome. We have to name other reasons.

Scandinavian tourists


One of those could be demographic. For one, there aren’t many Swedish or Danish-speaking people in the world. Scandinavian communities in foreign countries are small. Scandinavian countries themselves aren’t that huge. English, on the other hand, is lingua franca of the western world. Knowing this language comes in handy, especially because northerners are really fond of traveling. And it’s much easier to travel when you understand English instead of just, for example, Norwegian.

Another reason could be economics. Economies of Scandinavian countries are among the largest in the world. This is partly due to English proficiency within the local population, as lots of successful international companies are based in these countries. These companies operate mainly in English, so the demand for this language in Scandinavia is very high.

English fluency percentage

Once again, however, none of these are true reasons. They only explain why Scandinavians might want to learn English, but it doesn’t explain why such an extraordinary percent of Swedes (~86-89% according to various sources) speak it so well.


The true reasons behind the Scandinavian-English phenomena are very much the same as those behind fluency in foreign languages of Bliu Bliu users!



It’s exposure! It doesn’t matter whether you are in Norway, Denmark or Sweden, you can find many American movies in cinema and American TV shows on local networks. Unlike other parts of Europe, this media is never translated. While the subtitles are provided in the local language, the soundtrack is original. And that’s not all. There’s also other media (such as music) available in English from which local people can learn. So, people in Scandinavian countries learn much just by watching TV or going to the cinema!


Another real reason is a high standard of education. Children start learning English from 6 years old in Denmark! And they learn it all the way until graduation. Time isn’t the main factor of education efficiency, though. The main factor is its quality. Most schools all around the world focus on the theory of language. However, up in the north, they focus on theory and practice. Pupils speak English during English lessons. Soon enough, they use English words in other situations, just to express their thoughts more flexibly and freely. Instead of learning grammar, they use the language and have fun with it.

Exposure to English

English is everywhere in Scandinavia, including social media, TV shows, movies, music (the most popular hits are usually English as well), video games, menus in restaurants, signs in streets, education, and international workplaces. This is precisely how we teach Bliu Bliu users to experience language because we know it works. Norwegians, Swedes, and Danes are a shining example of that. They are immersed in English often in their daily lives. They are exposed to the language. They are forced to use it, not just know it.


So, is it still surprising that most are fluent in English? Not to us. We know it’s the only possible outcome.

Languages of the future

languages of the futureIf you want to acquire another language and haven’t chosen it yet you’re probably facing a tough decision. There are over 7,000 languages in the world today! However, languages of the future won’t be the same as today. Another language might take the place of English or Arabic. Luckily for you, we can predict the future! No, there are no crystal balls involved. Just some analysis of trends in the present. Should you learn Spanish if you want to increase your employability? Let’s find out!


An important factor regarding benefits of foreign languages is its popularity. The more people speak it, the better for us. It’s just natural! As of today, the most commonly used languages are these (the numbers are an approximation including multilingual speakers):


The number of speakers doesn’t mean everything. In the world of business, languages have different values. Demographic and economic predictions conclude that by the middle of the century the most popular languages within economic centres of the world will differ from today. So if you are seeking new languages for future profit, heed this information (the numbers indicate speakers by 2050 in the countries with greatest economies of the time):

  • Chinese and Hindi (1,3B speakers each)
  • Bengali (around three-quarters of a billion)
  • Urdu, Indonesian (over 300M)
  • Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic (over 200M)
  • Russian, Vietnamese, Turkish (over 100M)
  • Farsi, Thai, Korean (over 50M)


Alternatively, if you are an aspiring academic, English remains lingua franca of the sciences. In fact, its usage is increasing over time. This is especially true in the natural sciences, while publications in humanities are released in local languages more often.

English is also the most popular language when it comes to non-academic books, journals and magazines. It is the most popular target language of translators, while Russian, Spanish, French, German and Dutch are not very far behind.


Chinese is spoken by more people than English. However, English is the most widespread language in the world! In many situations, the spread of a language matters more than anything. For example, if you are a travelling type these languages will make your life abroad much easier:

  • English (spoken in over 100 countries)
  • Arabic (around 60 countries)
  • French (around 50 countries)
  • Chinese, Spanish, Persian (around 30 countries each)

What languages will people of the future speak?Obviously, languages are not evenly distributed in different regions. Asia is home to almost one-third of all the languages of the world. Africa is not far behind. Europe, meanwhile, contains less than 5% of all the languages. It’s by far the least diverse continent in this respect (but, hey, it’s still awesome).

Speaking about distinct countries, Papua New Guinea has the most native languages in its territory. India, Indonesia, South Africa and region of Central Africa also have extremely diversely speaking populations. On the other side, you might face some problems in countries like Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica, Iceland, Colombia and Hungary. There are only one or two native languages there!

