WANTED: Language Learning Volunteers (Free Service) - 2018 Update

Dear All

Thanks to those of you on Survive France who took part in our language learning trials last year.

The response was overwhelming and we’re pleased to say that the majority of you who took part found our Vocabulary Learning Method easy to use and of benefit to improving your French Language skills.

Since the trials, we’ve expanded and improved our application which now also includes:

  • Conjugation Practice
  • First Words for complete beginners,
  • Games (Number Practice, Word Gender, Conversation Starters, etc)
  • Plus a variety of other interesting learning tools

We are currently looking for people who are interested in starting to learn French, or are looking to improve on their basic knowledge, to take part in more trials this year.

As before, the service is being offered free of charge to Survive France members, in return for your feedback about the experience.

Please note, as always this is a genuine call for volunteers - at no time will you be prompted to enter any personal details nor asked for any payment, etc.

The process to get involved this year is more straight-forward - you can go directly to our website and start learning straight-away (nothing to download or install - even on the mobile versons). Simply go to the following link and look out for the Sign-in/Register option:


Thank you for your interest and happy learning…

ps. Thank you as always to SurviveFrance.

I am curious about tbe definition of ‘ken’ on the home page and would welcome some more explanation, with the etymology.
‘A word from the far east’ perhaps but which language? It is an administrative term, a district etc in Japanese and it means ‘yes’ in Hebrew, but mainly I thought of modern Scots usage, cognate with German etc kennen (= to know) so I really would like to know, please explain!

Wiktionary gives (along with a few others)

Northern and Scottish dialects from Middle English kennen, from Old English cennan (“make known, declare, acknowledge”) originally “to make known”, causative of cunnan (“to become acquainted with, to know”), from Proto-Germanic *kannijaną, causative of *kunnaną (“be able”), from which comes the verb can. Cognate with West Frisian kenne (“to know; recognise”), Dutch kennen (“to know”), German kennen (“to know, be acquainted with someone/something”), Norwegian Bokmål kjenne, Norwegian Nynorsk kjenna Old Norse kenna (“know, perceive”).

Which would certainly fit with what I would understand by the word “ken”.

D'ye ken John Peel with his coat so gay*?
D'ye ken John Peel at the break o' day?
D'ye ken John Peel when he's far, far a-way.
With his hounds and his horn in the morning?  [trad]
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Yes- so why on the home page does it say ‘ken is a word from the far east’ I am sorry, it bothers me! (I am a linguist and a pedant) :wink:

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Hi Véronique (and Paul),

Thank you for your interest.

The word Ken refers to the extent of one’s perception, understanding, knowledge, or vision (horizon) - this is appropriate as our mission is to help people extend their ‘ken’ through language and other means.

The true origin of the word is somewhat vague however it appears to have been first used in Asia where the word, along with its derivities were more commonly used.

Ken came to Europe sometime during the Middle Ages as we understand it and, as Paul rightly points out, became the root of a number of words along with engraining itself in certain popular cultures.

It’s not a commonly used word these days so we’re doing our bit to save this small piece of history.

If (any of) you have any questions or comments about ken, our application or the work we do then feel free to contact us directly at hi@ken.mba.

Sincerely, Andrew

“The true origin of the word is somewhat vague however it appears to have been first used in Asia where the word, along with its derivities were more commonly used.”

Thanks but I’m afraid that you still haven’t answered the question - what is the etymology of ken - Sanskrit, Pali, other, if so which?

“Ken came to Europe sometime during the Middle Ages as we understand it and, as Paul rightly points out, became the root of a number of words along with engraining itself in certain popular cultures.”

I’m sorry, this is historically inaccurate pseudolinguistics or as we would say in demotic speech, nonsense.

You might also like to tell whoever wrote the pitch on the website that in English we talk about ‘native speakers’ or one’s ‘native language’ and not “maternal speakers” or one’s “maternal language” and people have a ‘native land’ not a “maternal land”.
The plural of ‘hero’ is ‘heroes’ not “heros”.
“Peoples everyday lives” takes an apostrophe because it is a possessive construction ( good old Saxon genitive😉).


Hi Andrew

I like the site, and particularly the conjugations section - I think that part is going to help me. I have a friend learning Italian and I see you have that as well - is she able to join ?

Thanks, Sarah

Hi Sarah

Thanks for your interest and yes, no problem with Italien.

We present the site to help the French audience here although we also provide our service to those wishing to learn Spanish, Italien, or German.

Feel free to pass on the link to your family or friends.

Enjoy leaning

I grew up with the word “ken” as a noun (and there were no Scots around!) but only in very specific phrases such as “beyond my ken”, “swam into his ken”, so I assimilated it as meaning 'sphere of awareness", as Andrew (quoting Merriam Webster) says.

I do agree with Véro though the site could do with a good proof-read. I only read a few paras and I noticed “integrates easily into our users everyday lives”. Would expect a language learning site to be a bit more rigorous on punctuation etc…

But a good initiative, more power to your elbow.

Thanks for your feedback Anna and I’ll pass your comments onto the team.

We’re currently performing trials and ironing out rough edges ahead of our formal launch.

The community at SF have been supportive so we’re providing our service for free for the time being as a thank you.

Sincerely, Andrew

Anna, I know the word ‘ken’ and have used it for probably 50 years in different contexts. I speak standard RP English and am a professional linguist.
What bothers me is a nonsensical bit of pseudolinguistics on a language teaching site, if you don’t know just say so, don’t invent something that makes you look silly at best.
And proofreading is essential for credibility - quite apart from anything else, what are derivities? Why engrained rather than ingrained which is the considerably more usual spelling?


Thanks for sharing your views Véronique.

If you have more information about the the word Ken then you are welcome to share it with the group or email us directly.

Many thanks, Andrew

Interesting - how will the conjugations section help you Sarah - apart from being able to use different forms of a verb of course? Oh and welcome to the forum - I see you joined today!

For some reason when I click on the link provided… it just brings up a blank screen with the word “ken” followed by four yellow dots…

I’ve waited and waited… clicked here and there… but nothing…

I’ve shouted at the screen in French and English… but obviously we are not understanding one another… :roll_eyes::frowning_face:

Stella - be very careful…

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Hi Stella

Thanks for your interest.

You should be able to type ken.mba into most browsers and it will take you to the home page.

If you’re still experiencing an issue then by all means just drop a quick email to support@ken.mba stating what device you are using - and if you know it, the model and the browser type (ie. Safari on iPhone 5) and the team will be able to assist you.

Thanks, Andrew

Hi, I’m struggling to register as my email/password is not valid!
Can you help please?

Id love help learning French