Easy and difficult languages

Language world map

The United States Foreign Services Institute groups languages into four categories, according to the average time required for an English-speaking learner to become proficient in them. For example: 24 weeks: Danish, Dutch, French, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, Swedish 36 weeks: German, Haitian Creole, Indonesian, Malay, Swahili 44 weeks: Albanian, Bengali, Burmese, Czech, Farsi, Finnish,… Read more Easy and difficult languages

Mental health advice in various languages

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has information about mental health: on depression, shyness, stress, eating disorders, therapies, etc. Some of it has been translated into various languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Spanish and Urdu. For example: الاكتئاب عند الرجال 焦慮症、恐慌症和恐懼症 よい眠りのために Каннабис и психическое здоровье Preocupaciones y ansiedades سگریٹ نوشی کے ذہنی صحت پراثرات… Read more Mental health advice in various languages


Did you know that blind people gesture when they speak? Or that blind Turkish speakers gesture like sighted Turkish speakers – but differently from English speakers? In this video linguists Lauren Gawne and Gretchen McCulloch discuss why we gesture when we talk: The Lingthusiasm blog post includes the links mentioned in the video, such as… Read more Gesture

World Atlas of Language Structures

The World Atlas of Language Structures is “a large database of structural (phonological, grammatical, lexical) properties of languages”. For example, in some languages certain pronouns are used for politeness. The atlas classifies languages according to second person pronouns that: encode no politeness distinction (e.g. English, Swahili) encode a binary politeness distinction (e.g. German, Russian, Mandarin)… Read more World Atlas of Language Structures