One of my life goals is to become conversational in another language; I sucked at French at school, and when I went to university and was surrounded by people who could speak 6(!) languages I genuinely felt like I was missing a crucial aspect of life. I’ve bought endless amount of beginner language books but end up forgetting about them. One day I was on Twitter and started a conversation with FlashSticks, a language learning company, who kindly offered to send me their language starter pack. I wasn’t prepared for how much fun it would be…
Their language packs come on the form of coloured sticky notes. I have the French Beginners pack and blue sticky note is a Masculine noun, pink for Feminine noun, and green for verbs and others.
The main issue that I had with French at school was remembering what nouns were masculine and feminine. My three years of French education was my poor French teacher repeating the same things over and over but I never did understand how a chair could be feminine. I was a very thoughtful child, ok.
When I saw these I thought that they would be perfect for visual learners, and I remember trying to do something similar on sticky notes myself when I was at school, but these come with simple pronunciation and pictures too. For a fiver it gets you a pack of 100, from multiple languages and including British sign language! You don’t even have to start with Beginner, you can also aim for intermediate and advanced words.
So once I’d had fun sticking these all around my room, I downloaded the free FlashSticks app.
And this is where I lost an hour of my life.
So you can learn 1000’s of new words and even scan over your physical post-it notes for lessons on how to pronounce it properly, yeah yeah this is all cool and stuff but then I found the ‘Scan Objects’ mode in the menu and this was just beyond brilliant.
What you do is use your phone camera to take a photo of an object, like your chair or handbag or something. Anything.
Here we have Asda’s finest teaspoon. The app recognizes the object in the photo and then tells you how to say that object in the language of your choice. You can change this on that screen into all kinds of languages, some I had never even heard of. So my Asda’s finest teaspoon came up as a, ‘white handled stainless steel spoon’, but you can simply this if you want to by getting rid of words, so you could just have, ‘spoon’ or ‘white spoon’, and then a voice reads that out for you and tells you have to write it.
I spent forever doing this. It’s the little things in life.
You can also add them on snapchat for free language lessons from the lovely staff there. It’s quite endless for how much you can learn for free from this company. I highly recommend you looking into it if you’re starting to learn a language from scratch or have children who are starting this at school.