Every linguaphile should learn a sign language

You are definitely missing out if you haven’t tried to learn your local sign language. So how do you start? I have tried two now (NZSL and Auslan) and I am still totally in love. I find the initial learning curve to be very easy, as long as you pick up a little bit of grammar you can start constructing sentences right away. There’s no pesky verb conjugation, no struggle to pronounce foreign sounds, and much of the vocabulary is very intuitive. The hard part is of course learning to express yourself with all the nuances as even a raised eyebrow can change the meaning. But starting with the basic conversation and being able to communicate basic needs comes very quickly. Learning a sign language is certainly something worth trying if you love languages, because they are totally different from your other spoken languages. Having to increase your visual and spatial awareness and learning to use classifiers is all part of the fun. When I first started I wondered “How will I learn words if I can’t write them down?” and I was even unsure if my previously learned language skills would help me at all. It was a great experience to give it a try, one I highly recommend. I’m still working on both Auslan and NZSL and hope to be fluent in one someday…

Here is my advice if you are starting out with a sign language

Step One: Identify your local language

Contrary to popular belief, there is no one universal sign language. Each language formed naturally on its own, just like spoken languages. Just two countries speak English doesn’t mean the sign languages will be mutually intelligible. American Sign Language, for example, is more closely related to French Sign Language than to British Sign Language. Some countries with more than one official spoken language also have more than one sign language (Swiss people use German Sign Language, French Sign Language and Italian Sign language) while New Zealand has only one sign language incorporating concepts from both English and Māori.

Step Two: Sign up for a class if possible

One of the most important things about sign language is to see it in action, in person. Grammar is an aspect that is very hard to find online resources for. Sign languages have their own grammar and are not just the signed words of a spoken language. Since it is such a visual language, you would really benefit from a person to person exchange. There are often quite affordable courses available at community colleges and high school night classes. Your local Deaf Association should be able to help with finding a course. Not only do you get instruction from a fluent signer who can correct you, it is also a great way to meet fellow learners. While of course I advocate getting out there and signing to native speakers, starting with other learners is a great way to practise without feeling too self-conscious. You might even make some great friends 🙂

Step Three: Learn the manual alphabet

Learning to fingerspell can be done in an afternoon. Some sign languages have a one-handed alphabet, others use two hands. But be forewarned: learning to read other people’s quick fingerspelling feels like it takes a lifetime! Don’t be discouraged if you have trouble reading when people fingerspell to you, because signers don’t necessarily see each letter separately like you will need to do as you are starting out. What you want to work up to is is to read the shape of the word (and of the lips: usually the signer will mouth the word as they spell it) which is what people fluent in sign language are doing. This is a great video which explains a bit about the “flow” of fingerspelling.

Step Four: Explore the available resources

There are some wonderful online dictionaries and exercises which you will want to make full use of. I have included some links at the ends of the post. Video dictionaries are becoming ever more common. You can also purchase paper dictionaries with pictures of signs. Your local library is likely to have video courses and exercises as well. Do all you can to pick up new vocabulary and try to make a note of signs you learn in class. Did you know that memrise has a sign language section? You could make lists of the words you learn. Youtube and Vimeo also have stories and vlogs in sign language, not to mention a few tutorials, great especially for learning the manual alphabet.

Step Five: Move out into the real world

The sooner the better, try to find Deaf events to attend. Not only will you be learning about a language, but about Deaf culture. Many cities have Deaf clubs, meetings for learners to practise with fluent signers, cultural events, theatre, sports teams, book clubs and public events that are interpreted. If you know any Deaf people, ask if they wouldn’t mind helping you with your sign language. Perhaps your teacher might know someone as well. You could put an ad online or at a local university to see if anyone would like to be your sign buddy. And if you can’t go out to events perhaps you could find someone to video chat with over Skype.

