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    The new dark ages

     

    When I was growing up in a slum in Israel, I devoutly believed that knowledge and education will set me free and catapult me from my miserable circumstances into a glamorous world of happy learning. But now, as an adult, I find myself in an alien universe where functional literacy is non-existent even in developed countries, where "culture" means merely sports and music, where science is decried as evil and feared by increasingly hostile and aggressive masses, and where irrationality in all its forms (religiosity, the occult, conspiracy theories) flourishes. The few real scholars and intellectuals left are on the retreat, back into the ivory towers of a century ago. Increasingly, their place is taken by self-taught "experts", narcissistic bloggers, wannabe "authors" and "auteurs", and partisan promoters of (often self-beneficial) "causes". Dismal results ensue: the Wikipedia "encyclopedia" is "edited" by anonymous users with unlimited access to its contents and no credentials; fads like environmentalism and alternative "medicine" spread malignantly and seek to silence dissidents, sometimes by violent means; the fare served by the media now consists exclusively of soap operas and reality TV shows; Reading is on terminal decline; with few exceptions, the "new media" are a hodgepodge of sectarian view and fabricated "news"; the few credible sources of reliable information have long been drowned in a cacophony of fakes and phonies. It is a sad mockery of the idea of progress. The more texts we make available online, the more research is published, the more books are written - the less educated people are, the more they rely on visuals and sounds rather than the written word, the more they seek to escape and be anesthetized rather than be challenged and provoked. Even the ever-sliming minority who do wish to be enlightened are inundated by a suffocating and unmanageable avalanche of indiscriminate data, comprised of both real and pseudo-science. There is no way to tell the two apart, so a "democracy of knowledge" reins where everyone is equally qualified and everything goes and is equally merited. This relativism is dooming the twenty-first century to become the beginning of a new "Dark Age", hopefully a mere interregnum between two periods of genuine enlightenment.

         
    The problem of illiteracy

     

    In general terms, illiteracy is an inability to use language -- an inability to read, write, listen and speak. Today, it is usually taken to mean being unable to read and write at a level adequate for written communication or at a level that will allow an individual to function at certain levels of society. In the simplest of terms, illiteracy is the opposite of literacy. In some societies, the standards for what constitute literacy are different from others. For example, some cultures believe that only people with skills such as computers skills and basic numeracy may be considered literate. This takes into account the fact that there are people who can add and subtract, but can't read letters as well as people who can learn to use a computer to a limited extent but may still not be able to read text. One example is Scotland, which defines literacy as: "The ability to read and write and use numeracy, to handle information, to express ideas and opinions, to make decisions and solve problems, as family members, workers, citizens and lifelong learners." That's probably as specific as you can get in defininng what literacy is all about. On a global level, analysts and policy makers consider illiteracy rates as an important factor in a country's or a region's "human capital," and with good good reason, as it turns out. Based on numerous studies into this area, they conclude that literate people are easier and less expensive to train and have broader job opportunities and access to higher education. In Kerala, India, for example, female and child mortality rates declined dramatically in the 1960s, after girls who had been schooled to literacy in the education reforms after 1948 began to raise families. There are recent findings, however, that raise questions on correlations such as the one listed above, arguing that these may have more to do with the effects of schooling rather than literacy in general. Illiteracy rates are highest among developing countries, especially those in the South Asian, Arab and Sub-Saharan African regions where illiteracy is prevalent among 40 to 50% of populations. The East Asian and Latin American regions also have relatively high illiteracy rates ranging from 10 to 15%. In contrast, the illiteracy rate in developed countries is only a few percent. However, it is important to note that illiteracy rates vary widely from country to country and often are directly proportionate to a country's wealth or urbanization level, although many other factors play a determining role.

         
    The push to learn chinese in our schools

     

