Linguistics

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  • What’s Wrong And Right With Vocabulary Lists — How To Use Them Without Being Used By Them

    AJATT | All Japanese All The Time
    khatzumoto
    5 Jul 2014 | 11:59 pm
    So I met a German girl at a cafe today…actually, she was Austrian but, same difference. Anyway, we got to talking about books and  I gave her a book recommendation, and it came out that I’ve only ever read the book in Japanese, so I had to find out what the English title was. She was shocked (or maybe surprised…whatever, same difference), and she talked about how she could never learn Japanese. And I was like, no way, of course you could. Because, here’s the thing. I have a lot of positive stereotypes about German people. There was my friend and neighbour Wolfgang…
  • Word of the Week: Workamping

    Fritinancy
    Nancy Friedman
    21 Jul 2014 | 7:31 am
    Workamping: Working full or part time while living in a mobile home. A contraction of “work” and “camping.” Workamping is the focus of “The End of Retirement,” an investigative article by Jessica Bruder in the July/August 2014 issue of Harper’s. Access is restricted to subscribers; here’s the nut graf: They call themselves workampers, travelers, nomads, and gypsies, while history-minded commentators have labeled them the Okies of the Great Recession. More bluntly, they are geriatric migrant labor, meeting demands for seasonal work in an increasingly fragmented, temp-driven…
  • On the Visual Thesaurus: The Names of Frozen Desserts

    Fritinancy
    Nancy Friedman
    14 Jul 2014 | 4:35 pm
    My latest column for the Visual Thesaurus looks at the names of sweet, cold summertime treats, from generics like “ice cream,” “sherbet,” and “sundae” to brands like Good Humor, Eskimo Pie, and Häagen-Dazs. Access is limited to subscribers for three months; here’s a taste: Popsicle: The Popsicle website claims this frozen treat was invented by accident in 1905 by 11-year-old Frank Epperson when he left a mixture of powdered soda, water, and a stirring stick on his porch overnight. (The site doesn’t specify where this took place; Epperson’s 1983 obituary said San Francisco,…
  • Cartoon: The Prince George Effect

    The English Blog
    Jeffrey Hill
    21 Jul 2014 | 11:03 pm
    BACKGROUND It's Prince George's first birthday, today and since his first public appearance aged one day, royal baby watchers have been rushing to buy up whatever babywear brand he happens to be wearing — the so-called "Prince George effect". In the official birthday photos taken a few weeks ago, George is dressed in a pair of dungaree shorts from French label Petit Bateau, over a polo shirt-style top and shoes and socks. Read more >> THE CARTOONThe cartoon by Paul Thomas from the Daily Express shows a couple having a picnic in the park with their young son. Both…
  • Personalized approach enhances communication skills in children with autism

    Language Acquisition News -- ScienceDaily
    17 Jul 2014 | 12:15 pm
    The communication skills of minimally verbal children with autism can be greatly improved through personalized interventions that are combined with the use of computer tablets, researchers report. The three-year study examined different approaches to improving communication abilities among children with autism spectrum disorder and minimal verbal skills. Approximately 30 percent of children with ASD overall remain minimally verbal even after years of intervention.
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    Language Acquisition News -- ScienceDaily

  • Try, try again? Study says no: Trying harder makes it more difficult to learn some aspects of language, neuroscientists find

    21 Jul 2014 | 11:22 am
    Neuroscientists find that trying harder makes it more difficult to learn some aspects of language. When it comes to learning languages, adults and children have different strengths. Adults excel at absorbing the vocabulary needed to navigate a grocery store or order food in a restaurant, but children have an uncanny ability to pick up on subtle nuances of language, sometimes speaking a second language like a native speaker within months. Brain structure plays an important role in this "sensitive period" for learning language, which is believed to end around adolescence.
  • Philosopher uses game theory to understand how words, actions acquire meaning

    21 Jul 2014 | 9:37 am
    Why does the word "dog" have meaning? If you say "dog" to a friend, why does your friend understand you? A philosopher aims to address these types of questions in his latest research, which focuses on long-standing philosophical questions about semantic meaning. Philosophers and a mathematician are collaborating to use game theory to analyze communication and how it acquires meaning.
  • Brain waves show learning to read does not end in 4th grade, contrary to popular theory

    21 Jul 2014 | 7:03 am
    Teachers-in-training have long been taught that fourth grade is when students stop learning to read and start reading to learn. But a new study tested the theory by analyzing brain waves and found that fourth-graders do not experience a change in automatic word processing, a crucial component of the reading shift theory. Instead, some types of word processing become automatic before fourth grade, while others don't switch until after fifth.
  • Large twin study suggests that language delay due more to nature than nurture

    21 Jul 2014 | 6:59 am
    A study of 473 sets of twins followed since birth found twins have twice the rate of language delay as do single-born children. Moreover, identical twins have greater rates of language delay than do non-identical twins, strengthening the case for the heritability of language.
  • Personalized approach enhances communication skills in children with autism

    17 Jul 2014 | 12:15 pm
    The communication skills of minimally verbal children with autism can be greatly improved through personalized interventions that are combined with the use of computer tablets, researchers report. The three-year study examined different approaches to improving communication abilities among children with autism spectrum disorder and minimal verbal skills. Approximately 30 percent of children with ASD overall remain minimally verbal even after years of intervention.
 
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    The English Blog

  • Cartoon: The Prince George Effect

    Jeffrey Hill
    21 Jul 2014 | 11:03 pm
    BACKGROUND It's Prince George's first birthday, today and since his first public appearance aged one day, royal baby watchers have been rushing to buy up whatever babywear brand he happens to be wearing — the so-called "Prince George effect". In the official birthday photos taken a few weeks ago, George is dressed in a pair of dungaree shorts from French label Petit Bateau, over a polo shirt-style top and shoes and socks. Read more >> THE CARTOONThe cartoon by Paul Thomas from the Daily Express shows a couple having a picnic in the park with their young son. Both…
  • Newsy Video: $23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

    Jeffrey Hill
    21 Jul 2014 | 10:32 pm
    A Florida jury awarded a smoker's widow one of the largest ever legal wins against a tobacco company — a whopping $23.6 billion in punitive damages. Cynthia Robinson sued the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, maker of Camel cigarettes and other tobacco products, for not informing her husband that cigarettes are addictive and can cause lung cancer. Full transcript >> Related articlesWidow of chain smoker killed by lung cancer wins $23 billion payout from tobacco firmFlorida jury awards widow of chain smoker $23 billionFla. jury slams RJ Reynolds with $23.6B in damagesWidow of chain…
  • Words in the News: Punish

    Jeffrey Hill
    21 Jul 2014 | 10:28 pm
    David Cameron lost patience with Vladimir Putin’s “bluster and obfuscation” on Monday night and called on Europe to impose “hard-hitting sanctions” on Russia after the downing of Flight MH17. In his strongest intervention since the disaster, which killed 298 people, the Prime Minister invoked the spectre of the Second World War and compared Russia’s aggression to that of Nazi Germany. He said Russia was facing a “defining moment” in its history and expressed his frustration with European Union countries, including France and Germany, which have failed to back his calls for the…
  • Cartoon: The Buck Stops Elsewhere

    Jeffrey Hill
    20 Jul 2014 | 11:00 pm
    BACKGROUND The United States upped pressure on Vladimir Putin on Sunday over his response to the Malaysia Airlines jet shoot-down in eastern Ukraine, with Secretary of State John Kerry noting on CNN that it was a “moment of truth” for the Russian president. Russia has denied any involvement, and Putin said Ukraine’s military campaign against the rebels was to blame. But Secretary of State John Kerry said it would be "ridiculous" for the international community trust what Putin has said. Full story >> THE CARTOONThe cartoon by Paul Thomas from the Daily Express shows…
  • Newsy Video: McIlroy's British Open Victory Helps Dad Win Decade-Old Bet

    Jeffrey Hill
    20 Jul 2014 | 10:32 pm
    It was a sweet, sweet Sunday for the McIlroy family. That's because Rory just captured his third major title Sunday at The British Open, just as father bet he would a decade ago. Full transcript >> Related articlesRory's dad bet on him to win Open before 26Rory McIlroy wins the British OpenRory McIlroy in the company of legendsMcIlroys Have Double Success at British OpenRory McIlroy's dad, friends win $340K on 10-year-old bet
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    学校を出て働くことを考える

  • これは便利! 薬剤師の求人転職サイト比較

    admin
    13 Jul 2014 | 11:00 pm
    薬剤師と言う仕事は高度な専門性が求められる大切な仕事だと思います。薬剤師としてお勤めの方の中には、何かの事情で転職を考えている方もいると思います。ここでは、薬剤師の資格を持ち、転職を考えている方にはとても参考になる「薬剤師求人・転職サイト比較」をご紹介したいと思います。…
  • 企業で、そして学校で。たくさんのメリットがあるeラーニング。

    admin
    27 Aug 2013 | 11:00 pm
    近頃、eラーニングを取り入れる企業や学校が急増しているようです。いったいeラーニングには、どんなメリットがあるのでしょう? 企業研修にeラーニングを導入すると、時間、労力、経済と、すべての面において費用を抑えることができます。加えて、翌年もまたその次の年も、大勢の社員が同じ内容を学習することができ、内容に変更を加えることもまた、容易であるということです。…
  • 社員の力を引き出す人材管理ならサイダス【CYDAS】へ

    admin
    19 May 2013 | 11:00 pm
    そういった、企業における人材の配置計画や個人の持っている能力をふるにアップさせていくシステムを提供できるのが、人と組織の才能を引き出すサイダス【CYDAS】のPerformanceCloudです。 サイダス【CYDAS】をご紹介できるサイトは、こちらです。→こちら
 
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    Language Log

  • Kiss kiss / BER: Chinese photoshop victim

    Victor Mair
    22 Jul 2014 | 12:39 pm
    David Moser sent this photo to me about five years ago and I'm only now getting around to unearthing it from the masses of files scattered over my desktop: As David exclaimed when I told him that I had found his old message, "Ha! Great! At any rate, nothing has changed in five years, it's still a timely problem." In Pekingese colloquial, the word BER is often used to describe a quick, light kiss, a "peck" as we would say in English, hence the irony of this photo. It is not an uncommon term in Pekingese; if you listen in on the conversations of real BeijingeRs (PekingeRs, if I may), chances…
  • slip(per)

    Victor Mair
    22 Jul 2014 | 4:16 am
    Jonathan Dushoff sent in this photograph of a sign in the Lukang (Lùgǎng 鹿港) public library in Taiwan (apologies for the reflection off the surface): Jonathan says, "It's obvious how a computer would make that translation; not clear why a human (at the library!) didn't spot it." The translation software (or somebody) made this mistranslation ("Invites the slipper") because of problems with polysemy, parsing, and homophony.  As a matter of fact, depending upon their frame of mind and level of familiarity with Chinese language and characters, even a human being may have to pause for a…
  • "Spastic" and a different kind of "word crime"

    Ben Zimmer
    20 Jul 2014 | 8:19 am
    Weird Al Yankovic's new song "Word Crimes" has generated a lot of heated discussion among linguists and other descriptivist types who didn't take kindly to its litany of language peeves — satire or no satire. (See my original post and Lauren Squires' guest post for extended commentary.) But in detailing various "word crimes," Weird Al managed to commit a linguistic foul of his own. And no, I'm not talking about the split infinitive at the end of the song ("Try your best to not drool"). Weird Al assured his Twitter followers that the line was an intentional bit of trolling: If you thought I…
  • Default reasoning

    Mark Liberman
    20 Jul 2014 | 5:29 am
    Yesterday's Tank McNamara: For further discussion, see e.g. R. Reiter, "A Logic for Default Reasoning", Artificial Intelligence 1980; or Robert Sugden, "Salience, inductive reasoning and the emergence of conventions", Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 2011.
  • Critical take-downs

    Mark Liberman
    19 Jul 2014 | 5:54 am
    Kevin Roose, "Microsoft Just Laid Off Thousands of Employees With a Hilariously Bad Memo", New York Magazine 7/16/2014: Typically, when you're a top executive at a major corporation that is laying off more than 10 percent of your workforce, you say a few things to the newly jobless. Like "sorry." Or "thank you for your many years of service." Or even "we hate doing this, but it's necessary to help the company survive." What you don't do is bury the news of the layoffs in the 11th paragraph of a long, rambling corporate strategy memo. And yet, this was Microsoft honcho Stephen Elop's preferred…
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    GoodWord from alphaDictionary.com

  • 7/22/14 - traduce

    21 Jul 2014 | 10:00 pm
    1. To humiliate someone by falsely maligning them. 2. To violate, trample, betray, as to traduce the law
  • 7/21/14 - pedagogue

    20 Jul 2014 | 10:00 pm
    A (pedantic or dogmatic) teacher, educator.
  • 7/20/14 - blue-sky

    19 Jul 2014 | 10:00 pm
    1. [Adjective] Unrealistically optimistic, pie-in-the-sky, as blue-sky estimates of profits. 2. [Adjective] Worthless, of no value, unprofitable, as blue-sky property or stock. 3. [Verb] To subject a stock to the blue-sky laws of a state, designed to protect the public from fraudulent, overoptimistic promises made to sell stock or other property.
  • 7/19/14 - bailiwick

    18 Jul 2014 | 10:00 pm
    1. The jurisdiction of a bailiff (or bailie), a sheriff or magistrate in England, and perhaps a few other countries. 2. An area of familiarity or expertise, as London or car repair might be someone's bailiwick of expertise.
  • 7/18/14 - affordance

    17 Jul 2014 | 10:00 pm
    1. (Only in Cumberland, England) The amount someone can afford. 2. The function of something that is apparent from its appearance, a sensory clue as to the function of something, stimulus-response compatibility
 