Even if you don’t plan on becoming fluent, basic sign language is a wonderful skill to have. It makes a fun change from the spoken/written languages you might have tried, it will introduce you to Deaf culture, and it is great to use when you have a sore throat or are out with friends at a loud club. For that I recommend dragging your friends with you to a course and forcing them to be your guinea pigs 😉


General Links from Omniglot includes quite a few languages and different manual alphabets

American Sign Language Resources

British Sign Language Resources

NZSL Dictionary with awesome sample sentences

NZSL Lessons

NZSL Exercises Online

Auslan Dictionary and resources

Curso de Lengua de Señas Argentinas (Argentine Sign Language)

Language Podcasts

I absolutely adore Podcasts as a method of taking foreign language radio with me to listen to when I’m travelling. I think it’s a wonderful interesting way to learn. This post contains two sections.The first section consists of podcasts aimed at learners, they are tutorials designed to help you learn and have been specifically made for that purpose. The second section is Foreign Language Podcasts which are usually targeted at native speakers, like radio shows on different topics. So make sure you keep scrolling down because there is more below. If you have a suggestion to add to the list, please let me know 🙂

I endeavour to keep all these links updated, please give me a hand and let me know if you find a broken link.

Last updated Feb 2013


Mission Europa – A detective story for learning the basics of German, French and Polish
SurvivalPhrases.com – 10 free lessons and more available to buy for each language. Arabic, Bulgarian, Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese, Filipino, Hebrew Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Russian Spanish, Swedish Thai Vietnamese
Radio Lingua Network – Company which does the Coffee Break series also has One Minute podcasts of Catalan, Danish, Gaelic, Greek, Irish, Japanese, Luxembourgish, Mandarin, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian, Zulu

ArabicPod – Fantastic podcast, both MSA and colloquial lessons that can be understood throughout the Arabic world, recent series of Levantine episodes
Arabic Podclass

Culturev Cherokee Podcast

Chinese (Cantonese):
Naked Cantonese
Popup Cantonese

Chinese (Mandarin)
News in Slow Chinese

copenhagencast is a Danish-English podcast for learning Danish – free audio and free pdf-files. Although there are only about 25 episodes so far, it’s worth listening. Some mp3-files are even between twenty and thirty minutes long.

Laura Speaks Dutch

The Bob and Rob Show
English Fluency Now – podcasts are free, you can pay for the lesson that goes along with them

Learn French by Podcast
One Thing in a French Day
Cultivate your French
Daily French Pod has pdf guides to download with each episode.
Comment vont les affaires? is a business French podcast course and has notes and scripts.
Native French Speech – free level gives interesting podcasts with French transcripts. You can subscribe for English translation and other features

Gaelic (Scottish)
Gaelic Podcasts – Fiona J Mackenzie teaches useful phrases
Little Letter for Gaelic Learners – for beginner/intermediate transcript & English translation available


Hit Greece – Learn beginner’s Greek with podcasts on grammar and vocabulary. Free lesson transcripts. Seems to be discontinued.
Learn Greek vocab – Aims to improve your Greek vocab. Only the last 7 lessons are free, the rest can be bought in itunes. Free pdf word sheets.
Hellenic American Union Greek podcast
– Many lessons teaching Greek in Greek. Probably more helpful if you already have some knowledge of Greek.

Let’s Talk Guaranime (by a native US-English speaker) Quite basic, and interesting for those who have never heard about Guarani


Learn Hindi from Bollywood Movies
I Speak Hindi – great podcast with transcripts

Let’s Learn Hungarian

Learning Indonesian

Qui Italia

Learn Japanese with Beb and Alex
Japancast – Learn Japanese language and culture through examples from anime and everyday conversation.
日語自遊行 – 1 & 2 (extra material 1 & 2)
– Learn basic Japanese words and phrases for travel and everyday life. Note: Only available in Cantonese.
日語自遊行 – 3 (extra material 3)
– Teaches more advanced Japanese words and phrases for travellers. Note: Only available in Cantonese.
Nihongo-Juku – Advanced Japanese podcasts with transcripts explaining common difficulties of learning Japanese.
Osaka Dialect 大阪弁 – Bilingual podcast explaining Japanese culture and language; with English translations and transcripts on website. Good if you want to get practice listening to a Japanese dialect.
Japanisch Podcast – Japanese lessons in German (by a native Japanese speaker). PDFs available.

