Polyglot people

Sup All?

I briefly created a site called Polyglot People to scratch a coding itch, and to experiment with a ‘different look’ and a more ‘mobile first’ style of design.

I then decided that it was pointless having a separate site for what was essentially a new front end to the sentences on Surface languages.

After all, there is no rule telling us that a website should be identical on every page, and there is a certain homogeneity about many wordpress sites that makes the internet a less interesting place.

So, warts and all, Surface languages, continues to be at the forefront of the anti style movement, and will over time proudly embrace its idiosyncrasies.

And with that justification out of the way, I’ve given Polyglot People a new home here on Surface languages itself.

Currently it doesn’t work, but I will fix this soon (ish).

Baci & Besos,


Plans for 2019

Sup doods and doodesses?

Plans. Plans. Plans. The end of the year is always a good time for them and here are some of mine.

Plan broj jedan (plan number one).  A new website called Polyglot People.

I have recently started working on this site.  If you click on the link, you will be able to see that as yet, nothing happens:) The clue was in the word recently.

It is designed to teach sentences in different languages.

I decided to do this on a new site and not by merely bolting something onto the appropriate part of   Surface Languages because:-

Surface Languages was never designed to be mobile first (you know for all you cool kidz who use phones/pads etc), and Polyglot People will be, and geek that I am, I wanted (needed) to scratch a programming itch.

I anticipate finishing Polyglot People by the end of March – assuming the  day job doesn’t sap too much of my energy.

Plan broj dwa (plan number two)

Carry on with learning Croatian until I reach B1 level. I still love it.

By the way I have absolutely no idea whether Plan broj jedan and  Plan broj dwa are the correct way of expressing this in Croatian.

I suspect not.

If you are a Croatian reader or someone who knows more Croatian than me, let me know what I should have writen.

I’d wish you all a Happy and prosperous New Year but I live in Brexit Britain so it seems unlikely for some of us.

So not too tempt fate, Happy New Year to you all, and I’m crossing my fingers that I am still employed in twelve months (really).



Learning Croatian and more!


It’s been a while, but never fear me and mine are hale and hearty. I’ve had a bit of a roller-coaster of a year which has ended well despite a very unpromising start. I won’t bore you with the details or over-share but I didn’t have any spare emotional or mental capacity. My language learning and this site were totally neglected.

But that was then and this is now, and you want to know about my Croatian learning and what the ‘more’ in the title refers to.

Firstly, Croatian …

I love it!

I really love it:) Even more than Spanish and Italian!!

And definitely more than French;)

I now have a weekly iTalki lesson and have progressed in large dog sized leaps and bounds. I have  understood how to learn a slavic language. Phew. Finally.

Secondly, ‘the more’ refers to a new website I am working on  called Polyglot People.

It will be free and based on sentence based learning (which is part of my learning strategy for Croatian).  I promised that I would share my technique for learning Croatian and I will.

But temper your excitement. I still don’t believe that  there is a one size fits all for language learning – which is why there are no longer any links to language products on this site (not intentionally anyway). We are all different, learn in different ways and have different learning styles.

That said, I’m fairly certain that Polylgot people will be of help to some of you. My aim (and this is very dependent on the day job) is too have the site up and running by the end of May.

In the meantime, I’m back and hopefully more regular (snigger).

Happy Xmas Baci and besos,





Polyglot People

Polyglot People is now working. There are no obvious problems. Naturally this doesn’t mean that there are no problems, rather that none have surfaced in my (somewhat cursory) testing.

So, if you like the content of Surface Languages but don’t like the layout, you might enjoy Polyglot People.

My attention span is quite low as is my boredom threshold,  attention to detail  and ability to focus on the same thing for any length of time (according to the Boss – who knows these things).

But we have to work with what we have got, and it appears that this is an aspect of my personality that I can’t change.

A result of said personality trait is that  I am always pleased to finish (even if only temporarily) a project , website or app and move onto the next BIG thing.

Temporarily as I will fix any issues that surface with Polyglot People and add new languages as and when I add them to Surface Languages. Doubtless I will improve the site further at some indeterminate point in the future.

Now back to the day job …



Polyglot People arises like a Phoenix from the ashes

Well, that says it all really.

I decided to resurrect Polyglot People. It is a language site using the same content as Surface Languages but in a different format. And very splooshy it is too.

I need to finish testing, but that is for another day. Probably tomorrow unless it is sunny – which is extremely unlikely.

