Monday, November 26, 2018

The Dispute between British English and American English by Eugene Eaton

Have you ever heard people arguing passionately about the smallest details such as auxiliary verbs or prepositions? How many times have you seen one person warning another for not using a proper grammar norm or pronunciation?

I bet it happens to you all the time! As a matter of fact, I believe this happens to everyone.

It seems like there are millions of language puritans all around who can’t stand people taking a single step away from the Oxford English Dictionary. They're the true followers of “genuine” English. They are the people who adore textbook rules and correct speech. Such folks enjoy making objections and reminding everyone to speak flawlessly.

What do they consider to be the proper English and what is the so-called correct version of English language?

My answer is  that there's is no such thing as correct English and that it’s just an imaginary construct that serves as the general outline for language learners.

Correct English Is an Imaginary Concept


I’ve seen so many people who live in the US who don’t understand the colloquialisms and local expressions. It’s just way too different from things they used to learn in school so they start complaining and saying that Americans can’t speak English properly. Rest assured this is mostly an excuse for individuals who are having a hard time improving English proficiency.

ESL expert James Hatfield says that the vast majority of students believe Oxford English is the single most important learning model:

“This is why they neglect the importance of all those other accents and dialects. I’m not saying that I don’t understand their problem. After all, it’s much easier to follow the textbook rules and expect everyone to speak the same way, but it’s simply not the reality.”

For instance, followers of the correct English movement object when you say: “I’m gonna grab a drink.”

They don’t recognise it as the textbook example so they automatically have a problem with what they believe is an unusual phrase. In other words, they label it wrong. There are tons of similar examples, but you get the idea

Grammar is not the only issue here. On the contrary, language puritans also pay attention to your pronunciation, and they're more than willing to make comments about it.

For example, they'll say something like this: “I went to Dublin last week and couldn’t understand a word they were saying! It’s not English! It's a completely different language!”

You don’t have to be a language expert to disprove their claims. All it takes is logical thinking to explain how things work in this field. Regardless of your mother tongue, I'm sure you can think of many regions or counties where people speak differently. It’s a matter of natural diversity, and that’s exactly what makes languages so beautiful.

For example, you can find maps online showing how Americans alone have 24 different English dialects - not to mention in the UK, Australia, or Ireland for that matter!

The illusion of correct English is probably the result of the mass media influence. People all around the world watch the same movies and listen to the same music so they start believing there are only two good options when speaking English – British English or American English.

Don’t Think about Correctness – Think about Usefulness


The reality, however, is totally different. Language learners should stop thinking about the correct version of English and begin focusing on how useful it is for them. The best solution is to practice conversational English in a real-life environment.

If you are about to spend the next five years in Ireland, why would you stick to Oxford English?

It would be both impractical and time-wasting. The same goes for individuals residing in the States, England, or Australia.


  • Spelling: colour (British) vs color (American)
  • Vocabulary: trainers vs sneakers
  • Grammar: at the weekend vs on the weekend
  • Past perfect/past simple: I’ve been to the vs I went to the…


As you can see, all these (and many other) differences are so minor that they really don’t make much of a difference to your everyday lives so you might as well pick the one that works for you.

The Bottom Line


Keep in mind that English – just like all other languages – is a means of communication. It's supposed to help you establish new friendships and professional relationships

So why would you use the kind of language that makes this process longer and more difficult?

If you want to start a new life abroad in the English-speaking country, you better prepare for it properly.

Ask yourself one question:

Will I look like a weirdo walking around with the Oxford English dictionary and speaking words no one understands?

Unless you are going to enrol in a prestigious prep school, the answer is probably "yes". Therefore, be ready to learn real everyday English. Pick a dialect that suits your needs the most and allows you to build a career in the local environment.

When you look for the studying materials online, don’t type in inquiries such as: Should I learn British or American English?

Instead, try to find resources that can teach you how to use the local dialect and understand the local accent.