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    Paleoglot

  • ET Vs 3.7; TLE 736

    18 Jul 2014 | 6:42 pm
    Tn turce Vel Sveitus. This was given by Vel Sveitu. (figurine of a priest; Volsinii; 4th century BCE)
  • ET Vs 4.8; TLE 900

    13 Jul 2014 | 6:01 pm
    Selvans Sanχune-ta cvera. Silvanus of the Oath with votive. (cippus; Volsinii; 3rd to 2nd century BCE)
  • CII 307; ET Vt G.1; TLE 405

    4 Jul 2014 | 5:30 pm
    natis haruspex (Etruscan gem showing a haruspex examining a liver; Volaterrae; 4th century BCE)
  • The Pesaro bilingual inscription (ET Um 1.7; TLE 697)

    29 Jun 2014 | 3:45 pm
    Latin: L. Cafatius., L. f., Ste. Haruspex fulguriator. Lars Cafatius, son of Lars, of the Stellatina. Haruspex (and) augur of lightning. Etruscan: Cafates Lr., Lr. Netśvis, trutnvt, frontac. Larth Cafatie, (son of) Larth. Haruspex, libator, (and) augur of lightning. (Etruscan-Latin stone epitaph; Umbria; 1st century BCE)
  • The history of the translation of Etruscan cvil

    24 Jan 2014 | 5:55 pm
    I've been not only logging in my translations of each word into my Etruscan database but also the history of each word's translations by various authors. Sometimes there is little consensus in what a word means, sometimes there is unanimity across the board. I even record translations offered by Albanian-obsessed Zachary Mayani because even though I may feel he is of zero worth in Etruscan
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    Fritinancy

  • Guest Post at Duets Blog: Fly the Tasty Skies

    Nancy Friedman
    22 Jul 2014 | 9:12 am
    Today I’m guest-blogging at Duets Blog, a publication of Minneapolis trademark-law firm Winthrop & Winestine. My post, “Fly the Tasty Skies,” looks at new airline names borrowed from the produce aisle. JetBlue’s new Mint, which began operations last month, is just the latest entrant in a category that includes Peach, Mango, Vanilla, and Spice. The trend carries over to bank names, too—would you prefer a Tangerine or a Tomato? Jet over to Duets Blog, read the post, and leave a comment if you like.
  • Word of the Week: Workamping

    Nancy Friedman
    21 Jul 2014 | 7:31 am
    Workamping: Working full or part time while living in a mobile home. A contraction of “work” and “camping.” Workamping is the focus of “The End of Retirement,” an investigative article by Jessica Bruder in the July/August 2014 issue of Harper’s. Access is restricted to subscribers; here’s the nut graf: They call themselves workampers, travelers, nomads, and gypsies, while history-minded commentators have labeled them the Okies of the Great Recession. More bluntly, they are geriatric migrant labor, meeting demands for seasonal work in an increasingly fragmented, temp-driven…
  • July Linkfest

    Nancy Friedman
    17 Jul 2014 | 6:43 am
    The leaves of Citrus hystrix are used in many South and Southeast Asian cuisines; they’re sometimes called by their Thai name, makrut, but in many English-speaking countries they’ve long been called kaffir lime.That’s changing thanks to a protest “against the racial and religious slur of ‘kaffir’,” writes Tiffany Do in SF Weekly(“Citrus-Based Racism Leads Market to Change Product Names”). “Kaffir,” which comes from an Arabic word meaning “unbeliever,” was appropriated by English colonizers in South Africa, where it was used as a slur and a term of abuse against…
  • On the Visual Thesaurus: The Names of Frozen Desserts

    Nancy Friedman
    14 Jul 2014 | 4:35 pm
    My latest column for the Visual Thesaurus looks at the names of sweet, cold summertime treats, from generics like “ice cream,” “sherbet,” and “sundae” to brands like Good Humor, Eskimo Pie, and Häagen-Dazs. Access is limited to subscribers for three months; here’s a taste: Popsicle: The Popsicle website claims this frozen treat was invented by accident in 1905 by 11-year-old Frank Epperson when he left a mixture of powdered soda, water, and a stirring stick on his porch overnight. (The site doesn’t specify where this took place; Epperson’s 1983 obituary said San Francisco,…
  • Word of the Week: Anglish

    Nancy Friedman
    14 Jul 2014 | 6:22 am
    Anglish: A form of English “stripped clean of the last 1,000 years of non-Germanic influence, while also being brought up to date in terms of modern syntax, grammar and spelling.” (Source: Tom Roswell, guest-blogging at The World in Words.) Also known as New English. Its complement is Anglo-Norman Conventional Written English, or Ancwe. Scholars and linguistic hobbyists have dabbled in Anglish for more than a century. Tom Roswell writes [punctuation sic]:  The Anglish movement has roots way back in the late 1800s when Elias Molee advocated an English purged of its Romance components. He…
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    languagehat.com

  • Regency.

    languagehat
    22 Jul 2014 | 7:49 am
    I’m once again reading Abulafia’s The Great Sea (see this post), and I’ve run across an unfamiliar use of a familiar word: “The Danes, Norwegians and Swedes, fat from the proceeds of their northern trade, made their appearance off the coasts of North Africa, in the Barbary ‘regencies’ (so called because their rulers, variously known as deys, beys and bashaws, or pashas, were nominally the deputies of the Ottoman sultan.” I checked the OED (entry updated December 2009), and here’s the relevant sense, with quotations: 4. A town, city, or other…
  • Zanjeer.

    languagehat
    21 Jul 2014 | 4:47 pm
    Today I watched the 1973 movie Zanjeer, an enjoyable police/revenge movie with a minimum of song-and-dance numbers. (Sorry, Bollywood fans, I just don’t like song-and-dance numbers.) What makes it LH material is the linguistic situation. I wasn’t surprised to hear a lot of English spoken; it seemed natural in police stations (relic of the Raj) and at posh parties (prestige). But this did surprise me: before the hero, Angry Young Man Vijay Khanna, goes out to take his long-delayed revenge, there is a brief scene with his romantic interest, Mala (an orphan knife-sharpener whom he…
  • Some Links.

    languagehat
    20 Jul 2014 | 5:22 pm
    1) William Alexander’s “The Benefits of Failing at French” is an amusing NY Times op-ed piece about his unsuccessful efforts to learn French as an adult and the consolation he derived from an unexpected quarter. He had taken a cognitive assessment test and “scored below average for my age group in nearly all of the categories”; now: After a year of struggling with the language, I retook the cognitive assessment, and the results shocked me. My scores had skyrocketed, placing me above average in seven of 10 categories, and average in the other three. My verbal…
  • Opening Paragraphs.

    languagehat
    19 Jul 2014 | 9:22 am
    I’m at one of those moments of changeover when I’ve finished up a bunch of reading projects and am starting afresh. To accompany the World Cup I was reading three (excellent) books on football/soccer, and I’ve now finished the last of these (Goldblatt’s The Ball is Round); furthermore, I’ve finally given up on Zagoskin’s Брынский лес (The Bryn Forest), a historical novel that has interesting descriptions of the Kremlin and nearby parts of Moscow in 1682 but otherwise is a stamped-from-cardboard panorama of heroic youth, a fair maiden with a…
  • Blimba.

    languagehat
    18 Jul 2014 | 12:07 pm
    In a chapter on African football/soccer, David Goldblatt’s The Ball is Round: A Global History of Soccer has this sentence: “Muti, ju-ju, m’pungu, blimba are just some of the many words in African languages for the complex of beliefs that are held in the supernatural, in the animist realm of the spirit and in practices of witchcraft, magic and divination.” The only one of these terms I was familiar with was juju (as it’s spelled in the US), “a fetish, charm, or amulet of West African peoples,” which is probably from a source related to Hausa jūjū…
 
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    A Way with Words

  • A Different Julep

    grantbarrett
    12 Jul 2014 | 8:51 am
    The word julep, from Persian terms meaning “rose water,” usually refers to a mint-and-bourbon alcoholic beverage with a kick as strong as a Kentucky Derby winner. But one family from North Carolina has a sauce they call julep: a half-empty bottle of ketchup mixed with apple cider vinegar. We’ve never heard of such a thing — have you? This is part of a complete episode.
  • “Lord Love a Duck” Origin

    grantbarrett
    12 Jul 2014 | 8:51 am
    The history of the exclamation Lord love a duck!is unclear, but it may be a euphemism for a rhyming curse word or for the mild oath For the love of Christ! This is part of a complete episode.
  • A Child Named Bodie

    grantbarrett
    12 Jul 2014 | 8:51 am
    In an earlier episode, we talked about regretting what you name your child, and we got a call from a mother who named her son Bodie and found that the name didn’t travel so well. In France, people thought his name was “Body.” This is part of a complete episode.
  • Origin of “Denim”

    grantbarrett
    12 Jul 2014 | 8:51 am
    The fabric called denim originated in the town of Nimes, France, hence the name. The fabric known as jean, originally from Genoa, Italy, was popular long before Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis and teamed up in 1873 to make durable work trousers using jean and duck cloth. This is part of a complete episode.
  • Bored for the Hollow Horn

    grantbarrett
    12 Jul 2014 | 8:51 am
    When someone says they should be bored for the hollow horn, it’s typically a lighthearted way of saying they should have their own head examined. The saying comes from an old supposed disease of cattle that made them dull and lethargic, and diagnosed by boring a hole in one of their horns. This is part of a complete episode.
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    Sinosplice » Life

  • The 4th Ayi: Chinese Girls’ Nightmare

    John Pasden
    21 Jul 2014 | 5:52 pm
    We learners of Chinese typically learn that “ayi” () means “aunt,” and then soon after also learn that it is also a polite way to address “a woman of one’s mother’s generation.” Then, pretty soon after arriving in China, we learn that it’s also what you call the lady you hire to clean your home. (The last one tends to become the most familiar for foreigners living in China.) Today I’d like to bring up a fourth use of “ayi” which kind of circles back to the first one, but is also subtly different, and additionally…
  • Abstracted Characters

    John Pasden
    14 Jul 2014 | 5:45 pm
    Stylized letters and characters are interesting to me, but how abstract can you get with Chinese characters? You kinda have to retain the strokes and radicals and stuff, right? Maybe not… The characters represented above are . Although the name is readable, it might take a bit longer to decipher than most Chinese text, even for native speakers. Have you ever spotted characters that have been taken even further into the abstract?
  • Itchy Feet on Communication

    John Pasden
    8 Jul 2014 | 6:35 pm
    The webcomic Itchy Feet has some great comics on learning to communicate in a foreign language. I especially like his visualization technique for representing a low level of competency in a foreign language. These are about German and French, but could be about any language, really: This one will feel relevant to ABCs in China: Itchy Feet is also the comic that did this amusing take on various Asian scripts which went semi-viral a while ago:
  • Baijiu Bigotry

    John Pasden
    3 Jul 2014 | 6:55 pm
    I recently saw a link to this article on Facebook: One Billion Drinkers Can Be Wrong (China’s most popular spirit is coming to the U.S. Here’s why you shouldn’t drink it). So it’s a post laegely about how baijiu () cannot success outside of China because it’s a terrible, terrible liquor. (Some of the comments I read on Facebook went much further, and I’ll address that sentiment below.) Now I’m no fan of baijiu; I’ve made this clear in the past. And when I say it’s terrible, I know it’s because I personally will never develop a taste…
  • Grammar at 2½: a quick update

    John Pasden
    30 Jun 2014 | 6:01 pm
    I enjoyed writing the post about my daughter’s mastery of Chinese grammar at age two. It wasn’t scientific, but it was an interesting study for me nonetheless. This just a quick update, because I was wondering when my daughter would start getting into the “harder,” intermediate-level B1 grammar points. Well, I’ve got an answer now. Right around the time she turned two and a half, we had soft tacos for dinner, and she busted out with this sentence: [I want to wrap it up.] This short sentence is significant because it features both: The 把 sentence structure The…
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    AJATT | All Japanese All The Time

  • Why Everything You Do Wrong Is Right

    khatzumoto
    10 Jul 2014 | 11:59 pm
    You are not a screw-up. You are not lazy. You work hard. Too hard. At things that don’t matter. You work hard at struggling and self-blame and self-hate. You work hard at worrying. You work hard at pacing the floor. You work hard at imagining terrifying, low-probability contingencies. You work hard on trying to force yourself, like a stubborn camel, to do things you don’t want to do in a way you don’t want to do them. And it doesn’t work. It almost never works. So what do you do? USE EVEN MORE FORCE! You tell the whole world your goals, in order to force social…
  • What’s Wrong And Right With Vocabulary Lists — How To Use Them Without Being Used By Them

    khatzumoto
    5 Jul 2014 | 11:59 pm
    So I met a German girl at a cafe today…actually, she was Austrian but, same difference. Anyway, we got to talking about books and  I gave her a book recommendation, and it came out that I’ve only ever read the book in Japanese, so I had to find out what the English title was. She was shocked (or maybe surprised…whatever, same difference), and she talked about how she could never learn Japanese. And I was like, no way, of course you could. Because, here’s the thing. I have a lot of positive stereotypes about German people. There was my friend and neighbour Wolfgang…
  • How to Learn to Read L2 Newspapers Even Though You Suck Right Now and It Seems Impossible

    khatzumoto
    30 Jun 2014 | 11:59 pm
    Simple Version Get a newspaper written in your target language Pick out a headline Look up and learn any words you don’t know in the headline Stop for now Repeat from (1) tomorrow Detailed Version Get a newspaper — preferably a dead-tree one Pick out a headline (or an interesting-looking article, picture, caption, whatever) Google the headline Find the article online Look up and learn any words you don’t know in the headline Use the article for clues (meaning of abbreviations, etc. “Govt” = “Government”) if necessary. Create an MCD card containing the…
  • You’re not learning the language…

    khatzumoto
    25 Jun 2014 | 11:59 pm
    …You already know the language. It already belongs to you. You’re just maintaining your knowledge. You’re not struggling and there is no “there” to get to. You’re not a foreigner; you’re just a remedial native speaker who was functionally deaf (not enough hearing hours) and is now getting speech therapy.
  • Think Like An Aristocrat, Act Like A Builder

    khatzumoto
    20 Jun 2014 | 11:59 pm
     lay Lego bricks of fluency one at a time“Mallory is famously quoted as having replied to the question “Why do you want to climb Mount Everest?” with the retort “Because it’s there”” [George Mallory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia] Growing up, I had the privilege of interacting with people from a wide range of social classes on a daily basis. I didn’t think too much of it at the time; I thought that’s just how the world worked. It was…well, it just seemed like it was what it was. But now I realize that what it was…was…
 
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    separated by a common language

  • America and Americans (p.s. England, Britain & UK!)

    lynneguist
    16 Jul 2014 | 8:54 am
    Here's an argument that doesn't fit well in 140 characters, but I'm constantly being confronted with it on Twitter (and in real life), so I hope you'll excuse me getting it out of my system so that I can just send people a link from now on.This is the kind of thing I get:I suggest you stop calling yourselves American. It is arrogant of people from the United States to call themselves Americans because America is a whole continentThey should be called [insert long-winded or whimsical epithet here].So, let's break that argument down...I suggest... It is arrogantIndividuals from the USA call…
  • anti-clockwise and counterclockwise

    lynneguist
    8 Jul 2014 | 4:33 pm
    I had to take/make a decision on how to hyphenate the title of this post--it could have beenanti-clockwise and counter-clockwiseanticlockwise and counter-clockwise            oranticlockwise and counterclockwisebut I went with (BrE) anti-clockwise and (AmE) counterclockwise because, as we've seen before, Americans are a bit more apt to close up prefixed words when given the chance to.  @jaynefox requested this one as a Twitter 'Difference of the Day', but since it's been a month since my last post (shock! horror! marking/grading!),…
  • 'the newspaper' and more on the written word

    lynneguist
    6 Jun 2014 | 2:48 pm
    Tonight (22:00/10pm) people in the UK (and maybe abroad?) will be able to hear a new instal(l)ment of The Verb "Radio 3's cabaret of the word". [It's downloadable for the next 7 days.]  I was invited to talk about a piece I'd written a few months ago about American attitudes to dictionaries and, by extension, the written word. And it was a lovely time. The other guests were Nathaniel Mann (with his collaborator, violinist Daniel Merrill) and Nicholson Baker, whose writing I've long admired (and who was contributing over the phone from Maine; as a friend of mine pointed out, I was on the…
  • Who is ruining/spoiling/destroying English?

    lynneguist
    30 May 2014 | 5:22 am
    This is NOT a serious post. Nothing here stands up to particularly good academic standards. But I just wasted some time in the corpus of Global Web-Based English (GloWBE) and thought I'd share this with you in order to make me feel better about the time-wastage.I wanted to see who blames whom for 'ruining English language, so I looked in GloBWE because it conveniently divides things into country categories like this:I looked for the verbs spoil, ruin and destroy (with -s, -ed/t, and -ing endings too) with the word language three words before or seven words after the verb. (I also tried it…
  • sandwiches, more particularly bacon sandwiches

    lynneguist
    27 May 2014 | 4:57 pm
    On Fridays, I sit and work in a cafe with a little group of writing friends, and I've got(ten) into the habit of ordering the same thing for lunch each week (just because it makes calorie-counting easier). Giving me what I've ordered has, alas, not become the habit of the (AmE) waitstaff. So, when my special order was agreed-to but not delivered at a new cafe, I grumpily posted the following on Facebook:To quote myself, from the previous toast post:Now, I endeavo(u)r to maintain a descriptive rather than prescriptive attitude toward(s) language on this blog, but I have no hesitation in being…
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    Mr. Verb

  • "Interested in regional and social differences in speech? We are too!"

    22 Jul 2014 | 8:14 am
    Just got an email with that subject line for a study about how people identify speakers of different dialects:Our research team at the University of Wisconsin is recruiting subjects for research on how people perceive and identify dialects of languages people speak. If you’d like to participate, just visit this link, and you’ll hear speech samples and can answer questions about them, e.g. where the speakers are from and whether you think they have strong accents.  The survey will not work on a smartphone; please only use a laptop, desktop, or tablet.If you have any questions…
  • Wisconsin Englishes update ...

    25 Jun 2014 | 12:53 pm
    Word on the street is that Wisconsin Englishes will be on Wisconsin Public Radio in western Wisconsin tomorrow, on Spectrum West with Al Ross.And the Wisconsin Englishes Project website has been spiffed up a little ... various updates and a bunch of teaching materials, etc. You can check it out here.
  • More on the origins of Yiddish

    24 Jun 2014 | 6:25 am
    Following up on the last post here's the link to the second piece from Tablet about the origins of Yiddish, "The Mystery of the Origins of Yiddish Will Never Be Solved: How an academic field—marked by petty fighting, misguided ideological debates, and personal proximity to tragedy—doomed itself" by Batya Ungar-Sargon. It features first-person accounts from a set of central figures and is worth a read, though my sense is that the state of things is hardly as bleak as it's made out to be ...
  • The Origins of Yiddish

    18 Jun 2014 | 6:29 am
    In keeping with our recent non-news news trend, reader cg passed along this link to a long article by Cherie Woodworth in Tablet on the origins of the Yiddish language yesterday. The piece is new to Tablet, but is a reprint from Kritika 2010. Worth reading.The controversy that the piece reviews is considerably older … where and how Yiddish came into existence as a language. That whole story is rich and amazing (the briefest and best starting point, I think, is in Neil Jacobs' Yiddish: A linguistic introduction (Oxford, 2005). The focus in this article is much narrower, contrasting Max…
  • Schwa Fire

    16 Jun 2014 | 5:19 am
    Trying to do actual work seems to be a higher priority than blogging these days for the many members of Team Verb, so we're taking a kind of Last Week Tonight approach, I suppose. The news of the launch of Schwa Fire is now old enough that it fits our bill, in fact.First, the bad news, which you know if you follow language journalism: it's a paid subscription. But it's pretty modest and individual articles are downright cheap.But the first issue was clearly worth the price, for me at least. Arika Okrent is one of my favorite popular writers in linguistics (up there with Ben Zimmer and Jan…
 
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    Learn French with daily podcasts

  • 1948 – Real Life French: 1-0

    contact@dailyfrenchpod.com (Dailyfrenchpod)
    5 Jul 2014 | 8:17 pm
    Real life French Guide Welcome to your lesson of Real Life French. Each lesson we take a simple situation you may encounter in everyday life in France. Learn French now ! Listen to today’s lesson :~
  • 1947 – Résistance aux antibiotiques (Antibiotic resistance)

    contact@dailyfrenchpod.com (Dailyfrenchpod)
    5 Jul 2014 | 8:16 pm
    Learning Guide | PDF Transcript Le monde pourrait bientôt être “renvoyé aux heures sombres de la médicine” si rien n’est fait pour … Learn French now ! Listen to today’s lesson :
  • 1946 – Maigre mais fort (Skinny but strong)

    contact@dailyfrenchpod.com (Dailyfrenchpod)
    5 Jul 2014 | 8:12 pm
    Learning Guide | PDF Transcript Les scientifiques ont percé le secret anatomique des longues et grêles, mais néanmoins fortes … Learn French now ! Listen to today’s lesson :
  • 1945 – Elle pourrait disparaître (It could vanish)

    contact@dailyfrenchpod.com (Dailyfrenchpod)
    5 Jul 2014 | 8:10 pm
    Learning Guide | PDF Transcript Beaucoup des coraux des Caraibes pourraient disparaître dans les 20 ans qui viennent, selon … Learn French now ! Listen to today’s lesson :
  • 1944 – Troisième Coupe du monde (Third World Cup)

    contact@dailyfrenchpod.com (Dailyfrenchpod)
    5 Jul 2014 | 8:07 pm
    Learning Guide | PDF Transcript La star colombienne de la pop Shakira, fera partie de la cérémonie de clôture de la Coupe du Monde… Learn French now ! Listen to today’s lesson :
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    Brave New Words

  • What Can You Study When You Do a PhD in Translation?

    22 Jul 2014 | 4:00 pm
    I’m often contacted by people who are interested in doing a PhD in translation, but they want help coming up with ideas for topics. This is a bit odd, I suppose, because if you’re going to do research, you should have enthusiasm for your topic, which generally means there’s something that intrigues you that you want to devote three or more years of your life to.Nonetheless, here are some general, broad suggestions for topics/approaches for a PhD dissertation:--creative-critical (you do a translation and then write a critical commentary on it)--philosophy/ies of translation--the…
  • Tips for Translators

    17 Jul 2014 | 4:00 pm
    English-to-Hebrew translator Gili Bar Hillel recently asked other translators, including me, for tips for new translators, which she then posted on her blog. Her original post was in Hebrew, but due to popular demand, she’s now put an English version up.
  • Round-Up of Articles

    12 Jul 2014 | 4:00 pm
    It’s time for another round-up of interesting articles and other links.I love Oliver Burkeman’s weekly column in the Guardian (and his two books based on the column). A recent column was on writing. He notes: “It’s the writer and reader, side by side, scanning the landscape. The reader wants to see; your job is to do the pointing.”The New Yorker questions whether literature should be useful.The BBC notes that young people are lacking language skills. “The UK’s education system is failing to produce enough people with foreign-language skills to meet a growing need from business,…
  • Gulf Coast Translation Prize

    6 Jul 2014 | 4:00 pm
    Here is some information about a new translation prize you might be interested in submitting work for. Also see https://gulfcoastmag.org/contests/prize-in-translation for more details.We Are Now Accepting Entries For the Inaugural Gulf Coast Translation Prize! Deadline: August 31, 2014Gulf Coast is now accepting entries for the inaugural Gulf Coast Translation Prize. In 2014, the contest is open to poetry in translation. The winner receives $1,000 and publication in the journal. Two honorable mentions will also appear in issue 27.2, due out in April 2015. All entries will be considered…
  • Town of Love

    2 Jul 2014 | 4:00 pm
    This review was originally published in Wales Arts Review. It’s worth republishing here not just because it’s about an interesting book in translation but also because the story of the book’s translation is intriguing in and of itself!Town of Loveby Anne Ch. Ostby 278 pp., Victoria, Australia: Spinifex, 2013.translation by Marie OstbyReviewer: B.J. EpsteinTown of Love by Anne Ostby tells a story that arguably has not previously been discussed quite so openly, beautifully, and sorrowfully in literature before. It is a depressing read, yes, but it also has a welcome aura of hope, and…
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    Free Language

  • A Transparent Greek Language Course: Learn Anytime with Online, Mobile, Interactive, Social and Software Tools

    travelinguist
    22 Jul 2014 | 2:21 am
    Online Greek Course For many languages such as Greek, it is challenging to find enough free quality materials online to compromise a complete course. Even if you can bring together the materials, you have to craft a course on your own to cover all the bases. Enter Transparent Greek, the fruits of a longstanding language education house focusing on the modern digital world of learning. It's not free but it's also not expensive, and is well worth the investment. More About Transparent Greek Greek Learned Items Refresh System Keep what you learned in the past fresh in your mind now. Byki™…
  • A Transparent German Language Course: Learn Anytime with Online, Mobile, Interactive, Social and Software Tools

    travelinguist
    22 Jul 2014 | 2:15 am
    Online German Course For many languages such as German, it is challenging to find enough free quality materials online to compromise a complete course. Even if you can bring together the materials, you have to craft a course on your own to cover all the bases. Enter Transparent German, the fruits of a longstanding language education house focusing on the modern digital world of learning. It's not free but it's also not expensive, and is well worth the investment. More About Transparent German German Learned Items Refresh System Keep what you learned in the past fresh in your mind now. Byki™…
  • A Transparent French Language Course: Learn Anytime with Online, Mobile, Interactive, Social and Software Tools

    travelinguist
    22 Jul 2014 | 2:11 am
    Online French Course For many languages such as French, it is challenging to find enough free quality materials online to compromise a complete course. Even if you can bring together the materials, you have to craft a course on your own to cover all the bases. Enter Transparent French, the fruits of a longstanding language education house focusing on the modern digital world of learning. It's not free but it's also not expensive, and is well worth the investment. More About Transparent French French Learned Items Refresh System Keep what you learned in the past fresh in your mind now. Byki™…
  • A Transparent Finnish Language Course: Learn Anytime with Online, Mobile, Interactive, Social and Software Tools

    travelinguist
    22 Jul 2014 | 2:08 am
    Online Finnish Course For many languages such as Finnish, it is challenging to find enough free quality materials online to compromise a complete course. Even if you can bring together the materials, you have to craft a course on your own to cover all the bases. Enter Transparent Finnish, the fruits of a longstanding language education house focusing on the modern digital world of learning. It's not free but it's also not expensive, and is well worth the investment. More About Transparent Finnish Finnish Learned Items Refresh System Keep what you learned in the past fresh in your mind now.
  • A Transparent Farsi Language Course: Learn Anytime with Online, Mobile, Interactive, Social and Software Tools

    travelinguist
    22 Jul 2014 | 2:06 am
    Online Persian Course For many languages such as Farsi, it is challenging to find enough free quality materials online to compromise a complete course. Even if you can bring together the materials, you have to craft a course on your own to cover all the bases. Enter Transparent Farsi, the fruits of a longstanding language education house focusing on the modern digital world of learning. It's not free but it's also not expensive, and is well worth the investment. More About Transparent Persian Farsi Learned Items Refresh System Keep what you learned in the past fresh in your mind now. Byki™…
 
