Learning languages in #lockdown – Part 2!

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

With all of Onuba Communications’ team of sports specialists fluent in at least two languages, who better to ask for tips on how to sharpen your skills – without leaving the house 🏠? 

#stayathome #yomequedoencasa #restezchezvous #iorestoacasa 

Last time out was the turn of our founder Nick Aitken (view here), so now’s the moment to shine for team members Marie-Océane Bayol, Ronan Malt, Guillermo Berenguer Ramiro and Jennifer Arpin-Pont!

Marie-Océane: “Don’t be passive and stay curious!”

First up is Marie-Océane, a native French speaker but also fluent in Italian, Spanish and English. A fan of football, volleyball and athletics, she currently lives in Italy, where she’s the goalkeeper for AC Perugia Calcio. 

“In my experience, full immersion is the best way to learn a language, but there are many ways to improve your skills from home! Reading 📚, listening to podcasts and watching movies are all great, but I’d like to share another tip to make learning even more effective: don’t be a passive reader or listener” said Marie-Océane, who has extensive experience as a sports writer, translator and proofreader, handling content for the likes of UEFA.com and FIFA.com. 

“For instance, whenever I encounter an idiomatic expression or a word I don’t know, I really like to learn more about it. Firstly to make sure I got the meaning right, and secondly to help me remember it. When I do this regularly it helps me boost my vocabulary and prevents me from getting too comfortable. As we all know, in language learning and in sports, when you get too comfortable you also stop improving, so stay curious, stay hungry and have fun learning!”

Ronan: “Practise writing with WhatsApp!”

Also keen to chip in was Ronan, an experienced translator and interpreter, who is native in English and fluent in French and Spanish. A fervent fan of football, running and basketball, Ronan has worked on a host of high-profile interpreting jobs, with clubs in both the English Premier League and Spain’s La Liga. 

“One thing that I’ve been doing in recent days is to email or WhatsApp my Spanish- and French-speaking friends to check in with them and see how they’re coping with the current situation. This has allowed me to work on my writing 📝 and reading skills in both languages and has seen me pick up some new vocabulary related to the pandemic. I also always tell my friends to please let me know if I ever make mistakes in my writing: if you don’t get feedback then you can’t improve!”

Guillermo: “Learning while having fun is win-win!”

Lucky number three is Guillermo, a vastly experienced content manager, translator, editor & subtitler. A veteran of work for UEFA.com, FIFA.com and Valencia CF, Guille is native in Spanish and Catalan and fluent in German and English.

“My main tip would be to make the most of what the Internet has to offer! These days during lockdown, I enjoy watching football-related documentaries and write down any terms, expressions or jargon that are specific to football,” said our Spanish editor Guillermo, who has translated biographies for the likes of Fernando Torres and Cristiano Ronaldo. 

“By writing words down it helps you remember, that way you’ll be able to use them later. Learning while having fun is always a win-win situation, so if you like video games 🎮, particularly eSports, setting the menus and commentary in one of the foreign languages you work with is always a good idea for improving your vocabulary.

Jennifer: “Practise while singing along!”

Last but not least is Jennifer, a specialist in equestrian and mountain sports, who boasts over a decade of translation and proofreading experience. “My main tip for learning languages at home would be to listen to music 🎶 in the language you want to pick up.”

“By listening to music, ideally with the lyrics in front of you, it gives you a feel for how the words should sound and you can pick out the ones you know and look up those you don’t,” added Jennifer, a native English speaker also fluent in French (thanks to over ten years in the French Alps!) and Spanish. “Music’s a great way to have fun while learning which, like Guille and Marie-Océane said, is key. When you’re singing along then you’re practising the sounds, which will make you feel more confident when speaking.”

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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