You could even forget about all these differences and learn English as it's spoken where you are, picking up all the fascinating colloquialisms along the way. After all, it’s not a rocket science and not everything has to be by the book so feel free to learn your own way.

Eugene is an Australian-based blogger for UK Careers Booster who's into stand-up comedy. His favorite comedians are Louis CK and George Carlin. A good laugh in the morning is what keeps Eugene upbeat and motivated throughout the day.

Monday, November 5, 2018

The Best Languages to Learn for English Speakers by Jack White

Believe it or not, English is one of the hardest languages to learn. Most of us are either native speakers or have learned it at a young age. Because of this, we don’t notice these difficulties due to the everyday role of English in our lives.

While being difficult for beginners, English is a gateway to learning other languages and mastering them with ease. As language enthusiasts, we’ve discussed this topic with many linguists and grammar experts.

After doing some research, we’ve determined that these nine languages are the best English speakers to learn. While some may surprise you, but all of them are useful and entertaining.

1. Norwegian


As surprising as it sounds, Norwegian is by far the easiest language for English speakers to learn. A member of the Germanic family, Norwegian shares many of the same grammatical mechanics and words with English.

The word order closely mimics that of English. An also interesting fact is that Norwegian has many different accents and there aren’t strict rules about pronunciation. Under the Vikings, Norwegians ruled England for a certain period of time so a lot of English words originated in Norwegian.

2. Swedish


Norwegian’s close cousin and Scandinavian neighbor Swedish is also incredibly easy for English speakers to learn and master.

First of all, Swedish and English share a lot of cognates. A cognate is a word that a language shares with another, mostly due to a common ancestor.

If you’re interested in immersing yourself in a vibrant and interesting culture, Sweden is the country you want to focus on. Also, there are a lot of summer schools for Swedish learners of all levels.

3. Spanish


While we all know that Spanish has an incredibly wide reach and is practical to study, there are even more benefits. For a couple of centuries, Britain was ruled by the Romans. Most of the legal systems, the administrative rules, and even some towns are leftovers from that period.

The Romans spoke Latin, an ancestor of all Romance languages, amongst which we have Spanish. Used by many cultures, Spanish has a lot in common with English in terms of mechanisms and vocabulary.

4. Dutch


Because English is a Germanic language, it’s not surprising that Dutch is the 3rd Germanic language in our top 4. After German and English, it’s the third most spoken language in the family.

The shared vocabulary along with the similar grammatical characteristics is why it features in this list.

Why are Danish and German left out?

German has some of the most difficult grammar in the world and Danish pronunciation is even scary for some Danes.

Dutch is challenging, but more in an entertaining way.

5. Portuguese


One of the most popular languages for English speakers is, of course, Portuguese. Another Romance language, Portuguese is spoken by hundreds of millions of people in Portugal Brazil, the Portuguese port of Goa in India, and many other places.

The one thing to be wary of is that there’s a difference in dialects. At certain times, Portuguese and Brazilian people might not understand each other, but knowing one dialect will allow you to master the other. The cultural diversity is also astonishing.

6. Indonesian


Surprise! For language enthusiasts, Indonesian is a bit of an unknown. If you are proficient in English, you will find Indonesian a great choice. Most choose to learn it because it’s one of the rare Asian languages that use a Latin script.

Furthermore, 23 million people speak it so you can utilize it in the country any way you want. There are almost no grammatical rules. For example, you don’t have to remember cases if you want to use the plural – repeat the same word twice, and you’re good to go.

7. Italian


Even though isn't as widely spoken as Portuguese or Spanish, there are 63 million native speakers, plus even more non-native speakers. Perhaps the most enticing property of Italian is that it’s the closest living relative to Latin, mostly because it’s considered its direct descendant.

A lot of Italian and English words share the same roots while the grammatical rules aren't too hard. Additionally, you will get to experience one of the most amazing cultures in the world.