Talk to Me in Korean
The Kimichi Girls

Latinum – comprehensive Latin vido course
Nuntii Latini – weekly review of world news in Classical Latin

Lithuanian Out Loud – Many podcasts, free transcripts

Learn Real Polish – some MP3 and text free, plenty more to pay for

Tá Falado – Portuguese especially for those with a background in Spanish

A Spoonful of Russian
A Taste of Russian – conversations on everday topics
Business Russian – from UCLA
Russian Literature – also from UCLA
Russisch lernen mit Russland-Journal – Russian lessons in German. Lots of ads, but free. A great complement to Russian lessons and the broadcasters are very constant

Audiria – Truly amazing site with many varied podcasts
Notes in Spanish
InstaSpanish Lessons – weekly comprehension and grammar lessons

Sprich mal Schwedisch – Swedish lessons in German by a native Swedish speaker. PDF files available. Perfect for exercising listening and speaking. Joakim (the teacher) points out differences between written and spoken language, and there are different episode-categories (lessons, alphabet and culture)

Viloria Pinoy Podcast – Includes useful PDF notes

Learn Thai Podcast

Say Something in Welsh

Millie’s Yiddish Class – video lessons


NHK World Radio Japan – World news podcasts for 18 languages Japanese, English, Arabic, Bengali, Burmese, Chinese, French, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Thai, Urdu, Vietnamese

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – Propaganda, but in 28 languages [sic].

SBS – News reports, children shows, sports reports, dramas, cooking shows, interviews etc. Lots of interesting stuff.
Languages available: Albanian, Arabic, Armenian, Assyrian, Bangla, Bulgarian, Cantonese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dari, Dutch, Fijian, Filipino, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Khmer, Korean, Kurdish, Lao, Latvian, Macedonian, Maltese, Mandarin, Nepali, Norwegian, Persian-Farsi, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Samoan, Serbian, Sinhalese, Slovak, Somali, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Vietnamese, Ukrainian, Urdu, Yiddish

SBS Amharic program – The program notes are in English, the shows are in Amharic.

Arabic Audiobooks – A good range of books from Taha Hussein to Dan Brown
News in Simplified Arabic – Includes exercises and transcripts but unfortunately not updated too often
BBC Xtra – 2 hour magazine programme entirely in Arabic about various social and controversial issues
Doroobcast – Intellectual series, includes things like poetry reading and short stories
RTVE Emisión en Árabe
Imtidad Cultural Podcast – Literary Podcast
Fouad Sindhi – Saudi Arabian’s journal blog
Saudi Gamer – about video games

Chinese (Mandarin)
反波 Antiwave – various current affairs topics

Radyo an Gernewegva

Funkhaus Europa Radio Forum – a nice Croatian news podcast which is updated every day with the duration of about 25 minutes.


Detektor – A show where the host verifies the validity of statements or affirmations presented by politicians or news hosts.

RNW Nieuwslijn – 30 minute news segments in Dutch that is updated many times per day.
De Grote Marc en Ramon Show!

