Something for Everyone: Our Top Ten Language Sites

At Accio we know that learning a language does not come easily and there are innumerable websites, games and apps that are strictly devoted to learning a new language. Because of the amount of these language references, we decided to point out to you the sites we deem most helpful with a top ten language learning list. Enjoy! 

  1. Are you new to this whole foreign language business? Then go to Language 101. It has very comprehensible learning strategies, and is always updating its blog post on little idioms, phrases or jokes in other languages! 
  2. The site Fluent in Three Months is great for those who could feasibly move and immerse themselves in the culture of the desired language. Even if you cannot physically move somewhere, this site is filled with helpful tips for the average language learner. 
  3. Langology.org is a fun site that is devoted to educating about languages. It has articles ranging from why learning a foreign language is a wise choice to different methods and tips on how to go about becoming bilingual. 
  4. The helpfulness of Yabla- Online Language Immersion is included in its name. We all hear that in order to truly learn a language, one must be immersed in the native culture. That is not a choice for all of us, so sites like Yabla help immerse you into the language of choice online. They have a multitude of videos with subtitles. 
  5. If you are looking for literary lists of tips on how to learn language effectively, then go to The Everyday Language Learner. This site is a must visit when people are looking for advice to learn a new language. 
  6. If you are serious about a new language, then its phonetics must be taken seriously as well. John Well’s Phonetic Blog will provide all you need in advice for phonetics. 
  7. Are you raising a bilingual family? Then have fun teaching and/or learning languages with them through Foreign Language Fun. The site is devoted to fun multilingual games for children, and there are photos, language demo’s and app reviews to ensure you go in the right direction for your language apps! 
  8. Jennie n’est plus en France is a great site for those who are Euro-language focused. The site is student focused, and has great site recommendations, multilingual video and audio links, and travel tips for those currently or thinking of living abroad. 
  9. If you are serious about mastering a language, then go to Language Mastery. This site teaches you how to self-immerse in a language, and gives invaluable tips on learning. This site is a must-visit. 
  10. If you are traveling and learning foreign language, then go to Lingolook! They provide essential phrases and following Lingolook will help you blend in by having knowledge of the native lingo. 

This is a top ten list from the Accio team, and we hope you find it helpful! Did we miss anything? What are some other sites or apps to bring to attention? Comment and let us know! 

Interview with Ahmed Khalifa
We first met Ahmed on Twitter when he tweeted about our apps. Since he seemed to love the products so much, we wanted to get to know him and hear what else he had to say. Read our interview with Ahmed below.

Accio: In what context do you use your Accio apps (work, classes, travel, etc.)?
Ahmed: Depending on the apps, I use it for a variety of reasons. In general, I have always been keen on languages. I used to live in Germany so I’ve used the app to get me by and learn the basics. I went to France for holiday so I used the app to help me during my travels and to remind me of high school French lessons. I am keen to improve it further.
I speak Spanish well and it’s a language that I study just for fun because of my interest in Spain, its culture and the language. I use the app to improve it, learn new words and communicate with my Spanish friends.

Accio: Have you used Accio apps when traveling? Where did you go? Tell us about your experience.
Ahmed: I download the French language pack prior to my visit to Paris. I already know some French, as I studied it in high school, but I haven’t used the language since then. I used the app to remind of a few words and also use the dictionary when I’m confused about a word. I have used the phrasebook on a few occasions and although it can be useful at times, I tend to use the dictionary more.

Accio: What languages do you know and at what levels?
Ahmed:
Spanish - high intermediate
Arabic - low intermediate
German - basic
French - basic
Accio: Which Accio apps do you own and use?
Ahmed:
English-Spanish dictionary
English-French language pack
English-German dictionary
English-German phrasebook
Accio: What is your favorite part about Accio apps?
Ahmed: The ease of use when using the dictionary; switching from one language to another, looking at the history of words used, clicking on the words to get translations.

Accio: If you had the time to learn another language, what would it be?
Ahmed: To be honest, I don’t plan to learn a new language! I know several languages now and they all need to be improved, which takes a long time as it is. So I’d rather focus on them first.

Accio: What do you hope to see next from Accio?
Ahmed: 
More phrases, idioms, colloquial phrases, and a verb conjugator
A desktop version (which is how I knew of Accio in the first place, but I was disappointed to hear that it has been removed by the company)
Speech translator
Phrase translator (so the user can type a phrase and translate the whole e.g “Yo quiero aprender inglés”, or “Where is the best place to eat local cuisine?”)
Games such as crosswords and hangman
We would like to thank Ahmed for taking some time to answer our questions. He is full of great ideas and we appreciate his enthusiasm and interest in our apps. If you have ideas or suggestions on how to improve Accio apps, contact us via e-mail at contact@accioapps.com.

Interview with Ahmed Khalifa

We first met Ahmed on Twitter when he tweeted about our apps. Since he seemed to love the products so much, we wanted to get to know him and hear what else he had to say. Read our interview with Ahmed below.

Accio: In what context do you use your Accio apps (work, classes, travel, etc.)?

Ahmed: Depending on the apps, I use it for a variety of reasons. In general, I have always been keen on languages. I used to live in Germany so I’ve used the app to get me by and learn the basics. I went to France for holiday so I used the app to help me during my travels and to remind me of high school French lessons. I am keen to improve it further.

I speak Spanish well and it’s a language that I study just for fun because of my interest in Spain, its culture and the language. I use the app to improve it, learn new words and communicate with my Spanish friends.

Accio: Have you used Accio apps when traveling? Where did you go? Tell us about your experience.

Ahmed: I download the French language pack prior to my visit to Paris. I already know some French, as I studied it in high school, but I haven’t used the language since then. I used the app to remind of a few words and also use the dictionary when I’m confused about a word. I have used the phrasebook on a few occasions and although it can be useful at times, I tend to use the dictionary more.

Accio: What languages do you know and at what levels?

Ahmed:

  • Spanish - high intermediate
  • Arabic - low intermediate
  • German - basic
  • French - basic

Accio: Which Accio apps do you own and use?

Ahmed:

Accio: What is your favorite part about Accio apps?

Ahmed: The ease of use when using the dictionary; switching from one language to another, looking at the history of words used, clicking on the words to get translations.

Accio: If you had the time to learn another language, what would it be?

Ahmed: To be honest, I don’t plan to learn a new language! I know several languages now and they all need to be improved, which takes a long time as it is. So I’d rather focus on them first.

Accio: What do you hope to see next from Accio?

Ahmed

  • More phrases, idioms, colloquial phrases, and a verb conjugator
  • A desktop version (which is how I knew of Accio in the first place, but I was disappointed to hear that it has been removed by the company)
  • Speech translator
  • Phrase translator (so the user can type a phrase and translate the whole e.g “Yo quiero aprender inglés”, or “Where is the best place to eat local cuisine?”)
  • Games such as crosswords and hangman

We would like to thank Ahmed for taking some time to answer our questions. He is full of great ideas and we appreciate his enthusiasm and interest in our apps. If you have ideas or suggestions on how to improve Accio apps, contact us via e-mail at contact@accioapps.com.

Customer Spotlight: Gillian Szemeti

Gillian Szemeti is a language and technology enthusiast. She is a big fan of her Accio apps and knows a good app when she sees one. We asked Gillian some questions about her language usage and favorite Accio products. We had a great time getting to know her!

Accio: Tell us a little about yourself. What do you do, and where do you live?

Gillian: I am a systems analyst and live in small village near Milton Keynes, UK.

Accio: How do you use language in your daily life?

Gillian: I write emails to friends, read emails from friends, and read multiple magazines. I am taking an Italian class in the evenings once per week and I use those skills when I visit Italy once per month.

Accio: Which Accio apps do you use, and how do you use them?

Gillian: I use the Italian-English dictionary every day. It is much quicker than a paper dictionary. It even points you to the right verb if you enter the conjugated form. It shows the gender of nouns, which is essential in Italian. It shows the context in which words can be used too. In class I compete my work long before the others using this dictionary and it keeps history so I don’t forget what I’ve learned. I have not found any other app as good as Accio, though I have tried many others.

Accio: If you had more free time, is there another language you want to master?

Gillian: A few languages -  French, German, Spanish and Greek.

We’d like to thank Gillian for answering questions for us and telling us all about her language learning endeavors. If you are interested in sharing your Accio story with us, let us know by e-mailing us at contact@accioapps.com.

Top Tips from Our Team: Study Abroad

This one’s for you, study abroad-ers! We asked some of our team here at Accio to talk about their study or work abroad experiences and brought back the comments to share with you!

What you’ll find: Tips, advice, and surprising stories about travel, culture, and language experiences abroad from Bill, our support guy, and Kelsey, a marketing intern!

Tell us the details about your trips!

Bill: I lived and worked in Brussels, Belgium for 3 months with my family. During this time, I traveled around Belgium and visited London, Paris, Amsterdam. I also went to Spain a couple of times on separate trips.   

Kelsey: I traveled to New Zealand for about 6 months in the fall of 2010. I was at the University of Otago in Dunedin, which is on the South Island of New Zealand (which is also the best island, by the way). I traveled almost all of the South Island and parts of the North Island while there. I also took a very brief holiday to Thailand.

What was one thing you wish you knew before leaving?

Bill: I wish I’d known how isolating it would feel to be immersed in two languages I knew almost nothing about (French and Flemish). I could recognize a few words, but had to work hard to have even the most basic conversations with people.