Each language has its own social, geographic and economic context which should be kept in mind when choosing a language to invest the time and endeavour in. Some of them bring greater profit statistically, but unusual choices will always open unique, though not as many opportunities. The great part is that we offer many not-so-popular languages to learn. Including the languages of the future. You won’t find online courses for them anywhere else!

So choose wisely. Ensure that your effort is paying off and not going down the drain.

New team member joins Bliu Bliu!

Our platform is 3 years old and it feels like it’s been a long journey together. However, three years is not much for a person and we like to think of Bliu Bliu as of something that’s alive and has its own spirit. In this perspective, Bliu Bliu is just a little more than a toddler! That’s good, though. Since we’re still so young, we’re walking forward restlessly, gaining new skills every day and growing very quickly!

Recently, we’ve grown in height again.

How? A new team member has joined our happy family!

Who? Someone who can use a pen and a quill! (And a text editor.)

Can you just cut to the chase? Yes! We have a new copywriter!


Meet Tomas the Copywriter

a new team member

This guy over here is responsible for writing all kinds of texts for Bliu Bliu. Like the one you’re reading right now! You don’t know it, but you probably know him already. Especially if you’ve been participating in one of Bliu Bliu challenges recently, reading our blog, getting our newsletters or visiting our Facebook page. He’s been behind many of these texts!


He says you can simply call him Tom and likes to share random facts of mythology. He’s like:

“Good morning, I’m fine too. Did you know that aboriginal people of Australia believed the world was created by ancient spirits in a series of events called Dreamtime?”

Yeah, he must be fun at parties.


And since we were sharing our summer moments with everyone, here’s one more:

summer momentsThis is a view from an observation tower deep in the eastern part of Lithuania. It’s surrounded by 3 lakes and is just one of the many observation towers in the country. Tomas visited some of them this summer! Having done that (and not for the first time), he says that the view from these towers is always magnificent, be it sunshine or rain, summer or winter.

(Who cares if the summer is over? Sunshine is forever in our hearts, so if you have anything to remember, share your own summer moments with us! It’s not too late! We’re always eager to hear from you!)

And now, if you’ll excuse us, the new team member has some more work to do.

Stay tuned!

Back to school in different parts of the world

Pencils back to schoolCongratulations with the 1st of September!

Also known as the first day of academic year and the day when pupils get back to school!

…at least here in Lithuania.

To our great surprise back to school is celebrated on different days across the glob!

So here are some fun facts about the academic traditions across the globe:

  • Lithuanian pupils come back to school on the 1st of September. It is also called Knowledge day. Many ex-Soviet Union countries share this tradition and return to school around the beginning of autumn. This includes Armenia, Estonia, Latvia, Moldova and Russia itself.
  • Many countries across the globe start schools year on the same day without celebrating the Knowledge day. Some of these are: China, Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel, Macedonia, Mongolia, Somalia.
  • Quite a few countries start academic year during late August or early September. This applies to Great Britain, France, Belgium and some countries outside Europe like Mexico and numerous states of America.
  • Danish and Finnish schoolchildren go back to school in the first half of August.
  • Greece, Italy, Iran and Turkey choose to do so in mid or late September.
  • Pupils in Australia, Kenya, Malaysia, Singapore and South Africa go back to school in January!
  • Argentina, Chile, South Korea and Uruguay begin their academic year at the beginning of March.
  • Filipino schoolchildren do so in the first half of June, a time when many of their foreign counterparts end their “work” year!


There are many reasons for such a diversity. One of the main reasons is weather and climate. Northern hemisphere tends to stick to August and September. Southern hemisphere has an inverted schedule from our point of view. Below the equator it’s usual to return to school around January or February.

It might also have a connection with farming! Traditionally, during the harvest season people needed as many hands as possible. So it was inconvenient to let the children go to school before all the work at home was done.

However, that was a long time ago. Today the reason might be related to freedom instead of work. A school-free summer makes it possible for many people to go on vacations. That’s the season when people travel the most. So culture is another variable that influences this date significantly.

Such differences make us unique! So it doesn’t matter where you live. Whether you are going back to school today, in a few weeks or have been studying for months already.

We hope you enjoy your studies and finish them as a better version of yourself!


Remember that you can always expand your limits and reach for more. So go back to school with a goal and a smile in your face!

Get the most from language Challenges

Bliu Bliu Challenges do wonders in language acquisition. They boost your motivation and set you on the right path in language learning. However, signing up and waiting for enlightenment is not enough. You have to be active, use our advices and practice often. So at the end of the day, no matter how we try to make sure that you learn, it’s up to you how much you get out from our language Challenges.

get the most out of language challenges

Here are essential tips that will help you to get the most from a Challenge.

Quality over quantity

We advise that during a Challenge you should spend at least 10 to 20 minutes a day practicing a language of your choice. So make sure that every minute spent doing Challenge tasks counts. 10 minutes of focused attention using Bliu Bliu is better than 30 minutes of reading a text while daydreaming simultaneously. If you’re focusing on time and not on your effort you’re wasting time and energy. Keep checking yourself. And if it’s really hard to focus, take a break. This brings us to our second point.

Set moderate goals and don’t strain yourself

You might be inspired to use your target language for 2 hours every day of your Challenge. However, it will take enormous effort to keep up with such a load in the long run.

We like to set ambitious goals for ourselves, for example, to read for an hour every day. It is natural that such a goal is very hard to keep. Eventually an hour would become 30 minutes and even less and this would make us disappointed with ourselves. But there really is no reason to feel so.

So control your excitement at the beginning, start by learning for 30 minutes or an hour at max. Think realistically how long you will be able to spend throughout the 30 days. Take moderate steps towards your goal. If you start leaping forward you will get tired, dissatisfied and unable to continue very soon. Have patience and don’t let your excitement imprison your mind.

Language learning is like stacking stones

Language learning is like stacking stones. You need some patience.

Set process-related goals

Goals like “increase my word counter on Bliu Bliu by 30 every day” might not do. It only suggests that you should push 30 red words to make them white. Instead, you should focus on actually seeing and hearing those words in different context as much as possible. Don’t worry over exact number of words learnt, exact seconds spent reading or exact number of pages covered. Just set a time that you will spend reading, speaking or listening actively with focused attention. With your mind ON THE TASK. You will learn those 30 words faster without worrying about them all the time. And if you learn no more than 29 or even 19 – that’s amazing too!

Afraid to leave the comfort zone

Focus on building a habit

Short sessions of learning are easier to turn into a habit than long ones. And getting into a habit of practicing your target language is absolutely crucial. Without a habit of practicing on a regular basis you will find it difficult to continue excelling in your target language after the Challenge is over. However, if you get into a habit of practicing at least 10 minutes every day, you will continue progressing and you will never forget what you’ve learnt so far. 

A short time every day beats long sessions two times per week. So if you don’t complete every single task on a Challenge you won’t necessarily fail. But you will fail if you don’t do at least a bit every single day.

Step out of your comfort zone

Step out of it now. Expanding your boundaries is never easy. However, once you start doing it, it will get easier and easier over time. That’s one of the main goals of our Challenges. They encourage you to do things that you wouldn’t do otherwise. Afraid to talk to natives in their language? Can’t imagine yourself singing in it? Bliu Bliu Challenge is a perfect place to test yourself, to expand your skills and boost your confidence. If you don’t push yourself to your limits during the Challenge, there’s no telling when you will. If you ever will. So don’t miss a chance to find new language learning methods and techniques. 

Don’t get used to one activity. Experiment!

Bliu Bliu Challenges offer all kinds of tips and suggestions on how to learn a target language. Don’t just stick to reading various topics on Bliu Bliu. Read our daily Challenge tasks and newsletters. They contain something new every day. Some people learn better by watching videos, others by listening, speaking or writing. Try everything you can, especially things you’ve never tried before. When you find what works best for you, do it often, but don’t forget all the other methods either. Maybe you’ll find some combinations and habits that will work even better in a  long run!

The joy of experimenting

Use the opportunity to learn with other people

Bliu Bliu Challenges bring dozens of people together. People from all around the world who have a common goal and can help each other in achieving that goal. Challenges are, in fact, built in a way that significantly depends on communication among participants.

There are many things you can learn from other people even if their language level is lower than yours. For example, a different perspective towards various aspects of a language. Different ideas on how to learn and what to try. Also, motivation. It’s always easier to learn with others rather than on your own. You can also learn from the experience and mistakes of others. You don’t have to search for people to practice writing or speaking with. They’re always by your side. And most importantly, people in your Challenge group can easily become your friends! Who doesn’t want to have friends from around the world? Just imagine travelling to your new friends’ countries.

Talk to your native Challenge host

After all, languages exist so that people could share information. One can only learn a language by using it for what it’s supposed to be used. While it is important to practice with other practitioners, talking to natives have clear benefits. Natives know lots of useful phrases and idioms, they use slang and can teach you quite a bit about proper pronunciation. Hence every Challenge has a host, a native speaker who is there for you. They will greatly increase your listening skills. They will challenge you to really dig into your current knowledge and expand it as you try to come up with an answer in just a moment’s notice.

So if talking to native speakers is intimidating for you, it should be easier after you complete a Challenge. So talk to your host and make yourself heard. After talking to a native in such a goal-oriented environment, it should be easy to start talking to other native people as well.

language learning determination

So now you know how to get the most out of Bliu Bliu’s 30 days language Challenges!

Remember these tips and you will be able to speak your target language by DAY 30, no matter your current level.

Go to Bliu Bliu Challenges, pick one and start your journey!

Don’t forget that until 1st of September all the Challenges cost less than half of their worth, just €49.99! So NOW is your best chance to sign up!

Bliu Bliu Challenges