google translate and language learning

This video explaining google translate is quite relevant to language learning. Our brains are better than computers at discovering patterns.Our brains are also better at discovering patterns than learning rules. The odd bit of grammar or vocabulary review can always help us become more attentive, but mostly we just need a lot of exposure to the language.

iPad in Europe

My data plan with my iPad is as follows. I pay $15 monthly for 250 MB (or could pay $35 for 5 GB if I needed it) of data with my 3G iPad. I will be in Europe end Sept to Dec 1. Are similar plans available from European telecoms, and will they work with my iPad? Do I need a different sim card? Can I buy these cards in Europe? I would appreciate any advice.

Beginner videos for French at LingQ.

We hope that our new expanded Lessons page, aimed mostly at beginners, will start up next week. There will be many more resources for learners, translations, notes, pin yin for Chinese, etc. as well as videos.

I have been experimenting with how best to do these videos. I think it is especially important to help beginners, some of whom have trouble starting from scratch at LingQ.

Please let me know what you think of my latest efforts.

These are three videos that would be accessible from the lesson page of the French Greetings and Goodbyes series.
Lesson # 1
Lesson # 2
Lesson # 3

The idea is to do these for all beginner lessons in all languages, eventually.

In our next update of LingQ it will be possible to attach a video to all lessons. It will be up to the LingQ content providers, or for those of us who are LingQ Administrators, to upload the videos. We cannot do all the videos here at LingQ so we will be looking for help from those of you have good ideas about videos that can help especially beginner learners or make the lessons more interesting for everyone.

I will be traveling in Europe in the fall. Any language meet ups possible?

It is my 65th birthday in October and my wife and I will be driving around Europe in the fall.

It looks like our route will look something like this, but very much subject to change. Any LingQers or non-LingQer language keeners on our route?

Sept 25-26 Le Havre?? (wood business related activity in France )
Sept 29 Stuttgart
Sept 30 – Oct 3 Eichstaett near Munich CLIL language conference (
Oct 3-5 driving from Eichstaett to Braga, Portugal
Oct 5-16 various locations in Northern and Central Portugal; language seminars in association with the University of Minho (
Oct 17-26 drive from Portugal via Marbella, Barecelona, to Marseille
Oct 26-30 Sardinia and Sicily
Oct 30- Nov 15 Southern Italy
Nov 15- Dec 1 Central and Northern Italy on to Munich.

In praise of the early Canadians.

I have been reading a book on Canadian history, Canada?? A People’s History, and am quite impressed with the statesmanship and courage of the native Indians, the spirit of adventure and stoicism of the early French-Canadians, who arrived from Europe and threw themselves into exploring the North American wilderness, and the entrepreneurship and determination of the early Scottish explorers like MacKenzie and Thomson, who explored to the Pacific.

While the First Nations people, French and British have often competed with each other and fought, it is the interaction of these founding people that has created that Canada that we enjoy today.

Language learning as a competitive sport

There is no language that I speak that I have not enjoyed learning. There is no language that I have learned that I do not want to spend more time with. As long as we are enjoying the language, we are learning and improving. We would we want to compete with other learners in terms of how fast we have learned, or how well we speak, the languages that we have learned.