Monday, December 17, 2018

7 Mistakes Language Learners Make and How to Avoid Them by Sara Williams

Learning a language is never simple and most people consider it a challenge. To get started, many people go on the web and read articles on how to succeed in language learning and then try to discover the best methods.

That's all well and fine, but can any anyone explain why such a significant number of language learning students don't achieve what they set out to do?

Why do they continue making the same language-learning mistakes again and again until the point that they, in the long run, give up?

What are these common mistakes that stop language learners achieving their objective?

Here are seven of the worst language learning mistakes and how you can stay away from them.

Setting Unrealistic Goals

One of the most widely recognized language-learning errors is trying to achieve an objective too quickly.

Making a few mistakes can severely hinder your chance of learning a foreign language. Think of learning a foreign language more like a marathon than a sprint. Persevere, research what you need to accomplish, and carefully consider how long it'll take you.

Train each day by making little strides nearer to your objective.

Using Only One Learning Method

Language learning mistakes are more common when you depend on only one learning technique.

There are plenty of ways to learn a language. Some people adapt their own strategies while others pick structured textbooks. You can also look for online mentors for help. Every one of these methodologies is fine, yet it would be a major mistake to only use one of them.

Since learning languages involves so many different skills to master, reading, writing, speaking, and listening, it makes sense to vary your learning approaches.

Avoiding Speaking

Even the most confident people can get nervous when it comes to speaking their new language. You can't just memorize lists of words. The more you talk, the quicker you learn. 

Not Listening Carefully

Before you can write or speak a language, you'll need to read and listen to your new language.

Music, films, TV shows, and digital broadcasts in the target language should be your new favorite resources when learning a language. Tune in as regularly as you can to media in your new language...

Not Adapting Your Learning Approaches

Not every technique will work for everyone. Pursue your interests while taking in a language to abstain from committing a similar language learning errors over once more.

Do you like cooking?

Learn local recipes.

Are you learning a language for work?

Adjust your learning to suit the field you work in.


When learning a foreign language, make sure that you understand it as it's spoken by natives. listen to local speakers and take on board when they explain how to use their languages,

Studying at the Wrong Level

One mistake you can make is thinking that the harder a course is, the better it is. At the end of the day, you should learn at a level that suits you. Don't make your learning process a nightmare.

Learning a language is very important in our globalized world. Although we now have access to many different sources, language learning is a challenge that many people still face.

Sara Williams is an editor, journalist, writer from San Jose. She likes to read the classics, travel, yoga. She spends almost all her free time reading. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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).


  • 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.


  • 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 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.


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 backpacking enthusiast. She managed to backpack across Australia in a few short weeks. She came back to her hometown of Albany, where she shares her experiences with the locals, on top of helping out at the local homeless shelter. Emily has her own website Elizabethanauthors, where she writes about authors and their works.

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?


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 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. 

Monday, February 12, 2018

5 Tips for Learning 5 Languages by Warren Fowler

Five years ago, I was just an ordinary guy from Milwaukee, there was nothing special about me. I was your random guy with a random job.

I can’t remember the exact day when things changed since the growth was a rather lengthy process. In fact, it’s still going on. I can, however, remember the decision that made me change. After a boring Sunday, I started thinking about my life.

Languages – The Way Out of Boredom

“So this doesn’t work. I have to change something. I want a more exciting life. To get it, I need to become a more exciting person.” I brainstormed for some solutions and I came up with three alternatives:

  • Meet more people
  • Travel through European countries
  • Learn languages        

The goal of learning languages seemed like the most exciting one at that moment. I could start doing that right away. Plus, meeting this goal would help me meet the other two goals on my list. When I know more languages, I’ll meet more people and go to Europe and I’ll speak the languages there.

So what did I decide to do? I set a clear goal: learn 5 languages.

I focused on English, German, French, Italian, and Spanish. I had to learn more about English, too. Although it’s my native language, I wasn’t a master of grammar. Without knowing the grammar of your own language, you can’t even think about mastering the grammar of a foreign one.

This journey started 5 years ago and I'm still on it today. I can safely say that I’m relatively fluent in all these languages today. Since everything revolves around the number five in this article, I’ll present you with 5 steps to learning 5 different languages!

1. Learn Your Native Language First

So you want to join the polyglot club? Good for you!

But how well do you know your own language? You can speak it, that’s for sure. You can probably identify the noun, pronoun, adjective, verb, preposition, and other main concepts in a sentence. But do this test right now: can you instantly define key grammar concepts such as interjections, conjunctions, subjunctive mood, pronoun-antecedent, transitive and intransitive verbs, and all verb tenses?