    Recently, a trend has developed in high schools and communities around the United States. Many people want to or are now learning the Chinese language. This could be a good turn of events, but it can also be problematic. This is particularly so for those who know nothing about Chinese culture, history and the state of affairs in China today. In mainland China they no longer use the traditional Chinese characters that go hand in hand with Chinese history. For some reason, the Chinese Communist Party decided to alter the Chinese language and thereby change the vehicle for written communication. Traditional Chinese characters evolved naturally over a period of time from pictographs or small drawings. By contrast the simplified Chinese created by the Chinese Communist Party has watered many of the traditional characters down to the point that they no longer are rooted in more ancient traditions. Here is an example. The traditional Chinese character for the word 'love' contains a picture of a heart in it. This makes sense because love is closely associated to the heart. Not so in simplified Chinese. There is no heart in the word 'love' in simplified Chinese. One may ponder how you can love without a heart. Just as this example shows, in many ways the Chinese Communist Party has removed the heart of the entire language, distorting and altering it into a water downed version of its former self. In Taiwan, however, they still use traditional characters. So if your community or children's school is planning to teach Chinese, you may wish to ensure that you are getting the traditional variety. It more fully encompasses the rich history of China and the Chinese people. By contrast, those who teach our children simplified Chinese are from mainland China and unfortunately, they will also be passing on the values and ideas of the Chinese Communist Party. Whether they do so on purpose or automatically as a result of growing up in that environment, the end result is the same. Only you can decide if you want the influence of the Chinese Communist Party imparted to your children. Be sure to insist that our children are taught traditional Chinese and not the simplified version. This way the richness of traditional Chinese culture can be more fully enjoyed and appreciated. There will be a more solid foundation to understand the more ancient Chinese traditions.

         
    To learn a language like german first find the similarities

     

    Even if you don't know a single word of German, you can probably read and understand the following German text. Did you know that English and German descended from the same language? (Proto-Germanic) Many words in both languages are the same or similar. A link to this story's translation will be provided at the end of this article. * GERMAN STORY * Guten Tag! Mein Name ist Monika. Ich bin Autorin. Ich habe einen Bruder namens Bob. Bob ist auch Autor. Ich bin Bobs Literaturagentin. Er schreibt interessante Artikel und Bьcher. Er schreibt im Moment ein neues Buch. Der Titel ist: «Das Telefon klingelt fьr Dich.» Letztes Jahr hatte er 2 Bьcher auf der Bestsellerliste. Bob lebt in Kanada - in Montreal. Er ist 30 Jahre alt, mit blondem Haar und blauen Augen. Er hat ein altes Auto. Freitags fдhrt er mit dem Auto zum Supermarkt. Im Supermarkt findet er Kaffee, Tee, Mineralwasser, Milch, Zucker, Butter usw. fьr Mutter. Er findet auch Frucht wie Bananen, Дpfel, Orangen usw. Dann geht er zur Bank und wartet eine Weile auf Mutter. Er fдhrt danach mit Mutter nach Hause und parkt sein Auto. Das Haus ist weiЯ und blau. Es hat einen Garten mit wundervollen Blumen und luxuriцsem grьnem Gras. Im Haus sitzt Bob auf dem Sofa und trinkt oft ein Glas Bier oder Wein und hцrt Radio (laut). Mutter sagt: «Bob! Das Radio ist zu laut!» Bob lacht und geht in den Garten. Im Sommer, wenn die Sonne scheint, sitzt Bob im Garten. Wenn Mutter will, mдht Bob das Gras. Im Winter schaufelt er den Schnee oder sitzt im Haus beim Feuer. Meine Mutter hat eine Katze namens Lцwe. Lцwe ist braun, grau und orange. Sie miaut, wenn sie Bob sieht, springt auf Bobs Knie und schnurrt laut. Mutter hat auch einen Hund - namens Bдr. Bдr ist ein Dachshund. Ach! es ist spдt - Mitternacht. Ich muss zu Bett gehen. Gute Nacht! Ich schreibe mehr morgen frьh. * MORE EXAMPLES * Winter kommt im November. Sommer kommt im Juni. Die Toilette ist beige. Das Papier ist weiЯ. Meine Hand hat zehn Finger. Mein Arm ist gebrochen. Wir haben eine Party! Bring den Salat hier! Der Mann tanzt und singt. Der Wind ist eisig. Die Tomate ist reif. Das kostet 5 Dollar. Komm hier! Er hat Hunger und Durst. Der Film beginnt um 8. Sie fotografiert die Familie. * HOW DID IT GO? * Maybe you didn't understand the German text completely. Read it a second - and then a third time. If you are observant, you will notice a few details: *German usually uses a 'K' instead of a hard 'C': Canada=Kanada, Monica=Monika. *The English 'ph' often becomes 'f': telephone=Telefon. *Nouns are capitalized: fruit=Frucht, milk=Milch, butter=Butter, sugar=Zucker. *Possessives are not formed with an apostrophe + s: brother's=Bruders. *The English 'sh' becomes 'sch': shines=scheint, shovels=schaufelt. *Many words are exactly the same: Winter, November, Finger, Party, Wind, Hunger, Film. Now that you have a few hints, you can probably read the German text again and understand even more. Think of the words in context, and allow your mind to fill in the blanks. Related words, like the ones above, with common ancestral roots are called 'cognates'. There are many, many more than those presented here. Over the years, however, many words that used to mean the same thing in both languages have evolved and have acquired different connotations. For example, the old German word for 'wife' - 'Weib' is nowadays generally applied in a deprecating manner. It might be used in a phrase that means 'you crazy woman!' or in instances where an English person would say 'broad' or 'dame'. The German word 'Gift' does not mean 'gift' - it means 'poison'. The point that is being made here, however, is that you should actively search for similarities. Over time you will discover the exceptions. You will feel comfortable with the similarities and form a foundation on which you can build. The learning task then becomes less daunting - and even enjoyable. Over the centuries the world has become a melting pot of cultures and languages. Many words and phrases have crossed borders. Globalization - spurred by newspapers, radio, TV, the internet, and jet travel - has accelerated the process. We often use foreign-derived words without even realizing - angst, soup du jour, cafe au lait, poltergeist, bona fide, carte blanche, nom de plume, savoir-faire . . . Every time you come to a new text passage, scan it to find what you already know (or can guess) for a general sense of what it means. Then tackle the unknown parts. Your learning will progress more quickly as a result.

