Monday, April 13, 2020

3 Easy Foreign Languages to Learn by Finnegan Pierson

The easiest languages to learn are the ones you'll get to use the most. If your partner, roommates, friends, co-workers or family speak a certain foreign language, it'll be easier to learn.

Similarly, having a job where you communicate regularly in a foreign language will help, too. So does studying with a group of language learners who are hoping to travel to another country as they'll make great people to practice with. Generally, the most important thing is that you have a lot of opportunities to practise your new languages.

If that isn't the case, here are three languages on the easier side of things.

Easy Languages to Learn

Spanish, Portuguese and French are three languages that regularly appear in studies as the easiest for English speakers to learn.

Spanish, for example, uses the same alphabet English alphabet (barring a few accented letters) and it has only a few grammatical irregularities.

Portuguese, which shares many similarities with Spanish, also has a lot of common ground with English.

The English vocabulary includes tonnes of French words, words of French origin, or words that found their way to us from other languages via French. Furthermore, it uses the same alphabet and, as a Romance language, shares a lot of similarities with Spanish and Portuguese.


Spanish is spoken by 14 million people in the United States. If you live in the US, then you will probably know someone who speaks perfect Spanish. After all, a large percentage of the Spanish-speaking community speaks both Spanish and English fluently.

You can also find a lot of resources for learning Spanish as well as apps and games like Duolingo to get you started.

How Similar to English is Spanish?

Compare these English words: Liberty, dentist, artist, famous, democracy, and photo to the Spanish words: libertad, dentista, artista, famosa, democracia, and foto.

See how similar they are in sound and spelling?

While this is just a small exmaple,  many words could be included in examples like this.

Comparing English to Portuguese

To learn a language like Portuguese, you'll be happy to know that it is one of the most spoken languages in the world. Portuguese is the ninth most spoken language in the world.

Where is Portuguese Spoken?

Portuguese, as you could probably guess, was originally spoken in just Portugal. When Portuguese explorers went to South America in the 16th century, they brought their language with them.

In Brazil, Portuguese is spoken as the native language. It is also spoken in as a secondary language in parts of Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.

The Portuguese also colonised West Africa in the 16th century. African countries that also speak Portuguese include Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, São Tomé, and Equatorial Guinea.

There are parts of India and East Asia that were also introduced to Portuguese through colonisation. East Timor also has a tiny Portuguese-speaking community.

It won't be too hard to find someone else who wants to study and practise speaking Portuguese.

Learning French

Many English speakers are technically already familiar with a lot of French vocabulary. Under Norman rule, a lot of French vocabulary made their way into the English language.

Here are some French words already used in the English language:

  • Fiancé
  • Déjà-Vu
  • Mirage
  • Façade
  • Pot-pourri
  • Hors d’œuvre
  • Cul-de-Sac
  • Matinée
  • Coup-de-Grâce
  • Encore
  • Souvenir
  • Avant-Garde
  • Touché
  • Risqué

French and Spanish are quite similar, so if you grasp Spanish, you'll be able to learn French.

For example, uno, dos, tres in Spanish is un, deux, trois in French. Of course, the main problem will be confusing the two. Make the most of French culture, go to French restaurants and practice ordering the food or find someone from practice with a French-speaking person from France, Belgium, Switzerland, or Canada, for example.

Learning a language is a great experience and can help you to see new cultures, meet new people, and provide a boost to your career. Anybody who has learned a second language will tell you; you won't regret it.

Finnegan Pierson loves languages and has a passion for different cultures, and writing. As a freelance writer, Finn hopes to influence others to enjoy cultures and be inspired to learn other languages. He is fluent in English and Spanish.

Monday, April 6, 2020

The Positive Effects Learning a Second Language Can Have On Your Mind by Luke Smith

Learning a second language is a challenge at any age, but it can be especially difficult for adults. Being bilingual means that you have to think and process multiple languages simultaneously, and that kind of cognitive agility and plasticity gets tougher as you get older — ask anyone over the age of 40!

But the fact is that learning a second language brings with it a range of benefits that make the effort worthwhile. These benefits range from delaying cognitive decline and decreasing the risk of dementia to using that second language to up an array of professional and personal opportunities.

