Are you gearing up for the holidays? Listening to wonderful Christmas Market music? Enjoying the mulled wine? Oh, you're rushing around the shops trying to find gifts for your polyglot friends! I know how you are feeling - it was me who desperately googled Gifts for Developers and Coders earlier today. I nearly bought my man a Netduino, but could not quite figure out what that even is.
So if you're still undecided and need help for language lovers, here's my list for 2014.
1. Foreign Language Fridge Magnets
I am so jealous of anyone who has these, because my fridge is at floor level and I have nowhere to stick them. You can get these in German, French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese (I only found the kids' edition), Yiddish, and..erm..Maths. Hey, it's a foreign language to me!
All language learners dream of exploring the world without any restrictions, and there's nothing like a daily daydream to keep us going. Back in Germany, I would cover my desk in at least two Sehnsuchtskalender (usually "Scotland" and maybe "Iceland") every year. These days, I'm all about the vintage travel posters.
3. An Awesome Dictionary
There are never enough dictionaries on a language lover's shelf and a good dictionary will forever blow apps out of the water. While I don't want to recommend any particular ones, I would advise you to go for the biggest you can find. If you want to get a German one, I'd recommend the brands Langenscheidt, Pons and Duden. Or if your giftee is a beginner and about to travel, then check out this Language Map.
4. Quickstudy Guides
I was very excited when I discovered these super detailed laminated grammar sheets in the Notre Dame University Bookstore in South Bend earlier this year. Fun fact: It's the Hammes bookstore. 'Cos that's how we roll.
Quickstudy guides are the most practical reference sheets EVER. I've seen them in lots of languages, and personally bought myself copies for German and Russian. Another great recommendation would be this one: Common English Pitfalls and Mistakes.
No one wants to waste a lot of money on roaming fees when they're exploring the world, and often the signal in remote places is too unreliable to use your phone as a dictionary. Enter the Travel Translator. This magical device works like a phrasebook, speaks 12 languages and helps you out when you're REALLY stuck..or just tired of translating for your lazy friend.
6. italki Lesson Credit
I would list a bit of italki credit at the top here, so your giftee can buy themselves a few live lessons, but don't forget that every great independent teacher will also sell you a gift certificate so that you don't have to go through a marketplace.
7. Online Courses
You can also give an online course as a gift.
Or Jade Joddle, friend of the blog, has a special new course called the Introvert Cure, which you get at 70% discount through this link only.
You can get the full set of suggestions from my Pinterest board: