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  • Mystery Language

    Language Log
    Mark Liberman
    17 Dec 2014 | 7:00 pm
    Can anyone determine what language this woman is speaking? If the flash player doesn't work for you, try the HTML5 audio version: Your browser does not support the audio element.
  • How information moves between cultures

    Language Acquisition News -- ScienceDaily
    16 Dec 2014 | 2:57 pm
    Networks that map strength of connections between languages predict global influence of their speakers. By analyzing data on multilingual Twitter users and Wikipedia editors and on 30 years' worth of book translations in 150 countries, researchers have developed network maps that they say represent the strength of the cultural connections between speakers of different languages.
  • Nominate 2014 Words of the Year!

    separated by a common language
    11 Nov 2014 | 3:06 am
    While being interviewed today (which I'll let you know more about at some point), I was asked what the front-runners are for UK-to-US and US-to-UK Words of the Year. And I had no idea.So: what do you think? Nominations are open for both categories as of now:1. Best AmE-to-BrE import2. Best BrE-to-AmE importThe word doesn’t have to have been imported into the other dialect in 2014, but it should have come into its own in some way in the (popular culture of the) other dialect this year. I retain the editor's privilege of giving other random awards on a whim. Please nominate your favo(u)rites…
  • Panking Down

    A Way with Words
    12 Dec 2014 | 8:51 am
    To pank, as in to pank down snow for skiing or pank down hair with Aqua Net, is a common term heard in the upper peninsula of Michigan. This is part of a complete episode.
  • Halloween – History and Customs around the World

    Inbox Translation
    Cincan Alina
    31 Oct 2014 | 12:09 am
    Contrary to what many people think, Halloween is not the exclusive festival of the Christian West. In fact, not many people are even aware that it originates from “pagan” roots before the advent of Christianity. In its many forms, the festival of ghouls and ghosts is present in nearly every country in the world. In […] The post Halloween – History and Customs around the World appeared first on Inbox Translation.
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    linguistics - Google News

  • 'I'll kill you/buy you dinner' and other Arabic gaffes - Haaretz

    18 Dec 2014 | 4:54 pm
    Haaretz'I'll kill you/buy you dinner' and other Arabic gaffesHaaretzArabic is at the core of modern Arab identity and so promoting the idea of common nationhood has required the glossing over of these linguistic differences. Such apparent linguistic unity also encouraged the illusion that Arab unity was natural and
  • How to speak MONKEY: Researchers uncover primate language - Daily Mail

    18 Dec 2014 | 2:17 pm
    Daily MailHow to speak MONKEY: Researchers uncover primate languageDaily MailThis yields a meaning of a 'serious ground-related threat,' closely associated with leopards. In the long term, Schlenker observes, the research should help initiate the development of a form of 'primate linguistics'—the application of sophisticated What 'hok' and 'krak' mean to monkeysFuturity: Research Newsall 2 news articles »
  • Strong Language, a new linguistics blog about vulgarities - Washington Post

    17 Dec 2014 | 8:39 am
    Strong Language, a new linguistics blog about vulgaritiesWashington PostAnd of course don't forget Language Log, one of my favorites, also run by linguists. Eugene Volokh teaches free speech law, religious freedom law, church-state relations law, a First Amendment Amicus Brief Clinic, and tort law, at UCLA School of Law
  • Serious Monkey Business: Linguistic Methods Uncover Sophisticated Meanings ... - Newswise (press release)

    15 Dec 2014 | 8:39 am
    Daily News & AnalysisSerious Monkey Business: Linguistic Methods Uncover Sophisticated Meanings Newswise (press release)Newswise — The same species of monkeys located in separate geographic regions use their alarm calls differently to warn of approaching predators, a linguistic analysis by a team of scientists reveals. The study, which appears in the journal Monkey calls are more sophisticated than commonly believedZee Newsall 9 news articles »
  • Linguistics professor travels the world to understand language learning - Daily Sundial

    5 Dec 2014 | 2:02 pm
    Daily SundialLinguistics professor travels the world to understand language learningDaily SundialCSUN linguistics professor Anna Joaquin is applying the science of language learning to a primarily adult audience from a unique perspective. She has taught English as a Second Language and English as a Foreign Language in many different settings ...
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    Language Acquisition News -- ScienceDaily

  • How information moves between cultures

    16 Dec 2014 | 2:57 pm
    Networks that map strength of connections between languages predict global influence of their speakers. By analyzing data on multilingual Twitter users and Wikipedia editors and on 30 years' worth of book translations in 150 countries, researchers have developed network maps that they say represent the strength of the cultural connections between speakers of different languages.
  • Shame on us: Toward defining basic emotions

    15 Dec 2014 | 3:53 pm
    Emotions are complicated and never more so than in the realm of the scientific, where commonly accepted definitions are lacking. In a new article, a researcher examines the basic emotions of grief, fear/anxiety, anger, shame and pride as they appear in scientific literature in an attempt to take a first step in defining them. "Emotion terms, especially in English, are wildly ambiguous," he writes in the paper's introduction.
  • Happy-go-lucky CEOs score better returns

    11 Dec 2014 | 11:26 am
    A CEO's natural sunny disposition can have an impact on the way the market reacts to announcements of company earnings, according to new research.
  • Anyone who is good at German learns English better

    10 Dec 2014 | 5:06 am
    Your literacy skills in your first language heavily influence the learning of a foreign language. Thus, anyone who reads and writes German well is likely to transfer this advantage to English – regardless of the age of onset of foreign language learning. Foreign language lessons at an early age, however, pay off less than was previously assumed. In fact, they can even have a negative impact on the first language in the short run, as a linguist reveals in her long-term study involving 200 Zurich high-school children.
  • Languages of medical residency applicants compared to patients with limited english

    10 Dec 2014 | 4:39 am
    An analysis of the non-English-language skills of U.S. medical residency applicants finds that although they are linguistically diverse, most of their languages do not match the languages spoken by the U.S. population with limited English proficiency, according to a study.
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    LANGUAGE NEWS - Google News

  • For Lightning, language shows way to success -

    18 Dec 2014 | 3:07 pm
    Tampabay.comFor Lightning, language shows way to successTampabay.comHe's a much more confident kid because he knows the language. It does have a big part of how the kids act." Kucherov, a Moscow native, said he had a tutor for a couple months two years ago. But he's mostly learned from listening to friends, or watching TV.
  • How to speak MONKEY: Researchers uncover primate language - Daily Mail

    18 Dec 2014 | 2:17 pm
    Daily MailHow to speak MONKEY: Researchers uncover primate languageDaily MailThe authors' preferred analysis is based on the device of 'implicatures,' borrowed from the pragmatics of human languages. It posits that the meaning of a word can be enriched when it competes with a more informative alternative – for instance and more »
  • Language for recall petitions against Ann Arbor council member rejected -

    18 Dec 2014 | 12:37 pm
    MLive.comLanguage for recall petitions against Ann Arbor council member rejectedMLive.comWashtenaw County officials have rejected the language for three recall petitions against Ann Arbor City Council Member Stephen Kunselman, but two more submissions are now under consideration. Three different versions of reasons for recalling Kunselman ...
  • Foreign Language Oscar Shortlist: A Preview Of Possibilities, Part 3 -

    18 Dec 2014 | 10:16 am
    Deadline.comForeign Language Oscar Shortlist: A Preview Of Possibilities, Part 3Deadline.comHere's the final entry in my annual assessment of movies that have a chance to pass the first stage of the Foreign Language Oscar race. We expect the shortlist to come out tomorrow and I'm expecting a number of the films I've profiled below and here
  • How The Simpsons Changed the English Language - io9

    18 Dec 2014 | 9:41 am
    io9How The Simpsons Changed the English Languageio9Over at the Oxford Dictionaries blog, there's an essay by author and Indiana University at Bloomington professor Michael Adams that investigates how The Simpsons has helped shape the English language over the past 25 years. Specifically, he's Read This: How The Simpsons affects the English languageA.V. Club MilwaukeeEdumacate us: How 'The Simpsons' changed the languageComic Book ResourcesBest of the Web: How the Simpsons changed the English language; Lessons in 4 news articles »
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    English Experts

  • Como dizer “contra tudo e contra todos” em inglês

    Donay Mendonça
    8 Dec 2014 | 12:00 am
    Acredito que muitos de vocês – por motivos óbvios – já devem conhecer o sentido em português para esta expressão. Ela é frequentemente utilizada com os verbos “lutar”, “vencer” e “superar”. Trata-se de quando uma pessoa (ou uma equipe, por exemplo) – contra tudo (aquilo que é obstáculo) e contra todos (que de alguma forma se opõem) -, tenta atingir ou atinge um determinado objetivo, apesar da grande dificuldade, apesar de parecer realmente improvável que isto aconteça ou tenha acontecido. Confesso que encontro muito esta expressão em contextos que falam…
  • #131 Boletim: O que aprendi em Harvard

    Alessandro Brandão
    5 Dec 2014 | 12:00 am
    Hi there! Estudar no exterior é o sonho de muitos jovens brasileiros. Eu fico muito feliz quando recebo mensagens de membros do EE que declaram estar se preparando para ingressar numa universidade fora do país. Assisti recentemente a um discurso inspirador do empresário Jorge Paulo Lemann, vale a pena assistir: “O que aprendi em Harvard”. Espero que goste da indicação da semana. Como de costume, confira os tópicos em destaque no fórum: Como dizer “Eu vou passear no Central Park” em inglês Devo procurar outro curso de inglês ou refinar o listening? Caso genitivo com…
  • English Podcast 48: Fluência sem sair do Brasil

    Alessandro Brandão
    3 Dec 2014 | 12:00 am
    Olá, amigos do English Experts! Conheço muitas pessoas que falam um inglês impecável sem nunca terem saído do Brasil. Converso hoje com uma delas, o professor Adir Ferreira. Aprenda neste episódio algumas técnicas que, se seguidas com determinação, poderão te levar à fluência. Enjoy! Prepare o seu headset, aperte play e divirta-se. Ouvir o English Podcast Se você recebe as dicas por email, clique aqui para ouvir o English Podcast. Participaram do Programa Adir Ferreira (professor de inglês com mais de 22 anos de experiência) criador do Adir Ferreira Idiomas. Alessandro Brandão…
  • Expressões dos Seriados: Run roughshod over someone/something

    Alessandro Brandão
    2 Dec 2014 | 12:00 am
    Hi everyone! A expressão de hoje é “Run roughshod over someone/something”. Ela significa “tratar alguém/algo com descaso; fazer o que der na telha”. Confira abaixo os exemplos com áudio. She seems to run roughshod over her friends all the time. [ Ela parece tratar com descaso seus amigos o tempo todo. ] He was a mean boss and ran roughshod over his subordinates whenever he wanted. [ Ele era um chefe malvado e tratava mal os seus subordinados sempre que queria. ] Ouça o áudio:…
  • Como dizer “o importante é participar” em inglês

    Donay Mendonça
    1 Dec 2014 | 12:00 am
    Hoje vamos falar sobre esta expressão que, na verdade, trata-se de uma ideia, de uma filosofia a ser seguida por aqueles que fazem parte do mundo das competições, mais comumente, das competições esportivas. Dentro da ideia central, “o importante é participar”, há outras versões igualmente conhecidas, como “o importante é competir”,”o mais importante não é vencer, mas participar” e “o importante não é vencer, mas competir. E com dignidade”. Sabe-se que este conceito é atribuído ao francês Barão Pierre de Coubertin, o pai das Olimpíadas Modernas. Esta foi sua…
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    Language Log

  • Maximizing Buzzword Compliance

    Mark Liberman
    18 Dec 2014 | 7:25 am
    From a "sponsor message" sent to me by the Chronicle of Higher Education "on behalf of Campus Management": Institutions are facing a convergence of forces that, combined with an outdated technology infrastructure, have created the need for a new approach in education technology: the On Demand Model for Higher Education. Discover the cornerstones of this innovative strategy, including how to enhance constituent engagement, provide more flexibility in academic delivery and financial aid, and leverage an agile infrastructure to grow and adapt in any market. Hear from a panel of thought leaders…
  • Nut rage

    Victor Mair
    18 Dec 2014 | 7:16 am
    The biggest news in South Korea these days is the macadamia nut tantrum that occurred on Korean Airlines last week.  Heather Cho, the eldest daughter of Korean Air Lines chairman Cho Yang-ho and herself a high-ranking executive at the airline (though since resigned), threw a monumental hissy fit when she was served macadamia nuts in a manner that she thought was not suitably elegant.  Amongst the usual media accounts of the incident, there was this statement from the UK Guardian: Bloggers and the Korean press lambasted Cho for her arrogance, and took to social media to mock her for going…
  • Mystery Language

    Mark Liberman
    17 Dec 2014 | 7:00 pm
    Can anyone determine what language this woman is speaking? If the flash player doesn't work for you, try the HTML5 audio version: Your browser does not support the audio element.
  • Curses! Introducing a new blog, "Strong Language"

    Ben Zimmer
    17 Dec 2014 | 5:31 am
    There's a new linguablog that's definitely worth your time if you're not put off by vulgarities. And if you revel in vulgarities, well, you're in luck. It's called Strong Language, and it's the creation of James Harbeck and Stan Carey. James and Stan have enlisted a great lineup of contributors (I'm happy to be one of them). As the "About" page explains, Strong Language "gives a place for professional language geeks to talk about things they can’t talk about in more polite contexts. It’s a sweary blog about swearing." Stan compiled a Storify story detailing how the blog came to life from…
  • Unwearied effort however beefsteak