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    English, Jack

  • Proscribing, narrowly

    7 Jul 2014 | 5:24 am
    Over at the NYT, Alexander Nazaryan has a rather strident article about "The fallacy of balanced literacy." Therein, he writes, "balanced literacy is an especially irresponsible approach, given that New York State has adopted the federal Common Core standards, which skew toward a narrowly proscribed list of texts, many of them nonfiction." [Now changed to narrowly prescribed.]These texts are prescribed. That is, they're imposed, not declared unacceptable or invalid. Nevertheless, the Google Books corpus suggests narrowly proscribed is a new and growing phrase. So, I'm curious: was this…
  • Thinking like a freak

    23 Jun 2014 | 6:48 am
    I listen to the Freakonomics Radio podcast from time to time, and back in May they aired an episode called "the three hardest words...," which, purportedly, were I don't know. The premise was that people hate to admit ignorance and so they hardly ever say, "I don't know."Except that in most corpus studies, the head-and-shoulders most common, number one, top-of-the-heap three-word string in English is I don't know (It's a three-word string, not four, since -n't is an inflectional suffix, not just a contraction as is taught in elementary schools, but that's another issue.) For instance, in the…
  • Audio and the OED

    16 May 2014 | 2:32 pm
    As I mentioned, Schwa Fire is now out, and I've been quite enjoying it. Arika Okrent (whose name I have inexplicably misread for years as Akira) has written an article called "Ghost voices" about preserving audio-tape recordings of our all-too-impermanent voices, dialects, and languages. As I was reading it, it occurred to me that the OED should include audio recordings of the quotations it uses. These should be in the dialect, and where possible the actual voice, of the original author.
  • Schwa Fire

    16 May 2014 | 2:23 pm
    Back in November, 2013, there was a proposal on Kickstarter for a new language magazine. I chipped in to sponsor it and ended up on the editorial panel as a result. The first issue is now out.Issue 1, Season 1May 16, 2014• Schwa FireThe golden age of language journalism begins now. In this inaugural issue, Arika Okrent tells the story of 5,700 hours of Yiddish recordings that were almost lost ("Ghost Voices"), and Russell Cobb writes about Americans' fondness for the Englishes we used to speak and what that fondness obscures ("The Way We Talked"). Michael Erard describes and defends…
  • When "syndrome" is a final "s"

    15 May 2014 | 5:41 am
    1982 gave us the acronym AIDS formed from acquired immune deficiency syndrome. This is pronounced /eɪdz/. The fact that the final S is pronounced /z/ is notable, since a final s is typically pronounced /s/ (e.g., bus) unless it is an inflectional morpheme (e.g., dogs). There are cases such as news and lens, in which a final s is pronounced /z/, but the -s in news was originally a plural morpheme. That leaves lens, which comes from the Latin word for lentil. Apparently, it was pronounced /leːns/ in Latin, so why it has a final /z/ in English is something of a mystery to me. I cannot find…
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    Thoughts On Translation

  • On hiatus

    Corinne McKay
    14 Jul 2014 | 8:59 pm
    Thoughts on Translation is on hiatus until mid-August. In the meantime, you can explore the “Most Popular Posts” sidebar (in the grey box on the right) for some summer reading!
  • Upcoming online courses for freelancers

    Corinne McKay
    9 Jul 2014 | 3:12 pm
    The next sessions of my online courses start on August 20 (Beyond the Basics of Freelancing) and September 24 (Getting Started as a Freelance Translator). Getting Started is for students who want to launch and run a successful freelance business, and Beyond the Basics is for students who have established freelance businesses. Each class is […]
  • Getting started as a freelancer: how long does it take?

    Corinne McKay
    7 Jul 2014 | 1:57 pm
    Here’s a common question from beginning freelance translators, and from people contemplating freelancing: how long does it take to start a viable freelance business? The usual disclaimers apply. Is your non-English language Spanish or Japanese? Do you have just a language background, or a PhD in nuclear physics and a language background? Do you live […]
  • If I could be anywhere today…

    Corinne McKay
    1 Jul 2014 | 12:20 pm
    I’d be at the grand opening of Le Parc du Petit Prince (The Little Prince theme park) in Ungersheim, Alsace. An entire amusement park dedicated to The Little Prince! And I’d be wearing my Little Prince watch and t-shirt, and carrying my Little Prince keyring and tote bag. I also have some tiny plastic sheep […]
  • New podcast: insider tips for working with translation agencies

    Corinne McKay
    27 Jun 2014 | 6:27 pm
    This morning I had lots of fun interviewing translation industry veteran Steve Lank (Monterey graduate, former ASTM translation QA standard subcommittee chair, longtime senior-level manager in agencies in the US, Ireland and Spain). Steve is currently Vice President for Translation Services at Cesco Linguistic Services, working from the Washington, DC office. I put Steve in […]
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    Global by Design

  • Aussies love .AU

    John Yunker
    22 Jul 2014 | 3:33 pm
    Keeping in mind that this is a survey funded by Australia’s registry, the data points pretty clearly toward a preference for .au over .com. From the announcement: The report found .au remains Australia’s home on the Internet with more than double the level of trust over any other namespace. George Pongas, General Manager of Naming Services at […]
  • Q&A with Kathleen Bostick of SDL

    John Yunker
    18 Jul 2014 | 3:49 pm
    I was happy to chat (virtually) with Kathleen recently about web globalization. Here’s the interview.
  • Gmail to be first major platform to support non-Latin email addresses

    John Yunker
    26 Jun 2014 | 10:38 am
    At the ICANN 50 conference Jordyn Buchanan of Google confirmed that Gmail would support EAI (email address internationalization) by the end of this month. This is significant news. But what does it mean exactly? I don’t have the details yet, but at a minimum I assume it means a Gmail user could create an email address using a […]
  • Google reenters the domain name business

    John Yunker
    23 Jun 2014 | 7:27 pm
    It is being reported that Google is venturing into new territory by getting into the domain registration business. This isn’t completely accurate. Google dabbled its feet in domain registration years ago. And a few months ago Google began accepting registrations for its Japanese TLD. But perhaps Google is serious this time about domains. I suspect it is, […]
  • No, it’s not blowing over

    John Yunker
    20 Jun 2014 | 11:17 am
    From the Wall Street Journal: Brad Smith, Microsoft ‘s general counsel, tried to illustrate the problem Thursday at a technology conference by recounting a meeting a month ago with corporate-technology executives in Berlin. One of them came clutching a copy of the recent U.S. federal magistrate ruling forcing Microsoft to turn over a user’s emails and […]
 
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    Gilbane.com

  • Additional Gilbane Conference workshops posted

    Clea
    22 Jul 2014 | 6:13 am
    We’ll be posting the complete program for this years’ Gilbane Conference over the next 2-3 weeks on the main conference website. The afternoon workshops are below. Workshop D. Adaptive Content Modeling for Omnichannel UX Speaker: Noz Urbina, Consultant and Founder, Urbina Consulting Thursday, December, 4: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Your users need you to come to this session, even if they don’t know it. Multi-channel, or “COPE (create once, publish everywhere)”, content is a bit of a holy grail. Our trade is discussing content being freed from the browser,…
  • First three Gilbane Conference workshops posted

    Clea
    30 Jun 2014 | 9:37 am
    We’ll be posting the complete program for this years’ Gilbane Conference over the next 4-5 weeks on the main conference website. The first three of the six planned workshops are below. Workshop A. Insiders Guide to Building Digital Marketing Technology Toolkit Speaker: Theresa Regli, Principal Analyst and Managing Partner, Real Story Group Thursday, December, 4: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Marketing practitioners multitask just about every minute of every day. There are ongoing email, web, mobile, and marketing strategies to organize, plan and execute. Each of these areas used…
  • Gilbane Conference speaker proposals – update

    Frank Gilbane
    21 May 2014 | 4:34 am
    Thank you all for the Gilbane Conference speaker proposals. We received a record number again this year. We are now busy evaluating, organizing, and mapping proposals to the topic areas our audience needs to hear the most about. If you have submitted a proposal you can expect to hear from us over the next 6-7 weeks. With over 300 submissions we’ll have to make some difficult choices and we will be contacting many of you for further discussion. Miss the deadline? For all of you who missed the deadline to submit proposals for this year’s conference, our policy is that we always…
  • Deadline Reminder – Gilbane Conference call for papers

    Clea
    1 May 2014 | 9:12 am
    Don’t miss The Gilbane Conference Call for Papers Proposal deadline is May 9! The Gilbane Conference on Content and the Digital Experience is designed for marketers, content managers, technologists, and executives responsible for building strategies and implementations for compelling multichannel digital experiences for customers, employees, and partners. Topics are organized into four main tracks: Content, Marketing, and the Customer Experience – Designed for marketers, marketing technologists, growth hackers, content managers, strategists and technologists focused on customers…
  • A New Brand of Marketing – a must read for executives

    Frank Gilbane
    11 Mar 2014 | 8:22 am
    Those of you who appreciated Scott Brinker’s Gilbane Conference keynote What is a Marketing Technologist?, and even more importantly those who missed it, should check out Scott’s short new book, A New Brand of Marketing – The 7 Meta-Trends of Modern Marketing as a Technology-Powered Discipline. The book is free to download and share and doesn’t require registration. A New Brand of Marketing “… frames the epic collaboration underway between marketers and technologists…” – note the use of ‘collaboration’ rather than…
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    Web-Translations » Blog Posts

  • Friday infographic

    Cassandra Oliver
    18 Jul 2014 | 9:28 am
    This infographic comes to us from Lebara Mobile, and looks at technology terms that are becoming obsolete or changing meaning. Enjoy! The post Friday infographic appeared first on Web-Translations.
  • 10 tips for starting out in international trade

    Cassandra Oliver
    17 Jul 2014 | 9:17 am
    We thought we’d share some of the things that have worked for our clients when getting started in international markets. Read on for some valuable tips! 1. Leverage existing clients’ connections Are any of your clients international? Can you leverage a relationship to get an introduction? The implicit trust of a referral is powerful when trying to establish contacts in a new market. 2. Use multilingual web pages to attract an audience A professionally translated website or microsite that pays attention to local language and culture will draw interest and enquiries from potential…
  • European Trustmark for eCommerce

    Cassandra Oliver
    1 Jul 2014 | 8:05 am
    EMOTA (European Multi-channel and Online Trade Association) launched its European Trustmark for eCommerce in March of this year. This mark is designed to enhance customer trust and facilitate cross-border online shopping, consequently increasing conversions and revenue for European eTailers. The trustmark aims to set a universal standard by promoting clear communication, transparent pricing and a high level of attention to data protection and customer privacy. While each individual country has various existing trustmarks already, these are often not as recognisable to international shoppers…
  • Clickhole: A Cutting Satire of the Content Vacuum

    Adam Knott
    23 Jun 2014 | 6:40 am
    American news satire giants The Onion have launched a new, bitingly satirical viral clickbait website in what feels like an attempt to both commentate on and overload the built-to-share content which has overtaken large swathes of social media. Viral content is often forgotten about before it’s even been properly absorbed. Clickhole, whose strapline is because all content deserves to go viral – is a collection of inane Which Are You? quizzes, bizarre and ironic list articles, and hypothetical analyses of hypothetical situations. It’s fluff – empty, almost…
  • Hydra-Perm-Co motors into the international market

    Jasmine Wastnidge
    19 Jun 2014 | 5:20 am
    Hydra-Perm-Co, a leading specialist supplier of hydraulic equipment and engineering expertise, has just launched ten dedicated microsites for its international customers. Hydra-Perm has over twenty years of experience in the hydraulic sector, and is the primary distributor of Permco gear pumps and motors. The company approached Web-Translations with a view to expanding its reach into territories such as Germany, Poland and France, allowing international consumers to find out more about the company and the services it provides. The microsites have been created using the sophisticated WPML…
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    A Woman Learning Thai... and some men too ;-)| Women Learn Thai

  • FREE Download: Glossika Thai Fluency 1 GMS and GSR

    Catherine Wentworth
    10 Jul 2014 | 1:48 am
    FREE download: Glossika Thai Fluency 1 GMS and GSR… If you’d like to try Glossika’s new Thai course before you buy, download Glossika Thai Fluency 1 GMS (Glossika Mass Sentences) and GSR (Glossika Spaced Repetition). iTunes: Glossika Thai Fluency 1: GMS iTunes: Glossika Thai Fluency 1: GSR You can also download the files direct from Glossika.com: Glossika: Thai Fluency 1: GMS Glossika: Thai Fluency 1: GSR Note: These are only the audio files. Buy the course to get the pdf’s at their still reduced price. Also available for free download are Italian, Russian, Korean,…
  • Unlikely but True Origins of the Thai Script

    Michel Boismard
    7 Jul 2014 | 3:17 am
    Unlikely but True Origins of the Thai Script… We can trace the Thai script back in time and space (mostly going West) to the Phoenicians, whose alphabet is the mother of all European and Indic systems of writing, including Greek, Hebrew and Arabic! These people were great traders and had links to lands beyond the river Indus. So East went their written words… But back to the Thai script (we are NOT referring to the language here!). Modern Thai letters are an evolution from the old form used in Sukhothai and they were devised under the King Ramkhanhaeng transforming the Khmer…
  • In Search of a Thai Clock

