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More than 5,000 modern slavery offences are recorded by police in the UK every year but experts believe this is just the tip of the iceberg. Modern slavery typically involves labour exploitation or sexual exploitation and sometimes both. Around three-quarters of victims who are brought to the attention of UK authorities are not UK nationals and many speak little English. Hestia is one of the largest UK charities helping survivors get their lives back together again. We have been supporting Hestia’s work since 2018 by giving 500 survivors free access to the uTalk language learning app. Here are the heartbreaking…


Find out how a simple plant, once used to guide Māori hunters home after nightfall, is now a much-loved symbol of New Zealand. The history of the Silver Fern is just one of the fascinating facts about the Māori language and culture that we’re celebrating as part of ‘Te Wiki o te Reo Māori’, which literally translates to ‘the week of the language Māori’.

Ponga is the Māori name for the Silver Tree Fern (Cyathea dealbata) which is native to New Zealand. The silver fern is so named because it has green fronds with a silver underside. When Maori hunters…


With over 2,500 basic words and phrases in more than 140 languages, there’s plenty the uTalk app offers for you to learn. But as we all find ourselves getting busier and busier, how much time do we realistically have to spend on language learning? We decided to find out by having Norma, our Marketing Intern, use the app for one week to see how much German she could learn.

I tend to change my mind about what language I want to learn every other week, so I wanted to challenge myself to make a bit of a routine around a…


From punctuation to pronunciation, move your Spanish up a notch by reading our latest post from Emily, uTalk’s Languages Manager. You’ll learn why Spanish questions are always sandwiched between question marks, why you should really be careful to differentiate between ’n’ and ‘ñ’ and one of the best ways to train yourself to recognise Spanish orthography.

Whether it’s Latin American, Argentine or Castilian Spanish you’ve started learning on our app, it won’t be long before you come across some letters and symbols unique to the Hispanic world. …


The second Sisters Only Language Summit is taking place on 25th July 2020 and uTalk are excited to be sponsoring the event! We sat down with Desta, one of the organisers and the founder of Languages through Music to ask her about herself, her business, and what she thinks the summit is going to be like.

So, Desta, here’s our first question: how did you first get into language learning?

I moved around a lot with my family as a child, living in Thailand, Barbados, La Côte d’Ivoire, Jordan and France before the age of ten. I had French classes from about six years old but hated it. …


If you’ve started learning Mandarin Chinese and don’t have any knowledge of any other east Asian languages, you might have noticed that there’s a bit of a learning curve when it comes to good pronunciation. In fact, at first glance, it might not be clear what’s going on at all! Read this post, the first in uTalk’s series of longer guides to target the nitty-gritty of language learning, to find out more about how to get your Mandarin pronunciation 很厉害! (hěn lìhai — amazing)

Our app teaches you Mandarin as it’s spoken in China and, although we don’t ever claim…


In case you missed it, we’ve recently been working hard here at uTalk to add our 145th language — Shanghainese! — to the app. This language has been months in the making and we’re very excited about it. The only problem is, despite the fact that there are 14 million Shanghainese speakers, there are still plenty of other people who’ve never heard of it. If you’re one of those people, don’t worry. We’ve got a quick introduction here for you!

Let’s get one thing out of the way first. While Shanghainese is a dialect, it isn’t related to Mandarin Chinese…


We’ve talked multiple times before about how important culture is when it comes to languages and language learning. And if you don’t have the ability to travel the world (which none of us really do right now!), then an easy way to get a glimpse into the culture of a place is by taking a look at the media they produce.

It’s also a good way to improve your language skills! While the film we’re going to talk about here wasn’t produced exclusively by the country in question, it still offers a rarely-seen insight through the lens of a huge…


How often do you think about where words come from? Probably not that much, right? And yet, every word has its origins. Some have been passed down from ancient roots that, in some cases, are barely recognisable when compared to the words they have become today. Some have been borrowed from other languages and either left as they were or adapted to fit the new rules they’re surrounded with. In this post, we’re going to take a look at the names of some countries, how they differ across languages, and where they may have come from.

This post came into…


If you’ve been hanging around our social media, you may have noticed that Maltese is our language of the week! One of Malta’s two official languages, Maltese holds the unique position of being the only Semitic language that is also an official language of the EU. But Malta’s tumultuous history has led to many other languages, including English, having a significant impact on the development of Maltese. In today’s post, you’ll find out all about Maltese’s linguistic history, what Maltenglish is, and why code-switching is significant, no matter its context.

Lying between Sicily and Tunisia, Malta is a small archipelago…

Max

I’m uTalk’s mascot, and occasional post contributor!

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