    Victor Mair
    17 Dec 2014 | 5:00 am
    I spotted this colossal translation fail at the top of the Chinalawtranslate home page. Colossal though it may be, the same mistranslation also appears here, amidst an amazing collection of names of dishes seen on actual menus in China. The same mistranslation is also found here and is in the second item here as well. The correct translation should be zīrán niúpái 孜然牛排 ("cumin beefsteak"), where zīrán 孜然, which may also be written as zīrán qín 孜然芹 (qín 芹 means "celery"), is "cumin". How in the world do we get from "cumin beefsteak" to "unwearied effort however…
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    GoodWord from

  • 12/18/14 - dreidel

    17 Dec 2014 | 10:00 pm
    A dreidel is a four-sided top with the Hebrew letters, nun, gimel, hey, and shin, printed one on each side. The letters stand for Nes gadol hayah sham "A great miracle happened there." (In Israel, of course, the letters are nun, gimmel, hey, and pey, for Nes gadol hayah poh "A great miracle happened here.")
  • 12/17/14 - menorah

    16 Dec 2014 | 10:00 pm
    1. A seven-branched candelabrum symbolizing the seven days of creation. 2. A nine-branched candelabrum used in the celebration of Hanukkah, also called the Hanukiah.
  • 12/16/14 - amenable

    15 Dec 2014 | 10:00 pm
    1. Tractable, compliant, agreeable, disposed to comply with, as 'amenable to reason'. 2. Fitting, susceptible, capable of being dealt with in a particular way, as 'issues amenable to legislation'.
  • 12/15/14 - anniversary

    14 Dec 2014 | 10:00 pm
    The annual recurrence of the date of an important event in some previous year or the celebration thereof.
  • 12/14/14 - launch

    13 Dec 2014 | 10:00 pm
    1. To hurl, thrust, or propel into motion, as to launch a rocket. 2. To put a boat or ship in the water for the first time. 3. To initiate, start, begin, to give a start to, to commence a project, as to launch a new website or a new word-based company like The Lexiteria, launched 10 years ago on December 14, 2004.
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  • Tis the Tis the Season Season

    Nancy Friedman
    18 Dec 2014 | 6:27 am
    Here on the ’tis beat, we have a zero-tolerance policy. As Baltimore Sun copyeditor John McIntyre has repeatedly reminded us in his roundup of holiday clichés: “’Tis the season”: Not in copy, not in headlines, not at all. Never, never, never, never, never. You cannot make this fresh. Do not attempt it. Is anyone listening? Not bloody likely. Here’s Henry Fuhrmann, head of the Los Angeles Times copy desks, posting on Twitter. Note the date: It is with heavy heart that I report that the phrase *'tis the season* passed unscathed through the copy desk this week. I blame myself.
  • December Linkfest: WOTY Edition

    Nancy Friedman
    16 Dec 2014 | 6:26 am
    Words of the year from around the globe! As usual, Oxford Dictionaries was first out of the gate, nearly a month ago, with its WOTY choices. And the winner was… vape.  As e-cigarettes (or e-cigs) have become much more common, so vapehas grown significantly in popularity. You are thirty times more likely to come across the word vape than you were two years ago, and usage has more than doubled in the past year. Which means I may have been just a little ahead of schedule when I included vape on my 2013 words-of-the-year list. (“Hard to imagine a more vapid choice,” scoffed Allan Metcalf,…
  • Word of the Week: Cromnibus

    Nancy Friedman
    15 Dec 2014 | 8:15 am
    Cromnibus: The $1.1 trillion spending bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on December 11 and by the Senate on December 13. The word is a portmanteau of omnibus bill (per Vox, “how Congress funds the government when things are working normally”—which in recent sessions is never) and the initials of continuing resolution, (“how Congress funds the government when it can’t come to a deal”). The bill now goes to President Obama for his signature. Also spelled CRomnibus. Omnibus entered English—from a Latin word meaning “for all”—around 1829; it described “a…
  • On the Visual Thesaurus: Brand Names of the Year

    Nancy Friedman
    12 Dec 2014 | 6:27 am
    My latest column for the Visual Thesaurus looks at the most interesting and significant brand names of 2014. Not, I hasten to add, the biggest or most successful brands, but the ones that were “newly prominent or notable” (per the American Dialect Society’s criteria for words of the year) and exhibited linguistic and onomastic merit. Access to this column is free to all – happy holidays! (But don’t you know someone who’d appreciate the gift of a Visual Thesaurus subscription?) Here’s one of my top 10 brand names: Uber. The rideshare app—based in San Francisco and operating in…
  • Confused Again

    Nancy Friedman
    10 Dec 2014 | 7:09 am
    Once I saw this name as “re-addle,” I couldn’t see it any other way. Readdle: productivity apps for iPad and iPhone  Addle now means “confuse,” but that’s not how it started out. Here’s the Online Etymology Dictionary: addle (v.) 1712, from addle (n.) “urine, liquid filth,” from Old English adela “mud, mire, liquid manure” (cognate with Old Swedish adel “urine,: Middle Low German adel, Dutch aal “puddle”). Used in noun phrase addle egg (mid-13c.) “egg that does not hatch, rotten egg,” literally “urine egg,” a loan-translation of Latin ovum urinum, which is…
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  • Strong Language.

    18 Dec 2014 | 5:43 pm
    I’m happy to announce the appearance of Strong Language, a new group blog about swearing created by linguist James Harbeck and Stan Carey of Sentence first, one of my favorite language sites. The About page says, “This blog gives a place for professional language geeks to talk about things they can’t talk about in more polite contexts. It’s a sweary blog about swearing.” If that sounds like your cup of tea, head on over and check it out. And while we’re on the subject of swearing, here‘s a seven-plus-minute video consisting almost entirely of swearing in…
  • Languages of Influence.

    17 Dec 2014 | 2:38 pm
    Michael Erard, a longtime LH favorite, has a good piece in Science on a paper by Shahar Ronen et al., “Links that speak: the global language network and its association with global fame“: The study was spurred by a conversation about an untranslated book, says Shahar Ronen, a Microsoft program manager whose Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) master’s thesis formed the basis of the new work. A bilingual Hebrew-English speaker from Israel, he told his MIT adviser, César Hidalgo (himself a Spanish-English speaker), about a book written in Hebrew whose translation into…
  • The Bookshelf: Miscellany VII.

    16 Dec 2014 | 4:51 pm
    For those casting about for last-minute presents, here are some possibilities: 1) Orin Hargraves (see this LH post) has produced an excellent book on clichés, It’s Been Said Before. He classifies them, gives citations, and briefly discusses their use and degree of perniciousness. In his “Afterthoughts,” he says that “carelessness and ignorance are certainly responsible for a great deal of cliché that is expressed in speech and print,” but he adds: I will have failed in my mission with any reader who, after perusing this book for minutes, hours, or days, feels…
  • I Mumble in Mandaic.

    15 Dec 2014 | 2:55 pm
    Josh Tyra’s “I Am the Very Model of a Biblical Philologist” is an absolute delight, illustrations included. Go watch it. (Warning: After it’s over, if you don’t click “Cancel” another video begins. I don’t know why this is the case with so many YouTube videos now, but it is.) Thanks, bulbul! (He also sent a link to “A sitcom (of sorts) in Yiddish,” YidLife Crisis, so for those of you who have been yearning for such a thing, there it is.)
  • Bringing Back the Pilcrow.

    14 Dec 2014 | 4:58 pm
    Marcin Wichary discusses the history of the pilcrow and explains why he wants to use it on his site, So I’ve learned about the pilcrow, but it doesn’t mean I immediately fell in love with it. Here’s the problem: it’s hard to defend pilcrows for some of the same reasons it’s tough to be a fan of the interrobang; both characters have weirdly hostile names but, more importantly, both are often simply doggone ugly. Sure, “ampersand” as a word comes across as a rejected electricity unit, but at least some amperands are truly works of art. [...] [¶] Pilcrow, on the other…
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    A Way with Words

  • Buckle Down

    Grant Barrett
    12 Dec 2014 | 1:03 pm
    It’s time for book recommendations! Martha’s enjoying an armchair tour of important places in the history of our language, and Grant recommends relaxing with books that make great reading for both children and adults. Plus, are you the type of shopper who gets in and out of a store quickly? Or would you rather research that purchase in advance and then try before you buy? No matter where you fall on the shopping scale, psychologists have a name for you. And here’s a wintry question: if you’re panking something, just what are you doing? Plus, how to pronounce…
  • Grant and Martha’s Yearly Book Recommendations

    12 Dec 2014 | 8:51 am
    It’s that time of year when Martha and Grant share their book recommendations for the holiday gift season. This year, Martha gives an enthusiastic thumbs-up to Letters of Note, The Sense of Style, and Wordsmiths and Warriors: The English-Language Tourist’s Guide to Britain. Grant offers two Newbery Medal winners: From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and The One and Only Ivan, about a gorilla who lives in a shopping mall zoo. This is part of a complete episode.
  • Venza’s Razor

    12 Dec 2014 | 8:51 am
    After our episode that mentioned eponymous laws, we got a call from Darby Venza from Austin, Texas, who came up with this bit of wisdom, otherwise known as Venza’s Razor: Whenever a garden hose or extension cord can catch on something, it will. True that. This is part of a complete episode.
  • Panking Down

    12 Dec 2014 | 8:51 am
    To pank, as in to pank down snow for skiing or pank down hair with Aqua Net, is a common term heard in the upper peninsula of Michigan. This is part of a complete episode.
  • Martha’s Tocaya

    12 Dec 2014 | 8:51 am
    Martha Barnette gets a call from Martha Barnett, her Canadian tocaya who’s missing an “e” at the end of her last name. On the Global News website, you can see that the name Martha, perhaps now an anomaly in Canada, peaked in popularity around the late 1950s. This is part of a complete episode.
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    Sinosplice » Life

  • “Double 12″: China’s Cyber Monday

    John Pasden
    11 Dec 2014 | 5:52 pm
    Today is December 12, AKA , literally, “double twelve” in Chinese. It’s a day when Taobao () and () offer huge discounts online (and this year, Taobao is really pushing its AliPay mobile phone payments, sort of similar to Apple Pay, but using barcodes on users’ phone screens instead of NFC). So today is kind of like China’s Cyber Monday. 12-12 is clearly riffing on (“double eleven”), a modern Chinese holiday that was once known as “Singles Day” () but has since been largely co-opted by online retailers and remolded as China’s…
  • 9 Polite Phrases for the Subway

    John Pasden
    8 Dec 2014 | 5:06 pm
    The following photo was snapped in a subway. It’s a public service announcement (or “propaganda poster,” if you prefer) that reminds passengers to be polite. I thought it was kind of interesting to take note of what expressions were chosen to illustrate politeness. Here are the words, with pinyin and English translations, and a few observations of my own: : please This clearly polite word is nevertheless just a little awkward for foreigners trying to speak polite Chinese, because it’s not nearly as ubiquitous as “please” is in English. : it doesn’t…
  • Is This Pun Illegal?

    John Pasden
    4 Dec 2014 | 6:40 pm
    This pun: The punny text reads: [punning on , “right away,” using the character , which refers to “code,” in this case, the QR code] It’s been widely reported that Beijing is banning wordplay in attempt at pun control. This seems ridiculous, especially considering the Chinese penchant for giving the reader zero credit, and always putting the punned character in quotations marks (see above example). David Moser’s quote on the issue: It could just be a small group of people, or even one person, who are conservative, humorless, priggish and arbitrarily purist,…
  • The Appeal of WeChat’s Moments

    John Pasden
    2 Dec 2014 | 4:16 pm
    Dan Grover recently posted an in-depth overview of Chinese Mobile App UI Trends. Here’s an excerpt that talks about WeChat’s “Moments” that I especially liked: When I first saw it, it seemed as if someone hastily duct-taped an ersatz Facebook news feed to the app and slapped the Picassa icon on it. But as I’ve used it, I’ve found it a surprisingly original and subversive feature. In fact, it’s everything Facebook’s news feed isn’t: No filtering — Every one of your friends’ posts is here, with no filtering or re-ordering. If one of your friends is…
  • Better Non-comprehension: Getting Beyond “ting bu dong”

    John Pasden
    24 Nov 2014 | 6:15 pm
    A while back I was having a conversation with my friend Ben about the challenges he faced learning Chinese. He said that one of the problems was that whenever he didn’t understand even part of something that was said, the whole conversation would shut down pretty fast. I asked him for some more details on these types of encounters, and pretty quickly it came out that he was using the phrase (tīng bù dǒng, “I don’t understand”) exclusively, anytime he had trouble following what was said. Big problem! While is a useful phrase that any beginner needs to learn, it…
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    separated by a common language

  • you're welcome

    26 Nov 2014 | 4:06 pm
    I did two potentially (probably orig. AmE as adjective) fun things recently: I was interviewed for a famous (in one country) radio (BrE) programme/(AmE) show and I (BrE) went to the pictures and saw The Imitation Game. Potentially fun, and mostly fun, but not without worry and embarrassment.Let's start with the (orig. AmE) radio. I've done a few such things, and in the past I have prepared. I asked producers 'is there anything you can predict I'll be asked?' and I made notes of things I thought would come up. Then the interviewer never wants to talk about what the producer said they would…
  • Nominate 2014 Words of the Year!