Anyway, check it out if you so desire, and if you find any really, really bad bugs you can always tell me. But, in a nice sort of way. Not in the rather bad mannered way that is so common with internet folk nowadays. I know.  Not you. You are not really like that. But some people are. Honestly, some of the things I’ve read recently. Made me blush and all.

And now, because it (briefly) isn’t raining, I’m going to remove some weeds from the garden along with Perfect Hound.

Living the dream 😉



Polyglot People

I’ve been working on Polyglot People  Polish Lessons (see later post)  over the last month or two, and have now finished the coding. As far as I can see everything works apart from the stats which don’t (as yet).

I”ve checked Polyglot People  using some of the phrases from Surface Languages for Polish, Italian and Russian, and more or less everything seems to be in order. Helpful comments much appreciated.

For those who are interested I picked Russian to check support for two scripts (Cyrillic and a romanized version), Polish to check diacritics (it has lots), Italian because I love the language and Spanish because I am going to add it first.

And so now I need content and will start with Spanish (as spoken in Spain) followed by Italian. No doubt there will be a few teething problems to iron out but such is the life of a programmer.

I can’t remember if I have already mentioned this but I f added Icelandic Phrases to Surface Languages. Audio to follow. I hope.




Polyglot People

After a sleepless night I decided that forcing lessons to be done in sequence in Polyglot People  Polish Lessons (see later post) would be tedious for you my hypothetical reader/audience.

I want  Polyglot people  to allow more and not less choice. And so you can do any lesson at any time, however if you want a ‘tick’ for a lesson then you have to complete it. A picture is worth a 1000 words so if you want to have a butchers there is a functional (though without any content to speak of) demo over at PP.

My reasoning was that any website/language learning software is just a resource to be used as and when, and if that is the case (which it is) then you should be able to use any part of it as you feel fit.

There are a couple of bugs which I will fix tomorrow, and then dear reader,  I will add Icelandic phrases to this site. I’m also in the process of obtaining Belarusian audio.

And for all you dog owners out there, my dog has just been x-rayed, and  been found to have osteoarthritis. Poor chap. He is only seven. I think he better stop chasing squirrels for the duration. Also he is not allowed to go for a walk for the next day or so. This will make life difficult for all concerned.



Decisions about my new web site (PolyglotPeople.com)

Firstly, I’m in a better mood today. After a good nights sleep the world doesn’t look so grim.

So …… I’ve been working on my new website Polyglot People (another language learning site)  and I need to make a decision. I always have problems making decisions, or rather making decisions and then sticking to them.

The decision is do I,  or do I not force learners to progress in sequence through the lessons when using the above. Lesson one might be (it isn’t but could be) colours,  followed by (for example) lesson two describing things with colours and so on with each lesson logically following on from the previous.

I like this in principle but see how it might be annoying. I don’t like to be forced to do anything in a particular order (even if it makes sense), so should I really have a website which does the same?

Another option is that each lesson will allow you to learn (say) ten words, and it is up to you which lessons you choose and the order you do them in.

I had thought of adding something like this to Surface Languages but decided it wan’t a good fit, and so I’m intending to keep Surface languages as it is I.e. a way to learn phrases in millions (ahem fifty or so) languages.

Polyglot People could then be used in conjunction as a way to get a basic understanding of how a language fits together through basic sentences, or on its own, or of course not at all depending on whether or not you find it useful.

I … need … to … think ….



Panna, crema, cream and custard

Well  there I was thinking that crema  meant ‘cream’ in Italian when suddenly it is brought to my attention that it means custard.

You could’ve knocked me down with a feather.

If you want to ask for a hot chocolate with cream in Italian (and it happens) just say :-

Un cioccolato caldo con la panna. How confusing is this? Panna means ‘cream’. Say it once. Say it twice …

And other important news:

It is the time of year when our hound needs his annual checkup and injections. I’m not looking forward to the trip to the vet because :-

1. He hasn’t been taking his diet seriously and they have a graph of his weight. This is shown to us on a computer. I feel guilty and he doesn’t.

2. The booster he needs requires a nasal spray. Have you every tried giving a nasal spray to a large dog? A dog who recognises a nasal spray when he sees one, and doesn’t like what he sees. It is not an experience you forget in a hurry.

And there is more.

I’m working on a site called Polyglot People (as and when), being as I have things to do like trips to the vet, fixing a broken fence (sigh) and so on.

Anyway, it is coming on well, and will be awesome.