Inside Europe – An hour a week, news from Europe

RMC – Le Journal du Jour – great news podcast
Yabla French – video podcast of authentic native materials aimed towards learners
La Revue de Presque – a really funny podcast with interviewing ‘politicians’ about recent news, except it’s just one man, pretending to be all these famous people. Even if you can’t understand the content the accents are enough to make you laugh. (P.S. They have a real interview at the beginning before the comedy show).
Chocolat is a bilingual French/Japanese podcast talking about interesting issues.
Tout un Monde – Dives into all different cultures and places, covering a different country/culture each episode
A Livre Ouvert – literature and authors
Le Poudcast – Pierre and Nico being outrageous and hilarious
Radio-Canada Baladodifusion – Here is link to the Radio-Canada website which lists about a dozen French language podcasts
CBC Podcast – C’est la Vie – podcast about life in French speaking Canada which ends each episode with the popular segment “Word of the Week” which often describes interesting differences between French in Canada and elsewhere.

Gaelic (Scottish)
Letter to Gaelic Learners – for more advanced learners
Spòrs Na Seachdain – Sports
Gaelcast – podcasting in Gàidhlig

Langsam gesprochene Nachrichten – Slowly spoken news in German with complete text
Sprachbar – a few minutes a week, a funny text about the different aspects of the German language with complete text.
Woher sollen wir das wissen? – Each episode dedicates itself to a certain question. Therefore the radio hosts call people and institutions that are somehow connected to the matter in question.
Wie war der Tag, Liebling? – two people talk about the most astounding or funniest thing they have come across that day
Radio Tatort – Krimis
Quarks & Co. – Fantastic science video podcast from WDR. I couldn’t recommend this one enough!
Das Philosophische Radio
Gans und Gar
Schlaflos in München
Der Podcast der Duden-Sprachberatung
SWR1 – Leute
Die Sendung mit der Maus
WDR – Hörspiel
Die Gefühlskonserve
Mopeten.tv – This is a short regular online motorcycle show in German. They travel the countryside, meet other motorcyclists, and have tips and tricks for motorcyclists.

Fumetti – podcast of comic books dramatised for Italian radio
24 Mattino
Essere e Benessere
Finestre sull’arte
Gastronauta, Il
L’Altra Europa
Laterza’s Podcast Page
Mr. Kilowatt
Questa casa non è un albergo
R101 Podcasts
Radio Deejay Podcasts

The Last Wave – An audio drama about the end of the world and the last survivors. The episodes are a few minutes long and pretty interesting.
Nippon Voiceblog – Each podcast is about a Japanese tradition and comes with a transcript.
LoveCosme– A woman talking about her sexual experiences.
Chocolat is a bilingual French/Japanese podcast talking about interesting issues.
Radio Sakamoto – Ryuichi Sakamoto’s podcast, includes interesting music!
Kanji koohii forum – Extensive list ranked by difficulty and usefulness

judy!! 님의 팟캐스트 – A diary about her life, travel etc. Some transcripts here.
Languageholic and Lifeholic a woman tackles, talks about and teaches English, German, French, Spanish, Russian, Italian and Japanese – while speaking in Korean most the time.
선현우의 Language Talk – Hyunwoo Sun makes video podcasts mostly about languages, breakdancing and Korea.

Waatea Podcasts – Episodes from the urban Maori Radio station Waatea, in Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland)

Nrk.no – Norwegian public radio podcast

Radio Javan – Includes Iranican Live, a bilingual radio show by some young Iranian-American free spirits. Also, Radio Javan has several music shows, if you’re someone who can’t get enough of Persian pop and dance music, here is your source.
VOA Video Podcasts – Daily news podcasts
Farsi For you

Polskie Radio – A Polish political discussion podcast updated daily with transcripts on the website, duration roughly 15 minutes

Café Brasil – awesome podcast about varied topics tied in with Brazilian music
DW Learning By Ear – series is intended for Portuguese speaking Africa and covers a myriad of topics such as health, society, politics, urban exodus, migration, computers, African history, African folktales and soccer/futebol.
EscribaCafe – cool historical mystery podcast, there are also video podcasts
Radiofobia – humorous
PapoTech – about technology, apparently they have a rural São Paulo accent
Papo na Estante – great literature podast

