What's in a name?

- By Jo

...that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet...

So, I begin this week's blog with a quote from the Bard himself... and why not, after all I've decided to talk to you about names, or more precisely the name 'Linguipod'. Like all parents when naming their children, it was a decision which we didn't take lightly. Anyway, after much consideration the name Linguipod was chosen; and we think it rather suits our new bundle of joy! Linguipod is dynamic, fun and funky. She is friendly and approachable, but also pretty clever. She loves wearing green and pink and lots of other bright colours too.... (Okay, I'll stop there, before you think me completely crazy).

The name for our site is a combination of a cut down version of the word 'linguist' and pod (of course). We envisage our pod as a wonderful cocoon of top quality friendly language tutors. Our pod is also a highly evolved technological masterpiece which is deceptively simple to use... (We have some clever people working here at Linguipod towers). Anyway, we hope you like our name, and we're sure you'll like using our site, whether you're a tutor or student.


I recently discovered that 'Lingui' is a province in China. Maybe that's a subject for a future blog post. Pods in Lingui. Lingui pods? I think I'll stop here...


Those pesky French numbers... again!

- By Jo

In my last post I talked about learning numbers. I thought it might be helpful to have a look at some of those tricky French numbers in detail. If you're revising for your French exams right now, this may provide some help…or if not I cannot stress how important it is to learn your numbers anyway!

Remember not only to learn what the numbers look like (for reading purposes), but also how they are pronounced. When listening it is easy to get confused between numbers that sound similar. Make sure you know the difference in pronunciation of 2 (deux) and 12 (douze), and 4 (quatre), 14 (quatorze) and 40 (quarante), for example.

Up to 69 French numbers are pretty straightforward to learn, and it's just a question of familiarising yourself with them. I'm now going to talk you through numbers from 70, where they become a bit trickier. Here's my little guide, which I hope is useful.

French Numbers from 70

We know that 69 = soixante-neuf. This follows a familiar pattern. When we get to 70 we just keep on counting, as follows:

  • 70 = soixante-dix (60+10 =70)
  • 71 = soixante-onze (60+11 =71)
  • 72 = soixante-douze (60+12 =72)
  • 73= soixante-treize (60+13 =73)

...and this pattern continues up to 79 (soixante-dix-neuf). Simple, right?
At 80 the pattern changes again. 80 = quatre-vingts (4 twenties, after all 4 x 20 =80). Strange, I know, but don't get bogged down in the whys and wherefores -just learn it!
From 80, we start adding on again, as follows:

  • 82 = quatre-vingt-un
  • 82 = quatre-vingt-deux
  • 83 = quatre-vingt-trois

and so on…
...and this keeps on going... so 90 = quatre-vingt-dix (4x 20 + 10 = 90 after all!)

  • 91 = quatre-vingt-onze (80 +11 = 91)
  • 92 = quatre-vingt-douze
  • 93 = quatre-vingt-treize

...until we get to 'cent' (100). As of this point the numbers do become relatively straightforward again... just learn that 1000 = mille, and you're well away. You just use lots of combinations of numbers you've already learnt.
Some examples:

  • 200 = deux cents
  • 320 = trois cents vingt
  • 481 = quatre cents quatre-vingt-un etc.

So…get learning today! It'll be worth the trouble (and maybe a few extra marks).

Good luck to all those taking exams this summer from the Linguipod team!


Learn to count and get a good grade at GCSE!

- By Jo

This week I have been teaching some year 11 students. We have been preparing for their impending doom, a.k.a. their French GCSE listening exam, all but weeks away. Before attempting some practice questions, I thought I'd quiz them on their numbers... after all it's a topic that's pretty much bound to come up in the exam. While a few of the students were pretty confident, many more were slightly confused... and others started to panic!

So what is it that makes French numbers so difficult to learn for native English speakers? Indeed the concept of "four twenties" (quatre-vingts) meaning 80 and "sixty fifteen" (soixante-quinze), meaning 75 is a little strange for us (and as one boy put it perhaps "too mathematical"). I cannot stress enough, however, how important it is to learn those numbers (whatever the language). In GCSE and even A-Level terms it could be the extra mark you need that means the next grade up. So, don't throw away marks...get learning!


The moment of truth...

- By Jo

Here are the answers to my "Happy Easter" guess the language quiz from Friday:

  • Joyeuses Pâques = French
  • Frohe Ostern = German
  • Wesołych Świąt Wielkanocnych! = Polish
  • Geseënde Paasfees = Afrikaans
  • Kellemes Húsvéti Ünnepeket!  = Hungarian
  • God påske = Danish
  • Zalig Pasen = Dutch
  • ¡Felices Pascuas! = Spanish
  • Buona Pasqua = Italian
  • Hyvää Pääsiäistä = Finnish
  • Pasg Hapus = Welsh
  • Boa Páscoa = Portuguese

If you got them all right, then please give yourself a pat on the back! Now go and enjoy the weekend, and impress someone with your knowledge!


Happy Easter!

- By Jo

Well it's the season of chocolate eggs and we at Linguipod towers would love to wish you all a wonderful Easter; and because we can, we're going to say it in a multitude of languages too. But which languages are these? Can you guess? Yes, it's a little super fun quiz for a Friday afternoon...

  1. Joyeuses Pâques
  2. Frohe Ostern
  3. Wesołych Świąt Wielkanocnych!
  4. Geseënde Paasfees
  5. Kellemes Húsvéti Ünnepeket!
  6. God påske
  7. Zalig Pasen
  8. ¡Felices Pascuas!
  9. Buona Pasqua
  10. Hyvää Pääsiäistä
  11. Pasg Hapus
  12. Boa Páscoa

...answers on Easter Sunday!
We hope you have a lovely bank holiday whatever you're doing.