A Change of Mind

One of the most significant and exciting benefits of learning a second language is the vast and often life-long benefits to your brain. Studies show that bilingual people tend to be more cognitively adaptable. They can easily and quickly switch between tasks or tackle multiple tasks at once.

This is because becoming bilingual, by definition, requires you to move deftly between multiple languages to understand and to make yourself understood. That kind of cognitive agility helps you not only when you are a child or young adult, either, as studies show that people who speak more than one language tend to retain their mental sharpness well into old age. Bilingual people with Alzheimer's show their first symptoms an average of five years later than patients who speak only one language.

Multiple Benefits

When you're learning a second language, you're not just honing your ability to move seamlessly between two languages. You're also developing skills that can come in handy in other areas of your life, both at work and home. For one thing, studying a second language requires you to become a master of details. You have to refine your powers of observation, noticing those little nuances that make the language work.

Not only that, but you're also going to get quite good at problem-solving. Because, as anyone who has ever learned a second language knows, becoming bilingual is about more than substituting words in one language for words in another. It's about figuring out how to use not only the vocabulary of the second language but also its systems of grammar and syntax, to both make meaning and express it. And that requires a strong ability to problem-solve.

As you're learning the nuances of a second language, as strange as it may seem, you're also going to be learning about your mother tongue. For many of us, our native language is second nature. We learn it primarily through exposure, habit, and mimicry.

But, outside of our language arts classes in school, we rarely have an opportunity to study our native language or think about how it works. That also means that we're often reproducing errors that we've heard all our lives but never realized were incorrect until exposure to the second language required us to develop a deeper and better understanding of our first.

Expanding Horizons

There's no doubt about it, we live in an increasingly globalized world. Learning a second language is going to help you participate in that world. For instance, if you are one of the rapidly growing numbers of remote workers worldwide, you're no longer limited by geographic boundaries or physical distance. Your clients and partners can be located anywhere in the world. Speaking multiple languages allows you to vastly expand the possibilities of the remote work you do, the people you partner with, and the clients you serve.

But it's not just remote workers who can benefit professionally from speaking a second language. If English isn't your first language, for example, studying it as a second language can open up the world of business, no matter where you might be located because, increasingly, English is being chosen as the lingua franca of international business. 

Best of all, if you can speak more than one language, that simply increases your chances for new adventures. You'll be able to travel more widely and do it with more skill, confidence, and enjoyment. It'll also open up more opportunities to meet new and different people, experience different cultures, and more — and increased socialization, in any form, is known to have health benefits, too.

The Takeaway

Being bilingual is more than an impressive party trick to perform in front of your monolingual friends. Learning a second language provides important cognitive benefits that will extend throughout your whole life.

You will become more mentally agile and adaptable. You'll hone your multitasking and problem-solving skills. You'll develop your observational skills and become a master of fine details. And you'll even get better at speaking and writing in your mother tongue. Learning a second language can also help you ward off the effects of dementia and Alzheimer's. You'll retain your mental acuity longer.

Bilingualism can also open up an entire world of personal and professional opportunities. Whether you dream of jetting off on new adventures by traveling internationally, or you are looking to grow your business by going global, speaking multiple languages opens the world to you, your family, and your business.

Luke Smith is a writer and researcher turned blogger. Since finishing college he is trying his hand at being a freelance writer. He enjoys writing on a variety of topics but linguistics topics are his favorite. When he isn't writing you can find him traveling, hiking, or gaming.

Monday, March 30, 2020

5 Alternative Careers to Professional Translation during the COVID-19 Pandemic by Ofer Tirosh

The global language services industry has grown from a value of US$23.5 billion in 2009 to $46.9 billion in 2019. Statista projects that it will reach a value of $56.18 billion by 2021. As such, there are plenty of opportunities to make money based on speaking more than one language. That doesn’t necessarily mean providing professional translation services; a wide range of jobs exist that allow you to use your language skills every day. Here are five examples to get you thinking. 

Medical translator and interpreter 

Medical translator jobs and medical interpreter jobs are another excellent choice for those looking to work with languages but in an alternative career to translation. And with the world currently in the grip of the coronavirus pandemic, there is an unprecedented need for medical facts and discoveries to be shared between countries swiftly and accurately. This is important both for monitoring COVID-19 and in the race to find a vaccine. 

A medical translator converts documents of a medical nature from one language to another. These could be anything from research papers to individual medical histories. 

A medical interpreter interprets between medical professionals and their patients. A medical interpreter could also interpret

between one healthcare professional and another, for example as a means of sharing medical best practice between countries. 

Medical interpretation is a highly skilled job, requiring the interpreter to have an in-depth knowledge of a huge range of medical terminology. It’s a role that can be incredibly emotionally demanding as well. Could you face delivering the news to a patient that they have a life-limiting illness? 

On the flip side, working as a medical interpreter can also be immensely rewarding, as your work can contribute both to individual patients’ experience of the healthcare system and to the ‘greater good.’

Video game tester

A video game tester career is an interesting choice for those who speak multiple languages. What does a video game tester do? Tests video games! Beta testing allows game developers to identify bugs and to ensure that games are appropriately localized for all of the countries/regions at which they are aimed. 

Let’s say you work as a Spanish translator. If you already undertake Spanish to English translation or English to Spanish translation, then you’re well-positioned to work with game developers who are looking to publish their game in both of these languages. Of course, a natural aptitude for and enjoyment of video games will also be a major plus point if you’re aiming for this kind of work! 

Multilingual content writer

If you’re looking for something less emotionally taxing than medical interpretation, then working as a multilingual content writer could be the role for you. You’ll need top-notch writing skills, of course, as well as the flexibility to turn your hand to everything from social media campaigns and blog posts to websites and white papers. 

Content marketing is big business. Statista reports that 12% of industry professionals publish six or more items of marketing content every week, while a further 24% published two to three pieces of content each week. Finding reliable clients with long-term content marketing strategies, therefore, presents a wealth of opportunities. 


How good are your typing skills? If you have an eye for detail and can work efficiently, then transcription is an excellent alternative career to professional translation. You can transcribe in your native language or your second language. 

One of the key benefits of working as a transcriptionist is that the setup costs are fairly minimal. Once you have a foot pedal and a laptop set up, you’re ready to start marketing your services – simple! 


If you speak two or more languages and want to share your passion for them as part of your career, then becoming a language teacher makes sense. You can teach online or offline, to children or adults, part-time or fulltime. This makes teaching a particularly flexible career choice, as you can fit it around any other commitments that you already have. 

If you’re planning to teach in schools, then you will need to undertake appropriate training. In many countries seeking to drive up teaching standards or struggling to deal with an understaffed education system, a ‘golden handshake’ means that you can receive payment for training, as well as learning the skills you need for your future career. 

Final thought: don’t forget about translation!

Many of the careers above can be considered either instead of working for a translation company or alongside such work. If you decide to stick with translation as well as adding an alternative career path to your CV, then go for a specialism. These vary enormously – as the examples below show. 

Legal translator

A legal translator converts legal documents from one language to another. Accuracy is of paramount importance. 

Literary translator

Literary translators spend their time converting novels, poetry, plays and the suchlike into other languages. 

Both of these translation disciplines include working with language but in quite different ways. As such, if you’re already working in translation and considering alternatives, remember to think about different kinds of translation too. Finding out how to become a certified Spanish translator, for example, could provide just the kind of new focus that you need, without a complete change of career. Just a thought! 

Ofer Tirosh is an entrepreneur and CEO of Tomedes, a language service provider specializing in professional translation and interpretation. 

Monday, March 23, 2020

The Benefits of Becoming a Polyglot by Alex Larsen

It today's multi-cultural world, everyone should be able to speak two or more languages. Learning a second (or even a third) language can improve your professional and private life.

As everyone's online in the digital era and talking to each other, you should consider learning another language and it's never been easier to do it online. There are plenty of free language learning platforms can help you do just that.

Knowing more than several languages comes with a few benefits.

More Job Opportunities

Plenty of businesses have gone global, meaning that they take care of the needs of people from countries all over the world. This means that they need to speak the same language as their customers.

International businesses are always looking for employees that know more than one language and this could be your chance for a new experience on a professional level.

If you're a translator, for example, you can find work with many multinational companies. Online casinos are one such field that has a huge demand for multilingual employees. For example, Casimba Casino's site includes several languages (English, Finnish, German, and Norwegian), which is something a translator or language service provider could help them with.

It's Good for Your Brain

Learning a new language can have several positive effects on your brain. The mental gymnastics required for learning a foreign language can keep your brain healthy and since there's no age limit for learning a new language, anyone of any age can enjoy the benefits.

Better Experiences when You Travel

Travelling abroad is a great way to meet new people and an even better way to practise your conversational skills in your foreign language. When travelling, there's a high chance that you can use your foreign languages skills with the locals or with other travellers who've also learnt the local language.

Similarly, in some cases, you'll find that you have your second language in common and can communicate with people through that.

You'll Learn Your First Language Better

As you learn another language, you'll begin to understand your first language more. Sometimes, you'll think of a word in your second or third language and in finding the equivalent in your mother tongue, you'll improve your vocabulary in both languages.

You'll Feel Better About Yourself

Grammar and pronunciation are sometimes hard to master but when you get the hang of it, you'll have a great feeling of pride. After all that practice, once you're able to speak with confidence, you'll also be more confident in yourself.

Alex is an article writer that covers a wide variety of topics including general interest, gambling, and technology news.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Which Foreign Language Should I Learn? by Vanessa Anderson

The world has become so connected that learning a foreign language has never been more important. With the advancement of technology, we can communicate with anyone anywhere. Foreign languages allow is to communicate with other cultures. So which foreign language should you learn?
Everyone will have their own reasons for learning a foreign language
and generally, being able to speak one or two foreign languages can help you get ahead.

Choosing which foreign language to speak might be decided by the number of native speakers throughout the world or how important it is in economic and political contexts. In the book “Ethnologist” by M. Paul Lewis, the ten most spoken native languages in the world are Chinese (Mandarin), Spanish, English, Arabic, Hindi, Bengali, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese and German.


Spanish is the second most spoken language around the globe with 400 million native speakers across 44 countries. It's the only language that is spoken natively across all the inhabited continents which makes it the most beneficial language to learn. If you want to do global business, Spanish is particularly useful in Spain and across Latin America. Similarly, there's the potential in other emerging Spanish-speaking markets. For example, 13% of the US speak Spanish as a first language and by 2050, it's set to become home to the largest number of Spanish speakers in the world.

Americans wanting to work in law, social services, and business could benefit from learning Spanish. In Europe and the US, Spanish is the most spoken language after English. It's also the third-most-common language online.

It's regularly considered a pretty good language to learn as it's easier to read and pronounce than French, for example. You can learn Spanish in places like Spain, Argentina, and Guatemala.

With around 600 hours of classroom time (less than six months) most learners can achieve a good level in Spanish.

You can use this language in developing markets in Argentina, Chile, Columbia as well as other markets in Central and South America.


If you're looking to give your career a boost, French could help. With over 290 million speakers, it's the fifth most spoken language worldwide.

French has become a global language over time and is the official language of 29 countries including France, Canada, Switzerland, Monaco, Luxembourg, and many nations in Africa. French is also the official language of NATO, the United Nations, the Olympics Games, the Red Cross, and many other global organizations.

According to a survey by, there will be around 750 million French speakers in the world by 2050 which could lead to it overtaking English and Mandarin.

Learning French can lead to opportunities in fields such as pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, aeronautics, energy production, and more.

French can be very beneficial for international careers as it can open business opportunities all over the francophonie.

With Spanish being the most commonly taught language in the US, learning French as a foreign language could give you an edge over other job seekers.

French is also often considered one of the easier languages for English speakers to learn.


China has a rapidly growing population and plays a huge role in the global economy, making learning the Chinese language incredibly helpful.

Chinese is not one language but it is a group of dialects, and this the official language of China and Taiwan, where it's called Standard Chinese. The most common of these dialects is Mandarin.

With 995 million native speakers, Chinese can open many doors in the world of business. Similarly, diplomatic and military professions tend to find a knowledge of Mandarin Chinese very useful.

Knowledge of Mandarin can give you an advantage over monolingual job candidates, too. Those who have competency in Mandarin have a competitive advantage over their monolingual corresponding fellows.

While Mandarin might seem quite difficult, the grammar, conjugation, and tenses tend to be simpler than some other common languages.

