The power of foreign words in marketing

Marketers are adding a new and powerful tool to their magic mix of tricks and schemes to help us part with our money…foreign words! English so often the go-to language for marketers, is now making way for some foreign words when there is a need to conjure up authenticity, cultural depth, heritage and sophistication…or sometimes just link it to a national reputation.

Audi were actually onto this decades ago (1982 to be precise). When the legendary adverting guru, Sir John Hegarty, saw a faded poster on a factory wall in Ingolstadt 30 years ago, he didn’t see unintelligible German words. He saw a catchphrase that would sell millions of cars to UK buyers by connecting Audi with the global perception of German engineering prowess. That faded poster said:

Vorsprung durch Technik

It roughly means “advancement through technology”. However, in German it communicated so much more….superior German engineering, reliability and strength. It sounded cool too – forever imprinted on my mind.

Using foreign words to market goods

Using foreign words in English Media

Fast forward to 2016 and another brand is also finding the power of the foreign word. Two years ago the manufacturers of San Pellegrino mineral water decided to make a tiny change to the labelling of their bottles: They would add the words Toscana, Italia to their still water brand Acqua Panna.  Clemont Vachon, a company spokesperson said at a conference held in Florence (or should that be Firenze?) this week that:

“We decided to use Toscana, not the English word, Tuscany – and after 18 months ales have in creased by 14%

Italian is an emotional language, not mechanical like German, and speaks to the heart. Just say ‘Armani’ and you think of passion and style.”

foreign words being used to market

The power of foreign words in marketing

Will this be a new trend?

Foreign straplines and words sprinkled into the English media would be most welcome – and a gentle encouragement to learn foreign languages – if after all they are seen as cooler, authentic and stylish.

Where marketers lead, society usually follows. Penso di sì (doesn’t that sound like a strapline, already?)

If you’re looking to learn Italian how about learning it through play? KLOO produces award winning French, Italian and Spanish games which as you play you learn a language.

Learn French Board Game

The Learn French Board Game

Other great reasons to learn a foreign language




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Motivational quotes to make it happen

“Always do your best. What you plant now you can harvest later”

We’re all trying to make our way in the world – achieve something, make a difference, provide for ourselves, provide for others. Sometimes it can get tough going and it’s in those moments we need a few motivational quotes to keep us focused on the challenge. I just wanted to share a few that make a difference to me in my business.

Always do your best. What you plant now you can harvest later

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can

There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving and that’s yourself

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible

If you’re going through hell, keep going

What’s you’re challenge – what are you trying to achieve? Here is a quote from Mary Poppins:

When something’s well begun, it’s half done

If learning a language is on your checklist then maybe start with KLOO – an award winning game that makes learning a language fast, easy and fun. A great way to start making a difference.



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The smart way to learn a language

Choose the right way to learn a language

If you have already decided you want to learn a language – congratulations. It’s a great decision that will bring you many benefits – some quite surprising.

Your next decision is critical…how to learn a language. If you’re anything like me you’ll just want to get stuck in – buy some support materials and learn. That is fine except many language system are actually very poor – in fact some don’t work at all. The result? You find it difficult, you become demotivated and start to believe that you don’t have the skills to learn (which is simply untrue).

What language resources should you avoid?

In the world we live in, everyone selling a language product has a vested interest in getting you to buy and some make outlandish claims. Look in the right places, however, and you’ll get good advice from language experts. Professors Mackey and King in their book The Bilingual Edge, list many poor performing language resources and systems to avoid. Indeed they say if you purchase them you will be left disappointed. It’s worth looking at this report: “What the language industry doesn’t want you to know”.

To be successful you’ll need to learn languages the smart way…that means aligning the language system you choose with the way our minds work.  There are four learning pillars that make a huge difference:

  1. Using the power of contextual learning
  2.  Using the power of Discovery learning
  3. Using the power of learning with humans
  4. Using the power of enjoyable learning

If you can somehow get all four of those powerful learning principles in a single resource – you are on to a winner.

Find out more about KLOO’s multi-award winning games and the the language principles inside it.

Benefits of a second language

A second language can bring surprising benefits

Posted in bilingual, context, homeschooling resources, language games, Language Learning, language resources, language techniques, mfl games, mfl resources | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

MFL Case Studies show dramatic impact in classroom

Language teachers share their experience of a novel approach

Teaching is a demanding profession…and can be all the more demanding if pupils are not engaged or enthused by the subject you teach. Language often polarises a class: pupils tend to love or dislike languages in equal degrees. To help reach those on the disinterested end of the spectrum, some Language teachers have been trying out KLOO as a language resource.

All reported a dramatic impact on enthusiasm and rate of learning. You can read these independent MFL case studies here.  

The way that KLOO does this is by turning language into a game. The primary objective is no longer to learn French or Spanish…but to the win the game. Pupils do this by learning words as quickly as possible and making sentences. Language learning becomes the means to an end …and the result is a dramatic upswing in enthusiasm and learning that teachers are happy to share. In all cases, the game quickly established itself as a favourite of both teachers and pupils.