8. French


French is perhaps the favorite Romance language of all English speakers. Even though it’s not easier than the others, it has a distinct sound that gives the speaker a sophisticated sound. The Norman conquest of England resulted in English and French sharing many words.

Another benefit of learning French is that it’s spoken on every continent and by an incredibly large number of people. The easy vocabulary and an incredible culture make it a popular learning choice.

9. Swahili


A bit less conventional than other languages on this list, Swahili is an excellent option for those looking to learn something different. The easiest African language, Swahili shares a lot of words with English and is used as a lingua franca between different African tribes and countries.

Many linguists have concluded that it’s one of the most logical languages in existence. If you’re looking for an interesting cultural experience, start learning Swahili.

Learning new languages is a key factor in becoming a more knowledgeable and happier person. Getting to know different cultures through these easy languages is an incredible privilege and pleasure. If you want, you can combine several and challenge yourself like never before.

Jack White is optimistic that he will carry his past success into the future. He managed to work his way up from the bottom and today he is an excellent writer who also works at EssaysScholarAdvisor in the PR department.

Monday, October 8, 2018

5 Great Online Apps to Help You Learn New Words Every Day by Kate Khom

Learning a foreign language often takes a lot of time and money, but it also happens that we can find it difficult to reach fluency. However, with the help of dozens of different language learning apps, today we can independently learn foreign languages without going to language schools.

Different language learning tools can help you learn words, grammar, and phrases for free and at any time and at any place. In this article, we've decided to present you the 5 most popular language learning tools.

1. Duolingo


This app consists several levels that encourage learning words and grammar through the game where you can add friends and compete in the levels you need to complete. Since most courses are from
English, this app is best for those with a good level of English. However, more language combinations are being added all the time.

It begins by using text, pictures, and audio, and the main idea is to associate the sound of the translation with the visuals of the text and pictures. By completing every task, you’ll move on to more difficult tasks.

Advantages

  • The app works with Android, windows phone, iOS, and web so you can use it at every place and at any time you want. 
  • It offers 33 language courses.
  • There is also a school version of Duolingo and thousands of teachers are already using it to enhance their lessons.

2. Memrise


Memrise is an easy-to-use free language learning tool that supports more than 150 offline language courses. It uses pretty unique methods for learning new words and phrases by putting words into sentences which is a great way for building a connection between words and memorizing them.

Another of Memrise’s method includes mixing up the words in the translated text that helps you to playfully learn words by repeating them over and over again in different order.

Advantages

  • The app works with iOS, Android, and web, and can be downloaded in free or pro version.
  • The free version offers over 200 language combinations and ‘learn and review’ section, while pro version provides you beside previously two mentioned also the Grammarbot,  Pro Chats, Difficult Words Mode, speed review, Listening skills mode, video mode and learning stats.
  • You’ll learn the vocabulary that is relevant to your life, with courses from travel to business!

3. Babbel


A bit like Duolingo’s cousin, Babbel offers you 40 free classes and ways to learn phrases in one of 13 languages it teaches. Beside beginner’s courses, Babbel includes paid packages for improving grammar and vocabulary and provides you with the explanation pop-ups of the most important grammatical points.

Advantages

  • The desktop version includes interesting short cultural notes. 
  • It’s available for Android web, and iOS.
  • Their 10-15 minute bite-size lessons easily fit into everyone’s busy schedule.
  • Review section will reinforce you to memorize words by bringing it back in new contexts.


4. Bussu


Bussu is another free language learning tool available for desktop and mobile phone learning. It’s friendly, simple to use, and there’s even children's version available. It’s made up of 3 sections (lessons, practice, and vocabulary) that range from beginner and elementary to intermediate. It’s available in a free and Premium version (22 hours of Bussu Premium = 1 college semester of language study).