It's expected that China will take over the United States in terms of GDP by 2028. The best places to learn Chinese languages are China, Taiwan, and Singapore.


In terms of native speakers, German is the most common language in Europe. It is mostly spoken in Germany, Austria and the large parts of Switzerland. Germany is an academic, political, and economic hub, making German a great language to learn if you're interested in any of these fields.

Furthermore, Germany is an important trade partner for many countries so if you're looking a career in trade, you should start learning German immediately.

To be proficient in the German language, you'll probably need to spend around 900 classroom hours studying. The most popular places to learn German are Germany and Austria.


According to the British Council, Arabic is the 5th most important language in the world. Arabic can provide opportunities in both the public and private sectors.

Arabic is a macrolanguage that's made up several related dialects. Speaking the Arabic language can provide plenty of opportunities for work and travel and across several different businesses and industries.

Since the Arab-speaking region is considered to be the richest linguistic region with a GDP of $600B, learning Arabic is a great way to gain access to many markets. A survey by the US Foreign Service Institute shows that Arabic is one of the most difficult foreign languages for English speakers to learn and you will need around 88 weeks of class time to become competent speaker of it.

Learning a new language is a great investment and speaking a foreign language can do wonders for your career. This is why many big businesses get professional translation services, particularly into Chinese, in order to expand into different global markets.

Vanessa Anderson is an enthusiastic creative writer. In addition to writing for multiple foreign corporations, she enjoys writing poems on current social issues.

Monday, February 17, 2020

8 Mistakes People Should Stop Making When Learning a New Language by Aimee Laurence

Learning a new language can be an incredibly tough challenge, but also very rewarding if you keep up with it. Here are some things to avoid doing while learning your target language, as they can affect your motivation and overall performance.

1. Freaking out about mistakes

Many people, when starting to learn a new language, avoid using it because they are afraid of making mistakes, but this approach is not at all beneficial. Making mistakes is all part of the process of learning, and errors are actually an essential part of it.

There is no point in panicking once you make a mistake; you should learn from it as quickly as possible. If you avoid practice because you worry about being perfect, you'll not be able to progress. It's important to relax and acknowledge that you are only at the start of your journey and that these mistakes can only help you gain experience.

2. Getting frustrated about pronunciation

It is very easy to let yourself feel overwhelmed with pronunciation in your target language. There are between 300 and 600 different possible sounds and every language has its own unique phonemic inventory. Not getting it right from the very beginning is no reason to get frustrated or lose confidence.

It is important to identify the rules you have the most trouble with learning and focus on them. At first, you have a bit of work to do to adjust your mouth and tongue to the target language's unique sounds, but with time muscle memory will help you start to pronounce them correctly.

3. Not starting with the way a language sounds

When starting to learn a new language, everybody wants to delve into reading and writing right away, but that is not always the right way to go. Instead, start with the way the language sounds first. Verbal exercises will help you, even if you are only pronouncing a few basic words and phrases.

4. Focusing too much on grammar

Every language has complex grammar rules, and it's easy to get tangled up in them. Many people make the mistake of focusing too much on the grammar they find difficult, which can be discouraging.

It's important to remember that all languages have easy aspects to them as well, and if you feel overwhelmed, you can always just focus on them. Any practice is valuable, even if it seems "too easy".

“[E]ven the hardest features of language have ways in which they can be simplified. By knowing the simplest, core grammar, you will be able to recognize elements from them when they are used in harder structures," says Brian Oliver, an educator at Assignment Service and OXEssays.

5. Focusing on the wrong vocabulary

Contrary to what you might believe, starting with endless lists of vocabulary isn't the way to go when learning a language. Ideally, you should start slowly, with a strong base of words that are useful in day to day life, such as numbers, colours, days of the week, food and family members. By knowing the core phrases and words, you can start practising speaking right away.

“[L]earning vocabulary is more effective when you choose words that are relevant to you and your life. Because of this, starting off with a list of words related to your hobbies, hometown and life will help you be able to speak to people right away about the stuff that is specific to you," says Diana Simpson, a tutor at Australianhelp and BoomEssays.

