5 Web Comics for Language and Travel Nerds You Should be Following

expat gone foreign, comics for language and travel nerds





Sometimes it’s a good idea to take a break from the language learning grind. Liven your learning experience up with something fun!

One great source you can use to find some humor and respite and possibly even motivation is through web comics for language and travel. If you play your cards right you might even learn something.

I’ve made a list for you of some of my favorite web comics for language and travel and expat life. Check them out; I hope you enjoy!

#1 ItchyFeet

If you’ve been part of the die-hard online language learning community for any period of time you’d have to have been living under a rock not to have seen any of ItchyFeet’s travel and language comic strips.

Created by Malachi Rempen; these fantastic strips so accurately portray the struggles faced by those learning foreign languages, dealing with culture shock and making their way in foreign and unfamiliar places.

I’ll let Rempen’s work speak for itself; check it out!

You can (and should) check out ItchyFeet here on itchyfeetcomic.com.

 

 

#2 Expat Gone Foreign

Ph.D linguist, traveler, language teacher and expat tXc brings us a great new comic detailing hardships faced by those living abroad, language enthusiasts and the general difficulties of being a student and not going (entirely) insane.

Her work is often edgy and loaded with witty sarcasm. It’s absolutely worth checking out and following. You can also follow Expat Gone Foreign here on Facebook.

And if you like her work, you can help support Expat Gone Foreign here on Patreon

Take a look:

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#3 Polandball

Often falling under both the categories of comic and meme; Polandball is an Internet phenomenon that first started cropping up on Reddit in 2009 and has roots in some sort of “cyberwar” between Poland and the rest of the world.

Individual comics are created independently in much the same way as memes and no longer specifically feature Poland, despite the comic’s namesake. There is no single artist; anyone can create Polandball strips.

Polandball features small, rough drawings of country themed “balls” colored like the national flags of their respective nations. The comics are almost always written in broken English – often with stereotypical grammatical elements of the languages spoken in each country.

Polandball is not for everyone, often featuring shocking political incorrectness and perpetuating national stereotypes (sometimes blatant racism) and no shortage of crude satire.

While not strictly about languages – often focusing on politics and international issues – Polandball does very frequently reference the differences in languages between countries. Its written style can offer a window into the linguistics of Internet culture.

And most of it is still fun if taken with a grain of salt.

#4 Soundimals

While not strictly speaking a comic either, Soundimals is the incredibly popular (and far less controversial) brainchild of James Chapman.

You know all those images with animals making onomatopoeic sounds from different countries around the world? These are those, and every time I share one on Facebook it turns out to be extremely popular.

It’s a fun little supplement to anyone’s language enthusiasm.

Check his site out for an absurdly large number of these images.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#5 Language Comics


Unique among the world of online language learning resources comes Language Comics, an interesting web comic and service for learners of French and Spanish.

Language Comics is not free, although a few sample lessons are available along with a few other cool goodies that might appeal to language enthusiasts.

This site offers a unique method of language instruction that I’ve never seen before; and I’ve seen a lot of methods.

The comics are written in French and Spanish and come fully equipped with vocabulary lists and grammar instruction for both independent learners and teachers looking for classroom material.

Definitely worth investigating further.

If you’re having a hard time reading this strip you can check out a full sized version here.

Conclusion

I’ve suggested making a language blog to learners in the past as a way to help keep yourself motivated and on track. But did you know that you can take it a step further and turn your language blog into your very own language comic? You don’t even need to be especially artistic. Stick figures can be quite funny and successful. Just look at XKCD!

If you want to start making your own strips you can do so here with Pixton.

Do you know of any other language comics? Post some of them in the comments!




 
 
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  • Erik Zidowecki

    Nice post! I didn’t know about Expat Gone Foreign or Language Comics (they need to come up with a more unique name for that one). Itchy Feet is the best, of course, but the animals posters are a common Facebook item. I have seen animal type ones in different styles as well. I wish more people did language comics, even though Malachi hopes not.. he likes having his monopoly with Itchy Feet. 🙂

  • Thanks as always Erik, I’m glad to see that you liked EGP and Language Comics.

    Yeah, they could use a new name, but hey they probably thought they were the first considering the amazingly small number of comics in this genre.

  • Yeah, I was happy to have found at least one piece that is in a language (or two languages in this case) in a language other than English.

    It’s also a really great resource for beginners.

    Thanks for your comment!

  • Very nice! I didn’t know about some of these other ones. Soundimals I haven’t run across, but I already love it. I’ve wanted to do a comic about different animal noises for a while now, but I guess he beat me to the punch…!

  • Soundimals is great, and apparently kind of a big deal. His site is loaded with gobs and gobs of critical acclaim.

    I’m kind of jealous.

  • Nuno Kelly

    I just came across this now – nice work. I do an expat webcomic as well. It’s set in Amsterdam. Check it out – http://blueandblauw.com/