    11 Nov 2014 | 3:06 am
    While being interviewed today (which I'll let you know more about at some point), I was asked what the front-runners are for UK-to-US and US-to-UK Words of the Year. And I had no idea.So: what do you think? Nominations are open for both categories as of now:1. Best AmE-to-BrE import2. Best BrE-to-AmE importThe word doesn’t have to have been imported into the other dialect in 2014, but it should have come into its own in some way in the (popular culture of the) other dialect this year. I retain the editor's privilege of giving other random awards on a whim. Please nominate your favo(u)rites…
  • The fourth 'Untranslatables' month summary

    2 Nov 2014 | 2:27 pm
    This was the fourth year that I declared October Untranslatables Month on my Twitter feed. (Here's 2011 , 2012, and 2013.) Instead of offering a 'Difference of the Day', I offered an 'Untranslatable of the Day' every weekday.  Last year, I swore that I wasn't going to do it again. In part I doubted that I could find another month's worth, but also in part, I was tired out from people arguing with me online about elements of the project. You can probably guess their complaints from the defensive bullet points that appear below.  About my Untranslatables:I'm only talking about the…
  • Descriptions in Twitter profiles

    25 Oct 2014 | 4:44 pm
    When Twitter tells me I have new followers, I can see their name and self-description before I can see their location (if they've given any). So I play a little game of 'guess which country they're from' before I click through to see it.  I seem to be good at picking out the Americans (or at least North Americans--the Canada/US distinction is hard to make here--sorry Canadians), based on the style of the name and self-description. To be fair, I'm probably guided by the photos too. (Pick out the Americans at the airport is another fun and not-too-difficult game. There, you can see the red…
  • Henny Penny, Chicken Little, Chicken Licken

    18 Oct 2014 | 2:38 pm
    While writing the other day, I wondered whether it would be widely understood if I used Chicken Little as a metaphor for a certain kind of language peever. It felt right, but I also knew the name Henny Penny (of the main character in the story--see comments for variations), both from my American childhood and from my child's English childhood. Then I got an email informing me that my Survey Monkey subscription had been auto-renewed for the next month. Which is to say, I had failed to notice the note in my (BrE) diary/(AmE) planner on Tuesday that said "UNSUBSCRIBE FROM SURVEY MONKEY". At that…
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    Mr. Verb

  • Does language really matter?

    7 Dec 2014 | 11:34 am
    People are talking today, rightly, about John McWhorter's piece in the NY Times, "Why save a language?".  But a similar question is treated beautifully in a piece by Ewa Czaykowska-Higgins and colleagues (University of Victoria) in the Times Colonist, "Language a strong symbol of cultural identity". It treats revitalization efforts in British Columbia. Here's the punchline: Supporting the health of these languages is … one way to support and strengthen the well-being of individuals and communities, and to support education and economies.Language is, in the relevant sense…
  • Minnesota English in the news

    6 Dec 2014 | 9:55 am
    Nice piece about Minnesota English by Andy Rathbun available here. Looks like he talked to about everybody you could on the subject, including some nice on-the-ground stories from speakers.People like to compare Minnesota and Wisconsin, it seems like. Minnesota's thriving economically while Wisconsin sinks into oblivion these days and they're vastly better than Wisconsin at college hockey right now, but they don't have much going on this year in the NFL. But they're keep pace dialect-wise.The Wisconsin Englishes Project folks are said to have something new in the works about vowels in…
  • Endangered Languages Fund

    2 Dec 2014 | 6:07 am
    Happy Giving Tuesday! The Endangered LanguageFund is sending around this:GivingTuesday is today!!! What is GivingTuesday? We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give. The Endangered Language Fund depends on member contributions. You can contribute to ELF and become a member here. Thank you!ELF supports endangered…
  • The apostrophic War on the Holidays

    29 Nov 2014 | 1:12 am
    I was fighting the urge to post about this piece on Slate, about how to pluralize your last name, and now officially give up. Anything that has this line is hard to resist reacting to:It’s Christmas! Celebrate by not doing violence to the laws of pluralization.Wow, I think, how do you do violence to the laws of pluralization? Wait ARE there laws of pluralization? Turns out there's outrage about 'stray apostrophes'. "Every year they assault me." Oh, about spelling. Got it. I won't review the green grocer's apostrophe here (but knock yourself out: here, for one.)But plurals do get into…
  • Stumbling over and through Drink Wisconsinbly

    23 Nov 2014 | 8:34 am
    Earlier this year, I started noticing t-shirts and hoodies bearing the phrase 'Drink Wisconsinbly', like in the image here. (And, yeah, it comes in green and gold as well as red and white.) Clever, right? But I don't read t-shirts all that closely and I saw it a few times before I realized that it doesn't work at all for me phonologically ... Wisconsably, yes, and Wisconsinably, I suppose, but not Wisconsinbly. I stumble over it every time, dead cold sober.I'm seeing more and more of these shirts and hats (including the obligatory camo hat) and it now turn out that there's, of course, a…
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    Learn French with daily podcasts

  • 2048 – Real Life French: les cadeaux ! (Dailyfrenchpod)
    7 Dec 2014 | 7:41 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 :~
  • 2047 – Employés de fast food (Fast food workers) (Dailyfrenchpod)
    7 Dec 2014 | 7:38 pm
    Learning Guide | PDF Transcript Les protestations des employés de fast food aux Etats Unis se sont étendues à 190 villes ce jeudi… Learn French now ! Listen to today’s lesson :
  • 2046 – Cyber crime chinois (Chinese cyber crime) (Dailyfrenchpod)
    7 Dec 2014 | 7:36 pm
    Learning Guide | PDF Transcript La police kenyane indique avoir démantelé un centre de cyber criminalité tenu par 77 chinois depuis … Learn French now ! Listen to today’s lesson :
  • 2045 – Camp américain de sans abris (US homeless camp) (Dailyfrenchpod)
    7 Dec 2014 | 7:34 pm
    Learning Guide | PDF Transcript La police américaine a commencé le démantelement de ce qui est considéré comme le plus grand camp … Learn French now ! Listen to today’s lesson :
  • 2044 – L’ADN de Richard III (Richard III’s DNA) (Dailyfrenchpod)
    7 Dec 2014 | 7:31 pm
    Learning Guide | PDF Transcript Des analyses d’ADN de Richard III ont mis à jour une surprise: la preuve de l’infidélité dans son arbre … Learn French now ! Listen to today’s lesson :
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    Brave New Words

  • End of the Year

    14 Dec 2014 | 4:00 pm
    It’s the end of yet another year. What are you proudest of in terms of your translation work? What did you most enjoy translating?I loved translating poetry by Edith Södergran and also parts from Kristina Sandberg’s newest novel (both works were originally written in Swedish). Kristina recently won the August Prize in Sweden and is getting a lot of praise, which she deserves, so I hope more of her work make it into English soon.And what are your translation goals for 2015?
  • A Round-Up of Articles

    9 Dec 2014 | 4:00 pm
    It’s time for another round-up of articles!This article is on Gabriel García Márquez and Roberto Bolaño and their translators. Translator Natasha Wimmer says, “A lot of translators enjoy being the power behind the throne.”Here’s a piece on Yiddish.I like Oliver Burkeman’s writing and in this article on “invisible” jobs, he mentions interpreter. Translator isn’t listed, but many people think it should be.Check out how animals sound in different languages.Are there untranslatable words? That’s a regular topic of discussion.Here are some collective nouns. What would we call…
  • Multiple Personalities

    4 Dec 2014 | 4:00 pm
    This article discusses whether people have a different personality for each language they speak. I’ve often felt somewhat different when speaking Swedish than when speaking English. It’s not just about having a different vocabulary and way of thinking about the world; there’s something about me that feels other. Do others feel the same (or, rather, different)?
  • Translation and the Publishing Industry

    29 Nov 2014 | 4:00 pm
    A few months ago, I was asked some questions by email by a student writing an MA thesis on translation. They are the kinds of questions that come up a lot in regard to the publishing industry, so I thought they’d be worth posting here. I just gave my own opinions – what do you think?What do you think are the main reasons foreign authors get translated into English?Frankly, it’s often the bottom line. An author (often of thrillers or other genre fiction) sells well in their native country, and publishers here see that and want to cash in on it. That’s one reason why we don’t see as…
  • The Joy of Invisibility

    24 Nov 2014 | 4:00 pm
    Sometimes it’s good for translators to be invisible. This article is about bad writing about sex, and it names and shames the authors and their books. However, the author (conveniently?) forgets that some works have been translated. So perhaps the translator should get some of the credit (or shame) too.
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    Ryan's linguistics blog

  • Review: Through the Language Glass

    22 Nov 2014 | 6:06 pm
    Announcements: For anyone who still follows this blog, I should probably mention in a more official capacity that I don't really update anymore (in case you hadn't noticed). I am no longer in linguistics and though my 6 years in the field leaves me with significant interest, I no longer devote significant time to this blog. I still plan to post occasionally, but it will probably be mostly reviews like this one rather than more standard blog posts. If for some reason you are interested in reading more of my writing, feel free to check out my new (technology/science) blog Less Than Twelve…
  • Review: Punctuation..?

    1 Sep 2013 | 9:45 am
    I've posted a number of book reviews on this blog, but I think this one is the first I have concrete plans to use in the near future. I was asked to review "Punctuation..?", a short 35-page saddle-stapled book published by User design press. The main definitions for correct usage are taken from the Oxford English Mini Dictionary (can you imagine -- a usage book that actually cites its sources). The book briefly covers usage and suggestions for apostrophes, parentheses, colon and semicolons, dashes, slashes, and more. Each usage description is accompanied by an (often humorous) line drawing…
  • new Collins dictionary site

    3 Mar 2012 | 6:20 am
    I had my attention directed to the new Collins dictionary site this week. For the most part it's your standard dictionary site -- definitions, usage examples, etc. The IPA transcriptions are solid, though don't include syllable boundaries, and I have yet to find a word improperly transcribed. The search function is predictably fine, though doesn't have autosuggestions. What got me excited, though, was the information about the relative frequency of the word in each entry. In the top right of each entry is a "commonness" bar, which indicates how common a word is by shading between 1 and 5…
  • another crash blossom

    25 Feb 2012 | 7:20 am
    As those who are regular Language Log readers know, a crash blossom is a news headline that leads us to an incorrect parsing of its meaning. In many ways crash blossoms are similar to garden path sentences, the classic one being "The horse raced past the barn fell", which lead us down a metaphorical garden path by presenting information that can be parsed easily into a certain structure, only to ruin our structural hypothesis later on. In the case of "The horse raced past the barn fell", our hypothesis is that "raced" is the main verb of the sentence, rather than part of a relative clause…
  • language as technology

    21 Jan 2012 | 6:56 am
    My friend and erstwhile colleague Josh Birchall posted a link on Facebook to an interesting TED talk by Mark Pagel entitled How Language Transformed Humanity, on the development of language as a communicative tool and how it presented a huge evolutionary advantage over non-linguistic species. It isn't difficult to see how language, an infinitely productive system capable of expressing ideas that are not tied to a specific time and location, confers a greater benefit than other forms of communication. Language can be used to transfer abstract ideas and share a much wider range of information…
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    English, Jack

  • Contact magazine, Vol 40(4) now available

    4 Dec 2014 | 1:52 pm
    Get your free copy here.
  • Useful examples for language learners

    6 Nov 2014 | 3:29 am
    The odd choices of example sentences that sometimes show up in these "teach yourself to speak..." type books along with phrase books has been rightly mocked in the past. In fact, the subtext of this blog's title references just such a phrase book.Recently, Radiolab ran a program called translation, and started each segment with Robert Krulwich imitating a language lesson LP…with the twist of it being an LP that helps us to learn Robert’s imaginary native tongue, "Luden". The phrases chosen start out a little strangely (e.g., my mother wrote the best poem) and then get progressively more…
  • On meeting 'otiose' twice again

    6 Oct 2014 | 10:30 am
    I asked Mark Liberman to have a look at what I wrote yesterday since I was struggling to get my head around the probabilities. He was kind enough to write the following guest post:Maybe a better way of thinking about it is this:Say the probability that word w_i will be selected at random from a collection of text is P(w_i). Then assuming independence, the probability that the next word will NOT be w_i is (1-P(w_i)), and the probability of failing to find w_i in N successive draws is(1-P(w_i))^NIf P(w_i) is 1/10^7 (one in ten million), and N is 1000, then we get(1-(1/10^7))^1000which is…
  • On meeting 'otiose' twice in a day

    5 Oct 2014 | 3:36 am
    Well, not in the same day, but certainly within a 24-hour period. As I was lying in bed last night, reading Charles Mann's 1493, I came across the phrase the otiose Percy on p. 78.As of this morning, I've read to p. 90, so that's about 4,500 words later. I also read a few NY Times articles, adding perhaps another 1,200 words. And then I set about to edit an article for Contact, the TESL Ontario magazine for which I'm the editor. Almost immediately, I came across a quote from David Crystal in which he wonders,whether the presence of a global language will eliminate the demand for world…
  • Climbing the grammar tree

    19 Sep 2014 | 12:04 am
    I've started a new blog called "Climbing the grammar tree". The idea is that I will respond to readings I'm doing for my doctoral studies, so check it out.
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    Thoughts On Translation

  • How to choose an online course (last post of 2014!)

    Corinne McKay
    18 Dec 2014 | 3:37 pm
    After tomorrow, the Thoughts on Translation world headquarters will be closed for vacation through January 4, so before we dig into today’s topic, here are a few end-of-year recommendations: Start thinking about taxes as soon as you get back from your holiday break. You can close out your books immediately, so why not do it […]
  • Two books you should check out

    Corinne McKay
    16 Dec 2014 | 8:28 am
    If you’re looking for a last-minute gift for your favorite translator, or if you’re looking for some winter break reading for yourself, I’ve got two recommendations for you (and of course, feel free to add your own book recommendations in the comments!). One is The Green and the Red, a French novel written by Armand […]
  • Off-topic: chocolate truffles you can make for the holidays

    Corinne McKay
    15 Dec 2014 | 11:59 am
    I’m in the mood to think about things other than work, so here’s a recipe for chocolate truffles that anyone with reasonable culinary skills can make. For this I consulted my friend and colleague Marianne Reiner who’s an incredible cook and also French (double truffle cred), and a friend who went to cooking school in […]
  • Upcoming sessions of my online courses

    Corinne McKay
    12 Dec 2014 | 12:29 pm
    If you’re looking to get a jump on your business goals for 2015, I have sessions of my online courses–Getting Started as a Freelance Translator for beginners and Beyond the Basics of Freelancing for experienced translators–coming up in January and February. Getting Started begins on January 7, and Beyond the Basics on February 18. Each […]
  • Marketing by e-mail, on paper, or both

    Corinne McKay
    8 Dec 2014 | 10:45 am
    In marketing your freelance services, you may wonder (or at least I do!) whether it’s better to market to direct clients by e-mail, on paper, or both. I don’t have a succinct answer to that, but here are a few thoughts. For a long time, I was a devotée of marketing on paper: writing out […]
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    Global by Design

  • Have you registered your Cuba domain?

    John Yunker
    18 Dec 2014 | 9:27 am
    Cuba has long had its own country code: .CU. But most companies didn’t view this domain as a priority. Until now. But be aware that this domain isn’t cheap. I’ve seen prices ranging from $800 to $1,100, so only larger companies will see this is an impulse buy. But if you can get it, I think […] The post Have you registered your Cuba domain? appeared first on Global by Design.
  • WordPress now at 70 languages, and counting

    John Yunker
    26 Nov 2014 | 7:32 am
    This blog has been hosted on WordPress since 2002. Since then, WordPress has grown into one of the dominant publishing platforms on the Internet. And one of the most multilingual as well, with strong support for 53 locales and limited support for an additional 20 or so locales. Languages supported include Russian, Arabic, Hebrew, Icelandic, […] The post WordPress now at 70 languages, and counting appeared first on Global by Design.
  • The Four Seasons improves its global gateway

    John Yunker
    13 Nov 2014 | 2:07 pm
    I was pleased to see the Four Seasons embrace the globe icon for its global gateway. It is well positioned in the upper right-hand corner. The Four Seasons website ranked 145th out of the 150 websites scored in the 2014 Web Globalization Report Card. I predict its ranking will improve in the 2015 edition!   The post The Four Seasons improves its global gateway appeared first on Global by Design.
  • Amazon pluralizes Singles Day

    John Yunker
    10 Nov 2014 | 8:42 am
    Leave it to Amazon to turn Single Day plural. And why not. If we can extend Black Friday to Cyber Monday, why not extend Singles day an extra day? Here’s a screen grab of the Amazon China home page (note that the sale begins on 11/10): Nike is sticking with one day, for now. Here’s a Singles […] The post Amazon pluralizes Singles Day appeared first on Global by Design.
  • The biggest ecommerce day in November? It’s not Black Friday.

    John Yunker
    5 Nov 2014 | 7:19 pm
    In China, November 11th is known as Singles Day and it has quickly become the world’s biggest day for ecommerce. Tmall, the massive ecommerce website owned by Alibaba is already promoting this day: Tmall hosts a great number of Western brands that are also eager to capitalize on this day, like Clinique: Xiaomi, China’s leading […] The post The biggest ecommerce day in November? It’s not Black Friday. appeared first on Global by Design.
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  • How to Manage Multichannel Content Marketing

    24 Nov 2014 | 10:38 am
    Content is certainly the unifying element of a brands’ marketing across physical as well as digital channels. Once you have created your killer content how do you maximize its reach? How do you push out your content beyond your own channels in ways that are manageable? This session includes presentations by two organizations that have built marketing strategies based on the centrality of content and the power of effective distribution. C4. How to Manage Multichannel Content Marketing Join us Wednesday, December, 3: 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. at the Gilbane Conference to learn more.
  • Marketing Technologists on Multichannel and Enterprise Integration

    Clea Durrell
    20 Nov 2014 | 1:49 pm
    Marketing technologists are no longer rare birds, though they are often found in unfamiliar environments with less than obvious plumage. There are marketing technologists in many of our sessions this year, but we have selected a few to look at the two toughest challenges they, and their organizations, face in building modern digital strategies: support for consistent current and future multichannel experiences, and the necessary integration of data from multiple enterprise systems. Join us Tuesday, December, 2: 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. at the Gilbane Conference to learn more. T1. Track…
  • Harvard Business Review and WGBH transforming digital engagement

    20 Nov 2014 | 4:44 am
    Engaging customers and online audiences requires the right mix of technology, content, and tools, orchestrated in a way that leverages deep customer knowledge to deliver the right content at the right time in the right fashion. That’s a tall order, yet it is a “do or die” imperative for organizations that use content to make a living. In this session, you’ll learn how to transform and optimize customer digital engagement from presentations by two leading-edge organizations that are paving the way to the future using a blend of customer-centric design, dynamic and targeted content, big…
  • Speaker Spotlight: It’s more than just making a website responsive

    Arjé Cahn
    19 Nov 2014 | 10:02 am
    As we did last year we’ve posed some of our attendees’ most frequently asked questions to speakers who will be at this year’s Gilbane Conference. Today we’re spotlighting Arjé Cahn, Co-founder and CTO of Hippo. You can see all Speaker Spotlights from our upcoming conference as well as last year’s event. Arjé Cahn Co-founder & CTO, Hippo Follow Arjé @arjecahn       Given that there are more smartphones than PCs on the planet and both will be important for the foreseeable future, how should organization’s content delivery priorities and…
  • Speaker Spotlight: Mobile forces simplicity and succinctness

    Pawan Deshpande
    16 Nov 2014 | 1:37 pm
    As we did last year we’ve posed some of our attendees’ most frequently asked questions to speakers who will be at this year’s Gilbane Conference. Today we’re spotlighting Pawan Deshpande, Founder & CEO, Curata. You can see all Speaker Spotlights from our upcoming conference as well as last year’s event. Pawan Deshpande Founder & CEO, Curata Follow Pawan @TweetsFromPawan   Given that there are more smartphones than PCs on the planet and both will be important for the foreseeable future, how should organization’s content delivery priorities and…
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    Learn Thai Language & Culture

  • uTalk Thai iOS App Review and Xmas Giveaway

    Catherine Wentworth
    14 Dec 2014 | 8:29 pm
    uTalk Thai iOS app Xmas giveaway… Three iOS apps have been kindly donated to WLT by uTalk, a language learning company who designs some of the classiest iOS apps on the market. I totally fell in love with uTalk’s first Thai app, and generations later, this one is better still. NOTE: As many Android users have iPads, I thought it necessary to point out that an iPhone is not needed to run this app. To win an app, the rules are simple: Leave your comments below. The comment(s) need to add to the conversation. Note: Each relevant comment gets counted so leave as many as you like. If…
  • Helpful Thai Medical Vocabulary for Men, and the Women Who Love Them

    Hugh Leong
    6 Dec 2014 | 8:44 pm
    Helpful Thai Medical Vocabulary for Men… Some of you may know that besides contributing to Women Learn Thai I also write a blog on retiring to Thailand. My latest post is one about increasing awareness of a problem many older men have; problems with our prostate. I wrote that post because I thought that awareness of this problem is quite important for men, and women who have men in their lives. This post on WLT is a companion piece to What We Men Don’t Like to Think About. If you have time, take a look at my post. It is full of info and web links about this condition that most of us men…
  • Say it Like a Thai Would

    Tod Daniels
    3 Dec 2014 | 5:25 pm
    Say it Like a Thai Would… Now before you even begin reading this be forewarned that it might ruffle your feathers some. Truth be told, it’s kinda-sorta meant to. At the same time, what I want to do is get the readers’ heads around a concept about learning Thai as well. Not surprisingly, as I make the rounds at the Thai language schools in Bangkok, I run into plenty of foreigners wanting to learn Thai. Almost to a person, everyone I meet says to me, “I want to speak Thai with a Thai accent.” First off, I laugh out loud (really more of a guffaw, which could possibly be…
  • Thai Snippets: Semantics, Spelling, and Sentence Construction

    1 Dec 2014 | 4:30 pm
    Introducing: Thai Snippets… I’ve been learning Thai for about 5 years now and have advanced beyond the beginner stage. I used to have the “Bakunin learns Thai” blog describing the first two years of that journey, but recently decided to take it offline and delete the content which caused the owner of this blog to lament over the loss of my travels through ALG (Automatic Language Growth). Another project of mine, Thai Recordings, however, is still accessible and will be kept online as long as I can afford to pay for the hosting and the site is not getting hacked. Thai Recordings…
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    Russian Language Blog

  • How to Give a Gift to Russians

    15 Dec 2014 | 10:00 pm
    Nightmare Before Christmas Presents 4 With the holiday season upon us, many of us have already begun to purchase gifts for our family and friends. Exchanging gifts can certainly be exciting – provided you know the kinds of things the other person likes. Some of you may find yourself in the position of having to give a gift to a Russian person – maybe at an office party or some other social event; perhaps you are visiting the home of a family that emigrated from Russia for a celebration. Each culture is somewhat unique with regards to the kinds of gifts that are exchanged. Our…
  • Russian New Year’s Music

    14 Dec 2014 | 11:27 pm
    image by Amanda Munoz on The weeks before Christmas in countries where it is the main winter holiday — and you know in Russia it’s not — are marked by the incessant playing of holiday music. It may be endearing for some and set the mood for the upcoming holidays, while it may drive others like myself up the wall. While Russia does not have an obligatory laundry list of winter songs that will be playing in every shop and public space — unless you’re in Starbucks, but that’s a whole different story — there is, indeed, Russian winter and New…
  • Bizarre Russian Remedies

    10 Dec 2014 | 11:01 pm
    Image of cupping by Renato Ganoza on We have discussed some peculiarities of Russian traditional medicine before, however, there are a few treatments that will seem outright bizarre to the unprepared. If you are planning to go to Russia for a long period of time, you may run into one of them. 1. Fire-Cupping Fire-cupping () is a treatment where a patient’s back is greased up, a piece of burning cotton soaked in alcohol is placed under round glass cups, which creates lower air pressure under the cup, and the cups are placed on the patient’s back. The suction under the…
  • Christmas is not Russia’s Main Winter Holiday

    9 Dec 2014 | 9:54 pm
    image by Andy One on Since the beginning of December every minute of every hour brings us closer to the crazy, stressful, yet long anticipated, and magical winter holidays. Some of you may think I am being politically correct by not saying “Christmas” and using “winter holidays” instead. Let me assure you this is not the case. A lot of my warm childhood memories will forever be associated with celebrating New Year, not Christmas, because that is the main winter holiday in Russia. However, Christmas certainly has its place. Just like United States, Russia has certain movies,…
  • How to Ride Public Transport in Russia

    3 Dec 2014 | 11:32 pm
    Image by Pavel Kazachkov on The subject of public transport was covered in a detailed post on this blog before. This time, I would like to concentrate on the practical aspects of ridership. As a reminder, the main modes of public transport (общственный трнспорт) are автбус – bus троллйбус – trolleybus трамвй – tram/streetcar метр – underground/subway These are normally public or state-run, so I am leaving out the маршртки (маршртное такс) — private minivans going on fixed routes. They…
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    Polish Language Blog

  • World Aids Day – Światowy Dzień AIDS

    1 Dec 2014 | 2:21 pm
    World AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome – Zespół Nabytego Niedoboru Odporności) Day is held on December 1st each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day and the first one was held in 1988. Today, many scientific advances have been made in HIV treatment, there are laws to protect people living with HIV and we understand so much more about the condition. But despite this, people do not know the…
  • What makes you mad?

    30 Nov 2014 | 2:06 pm
    We all have good and bad days…we all have patience…to the point! And what happens then? We explode…or not…depending on the person:) I already posted a blog about some “bad” polish words (Przekleństwa – curse words)…so today we will take it easy and just concentrate on some “lighter” anger words and expressions:) Image by Stéfan on Jestem zła – I’m angry (female) Jestem zły – I’m angry (male) Zdenerwowałeś mnie! – You made me angry/upset Jestem zdenerwowana – I’m nervous Dlaczego…
  • Andrzejki, Andrzejki!