A snapshot what language teachers are saying about their experiences:

KLOO MFL Resources in the classroom

Canadian Students favourite MFL resource

“After playing two or three times with the same deck students have almost magically learned all the vocabulary, not only to write and read each word correctly but also to pronounce it right.”Veronica Fernandez, Spain

“At first the reluctant learners thought that they couldn’t do it because they couldn’t translate their cards independently. After teaching them how it works, and how they can verify their translations themselves, they liked it a lot more because it didn’t feel like “work”. KLOO really helps them make lots of sentences, and believe that they CAN make sentences, on their own.” Karen Christiensen, Canada

“They love it when they play it again and they go, “Oh, I remember this word from yesterday”. I think probably the first thing I would do is get other teachers to play KLOO themselves, because I think they would learn how easy it is to begin to learn through playing the game.” Richard Smith, Primary School, UK

KLOO MFL Resources in Spanish French and Italian

Adulst have fun learning with KLOO MFL Resources

“They are always happy to see the game and often ask me to bring it back the next week so that they can play with a different deck. Students enjoy searching for the words they don’t know in order to score extra points and they generally remember them the second time around.” Susie Sparks, UK, teaching adults

Check out what Primary School Teachers say in full:

Finding the right MFL Resources for your class

MFL Resources: White Board v Game Board

The everyday language resource that people overlook

Posted in Educational Games, homeschooling resources, Language case studies, MFL Case Studies, mfl games, mfl resources | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Finding the right MFL Resources for your class

Q. What resources are actually proven to work in schools?

There is so much noise and choice around MFL resources, it is quite difficult to find resources that actually work (as opposed to those that are just heavily marketed). Many years ago I remember buying countless language resources to support my own kids’ language learning, and actually being bitterly disappointed with them. My kids were never enthusiastic of the language programs and systems I purchased, and when I looked at them more closely (with my games designer hat on), I could see that they were poorly designed to educate.

On the upside, there are some great language resources, which if you sift through the evidence of other language teachers’ experience you can find…..and some of the very best by test are not even that expensive.

To help you find the right resource here’s a checklist of independent indicators to identify the best resources:

  • Word of mouth recommendations from other teachers
  • Independently, verified reviews by teachers
  • Awards by independent bodies
  • Case Studies independently taken by MFL teachers

If you find a product which ticks these boxes, then you’re onto a good thing.

Watch this video to find out more about KLOO MFL Resources and how they stack up against those criteria.

About this MFL Resource

By embedding important language principles inside award-winning MFL Games, KLOO makes language learning fast, easy and fun. Many teachers claim they see a whole new and improved attitude to learning languages in their classrooms. Even reluctant learners love to play these games.

Language Teachers use KLOO’s range of MFL Games to teach children as well as adult learners, from absolute beginners through to intermediate standards. At School, KLOO is used to teach 7 – 14 year old children and achieve multiple objectives:

– Building vocabulary up 10 X faster using Discobery Learning (see Research below)
– Making thousands of sentences in seconds
– Speaking the language out loud
– Increasing motivation and enthusiasm – especially reluctant learners
– Practising with verbs, pronouns, adjectives, nouns, expressions and connectives


Maggie is a language teacher. She teaches French and Spanish from 7 through to 14-year-olds. She loves her job, but not everyone in the class loves languages like her. So she decided to find the language resource to bring excitement into her class.

Another language teacher told her about a product called KLOO , which turns language into a game. So she decided to check it out. She discovered that this game won ToyTalk’s Best Board Game of the Year and also the U.S. Academic Choice Award. In fact, she found it had won lots of awards.

She also discovered it was the number one category best-selling language game on Amazon. When she looked more closely, she could see hundreds of really positive reviews from teachers just like herself. They said their classes were really enthusiastic and learned a lot. It made her curious as to how it worked.

So she went to the website and found some independent case studies compiled by other language teachers. She saw that the system was unique. Teachers claimed their students were learning to make sentences in seconds. Even absolute beginners can do it. Moreover, they were easily building vocabulary as they played.

Teachers noticed that their classes became motivated to win games by learning the language. Even those who didn’t like languages became enthusiastic, and their abilities showed a marked improvement. She bought some games and KLOO became the favorite activity of the whole class. She now recommends KLOO to other teachers.


00:04 Language teaches French and Spanish to 7 – 14 year olds
00:15 Looks for language resource
00:21 KLOO turns language into a game
00:28 Won Best Board Game of the Year
00:39 No 1 Best Seller on Amazon
00:58 Found Independent Case Studies on Language Resources
01:15 Students building foreign vocabulary
01:19 How to motivate classes to learn foreign language

My Top 3 Language Learning Resources

Language Teachers talk about the language resources they use

The everyday language resource that people overlook

Find out more about KLOO Language MFL Resources

Check out case studies

Find MFL games for school


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Top Tip for Beginners – the First Words to Learn in a Second Language

Discover the best start to learning a language for beginners

If you are a beginner and thinking about learning a new language, you have to start somewhere. As the ancient Chinese philosopher Laozi said: A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. So true.

