What's the Word? February Edition

What's the Word? February Edition

Was that the longest January ever or what? Now you’ve shaken off those blues, check out these irresistibly interesting language and culture stories that popped up during the last few weeks of world news.
February 21 2022

In the last month, Disney’s latest musical moral tale, Encanto, has caused a soundtrack-induced mania we haven’t seen since Elsa let it go. The nominations for this year’s Oscars are officially in and, unsurprisingly, The Power of the Dog is leading the charge. 

Elsewhere, we’ve once again started marvelling at the superhumans taking on the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics like it’s snow big deal. We’re all rewatching Cool Runnings while we wait for the Jamaican bobsleigh team to compete, right?

But in particular, these language and culture-related stories caught our eye.


Money Heist is back - and it’s Korean!


It’s time to get excited because Netflix has dropped the news plenty of us have been waiting for. Its hit Spanish show, Money Heist, is getting remade with a familiar cultural twist. Not in on the Heist hype? Here’s all you need to know: not only is it one of Netflix’s most-watched non-English language series of all time, but it’s also one of its most-watched TV series ever

Since the success of Squid Game last year, it’s true to say that Korean TV (known as K drama) and cinema is having quite the moment. And if its predecessor is anything to go by, the newly titled Money Heist: Korea - Joint Economic Area is already shaping up to be a cracker. It’s set to follow the same premise as the original Money Heist series (no spoilers for those of you yet to catch up - but run, don’t walk, seriously!), where a group is recruited by a mysterious man and tasked to pull off a robbery of epic proportions - with plenty of twists and turns along the way. 

Not a fan of subtitles or dubbing? Our handy Korean language course could have you watching like a native in no time. Need to catch up on the Spanish version? We’ve got you covered, too.


Say yes to selfcare by learning to say no. 


If COVID lockdowns have taught us anything, it’s that we need to start taking better care of ourselves.

Setting boundaries is an important first step. These can be physical boundaries (leave your laptop in a different room after work),  emotional boundaries (distancing from negative people), and social boundaries (limited to two or three get-togethers each month). 

In short, we need to learn how to say “no” to demanding things more often. 

This can be hugely positive to our mental health and general wellbeing. “No” is such a tiny, tiny word, but it’s one of the hardest things to learn to say to others .

The people who built this website must have thought so, too. They created endless templates you can use to say no to just about any scenario. Say no to a date? Check. Say no to someone that won’t take no for an answer? Yup. Say no after you already said yes? Yes sirrrrrr.

It’s brilliant. And you know the old proverb: “there’s a website for everything.”

Oh, and because we’re Memrise, here’s how to say no in Spanish, French, Japanese and German. Because you already know how to do that in English.


Shazam for cheese is here. Yes, you read that right.


It’s no secret that the French love their cheese - so much so, it’s practically a religion. In fact, there are believed to be way over a thousand different varieties, which can cause a whole host of fromage-related problems for French learners trying to get to grips with the culture. Bottom line: as well as learning the lingo, it’s important to know your beaufort from your brie.

That’s where Cheezam comes in. Built by data scientists at Prevision.io, it can tell you what cheese you’re dealing with, and even the wine pairings that can go with it. So all you have to do is remember how to order another glass of Sancerre (hint: it’s “puis-je avoir un autre verre de sancerre s'il vous plaît?” You’re welcome!)

We’re giving you the power!

Okay, not all of it. But we do really want to find out what you’d like to see featured in What’s the Word in the future. Whether it’s certain topics, people, cultures, or anything else, let us know by using this form and we’ll add it to our list.

And that’s all for this edition of What’s the Word? Every month we round up some of the coolest things that are happening around the world and share them with you in the hope they’ll quench your language and general knowledge-seeking thirst just a little bit. Catch you next time!


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