Svobodanews.ru – News updated 24 hours a day in one hour blocks every hour. perfect Russian, perfect coverage and discussions with word by word transcripts on the website
Эхо москвы – An old russian radio station. They also have transcripts.
Ruvr – (a public broadcasting service) has a lot of audio files
The Big Podcast – fast fun and lively show about various current interest topics. Seems like it’s often NSFW

Ciencia Para Escuchar – great scientific podcasts; please note the theatrically recorded biographies of famous scientists ‘Ciencia y genios’
Hablando en Plata – daily short podcast about common mistakes people make in Spanish
Etcétera – hilarious discussions of two Argentine guys
Radio Raza describe themselves as Musical-Historical-Cultural-Humorous quite funny guys from Mexico
Sobrexpuestos Critical and informative podcast from Mexico (website seems to be down)
En La Historia – Another Mexican podcast, covers some very interesting history topics, writers, legends etc (website seems to be down)
Acércate al Quijote – Anecdotes and curiosities about the Spanish classic by Cervantes
El Vestuario – Football from Spain
Radio El Espectador – La venganza será terrible – Humorous Uruguayan show
Audios – Sound archive of Argentine rock, lots of interviews. Other podcasts also on rock.com.ar
Viajero del mundo – quite interesting, spoken in a nice and slow Castillian Spanish. Good for beginners and travel buffs.
Kafelog – a funny podcast on technology. “Caffeine in podcast form”
Radio Ciudad del Mar – Cienfuegos, Cuba. Sporadic, varied, the overall flavour kind of like waking up in the 50s.
Un Idioma Sin Fronteras – Daily interviews with authors, useful to find out about books in Spanish.

Alltinget – a questions and answers program with experts in many fields
Bokcirkeln i kulturradion – book podcast
Klartext – news in easy Swedish
Språket – podcast about languages

Funkhaus Europa – Köln Rayosu
Cultural Interviews with Turkish-speaking Executives – videos
TRT – news, viedos, radio and podcasts in Turkish

Películas de Sudamerica

I’ve seen films from all the major South American countries!! 🙂 My quest to see a film from every country of the world has been SO MUCH FUN! It’s giving my Spanish a very good workout as well, with lots of accents in the mix. I’ll have to work on Central America next! I do also still need films from Guyana and Suriname, but I have no idea where to find them…
(Spanish first, English below)


La semana pasada vi la película ecuatoriana “Ratas Ratones y Rateros”, me encantó. Se trata del mundo Salavador, un joven de Quito que vive casi por debajo de la línea de pobreza. Comete pequeños hurtos con sus amigos, tiene una prima bastante rica y otro, Ángel, muy pobre que justo salió del cárcel. Ángel busca a Salvador, y después de la llegada de su primo, las cosas van de mal en peor. Muy pronto toda la familia quedará atrapada en las problemas.

Esperaba una pelí típica de drogas, dura y sensacionalista, ya vi unas parecidas, pero me sorprendió porque los personajes son tan vibrantes, llenos de realidad. La recomiendo! Acá hay un trailer

Vi otra pelí de Uruguay, se llama “El Baño del Papa” (The Pope’s Toilet). Basado en una historia real, o al menos en la visita del Papa al pueblo Melo, Uruguay (muy cerca de la frontera con Brasil) en el anõ 1988. Hay rumores que miles de gente van a venir, de Brasil, de otros partes de Uruguay para verlo. Los habitantes lo ven como una oportunidad de negocios lucrativa y empiezan a cocinar montañas de salchichas y tortas para los peregrinos. Beto, un contrabandista de poca monta, tiene una muy buena idea, el mejor negocio de todos: “el baño del Papa”, donde miles de peregrinos podrán aliviarse. Pero el tiempo se acaba, y debe viajar más al otro lado de la frontera, cada vez más riesgoso.