Kelsey: I wish I would’ve researched the weather better! I knew that it would be somewhat chilly where I studied in New Zealand, but I neglected to find the fact that no one there had central heating until I got there! There is a big difference when it’s around freezing and you have absolutely no heat and not much for insulation in the house than here in the U.S. where at least when you’re inside you are toasty warm. Some days it felt colder inside than outside, which was bizarre for me especially being from Minnesota.

What tips do you have for other students who are or will be studying abroad?

Bill: Speak the local language as much as you can. Try even if you’re terrible at it and don’t be shy! Watch tv to learn common phrases and slang so you can talk with native speakers. Remember that you can also use your hands, face, and body to communicate. If you can’t master a language, learn the basic polite phrases (please, thank you, I’m sorry, etc.) and the basic questions that will get you by (and potential answers to the questions). 

Kelsey: Branch out and take some risks! It’s great to study abroad with your friends and hang out with other Americans, but my favorite (and most rewarding) experiences are the times where I stepped out of my comfort zone and befriended the “locals”. You learn a lot more hanging out with the locals than just with your friends from back home. Of course, it’s a balance, it’s hard not to get homesick at times when you tell someone proudly you’re from Minnesota and they ask if that’s next to Oklahoma… So that other support system is always nice too.

Did others speak a different language? If so, how did you communicate?

Bill: Yes, I was in a multilingual workplace, but everyone spoke at least 3 languages, including English, so communicating at work wasn’t hard. Outside of work I learned how to order food, ask for directions, catch a taxi, etc. Plus I quickly learned how to ask if the other person spoke English, apologizing for not knowing their language.

Kelsey: No, but it felt like it! The New Zealand (or Kiwi, as New Zealanders are called) accent is very strong, mumbled instead of enunciated, and usually thrown in with a half a dozen colloquial slang words that were not intuitive to me.

New Zealand also has some pretty cool cultural origins. The original inhabitants, the Maori, are still a very big part of the New Zealand culture despite the whole becoming a British colony bit. Maori words like “Aotearoa” (New Zealand), “Kia Ora” (hello), and a lot of other Maori terms for plants, animals and places were used interchangeably with New Zealand English. So communicating in New Zealand was some combination of learning to listen very carefully to different accents, grasping the meaning of slang words, and trying to gain a basic understanding of Maori culture. 

Cinco de Mayo: Feelin’ hat, hat, hat!


In the United States, when we hear the word sombrero, we think of a wide-brimmed straw hat, and most likely, of Mexico. In Spanish, sombrero is actually just the generic word for “hat.” 

Most sombreros (the kind we think of) are made with straw and have different designs, colors, and decorations. The sombrero has become a symbol of Mexico and is most commonly worn in other countries, such as the United States, to celebrate major Mexican holidays and festivals such as Cinco de Mayo.

Sombrero comes from the Spanish word “sombre,” meaning “shade” or “shadow.” The literal translation of “sombrero” is “shade maker,” which is fitting because of the hot and sunny climate in Mexico. The hat brims are so wide that they protect the neck and shoulders of people working outside.

In fact, sombreros were first worn by Mestizo workers in Mexico. Soon after, the hats became popular among Texan cowboys, who wanted shade from the sun as well. Many mariacchi musicians and charros are seen wearing sombreros to add to the cultural appeal of sombreros. 

Here’s a list of other hats found in Accio dictionaries:
Winter hat = El gorro, el sombrero de invierno
Witch’s hat = El sombrero de bruja
Tin hat= El casco de hierro
Top hat= El sombrero de copa, la chistera, la galera
Safari hat= El sombrero safari
Hard hat (for construction workers)= El albañil
Chef’s hat= El gorro de cocinero

Make a sombrero for yourself and celebrate Cinco de Mayo with music, food, and fun! Check out our Spanish iPhone and iPad apps, too! 

Cinco de Mayo: Feelin’ hat, hat, hat!

In the United States, when we hear the word sombrero, we think of a wide-brimmed straw hat, and most likely, of Mexico. In Spanish, sombrero is actually just the generic word for “hat.” 

Most sombreros (the kind we think of) are made with straw and have different designs, colors, and decorations. The sombrero has become a symbol of Mexico and is most commonly worn in other countries, such as the United States, to celebrate major Mexican holidays and festivals such as Cinco de Mayo.

Sombrero comes from the Spanish word “sombre,” meaning “shade” or “shadow.” The literal translation of “sombrero” is “shade maker,” which is fitting because of the hot and sunny climate in Mexico. The hat brims are so wide that they protect the neck and shoulders of people working outside.

In fact, sombreros were first worn by Mestizo workers in Mexico. Soon after, the hats became popular among Texan cowboys, who wanted shade from the sun as well. Many mariacchi musicians and charros are seen wearing sombreros to add to the cultural appeal of sombreros. 

Here’s a list of other hats found in Accio dictionaries:

Winter hat = El gorro, el sombrero de invierno

Witch’s hat = El sombrero de bruja

Tin hat= El casco de hierro

Top hat= El sombrero de copa, la chistera, la galera

Safari hat= El sombrero safari

Hard hat (for construction workers)= El albañil

Chef’s hat= El gorro de cocinero

Make a sombrero for yourself and celebrate Cinco de Mayo with music, food, and fun! Check out our Spanish iPhone and iPad apps, too! 

It’s almost Earth Day!Earth Day will be celebrated on April 22 this year and is recognized in over 175 countries worldwide. It is important to the team here at Accio because we believe in connecting people. Though we focus on doing this through language resources, we understand how clean communities lead to a better quality of life. Earth Day events are held across the world to encourage appreciation of the Earth and to inspire people to take care of the Earth’s natural environment. Find an event in your area on the Earth Day events search page and be one of the many who pledge a billion acts of green this year. Looking for other ways to help? We picked our eight favorite ways to go green and translated them into eight different languages:1. Plan an Earth Day event for your communityPortuguese: Planejar um evento do Dia da Terra para a sua comunidade2. Clean up a local park or roadDutch: Ruim een lokaal park of weg3. Turn of the lights and conserve energyPolish: Włącz świateł i oszczędzania energii4. Bike to class or workSwedish: Bike till klass eller arbete5. Use non-toxic cleaning productsItalian: Usare prodotti non tossici per la pulizia6. Plant a gardenSpanish: Planta un jardín7. Buy localFrench: Achetez des produits locaux8. Encourage government representatives to make green choicesGerman: Ermutigen Sie Regierungsvertreter auf grüne Entscheidungen zu treffenTell us what you’re doing to celebrate Earth Day this month via Twitter for a chance to win a free dictionary app of your choice! Happy Earth Day!

It’s almost Earth Day!

Earth Day will be celebrated on April 22 this year and is recognized in over 175 countries worldwide. It is important to the team here at Accio because we believe in connecting people. Though we focus on doing this through language resources, we understand how clean communities lead to a better quality of life.

Earth Day events are held across the world to encourage appreciation of the Earth and to inspire people to take care of the Earth’s natural environment. Find an event in your area on the Earth Day events search page and be one of the many who pledge a billion acts of green this year.

Looking for other ways to help? We picked our eight favorite ways to go green and translated them into eight different languages:

1. Plan an Earth Day event for your community
Portuguese: Planejar um evento do Dia da Terra para a sua comunidade

2. Clean up a local park or road
Dutch: Ruim een lokaal park of weg

3. Turn of the lights and conserve energy
Polish: Włącz świateł i oszczędzania energii

4. Bike to class or work
Swedish: Bike till klass eller arbete

5. Use non-toxic cleaning products
Italian: Usare prodotti non tossici per la pulizia

6. Plant a garden
Spanish: Planta un jardín

7. Buy local
French: Achetez des produits locaux

8. Encourage government representatives to make green choices
German: Ermutigen Sie Regierungsvertreter auf grüne Entscheidungen zu treffen

Tell us what you’re doing to celebrate Earth Day this month via Twitter for a chance to win a free dictionary app of your choice! Happy Earth Day!

We hope everyone had a fabulous spring break!  Time to get back to business now, right?  When you need a break from that last stretch of work before summer kicks in, try out our Mega Multilingual Word Find Game!  
We’ve had tons of great reviews on the game, but want you to have a chance to try it out for a really low price.  It’s our way of dealing with the end of spring break.

This Tuesday through Thursday only, we’re dropping the price on the “All Languages” pack in Word Find.  Download the app for free here and until this Thursday, March 29th, get the All Languages pack for 60% off, only $1.99!

Want to know more about Word Find?  Check out these reviews and visit our website for more details.

We hope everyone had a fabulous spring break!  Time to get back to business now, right?  When you need a break from that last stretch of work before summer kicks in, try out our Mega Multilingual Word Find Game!  

We’ve had tons of great reviews on the game, but want you to have a chance to try it out for a really low price.  It’s our way of dealing with the end of spring break.

This Tuesday through Thursday only, we’re dropping the price on the “All Languages” pack in Word Find.  Download the app for free here and until this Thursday, March 29th, get the All Languages pack for 60% off, only $1.99!

Want to know more about Word Find?  Check out these reviews and visit our website for more details.

“Always in my main screen in my iPod, very useful and practical…”

“I have been looking all over the app store for a good, easy to use Portuguese dictionary, and I’m happy to say I found a great one. I’m much more confident in my Portuguese now that I have a way to quickly find words I don’t know”

“It works perfectly and is super helpful. No glitches to report.”

Spanish-English and Portuguese-English Dictionary fans. 

Today is your last chance to take advantage of our Spring Break sale! Get 20-60% off all Accio Spanish-English and Portuguese-English apps before it’s too late.