    Catherine Wentworth
    1 Jul 2014 | 6:11 pm
    In Search of a Thai Clock… This week I got it into my head that I just had to have a Thai clock. I didn’t want anything fancy, but I did want a clock I could use for years, preferably in wood, but I’d take a metal of some sort. I started looking in an area of Chiang mai with a small clock community. There were only about six stores but they were chock-full of clocks and watches of all sorts. Only two stores in that community had wall clocks. Both plastic. One store had wristwatches with Thai numerals (and only one of those were made for women). Tesco Lotus. Nadda. Asia…
  • Successful Thai Language Learner: Michel Boismard

    Catherine Wentworth
    27 Jun 2014 | 11:36 pm
    Interviewing Successful Thai Language Learners… Name: Michel Boismard Nationality: French Age range: 67 Sex: Male Location: Thailand What is your Thai level? My Thai level is advanced. I learnt some rudiments on my 2nd visit in 1983 (1st in 1979) but really took off in 1987 where I was lucky to stay in a Thai artist’s busy locale in BKK and made a point to study everyday starting with the script for about 6 months, which led me to what I can call an intermediate level. By that time, I had studied Hindi with its Devanagari script and was fascinated with the similarity due to, I…
 
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    Russian Language Blog

  • Take Your Pronunciation to the Next Level – Part I

    Maria
    21 Jul 2014 | 12:48 am
    Image by Ctd 2005 on flick.com Does anyone here find Russian pronunciation challenging? Perhaps you are learning Russian abroad and don’t get to hear native speakers very often. Or maybe, despite hearing them, you just can’t grasp how they produce the sounds of Russian and cannot quite repeat them. Let’s hope that’s not the case. But whatever your accent in Russian may be, I often find that working on a few pain points can drastically improve one’s pronunciation. Even if you can’t sound 100% native, tackling these aspects will help make your Russian flow…
  • Cool Russian Recipes for Hot Summer Days

    Jenya
    15 Jul 2014 | 10:58 pm
      La Compote Mafia by flickr user Vladimir Yaitskiy In Summer, we get hot and dehydrated quicker, that is why we tend to crave cold, watery things. For those of you who are tired of going back to the same things every time, I am happy to recommend a few refreshing Russian recipes that I grew up with. Thankfully, there is no shortage of them. My list consists of two salads, a cold soup, and a cold beverage. Salads Green onion and egg salad Ingredients: ½ bunch green onion crushed, 4 hard boiled eggs, ¼ cup mayo or sour cream, ¼ bunch of dill, salt and pepper (garlic optional) to taste.
  • Gender Dynamics in Russia

    Maria
    14 Jul 2014 | 1:06 am
    Image by Petras Gagilas on flickr.com Gender dynamics in Russia are a curious mix of patriarchy, old-fashioned chivalry, and female empowerment. Women are expected to look and act a certain way; at the same time, they are a significant presence in industries considered male elsewhere. Eye Candy Women Image by ktolne on flickr.com One of the first things visitors to Russia notice is how attractive the women are. Are the women truly more naturally or genetically attractive in Russia? More likely, what these visitors point out is how women make a visible effort to look attractive within the…
  • When in Russia: Dos and Don’ts

    Jenya
    8 Jul 2014 | 10:47 pm
      Image by ccchan19 on flickr.com A recent discussion with one of my dear friends brought up some memories on the subject of habits, customs and the norm. In my opinion, the norm is quite a slippery slope that might take you places you didn’t necessarily want to go. So, if you are traveling to Russia any time soon or plan on hanging out with Russians for quite some time, let me give you some tips on how to avoid finding yourself in a multicultural pickle. Let’s begin with a few Don’ts Don’t smile at strangers for no apparent reason. Smiling for no apparent reason…
  • Russian Living Spaces — Tiny Before It Was Cool

    Maria
    7 Jul 2014 | 1:14 am
    Image from dokiai aikido on flickr.com If you have visited Russia or some of the neighboring countries, you have probably noticed that the average family home is much smaller than, say, in the US. There are both cultural and economic reasons behind that. As a result, several space-saving strategies have developed to make homes livable and maximize the little space available. Small Living Spaces As you may know, most people in Russia live in apartment/condo buildings (многоквартрный дом) as opposed to single-family homes (чстный дом). It is important to understand…
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    Polish Language Blog

  • I scream, you scream! We all scream for ice cream! Lody, lody!

    Kasia
    20 Jul 2014 | 1:43 pm
    Today is International Ice Cream day! Who doesn’t like ice cream? In fact, the entire month of July is known by some as Ice Cream month. What better way to celebrate than with some fun facts about our favorite cold and delicious treat! Image by Sandy Austin on Flickr.com According to Yahoo! the top five ice cream flavors (pięć najpopularniejszych smaków lodów)) are: 1. Strawberry (Truskawkowy) 2. Banana (Bananowy) 3. Chocolate (Czekoladowy) 4. Coconut Milk (Mleko kokosowe) 5. Peach (Brzoskwiniowy) The top five cities that love ice cream the most (pięć miast, które kochają lody…
  • What is your favorite way to spend time off? How Poles spend their days off?

    Kasia
    13 Jul 2014 | 2:41 pm
    How do you like to spend your day off? Of course there are so many different ways to do it! Here is what I like to do on my day/evening/morning off (of course not all at once:)): Read a book – czytać książkę Watch a good movie – oglądać dobry/ciekawy film Enjoy a cup of coffee on the deck – delektować się filiżanką kawy na tarasie Go camping – wybrać się na kemping Hiking in the mountains – wędrować po górach Swim in the lake – pływać w jeziorze Spend a day on the beach - spędzić dzień na plaży My daughters playing on the beach Go for a…
  • Skydiving in Poland? Have you tried it?

    Kasia
    6 Jul 2014 | 4:23 pm
    Skydiving and parachuting is a very popular “sport” in Poland and there are plenty of different dropzones to enjoy or for the beginner, there are many places where skydiving or parachuting (spadochroniarstwo) courses (kursy) are offered. Poland attracts skydivers from around the world and in August 2010, skydivers (spadochroniarze) in Poland broke the European record for the number of people in a formation when 104 people joined together in the air. The team jumped out of five planes at a height of 4,800 metres (15748 feet). The jump was their 15th attempt at breaking the record.
  • Poland’s rich wildlife!

    Kasia
    30 Jun 2014 | 3:22 pm
    Poland is a country rich with wildlife, where the vast stretches of wild lands, from the mountains to the lakes, and well-preserved forests, are home to a fascinating array of species, both rare and common. From the imposing, mud clad, wódka inspiring Żubr (European Bison), to the long-legged white bocian stalk (white stalk), and the dwindling, endangered but elegant forest wilk (wild wolf), the animal inhabitants of this nation are as varied as they are interesting, and as culturally symbolic as they are wild. So what are some of the iconic Polish animal species? Wilk – Wolf Poland…
  • Wyliczanki – polish counting rhymes

    Kasia
    29 Jun 2014 | 3:33 pm
    Image by abakedcreation on flickr.com Counting rhymes are so much fun for kids! Kids absolutely love them! These are usually the first rhymes they remember:) Here are few Polish popular wyliczanki:   Raz i dwa, raz i dwa, pewna pani miała psa, trzy i cztery, trzy i cztery, pies ten dziwne miał maniery. Pięć i sześć, pięć i sześć, wcale lodów nie chciał jeść. Siedem, osiem, siedem, osiem, wciąż o kości tylko prosił. Dziewięć, dziesięć, dziewięć, dziesięć, kto z was kości mu przyniesie? Może ja, a może Ty. Licz od nowa: raz, dwa, trzy. One and two, one and two,…
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    Ingls na Ponta da Lngua

  • Livros para Ler em Inglês

    Denilso de Lima
    1 Jul 2014 | 2:30 am
    Muitas pessoas costumam me enviar e-mails pedindo sugestões de livros para ler em inglês. Raramente, eu dou dicas de títulos. O que faço é dar uma dica que ajuda cada pessoa a encontrar algo que atenda seus gostos e necessidades. Caso você queira saber que dica é esta, continue lendo! A dica é simples: vá a uma livraria (ou site de livrarias) e procure por livros conhecidos como LIVROS DE LEITURA SIMPLIFICADA EM INGLÊS ou LIVROS DE LEITURA FACILITADA EM INGLÊS. A imagem abaixo mostra a prateleira da Livraria Cultura do Shopping Curitiba. Estes livros são escritos levando em conta…
  • O que significa a spanner in the works?

    Denilso de Lima
    30 Jun 2014 | 2:30 am
    Em inglês a expressão completa é “throw a spanner in the works” ou “put a spanner in the works“. Essa expressão é sinônima de “throw a monkey wrench into the works” e “throw cold water on something” (dash cold water on something ou pour cold water on something). O significado de todas elas é: » frustrar » estragar (os planos, a ideia) » jogar um balde de água fria » acabar com a festa » tirar o ânimo » criar obstáculos/problemas Refere-se ao fato de alguém ou algo conseguir atrapalhar os planos que alguém tem para fazer algo.
  • Conheça o Aplicativo MosaLingua

    Denilso de Lima
    27 Jun 2014 | 12:30 am
    Sempre me perguntam sobre aplicativos pra celular e tabletes que possam ajudar do desenvolvimento da língua inglesa? Sei que há vários e cada um atende às necessidades específicas de cada aprendiza. Portanto, cabe a cada um escolher o aplicativo que considerar interessante. Mas, como uma indicação sempre é bem vinda, conheça o MosaLingua. O MosaLingua – apps para aprendizado de inglês – já é bem conhecido na Europa. Baixado por mais de 600.000 pessoas, o aplicativo MosaLingua permite a aprendizagem rápida de palavras e frases fundamentais para uma comunicação eficiente em…
  • Humor: Americanos Querem Ver o Jogo

    Denilso de Lima
    25 Jun 2014 | 10:19 pm
    Se você que uma dica de inglês, não se preocupe! Essa dica é de inglês! Mas, tem como base o evento do momento no Brasil: Copa do Mundo. Dito isso, vamos aos fatos. Como você bem sabe, o futebol – soccer – não é um esporte muito popular nos Estados Unidos. No entanto, o pessoal que administra as redes sociais da Seleção dos Estados Unidos resolveu dar um jeito para que mais pessoas possam assistir ao importante match que terão hoje (26/06) contra a Alemanha. Ele criaram uma solicitação de dispensa ao trabalho.  Essa que está na imagem abaixo. Para ajudar você a…
  • 10 Gírias do Inglês Britânico

    Denilso de Lima
    25 Jun 2014 | 2:30 am
    Algumas pessoas acham que o inglês britânico é um inglês mais puro, sem gírias, sem vícios e coisas do tipo. Isso é uma ilusão! Para povoar um pouco que isso não é bem verdade, seguem abaixo 10 gírias do inglês britânico. Caso você queira aprender mais sobre o inglês britânico, saiba que já publiquei inúmeras dicas no Inglês na Ponta da Língua sobre o assunto. Seguem algumas dessas dicas abaixo: » 10 Expressões Comuns no Inglês Britânico » Inglês Americano e Inglês Britânico: 10 Diferenças » O que significa bloody? » O que significa spiffing? » O que é…
 
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    Babel's Dawn

  • Blogger Interviewed

    Blair
    14 Jul 2014 | 6:46 am
    The Grammarist is an entertaining blog on all things language-related. I have enjoyed their posts on word usage and spelling. Spelling! Can you believe that. It has always been my weakest suit, but they cover it well. They surprised me recently by emerging from the aether to interview me. The curious can check out the results right here.
  • Forget Communication; Study Cognition

    Blair
    9 Jul 2014 | 1:14 pm
    Leonard Talmy is an interesting fellow who has spent the past several decades exploring the way languages express thoughts. Can we have thoughts that we cannot express verbally? Many poets spend their lives trying to express the inexpressible. We know too that there are many ideas which can be expressed mathematically, but not verbally. How about the reverse; are there things we can think in words but not in other ways? For instance, language allows us to think it terms of what grammarians call mood. Talmy calls this a topic's "reality status." That's something not included in mathematical…
  • I’m Tired of Chomsky (Part III)

    Blair
    18 Jun 2014 | 8:33 pm
    Kant combined Aristotle's dependence on the senses with a few Platonic prejudices.  In two previous posts I summarized Chomsky's theory of language (Part I) and an alternative theory (Part II). In this final section I wrap up. So … Besides having the experimental evidence on its side, the alternate theory is more in keeping with what we have learned from natural history and its evolutionary backbone. It seems impossibly naïve to rely on a single mutation to account for human uniqueness. Mutations occur all the time and are part of every generation. If a single mutation was all it took to…
  • I'm Tired of Chomsky (Part II)

    Blair
    17 Jun 2014 | 8:21 pm
    Aristotle taught that all knowledge comes through the senses. Part I summarized Chomsky's theory of internal language and said that an alternate theory is possible. In this part I present that alternative. Alternate Theory: Community First, we can say there are several fundamental differences between humans and other primates, not just one. Humans can have parents from culture A but, when raised by members of culture B, they act like members of culture B. Chomsky often mentions this point, yet he never puzzles over what a strange fact this is. If you try to raise a wolf as a dog, you get a…
  • I’m Tired of Chomsky (Part I)

    Blair
    16 Jun 2014 | 8:33 pm
    Plato also believed that concepts are more real than reality. I recently watched a long YouTube video of Chomsky speaking pretty familiar stuff. The part on language origins was especially trite; it left me unsure whether to laugh or shake my head. So much for that old man, thought I. Then Christina Behme posted a comment on this blog with a link to her book review denouncing Noam Chomsky's The Science of Language. For a moment I thought perhaps the linguistics world had come full circle. Chomsky's stardom had begun with a take-down book review, so it might end. Of course the review does not…
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    Macmillan

  • Life skills tip of the week: saying you are sure about something

    Liz Potter
    22 Jul 2014 | 2:00 am
    Learning about pragmatics and how to express yourself successfully is a useful life skill, said Michael Rundell in January when he introduced the new pragmatics series on Macmillan Dictionary. The series is part of the Macmillan Life Skills campaign, offering free resources for English language students and teachers each month. As part of the... [This is a content excerpt only. Visit our blog for the full post].
  • Why heed the language cranks?

    Stan Carey
    21 Jul 2014 | 2:00 am
    Disputes over English usage are full of familiar items. Split infinitives, sentence-final prepositions, words like [you might prefer such as] hopefully and decimate – the same issues keep showing up, despite convincing arguments that there’s seldom a problem with any of them, leaving aside the question of register. It feels as though these are... [This is a content excerpt only. Visit our blog for the full post].
  • Language and words in the news – 18th July, 2014

    Liz Potter
    18 Jul 2014 | 8:00 am
    This post contains a selection of links related to language and words in the news. These can be items from the latest news, blog posts or interesting websites related to global English, language change, education in general, and language learning and teaching in particular. Feel free to contact us if you would like to submit a link […] [This is a content excerpt only. Visit our blog for the full post].
  • Language tip of the week: risk

    Liz Potter
    17 Jul 2014 | 6:00 am
    In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. These tips are usually based on areas of English which learners find difficult, e.g. spelling, grammar, collocation, synonyms, etc. This week’s language tip helps with the patterns following the verb risk: The verb risk is never followed... [This is a content excerpt only. Visit our blog for the full post].
  • What goes in the dictionary when the dictionary is online?

    Michael Rundell
    15 Jul 2014 | 4:00 am
    The familiar question of “how words get into the dictionary” is harder to answer when the dictionary is online. Printed dictionaries have limited space, so we have to be selective. This contributes to the popular view of lexicographers as “gatekeepers” – the people who decide, on behalf of the rest of the population, which words are […] [This is a content excerpt only. Visit our blog for the full post].
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    Pimsleur Approach Blog

  • Learn Language Expressions From Around the Globe: Summer Weather Idioms

    Laura Mundow
    22 Jul 2014 | 6:18 am
    Image Credit: @ Think Stock dot com Have you ever said you are “melting” with the heat? Or that it’s “hot as hell”? You’re not literally melting of course, and you’ve scarcely an idea of how hot it is in hell, but you’re using an idiomatic expression to describe heat. Idioms, sayings and proverbs reveal much about their language’s culture and country. People are particularly descriptive about that condition which dominates us all: the weather. Let’s make hay while the sun shines and learn some foreign language summer sayings. Spanish Hasta el 40 de mayo, no te quites el…
  • July Travel Roundup: Visit the Fountains of Youth, the Streets of Barcelona, George Lucas’ Narrative Museum & More

    Pimsleur Approach
    18 Jul 2014 | 6:27 am
    Image Credit: @ Think Stock dot com By this time in July, you should have just about recovered from the soccer World Cup in Brazil, while Independence Day celebrations are just a memory. Can anything keep you going until August? Let’s see… READING Image Credit: @ Think Stock dot comMyanmar Dogs are man’s best friend, but even if you’re not a fan of canine companions, this charming tale about one dog and his owner is perfect poolside reading. It hits the booksellers on July 22. For some travel inspiration, Lonely Planet’s guide to Myanmar is a must buy. Food gets a couple of…
  • A Global Look at SIX Exciting (& Unique) Summer Festivals!

    Will Noble
    15 Jul 2014 | 6:29 am
    Image Credit: @ Think Stock dot com Summer Festivals to Get Excited About Between July and September The weird, the ethereal, the messy and the very messy. As we fall headlong into summer, it’s important to make the most of sizzling days and sultry evenings. One-way to do this is to head to one or two of the festivals taking place between now and September. Whichever nook of the globe you’re in, you’re likely to find something. Here are some, which have tickled our fancy. Boryeong Mud Festival (July 18-27) It’s well documented that being slathered in certain types of…
  • Mongolia’s Naadam Festival: Archery, Wrestling, Horse Racing & More!

    Laura Mundow
    11 Jul 2014 | 6:04 am
    Image Credit: @ Think Stock dot com The World Cup has given us a chronic bout of sporting festival fever here at Pimsleur Approach towers, so we’ve been investigating the best, the brightest and the most bizarre sports events around the world. We found one of our favorites so far in Mongolia; it is deeply rooted in history, reveals insights into the Mongolian culture and is a bit odd too. Presenting… The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Mongolia’s Naadam Festival Name: The Naadam Festival AKA: Eriin Gurvan Naadam – The Three Games of Men Location: Mini-Naadams take place in…
  • BAM! POW! Crime-Fighting Superheroes (& heroines) from Around the World

    Laura Mundow
    8 Jul 2014 | 6:17 am
    Image Credit: @ Think Stock dot com July 10 marks what would have been the 100th birthday of Joe Shuster, famous for co-creating Superman along with Jerry Siegel. With his unshakable morals, family values, commitment to justice and status as the “ultimate immigrant,” Superman is arguably the quintessential and greatest American superhero. (Sorry, Captain America). His story follows the American story: He fought the Nazis in the 1940s, turned into a kind of Supercop post-World War II, hit on some countercultural themes in the 1960s and 1970s and fought a Gordon Gekko-esque tendency…
 
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    PhraseMix.com Blog

  • 41 unique ways to practice listening to English

    13 Jul 2014 | 8:55 am
    Our PhraseMix Premium service gives you a super-easy way to improve your English by listening to key example sentences. But there are lots of other ways to practice listening to English, if you're willing to put in the time and effort. We've pulled together a big list of 41 interesting ways that you can improve your listening skill. Tweet This Idea! Get hooked on an English TV show. Find an English-language drama or comedy that seems interesting, and start watching it from the beginning. Follow the storylines and get to know all the characters. Not sure what to watch? Here's a list of some of…
  • Another interview: ALsensei from the English 2.0 podcast

    10 Apr 2014 | 4:59 am
    ALsensei from alsensei.com interviewed me recently for his English 2.0 podcast. We talked about the most common questions English learners ask, my ideas for how to learn English faster, and tips for being productive. Check out the interview here: English 2.0 Teacher Interview 5 - Aaron from PhraseMix
  • A cool trick for memorizing sentences

    2 Nov 2013 | 6:34 pm
    Someone recently told me about a cool trick for memorizing things.  I wish I could remember who told me about the trick, and where they got it from. But I looked the trick up online and found an article about it from QuickAndDirtyTips.com. Imagine that you're trying to memorize a PhraseMix sentence (which I strongly recommend that you do). The normal way to memorize the sentence would be to repeat the full thing, again and again, from the beginning. So try that now. Read this sentence out loud to yourself five times: “I'd just like to say, on behalf of everyone here, good luck in…
  • An interview with the "Let's Master English" podcast

    29 Oct 2013 | 5:34 am
    This week, I was interviewed for a podcast called "Let's Master English". The host, Coach Shane, is a really smart guy and easy to talk to. We talked about how I got started with PhraseMix, some of my recommendations for language learners, describe my idea of "bottlenecks" in language learning, and the upcoming live PhraseMix Academy class. Listen here: http://directory.libsyn.com/episode/index/show/letsmasterenglish/id/2525448 And you can also subscribe to the podcast with iTunes.  
  • Bottlenecks

    13 Sep 2013 | 10:23 am
    In English, the word "bottleneck" describes something that slows down a process. Think about the shape of a wine bottle. The bottom part is wider, but in order for the wine to pour out, it has to pass through the narrow "neck" of the bottle. This limits how quickly you can pour it. We use the term "bottleneck" to talk about things like business processes. Whenever one specific part of a system is slowing down the entire system, it's a bottleneck. Where are your bottlenecks? It can be really useful to consider where the bottlenecks in your English learning are. For example, imagine someone who…
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    Globalization Partners International - Blog

  • It’s EPiServer Summit time!

    21 Jul 2014 | 5:00 pm
    The 2014 EPiServer North American Summit is once again upon us. This has traditionally been an EPiServer partners-only event, but this year the summit is open to clients as well. With an increase in attendees, comes the need to expand to a larger venue. This year the event will be hosted at the Chicago Swissotel on July 30th. EPiServer in North America 2014 has been a breakout year for EPiServer in North America. In Europe, their home base, they are well-established as a leading CMS/eCommerce platform. EpiServer has put in a lot of effort to grow their business in North America. Their work is…
  • Are Languages at Risk from National Boundaries?

    17 Jul 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Linguistic borders according to Putinism What would happen to our world if we reduced the number of languages from 7,000 to 9? Imagine how this would affect relationships between people, nations, commerce, education and all institutions. According to Putinism, the fact that Russian speakers should be protected everywhere opens a great discussion around the world. My favorite magazine The Economist took some time to provide an interesting and detailed analysis of how this argument might work. Boundaries across nations would need to be restructured and as per Mr. Putin's principles, linguistic…
  • Culture and E-Business in India - Infographic

    14 Jul 2014 | 5:00 pm
    If you are planning to do online business in India, if you want to be successful in targeting the Indian marketplace, it is important to understand the needs of your target customers, the consumer behaviors, the Indian traditions, the languages and the key insights about the market. This blog post released by Globalization Partners International contains the information for the Indian market on culture and e-business along with accompanying infographic, which covers a wide range of topics from country facts to online business tips for India. Facts about the Indian Market India is…
  • Review: The Economist Traveller Briefing Series

    8 Jul 2014 | 5:00 pm
    The Economist is my favorite magazine. It provides unbiased articles on politics, science, culture, books, history and business, all with a global focus. With this wealth of information they have developed a series of "Traveller Briefings" that cover reports for Brazil, Britain, China, India, Russia, South Africa and South Korea. Recently I purchased one of the reports. iTunes offers them for $9.99 per report download. They are also available for the same price on the Google Play store or as an interactive PDF download. I chose the China report as Chinese translation for the Mainland is by…
  • How to Create Interactive PDFs using InDesign

    6 Jul 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Since the release of InDesign CS5, Adobe has established InDesign as a software not just to print, but to also digitally publish. With the versions that followed, CS5.5, CS6 and now InDesign CC, Adobe has further expanded InDesign's capability to include digital magazines, interactive PDF and eBooks. It can also export content to Flash or Dreamweaver, making this one of Adobe's most powerful publishing applications. Interactive PDFs You can use Adobe InDesign to create interactive PDFs. By interactive, this means that the PDFs are created to be viewed on screen and contain expanded features…
 
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    Lexiophiles

  • Licking, Sucking, Blowing, Slurping and Pulling: Oral Sex in Different Languages

    Petrine
    21 Jul 2014 | 1:01 am
    As a linguist, it is only natural to question semantically inconsistent terms, and sexual terminology is no exception. Why do they in English call fellatio a “blowjob”, when the verb is “to suck”? Are other languages just as inconsistent? Is “licking” the only verb that describes cunnilingus? This article will not teach you what strategy to apply in the bedroom (there are other websites for that), but give you a small introduction to words and expressions for oral sex in different languages. Fellatio: Pipe Cutting, Flute Playing and Breastfeeding “Fellatio” comes from Latin…
  • Slikking, suging, blåsing, slurping of draing: oralsex på ulike språk

    Petrine
    21 Jul 2014 | 1:00 am
    Som lingvist er det helt naturlig å stille spørsmålstegn ved ord og uttrykk som er semantisk inkonsistente, og seksuell terminologi er intet unntak. Hvorfor heter det på engelsk “blowjob” (blåsejobb) når verbet er “to suck” (å suge)? Er andre språk like inkonsistente? Er “å slikke” det eneste verbet som beskriver cunnilingus? Denne artikkelen vil ikke lære deg hvilke strategier du bør ta i bruk på soverommet (det finnes andre nettsider for sånt), men gi deg en liten innføring i ord og uttrykk for oralsex på ulike språk. Fellatio: pipekutting, fløytespilling og…
  • TGIF: Flatsharing – Flaws in Human Evolution

    Francesca
    18 Jul 2014 | 1:00 am
    The weekend has come, it’s time to relax and enjoy home… if you can! Here’s a list of what mother nature still needs to improve when it comes to the evolution of flatmates. 1. The Water Ecologist: He or she is so concerned about the planet water reserve that dirty plates should not be washed more than once a month. In the mid-time, bacteria colonies have the time to expand and take over the entire kitchen. Spotted: flatware and tableware walking towards the sink begging to be washed. 2. The Chef: Whatever he or she cooks, the rest of the building (neighbors included) will…
  • Brazilian bikini wax: 10 facts we never wanted to know

    Lais
    17 Jul 2014 | 1:01 am
    1 – What is Brazilian bikini wax? Brazilian bikini wax is the hair removal of the female genital area using warm wax. The hair is removed from the crotch area and the inner lips, generally leaving a small stripe at the top. 2 – How do Brazilians call it? The most common names are virilha completa (total crotch area) ou depilação íntima total (total hair removal of the intimate area). 3 – Why is it called Brazilian? Yes, we all know Brazilian women wear small bikinis for European or North American standards, that´s not the reason. For that you can blame it on (or thank)…
  • Depilação à brasileira: 10 coisas que a gente nunca quis saber

    Lais
    17 Jul 2014 | 1:00 am
    1 – O que é? Conhecida no exterior como depilação à brasileira, trata-se da remoção do pelo pubiano feminino localizado não só na virilha como também nos lábios internos. 2 – Como é conhecida no Brasil? Os nomes mais comuns são virilha completa ou depilação íntima total. 3 – Por que se chama à brasileira? A gente sabe que os biquínis brasileiros são pequenos para os padrões europeus ou norte americanos, mas as nossas pequenas roupas de banho não são o único motivo para a nomenclatura. Você pode culpar (ou agradecer) as JSisters, um grupo de brasileiras…
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    Dado Que - Latest Content

