Learning languages in #lockdown – Part 1!

Want to fire up 🔥 your language skills while you #stayathome? Check out our first set of expert tips!

With all of Onuba Communications’ team of sports specialists fluent in at least one other language, aside from their native tongues, who better to ask for tips on how to sharpen your skills – without leaving the house 🏠? 

#stayathome #yomequedoencasa #restezchezvous #iorestoacasa

Featuring in Part 1 is our founder Nick Aitken, who started Onuba Comms on the back of 15 years’ proofreading, translating and coordinating multilingual content for major sporting organisations – including UEFA, FIFA and the Press Association. Nick is a native English speaker, C2 Proficient in Spanish and is studying French and Portuguese.

Getting out there

“One of the things I used to always love about learning languages was getting out there and practising with people, whether that be joining in a game of footy at the local pitch or grabbing a sports paper from the kiosk on the corner and starting conversations in a café or bar.” 

Use an online 💻 teacher to stay motivated

Though that option has now been knocked on the head, modern technology does offer plenty of ways to enjoy an effective learning experience from the safety (confines?) of your own home. 

“Personally, I find I sometimes need a bit of a push to keep moving forward, so I use online conversational classes with native teachers 🎓 through italki.com. The prices are reasonable, you get to chat with a real person and you can set classes to fit in with your timetable.”

Listen to content you’re interested in!

“When it comes to Portuguese listening practice, I particularly enjoy the international-football podcast ‘Lado B da Bola’ on the Brazilian 🇧🇷 channel CBN. The presenters are fun and knowledgeable and there’s something I find quite reassuring about keeping up with news on La Liga, the Premier League or Serie A by way of Brazil!

Brushing up Brazilian Portuguese with Cafu

“For French 🇫🇷 listening, RMC programmes like ‘After Foot’, ‘Team Duga” or ‘Breaking Foot’ are always good for a dose of passionate, high-speed analysis, while for English learners of French looking for a mix of listening, speaking and grammar practice I’d recommend giving ‘Learn French by Podcast’ a try via Spotify.” 

French practice with Makélélé on UEFA duty

Netflix 📺 and chill 

Other ways to improve from home? “Watch your favourite films and series with the audio AND the subtitles set in the original language. That way you get to hear and understand what’s being said and how to pronounce it, improving your listening ability and vocab without losing track of the plot!”

Passionate about Potter ⚡🧹

Still need more? “Something else I find helpful for building vocabulary is re-reading books that you already know well. I’m a big fan of the Harry Potter books (not the films – but that’s another story!) and know them inside out in English. So, when it came to reading them in Spanish and Portuguese I could read them quickly enough that the flow was enjoyable (sometimes a problem when tackling unfamiliar books in a foreign language) and knowing the original story made it easier to pick up new words and phrases.”

Share your #stayathome 🏠 language tips!

Join in the conversation and give us your language-learning tips by commenting on this post – we’d love to hear from you! 

Experts in translating website & social-media content and only using native language translators or editors, we at Onuba Comms believe that everyone in sport should have the opportunity to connect with their global audience.

Mail info@onuba-comms.com to join our mailing list and receive our free guide to “Dos and Don’ts of Social Media” – specifically written for sports clubs and players!

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