What was the language of official documents

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The first challenge started with a bang, as our contestants were forced out of their comfort zones and into the aisles of a Brooklyn supermarket. Under a strict time limit, they were tasked with finding a Spanish-speaking shopper and asking them for the ingredients to their favorite recipe (all in Spanish, of course!). Then they had to locate the ingredients and put them in their shopping cart before time ran out. The contestant to get the most correct ingredients in their cart would be the winner.\

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All three contestants were able to find a Spanish speaker quickly, but some recipes were more complicated than others. How much of what their shopper was saying did they really understand? Apparently, quite a bit. As soon as the ingredients were listed off, our contestants were dashing through the aisles, searching for the correct items. The comprehension level was surprisingly high for the first challenge, and all three contestants did a nice job. But when the buzzer went off, only one person had \all\ the correct ingredients in their cart. Check out the video above to see who it was.\

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Episode 2: The Flamenco Class\

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After surviving the supermarket challenge, the contestants were ready for their second mission: take a Flamenco dance class taught entirely in Spanish and learn some specific choreography. This challenge tested their listening and comprehension skills, as well as their ability to ask questions and to critique each other in Spanish. Again, Jordan, Deb and Jenna surprised us with their willingness to dive right in and give the challenge their all.\

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As you’ll see in the video, Deb asked several questions during the dance lesson, and judging by the look on Jenna’s face, she wasn’t expecting Deb to take such initiative. That was the moment when you could feel the competition intensifying. When it was time to perform the combination in front of their opponents and the dance instructor, the contestants really shined. Even the instructor, Tatiana, was impressed with their Spanish comprehension and dance moves. But when it came time for critiques, who was judged most harshly? Watch the video above!\

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Episode 3: The Blind Date\

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The third and final challenge was one the contestants never saw coming. We matched each contestant with a fluent Spanish speaker and sent them on a blind date. During the date, they had to maintain the conversation entirely in Spanish (bonus points if they were able to flirt a little in the process). Keeping a conversation flowing during a date is hard enough in English, but doing it in a foreign language? Now, that’s a challenge!\

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Unsurprisingly, the dates were awkward at first as the contestants navigated both their new language and a conversation with a total stranger/potential love interest. But once the ice was broken, things went relatively smoothly. All three couples seemed to hit it off eventually, but one couple actually left together!\

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After the dates were concluded, it was time to reveal the winner of the 15-Hour Spanish Challenge. Babbel’s SVP of Marketing for the U.S. Deepa Miglani gave each contestant feedback on what they did well during the three challenges and where they showed room for improvement. Then she announced the winner — “The contestant who was able to carry out full conversations with relative ease.”\

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Watch the final video to find out who won the 15-Hour Spanish Challenge!\

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After studying Spanish with Babbel for just 15 hours, 3 Americans face off in a series of challenges to see how much they learned.\

Dylan is Babbel USA’s senior content producer. He studied journalism at Ithaca College and previously managed social media for CBS Evening News. He’s currently pursuing his MBA part-time at NYU Stern. His interests include podcasts, puppies, politics, alliteration, reading, writing, and dessert. Dylan lives in New York City.\

Dylan is Babbel USA’s senior content producer. He studied journalism at Ithaca College and previously managed social media for CBS Evening News. He’s currently pursuing his MBA part-time at NYU Stern. His interests include podcasts, puppies, politics, alliteration, reading, writing, and dessert. Dylan lives in New York City.\

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Dylan ist Senior Content Producer für Babbel in den USA. Er studierte Journalismus am Ithaca College und war später für den Social Media Auftritt der CBS Evening News verantwortlich. Er interessiert sich für Podcasts, Hundewelpen, Politik, Alliterationen, Lesen, Schreiben und Desserts. Dylan lebt in New York City.\

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Dylan a vécu un peu partout aux États-Unis avant de s’installer à New York. Il a fait des études de journalisme et de politique à l'université d'Ithaca, puis a travaillé comme responsable des réseaux sociaux pour CBS Evening News. Il aime le café, le chocolat, les petits chiens, Games of Thrones, le football, lire et écrire – mais surtout les petits chiens.\

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Dylan vive a New York ma è cresciuto in diversi stati degli Stati Uniti. Ha studiato giornalismo e scienze politiche all'Ithaca College e si è occupato dei social media per CBS Evening News. I suoi interessi includono il caffè, i cuccioli, leggere, scrivere, la cioccolata, Game of Thrones e il calcio. I cuccioli soprattutto.\

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Dylan mora em Nova York, mas foi educado em diferentes cidades nos Estados Unidos. Ele se graduou em jornalismo e política na Universidade de Ithaca, e foi gerente de mídias sociais para CBS Evening News. Dylan tem muitos interesses incluindo café, filhotinhos, livros, chocolate, Game of Thrones e futebol. O seu preferido? Filhotinhos, sem dúvida!\

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\Dylan pracuje w nowojorskim biurze Babbel. Wcześniej zajmował się mediami społecznościowymi dla CBS Evening News. Studiował dziennikarstwo i nauki polityczne. Lubi słuchać podcastów, czytać i pisać. Ma słabość do czekolady, „Gry o tron”, piłkę nożnej i szczeniaków... w szczególności do szczeniaków.\\

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Dylan vive en Nueva York pero se crió en diferentes estados del país. Estudió periodismo y política en la Universidad de Ithaca y antes de trabajar en Babbel se encargó de las redes sociales para el programa de televisión CBS Evening News. Entre sus intereses están tomar café, los cachorritos, leer y el fútbol... pero sobre todo, los cachorritos. Síguelo en \Twitter\.\

A lot of slang words sound made up, because at some point in the not-so-distant past, they were. Are you ready to put your English-speaking skills to the test? See if you can figure out which words are \not\ American slang words.\

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Are you in the know or out of the loop?\

Y is a Brooklyn-based writer and editor who is insatiably interested in art, culture, and the intersection of technology and storytelling. She believes you can never have too many houseplants.\

Y is a Brooklyn-based writer and editor who is insatiably interested in art, culture, and the intersection of technology and storytelling. She believes you can never have too many houseplants.\

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Y. Yates kommt aus Brooklyn, New York, und brennt für alles, was mit Kunst, Kultur und der Schnittstelle von Technologie und Storytelling zu tun hat. Sie glaubt außerdem felsenfest daran, dass man nie genug Zimmerpflanzen haben kann.\

\n","fr":"\

Y est une écrivaine et rédactrice basée à Brooklyn qui se nourrit d'art et de cuture, au croisement des récits et des nouvelles technologies. Une de ses certitudes dans la vie : on ne possède jamais assez de plantes d'intérieur.\

\n","it":"","pt":"","pl":"","es":"\

Y es una escritora y editora basado en Brooklyn. Se considera una fanática insaciablemente del arte, la cultura y las intersecciones entre la tecnología y la narración. Además, cree firmemente que nunca puedes tener demasiadas plantas en un piso. 🌱\

An official language refers to the language (or multiple languages) that a country’s government uses for official business. The practice of adopting — or not adopting — an official language can become highly controversial. After all, language intimately intersects with heritage and national identity, which both elicit strong reactions and opinions from people. With that in mind, what is the United States’ official language, anyway? We’ve got the answer, and six other facts you probably didn’t know about America’s official language.\

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1. The United States has no official language\

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It’s true, there’s no official language in the United States. However, the debate about whether or not to adopt an official language has been going on since at least the 1750’s. Still, the vast majority of people in the U.S. speak English, which is the country’s de facto official language.\

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2. Over half the states in the U.S. have made English an official language\

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Although there are no laws stating that English is the official language at the \federal\ \level\, 31 states have made English the official language.\

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3. Only one state is officially bilingual\

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Hawaii is the only state to be officially bilingual, recognizing \Hawaiian Pidgin English\ as an official language in 2015.\

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4. Speaking a foreign language in public was once illegal in parts of the U.S.\

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During and after WWI, when anti-German sentiment was high in the U.S., parts of the Midwest made it a crime to speak German and other foreign languages in public. In addition, most of the states dropped German classes from schools during this time.\

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5. Today, the U.S. remains a melting pot of languages\

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There may be no other official language, but there are at least \350 different languages\ spoken in the U.S. today. After English, the top five in terms of native speakers are \Spanish\, Chinese (including Cantonese, Mandarin and other varieties), \French\ and French Creole, Tagalog and Vietnamese.\

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6. Even among native English speakers, there’s a ton of variation in the language\

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There are at least 24 dialects of American English spoken in the U.S., according to linguist Robert Delaney, who developed a map of the U.S. by regional dialect. Delaney writes that a dialect has its “own grammar, vocabulary, syntax, and common expressions as well as pronunciation rules,” which set it apart from an accent.\

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7. And one more thing: German was never under consideration to be an official language of the U.S.\

