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.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Difficulties Professional Translators Face at the Start of their Careers by Jeff Blaylock

Have you just graduated university? Congratulations! Translation requires a profound understanding of at least two languages as well as language skills. Before you start writing your CV, take the time to sit down and think about the challenges that lie ahead. So what should you be thinking about?

Specialization


When you start your translation career, you should have a specialization in mind. Think about the types of texts you enjoy translating. In order to specialize, you're going to need to be an expert in the field, have a profound knowledge of the terminology, and be familiar with all the writing conventions of your specialization. Common specializations include medical, legal, and academic translation.

Setting Your Rates


New translators often find setting their rates difficult. You should check the average prices for your language pairs and for translators where you are. A translator's rates will vary depending on their speed, experience, and expertise. Make sure that your price is fair, reflecting your translation skills.

Given that new translators will have little to no experience, it's understandable that their rates will be lower than their experienced counterparts. However, make sure you're not working for peanuts since this will have a negative effect on your self-esteem and on how potential clients see you.


Investing in Knowledge


Young and ambitious translators often make the mistake of thinking that once they've got their degree, they know everything they need to know about translation. However, after several years in the industry, you'll see just how little you knew.

Many new translators end up having to make several concessions. Firstly, it'll be difficult to command the same salary as other translators who've been in the industry for a while. To circumvent this problem, you should invest your time gaining new translation skills. By improving your skill set, you'll find it easier offsetting any lack of experience.

Since you'll probably have more free time when looking for your first projects, you'll have a lot of time for personal development.

Using Technology


Time is money. If you want to work more effectively, you should use modern technology to help you translate more quickly. While older translators might be averse to using modern technology, younger translators probably already have a good understanding of the latest technology.

When it comes to translation, both speed and quality are hugely important and clients almost always ask for both. Using CAT tools can help you translate more quickly but you can also use technology to watch webinars and complete digital training programs.


Enjoying Translation


You should enjoy your work. Of course, there'll be hard times when you're only thinking about your paycheck, you'll doubt that you made the right decision, and you'll start thinking you've chosen the wrong career. Translation is tough and it can be so mentally draining that you can start feeling trained after spending just five hours translating. Make sure you rest as much as possible.

Make sure that you keep developing your translation skills at time like these. They'll come in handy when things get difficult.

Jeff Blaylock is a freelance writer and translator who's worked for customwriting.com for five years. He's a passionate traveler who loves nature. He loves spending time in libraries and learning new things.

Monday, March 5, 2018

7 Hacks on How to Quickly Expand Vocabulary by Brandon Stanley

Learning a new language is a great achievement, and an awesome addition to your resume. Of course, it requires patience and a lot of hard-work, but the results are totally worth it. There are three main parts to language learning: speaking, understanding grammar, and building vocabulary. We're going to focus on the latter, because without building vocabulary, you won't be able to speak any language fluently. Therefore, I would say that vocabulary building is one of the most important parts of any language learning process.


Of course, we are not addressing only non-native speakers today. Native speakers can also expand their vocabulary. Having a poor range of words at hand can be very ineffective in the long term, especially if you are preparing for a demanding career which requires a lot of talking.


So, regardless of what your reasons for being here are, we will teach you some great tips on how to expand your vocabulary quickly!


1. Read and Write Down New Words


Reading is a great way to expand your vocabulary. Make time for it every day, and do not find excuses to interrupt this routine. If you are new to the language, find an easy book at first, and update your level as you go. If you are a native, try reading difficult books (since you are already used to using common vocabulary) or even specialized magazines.

When you don’t understand a particular word, look it up in the dictionary. Then, find a notebook, and write it down. Keep the notebook with you all the time, so you can write down new words whenever you need to.

2. Use Words in the Right Context


After you wrote the new words down, it's time to use them properly. Make sentences with them and find the right context. Google examples if you are not sure of a word’s usage. Read forums and get a full understanding of the word’s meaning. There are a lot of times when we use words that we don’t know to “sound fancy,” yet they don’t make any sense in the context. Avoid that by researching your words well!

3. Use Personal Examples


Specialists agree that using personal examples in sentences enhances your learning process. When your brain seizes a personal example, it will remember it better than when it seizes unfamiliar situations. For example, let’s say that you are trying to improve your English vocabulary. You encounter the word “aberration,” which means “the fact or an instance of deviating or being aberrant especially from a moral standard or normal state,” according to Merriam Webster Online Dictionary.

To enhance your learning process, you will use “aberration” in a personal example. For instance: “I was talking about spiritual journeys and mindfulness in a room full of conservatives. They might have perceived this as a personal aberration.”

4. Find Your Own Way of Storing New Information


“Not all people have the same capacities!” says Laura Kidman, a freelancer at Rush My Essay and former pedagogic assistant, “You need to find your own way of learning and storing new information.”

If your mind doesn't “fit the pattern,”, there's no need to feel worried about it. Be happy that you are different from the rest. For some people, associating words with visual images is the best way to remember vocabulary. For others, associating sounds with new words make them recollect what they’ve learned. Find you own way and start learning!

5. Ask Someone to Help You Practice


All you need is someone to help you practice. Ask a friend or a family member to go through the new vocabulary with you. Make them ask you random words. Then take the words and use them in sentences again. Try to make up different examples to the ones you already have.

6. Play Some Games


Playing Scrabble or Hangman is an interactive way of learning and practicing new vocabulary. Gather your friends together and have some fun! Learning is more entertaining when there are more people involved in the process! 

7. Watch Movies


Another great method of building new vocabulary is watching movies with subtitles. Pause the movie whenever you see an unfamiliar word, look it up, write it down, make up a sentence, and play the movie again. At the end of the film, make other sentences using the new vocabulary, and try to remember in what context they were used in the movie.

Building vocabulary is an amazing way to develop your language skills and improve your patience! As I was saying earlier, it takes time and effort, but you can definitely do it. Read, write, speak, engage, master! You got this!

Brandon Stanley is a professional independent journalist. He is interested in writing articles on language learning and education. Brandon also loves traveling and playing the piano. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter. Looking forward to hearing back from you!

Monday, February 26, 2018

How to Know When You're Ready to Curse in a Foreign Language by Olivia Ryan

People say you don’t know a foreign language unless you know to swear in it. As a matter of fact, swearing in a foreign language has become such a joy to many learners, some teachers will dedicate a class to it. While this may sound terribly wrong to some people, a course on the subject could actually be a good idea.

You've probably already met someone whose only knowledge of a foreign language is limited to a couple of swear words. This is one of the most interesting aspects of a language to many, but should they really learn it before they learn anything else?

The answer is no. Knowing how to swear is not something you should be really proud of, but knowing how to curse correctly is a certain achievement for some language learners. After all, this is a part of every language, and mastering the swearing can be as equally fulfilling as mastering any other part of the language.

While you may know a few swear words in a foreign language, you mightn't know how to swear until you have a certain level of knowledge of that language. You'll probably try to shoehorn these words into sentences and end up making no sense whatsoever. You may end up saying something you don't mean and causing offence, especially given that swearing is already offensive by nature. Using the wrong swear words at the wrong time can get you into serious trouble.

There is a fine line between using foreign language swear words and simply rambling words you learned along the way. You're ready to start swearing in a foreign language when:

1. People Don’t Slow Down in their Language to Help You Understand Them


At the beginning of your foreign language learning, you probably noticed how people slow down their speech intentionally to help you keep up. Even if you don’t ask people to do this, they will probably adjust their speech because you look scared and confused look and constantly ask them to repeat what they said.

When you finally get to the needed level of fluency, people will stop doing such modifications for you.

2. You Understand Their Humour


Everyone knows that humour doesn't translate. Only a person with solid knowledge in a language can start understanding the humour of said language, and this is a result of knowledge of both the speakers’ culture and speech.

Can you understand the comedy in the language, or do you still need someone to explain the jokes to you?

As soon as you understand the punch lines and jokes, you're one step closer to swearing. You should be proud of yourself – understanding humour is a great achievement for any foreign language learner.

3.  You Can Eavesdrop on Other People’s Conversations in the Foreign Language


Yes, it is not a good thing to do, but we all do it. When you finally find a person who speaks the language you are dedicated to learning, your instincts will probably make you eavesdrop, at least a little. It's hard not to get lost in someone else's conversation if you're trying to learn their language.

4. You Can Correct Your Own Mistakes


Being fluent in a foreign language does not make you a native speaker. You are bound to make mistakes from time to time.

The difference between a beginner and an advanced speaker is that the latter doesn't need others to to tell them when they make a mistake. If you can correct your mistakes as and when you make them, you're well on your way.

5. You No Longer Actively Focus on the Language


In the beginning of your learning adventures, you probably focused on the language a lot. New learners focus intently the language they're learning and try to grasp all the rules and understand how other speakers form their thoughts.

When you get to a phase where you are fluent in a language, everything will become second nature to you and you won't pay as much attention as you did when you first started.

6. You Know the Swear Words and How to Use Them


Many native speakers will be willing to teach you a few curse words if you are a foreigner. Just because you've heard them, it doesn't mean you can immediately start using them. Don't start cursing until you're comfortable with how they're used so you don't end up offending anybody.

Additionally, you don’t have to use swear words to know them. These are a part of a foreign language, and as any other part, they are worth learning, even if it's just to know when not to use them!

Olivia is an incurable optimist who always sees the glass as half-full. She likes nature, knows how to enjoy silence, and writes for various websites including Aussie Writing Service. Meet her on Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, February 19, 2018

How to Use Music to Improve Your Foreign Language Skills by Irina Ponomareva

Listening to songs is one of the most common exercises for those learning foreign languages and also one of the most popular. Here are some of the most common reasons why.