         
    Translation cooperate with translators it pays

     

    When a business goes global, there is a risk of being not properly understood in other languages, or, even worse, misunderstood. That is why, when you are going to expand your business, your success can depend on the person who translates your website, documentation, ads and so on. Don't insist on translating your text word-by-word or sentence-by-sentence. Contrary to the popular belief, the translation won't be more accurate this way. Just the opposite is true: a translator who translates word-by-word is a BAD translator, or a mediocre one -- at the most. A MEDIOCRE translator will diligently substitute words, word-combinations and idioms of one language for those of another language. He searches piles of dictionaries for various lexical units. He will be really proud of the result. Don't blame him -- he probably is conscientious and hard-working. The only drawback is that his translation won't work. A GOOD translator will care for the MESSAGE of your text. He realizes that good translation isn't just finding right words. He will try to find right linguistic means to convey your message; what's more, he will leave your style intact. He will be proud of the result, too -- and he has the reason to think so. Your message will be conveyed -- in every respect. Will it work? That's another question. The difference between a GOOD and an EXCELLENT translator is the following: an EXCELLENT translator will care for the GOAL of your message. Before he stats the work, an excellent translator asks himself simple questions: does your message fit into this particular culture? Will the audience accept it? If the answer is "no", he will always warn you about it. Will you appreciate his advice? You'd better do. It might be not too pleasant for you to learn that your text is not perfect (especially if you thought it was). Of course, you can put this smart Aleck down. You are the Client, so you're always right. He will translate the text he is given the way you want. As a result, you will get what you ordered -- a MEDIOCRE translation. That is why it is reasonable to listen to an expert (an excellent translator will always serve you as an expert on the culture of your target audience -- even if you haven't asked for it and are not going to pay extras for such a consultation.) Sometimes these advice might seem a bit odd to you; that's because such a translator is able to think like a person who will be visiting your website. Be prepared to throw some expressions, phrases, or whole paragraphs away or re-write them – working perfectly in one language, they won't do in another. Be ready to change photos and illustrations, sometimes redo the graphics and alter the whole style of your website if necessary. Cooperate with your translator -- it pays. Do this work now and you'll be rewarded with success of your business in a foreign country.

         
    Translation service now open all hours

     

    Thanks to an exciting new service being launched by antipodean translation company New Lingo, no business need ever be lost for words again – whatever the time of day or night! For New Zealand’s leading Internet language services company recently added a new string to its corporate bow, with the launch of a 24-hour translation service. Given the 24/7 culture which prevails in international business circles, this news will undoubtedly be sweet music to the ears of New Lingo’s many clients worldwide. New Lingo is a perfect example of the new breed of “virtual” company, and its pedigree is impeccable. Established only three years ago, the dynamic language services provider has a well-deserved reputation for excellence, due in no small part to a policy of having every translation independently proof-read. Moreover, with all staff home-based, New Lingo’s operating costs are kept to a minimum - a benefit which is passed directly on to their clients in the form of highly competitive rates. As language experts who pride themselves on their state-of-the-art translation technology solutions, New Lingo staff are renowned for their ultra-modern approach to business. Indeed, in the words of Christof Schneider, chief of operational improvements at New Lingo: “This new service is just the latest in a series of technology-enabled firsts. It offers organisations which operate under time-critical conditions an immense commercial advantage.” He continues: “It also gives our clients complete peace of mind to know that while they’re sleeping, the documents they require for their meeting the next morning are being translated!” Korean-born project manager Austin Kim explains: “The nature of our business lends itself perfectly to a 24-hour production system. Many of our clients are multi-nationals and operate 24 hours a day themselves. Moreover, our translation team already spans all time zones, so providing a round-the-clock service is simply a natural extension of what we already do.” In-house (and at New Lingo, that means her own house!) German expert, Barbara Bдumer adds: “We have a close reciprocal relationship with a respected UK translation company which works really well. Through them we regularly provide translations for prestigious end-clients such as Microsoft, Orange and Honda.” Impressive names certainly – but equally impressive is what New Lingo itself has achieved in a relatively short timescale. The maths is simple: a network of tried and tested translation professionals, all beavering away during “normal” working hours in their own time zones, but collectively working 24/7. Add to this equation the New Lingo factors of project management experience and state-of-the-art translation tools, and you have a winning formula: a round-the-clock stress-free professional translation service for members of the global business community.

         
    Understand american money

     

    Dear ESL Student, The American money system is logical and very easy to use. It is based on the dollar ($1.00), on which all cash and coins are dependent. There are 100 cents in a dollar. Coins are parts of one dollar, for example: a quarter ($0.25) is 1/4 of a dollar, a dime ($0.10) is 1/10th of a dollar, and so forth. Paper bills are multiples of a dollar: for example, a $5 bill. US Paper Currency The twenty, ten, five, and one are the most frequently used bills. When speaking about money, $1 is referred to as "a one", "a dollar", "a dollarbill", or "a buck"; $5 is "a five", "five dollars", "a five dollar bill", or "five bucks"; etc. Another way to refer to money is to call it "cash." One popular slang term for money is "cheddar." The five, ten, twenty, fifty and hundred dollar bills have recently been changed in order to provide more security features. Both the new and old versions are currently used. The one dollar bill is not being changed as it is not considered as likely to be counterfeited. Also in use but not as frequently seen are the $2, $50 and $100 bills. The two dollar bill is rare - people often collect, rather than spend, them. $50 and $100 bills are not widely used and many places may not accept them for small purchases. You probably won't ever see any larger-value denominations such as $1,000, $500, $5,000, and $10,000. People not familiar with these bills should probably not accept them, because counterfeit, or fake, currency does happen, especially in the higher and more unfamiliar denominations. Store employees may not like the use of very large bills to pay for very small items. For example, try not to use a $50 to pay for a 25ў pack of candy! It would be better to pay with a smaller denomination or some coins. If you don't have anything smaller, it is polite to let the store worker know. US Coins The most widely used coins are the quarter, dime, nickel, and penny. Each type of coin has a specific size and design, usually with the image of a president or other famous American person on the front. Quarters have been made with different pictures on their back sides, in honor of the 200th anniversary of the USA, and honoring each state. Coins that are rarely used include the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin, and the Kennedy half-dollar, also known as the 50-cent piece. Canadian coins are seen in the northern United States and are also available in dimes, quarters, nickels, and pennies. However, not all stores and restaurants accept them; commonly, the closer you are to Canada, the more accepted they are. Canadian coins may be accepted as equal in value to US coins, but the exchange rate usually places a higher value on the US versions, so be careful not to accept too many. Practical use The quarter is one of the most useful coins. If you are a student, be sure to save these! They can be used in almost any coin-operated machine: clothes washers & dryers, arcade games, pay phones, and vending machines dispensing food, drinks, stamps, tickets, newspapers, etc. Quarters and nickels can usually be used in pay phones and vending machines. Many vending machines will take small bills, such as ones, fives, and tens, but the change you get back will all be in coins. Often there will be a dollar changer near coin-operated machines which dispenses quarters in exchange for small bills. One word of caution: vending machines do not take dollar coins, half-dollars, pennies, or Canadian coins. Credit or charge cards are being used more and more, even for buying small things. Many Americans don't like to carry much cash, and the cards are easy and safe to use. They are accepted almost everywhere, but not at all fast food restaurants! Traveler's checks are a good idea for visitors also. You won't have to carry large amounts of money in your pocket or purse, and the checks can be replaced if they get lost or stolen. Much Continued ESL Success, The creator of ESL Free Lesson

         
    Using games to teach esl

     

    : One of the challenges in teaching English as a second language is to make learning as effortless as possible. By making learning easy and fun, the instructor can ensure that the material imparted is received, understood and retained. Language is all about meaning and context. The best way for students to find meaning and context in what they are learning is if they experience it. Is it possible then to teach the English language by allowing the participants to experience it? Yes it is possible, through games. According to Lee Su Kim, author of Creative Games for Learning Class, using games in the classroom help students to sustain the effort of learning. More to the point, it fosters interaction. What is language but a means to communicate? Through these fun activities, instructors will be able to promote the practice of English. Real-learning is when even outside the learning place, the student will still be able to apply the subject matter. Instructors have to understand that the more relaxed the learning environment is, the less anxious the students will be. Hence, the easier the students will be able to assimilate what is being taught. However, the use of games in ESL instruction requires careful planning, design and execution. Games should not be used as ice breakers or time fillers only. They should be used as part of the instructional design. Games should be seen and used as a motivational tool. Below are a couple of suggested games and their application. Charades – The class can be divided into mini-groups. The white or black board should accordingly be divided depending on the number of groups there are. Each group should have an assigned person who will draw the given phrase and an assigned person who will shout the answer. The other members will act as coaches. The instructor will show a phrase to the representatives and the first group to guess the answer wins the round. The time allocated for each round should not be too long because this activity should foster information retrieval and information relaying.

    This activity should best be used as a review for idiomatic expressions. Guessing game – The instructor will write a word on a piece of paper and tape the piece of paper on the back of a student. The instructor should do the same for all the participants. The students should not know what word is posted on their backs. The instructor should then tell everyone that they can each ask three closed-ended questions (answerable by yes or no) from each of their peers in order to guess what the word is. This game is best used for students who already have a working knowledge of sentence structure.

    The game can serve as an introduction to question formulations, which essentially reverses word orders.

         
    Ways to speed up learning of a second language

     

    Learning a second language is never easy for the simple reason that it is exactly that — a second language. Ninety-nine percent of the time and, of course, barring the existence of congenital speech defects, the difficulty of learning a new language is brought on by the learner’s adherence to the conventions and practices of his first language, his native tongue. Conflicts in pronunciation, vocabulary, usage, intonation, manner of expression, even understanding of concepts, therefore arise. A perfect way to test this fact is to have a simple statement in English read by a Frenchman, an Italian, a Russian, a Japanese, a Portuguese and a German. See how many versions of the same statement in English you get! The best thing to do in learning a new language, therefore, is to start fresh. Try, even temporarily, to suppress whatever conventions you are used to with your native tongue, and learn from scratch. While this is easier said than done, it is crucial to the process of learning a new language. You may also apply the following proven techniques: 1. Understand the language’s basic sentence structure. Regardless of what language it is, its basic unit of thought will always be the noun-verb combination we know in English as the sentence. Learn some nouns and verbs to convey your thoughts and you’re on your way, but do not concentrate on learning the rules alone. Remember, to know a language means to be able to speak it. 2. Read, read, read! Reading will help you get acquainted with common terms and expressions used in a specific language. Read simple materials like newspapers and magazine articles that you easily understand which can help you slowly build your vocabulary. Your goal is to be conversant in this language one day so learn new words as you go along. Bear in mind though that, to be effective, your vocabulary must be made up of words you can understand and use and not just words that you recognize and understand but cannot use. 3. Write, write, write! As you acquire more confidence, start writing down your thoughts on paper. Write about things you have read or any experience you may have encountered. The best way to practice your writing skills is to maintain a personal journal of things going on within and around you. This will also hone your skills in narrating and describing events. 4. Learn the art of listening. The best way to acquire skills in correct pronunciation and intonation of a language is to listen to how a native speaker speaks it. It is necessary for anyone who wants to be an expert in any language to develop his listening comprehension. 5. Learn to use the dictionary. Whether you are writing, reading or merely listening, it will serve you well to study the dictionary. This will not only help you widen your vocabulary, it will increase your confidence in choosing the correct words for particular situations.

