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InnovativeLanguage.com Takes to the Friendly Skies with British Airways!

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Starting in June 2013, InnovativeLanguage.com takes flight with British Airways, one of the world’s leading airlines.

Travel and language learning have always gone hand in hand. Knowing just a few key language phrases can be a powerful tool in opening up new opportunities abroad, staying safe and making the most out of your trip. That’s why we’re proud to announce that InnovativeLanguage.com is now flying the friendly skies thanks to a new agreement with British Airways, one of the world’s leading airlines.

Starting in June 2013 on British Airways long haul flights, you’ll find our fast, easy and fun language lessons on board BA’s inflight entertainment system. No matter where you’re flying, we’ve got you covered! Choose from over 20 languages and start learning from our popular beginner level lessons.

Languages Available on British Airways

Arabic French Hindi Korean Spanish
Bulgarian German Indonesian Polish Swedish
Cantonese Greek Italian Portuguese Thai
Filipino Hebrew Japanese Russian Vietnamese

No matter what language you’re learning, our effective lessons will get you speaking from the very first lesson. You’ll learn very simple grammar and vocabulary from Native Speaking teachers, with clear explanations and breakdown from our English speaking co-host. You’ll also learn important cultural tips and insights that will give you a head start on your trip.

Be sure to tune into these audio lessons on your next trip abroad with British Airways! And remember that a little bit of language goes a long, long way.

For a sneak peek at what you’ll find on British Airways, sign up for a Free Lifetime Account at InnovativeLanguage.com!

Announcing the Lighter, Faster and More Mobile-Friendly Lesson Notes

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Why do language learners keep coming back to our 101.com sites?

For our fast, fresh and fun audio and video lessons, of course!

But did you know that an important part of our lessons is the PDF lesson notes? These printable lesson notes are a crucial part of our online learning system. For visual learners, they’re a must! So that’s why we embarked on a long journey to improve the PDF Lesson Notes so that you, our valued listeners, will have the very best language learning experience.

So what’s new? Glad you asked!

Here’s what you’ll find with the updated PDF Lesson Notes:

  • Completely Mobile Friendly – View with no problems, both iOS and Android
  • RIP Lesson Notes Lite – PDFs now display reliably across different viewers, so there’s no need for Lesson Notes Lite
  • Download Them Faster – PDFs are now around one quarter the file size
  • Full Character Support – Problems with incorrectly displayed characters have been fixed
  • Read with Ease – Clean new look, designed to be easy on the eyes
  • Better Organization – New radio-style dialogue layout, line numbers for quick reference, clear vocabulary and sample sentence tables, and full season and lesson number and lesson name on every page

Put simply, the new PDFs are FASTER, LIGHTER and just plain BETTER!

Ready to check out the new PDFs? All Basic and Premium members have full access to every one of our lessons and their PDF lesson notes. Sign into your account and click on any lesson to see the new Lesson Notes.

Looking to upgrade and gain instant access to our entire lesson library and lesson notes? Use coupon code PDF15OFF to save 15% on any Basic or Premium subscription!

Arabic: Click Here To Learn Arabic with Premium PLUS at ArabicPod101!

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Turkish: Click Here To Learn Turkish with Premium PLUS at TurkishClass101!

Vietnamese: Click Here To Learn Vietnamese with Premium PLUS at VietnamesePod101!

Giving Thanks and Sweets at Innovative

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Today, we bring you another blog post from Motoko, JapanesePod101.com lesson creator, host and Office Party Planner! Motoko will be sharing more bilingual posts on our blog, so check back often and leave a comment! 

Hi all! Motoko here. It’s been a while since my last post!

But today, I’d like to talk about one of the most popular events in Japan. It’s the day that we say “I love you” and “thanks” to the people we spend the most time with.

This day is Valentine’s Day, on February 14th. It originally came from European culture, didn’t it? And people usually give presents or flowers to the one they love on that day. I’m guessing that in your country, it’s the men who give presents to their partners. But in Japan, ladies give chocolate to men!

It’s the only chance each year when ladies can declare their love to the men they love. They usually make or buy chocolates and give them to the men.

Recently, however, most people have been giving chocolates to their colleagues and friends. On Valentine’s Day at Innovative Language, the ladies brought sweets they had made or bought to the office. Also, Peter gave boxes of chocolate to each of our team members. The men and ladies in the office all enjoyed these sweets together. Though no one declared their love, it was a day for us to say “thanks for everything!” to each other.

So if Valentine’s Day is for men, did the men of Innovative Language do anything in return? Well, in Japan, this happens on White Day, which falls on March 14th. This is an event that is well known in Japan and also in South Korea. The men who received presents on Valentine’s Day return the favor to the lady they got the chocolate from. Some return the declaration of love to the lady too! And some give sweets and snacks to their friends in return. At the Innovative office, most of the men brought boxes of sweets for the ladies. The boxes said “Happy White Day! Only for Girls!!” (Unlike on Valentine’s Day!) The guys looked sad about this because they love chocolate!      

What happens in your country on Valentine’s Day and White Day?

(Feb - Mar, 2013)

Get Your Own Language Tutor & Unlimited Access with Premium PLUS

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Hi Listener,

There’s only one thing missing from making your language absolutely perfect. 

A native speaker. 

Someone to practice with. Someone who’ll fix every language problem you’ll ever come across.

Someone who will turn you from a timid basic speaker to a non-stop foreign language speaking machine!

Master Language With Your Own Teacher. Subscribe to Premium PLUS and get the best of both worlds – all of our effective lessons, lesson notes, and Premium study tools. Oh, and all the help you’ll ever want from your very own teacher.

Upgrade to Premium PLUS today to get your very own private tutor!

Skip Common Mistakes and Get Personal Help! With Premium PLUS, you get:

  • Professional Language Assessment: Most self-taught learners don’t know their strengths and weaknesses. Skip their mistakes. Your teacher will assess your language level, iron out your mistakes and tell you what lessons fit your needs best!
  • Personalized 1-on-1 Instruction: Is speaking your weak point? Need a bigger vocabulary? Get a study plan based on your needs. Your teacher will design a plan to turn your weaknesses into strengths! 
  • Writing Correction Exercises by Email: Got a question about grammar? Want to have your sentences corrected? Shoot your personal tutor an email and get answers to any language problem you come across within 24 hours.
  •  VIP Customer Support: As a Premium PLUS member, you get reliable and timely assistance from our 24-hour Customer Support team. 

And of course, Premium PLUS subscriptions at our 27 sites give you unlimited access to the entire language learning systems. You get instant access to:

  • All Audio and Video lessons and the lesson notes with every lesson
  • 2000 Core Words and Phrase list
  • Smart Spaced Repetition Online Flashcard System
  • Line by Line Audio pronunciation breakdown
  • Accent-perfecting Voice Recording Tool
  • Premium ONLY RSS Feed 
  • Mobile Web App, compatible with ANY device…
  • …and much much more!

Okay! I Want To Improve My Language. What Can I Expect?

Upon subscription, you’ll receive an Assessment Test via email. Complete the test and your teacher will email you with your results, assessment and personal curriculum within 48 hours.

After Your Assessment Test: Start Learning With Your Personal Teacher

Once you receive your personalized curriculum and begin your studies, you’ll also have access to your teacher by email and get answers to all your questions.

Joining Is Risk Free! Your subscription has a 60-day money-back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with your language progress within this time, shoot us a quick email for a refund. No hassles. No questions asked.

How Do I Join? Choose from any of our 27 languages and click the corresponding link to start!

Arabic: Click Here To Learn Arabic with Premium PLUS at ArabicPod101!

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French: Click Here To Learn French with Premium PLUS at FrenchPod101!

German: Click Here To Learn German with Premium PLUS at GermanPod101!

Greek: Click Here To Learn Greek with Premium PLUS at GreekPod101!

Hebrew: Click Here To Learn Hebrew with Premium PLUS at HebrewPod101!

Hindi: Click Here To Learn Hindi with Premium PLUS at HindiPod101!

Hungarian: Click Here To Learn Hungarian with Premium PLUS at HungarianPod101!

Indonesian: Click Here To Learn Indonesian with Premium PLUS at IndonesianPod101!

Italian: Click Here To Learn Italian with Premium PLUS at ItalianPod101!

Japanese: Click Here To Learn Japanese with Premium PLUS at JapanesePod101!

Korean: Click Here To Learn Korean with Premium PLUS at KoreanClass101!

Norwegian: Click Here To Learn Norwegian with Premium PLUS at NorwegianClass101!

Polish: Click Here To Learn Polish with Premium PLUS at PolishPod101!

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Thai: Click Here To Learn Thai with Premium PLUS at ThaiPod101!

Turkish: Click Here To Learn Turkish with Premium PLUS at TurkishClass101!

Vietnamese: Click Here To Learn Vietnamese with Premium PLUS at VietnamesePod101!

To your fluency!

Team Innovative Language

Peter’s 2012 Success Story (and Bonus Tips!)

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Hi everyone, Peter Galante, founder of Innovative Language Learning here.

I’d like to share my 2012 Chinese language success story with you this year. On January 1st 2012, I made a resolution to learn Chinese. What was different from past years?

1. I wrote out the resolution and left it on my desk, where I looked at it each day.

2. I listened to ChineseClass101 lessons or vocabulary lists each day during commutes, on my mobile phone.

3. I set smaller goals: weekly and monthly

4. I used my ChineseClass101 lessons as the study material with my tutor

The results…from the last week in November, my two 30-minute Chinese lessons are 99.9% in Chinese.

This year I have made a significant effort towards mastering Chinese. Here are a few changes I made that drastically improved my results.

Before: A Broad Written Goal -> Master Chinese

This Year: A Measurable Goal -> Speak for 30 minutes exclusively in Chinese (about my interests)

In the past, my goal was something along the line of “Master Chinese.” A broad ambitious goal, which lacked a measurable result. This year I changed my goal from ‘Master Chinese’ to ‘Have a 30 Minutes Conversation Exclusively in Chinese with my Chinese Tutor.’

Before: Attempt to Learn with Friends and Family

This Year: Pay for a Tutor

To each his own, but paying hard earned money for lessons…well, let’s just say come class time I was focused and prepared. Family members and friends are great, but sometimes things can break down fast. There is nothing on the line, and sometimes working something new into the routine can be difficult. My wife has tried to teach me her native language time and again, but it’s hard to create to proper professional environment to really learn.

By putting my money on the line, I approached things with the mindset of someone who was determined to get value from the service. My motivation was higher and my expectations of the service were higher. In turn, I demanded more from my teacher and myself.

Before: Use Tutor’s Recommended Study Resource

This Year: Use My ChineseClass101 Course as Main Study Resource

I have a Chinese teacher/tutor. We meet for 30 minutes a week online.

Before this year, our lessons were focused around textbook conversations that lacked topics I was interested in. At the same time, I was using ChineseClass101.com as my self study resource. This resulted in a disconnect between what I was learning on my own, and what I was learning in the classroom.

At first I was hesitant to ask my teacher to use ChineseClass101.com as our new study resource. In the end, I requested that my teacher use the series I was studying at ChineseClass101.com as our main study resource for our lessons. My teacher, a real rockstar, agreed, even though this meant some extra work on her end to create teacher guides for the lessons.

She was pleasantly surprised to see the classes were formatted in a way that allowed for easy integration with our lessons. Also, she liked that the lessons were based around much more current and relevant talking points than the textbooks we had been using.

This turned out to be a big break!

Now that we were using material I was studying on my own in the lessons, an interesting thing happened. My talking time in the lessons began to increase rapidly.

Remember my goal? 30 minutes of conversation in Chinese. And not talking in Chinese, but actually having a conversation.

At the beginning of the year, my total talking time in the class was about an average of 7 minutes and most of that time was spent repeating, drilling, or reading text. Our initial conversation was around a minute, and consisted of “how was your weekend?” My standard response, “Fine. And you?” And well, you get the rest.

Before: Reactively Answer Teacher Questions

This year: Proactively Control the Conversation

Now that I knew the study material (ChineseClass101.com) and was actively studying it before the lessons, I could write and practice conversations based around the vocabulary and grammar points of the lessons.

Our warm-up conversations soon shifted from the teacher asking about my weekend to conversations about relevant and current topics. To illustrate, we had a lesson about interviews and resumes. The warm conversation centered on how LinkedIn has become an important part of the employment process. This topic seems a bit difficult, right?

Well, it really wasn’t. It took a little bit of effort on my part to find out how to say LinkedIn. And that was it. A lot of the grammar was already there.

“LinkedIn is better than a resume. I don’t use resumes. I use LinkedIn. Do you know about LinkedIn?” etc.

And while I was speaking, a funny thing happened. My teacher listened with interest and began to ask me questions about LinkedIn. We then spoke about the Chinese equivalent!

When the conversation concluded, I looked at my watch. 8 minutes. It was by far the longest conversation we had ever had. And almost 1/3 toward my goal!

Now, was the conversation smooth and flowing at a native level? No. But it was 98% in Chinese. My teacher is very good in that if I say something in English, she’ll repeat back in Chinese and rarely if ever use English.

With this big win under my belt, I revisited my goal.

Before: 30 Minutes of Conversation in Chinese

This April: 10-Minute Conversation in Chinese

 Smaller Goals were instrumental. After reaching 8 minutes in Chinese, I set the next goal to 10 minutes. I would put in the necessary work before our Skype lesson to ensure I could meet the minimum time goal for having a conversation in Chinese. And again, an interesting thing happened. I would constantly exceed my goals when I studied and prepared. Of course, I would fall short when I couldn’t find the time. This reinforced how critical preparing was to my success. And the more I succeeded, the more time I would put in.

The goals progressed monthly as follows: 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 25 minutes and finally 30 minutes.

I reached the 30 minute goal was reached in November. And we were a LONG way from weekend activities. The conversation included the following topics: personal finance, credit card point systems, exchange rates, and taxes!

Before: Talking About Topics in Books

This November: Talking About Topics I’m Interested In

So why would anyone want to talk about taxes in two languages? Good question. That is definitely a topic for a different post, but I’d like to emphasize the point that we were talking about things that interested me. As my Chinese skills progressed and our conversations became longer, I found myself wanting and trying to talk about my personal interests. This was very challenging at first. In the end, I spent some time compiling lists of words related to my interests. This was a big step. I was now using Chinese as a tool to learn about things that were very interesting to me! My teacher actually had limited knowledge on some topics and would often have to research things. I think she may have enjoyed learning about these things too. Although, I’m not quite sure about that.

The lesson: it’s important to learn to speak about your areas of interest and expertise in your target language. After all, it’s what you know and live and breath everyday. Conversing in an educated manner in another language is quite an interesting feeling! And quite a LONG way from commenting on flavor of foods! It’s motivational and invigorating, and inspires the quest for more knowledge and longer conversation goals.

This is just my own personal story on learning Mandarin Chinese. I hope it helps you to regroup to tackle whatever language you’re interested in learning next year. And please, if you yourself  have a language success story, share it in the comments below to help boost our community!

 To your fluency,

Peter Galante, Founder

InnovativeLanguage.com

 

 

 

 

Welcoming Eran to the Tokyo office!

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Today, we bring you another blog post from Motoko, JapanesePod101.com lesson creator, host and Office Party Planner! Motoko will be sharing more bilingual posts on our blog, so check back often and leave a comment!

Hey everyone. Motoko here!

Today I would like to talk about our recent visit from Innovative Language’s Co-Founder, Eran. Though he’s usually based in New York, he came to visit the Tokyo office in mid-November. It had been a year since his previous visit, so we welcomed him and took him to some interesting spots!

The first event was dinner at Ninja Akasaka. I’m sure you know what a ninja is! And this is a restaurant where you can see modern-day ninja and enjoy creative, gourmet meals. When we arrived, we were let in to the restaurant in groups of 4 or 5 people. What we saw as we entered is a secret, but it was definitely a fun and exciting experience! After being welcomed in, ninja or kunoichi (female ninja) took us to our tables. The seating areas looked like caves and we squished into our small but comfortable seats.

Every meal both looked and tasted great! The course started with a terrine of foie gras with Shuriken-shaped biscuits.

Most of the dishes related somehow to ninja and were fun to look at and eat. I really liked the tiny ninja-shaped dessert, because it was pretty cute!


If you like the animes Naruto or Nintama Rantaro, or even if you don’t really like ninja, I recommend a visit to this restaurant because you will experience something special!

(Nov. 2012)

Halloween at Innovative Language!

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Today, we bring you another blog post from Motoko, JapanesePod101.com lesson creator, host and Office Party Planner! Motoko will be sharing more bilingual posts on our blog, so check back often and leave a comment!

Hi everyone, Motoko here!

Today, I’d like to let you all know what we did for Halloween here in the office. Unfortunately, Halloween has not been popular in Japan in the past, but it has been getting more and more popular recently. The most famous event would be the Halloween parade in Kawasaki, as well as some other costume parties in nightclubs in the city. People usually wear a costume and become their favorite characters, and can enjoy dancing and eating. Few people go to the neighbors and say “Trick or Treat!” like people in the US do – this is because many people still don’t know what Halloween is here.

Since most of our team is from other countries, we decorated the office with Halloween stuff. Getting into the spirit, our boss Peter took the initiative with the decorations. We also had another drawing competition, like we have for other occasions in the past. Our team members drew their own jack-o’-lanterns and then put them to a vote on the 31st. We had 2 in the first place. One is the ‘abstract’ interpretation on the top left (G) and the other one has big sparkly cute eyes (I).


Which one do you like the most? What kind of jack-o’-lantern would you draw?

Extra photo: Our new motto is “no sick days”! We work ourselves to the bone!

(2012 Nov.)

Innovative Language Goes Mobile! Master Language with One Thumb, No Squinting Necessary

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Let’s play a game of Would You Rather?

Would you rather have this…
Over 300 language learning CDs (yeah, CDs…remember those?) piled to the ceiling in your bedroom next to stacks upon stacks of expensive, outdated textbooks that teach you dry, humorless conversation.

…or this?
The same amount of language learning content, shrunken down to fit onto your smartphone or tablet. And all those lessons? They’ve been updated to teach you vocabulary, grammar and culture so that learning language is actually fun!

The answer is clear. You’d rather have Innovative Language Mobile!

The biggest language course.
All on your tiny mobile device.

Introducing Innovative Language Mobile Beta!
Take all of your favorite language lessons and lesson notes on the go, anywhere you have a WiFi or 3G/4G connection, anytime and on any device. That’s thousands upon thousands of language lessons from our 27 language sites, available at the touch of a finger. Optimized for any screen, you’ll navigate through our rich collection of lessons and resources easily and intuitively.

No more zooming. No more squinting. This is language learning on-the-go!

Exclusive New Feature for 12-month and 24-month Premium Subscribers!
Whether you’re an iOS or Android user, Beginner or Advanced speaker, you can swipe your way to fluency as you go from lesson to lesson. Accessed through your device’s browser, once you log in and your 12-month or 24-month Premium membership has been authenticated, you’ll gain access to our entire lesson library including audio, video, lesson notes, line-by-line transcripts and vocabulary with audio.

Loading that many lessons onto your Phone would take up 20GB at least! With Innovative Language Mobile, you get all the content without giving up all that storage space. Save that extra space for more Instagram photos of your delicious lunch!

japanese1.PNG

(taken from Mobile.JapanesePod101.com) 

Log On to Tune In
Using any WiFi-enabled device, log in to any of our 27 sites by typing in “http://mobile” before the site name. For example, JapanesePod101 Mobile can be accessed at http://mobile.JapanesePod101.com. Once logged in, tap on “Browse” to scroll through all seasons and lessons by difficulty. If you’d like to continue where you’ve left off, tap on “History.”

Most Lessons come with 3 Audio Tracks:

  • Lesson Audio Track – Listen to the complete lesson
  • Lesson Review Track – Review words and phrases from the lesson
  • Dialog Track – Hear just the Japanese-only dialog to make sure you understand it all!
  • Plus, you get Lesson Notes and Supplementary Resources:

  • PDF Lesson Notes – Get the lesson in writing
  • Lesson Transcript – Read and listen to the dialogue again and again
  • Vocabulary List – The words, translations, and pronunciations
  • Expansion – Additional audio related to the grammar
  • Innovative Language Mobile is currently available across all 27 language sites to 12-month and 24-month Premium and Premium Plus subscribers only.

    If you have questions or feedback for us, send us a message here.

    Making Soba and Picking Peaches

    Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

    Today, we bring you another blog post from Motoko, JapanesePod101.com lesson creator, host and Office Party Planner! Motoko will be sharing more bilingual posts on our blog, so check back often and leave a comment!

    Hi everyone, Motoko here!

    In the beginning of summer this year, the Innovative Language staff went on a day trip. Today I’d like to talk about that. We chose peach-picking for fun, and soba-making so that everyone could try a traditional Japanese food! We made soba in a wonderful nihon-kaoku, a traditional type of Japanese house.

    Do you know what soba is? Soba is a famous type of noodle in Japan that is a greyish-brown color. It gets this color from a special type of flour called sobako that is used to make it. You dip the boiled soba into a dip called tsuyu made from fish broth, and eat it. Adding onions and wasabi to the tsuyu give it a more grown-up flavor. Soba comes in two types: cold zarusoba, and warm kakesoba, but this time we had zarusoba.

    Soba is made from sobako and flour. First, you mix the two types of flour into a large bowl called a hachi. You can use chopsticks, but it seems like it’s more common to use your hands. Next, you add water. Then comes the hard part – you have to then knead the soba dough a lot. The teacher made it look easy, but it requires a lot of strength since the dough is not that soft. Apparently, the action of kneading the dough is an important step to making delicious soba. Once you’re done kneading, you flatten the dough with a rolling pin. Then, you place the soba on a wooden board called a komaita, and cut it with a special knife called a bocho. If you cut it thinly, you get great soba. If you cut it thickly, you get soba that looks like udon. (Which still tastes good…it just might be a little hard.)

    Everyone worked hard at making soba, getting themselves covered with flour in the process. After making it, we boiled it and ate it ourselves. Because the noodles are raw, they take only a minute and a half to cook. Soon after boiling them, you do what’s called shimeru in Japanese. Shimeru refers to rinsing the noodles with cold water so that they don’t get too soft. When you do this, it gives the noodles a nice chewy texture. This isn’t done with Italian pasta!

    Then we got on the bus to go peach-picking. Is it common to go fruit-picking in your country? In Japan, there are a lot of opportunities for fruit-picking that change with the seasons. Cherry-picking, peach-picking, grape-picking, and pear-picking are some of the well-known ones. You go to the field to pick and eat a lot – depending on the place, there may be a limit to how much you can eat. The place we went had an all-you-can-eat deal that lasted for 40 minutes. For 40 minutes, you can pick and eat as much as you want. Apparently, the good peaches are at the ends of the branches, so everyone tried hard to get the highest ones.

    The person who ate the most was a family member of one our Innovative Language staff. They ate seven peaches in 40 minutes! As for me, I ate three. The peaches I chose were big, so even after just three, I was really full!

    Readers, you should definitely try your hand at making Japanese food – not just eating it. I had never made soba before, and I’m Japanese! It’s sure to be a memorable experience.

    Word of the Day Widget Update! iPhone and iPad Users Rejoice!

    Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

    Hello Listener,

    Learning a word a day is effortless, free, and takes less than a minute!

    So it’s no wonder the Word of The Day at InnovativeLanguage.com is one of our users’ most loved free features. And when our users started mailing in with feedback, we just couldn’t leave it alone.

    The biggest issue? iOS incompatibility. The original Word of the Day Flash Widget didn’t work with the iPhone or the iPad.

    After much tinkering, the new Word of the Day Widget is here.

    The New Word of the Day Widget

    Word of the Day

    (Sample screenshot taken from JapanesePod101.com


    Here’s what’s new!

    • Completely redesigned and customizable
    • Built with HTML5. Works on the iPhone, iPad, etc
    • Copy and paste words directly from the Widget
    • Can be embedded into mobile apps and sites
    • Will work on any browser
    • Turn transliteration and romanization on and off


    Access the Word of the Day widget on any browser, from any smartphone, or computer. Want to save a word or sample sentences for your own use? Just copy and paste it directly from the widget!

    Add the widget to your blog or website!

    Choose from 38 languages and customize the widget as you see fit! The Word of the Day widget comes in two sizes, small (160 x 190px) and large (540 x 450px) and 8 different designs. Once you’ve chosen the language, size, and design, grab the embed code and add it to your site!

    If you have questions or feedback for us, send us an email here.

    Click Here to Visit the New Word of the Day Widget!