Time… and trip!

Wow, I haven’t posted anything in almost a year now. I haven’t been very active lately in my language learning journey, one of the reasons being that I’m working full time for the summer and I’m just recovering from a pharyngitis. Plus I’m not going to renew my Lingq subscription and the reason for that is that I need money. I need money because I’m going to go to Morocco! That’s right, one of my friends whom I work with is from Morocco and came to Canada through a program by McDonald’s (yes, I work at McDonald’s) and is going back to Morocco for a couple of weeks and invited me to come with him. I’m really excited. I mean, the last time (and the only time) I visited another country was like in 2008, I was 12 and we went to Walt Disney in Florida. Of course it was fun, but it’s going to be a totally different thing to go to Morocco. I will stay in Casablanca for about two weeks. I’m leaving at the end of July, it’s going to be great! I’ll try to write a little something everyday on WordPress of my trip as a diary to remember this experience for all my life.

Any comment, suggestion or advice would be greatly appreciated, I’m a novice traveler!

And as always, feel free to correct my mistakes, I’m here to learn!


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La ville aux cent clochers

I just moved to Montreal, I also just started school. Montreal is very different from the city I was raised in, it is much more multicultural and I love it!

Before actually moving to Montreal I spent a few days with my girlfriend in Montreal in a more English speaking place and I have to say that it is a rather strange experience because I had always been used to being surrounded by French basically everywhere, but there, you still see French everywhere, but you almost solely hear English, it is really cool actually. English is definitely the easiest language to learn here because it is very easy to find native speakers, like my girlfriend.

Maybe three days after I moved, there was a man sitting at a table with his wife, when I walked by him he asked me to help him with the pronunciation of certain French words. I love to share my knowledge, whatever it is.


Always feel free to correct my mistakes, I’m here to learn!

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Private Immersion

I started to love English maybe 2 or 3 years ago, and since then I try to improve my English as much as I can and one of the things I did to become better was to change all my life to English: I changed my computer to English I started watching movies or videos only in English and most importantly I started thinking in English. Thinking in English helped me so much, even though it doesn’t make you discover new words it helps you feel the language. I stopped being a French Canadian, I became an English Canadian. I definitely still have a lot to learn, but I overcame the hardest part, the “feeling” part, I can understand English without thinking. The only way, to me, to overcome this difficulty is to spend time with the language, there’s no point in trying to find the best learning program, you will just waste time, trust me on that. The Internet is the best place to learn a new language if you can’t actually go to the country where the language is spoken. Good luck to everyone who is learning a new language!

Always feel free to correct my mistakes, I’m here to learn!


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Speaking English in Québec

After years of oppression by the mean “English”, the Québécois people lives in fear, at least it is what I reckon. Laws have been put in place so French could become the only official language of Québec and, if you can’t get service in French or if French is not the main language used for labelling, menus, signs and whatnot, the business is considered illegal, I’m not going to say what I think about this. 78,1% of Québec’s population considers itself as francophone and 7,7% as anglophones. Now, the biggest city in Québec is Montréal and 47,6% of the population is not francophone. While I think it is awesome to have a multilingual capital, some people seem to think the opposite, but that’s not the point. If you speak English here, and I say that because of what I’ve seen/heard, you have more chance of being bullied (I don’t know about adults, but it can be found amongst kids and teenagers). I think bilingualism is the future and we should do everything we can as a society to become a bilingual nation.

Always feel free to correct my mistakes, I’m here to learn!


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Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit

Names of Germany in Europe

In French we say Allemagne, in English we say Germany and in german it’s Deutschland.

I always thought it was a bit weird to name countries differently from how the people who live there call it. Because of its recent unification, Germany is named in various ways throughout the world. Deutsch comes from the Old High German Diutisc and both Allemagne and Germany come from Latin. I wonder if it’s going to change, maybe one day people will start to say the “real” name, I don’t know. Anyway, it’s a fun fact about Germany!

Always feel free to correct my mistakes, I’m here to learn!

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Advanced language learners can test their English, German or Spanish proficiency in 3.5 minutes here using LEXTale

What is your score?

Thomas' Work Space

Update: A new version of the Spanish vocabulary test is here, and the English vocabulary test has been updated here.

Go here and click English or German, or  (also requiring only 3.5 minutes to take, but more for  manually grading your test with this answer key) go here for Spanish, if you want to to take a simple quick vocabulary test that has been shown to correlate well with general proficiency.  You can find more info here on English and German, and here on Spanish.

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In French, we have what we call an accent circonflexe, which is usually sign of  a former s that was erased during the evolution of French.

Modern French form: Forêt, hôpital, côte;

Older form: forestis, hospitalis, costa.

This is very interesting because in English we have a lot of those French-origin words but still with the s: forest, hospital, coast.

Some day, I was pondering the word guêpe (wasp), I tried to find by myself the old version of this word, guespe? guespa? guazpacho? I looked it up in the wonderful Antidote (French dictionary software) and I found that it actually comes from the Frankish word waspa, which comes from the Latin word vespa… wait what?! Waspa? Like, like wasp? How on Earth can guêpe and wasp
both have the same root? I was literally flabbergasted!

Ah English, you never stop surprising me!

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