Es chistoso pero también triste. Me gustó mucho 🙂 Trailer acá

Cual es tu película favorita de América Latina? 🙂 Para mí, no sé, es muy difícil! Ya vi pelís de todos los países de Sudamérica (bueno, no Guyana o Suriname jeje, pero de los otros) y me encantaron TANTAS de ellas! Si tuviera que elegir…. quizá La Historia Oficial (Argentina), Diarios de Motocicleta (Argentina), Historias Mínimas (Argentina), Machuca (Chile), o Whisky (Uruguay)



Last week I saw the Ecuadorian film “Ratas Ratones y Rateros”. It’s about the world of Salvador, a young guy from Quito who is struggling to stay above the poverty line. He commits petty robbery with his friends, and has one cousing who is quite rich, and another, Ángle, who is very poor and just got out of jail. Ángel looks for Salvador, and after his cousin arrives, things go from bad to worse. Very soon the whole family is caught up in the problems.

I was expecting a fairly typical movie about drugs, bleak and sensationalising, but it surprised me because the characters are so vibrant and realistic. I really recommend it! Trailer here (with English subs)

I saw another movie from Uruguay, it’s called “El Baño del Papa” (The Pope’s toilet). Based on a true story, or at least on the visit of the Pope to Melo, Uruguay (very close to the border with Brazil) in the year 1988.  Rumours break out that thousands of people are going to come, from Brazil and other parts of Uruguay to see the Pope. The residents see it as a great business opportunity and start to cook mountains of sausages and cakes for the pilgrims. Beto, a petty smuggler, has a great idea – the best business of all: “The Pope’s Toilet” where the thousands of pilgrims can relieve themselves. But time is running out and he has to travel more often across the border, each time the risks are higher.

It’s funny but also sad. I really liked it. Trailer (sorry no subs)

So what is your favourite movie from Latin America? For me, well, I dunno! It’s so difficult to choose! I’ve already seen movies from all of the South American countries (well not Guyana or Suriname, hehe, but the others) and I loved SO MANY of them! If I had to choose, hmm… maybe La Historia Oficial (Argentina), Diarios de Motocicleta (Argentina), Historias Mínimas (Argentina), Machuca (Chile), or Whisky (Uruguay)

Some Foreign Films I recommend

Ajami (Israel)

Languages: Arabic & Hebrew

This movie simply took my breath away. It was made by a Jew and an Arab working together, and man, it shows. Arabs, Palestinians, Jews, and Christians try to live together in an area where Omar, an Arab Israeli tries to save his family from a gang of extortionists through whatever means necessary but violence is often met with violence in this story about love, hatred, and personal freedom. The characters are so real, so wonderfully drawn and played. It illustrates very well the conflicts between even the Arabs within Israel, let alone between Israelis and Arabs. If you only see one movie I rec, see this one, seriously!

(other movies I rec from Israel and Palestine: Waltz with Bashir, Lemon Tree)

Boy (New Zealand)

Languages: English, some Maori

If you only ever see one NZ movie, see this one. It is so much of our culture, humour, and our yearning for the outside word and our sense of place encapsulated in one little story. A story of a very creative Boy living on the east coast, hoping his dad will come home.

(other movies: Whale Rider, The Piano)

La Historia Oficial (Argentina) – sorry I couldn’t find English subtitles!

Languages: Spanish

A teacher slowly comes to the realisation that the military dictatorship may have more to do with her than she thinks – could her adopted child be one of the children of the many “disappeared”?

West Beirut (Lebanon)

Languages: Arabic, French

In April, 1975, civil war breaks out; Beirut is partitioned along a Moslem-Christian line. Tarek is in high school, making Super 8 movies with his friend, Omar. At first the war is a lark: school has closed, the violence is fascinating, getting from West to East is a game…. very good movie ensues!

(another great movie is Caramel!)

