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Free Downloads for Active Military Personnel

Here’s wishing a happy New Year to all of you polyglots out there–and in particular to those of you serving in the military in countries all over the globe. We’ve got a special treat for you: Multilingual Books is giving away 200 free language course downloads to active U.S. military personnel.

To apply, all you need to do is e-mail us at contest@multilingualbooks.com by January 20, 2010. Let us know who you are, where you’re serving, and what language you’d like to learn and why.

The downloads offered include the comprehensive Foreign Service Institute language courses, the popular Linguaphone language courses, and the renowned Platiquemos Spanish course. To see a full list, look here.

And, while I’ve got everyone’s attention, I’d like to toss out a couple of extra good wishes to my Sergeant Sister, who is serving in Iraq. Bonne Année, ma petite soeur!

Ready, Set, Speak!

What does the following mean?

How said she? If he will go, you are as his other I, who look over water. Know her down side. More day could come in–did my sound with one have at this. It is they; we can be two people from out of them. An each which do their time and way about many that was or had not but some. What for? There were all your up when use has first call, then make him see a thing to no most number. The may been now find so than would write like these long word on by.

It doesn’t mean a thing as far as I can tell (and I wrote it). What’s the point of that, you ask? Well, what do you notice about the words? Pretty tame, aren’t they? They have nothing of the wildness of “The knibber was given to serecious grobianism and haloid eisteddfod” (another little somethin’ I dreamed up just for you). No, they’re as docile and familiar as housecats, and here’s why: they’re the hundred most commonly used words in the English language. And if these are the most common words in English, chances are they’re also the most common words in any language that one wishes to learn. And once you’ve grasped the core vocabulary of a language, the rest is just verbal jewelry. Right?

Would you like to find out? Yes, you would. Good. Then pick a language—any one will do, dare to be whimsical—and we’ll set ourselves the task of learning these 100 words in a foreign language by the end of the year. That’s 18 days (fewer if you’re reading this tomorrow). You’re invited to share your thoughts and experiences with me along the way-–but only if you’re participating. Ready? I choose … Sanskrit. Go!

MLB language blog coming soon!

Multilingualbooks is proud to introduce our new language blog, Parla! Everything from general tips about learning languages to advice about language products, with a little fun thrown in!