    29 Nov 2014 | 6:31 am
    If you’re a single young lady in Poland on the night of November 29th, you have a unique, perhaps harrowing, opportunity before you; or a great excuse to flee the country:) The Eve of St. Andrew’s Day (Andrzejki) has been associated with fortune-telling in Poland for centuries. The first written mention of the tradition goes all the way back to 1557, and while the seriousness of the proceedings has certainly lightened, the basic elements of this ancient custom remain unchanged from the Middle Ages. As St. Andrew’s Day marks the beginning of Advent, in those bygone days it was believed…
  • Stanisław Mikulski has passed away:(

    28 Nov 2014 | 9:19 am
    He was one of my favorite Polish actors…Stanislaw Mikulski, who played fictional WWII agent Hans Kloss in one of Poland’s biggest TV hits of the communist era (“Stawka większa niż życie”), died on Thursday morning aged 85.  “Stawka większa niż życie” (More Than Life at Stake, Stakes Larger Than Life or Playing for High Stakes), a very popular in Poland Polish black and white TV series about the adventures of a Polish secret agent, Hans Kloss, who acts as adouble agent in the Abwehr during Second World War in occupied Poland. The series…
  • Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

    27 Nov 2014 | 9:04 am
    It’s Thanksgiving Day! It’s a time for sharing and spreading happiness. Wish all your loved ones a very Happy Thanksgiving in Polish!:   Niech tegoroczne Święto Dziękczynienia umocni w nas postawę wdzięczności za najmniejsze dobro, jakiego możemy doświadczać w codzienności naszych dni.  May this year’s Thanksgiving strengthen our attitude of gratitude for the slightest thing anyone can experience the everyday life of our days. Niech to piękne Święto stanie się dla nas wszystkich okazją do wdzięczności za dobro i dary, które są nam dane, ale i za te,…
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    Ingls na Ponta da Lngua

  • Como dizer estar de prova em inglês?

    Denilso de Lima
    11 Dec 2014 | 4:30 am
    Quando queremos dizer que alguém pode atestar (confirmar, garantir) que algo é verdadeiro, é comum, no português coloquial, dizermos “estar de prova”: Eu fiquei em casa a noite toda! Minha irmão está de prova! Trata-se de algo que dizemos sem nem perceber. Mas, ao nos comunicarmos inglês a pergunta logo surge: Como dizer estar de prova em inglês? Claro que não dá para traduzir a expressão do português para o inglês ao pé da letra. O certo é procurarmos por uma expressão que transmita essa ideia em inglês ou pelo menos chegue perto. Assim, uma combinação que cai bem na…
  • Qual a diferença entre TOWARD e TOWARDS?

    Denilso de Lima
    10 Dec 2014 | 7:51 am
    As palavras – preposições – toward e towards costumam causar confusão entre estudantes de inglês que estão em níveis mais avançados. A dúvida é sempre a mesma: Quando usar toward ou towards? Qual a diferença entre toward e towards? Então, vamos aprender! De acordo com os manuais de estilo, gramáticas e dicionários, você pode usar as duas palavras quando, onde e como bem quiser. Ou seja, não há diferença alguma entre elas: o significado e o uso são os mesmos. Alguns dicionários – o American Heritage Dictionary of English Usage, por exemplo – afirmam que toward é…
  • Quando usar o apóstrofo em inglês?

    Denilso de Lima
    8 Dec 2014 | 6:30 pm
    Quando usar o apóstrofo em inglês é uma dúvida que muitos estudantes de inglês têm. Vira e mexe, alguém me envia um email ou comentário no site querendo dicas para usar esse sinal tanto na escrita quanto na fala. Assim, resolvi juntar algumas informações para facilitar. Para começar, apóstrofo é o nome dado ao sinal ’. Ele foi introduzido na língua inglesa lá pelos idos anos do século 16. Isso só aconteceu por influência da língua francesa, onde o tal apóstrofo – ’ – era usado para indicar que uma letra estava sendo omitida na palavra: I’m ao invés de I am…
  • O que significa foot the bill?

    Denilso de Lima
    8 Dec 2014 | 11:22 am
    Se você é daqueles que traduz tudo palavra por palavra, vai achar que foot the bill tem alguma coisa a ver com pé (foot) e conta (bill). Mas, saiba que não é nada disso! Continue lendo esta dica para saber o que significa foot the bill. De modo bem simples é direto, foot the bill é o mesmo que pay the bill; ou seja, significa “pagar a conta”. Em contexto mais formais, podemos ainda traduzi-la por “arcar com o(s) custo(s)”. Veja os exemplos abaixo: Who’s going to foot the bill for all the repairs? (Quem vai pagar a conta por todos os consertos?) Then it is the private consumer…
  • Como Passar no TOEFL ou IELTS?

    Denilso de Lima
    26 Nov 2014 | 7:40 am
    Nos últimos anos, os exames de proficiência ter conquistado muita fama no Brasil. TOEFL, IELTS, FCE, CAE e CPE se tornaram siglas comuns na cabeça de muitos estudantes de inglês. Mas, TOEFL e IELTS são as mais frequentes. Por causa dessa fama, muita gente passou a se perguntar como passar no TOEFL ou IELTS. Então, vamos falar sobre isso! Se você ainda não sabe muito sobre esses dois exames, recomendo que leia a dica “Qual a Diferença entre TOEFL e IELTS?”. Caso você já saiba quais são as diferenças, então continue lendo. A Fórmula Mágica Para Passar Infelizmente, essa…
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    Babel's Dawn

  • Old Dates Pose Problems for Old Theories

    6 Dec 2014 | 4:30 pm
    One of the running quarrels on this blog concerns the age of language. I think it began about 1.8 million years ago while a great many linguists and archaeologists date it, at most, as 0.1 million years ago. The main argument in favor of what I may call a recent origin is archaeological. Symbolic artifacts start showing up late in the record of human activity. That's why I was pleased when one of my regular blog readers, Vic Sarjoo, drew my attention to a letter in the latest Nature reporting the discovery of an engraving made on a shell 0.5 million years ago. The shell was likely drilled…
  • Words for the Wise

    16 Nov 2014 | 8:19 pm
    There's an interesting paper titled The Latent Structure of Dictionariesfloating around the Internet. Written by a Canadian-led team, it forces clearer thinking about words. Dictionaries rest on a well-known paradox. They use words to define words. So I might look up the word justice and read "the quality of being just; fairness." Ok. So I look up fairness and find "free from favoritism, self-interest, or preference in judgment." Oh, boy. I could look up all those words too, but a black hole emerges before me. The task stretches out to infinity. Thanks to the computer, however, the…
  • Grumble, Mumble Rumble

    9 Nov 2014 | 7:05 pm
    I ended my last post with a grumble about the impoverished view of humanity that I often encounter when I read linguistic musings. Most of the articlesI report on do not seem to grasp how much had to change for a lineage of apes to become a lineage of, say, Kalahari hunter-gatherers that can sit around a fire and tell each other about their emotions. We had to go through an evolutionary process that involved a lot more than  developing a recursive function. We are at least as different from apes as ants are from grasshoppers, and any theory of language evolution ought  to acknowledge that…
  • Bickerton: Round Two

    12 Oct 2014 | 12:59 pm
    A few years back Derek Bickerton published a book called Adam's Tongue which I reviewed in three posts (here, here and here). That book was disappointingly breezy, a lively account that made bold assertions and brushed objections aside with the swat of a hand. Say this for the guy, he's willing to keep plugging. Earlier this year he published an entirely non-breezy account of his theory: More than Nature Needs — Language, Mind, and Evolution. After reading the book I went back and read my old posts on the first work. I find that the theory has changed only a bit but the process is much more…
  • The End of Orthodoxy?

    5 Oct 2014 | 6:49 pm
    Rejecting Aristotle is always a sign of a break with scientific orthodoxy. The past month has been bad for orthodox linguists. First came the Surprise Meeting at the Summit which showed that instead of searching for new empirical data or even new theoretical arguments (metaphysics), orthodox linguistics has turned to politics to patrol its turf. Next came two consecutive posts (here and here) on a paper reporting a review of empirical studies that indicates brain circuitry divides language into a basic syntax that deals with the concrete world that one can point to, and an extended syntax…
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  • Language tip of the week: love

    Liz Potter
    18 Dec 2014 | 9:00 am
    In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. In this new series of  language tips we will be looking at how metaphor is used to express some common concepts in English. This week’s tip looks at metaphors used to talk about love: When you love someone […] [This is a content excerpt only. Visit our blog for the full post].
  • New pragmatics lesson plan: ways of praising someone

    Liz Potter
    18 Dec 2014 | 3:53 am
    Have you seen our latest lesson plan by author Jonathan Marks? It’s the final one in the ‘expressing yourself’ series and helps learners review and consolidate ways of praising someone. What’s included? Worksheets for students, tips for teachers, as well as an answer key and suggested follow-up activities. All pragmatics... [This is a content excerpt only. Visit our blog for the full post].
  • They don’t shoot dead people, do they?

    Gill Francis
    16 Dec 2014 | 10:05 am
    Each Saturday a small section entitled ‘Chris Maslanka’s Puzzles’ appears on the Guardian newspaper’s puzzle page. One puzzle features a ‘Professor Pedanticus’, who – you guessed it – is a pedant, the sort of old-school fuddy-duddy who wants the English language to stay exactly as it was at some idealised point in his past – […] [This is a content excerpt only. Visit our blog for the full post].
  • Word roots and routes: close

    Jonathan Marks
    15 Dec 2014 | 2:14 am
    Next in a series of posts exploring some of the ‘roots’ and ‘routes’ of English vocabulary. A popular stereotype concerning English vocabulary is that the high-frequency, monosyllabic words are of Germanic origin. This is often the case, but by no means always, and one of the exceptions is close, which has a Latin origin. Close is a particularly... [This is a content excerpt only. Visit our blog for the full post].
  • Language and words in the news – 12th December, 2014

    Liz Potter
    12 Dec 2014 | 6:00 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].
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    Pimsleur Approach Blog

  • Battle of the Languages: Spanish vs. German – What Language is Right for You?

    Pimsleur Approach
    9 Dec 2014 | 8:10 am
    Choosing what language to learn isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly. There are all sorts of criteria to weigh before you take the plunge. With our Battle of the Languages series, we’re examining the pros, the cons, the what’s, how’s and whys of learning different languages, which may help you reach a decision.Image Credit: @ Think Stock dot com This time, we’re looking at two European giants: Spanish and German. Not only are they both frequently listed in the top ten most influential languages of the world, but also they are commonly taught as second languages in schools…
  • Perfecting the Art of Language Learning: A Story Told by our Customer of the Month, Marcus Ratliff

    Pimsleur Approach
    4 Dec 2014 | 7:52 am
    For those who are passionate about traveling and experiencing new cultures, learning a new language often feels like the natural next step. Indeed, it was travel that inspired Marcus Ratliff to begin his engagement with multilingualism. The 79-year-old artist now lives in Vermont, but has ventured to various parts of the globe in the past. His current desire to learn languages is rooted in his past travel experiences. December Customer of the Month – Marcus Ratliff “My late wife and I, along with my two sons, often traveled to Europe over the last 40 or 50 years. French, Spanish and…
  • Google Flight Search Tool Video

    Pimsleur Approach
    2 Dec 2014 | 2:18 pm
    Do you like to travel? Do you have a desire to travel more? If you answered YES to either of those two questions, you’ll love this NEW travel tool from Google… Well, at least it’s new to this blog, and we wanted to provide a nice and quick overview of this amazing travel tool. See the video below to find out some unique ways to use it for your next flight or travel plans. Click here to begin using Google Flight Search.
  • London’s WEIRD Winter Traditions: Christmas Pudding Race, Peter Pan Cup & More!

    Pimsleur Approach
    2 Dec 2014 | 7:19 am
    Hyper Japan Christmas Market (November 14-16, 2014) London is loaded with Christmas Markets come mid-November – especially those with a German theme. Hyper Japan Christmas Market stands out from the crowd. This huge three-day event has become a staple of London’s festive listings and, as the name suggests, is where to source seasonal presents that are all together more…Japanese. Sip warm sake, peruse Japanese tree decorations and boogie to Japanese Christmas songs. Afterward you can get yourself a traditional fried chicken dinner. Image Credit: @ Think Stock dot com The Great…
  • A Moveable Feast: Thanksgiving Celebrations (& Recipes!) Around the Globe!

    Pimsleur Approach
    25 Nov 2014 | 7:58 am
    Let’s talk turkey. Thanksgiving is as American as apple pie, right? The turkey, the football game, the nap on the couch, the family time—all hallowed traditions. But festivals giving thanks for successful harvests have existed for millennia across the world, including in Ancient Egypt and Greece. These harvest festivals have plenty in common with our Thanksgiving: Family and friends gather together, give thanks, celebrate and eat. Eat a lot! Image Credit: @ Think Stock dot com If you’d like to shake up your Thanksgiving meal this year but still keep it traditional, you can take…
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  • When will you be perfect in English?