1. Music Stimulates our Memory



Have you ever noticed how easy it is to learn a song by heart?

It is, in fact, much easier to learn a song in a foreign language than simply trying to memorize the words from a dictionary or from your notebook, even if the language in question is very new to you. Some teachers start introducing their students to songs starting as early as at the second lesson - and it works!


Songs learned this way will stay with you for years, even if you abandon the language, and you will still be able to reproduce them from memory long after the rest of the words and all the grammar is gone. Even a poem would be easier to forget. But when we listen to a song - or, better still, singing ourselves, - the words and their meaning get firmly associated with the music and so stay in our memory.

2. Everyone  Loves Music


We all have our favorite genres and singers, and while tastes vary from person to person, one thing stays the same: listening to the music we love is one of the strongest pleasures known to human beings. No one will deny that it is a lot nicer than trying to memorize the table of irregular verbs from a textbook. And what is enjoyable is in most cases much more effective than something we do under pressure and therefore hate.

We don’t even mind listening to the same song hundreds (literally) of times if we like it and, if singing is among our hobbies, we will also sing it multiple times. And repetition is one of the keys to successful language learning: the more times we repeat an unknown word or phrase, the better we will remember it.

3. Lyrics don’t really have to be primitive


It depends on the poet really. Some lyrics even contain subjunctives, one of the trickiest parts of the grammar of all Romance languages. Trying to learn those from a textbook is sheer waste of time for the majority of language learners. It is much more effective to get used them in the correct context, and songs are perfect for that purpose - along with books, of course.

What next?


Once you have decided to add songs to your daily language learning activities, the question will be how to use them most effectively. If you just listen to your carefully-chosen playlist over and over again in the office while doing your work, it can help a little too - your subconscious will pick up bits and pieces - but when you are consciously working on the language as such, this just won’t do. The point is to try and understand as much as possible, whether by listening or by looking at the lyrics, and then to look up all the new words and to note the syntactic constructs you hadn’t encountered before. At the next stage you might want to repeat the song after the record. If you don’t feel good about your singing skills, speaking to the music will do, though really, who cares? It’s just language learning!


Other Things to Consider


Unless the language you are learning is a tonal language, singing can be of a huge benefit for your pronunciation, but with tonal languages you have to be careful. Music usually overrides the tones, which you should take into account.

If you have found the lyrics in Google, make sure you proofread them before using them, or ask someone to do it for you. Lyrics published online are often as full of errors as an average social network post. 

I just have to mention a recent - and somewhat hilarious - occurrence in connection with learning languages through music. In a linguistic forum a new member posted to a thread discussing this very topic, averring that learning languages from lyrics was not a good idea, because modern music tends to be obscene. According to this member’s information, a language learner was actually beaten for repeating some lyrics without understanding them.

I read the post several times not believing my eyes. My daily playlist consists mainly of Classical Crossover masterpieces sung by Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, Il Divo, Il Volo and many other famous soloists and groups - and that is modern music too. I tried imagining any of these people singing something - in any language - for which I or another person could possibly be beaten. Tried and failed.

The forum member was soon told off by a moderator for making such unfounded sweeping statements. And yet I thought to myself that if I ever write an article on the topic, it would be only fair to address this concern and to add a couple of warnings.

Firstly, if your favorite musical genre tends to come with obscene lyrics, perhaps you should reconsider your tastes, at least temporarily, for the purpose of learning a language. But, if you can’t imagine doing so, then you should be aware of the possible consequences of your choice and take full responsibility for them. Secondly, it’s a bad idea anyway to utter words you don’t understand. If you are unsure of the meaning of a certain expression, you should definitely look it up before actually using it in a live conversation with tough-looking guys.

Additional Benefits


With all the above precautions in mind, music should be a great addition to your language-learning routines. At the early stages, you might find it hard to understand the lyrics, and help from your teacher might be called for, but about half-way between A2 and B1 you should be ready to do it yourself - and benefit from it. At the start you might prefer slow songs, because then the lyrics will be easier to understand without a printed text, but as your command of the language advances, you’ll find yourself moving on to faster stuff. Thus, apart from improving your language skills you will be able to track them, too, by using the kind of music you are listening to as a kind of an improvised gauge.

Finally, the so-called language core - the control center of the language that forms in our brain as we proceed - will be greatly stimulated by listening to songs. The language core is all about the neural connections, in fact, and the stronger it becomes, the more intuitive you get with your target language and the harder it will be to lose it later. 

Irina Ponomareva is a long-time language enthusiast from Russia. Having spent a significant part of her life learning English, she then decided that it would be cool to become a real polyglot and added several other languages to her daily learning routine. During the day she is a technical writer in a large IT company, but after hours she also collaborates with an online linguistic school called Lingostan as a web copywriter.