El Haimoune (Tunisia)

Languages: Arabic

This is the first of a great trilogy by Nacer Khemir. I found them very intense yet interesting films. Poetic, epic, yeah, you should just see them! Some scenes on youtube for the curious 🙂

Moolaadé (Cameroon/Burkina Faso)

Languages: Bambara, French

Wow, well this is a movie about female circumcision, the rebellion of the women of a village actually, against the practice. It completely blew my mind, not only with how different the culture was to anything I know, but also the strength of the women 🙂

A Film From Every Country

Here be the working list of the movies I have seen from each country! Not even sure if this project is possible, but if you have any recommendations for me please let me know 🙂 I am of course interested in seeing more than one film from various countries, so feel free to rec films from places I have already seen something.

TOTAL: 77/206


AFRICA (10/53)





Burkina Faso



Cape Verde (Horse money)

Central African Republic




Congo(Dem. Rep.)



Equatorial Guinea








Ivory Coast
















Sao Tome and Principe



Sierra Leone


South Africa



Tanzania (The Boy from Geita, A Lot Like You)









ASIA (24/47)






Burma (Myanmar)





  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Hong Kong

In the mood for love











Korea (north)

Korea (south)














Saudi Arabia


Sri Lanka






Timor-Leste (East Timor)



United Arab Emirates


Vietnam (Scent of Green Papaya)


  • A New Day in Old Sana’a (remarkable considering where it is filmed and that a man died because of it, but the film itself, aside from the scenery, is not overly stunning, but still enjoyable)



EUROPE (20/50)








Bosnia and Herzegovina





Czech Republic



Faroe Islands



Georgia (13 Tzamete)






Ireland (The Magdalene Sisters)















Romania (The Death of Mister Lazarescu)


San Marino








United Kingdom many

Vatican City


  1. & CENTRAL AMERICA (6/24)

Antigua and Barbuda






Costa Rica



Dominican Rep.

El Salvador (Innocent Voices)








Panama (Burwa dii ebo)

St. Kitts & Nevis

St. Lucia

St. Vincent & the Grenadines

Trinidad & Tobago

United States many



OCEANIA (6/20)

American Samoa


Cook Islands


French Polynesia


Marshall Islands



New Caledonia

New Zealand



Papua New Guinea


Solomon Islands


Tonga (When the Man Went South, Tongan Ark)

Tuvalu (ThuleTuvalu doco)



  • (Tanna)



  1. AMERICA (11/12)









  • Hamaca paraguaya (do NOT watch this, it’s one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen…. ok maybe watch a little of it then skip to near the end! Don’t torture yourself omg)


Suriname (Wan Pipel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RC8TL0j5sVY )





Bilingual recipes, yay! The theme of Maori language week is food, I think it was a good choice 😀 I am planning on trying these ones, or at least a version of them.

Te paukena Parmesan me te oregano
(Slow-cooked Butternut Pumpkin with Parmesan and Oregano)

Serves 6-8 as side
He kai āpiti. 6 8 ngā tāngata ka whāngaia

1 butternut pumpkin – peeled, seeded and cut into 5cm chunks
100ml olive oil
1tsp fresh oregano – chopped
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp aged Parmesan – shaved with a peeler
Salt and pepper

Ngā kai:
Kia 1 te paukena pata warua, tangohia ngā kākano, tapahia hei wāhanga 5 henimeta te nui.
Kia 100 miririta hinu oriwa
Kia 1 te tīpune oregano kua tapatapahia.
Kia 1 te pune tēpu pata
1 te pune tēpu, maramara parmesan maoa.
Tote me te pepa

Pre-heat the oven to 180c.
On a cooktop, heat olive oil in an ovenproof pan. Add the pumpkin and fry until golden brown.
Place in the oven until soft (approx 25 minutes)
Add the butter, oregano, Parmesan and seasoning.
Serve immediately.

Te Huarahi:
Whakaritehia te tōkia 180c te wera
Whakamahanatia te hinu oriwa, ki roto i tētahi ipu e tāea ai te whakauru ki te to. Tāpiritia te paukena pata, aa tunua kia koura te tāe.
Raua ki roto i te tōkia ngohengohe ngā kai (āhua 25 meneti te roa)
Tāpiritia te pata, te oregano, te Parmesan me ngā kīnaki.
Horahia wawetia.

He pea tunua o te pämu i te taha o te miēre, te mānuka, te wōnati me te tihi kikorangi
(Rustic roasted pears with manuka honey, walnuts and Kikorangi blue cheese)

This can be used as an entrée, dessert or a light luncheon dish served with salad.

He pai tēnei hei kai āpiti, hei purini, hei paramanawa rānei, hei tāpiritanga ki te manga mata.

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 10-15 mins
Number of Servings: 4

Wā whakarite: 10 meneti
Wā tunu: 10 – 15 meneti
Te tokomaha o ngā tāngata ka whāngaia: 4

2 well-shaped firm but ripe Comice or Packham’s Triumph pears
2 Tablespoons table manuka honey, dark, bold and earthy.
2 Tablespoons dutter,
8 fresh walnut halves,
100g Kapiti Kikorangi blue cheese,
Small bunch of dried kawa kawa leaves * (not sure what a good replacement for kawakawa in other countries would be. Garnish with your herb of choice I guess)

Ngā kai:
E 2 ngā Pea Triumph ngā Comice, ngā Packham rānei
E 2 ngā pune tēpu miēre mānuka pöuriuri.
E 2 ngā pune tēpu pata
E 8 ngā haurua wōnati
100 karāmu tīhi Kāpiti Kikorangi
Kia ruarua ngā rau Kawa kawa kua maroke

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C.

Peel and cut pears in half lengthways down through the stalk. Neatly scoop out the core and pips using a melon baler or peach stone pipper. I often leave the stalks on for presentation. If necessary, trim the pear base slightly so that it lays flat.

Whakaritehia te tō kia 200c te wera

Waruhia, tapahia whāroatia ngā pea, mā te tātā. Whakamahia ngā taputapu motuhake ki te tango i te kiko me ngā kākano. Ka waihotia ngā tātā, kia pai te āhua. Tena pea me āta tapahi te pūtake o te pea kia papatahi te noho.

Place in a baking dish lined with baking paper.

Place a walnut half and a wee pinch of crushed dried kawa kawa in the base of the pear cavity. Fill with cheese and place a second walnut half on the top. Warm butter and Manuka honey together then brush all over the pears.

Bake in a hot oven until 10-15 minutes until golden. Best served warm.

Whakatakotoria ki rō ipu, kua tākaia e te pepa tunu.

Raua te haurua wōnati, me ngā maramara kawa kawa maroke ki te pūtake o te pea. Whakakiia ki te tīhi, aa whakatakotoria te haurua tuarua o te wōnati ki runga. Whakamahanatia te pata me te miēre Mānuka, aa pania ki runga i te pea.

Tunua ki rō tō mo te 10 – 15 meneti, kia koura te tae. He pai rawa atu mēna kei te mahana tonu.

Variation: Use thyme honey, a little lemon zest, fresh lemon thyme and Brie.

Kōwhiringa ano: Whakamahia te miere Thyme, he kiriwaku rēmana, he thyme rēmana me te brie.

* To dry kawa kawa leaves: Wash and pat Kawa kawa leaves dry. Place inside a folded Paper kitchen towel and microwave for 30-40 seconds on high. Unwrap and let cool. Leaves can be stored in an airtight container for further use.

* Te whakamaroke i ngā rau kawa kawa: Horoia ngā rau Kawa kawa; pokipoki tae noa kia maroke. Raua ki rō pepa taora kīhini, aa whakamahanatia ki te ngaru iti mo te 30 – 40 hēkona, i runga i te pū mahana wera. Huakina kia mātao. Ka tāea te tiaki ki rō ipu kikī, hei whakamahi mo muri atu.