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There’s a compelling story that \German\ was once “one vote away” from becoming the official language of the U.S., but it’s a myth. In 1795, there was a vote on whether to print the federal laws in both German and English. A vote to adjourn and discuss the recommendation again failed by 42 to 41, which is how historians believe the story began that German was a hair’s breadth away from becoming an official language.\

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And while we’re at it, what is an official language, anyway? \

Y is a Brooklyn-based writer and editor who is insatiably interested in art, culture, and the intersection of technology and storytelling. She believes you can never have too many houseplants.\

Y is a Brooklyn-based writer and editor who is insatiably interested in art, culture, and the intersection of technology and storytelling. She believes you can never have too many houseplants.\

\n","de":"\

Y. Yates kommt aus Brooklyn, New York, und brennt für alles, was mit Kunst, Kultur und der Schnittstelle von Technologie und Storytelling zu tun hat. Sie glaubt außerdem felsenfest daran, dass man nie genug Zimmerpflanzen haben kann.\

\n","fr":"\

Y est une écrivaine et rédactrice basée à Brooklyn qui se nourrit d'art et de cuture, au croisement des récits et des nouvelles technologies. Une de ses certitudes dans la vie : on ne possède jamais assez de plantes d'intérieur.\

\n","it":"","pt":"","pl":"","es":"\

Y es una escritora y editora basado en Brooklyn. Se considera una fanática insaciablemente del arte, la cultura y las intersecciones entre la tecnología y la narración. Además, cree firmemente que nunca puedes tener demasiadas plantas en un piso. 🌱\

Whether you’re studying abroad or on vacation, the last thing you want to do is unintentionally offend someone by saying something rude. But what if it’s your hands that are doing the talking? The meaning of our hand gestures may seem intuitive to us, but as it turns out, they don’t always translate well across cultures. Keep reading to learn some common hand gestures to avoid making abroad.\

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Okay Sign\

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\What you meant to say:\ “Sounds good” or “I approve”\

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\What you’re actually saying:\ In Germany, you just called someone an a**hole. Now who’s the…\

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Backward Peace Sign\

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\What you meant by it:\ If you’re flashing the backward peace sign, we’re going to assume you’re posing for a picture or taking a selfie.\

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\If someone sees you:\ You just gave them the equivalent of the middle finger if you’re in the U.K., Australia, Ireland or New Zealand. Whoops!\

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Index Finger On Temple\

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\What you meant to say:\ “I’m thinking”\

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\What you’re actually saying:\ That you think the person you’re talking to is crazy, which in Germany is called “showing someone the bird.” This is likely because birds were thought to have low intelligence, similar to the U.S. expression “bird brain.”\

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Fist To Forehead\

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\What you meant to say:\ This is another commonly used one to express “I’m thinking” in the U.S.\

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\What you’re actually saying:\ In Brazil, you’d be calling yourself an idiot. This hand gesture is used to illustrate that you just did something stupid, like trying to \eat ice cream with your forehead\.\

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Some handy tips for traveling overseas. \

Y is a Brooklyn-based writer and editor who is insatiably interested in art, culture, and the intersection of technology and storytelling. She believes you can never have too many houseplants.\

Y is a Brooklyn-based writer and editor who is insatiably interested in art, culture, and the intersection of technology and storytelling. She believes you can never have too many houseplants.\

\n","de":"\

Y. Yates kommt aus Brooklyn, New York, und brennt für alles, was mit Kunst, Kultur und der Schnittstelle von Technologie und Storytelling zu tun hat. Sie glaubt außerdem felsenfest daran, dass man nie genug Zimmerpflanzen haben kann.\

\n","fr":"\

Y est une écrivaine et rédactrice basée à Brooklyn qui se nourrit d'art et de cuture, au croisement des récits et des nouvelles technologies. Une de ses certitudes dans la vie : on ne possède jamais assez de plantes d'intérieur.\

\n","it":"","pt":"","pl":"","es":"\

Y es una escritora y editora basado en Brooklyn. Se considera una fanática insaciablemente del arte, la cultura y las intersecciones entre la tecnología y la narración. Además, cree firmemente que nunca puedes tener demasiadas plantas en un piso. 🌱\

Summer is coming to an end, but you can keep the spirit alive with this upbeat and eclectic mix of Spanish-language music from up-and-coming artists.\

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Eléctrico by Sotomayor\

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A warm-up to a hot summer night\

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With an addictive beat you can’t help but move to, Eléctrico is the perfect song to get you loosened up and ready to spend the night on the dance floor. Created by the brother-sister duo Paulina and Raúl Sotomayor who hail from Mexico City, Eléctrico is a track from their second album \Conquistador\, which came out this summer. Listen to the song above, or watch the music video \here\.\