6. Getting too frustrated listening to natives

As a beginner, one of the most frustrating things when watching a video in your target language is listening to the fast, complex speech of natives and not being able to understand everything. However, simply listening to them can help you improve in many areas such as grammar, pronunciation, and broadening your vocabulary. Even if you may not be able to follow the speech of a native from the start, there are many tools to help you, such as subtitles.

7. Using textbooks instead of immersion

Another common mistake is using textbooks too much instead of other methods of immersion, such as listening to the radio, watching TV, reading articles online, all in your target language. Immersing yourself in the current culture will give you great insight into how people actually use their language, instead of what's "grammatically correct".

8. Not having enough patience

Language learning is a task that involves a lot of time and commitment. Many people tend to be intimidated by this, but it's important to have patience with it. Just like with any other skill, you will only get better with practice, and a lot of trial and error.

Overall, keep in mind that even making these mistakes does not mean you won't be able to learn a language. Everybody learns languages for different reasons, but you can always learn to adapt your behaviour for better results.

Aimee Laurence is a writer and language tutor specialized in topics related to education. She works at BoomEssays and UK Writings, and you can find her work on Essayroo as well.

Monday, February 10, 2020

How And Why To Paraphrase Text By Using Back-Translation by Beatrice Beard

It can be a real chore having to paraphrase a block of text. Reading and paraphrasing text takes a good amount of time and often requires the help of a thesaurus to guide you through the changes.

There are lots of reasons that you might want to paraphrase text and it's becoming an increasingly important job as content development has become more and more important online. There are also more nefarious reasons (like wanting to take someone else's writing) but there are plenty of interesting reasons as to why you need to get the job done. 

Given that it's tedious doing it by hand, how can get it done more easily? Through back-translating. 

Let's take a look at how that works.

The Back Translating Process

The process of back translating involves Google's 'Translate' tool, traditionally used for giving translations into one of the over 100 languages that Google offers. "The process is a three-part one, that is very simple and only takes a matter of seconds initially and will speed up your paraphrasing job", explains Chloe Calhoun, writer at WriteMyx and BritStudent.

Step 1: Take whatever the piece of text is that you want to paraphrase and put it into Google Translate. Make sure that it isn’t too long. Google Translate has a 5000 character limit so make sure that your block of text fits in with that. 

Step 2: Translate the text into a foreign language. Ideally, choose one that is noticeably dissimilar to English. Try languages with non-Roman alphabets, or which are simply very different from English. I find that Korean, Irish and Russian are all quite effective languages.

Step 3: Translate the resulting foreign text back into English. The text you are left with will be similar to the original but have some noticeable differences between individual words and turns of phrase.

There you have it, a nice and convenient way to paraphrase text and come up with something similar but different. The work of only a few minutes.

Why Back-Translate Text?

There can be many different reasons that you might want to perform this process and everyone will have a particular desire for having back-translated paraphrased text.

Having the meaning preserved across lots of subtly different texts can be useful for data scientists who need large swathes of textual data to experiment on. This sort of 'multiplying' effect can be useful for lots of other areas as well but will depend on the individual.

“People do try and use back-translating as a method for plagiarizing work. A word of warning if this is you. If you are using it for anything where that is expressly discouraged, you will almost certainly get caught”, says Laura Park, lingua blogger at 1Day2Write and NextCoursework. It won't fool anyone who is on the lookout for it, so it is not recommended. Furthermore, plagiarizing, in general, isn't recommended. Just write it yourself, it shouldn't be too complex.

Another reason to back-translate is to compare translations and refine the meaning. The way that a back translation will take on synonyms and offer alternative turns of phrase is a really interesting way to look at improving and sharpening translation. You can back translate into different languages or the same language multiple times and you will keep landing on different versions of the same text. It gives you a new way to look at language and translation. You can also compare the translations given to the same piece of English text by different languages which can be useful for anyone involved in linguistics to make interesting judgements about the nature of the different languages that are being tested. This can be a really interesting process that can teach a lot.

Hopefully, this article will help you next time you need to paraphrase text for whatever reason that you might have. It's not in the least bit complicated and we should be grateful that such a useful tool is so readily available to us for our use.

Beatrice is a professional copywriter at OriginWritings and AcademicBrits specializing in academic literature. She is considered a wonderful resource in her work at PhdKingdom, where she advises beginner writers uncovering all the peculiarities of creating content that sells.