While we learned all these things at school, somewhere along the way, we stopped paying attention to grammar. When you stop worrying about these concepts because you didn't have any more tests to take, your language skills started degrading.

While grammar is important, you’ll focus mainly on the conversational elements of foreign languages when you start learning them. However, grammar is an inevitable part of all conversations and you’ll have to go through a few lessons of it whether you like it or not. When you can clearly understand all grammar concepts of your native language, the learning process will be much smoother.

The good news is that it’s easy to brush up on your native language skills. It took me only a month of intensive learning and practice. I used The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation and Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips. Take a look at those tips and you’ll soon realize that grammar is practically endless. There are so many concepts we’ve forgotten about, and so many more we never knew about.

You don’t have to learn everything. You won’t be getting a degree in your native language, unless that’s what you want to. It’s just important to focus on the major grammar concepts. Pick few resources in your native language and start your journey!

2. Make Language Learning Part of Your Daily Life

You want to turn this into a habit or you’ll soon be back to your old ways. You’ll learn something new every single day. With no exceptions! With apps like Duolingo and Rosetta Stone, learning takes less than half an hour a day.

But you’ll have to make a plan. I decided that starting to learn several foreign languages at once was a bit too much. This is the structure I gave to my learning process:

  • First, I grouped the languages. French, Italian, and Spanish belong to the Latin language branch, and German belongs to the Germanic language branch, just as English.
  • With German being the closest one to English, I started with it. I was learning German quite intensively for an entire year.
  • When I got the feeling that I was getting more fluent in German, I started with another language - French. I kept learning German, but I kept my daily lessons to half hour a day, and I devoted an entire hour to French. I kept this going for nine months.
  • Then, I was ready to add another language - Italian. I was still learning German and French for 40 minutes a day, and I added a whole hour for Italian.
  • After nine months, I added Spanish to my daily learning routine. I was practicing German, French, and Italian for an hour per day, and Spanish for another hour. I broke up these learning sessions throughout the day, so I wouldn’t have to process too much information at once.

This method worked for me. I highly recommend you to structure your own method and stick to it. The point is in consistency.

3. Keep a Language Journal

Writing practice is crucially important for mastering a language. It helps you expand your vocabulary and make sense of the grammar rules you’re going through. It’s important to write as much as possible.

In your language journal, you can write about the new things you learned. However, I also recommend writing a small random text on any prompt. Write about something that inspires you.

You’ll start with the first language on your list, and then you’ll start creating short daily entries on multiple languages.

Keeping a journal not only helps you practice, but it also helps you track your progress. While you’ll only write one to three sentences at first, you’ll be writing more and more soon enough.

If you feel that you’ve achieved a decent level of language skills, you may even start a blog and share your daily entries with other learners.

4. Watch Videos and Listen to the Radio

Teachers and online guides will keep telling you the same thing: immersion is the most effective way of learning. When you surround yourself with the language, you have no other choice but to learn it.

However, immersion isn't also as achievable as you'd think. I couldn’t go to Germany for an entire year to learn the language and then spend three years in France, Italy, and Spain. There was something I could do: start watching videos with native speakers.

YouTube is full of reviews and other types of videos in any language. Just start watching! Find a TV show in your target language and start watching it.

Listen to radio! Online services like Internet Radio and Radio Garden give you access to radio stations from all around the world. Find a station from your target country and listen to it. You can listen to music and native speakers.

5. Find Language Partners

Here’s another way to immerse yourself even when you’re not able to travel: find online language partners. Just search Facebook and you’ll easily find groups of people from your target country who are willing to learn your native language. Join those groups and become part of the conversation. With time, you’ll become closer with some of the members and you can ask them if they would like to keep practicing through conference calls.

For me, Facebook was the easiest and most effective way to find language partners. These people were also looking for someone to help them with the learning process, so we gained mutual benefits. 
If you’re too shy for making connections via social media, you could try a specialized platform that will immediately team you up with a suitable language partner.

Remember: This is a Long-Term Commitment

My language learning experience improved many aspects of my life. First of all, I stopped being bored, I met interesting people, and I finally started traveling.

I also realized that language learning is a lifelong journey, and I made that commitment. Are you ready to make it, too?

Warren is a marketing enthusiast and a blogger at BestEssays who loves music. If he doesn’t have a guitar in his hands, he’s probably embracing new technologies and marketing techniques online! You can meet him on Twitter and Facebook.