    9 Dec 2014 | 4:37 am
    A PhraseMix reader wrote to me recently about her problems with learning English, and I noticed this sentence: My problem is that I can't apply for a job because I am not so perfect in English. I thought it would be good to talk about this idea of "perfect in English". If you study English really hard using the best study methods like PhraseMix, how long will it take for you to become perfect? Six months? A year? Two years? Actually, you will never be a perfect English speaker. There's no such thing as speaking a language "perfectly". Native speakers don't speak perfectly. Take me as an…
  • How is PhraseMix doing?

    3 Nov 2014 | 5:32 pm
    October was the 5-year anniversary of PhraseMix! I thought this would be a good time to share with you how things are going. But first, a little history: My plan for PhraseMix I started PhraseMix in 2009 because I had an idea about how to learn languages. I got the idea when I was trying to study vocabulary for a Japanese language test. At that time, I was working full-time at a large magazine-publishing company, but I wanted to try to start my own website. A language-learning site seemed like a good idea because I had experience as an English teacher. I built PhraseMix in my free time: in…
  • How to remember phrasal verbs without mixing them up

    25 Aug 2014 | 9:30 pm
    You have to learn phrasal verbs if you want to sound natural in English. English speakers use phrasal verbs all the time. They give our language color and life. How have you learned phrasal verbs in the past? Most English learners study phrasal verbs in lists grouped by verb like these: go out with (someone) go around (doing something) go for (something) go on about (something) This approach has a problem, though: it's easy to forget which words at the end (which we call 'particles'*) to use. It's easy to get them mixed up later when you try to remember which phrasal verb to use. I'd like to…
  • My crazy challenge for you: become a YouTube star!

    12 Aug 2014 | 4:06 am
    If you already have plenty of English-speaking friends or colleagues, you can skip this advice. Just go talk to them and make sure to keep doing it each day. But if your big problem is that you don't have anyone to use English with, I have a solution for you. A way to find people to speak English with I'd like you to make a video of yourself speaking English and put it up on the Internet. The reason for doing this is to make contact with English speakers, both native speakers and other learners like you. If you create something interesting, people will find it. Then maybe they will…
  • 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…
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    Globalization Partners International - Blog

  • Multilanguage support in iOS 8

    13 Dec 2014 | 4:00 pm
    iOS 8 Has Arrived iOS 8 is the mobile operating  system of the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch and was released on September 17, 2014. According to the Apple website, iOS 8 is actually the biggest release for developers since the introduction of Apple's App Store. This new version also boasts the smartest keyboard ever. The keyboard offers English and other enabled languages on the device, along with the ability to install a third party keyboard, which is a new feature available on iOS 8. iOS 8 and Multiple Languages A highly anticipated new feature of iOS 8 is that applications are…
  • Does Your E-business Accept UnionPay?

    8 Dec 2014 | 4:00 pm
    The global ecommerce market has grown dramatically in every region around the world over the past few years. China is leading the pack with ecommerce growth. A recent Payfort report states that China ecommerce growth is over 35% for 2014. In 2013 China's digital consumer spending exceeded the United States for the first time and has not looked back. There are projections that by the end of 2015 it will be 2.5 times that of the United States. UnionPay UnionPay was established in 2002 by the People's Bank of China and is the only domestic China-based bank card organization within the People's…
  • The Dutch Culture and Traditions

    2 Dec 2014 | 4:00 pm
    The Netherlands is the main country of the Kingdom of The Netherlands. Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius, known as the ABC Islands are part of The Kingdom. This is also called the Caribbean Netherlands. The Netherlands is a small country that lays in Western Europe with Amsterdam as its capital. Amsterdam is entirely built on millions of piles and it has 1281 bridges. Old piles are made of wood while new piles are constructed using concrete. Without these piles for foundation the city would sink into a peat marsh where it resides. The Dutch population is around 17 million and uses the Euro as…
  • Arabic Fonts: The ongoing challenge

    24 Nov 2014 | 4:00 pm
    You hear it all the time in the discussions about web or digital design with the Arabic language. I don't like the Arabic fonts or Arabic typography used in general. No one is satisfied with the font their designer used on the web site! Why are you using that classical, less stylish font for Arabic though the font used for the English is so fancy?! Why are you using only regular and bold faces for Arabic - why don't you use light, thin, black, italic or narrow typefaces for Arabic? Why does the Arabic text appear much smaller in size than the Latin-based text though it has the same format…
  • The Rise of E-Commerce in China

    9 Nov 2014 | 4:00 pm
    Long gone are the days of having to run down to your neighborhood market in order to buy a new pair of shoes, a book, or even food.  They have been replaced by turning on your computer or mobile device, finding your desired product and completing the transaction all in a few minutes with just a few clicks.  Online shopping offers certain conveniences such as low prices, broader selections, and delivery to your front door.  Due to the expansion of globalization and greater access to the internet, the world is becoming smaller by the day, making the barriers for ecommerce markets…
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  • The 2014 International Recipe Advent Calendar

    18 Dec 2014 | 1:10 am
    A BIG welcome to the 2014 International Recipe Advent Calendar! Maybe you’ve felt it, maybe you’ve been to the Christmas market or even bought presents already… yes, Christmas is coming up!! Naturally, as Christmas is one of the year’s most enjoyable celebration for millions of people, it also appeals to language lovers all over the world, as people from a lot of countries are celebrating it – each with their own language, culture, and of course food. That’s why our annual calendar will appear for the 6th time running this year and we have again asked food bloggers around the…
  • The bare-chested Santa

    18 Dec 2014 | 1:01 am
    Of Christmas and celebration! Keeping on with the lovely holiday spirit, I would like to talk to you today about a few versions of Santa Claus that are slightly…different from what you are currently familiar with (starting with the bare-cheasted stud on the right): We had a Romanian version of Santa during the “red” times of our history, “Moș Gerilă” (photo on the cover, bare-chested like some sort of holiday superhero), inspired by the Russian “Ded Moroz” (Father Frost or Old Man Frost, more or less). He would bring gifts to children on 30th of December (Christmas wasn’t…
  • Crăciunul, în alte feluri

    18 Dec 2014 | 1:00 am
    Pentru a fi în pas cu atmosfera minunată de sărbători, aș dori să vă vorbesc astăzi despre câteva versiuni ale lui Moș Crăciun care sunt oarecum…diferite de ceea ce sunteți obișnuiți: Am avut o variant românească a Moșului în perioada noastră ”roșie” și anume celebrul Moș Gerilă, inspirat din varianta rusească a lui Moș Crăciun, și anume Ded Moroz (tot un fel de Moș Gerilă, sau mai degrabă Moș Îngheț). El aducea cadouri pentru copii pe data de 30 decembrie (deoarece Crăciunului nu era recunoscut în mod official) și se spunea că vine de ”undeva din…
  • Food porn: French Christmas dinner gets the hot d’or

    17 Dec 2014 | 1:01 am
    You are probably aware of the French tradition to sit at the table and eat for hours. The truth is, when it comes to Christmas, it gets even worse. You would be quite impressed by the quantity of food one can eat. So, what does the traditional French Christmas meal consist of? Let’s start with the must-have Christmas food: foie gras. Served with Sauternes or Monbazillac wines, you can enjoy it with some toasted bread, onion confit, fig jam, etc. Then we move on to another cold dish, most likely salmon with some toasted bread and lemon, and for the lucky ones a big seafood platter that will…
  • Le repas de Noël à la française, Hot d’Or du food porn

    17 Dec 2014 | 1:00 am
    Sans doute avez-vous déjà entendu parler de l’habitude qu’ont les français à passer des heures et des heures à table. A Noël, c’est encore pire. La quantité de nourriture ingurgitée par un français lambda est impressionnante. Quel est donc le menu traditionnel d’un repas de Noël en France ? Commençons par l’incontournable des repas de Noël : le foie gras. Servi avec du Sauternes ou un Monbazillac, le foie gras se déguste sur du pain grillés, avec du confit d’oignons ou de la confiture de figues par exemple. Arrive ensuite une autre entrée froide, comme du saumon…
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    Dado Que - Latest Content

  • Notes from ¿Qué tal? - La Fecha

    17 Dec 2014 | 9:00 am
    ¿Cuál es la fecha de hoy? What is today's date? (Hoy) Es el primero de abril. (Today) It is the first of April. (Hoy) Es el cinco de febrero. (Today) It is the fifth of February. The ordinal number primero is used to express the first day of the month. Cardinal numbers (dos, ties, and so on) are used for other days. The definite article el is used before the date. However, when the day of the week is expressed, el is omitted: Hoy es jueves, ties de octubre. Use mil to express the year (el año) after 999. 1994 – mil novecientos noventa y cuatro…
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    JLPT Boot Camp - The Ultimate Study Guide to passing the Japanese Language Proficiency Test

  • JLPT BC 150 | 10 Things I really Wish Japan Had

    Clayton MacKnight
    16 Dec 2014 | 6:30 pm
    Japan has a lot of great things to love about it. There are convenient train systems, relatively low crime, and 24 hour vending machines. These all make life extremely nice for us all, but if I may I’d like to add some tweaks that might make it a little better. And of course these are completely biased and based on my sole opinion, but I thought I would just get them out there in hopes others will help me campaign for their existence. 10. Good Mexican fast food Japan secretly likes Mexican food. I know because every chance I can, I take someone to a Mexican restaurant so that they can…
  • JLPT December 2014 First Reactions

    Clayton MacKnight
    6 Dec 2014 | 8:00 am
    As a lot of you know I did not make the trip up to Kyoto University this year to take the test.  I want to say that I feel little disappointed in myself, but in actuality I’ve been too busy with family to really be too worried about the exam.  There have been a lot of little things and small emergencies I’ve had to be there for, and I’m thankful that I didn’t have the test looming over me to worry about. Of course, I haven’t been sitting on my laurels in terms of studying Japanese.  I’ve taken a bit of a radical change to how I’m organizing my…
  • JLPT Study Guide Month 11 – Top 10 Things to Do to Cram for the JLPT

    Clayton MacKnight
    30 Nov 2014 | 4:51 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, month 5, month 6, month 7, month 8, month 9 and month 10 before continuing. In college, I never used to cram for tests. My general philosophy was that if I hadn’t gotten at this point I probably wasn’t going to get it by reviewing some notes last minute. I was better off doing some studying, some example questions from previous exams, and simply taking care off myself by eating right and getting enough sleep…
  • JLPT BC 149 | The Harry Potter Method

    Clayton MacKnight
    25 Nov 2014 | 6:15 pm
    It has been an incredibly busy couple of weeks. I was incredibly busy with Halloween and the little one.  We were actually able to go trick or treating twice.  Trick or treating is not yet a standard thing to do in Japan but we always arrange a small trick or treat event in our neighborhood for the kids. It was a lot of fun, but also a lot of busy work. Also, the website has been going through some minor growing pains lately. The site has grown by about 25% in terms of visitors since last year, which means my hosting company is starting to strain a little bit. I had to do some late night…
  • JLPT N5 Grammar: Using toki and conjunctions ga and kara

    Clayton MacKnight
    19 Nov 2014 | 7:02 am
    This month, we go over how to use the conjunction ga, which usually has the meaning of ‘but’.  However, it has another use as well.  I’ll also go over how to use kara to answer how questions. And finally, I’ll talk about toki.  I go over all that and more in the video below: For over 6 hours of 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…
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  • Language tip of the week: love

    Liz Potter
    18 Dec 2014 | 9:00 am
    In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. In this new series of  language tips we will be looking at how metaphor is used to express some common concepts in English. This week’s tip looks at metaphors used to talk about love: When you love someone very deeply, it feels as if you are physically weak or falling over. The effect that an attractive person has on you is like being hit or knocked over by them: Just looking at him makes me go weak at the knees. I fell for Molly in a big way. Do you remember the first time you…
  • New pragmatics lesson plan: ways of praising someone

    Liz Potter
    18 Dec 2014 | 3:53 am
    Have you seen our latest lesson plan by author Jonathan Marks? It’s the final one in the ‘expressing yourself’ series and helps learners review and consolidate ways of praising someone. What’s included? Worksheets for students, tips for teachers, as well as an answer key and suggested follow-up activities. All pragmatics lesson plans – including this one – are available for free from the Macmillan Dictionary. For more information about the series, take a look at Michael Rundell’s introduction to the pragmatics series and the related blog post Life Skills language…
  • They don’t shoot dead people, do they?

    Gill Francis
    16 Dec 2014 | 10:05 am
    Each Saturday a small section entitled ‘Chris Maslanka’s Puzzles’ appears on the Guardian newspaper’s puzzle page. One puzzle features a ‘Professor Pedanticus’, who – you guessed it – is a pedant, the sort of old-school fuddy-duddy who wants the English language to stay exactly as it was at some idealised point in his past – probably his schooldays. (I should add that the views of the fictional Professor are not necessarily those of Maslanka himself.) Pedanticus’s reactions to ‘bad’ or ‘unnatural’ grammar range from the mildly upset to the frankly OTT. An…
  • Word roots and routes: close

    Jonathan Marks
    15 Dec 2014 | 2:14 am
    Next in a series of posts exploring some of the ‘roots’ and ‘routes’ of English vocabulary. A popular stereotype concerning English vocabulary is that the high-frequency, monosyllabic words are of Germanic origin. This is often the case, but by no means always, and one of the exceptions is close, which has a Latin origin. Close is a particularly busy and versatile word. In the Macmillan English Dictionary it has: 12 senses as a verb, plus phrases and phrasal verbs (pronunciation: /klz/) 17 senses as an adjective, plus phrases (pronunciation: /kls/) 2 senses as an adverb, plus…
  • Language and words in the news – 12th December, 2014

    Liz Potter
    12 Dec 2014 | 6:00 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 Words coined in 2014 From sneckdown to thumbstopper; a list of some of 2014′s most striking neologisms. Global English Why Do Brits Say…
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    Be global! Learn languages. Travel the world.