Advantage

  • It can work offline.
  • It offers you to get official McGraw Hill level completion certificates.
  • You can practice your spoken conversational skills with native speakers.
  • It offers 12 language courses

5. Rosetta Stone


This professional grade service for language learning offers a free app specially created for travelers who want to learn basic words and phrases. It consists of dozens of pictures connected to common phrases that are spoken in the language you learn and also provides you with a native online tutor support and different language learning games and community access.

Advantages

  • Includes 200 hours of interactive language learning content
  • Provides you with the help of native speakers in 30 languages
  • Offers pronunciation training
  • Works with Android and iOS
Language learning apps can definitely help people being more confident when using a foreign language. They are meant not only for beginners but also for those who want to improve their previous knowledge. Whether we talk about everyday life or business, languages present one the most important parts of our lives and connect billions of people from all over the World!

Kate is a passionate writer and blogger. She likes sharing her thoughts and tricks with readers. Currently, she works at hu.flatfy.com as the editor. Feel free to add her on Twitter!

Monday, October 1, 2018

6 Effective Ways to Learn a New Language by Irfan Ak

Whether you want to travel to a foreign country or want to add another bow to your résumé, learning a new language is always a unique experience. Gone are the days without access to resources and being unable to learn even the basic words of a language. It's easy now thanks to the technological advancements. If learning a new language is on top of your To-Do list then, then this article is for you.

In this article, we have 6 effective ways to learn a new language.

1. Make New Friends


If you are interested in learning Spanish, then you should look to join a community that people who speak the language. Don’t miss out on any events or special functions organized by that community as it can help you learn a lot. You can also physically meet someone you've befriended on social media in a bar or a café and have a casual chat with them. It'll be a great learning experience for you.

2. Travel

"Learning a foreign language, and the culture that goes with it, is one of the most useful things we can do to broaden the empathy and imaginative empathy and cultural outlook of children." - Michael Gove

There is no better way to learn a new language than visiting a country where the language is spoken. Like kids, you can learn a lot by hearing other people talk. You can learn to pronounce different words better and hear which words the locals use in their day to day conversations. More importantly, you also get a better idea of what each of these words means.

You learn about the culture, history and art of that particular country as well when you travel to that country. Talking to a native or learning from a native speaker is also a great way to master a new language.

3. Study Smart


“Work smart, not hard.” How many times you have received that advice? Countless, right but how many times you have followed this advice? Very few, right? 

If you want to learn a new language then, you should set smart goals, to begin with. Setting goals won’t be enough if you're not tracking your progress towards that goals. This is where a task management software can come in handy. Use best study techniques that not only speed up your learning process but also makes it easier for you to learn a new language.

Here are a few examples:

  • Use flashcards to learn new words and boost your vocabulary. See the translation in the dictionary then try to visualize and vocalize the word.
  • Incorporate gestures into your learning as your brain tends to learn faster when you use actions.
  • Use the word in your native language as it will make it easy for you to see the term in context.
  • Form a sentence including that word to help you integrate language learning into your daily life.

4. Use Mobile apps and the Internet


As mentioned before, technology has made it easier to learn new languages. Use apps like Duolingo and Memrise and other websites that learning languages a breeze. The simple and easy-to-use interface makes it easier for you to learn new languages. With flash cards and visuals, you'll never get bored of learning a new language with these apps.

5. Watch A Movie


Want to learn a new language from a comfort your room? Watch a movie in that language! Make sure that you watch it with subtitles turned on. When you see movie characters speak their native language and you see it translated into the language you know, you'll understand the meaning of words and learn new vocabulary. You'll also get a sense of how to string different words together to form a sentence. You should always consider watching a movie when it comes to learning a new language.

6. Listen to the Radio


Just like watching a movie, listening to a radio station in the language you want to learn can prove to be of great help in your quest to learn a new language. What’s great about listening to a radio station is that you can do it anywhere thanks to podcasts and radio broadcasts,  whether you're in your car or traveling on foot.

Write down new words spoken during a radio broadcast. You can also listen to the news in the language you want to learn. Nothing can give you a boost in vocabulary like listening to news does! This will really help you achieve a conversational level in your new language.

How do you go about learning a new language? Feel free to share it with us in the comments section below.

Irfan Ak is a digital marketing manager at Branex, a web design company in Toronto, and a guest blogger on various websites. He has created brand value for various brands.

Monday, June 11, 2018

How to Integrate Language Learning into Your Daily Life by Emily Watts

Many people try to find ways to integrate language learning into their daily routines. While many people realize that studying a foreign language is extremely important, they still have no idea how to do this every day. Use our tips to become the best learner every day!

Develop a Habit


Linguists claim that you can make a habit of learning a language just like going jogging in the mornings or having a cup of coffee when you wake up. It's very easy to start learning a language every day by studying a few expressions. Learn five new words connected to one topic during your lunch break.


However, remember that you'll need to keep going for at least three weeks before this becomes a real habit. It's also very important to put your newly learnt vocabulary into practice as soon as possible.

Revise

When you learn a new word or expression, you need to revise it over and over again to make it part of your active vocabulary rather than your passive vocabulary.

Are you are struggling to learn new vocabulary?

You should revise vocabulary up to sixteen times before you actually start using it. By the way, you should revise for the first time just ten minutes after you have learned a new word or expression.

Establish Reasons to Study

So why do you need a foreign language?

Is it to get a decent or well-paid job, to pass an exam, to move abroad, or to travel and speak to people?

It's important that you work out for yourself why you want to learn a language. This will help you to understand the best route for you. Ask yourself: “What would I like to achieve?”. Once you've got the answer, you'll have a clearer picture what to learn and why.

Motivate Yourself

You need to motivate yourself! It can be hard to do anything if you're not motivated.

Think of something you really want to buy but you don't actually need. If you manage to study for a whole month, buy yourself it!

Promise yourself that you'll travel to a new place to use your new language is you keep up with your studies.

Finally, why not put aside a dollar for every 10 words you learn in your new language. Then, by the end of the month, count your money and see how much you've earned.

Passive Learning

You can learn a language every day without putting aside the time.

If you've watched your favourite TV already in your native language, why not watch them again but in your target language?

You can also listen to songs or immerse yourself in a language environment where the people around you speak the language you're trying to learn. Bigger cities have cafés where foreigners like spending time having lunch or discussing business. This can certainly help you to immerse yourself in your new language.

Find a Speaking Buddy


Many people around the world are desperate to practice the language they're learning. The best way to learn a new language is by finding people who are looking for speaking buddies. Sign up on a social media page, follow the right accounts, and find people that need help learning languages. This is a great way to practice your speaking daily while you are traveling to and from work. On top of all that, it is absolutely free!

Without a doubt, getting a good command of a foreign language is very important, and you know this if you are reading this article. Foreign language will open new horizons to you and will bring you, new English-speaking friends.

Emily Watts is a self-improvement enthusiast from Canada who works for Eduzaurus. She loves traveling and self-improvement. In her free time, she enjoys reading romance novels with a cup of coffee in her favorite café.

Monday, May 14, 2018

5 Reasons to Spend Your Gap Year Studying a Foreign Language Abroad by Leila Dorari


Most young people see spending a gap year abroad as the ultimate freedom. While travelling is never a waste of time, if you give it a bit of structure it can end up being even more valuable. Use the trip to work on yourself and polish your language skills and don’t let the opportunity go to waste!


Personal Development


A lot of parents have concerns about their children travelling to a foreign country. However, if you explain that travelling is for personal improvement, it's unlikely they'll be able to say "no". If you want to keep their mind at ease, book a specialised course with a reputable institution in the country so that they'll know you're safe. There are a lot of programmes designed for foreign students who want to learn the language including accommodation and other activities.

Cultural Immersion


Culture is an important part of language and seeing a language as a group of words and rules is the wrong approach and can only get you so far. If you want to become truly fluent, you'll need to understand the native speakers and their backgrounds. Perhaps your language skills are close to perfection but your intonation is off. You'll never be able to express yourself well enough without the right tone of the voice, sense of humour, compassion, and irony. These finishing touches can only be learned when you get a feeling of the culture.