  • Practice Makes Perfect: Complete Spanish Grammar

    22 Jul 2014 | 9:00 am
    Combining clear presentation, exercises, and a focus on practical conversational skills has proven a winning formula for the Practice Makes Perfect workbook series. Practice Makes Perfect: Complete Spanish Grammar builds on the series' success with a similarly interactive approach, embracing all aspects of Spanish grammar that you need to master. This engaging guide offers: * An extensive grammar review, highlighted by illustrative examples * Dozens of exercises, including fill-ins, translations, and creative writing * Time saving thematic vocabulary panels to cut down on dictionary drudgery…
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    JLPT Boot Camp - The Ultimate Study Guide to passing the Japanese Language Proficiency Test

  • JLPT N5 Grammar: Using nanno, donna, and dorekurai/donokurai

    Clayton MacKnight
    16 Jul 2014 | 8:21 am
    This month, we are asking more questions. Specifically, we are going to ask what kind and how much/many questions in Japanese. I will also be talking about how to make offers in Japanese as well. I go over the more common uses in the video below: For more videos like this one, be sure to subscribe to the JLPT N5 Grammar YouTube Channel Or check out some of the other N5 grammar videos: Japanese adjectives Japanese adjectives – past tense Japanese adjectives – polite past tense Japanese particle wa Japanese particle ga Japanese present tense verbs Japanese past tense verbs Kore vs.
  • July 2014 JLPT N1 First Reactions

    Clayton MacKnight
    6 Jul 2014 | 1:26 am
    I always enjoy my twice a year journey to Kyoto University. It’s a pretty big campus and has some unique buildings on it. Although the buildings are all named almost the same thing on the Yoshida campus, where the hold the test, it is generally a nice facility as long as it is not extremely hot or cold outside. And today was almost perfect temperature-wise. The rain at the end was a bit of a bummer though. Especially since I totally forgot to bring umbrella, despite the fact that it almost always rains when I take the test. I noticed some of the testing process has changed a bit. Kyodai…
  • JLPT BC 140 | Top 10 things to do in Japan

    Clayton MacKnight
    2 Jul 2014 | 7:57 am
    This post is a continuation of last month’s top 10. #80991982 / gettyimages.com 5. Purikura This is one of those things that most people probably don’t know about outside of Japan, but can be the source of  a lot of good times with friends and significant others. If you haven’t heard of what purikura is, it’s pretty simple really. It’s basically a photo booth where you can take pictures of you and your tomodachi. They can be a little intimidating at first especially since a lot of the commands are given verbally so you have to listen well and move quick to get…
  • JLPT Study Guide – Month 6

    Clayton MacKnight
    25 Jun 2014 | 8:12 am
    This is a continuing series going over a sample JLPT study guide. If you are just joining the discussion, you might want to check out month 1, month 2, month 3, month 4 and month 5 before continuing. At this point, you should have all the basics down pat. You have a regular rhythm of studying that you are following and a regular monthly check to make sure you are staying focused on the goal. You have probably changed or tweaked at least a few things about this plan so far. Or at least I hope you have. This month we are going to delve a little deeper into time management, so that you can make…
  • JLPT BC 139 | Getting Closer to the July Test

    Clayton MacKnight
    18 Jun 2014 | 7:35 am
    With the July test just around the corner, I’ve switched off all of my ‘fun’ studying which is a bit depressing. I’ll basically be reviewing and really perfecting everything before the big day. It’s still frustrating because I really don’t have the time to do as much studying as I’d like to. I’ve had to slow my pace a little with learning new vocabulary because it was just too hard to keep going at a good speed. I’m starting to get over 30 minutes or so a day and that is just too much blind drilling. I got tired of sitting at my computer…
 
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    Macmillan

  • Life skills tip of the week: saying you are sure about something

    Liz Potter
    22 Jul 2014 | 2:00 am
    Learning about pragmatics and how to express yourself successfully is a useful life skill, said Michael Rundell in January when he introduced the new pragmatics series on Macmillan Dictionary. The series is part of the Macmillan Life Skills campaign, offering free resources for English language students and teachers each month. As part of the series, we’ll bring more useful content and tips from the Macmillan Dictionary on expressing yourself. This week’s language tip helps with ways of indicating that you feel sure about something: I’m sure: the most usual way of saying…
  • Why heed the language cranks?

    Stan Carey
    21 Jul 2014 | 2:00 am
    Disputes over English usage are full of familiar items. Split infinitives, sentence-final prepositions, words like [you might prefer such as] hopefully and decimate – the same issues keep showing up, despite convincing arguments that there’s seldom a problem with any of them, leaving aside the question of register. It feels as though these are battles that should have been won a long time ago, yet they persist. Why is this? One of the main reasons is simple intolerance. People who are inclined to be intolerant of others find in language usage ample grist to their mill. Though English has…
  • Language and words in the news – 18th July, 2014

    Liz Potter
    18 Jul 2014 | 8:00 am
    This post contains a selection of links related to language and words in the news. These can be items from the latest news, blog posts or interesting websites related to global English, language change, education in general, and language learning and teaching in particular. Feel free to contact us if you would like to submit a link for us to include, or just add a comment to the post, with the link(s) you’d like to share. Language change and slang English is not tidy You go to work with the language you have, not the language you want.  Observations on “one of the only” A…
  • Language tip of the week: risk

    Liz Potter
    17 Jul 2014 | 6:00 am
    In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. These tips are usually based on areas of English which learners find difficult, e.g. spelling, grammar, collocation, synonyms, etc. This week’s language tip helps with the patterns following the verb risk: The verb risk is never followed by an infinitive. Use the pattern risk doing something: ✗ In trying to manage both their job and their family, they risk to neglect one or the other. ✓ In trying to manage both their job and their family, they risk neglecting one or the other.
  • What goes in the dictionary when the dictionary is online?

    Michael Rundell
    15 Jul 2014 | 4:00 am
    The familiar question of “how words get into the dictionary” is harder to answer when the dictionary is online. Printed dictionaries have limited space, so we have to be selective. This contributes to the popular view of lexicographers as “gatekeepers” – the people who decide, on behalf of the rest of the population, which words are “good” enough to get into the dictionary. To make these selections reliably, good dictionary publishers establish clear “inclusion criteria”, based on what we know about the needs and interests of our users. (Macmillan’s inclusion…
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    The Mezzofanti Guild

  • The Most Frank And Honest Review Of Rocket Languages Ever Written

    Donovan Nagel
    2 Jul 2014 | 5:18 am
    Note: I occasionally use affiliate links in review posts like this one which help me to maintain and improve this site and the quality of the content I post. I only ever positively review and recommend products that I personally own or genuinely find useful and being honest is very important to me. There are language blogs out there solely concerned with profiteering and this is not one of them. If you’ve ever spent time searching online for language learning resources then there’s a good chance you’ve already stumbled upon Rocket Languages at some point. To describe it in…
  • 11 Random Things I Learned From My Incredible Experience Living In Russia

    Donovan Nagel
    20 Jun 2014 | 2:02 am
    Today I’m going to share a few fairly random but very interesting things with you that I learned during my language immersion stay in Russia. Looking over this small list now, nearly all of it is positive and I’m sure there’s so much more I could have added. Russia’s a beautiful country full of interesting, kind people who are far too misunderstood by the rest of the world in my opinion. Of all the places around the world I’ve lived in for language immersion it was one of the most rewarding I’ve ever had. If you’ve been to Russia or lived there then…
  • Everything You Thought You Knew About Language Fluency Is Wrong And Here’s Why (Video)

    Donovan Nagel
    10 Jun 2014 | 1:15 pm
    Everyone interprets the word fluent differently. In fact it’s probably the most misused and misunderstood word in language learning discussion. It’s an easy word to use but very hard for most people to define if you ask them to! Today I want to explain what fluency is and what it isn’t (which I believe differs to what a lot of other people say) and also build on a few points I’ve made in the past. And since I’ve been working so tirelessly lately on my big Arabic project I thought I’d give my fingers a break from typing and post a video for a change. Share…
  • Rise To The Next Level With Language Topic Challenges + Prize Giveaway

    Donovan Nagel
    4 Jun 2014 | 11:54 am
    Most of us love to be challenged, right? To get better at anything we need to be constantly pushed to rise to the next level. Most of the time we set challenges for ourselves but it’s great when we get a chance to participate in public challenges as well. As I announced recently, from now on we’re going to be running topic challenges with prizes here on The Mezzofanti Guild again. These are set topics where anyone and everyone is invited to submit a video or audio recording of themselves speaking briefly on a set topic in their target language (either alone or recording a brief…
  • How To Go On The Perfect Language Immersion Trip And Save Tonnes Of Money

    Donovan Nagel
    28 May 2014 | 7:40 am
    What would the perfect language immersion trip be in your opinion? What does be immersed even mean to most people I wonder? It’s never quite as simple as just getting off a plane somewhere and speaking to everyone around you. It can be a daunting and slow process when you arrive in a foreign place knowing nobody, and without proper planning it can easily end up being a waste of time and money. You can spend months or even years in a place without ever being ‘immersed’. Or perhaps you prefer a more structured trip with courses and teachers. While there are many excellent…
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    hispañeros

  • Las mejores vistas de Granda / The Best Views of Granada

    hispañeros
    3 Jul 2014 | 1:52 am
    El Mirador de San Nicolás es un precioso mirador, situado en el barrio del Albaicín en Granda (sur de España) El nombre lo toma de la iglesia que tiene justo detrás, la Iglesia de San Nicolás. El mirador consiste en una amplia plaza con vistas a la ciudad de Granada, con una enorme cruz blanca […]
  • Diálogo #27

    hispañeros
    2 Jul 2014 | 3:27 am
    En las vacaciones. Sra. Martínez: ¡Pero qué hermoso día! Es ideal para salir a navegar. Chicos, ¿les gustaría pasear en lancha? Antonio: ¡Por supuesto! María: ¡Claro que sí! ¡Me muero de ganas! Antonio: ¿Ustedes tienen una lancha? Sra. Martínez: En realidad es de mi cuñado, el hermano de mi esposo. Pero podemos usarla siempre que […]
  • Diálogo #26

    hispañeros
    30 Jun 2014 | 3:26 am
    Cenando en casa de Antonio. María: ¡Pero qué ricas están las arepas! Lita: Sí. Es que mi suegra cocina deliciosamente. Y mi suegro también cuando cocine su famoso sancocho te invitaremos otra vez a cenar. María: Muchas gracias, estaré encantada de visitarlos de nuevo. Lita: En Colombia,  mis suegros tienen un restaurante, los dos adoran […]
  • LA PARTE MÁS APRECIADA DEL CERDO / THE MOST PRIZED PART OF THE PIG

    hispañeros
    30 Jun 2014 | 1:49 am
    La parte más apreciada del cerdo en España es, sin duda, el jamón serrano. El jamón no es otra cosa que la pata trasera del cerdo, salada y curada.  Una vez listo, si está bien elaborado, es un producto realmente exquisito. El jamón serrano es una parte de la gastronomía española  muy apreciada. Las regiones […]
  • Diálogo #25

    hispañeros
    6 Jun 2014 | 8:42 am
    En casa de Antonio Antonio: María, qué bueno que has podido venir a  cenar a casa. Mi abuela ha cocinado arepas para la cena, es un plato típico de Colombia. María: ¡Qué bien! ¿Tu abuela ha venido desde Colombia? Antonio: Sí, ha venido de visita con mi abuelo. María: Tienes mucha suerte de tener a […]
 
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    EVS Translations

  • Multilingual – Word of the day

    EVS Blog
    21 Jul 2014 | 10:26 pm
    The term multilingual relates to the presence and interaction of more than one language in a geographical region, political entity, or similar entity.  Accordingly, a multilingual person is an individual who is fluent in more than one language. Multilingualism has, of course, existed since the beginning of time. The Rosetta Stone evidences the fact that multilingual documents have existed for thousands of years. The famous Rosetta Stone itself is more than 2000 years old and carries inscriptions in 3 languages – Hieroglyphics, Demotic and Greek. Following its discovery in 1799, the Greek…
  • Izakaya – Word of the day

    EVS Blog
    20 Jul 2014 | 11:10 pm
    Izakaya is the term for a Japanese pub. It was first used in Japanese in the 1750s and means “the house with alcohol” and is a popular and affordable venue for enjoying a casual drink with friends or an after-work drink with colleagues. Typically you pay for two hours or three hours of all in-eating or drinking or both and you can drink as much as you like during this time. Obviously this all-inclusive drinking was a good solution. Late night in Tokyo, rowdy university students make the most of a cheap night out and Japanese white collar workers can be found sitting around the floor level…
  • Interpretation – Word of the day

    EVS Blog
    18 Jul 2014 | 2:31 am
    Interpretation - Word of the day - EVS Translations Interpreting means explaining something, to make the meaning clear. It is used every day, by everyone, making sense of what is perceived. In the language business, a differentiation is made between translating the written word (= translation) and translating the spoken word (= interpreting). In general use there is often not much differentiation. This was then case when the words entered the English language, and is the case today. The very first use of the word interpreting in English is the Wycliff translation of the Bible in 1382 which…
  • Chinese in the Fortune 500 List – Interpretation

    evs2
    17 Jul 2014 | 12:41 am
    If China’s growing economic clout was in question, all one would need to do is to take a quick glance at the recently released Fortune 500 list. Presently, 100 of the top 500 global companies are Chinese companies. The list also includes another 5 entries from neighboring Taiwan and 4 from Hong Kong. While the two other major players on the index - the United States and Japan - see their number of representatives steadily declining (to 128 and 57 respectively), more and more Chinese companies enter the select group each year. Though the sheer number of Chinese companies on the list as well…
  • Translation – Word of the day

    EVS Blog
    16 Jul 2014 | 11:26 pm
    Translation - Word of the day Translation means transferring something from one state into another. For example, the bones of a saint were removed from one church and put in another (“translation”), a holiday is switched from one day to another (“translation”) or a person is taken up directly to heaven from earth without dying (“translation”) The word translation as transferring words and thoughts from one language to another related originally to the Bible. The first person to use it was Richard Rolle, himself a writer about religion and also a translator of the Bible. Now…
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    Speaking Latino

  • Football Phrases in Spanish: What is Your Favorite?