Learn foreign words for beginners

Foreign Words for beginners

However, while you cannot determine the length of the journey, you can decide where to start from. For beginners, most systems will start with a series of pictures of familiar objects to learn such as “ball” and “book” or of people such as “nurse” or “teacher” etc. They will then build on these nouns with some relevant verbs such as “to read” (the book) or to “to wait for” (the teacher).

It’s not the best place to start. A few nouns – yes, that’s OK….but the verbs selected are not the best. Ideally you want to firstly learn verbs that will work in nearly all situations. This means your language ability will grow massively, quickly.

Let’s take the verb “to read”. The issue with this verb is that it only works with a select few nouns. You can read a newspaper, a book, a magazine, a kindle….but you can’t read a ball, a nurse or a teacher (or indeed much else). So in 99.99% of the time you will not be able to use the verb “to read”.

Multi-functional Verbs

language learners beginners learn these verbs first

Multi-functional verbs are more useful like a Swiss army knife

There are, however, verbs that WILL work in 99.9% of the time. I like to think of these verbs as the Swiss Army Knife of verbs…a multi-tool that you can attach to nouns to express yourself.

Here’s a great multi-functional verb:

“To See”

I see the nurse, I see the ball, I see the teacher, I see the traffic jam, I see your point! So lets learn the verb “to see” ahead of “to read”. I hope you see my point

When I was inventing KLOO, (a game for learning a second language) I discovered that there actually aren’t that many multi-functional verbs – so they are very precious. It also means that you don’t have to learn too many before you have the complete set. It is for this reason that we packed our language games with them….and also why they are recommended language games for beginners as well as intermediate language learners.

Here’s a list of Multi-Functional Verbs to learn first:

To prefer

To want

To adore

To like

To hate

To ask for

To choose

To bring

To look for

To love

To find

To look at

There are some great second league multi-functional verbs too…although not quite as useful s the premier league list above, these are terrific too.

To pay for

To sell

To buy

To refuse

To have

To hold

To take

Learn these and your ability to express yourself quickly and easily will grow exponentially. That’s why it’s a great place for language beginners to start.

At KLOO language games we use ALL these verbs in our games because we know how important they are. Furthermore, each deck you play with has a different theme such as “Eating & Drinking”, “People”, “Clothes” and “Everyday Objects” through which you will learn relevant nouns, adjectives and connectives.

Q. Guess how many sentences you can make with one deck of KLOO – because we use multi-functional verbs. (Hundreds?, Thousands? Tens of thousand? Hundreds of thousands? More? )…see below

French and Spanish for beginners

I see a brown dog

A: More…see how many

Have fun learning a new language….see too how easy it is to learn these words using KLOO’s unique Discovery Learning system. Have fun. Learn faster.

Posted in Build Vocabulary, french for beginners, homeschooling, Language Learning, language techniques, Spanish for beginners | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Homeschooling for Spanish and French – how parents can easily help their children learn a language

(and not be fluent)

Homeschooling Spanish French and Italian with KLOO gamesHomeschooling is a big undertaking. Parents aim to educate their children at home and aspire to provide an education at least as good, if not better, than the local school system. Apart from the monumental responsibility of being a parent and the primary educator…parents need to become proficient at a raft of subjects usually taught by specialist teachers.

In most subjects a parent needs to master a subject in order to teach it…science subjects, geography, mathematics all require the comprehension of complex  systems. Even in English the parent will need to have a grasp of what constitutes good English, grammar, spelling and articulation. It’s admirable but many home schools manage it, just fine.

Homeschooling Resources for Spanish and French

Language are a little bit different. It’s not easy for a parent to be fluent in a foreign language (if they aren’t already). But here’s the good news. Research shows that parents don’t have to be fluent in a second language to help their children learn (see Helping your child learn a language). Indeed, the child will benefit from you just learning alongside them.

What is more, research again suggests that one of the best ways to learn a language is to play games (see: What’s the best way to teach children a language?). So your lesson can be consist of playing as opposed to studying…and at the same time be more effective.

Award winning French and Spanish Homeschooling Resources

There is a language game that is ideally suited for homeschooling. It enables learners to start making Spanish or French sentences in seconds as well as build their vocabulary as they play. Amazingly they can learn Spanish or French up ten times faster than by using traditional methods. Indeed, parents can play and learn fast too. The game is called KLOO and it has won many awards, is the UK’s No 1 best selling foreign language game on Amazon UK and is increasingly used by many top schools.

It’s really fun too. Take a look.

Posted in board games, Educational Games, homeschooling, homeschooling resources, language games, mfl games, mfl resources, Teach yourself French | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment