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Beyond Digital Painting, there is something else, perhaps even more important... Digital learning

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                    Italian friends call me FilippoHello, hola, buon giorno, bonjour, and guten Tag,..

Tutoring foreign languages is a fun way to re-learn. I love to tutor foreign languages, even languages that I don't know yet. You know the saying: the best way to learn something is to teach it.

I easily tutor French (my mother tongue), German (from schooling in Switzerland), Italian, Spanish. I also learned Russian long ago, and basic conversational Japanese, and I feel I can help you get started to learn the same, using a fun audio CD program.

Interested in French? Read this too.

There are other great tools, many of which are free or very affordable. Look for used tools, which others will resell on Amazon or eBay. I got the Italian course that I wanted for $4, instead of $18. You can too. The MSRP is around $29 for that particular product.

Learning a foreign language is not that easy. I'm not talking about learning the language, mind you. What's a challenge these days is to find the time, and the place, to study it. The fact is, it's all around you, all the time. Do you have a smartphone? a tablet, iPad or other? Do you read this site on a PC or Mac? Any of these can run free machine translation software, or play audio CDs and mp3 audio files, so any of these can help teach you.

Try Google Translate app on Android phones. If you're on a Samsung Galaxy phone, try the S-Translate app. If you want to learn and make it feel like playing a game, try this free app: DuoLingo. Ok, so now I just told you that you really don't need a tutor. Oh well, mission accomplished. Fire this tutor, and get on with learning :-)

There are numerous other aaps, such as "50" (as in 50 languages, although I wonder at times if it was meant as in "learn a language before you turn 50 because after that, it's too late?!?!?) - not!

Never stop learning, always keep listening. It is the age of the internet. You can easily surround yourself with the sounds of the new language. For example, for French, here is a list of French radio stations:

Keep them playing in the home. Or use the Radio FM app on your tablet and smart phone. (as long as you're ok with data usage charges - we recommend that you stay on WiFi while listening :-)

Look for "busuu" too, which is equally excellent. Not all these apps are free all the way through. Some start with free content, and you have options to stay with it or buy into a monthly subscription. Great values ether way. Try a few, you'll find one that fits your learning methods.

What else can I do to help you speak the language faster? I can guide you through your homework, if you're a student. I also like to pick songs on YouTube, with lyrics, and teach you these songs. You'll like the lyrics soon enough. The first thing that will stick is the melody. The rest is easy. And it's a great experience if you visit that foreign country, when you hear the song on radio in a nearby cafe.

We also want you to live the culture, for example for Spanish by playing an Argentinian card game 'Canasta', and counting your scores in Spanish. Or by playing soccer, while cussing in French  (yep, you just haven't experienced the real French unless you do both of these together). Or by translating your favorite blog or website with SystranLinks, and making corrections as you review and learn. You'll learn much more than a language. You'll learn games, fun, and serious skills like website localization, or game translation too. Whatever you like to do already in English, I'll help you focus on doing the same - but in another language.

Take advantage of the age of the internet: Don't let machine translation (MT) make you think that there's no need  to learn the language. Hey, if machines can do it, so can you! Right? After all, we're the ones who built those machines.

There are plenty of free apps out there in the app stores for your smart phone and tablet. There are a few good ones too, worth spending your (mom's or dad's) hard-earned money.... If you want to learn Klingon, be sure to also use Bing Translator - yes, they've got Klingon there too. DuoLingo is adding it too, learn it there. If you're into many more or other esoteric languages, Celtic, Zulu and Swahili, consult Google Translate too, and compare the output of either machine translation tool you try. One foreign language you should also try is Indonesian: it is fairly easy and young, and you can read it. The pronounciation is easy too.

For many common European languages, have a look at the free translation tool at - and there are numerous others out there. Learn not just one, learn a few tools, and compare. Try this for example: Type the following sentence, and see which engine's translation you like best.

In a perfect world, everybody would speak Canadian French and occasionally play piano like Oscar Peterson.

Be sure to try this not just in one language, try many to compare: German, Italian, French, Spanish... Don't do this just to form your opinion about which one is best, in your mind. The truth is, neither is the best at all. Just change the language a little, or introduce a typo, or try a different sentence, and you'll quickly change your mind about who is better. The key is to recognize the many different ways it could be translated, to learn them all or at least recognize a few of them, and for you to make an educated guess about the appropriate way to say it, in a particular context.

For example, just how do you 'save' something, in French?

to save (money for retirement)
to save (a life)
to save (a kitten from a tree)
to save (on lower consumption, such as gasoline in a car with lower mpg)
to save (your dignity)
maintenir, sauver
to save a PDF or a file
or an angry slang expression: Save it!  (as in "shut up!")
La ferme!  :-)   - and no, that's not 'the farm' we're talking about (which is also 'la ferme'). It's a reversal from ferme-la, literally: shut her, namely the mouth, la bouche... so what used to be "Ferme ta bouche (shut your mouth)" turned into "Ferme la bouche" (shut the mouth), then shortened to 'Ferme-la!", or "Shut it! (but with the feminine gender, still)", and eventually turned slang as reversed to "La ferme!".

This makes it challenging to watch a movie in French, and understand or translate it into English. For example, if in such a movie, a farmer in his field notices smoke and fire coming from his farm house, he'll go "La ferme!".  (The farm! ( on fire)). And if the farmer's wife next to him keeps yapping and yapping and complaining about whatever farmer's wives might complain about in French movies, he'll probably look at her again and say once more: La ferme! Or he might look at the house and say nothing and then turn his head to the wife, and say it twice, with a hand gesture to the farm in the second case... La ferme! La ferme!  Now how on Earth do you translate that? Is it "Shut up! The farm!", or is it "The farm! Shut up!" .... funny enough, in the end, it may not matter. Both are lost cases.

Yup, French is that fascinating. All languages are, really, because, they reflect what humans do: they communicate, they argue, they share their thoughts.... And humans are complex creatures, so don't expect their communication system to be any less fascinating.

Languages are a way to communicate. English is what you use to communicate, right now, to live your daily life. Next time, use Italian (with your hands) when ordering Gelato at Pappalecco, or say it "en français" when ordering a crèpe at Fabrisons. German is great to order beer at Green Flash Brewery, it's so much greener, and next time you have sushi at Mr Sushi's in PB, it'll taste even better when ordering it in ni-hongo. Trust me, after you learn the meanings of the lyrics in K-pop songs from Girls' Generation, or hits like Psy's "Gangnam Style", it will add a new dimension to your life experience. You won't just hear the music - you'll feel it, you'll sing along. You'll live it. You'll understand. Ditto when France Gall and Elton John sing together, or when France sings for Diego's last breath... or in defense of people who are different, who think different... like when they play the piano, not sitting, but standing - Il jouait du piano debout. You don't have to agree with the story, but you'll be able at least to understand. And understanding is what this is all about. Same goes with Ilona Mitrecey singing "Dans ma fusée (in my rocket)" in French, or one of my favorites, "C'est les Vacances", (because who doesn't like to go on vacation?!?!) and also "Un monde parfait (a perfect world)" as seen on YourKidTV channel, or classic Spanish hits like 'Porque te vas (with lyrics)' by Jeanette.

Soon enough, you won't dream just in color, or in English. You'll dream in your chosen foreign language. You'll read popular children's books online, books you've read before, perhaps long ago. Good memories look even sweeter in a foreign language, when there is nothing foreign about it anymore.

Find more about me on Thumbtack:    For example:   Italian language education

Thanks for allowing me to guide you on your journey to the global experience, to tutor you through a foreign language.

If I already had the priviledge to tutor you and you'd like to leave a review, please write your review here.

Vielen Dank, merci beaucoup, e grazie mille!


Contact me

e-mail me:


we like to teach

  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Italian
  • Swiss-German (Basel dialect)

We can also help you with beginning level on these:

  • Japanese
  • Russian

We'd love to tutor this too:

  • Indonesian

If you want to learn, learn with me!


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Putting Parental Controls on Child’s Mobile Phone

The Parent’s Guide to Teens and Mobile Use

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