    Diana Caballero
    10 Jul 2014 | 3:09 pm
    The World Cup is about to end. This past month I had a great time watching many of the matches here in Miami and also in Spain, where we spent half of the World Cup. Listening to the commentators in Spanish was so much fun; the phrases they used, the energy they had, and how they integrated their conversations with each other in order to deliver an entertaining transmission to… Read More >The post Football Phrases in Spanish: What is Your Favorite? appeared first on Speaking Latino.
  • Flirting in Spanish: 18 Easy Spanish Phrases for Dating

    Jared Romey
    4 Jul 2014 | 12:09 pm
    In “Flirting in Spanish: 18 Easy Spanish Phrases for Dating” we’ve given you a few choice phrases that should be easy to remember and quick to charm. Read More >The post Flirting in Spanish: 18 Easy Spanish Phrases for Dating appeared first on Speaking Latino.
  • The 5 Spanish Irregular Verbs That Will Boost Ability to Build Sentences

    Jared Romey
    16 Jun 2014 | 3:27 am
    These Spanish irregular verbs will improve your ability create sentences. Download the printable Spanish verb flashcards included. Read More >The post The 5 Spanish Irregular Verbs That Will Boost Ability to Build Sentences appeared first on Speaking Latino.
  • Resources to Learn Venezuelan Spanish Slang

    Jared Romey
    15 Jun 2014 | 6:01 am
    A list of resources about Venezuelan Spanish slang. Includes articles, PDF documents, dictionaries, websites and podcasts. Read More >The post Resources to Learn Venezuelan Spanish Slang appeared first on Speaking Latino.
  • FIFA World Cup Players 2014: Key Players from Spanish-Speaking Countries

    Diana Caballero
    13 Jun 2014 | 2:39 pm
    Check out this bilingual Spanish-English infographic of the FIFA World Cup Players 2014 from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Spain and Uruguay. Read More >The post FIFA World Cup Players 2014: Key Players from Spanish-Speaking Countries appeared first on Speaking Latino.
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    Blog at Fluent Language Tuition

  • How To Run The Show in Language Learning

    Kerstin Hammes
    21 Jul 2014 | 6:13 am
    Reading a language learning blog is a funny undertaking, isn't it? You can find amazing community, new ideas and reviews of products that you have not tried yet. For many people, looking at the language learning successes out there is also a real motivator: When you feel like it's never going to be a thing to really learn 20,000 words in Japanese, it's nice to see others out there who have done it. img ©Purple Ghost Flower on Deviantart As a language teacher, I know how you feel. My Twitter and Feedly are full on inspiration for making lessons more interesting, helping students with grammar…
  • How Not to Learn Spanish!

    Jenny Brown
    18 Jul 2014 | 3:00 am
    Today I'm very proud to be featuring a guest post from Gareth Evans. I know Gareth as the marketing guy behind the awesome FlashSticks (which you know I don't stop enthusing about), and on discovering his language learning story I invited him to share his adventures in Argentina as a language learner. Gareth is on Twitter for FlashSticks and they’re always up for a natter on Twitter, so do say hello. And don't forget you can win them as part of the Sensational Fluent Pack until 10 August 2014.This story is awesome - it has everything! Language, travel, adventure, classes... Gareth…
  • My Authentic Philosophy Behind The New Fluent Guides

    Kerstin Hammes
    15 Jul 2014 | 4:32 pm
    If you have been following my little blog for over half a year, then this picture will look familiar to you: I wrote the little book Fluency Made Achievable in 2013, motivated by a desire to show everyone that "Language Hacking" is not the only way to succeed. Why shouldn't we ENJOY our study? Fluency Made Achievable was published on Kindle, PDF and even came out in print, but all along I wasn't 100% confident in selling it yet. I wanted to serve you guys a lot better - and then I took the decision to work on just that. You guys know that I recognise the frustrations and learning obstacles…
  • Rise of the Female Language Blogger

    Kerstin Hammes
    7 Jul 2014 | 7:31 am
    So This Is The World We Live InThe other day I was reading the back of my packet of breakfast cereal (a habit I've had since I could read) and noticed that the back of it is addressed to kids. A game, some fun suggestions, some ideas for a family day. One thing was striking: There were about 3 different references to "mum" and not a single one to "dad". img ©Daniel Zedda on Flickr As a woman who grew up in a non-feminist environment (Mama, I hope this is ok to say..) I am more than aware of the world today. Women are still expected to be quiet. We're not as visible on the salary scales, the…
  • The Intensive, Tough but Super Effective Method for Memorizing Vocabulary in Any Language

    Kerstin Hammes
    30 Jun 2014 | 7:55 am
    You guys, you and I both know that forgetfulness must be one of the most annoying elements that hold you back from learning a language. Remembering vocabulary can be difficult, especially with all those little words like prepositions and conjunctions. Personally, I am blessed with reasonable memory so I am a pretty good reviser, but as part of my research for No Forgetting - A Smart Guide to Vocabulary Learning I got to know a few new tricks! For example, I got to meet one of the “gurus” of learning how to memorise stuff. Anthony Metivier is a Canadian living in Berlin, and…
 
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    Learn Spanish My Way

  • Getting Emotional

    Keith Walters
    18 Jul 2014 | 1:50 pm
    Previously, I talked about wishes, desires, and dreams using the subjunctive "mood" in Spanish. If you haven't read that yet, please do so here.Describing emotions and feelings is another way to use the Spanish subjunctive. There are countless verbs out there to indicate any particular emotion you and others have. Some examples are temer (to fear or be afraid), esperar (to hope), alegrarse [de] (to be glad or happy), sentir (to be sorry, to regret), gustar (to like), enojar (to be angry), sorprender (to be surprised) and odiar (to hate). You can use impersonal emotional expressions too such…
  • Make a Wish

    Keith Walters
    27 Jun 2014 | 6:00 am
    As I mentioned before, the subjunctive is not a tense, but rather a mood. It has its own tenses for present, imperfect (past) and future just like the indicative. Therefore, it is not a tense.One aspect for using the subjunctive is expressing wishes, desires, hopes, and dreams. You would not use the indicative because that is grounded in reality and certainty. Wishes and the like are part of the uncertain and unreal because they have not happened yet and there is a chance they will never happen. I by no means intend to be a buzz-kill, but where there are wishes, there is improbability -- thus…
  • Subjunctive in the Present

    Keith Walters
    20 Jun 2014 | 10:15 am
    I thought that before I get too far along with when and how to use the subjunctive, I would spend a little bit of time on how to form the subjunctive. I'll start with the present indicative tense.A great way to think of forming the Spanish subjunctive is imagine a place where right-side-up is up-side-down and right is left and up is down -- everything is the opposite. That's basically what you are doing with your subject endings.For verbs that end in -AR, you want to first conjugate the verb in first person (Yo form), then add the appropriate opposite ending for the subject you are…
  • Subjective Subjunctive

    Keith Walters
    7 Jun 2014 | 3:26 pm
    The subjunctive gives English speakers lots of problems. Mostly because it is not a visible "tense" in English, but rather a "mood" or a personal choice.Example in English: I want that you come with me to the party.Example in Spanish: Quiero que vengas conmigo a la fiesta.The above sentence has two verbs: want and come. They both look like they are just present tense verbs to any English speaker. It's the underlying "mood" or personal choice that distinguishes between whether a verb is subjunctive or not.In the example above, the first verb (want) is in the indicative "mood" while it is also…
  • Learning Spanish in the Digital Age

    Keith Walters
    30 May 2014 | 11:20 am
    How we spend our time these days matter to all of us. We live in a very different world than it was just a decade or so ago. Learning another language like Spanish has evolved too. In fact, 32 hours on average per month is spent scouring the internet in the United States alone. That's a lot of time online.Enter Lingocracy!This app claims to improve your language skills through reading what you want, when you want in a variety of languages including Spanish. Like most apps, you can register for a free account. You may also sign up using your Facebook account.Lingocracy does a few different…
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    Smoke & Croak

  • Q&A – Managing Currencies in International E-commerce

    Liam Curley
    8 Jul 2014 | 4:45 am
    I recently caught up with Neil Seymour, managing director of Challenge Trophies (@SportsTrophies). During the past four years, Challenge Trophies have been expanding their e-commerce business into Europe and Neil agreed to offer some valuable insight into the challenges of managing multiple currencies on an e-commerce website. 1. Tell us a bit about you and Challenge Trophies Challenge Trophies was founded in 1976, a family business originally set up as a retail outlet selling trophies, medals and awards to the local community. As Challenge Trophies evolved, we worked with increasing numbers…
  • 3 Minute Read – Translating your Slogan?

    Liam Curley
    16 Jun 2014 | 2:06 am
    3 Key points addressed: When should you translate your tagline When you can avoid translation How to manage a slogan translation Why do you have a Tagline? The title refers to slogans, but I prefer the term tagline. We’re talking about the line of text below your logo, on your literature and website. Before deciding on whether to translate the tagline for new markets, ask yourself why you have the tagline. What purpose does it serve? There are two types of tagline: The Abstract – this represents and conveys the brand values through a memorable and simple message. Take McDonalds’; I’m…
  • What Makes Google Tick?

    Liam Curley
    2 Jun 2014 | 4:25 am
    Want to improve your website’s ranking performance on Google? Before you build an understanding of the technical aspects of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), or spend hours trying to find SEO blogs offering a magic ranking formula to crack the Google code (this doesn’t exist by the way), it’s worth trying to understand the core structure behind Google’s success. Billions of people use Google’s free search engine service to find high quality websites which are relevant to the type of content they’re looking for. Because Google has so many people spending time on their search…
  • Pick your favourite song for us to translate into Spanish!

    Liam Curley
    15 May 2014 | 4:42 am
    We got together with Pablo Muñoz, a popular blogger and rock star in the localisation industry to come up with the idea for our next song to translate. Some time ago, Pablo wrote a blog post on music to ask translators what their favourite track was to listen to whilst working. He had a big response from his audience. Now, we want to know what your favourite song is (in English). We want you to tell us what song you want translating into Spanish. Together with Pablo, we’re going to put together the most popular suggestions that you have and enter them into a poll for voting. The winning…
  • Naming A Business – The Story of Safe to Bold

    Liam Curley
    13 May 2014 | 6:14 am
    We’re a young business, so the challenges, debates and obstacles of naming a company are still fresh in the mind. It’s a huge decision to make, creating the semantic attachment that you’re going to label your business with. It’s on the sign that goes above the door, in your domain, and the name that you use to introduce yourself to people over the phone or in person. My wife recently gave birth to our first born son and deciding on his name was a much simpler process! Whilst there is always the option of altering the name (of the business, not the son) at a later date (Accenture, WWE,…
 
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    汉字世界 : A World of Chinese Characters

  • A possible origin of Chinese characters: from drawing and casual carving

    蕭郎
    22 Jul 2014 | 9:35 pm
    Two Theories:In the March of 19, scholar Tang Lan (唐兰) stated in his book , “The creation of characters is very natural. tens of thousand of years ago, in old stone age, people already had the ability to draw objects, these drawings (or call them picture outlines, symbols, images, sketches, patterns, carvings,  as you like) were mainly the outlines of animals and human body. They are the primitive forms of Chinese characters” He then added, “Characters were based on drawings. In the very beginning, characters were drawings and could be read (or interpreted), but not…
  • The culture of ass: 官

    蕭郎
    22 Jul 2014 | 11:35 am
    pronunciation: guānEtymology:Have you ever encountered this characte —— 官?It means officer, government, authority. If you then want to know why it means officer, cease your search in dictionaries. It’s from the ass, one thing everyone has. Here’s the explanation:We analyse the character from top to toe: 宀 (Proununciation: mián)  see below, it is a pictograph, obviously it is something like this:The lower part of 官: (what you see in 官 is a variation of this character, so don’t be confused), it is actually an ASS. See the oracle bone character of 官…
  • Who created Chinese characters?

    蕭郎
    22 Jul 2014 | 8:14 am
    Who created Chinese characters? What’s the origin of Chinese characters? It was hot debated as early as in warring states period (475-221 BC ), but even today there’s no final conclusion. Though more than two thousands years past, and thousands of scholars dived into the ocean of characters in their life, the origin of Chinese language remained unknown. There are many stories and legends about how Chinese characters came into being, here I briefly tell the most popular one.Before 仓颉 Cang Jie era, people record information by tying knots on ropes. But as society evolves,…
  • 蕭郎
    22 Jul 2014 | 5:03 am
    Proununciation: dàMeaning: adj: big noun: adultThe oracle bone characters of  大:Does it remind you of this?It doesn’t mean bigfoot, but it is the shape of a standing adult, means big, compare with the babies.Usage: 大人 大小Chinese Explanation:The post 大 appeared first on 汉字世界 : A World of Chinese Characters.
  • 儿 / 兒

    蕭郎
    20 Jul 2014 | 1:34 pm
    Pronunciation: ér or rén (Originally)Meaning: noun: son, childEtymology:You can’t understand its meanings by the simplified character 儿, you should learn the traditional one: 兒。The character 兒’s bronze character form:And compare with this: The top of 兒 is the fontanelle of babies, thus indicating child, son, babe.Usage: 儿童 儿戏Chinese Explanation: The post 儿 / 兒 appeared first on 汉字世界 : A World of Chinese Characters.
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