  • Gift for the holidays: how a language saved a life

    16 Dec 2014 | 9:00 am
    GIVE THE GIFT OF LANGUAGE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON! The documentary I’ve been working hard to produce for almost three years is finally done! Saved by Language tells the story of how Moris Albahari saved his life in the Holocaust by speaking the Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) language. For a limited time, until December 31, 2014, Saved by Language is on pre-sale. You can buy it here. The DVD comes with English, Ladino, Spanish and Bosnian subtitles. Choose from PAL and NTSC formats. Watch the demo of the film:
  • Music can bridge the income gap in education

    12 Aug 2014 | 10:38 am
    Dr. Nina Kraus, Northwestern University I’ve been writing for years on the benefits of music for foreign language education. “New research involving hundreds of students in Chicago and Los Angeles public schools finds disadvantaged children who learn to sing or to play a musical instrument show not only improved neural function but also enhanced learning abilities over time. ‘While more affluent students do better in school than children from lower income backgrounds, we are finding that musical training can alter the nervous system to create a better learner and help offset…
  • TEDx: Music + language (songs) activate our brains, hearts and souls.

    2 Jun 2014 | 11:42 am
    Alas, my TEDx talk on why we need to learn foreign languages and save endangered languages via music has been posted online. Please share, Tweet, like and comment to spread the word. The more views the video has, the more chances of it being on the main TED page. Now getting this featured on the main TED page would do wonders for promoting foreign language learning.
  • The Portuguese language has many homelands

    27 May 2014 | 10:00 am
    Over two years ago, I wrote about the idea of a language as a homeland as I was starting my journey into the endangered language of Ladino/Judeo-Spanish. The Portuguese writer, Fernando Pessoa, is quoted as having said, “Minha patria é a língua portuguesa” (My homeland is the Portuguese language). The Portuguese language is the homeland to millions of people outside of Portugal.     Fernando Pessoa statue, A Brasileira restaurant, Lisbon, Portugal On my recent trip to Portugal, I was constantly reminded of how far the Portuguese language went beyond Portugal and Brazil. As I…
  • What does it take to keep a language alive?

    19 May 2014 | 10:00 am
    Minde, a Portuguese village of 3000 people, has its own language, Minderico. Minderico developed as a secret language of the textile merchants in the town of Minde. When I heard it, I couldn’t understand anything even though the language has Latin roots. Most of the residents of this village, which used to have a population of 7000 people, don’t speak the language. Vera Ferreira, and her team at CIDLeS (the Interdisciplinary Centre for Social and Language Documentation), are working on documenting the language and teaching it in schools to ensure that at least some members of the younger…
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    The Mezzofanti Guild

  • Merry Christmas! Here Are Some Last Minute Gift Ideas + 40% Discount On

    Donovan Nagel
    8 Dec 2014 | 6:26 am
    G’day from sunny Qatar! I’m spending a week here in Doha at the moment for the first time ever and it’s been a really great opportunity to meet lots of Arabic speakers from loads of different countries. I’ve had the chance to speak Arabic with Qataris, Lebanese, Jordanians, Egyptians and Tunisians over the last few days. It’s really surprising to me considering so many people have said that Qatar is a terrible place to learn Arabic because there are few opportunities to practice. My experience has been the complete opposite! There’s a huge population of…
  • Learning To Speak Arabic But Can’t Find Resources? Here’s Your Answer…

    Donovan Nagel
    19 Nov 2014 | 6:23 am
    As you probably know from following me on this blog, I started learning a spoken dialect of Arabic about 12 years ago. At that time there were no decent, reliable resources available for learning it at all which meant that it was a constant uphill battle for me learning Arabic. What’s hard to believe is that even today – 12 years on – things have hardly improved. Most resources are geared toward teaching you Modern Standard Arabic, a literary language that no person anywhere on earth speaks as a first, native language. It’s a bit like walking into the Spanish section…
  • Why languages with different scripts aren’t as scary as you think

    Donovan Nagel
    11 Nov 2014 | 11:49 am
    Today you get to hear from Lindsay who has an awesome language learning blog called Lindsay Does Languages. Lindsay’s a high-energy, polyglot blogger/vlogger from the UK who’s studying a degree in Modern Languages and teaching online through italki. She has lots of experience learning different languages and is currently tackling Japanese while sharing her progress online. Make sure to follow her blog as well Enjoy! Expecting Donovan? Clearly, I’m not him. I’m Lindsay and I blog about languages over at Lindsay Does Languages. Nice to meet you. If you’re a…
  • 8 Ways That My Punishing Fitness Regimen Has Enhanced My Learning

    Donovan Nagel
    4 Nov 2014 | 3:12 am
    I find that the gym is one of the best places to meet new people and practice the language when I move to a new foreign country. Over the last two years, I’ve relocated to South Korea, Russia, Italy and now Egypt. Four countries. In all of these places joining the local gym has been one of the most rewarding things in making social connections and practicing my target languages. When you’re in a small room full of people and you stand out as a foreigner, it’s only a matter of time before people start getting familiar with you and wanting to talk to you. These last two years…
  • Guest Post: How to get started on learning Russian

    Donovan Nagel
    23 Oct 2014 | 2:14 am
    This guest post is from Natalie who runs a blog called Fluent Historian. Natalie’s one of the most passionate bloggers I follow – she writes quite prolifically about Russian and Eastern European politics and literature, and is super well-informed about that part of the world. Today she’s sharing a bit about her experience learning Russian which you might find interesting and helpful. Whenever I tell people I speak fluent Russian, I usually get a lot of puzzled looks. “Is your family Russian?” is the usual polite question I get. (My family is from all over, but…
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    EVS Translations Blog

  • Stollen – Word of the day

    EVS Blog
    18 Dec 2014 | 3:36 am
    What is German Christmas without Christmas markets and mulled wine and stollen? Even if a typical German-Austrian fruit cake, the stollen made its way through Europe and North America to land at pretty much every Christmas table. Yet, of course, the most notable stollen remains the Dresden one. The story goes back to the oldest […] The post Stollen – Word of the day appeared first on EVS Translations Blog. Related posts: Silhouette – Word of the day Watt – Word of the day Picnic – Word of the day
  • Flight of the Concorde

    18 Dec 2014 | 12:23 am
    Few developments in air travel have had a similarly far-reaching impact on the industry and its image than the introduction of the Concorde airplane in 1969. The supersonic Concorde was a symbol of Anglo-French cooperation, the West’s answer to the Soviet Union’s Tupolev Tu-144, and also a symbol of luxury and innovation in flight. Although […] The post Flight of the Concorde appeared first on EVS Translations Blog. Related posts: Future of Aviation – The Age of Super Hubs What should a company look out for when seeking a vendor for technical translation projects An army of…
  • Tomato – Word of the day

    EVS Blog
    17 Dec 2014 | 12:40 am
    Wrongly considered by some for a vegetable, the tomato is actually a fruit, originally cultivated by the Aztecs and Incas as early as 700 A.D. Its use as a food originated in Mexico and was brought in Europe as a fruit of the Spanish colonization of Americas, particularly linked to the conquering of nowadays Mexico […] The post Tomato – Word of the day appeared first on EVS Translations Blog. Related posts: Paparazzi – Word of the day Squatter – Word of the day Summit – Word of the day
  • Marsala – Word of the day

    16 Dec 2014 | 4:24 am
    For the last 15 years, the Pantone Color Institute, nominates a Colour of the Year to comb the world looking for colour influences and to universally appeal to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interior. After last year's Radient Orchid colour, now comes – Marsala. The reddish-brown hue is declared as the colour of […] The post Marsala – Word of the day appeared first on EVS Translations Blog. Related posts: Machiavellian – Word of the day Minibar – Word of the day The Travels of Sir John Mandeville
  • Artificial Intelligence – Word of the day

    15 Dec 2014 | 2:00 am
    Artificial intelligence refers to the field of study concerning the capacity of computers or other machines to exhibit or simulate intelligent behavior. Artificial Intelligence as a field of research originates with Dartmouth College, a private Ivy League University in the U.S., which held a conference in 1956 for an artificial intelligence research project. Thanks to […] The post Artificial Intelligence – Word of the day appeared first on EVS Translations Blog. Related posts: Caesar salad – Word of the day Eucalyptus – Word of the day Aromatherapy – Word of the…
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    Speaking Latino

  • Speaking Latino’s Calendar 2015

    Diana Caballero
    17 Dec 2014 | 12:23 pm
    Another year passes by and we are so glad to celebrate it with you! We have created this special gift for everyone who shares our passion for the Spanish language. The images in this calendar will transport you to cultures around the world that speak Spanish. Many of these photos were taken by us on our travels throughout the Spanish-speaking world. If you have a minute, tell us where the… Read More >The post Speaking Latino’s Calendar 2015 appeared first on Speaking Latino.
  • El calor de una sonrisa by Gemeliers: Spanish Song to Practice Listening Comprehension and Learn About Seville

    Diana Caballero
    14 Dec 2014 | 4:00 am
    Spanish class activities around the song El calor de una sonrisa by Gemeliers. This song describes the city of Seville in Spain. Read More >The post El calor de una sonrisa by Gemeliers: Spanish Song to Practice Listening Comprehension and Learn About Seville appeared first on Speaking Latino.
  • Katy Perry’s Roar in Spanish: Practice Listening Comprehension

    Diana Caballero
    7 Dec 2014 | 2:50 am
    A free PDF of listening comprehension activities with Katy Perry’s Roar in Spanish. It includes the video link and free download of the audio mp3. Read More >The post Katy Perry’s Roar in Spanish: Practice Listening Comprehension appeared first on Speaking Latino.
  • Tres Mil Millones de Latidos by Jorge Drexler: Spanish Song to Practice SER and ESTAR

    Diana Caballero
    29 Nov 2014 | 11:39 pm
    Spanish class activities to practice verbs SER and ESTAR with the song Tres Mil Millones de Latidos by Jorge Drexler. Cloze activities and printables. Read More >The post Tres Mil Millones de Latidos by Jorge Drexler: Spanish Song to Practice SER and ESTAR appeared first on Speaking Latino.
  • BINGO EL PORTAL: Printable Nativity Scene Bingo Game in Spanish

    Diana Caballero
    28 Nov 2014 | 2:33 am
    A Nativity scene printable bingo game in Spanish. Includes 20 cards and calling cards. It is part of an activity booklet around Christmas songs in Spanish. Read More >The post BINGO EL PORTAL: Printable Nativity Scene Bingo Game in Spanish appeared first on Speaking Latino.
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    Translation Source

  • Translation Source sponsors Houston Investment and Trade Mission to Panama and Colombia

    1 Dec 2014 | 8:10 am
    Mayor Annise Parker with Translation Source CEO Camilo Munoz We are very proud to announce that our Founder and CEO Camilo Munoz has been selected to accompany Mayor Annise Parker as part of a 30-member delegation of local elected officials, business and community leaders on a week-long Greater Houston Partnership investment and trade mission to Panama City and Colon in Panama and Bogota, Barranquilla and Cartagena in Colombia. “This trip has a strong focus on the Port of Houston and the increased opportunity the entire Houston region will experience once the expansion of the Panama Canal…
  • Machine Translation: When to Use

    19 Nov 2014 | 1:09 pm
    Machine translation has made great strides since its creation in the 1950s but it is still far from perfect. While the general consensus among language service providers is that machine translation is best avoided, it is becoming increasingly common for certain business needs. Below, we’ve provided a list of 7 situations in which machine translation may be a good solution. 1) To supplement professional translation services: Professional translators often use automated glossaries and other software to aid their work. This is known as machine-assisted translation. SDL Trados Studio, a…
  • Translation vs. Localization: Fast Facts

    12 Sep 2014 | 12:29 pm
    Thanks to the internet, our world is now connected more than ever before. It’s not only information and ideas that are being shared from all corners of the globe, but products and services as well. With seventy percent of all internet users surfing the net in a language other than English, translation and localization of your company or product is the best way to make the most of today’s global marketplace. To help you determine whether translation or localization will best meet your needs, we’ve compiled some fast facts about each service.   Localization Localized content is not…
  • Camilo Muñoz named President of the Association of Language Companies (ALC)

    9 Sep 2014 | 1:35 pm
    For Immediate Release: Translation Source is proud to announce that Camilo Muñoz, founder and CEO, has been elected President of the Association of Language Companies (ALC).  Mr. Muñoz served previously as Vice President of the Association of Language Companies, from 2012 to 2014, and feels honored to have been chosen for this new leadership role. Mr. Muñoz holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business and is considered a thought-leader of the language industry. Under the direction of Mr. Muñoz, Translation Source has been named a Houston Fast 100 Company, a Hispanic Business 500…
  • When English Isn’t Enough: the Growing Importance of Bilingual Staffing

    11 Aug 2014 | 9:10 am
    English is the most widely studied second language worldwide; it’s the language of business, commerce and travel. Many companies, however, are discovering that to compete in today’s marketplace, English isn’t enough. With growing linguistic diversity in the U.S. and increased globalization of U.S. businesses, bilingual staffing has shifted from novelty to necessity, both at home and abroad. Bilingual Staffing at Home According to the latest U.S. Census over 60 million Americans speak a language other than English in their homes. In order to be competitive, especially in major metro…
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    Blog at Fluent Language Tuition

  • My Wishlist: A Gift Guide for the Language Lover in your Life

    Kerstin Hammes
    17 Dec 2014 | 5:49 am
    Are you gearing up for the holidays? Listening to wonderful Christmas Market music? Enjoying the mulled wine? Oh, you're rushing around the shops trying to find gifts for your polyglot friends! I know how you are feeling - it was me who desperately googled Gifts for Developers and Coders earlier today. I nearly bought my man a Netduino, but could not quite figure out what that even is.So if you're still undecided and need help for language lovers, here's my list for 2014.1. Foreign Language Fridge Magnets I am so jealous of anyone who has these, because my fridge is at floor level…
  • Motivation Never Ends: Why this Scot is Learning German For Fun

    Kerstin Hammes
    15 Dec 2014 | 10:35 am
    In this guest post, you are going to hear from someone who might be just like you - Alan McGinlay is a 29-year-old Scottish guy living in Glasgow and for the past 18 months he has been learning German again. Yes, again! In his story, Alan talks about what brought him back to German learning and what works when you are reviving a language after more than ten years. You should follow him on Twitter @alanmcginlay.You'll find interesting thoughts "from the trenches", when a real learner has to counter the issues we've recently discussed here on the blog: group tuition, motivation and…
  • New Podcast: Putting the World to Rights with Olly Richards

    Kerstin Hammes
    10 Dec 2014 | 3:48 am
    “I never woke up and decided that I want to be a polyglot.” You wanna learn a language? Then I've got the guy for you! In today's podcast episode, I'm speaking with Olly Richards, the man behind I Will Teach You a Language. Olly is an expat Brit with a lot of travel experience under his belt, and his considered and smart answers really put me to shame. You Will Learn More About: Our Dreams of how Education can Make the Language Learning World so much Better Why "Speaking" Can Become a Huge Obsession and Actually Damage your Motivation What to Look Out for When Taking a Teaching…
  • Podcasts are the New Listening Trend that you CANNOT Ignore

    Kerstin Hammes
    4 Dec 2014 | 6:30 am
    There was a time, maybe back in 2008 (and I am so old that this seems like last year to me), when you would have heard the word "Podcast" and rightfully passed it by. Podcasts have been around since the 1980s but were always reserved for the nerdier folks among us. Maybe research scientists? Programmers? The world is ever changing, and today though it's a different world. Podcasts are the best new way of getting into anything that you are excited about. A podcast (don't forget you can listen to the Fluent podcast too!) is a pre-recorded discussion, story or radio show. The beauty of these…
  • How to Eliminate Your Self-Doubt and Get Speaking

    Kerstin Hammes
    1 Dec 2014 | 12:21 am
    Today I have another awesome guest post for you. Do you remember the podcast with Jade Joddle, where we talked about introversion and extroversion in language learning? I feel like Jade would love today's guest poster. This is all about how to get out of your own head and be that extrovert you HAVE to be when you want to speak another language. For me as a pretty extroverted person, that fear is weaker than for most people I see. I literally just go up to people and speak terrible Russian/Spanish/Italian. Honestly, I'm embarrassing!Guest writer Kevin Morehouse is a language coach on a journey…
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    Always Spanish – Unconventional Spanish tips and tricks for the lazy learner

  • Can Learning Spanish Feel As Rewarding As Sex, Gambling, And Chocolate?

    Amit Schandillia
    24 Nov 2014 | 5:51 pm
    What is the link between gambling, chocolate, sex and…learning Spanish? You might be surprised to hear that the same part of the brain’s reward centre activates in response to all four stimuli, but that’s what scientists in Barcelona recently discovered. Participants in an experiment were encouraged to decipher new words in a foreign language whilst experts measured the chemicals in their brains. The results lead scientists to claim that those who felt more rewarded from learning new words were able to learn more. In other words, participants who naturally feel good when they learn, are…
  • 6 Ways To Turn Your Vacation Into A Spanish Learning Venture

    Amit Schandillia
    23 Feb 2014 | 3:11 am
    Traveling to a Spanish speaking country has always been the single biggest motivator to Spanish students; in fact, it’s perhaps the only reason most of us decided to even start learning the language. After all, what good is a language skill if you never wish to be where it’s spoken! What good is any skill if it’s never put to use? It’s a shame how so many of us consider it a divine right, as English speakers, to be understood everywhere we go, be it Mexico, Mongolia or even Mars. Now, traveling abroad is a costly affair and not all are lucky enough to make it. But what if you are?
  • The Cause-Effect Trick To Remember Your Por And Para

    Amit Schandillia
    19 Jul 2013 | 2:48 pm
    Be it Spanish or any other language, the most painful aspect invariably turns out to be the appropriate usage of its prepositions. To us English speakers Spanish prepositions might seem way too unruly and chaotic but that’s how the Spanish speakers feel about English too. Try explaining to them, for instance, why you live “in” the house but are “at” home! Grammar rules, more often than not, defy all logic. Fortunately, when it comes to the Spanish por and para, there still exists enough logic to save your day. Mastering this logic is key to proficiency in Spanish as these…
  • Learn Spanish Watching Telenovelas At DramaFever Latino

    Amit Schandillia
    1 Jul 2013 | 11:48 am
    Our friend Andrew was terrible at Spanish. He would often complain about how difficult it was and how despite, his most sincere efforts, he would never be reasonably fluent in the language. We always tried to encourage him, but we must admit that we too doubted the prospects of him ever becoming fluent. Even after several Spanish courses and video tutorials, Andrew could barely get started on conversations with native speakers. It was overwhelming and he was ready to call it quits. But in a last frugal effort he decided to take some time and work from Argentina (one of the many virtues of…
  • Learn A New Language With A Used Brain

    Amit Schandillia
    1 Jul 2013 | 6:23 am
    Let’s be honest and admit that learning any language, let alone Spanish, is an art most of us lack a taste for. It’s more of an “acquired” taste that needs a lot of optimism and an open mind to fully appreciate. In this article, we take a step back from our core focus and review a very interesting book that talks about languages in general instead of just Spanish. This book does not teach you Spanish or any language for that matter. What it does is a whole lot more – It teaches you how to teach yourself just about any language! Review this book with us and boost your linguistic…
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    Spanish Obsessed

  • Advanced 23: Vanessa de Argentina

    14 Dec 2014 | 10:11 am
    We welcome another friend to Spanish Obsessed. Meet Vanessa, who’s come to London from Argentina. She talks with Rob about her beloved country, and how she’s getting on in her new life in England! The post Advanced 23: Vanessa de Argentina appeared first on Spanish Obsessed.
  • Advanced 22: Conversación de copas y niñas

    14 Dec 2014 | 9:55 am
    Liz takes the time to have a chat with our Mexican friend Mariana about all sorts of girly things – mainly men. What’s the difference between the Latin and European man? This, and more “relationship advice” from two Latinas. The post Advanced 22: Conversación de copas y niñas appeared first on Spanish Obsessed.
  • Advanced 21: Mariana La Mexicana

    14 Dec 2014 | 8:59 am
    We take a break in our trip to Colombia to bring you a guest podcast, with our friend Mariana, from Puerto de Veracruz, Mexico. Mariana talks with Rob about some of the stereotypes commonly held about Mexico, and how close they are to the truth. This audio gets a little crackly at points – apologies! The post Advanced 21: Mariana La Mexicana appeared first on Spanish Obsessed.
  • Advanced 20: El viaje (part 2)

    14 Dec 2014 | 8:45 am
    After a few weeks, Rob also joined Liz in Colombia for a (well deserved) 2 week holiday. We talk about the first couple of days in Bogotá, the capital. The post Advanced 20: El viaje (part 2) appeared first on Spanish Obsessed.
  • Advanced 19: El viaje (part 1)

    14 Dec 2014 | 8:28 am
    After nearly three years, Liz returned to Colombia to see her family. She tells us about the surprises she had lined up for them, as well as her impressions of her home country after being away for so long. The post Advanced 19: El viaje (part 1) appeared first on Spanish Obsessed.
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    Learn Spanish My Way

  • The Flashcard Method

    Keith Walters
    5 Dec 2014 | 4:40 pm
    Many have struggled, including myself, with trying to learn tons of vocabulary words, verbs and verb conjugations in Spanish.One sure way is to use flashcards! This might seem "old school" to some, but this method really does work. You can modify it to help you learn faster and incorporate new ways of learning Spanish.I always advocate creating your own flashcards. More kinetic learners do better if they can put their whole body into the process of learning. By making your own flashcards, you are immersed in the activity of creating them just the way you want to help reinforce your learning.
  • Ways to Say "I Love You"

    Keith Walters
    24 Oct 2014 | 10:30 am
    This is a response to a recent request I received wanting to know how to say "I love you" in Spanish. In English, we only have the one way to say "I love you" and that's it. Now with Spanish being a romance language, you better believe there is more than one way to express it.Te quiero.Te amo.Both of the above sentences reflect "I love you" in Spanish. There are differences as to which one you would use. It often depends on which region or country you are saying it and to whom you are saying it.Typically, the most common way is te quiero. You would use it with family, friends, lovers, and…
  • Baby Steps

    Keith Walters
    17 Oct 2014 | 2:11 pm
    When you first set out to learn Spanish, or any foreign language for that matter, it is important to take baby steps. After all, learning something well will take some time to do.I like the analogy of babies taking their first steps. It is much like many things we learn for the first time. We won't do it right when we start, but in time, it gets a little easier and a little better. Learning Spanish is no different!Many often ask me what are the first things to do in order to learn this language. The answer lies with you. What is your ultimate goal with the language? Why do you want to learn…
  • Help Me Help You

    Keith Walters
    3 Oct 2014 | 7:00 am
    ¡Hola!From time to time, I like to get your input as to what you would like to see in my blog pertaining to Spanish. What issues are you facing? What challenges you with the language?My desire is to bring you the best content when it comes to Spanish. I like to break down a common problem or issue or delve deep into a particular topic or grammar point. Sometimes, I showcase some interesting resources or knowledge about a thing, custom or place.I need your help! It's your turn to help me help you. Take a few minutes to respond to this super quick survey below. I promise to take your feedback…
  • Where Is the Help?

    Keith Walters
    15 Aug 2014 | 8:00 am
    The very last thing to discuss about when to use the subjunctive in Spanish is the indefinite and non-existent. When you use a sentence describing something or someone out there who may or may not exist, you would use the subjunctive. When you are speaking about something that may or may not happen or the end time frame is "up in the air," you would use the subjunctive. These are all unknown factors and because they are undetermined, you must use the subjunctive.Here are some examples:Necesitamos un horno que funcione consistentemente.We need an oven that works consistently.Quiero que mi…
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    Inbox Translation

  • Dear Scammer

    Alina Cincan
    26 Nov 2014 | 3:23 am
      As some of you are aware (or at least I hope you are), there’s this plague affecting the translation profession: it’s called scammers. And by that I mean supernatural entities (what else would you call someone who is not real?) who by magic (and sneakiness) steal genuine translators’ CVs and use them as their […] The post Dear Scammer appeared first on Inbox Translation.
  • Which Hotel Signs Need To Be Translated

    Alina Cincan
    19 Nov 2014 | 4:08 am
    All hotels that want to be really competitive in today’s troublesome economy are well aware of the fact that they need to translate important documents, such as terms & conditions, tourist brochures, web pages and hotel restaurant menus into various languages to appeal to international visitors. But what is often forgotten are various signs in […] The post Which Hotel Signs Need To Be Translated appeared first on Inbox Translation.
  • 10 Romanian Idioms to Celebrate the Day of Multilingual Blogging 2014

    Alina Cincan
    13 Nov 2014 | 3:14 am
    Happy Day of Multilingual Blogging!   I had initially thought of writing this post in Romanian, but realised the audience would be slightly more limited . But, as Romanian is my mother tongue, and is not as popular as others, but a very rich and beautiful language, I thought it would be nice to present […] The post 10 Romanian Idioms to Celebrate the Day of Multilingual Blogging 2014 appeared first on Inbox Translation.
  • Halloween – History and Customs around the World

    Cincan Alina
    31 Oct 2014 | 12:09 am
    Contrary to what many people think, Halloween is not the exclusive festival of the Christian West. In fact, not many people are even aware that it originates from “pagan” roots before the advent of Christianity. In its many forms, the festival of ghouls and ghosts is present in nearly every country in the world. In […] The post Halloween – History and Customs around the World appeared first on Inbox Translation.
  • 7 Good Reasons for Translating Menus in Hotel Restaurants

    Alina Cincan
    24 Oct 2014 | 4:11 am
    With globalisation, higher standard of living across the world, low-cost air fares, highly competitive hotel prices and tourist agencies that are prepared to organise all aspects of travelling abroad, people nowadays travel more often and further away from their home than ever before. This also means that the possibility of travellers understanding the language of […] The post 7 Good Reasons for Translating Menus in Hotel Restaurants appeared first on Inbox Translation.
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