Learn Faster

The best way to learn a language is to be completely surrounded by it. Regardless of how many hours in a day you spend with it, if you don’t get to use it, you'll never be able to recognise what you're doing wrong and find ways of improving. Your brain will be faster in picking up new words and uses of certain grammatical forms. It's important that even if you're in a group with other foreign students learning the same language, find ways of interacting with the natives and don't just stick with the group!

Improve your Chances of Getting Residency


If you end up wanting to move to your new country, knowing the language is essential. Most countries in the world require you to speak the language before they grant you permanent residency. It's not uncommon for countries to prefer those who have studied the language and developed skills within the country. If we consider, Australia, for example, they have a set point system where English language skills play a significant role. If you attend a course such as IELTS in Sydney taught by native speakers, you'll have better chances at nailing it and getting the maximum points for the language.

Career Prospects

Speaking several languages has been revered since the ancient times. It is still so nowadays, and it is much preferred, often even required by employers. If they see on your CV that you have studied a certain language in the country where it is spoken natively, they will have little doubts about your communicational skills in that language. Also, it does provide an excellent explanation for the gap in your CV. While employers know that taking a gap year is quite common, they also like to know that it hasn’t been wasted.

Without a doubt, if you move to another country, it'll be like a whole new world. You'll have new opportunities for fun and exploration. First of all, you'll be able to travel.

You could also engage in new hobbies which aren’t widely available where you come from and develop new tastes with the local cuisine. You'll start enjoying all the little cultural differences.

Leila Dorari is a freelance writer and self-improvement enthusiast from Sydney. She is passionate about exploring the limits of self-growth through challenges and living a fulfilled life. In her spare time, she is either window shopping or hiking with her furry four-legged friend.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Simultaneous Interpreting Tips. What Should You Focus On? by Kaya Johnson

Simultaneous interpretation is a very difficult skill for people who are in the industry have to master. Those who have to interpret conversations need to be very focused, remember everything a person said, and not make mistakes. To develop the right skills for simultaneous interpreting, you need to practice a lot and follow some rules. In this article, I have some tips for simultaneous interpreting that will surely help you develop the right skills faster.


Try To Anticipate What A Person Will Say


If you’re a simultaneous interpreter, you have to always listen and interpret at the same time, so it can be hard to remember what a person said. In addition to using your memory, you should try to anticipate what interlocutors might, making it easier for you to focus on interpreting what they say. It might seem impossible to guess what somebody will say next, but if you practice for long enough, and do your research, it will get a lot easier.

Always Remain Calm


Interpreters have to remain emotionally neutral. It’s in our nature to react to certain words or phrases but your job is to just interpret what is said, not to get involved in the discussion. Sometimes you'll just have to focus on the words being said rather than the meaning of them.

Research the Culture


While knowing the language you’re interpreting from is essential in this industry, if you learn about the country’s culture, you can become a better interpreter. Each language has phrases and words that only make sense to those who are familiar with its culture. If you're familiar with a country’s culture, you’ll be able to understand these phrases and not lose time trying to figure out what the interlocutor wanted to say.

Control Your Voice


To make sure the speaker is not negatively affected by the tone of your voice, you should always maintain a balance in volume. If you speak too quietly, the speaker will not be able to hear you and speaking too loudly make them feel uncomfortable.

Mastering interpreting skills is not an easy task but if you work hard and follow these tips, they can help you get better. These tips can help you improve your skills faster but they won't replace the  hours of practicing and learning you'll have to do. Make sure you master the language you’re translating from and always remember these guidelines:

  • Anticipate what might be said
  • Stay calm and neutral
  • Learn about the countries’ culture
  • Control your voice
Kaya is a sales accountant from Yorkshire who enjoys writing. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.