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BANGAH (Pico y Palo) by ÌFÉ\

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A completely new sound with an ancient foundation\

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It becomes immediately apparent when listening to BANGAH that there is something much bigger living underneath its surface, an underlying story that’s propelling it — and you — forward into its energy. That story can be found in the vision of bandleader Otura Mun, who moved to Puerto Rico in the late ‘90s and formed ÌFÉ in 2015. The group’s unique sound is created by blending a number of musical styles, and ÌFÉ \includes\ “Cuban Rumba, Sacred Yoruba praise songs, Jamaican Dancehall, and American R&B” as its influences.\

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Once you listen to BANGAH, we know you’ll be curious to learn more. You can watch a documentary with Otura Mun \here\, and listen to an interview about the group’s musical style \here\.\

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Ya No Te Quiero by Los Blenders\

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Meet your summer crush\

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For a song with a title that translates to “I don’t love you anymore,” this tune from Mexican surf rock band Los Blenders is upbeat, instantly danceable and, like a new crush, you won’t be able to get enough of it.\

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This single was released this year on February 14th — \Vice\ \called it\ the perfect song for your lonely Valentine’s Day — but we still think it’s a great backdrop for summer hijinks, or really anytime you need a pop music pick-me-up.\

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You can use “Ya No Te Quiero” for more than just getting over a breakup. Los Blenders released a \lyric video\, so you can read (and sing) along with the Spanish lyrics that are scrawled across colorful sticky notes. You’ll notice that some words are written more casually than you may have seen in other contexts, but it’s a nice way to pick up some abbreviations that are handy for texting, like “T.Q.” for te quiero.\

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<3\

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Toca Madera by Los Wálters\

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A beachy daydream you’ll never want to leave\

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Translating to knock on wood, “Toca Madera” is a world within a song that was created by the Puerto Rican duo \Los Wálters\, and from the first beat on, you’ll be wishing you lived there, too.\

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What’s interesting about Los Wálters is that they began as a digital collaboration, making music together while living in different cities, including San Juan, Philadelphia, Barcelona, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Miami.\

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This dreamy, hypnotizing tune will have you thinking you’re picking up Spanish by osmosis, and perhaps there’s something to that. The song’s vibrating beat gives away its message. Listen for “Me haces levitar,” which translates to “You make me levitate,” and is exactly the feeling this song conjures.\

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An eclectic and upbeat mix of music to help you absorb the Spanish language.\

Y is a Brooklyn-based writer and editor who is insatiably interested in art, culture, and the intersection of technology and storytelling. She believes you can never have too many houseplants.\

Y is a Brooklyn-based writer and editor who is insatiably interested in art, culture, and the intersection of technology and storytelling. She believes you can never have too many houseplants.\

\n","de":"\

Y. Yates kommt aus Brooklyn, New York, und brennt für alles, was mit Kunst, Kultur und der Schnittstelle von Technologie und Storytelling zu tun hat. Sie glaubt außerdem felsenfest daran, dass man nie genug Zimmerpflanzen haben kann.\

\n","fr":"\

Y est une écrivaine et rédactrice basée à Brooklyn qui se nourrit d'art et de cuture, au croisement des récits et des nouvelles technologies. Une de ses certitudes dans la vie : on ne possède jamais assez de plantes d'intérieur.\

\n","it":"","pt":"","pl":"","es":"\

Y es una escritora y editora basado en Brooklyn. Se considera una fanática insaciablemente del arte, la cultura y las intersecciones entre la tecnología y la narración. Además, cree firmemente que nunca puedes tener demasiadas plantas en un piso. 🌱\

\\A version of this article was originally published on \Business Insider\.\\\

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Ask someone who works in technology what languages they know, and they’ll likely respond with a list of programming languages like Python or JavaScript. While coding is undoubtedly an extremely useful skill to have if your dream is to work in tech or start your own company, recently there’s been an emphasis on the “soft skills” taught by the humanities. When those two parts of your brain are working together, it’s a \winning combination\ for founders looking to fundraise, attract talent and customers, and communicate a vision.\

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Obviously, \our\ favorite soft skill is language learning (the linguistic kind, although we owe a great deal to the computational type as well), and we were interested to know if any of the leaders in technology shared our enthusiasm. As it turns out, quite a few of them do.\

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Mark Zuckerberg made headlines in 2014 when he surprised students at Beijing’s Tsinghua University by answering every question during a 30 minute Q&A \exclusively in Mandarin\.\