         
    What is the best way to learn a foreign language

     

    Studies have shown that how you learn a foreign language impacts whether or not you will actually follow through it. Obviously, if you get bored before you’ve put in the required time and effort, you’re not going to learn much of the language at all. So let’s address the facts that help determine whether you’re going to stick with your goal of learning a foreign language or not. First things first, you are going to need positive feedback. That means you need a way to measure your goal of learning the new language. Whether this includes tracking your progress or actually trying to speak the language with someone fluent in it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you have a way to gauge that you’re really learning. Otherwise you may get frustrated and give up long before you get anywhere at all. Secondly, you need to follow a step-by-step course that progresses from easy to hard. It should also do this slowly. Again, the reason you want to learn a foreign language in this manner is so you do not get too frustrated. The problem with early frustration is that it steers people toward giving up. If you don’t see any progress in the early stages, you may not feel like you can accomplish your goal at all. Obviously, if you don’t think your goal is achievable after all, chances are good you’ll give up. So minimizing the amount of frustration (especially early on) is a big part of learning a foreign language. On another note, you want to make learning a foreign language as interesting as possible. As I’m sure you’ve experienced, learning from a textbook can be monotonous. Not only is reading from a textbook boring, but your chances of sticking with it are slim to none. Besides, merely learning vocabulary and grammar is not going to prepare you for a real-life conversation in a foreign language. Interaction is the best way to learn anything. You can’t just passively read, listen or watch as someone explains everything to you. You need to get involved. By turning learning a new language into a game, you’ll stick with it and actually remember more of what you learn. You need to actually listen (not just read from a book) and then speak lots of foreign words and phrases. Turn the words into something familiar by associating them with their actual meaning. You need to practice the new language with fluent speakers, all the while listening to it as it’s properly spoken. Many foreign languages are spoken very quickly, therefore you need to make sure you can keep up with the pace and actually hear it spoken correctly.

         
    Why learn spanish

     

    Why learn Spanish of all languages? Why not Italian, French, or even Russian, because it seems to be the most practical language to have these days living in the US. With an ever-expanding Latin American population, being able to speak a language that is becoming so widely used would be an invaluable asset. Schools are even becoming bi-lingual and Spanish is stressed. There are even parts of the country; Miami springs to mind, where there are most likely more people for whom Spanish is their first language than there are people who are native English speakers. Even outside of the states, Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world; the ranking is apparently in dispute as I found numerous statistics. Most Latin American countries, those in Central and South America speak Spanish with an ever increasing amount of people in the United States. That is almost an entire hemisphere full of a language. And then there is Spain as well, while that Spanish may be slightly different than the Spanish in Latin America, Spanish it still is. There are an ever-increasing amount of reasons why people should learn Spanish. Not only because of the amount of people who speak it but in a more selfish way it is becoming increasingly valuable to speak a second language professionally. The problem is that people in the United States tend to be more than a little arrogant in their thought that English is the most important language and they simply don’t need to speak anything else. Being bilingual gives one opportunities to live and work outside of the country that would be unavailable otherwise. It gives one options. And given the large amount of counties in which Spanish is spoken it gives one a lot of options.

         
    Why learn swedish

     

    Aside from the possibility of living in Sweden or Finland (where Swedish is an official second language), or meeting someone important who knows to speak only in Swedish, you’re probably looking for other reasons to convince you to go through the trouble of learning it as a second language. After all, Swedish is not as widely used as Chinese, Spanish or English—it’s not even among the top 10 languages in the world—but knowing how to speak the language does have its perks. If surviving in a foreign land is not enough of a reason for you, then it should be of interest that the Swedish language is one of the easiest to learn to those who fluently speak English. It is worth noting that Swedish has borrowed a lot from other, more popularly used and studied languages, such as French, German, and English, which may lend to the initial familiarity of the words to a first-time learner of the language. Before borrowed words were included, however, Swedish has long enjoyed commonalities with most other Indo-European languages, particularly its closest kin—Norwegian, Danish, and Icelandic. It is even said, that by knowing how to read in Swedish, one is also instantly able to read Danish and Norwegian text, as probably the main difference between the three languages is in the pronunciation. Another good reason to learn Swedish, particularly if you plan to stay in Sweden for a long period of time and want to get on the native’s good side is that knowing their language will make it easier for them to open up to you, with you being a stranger to the country. Learning the native language is important if you find it important to make many friends while you’re there, as it is seen as a means of showing respect to the natives in many countries. Convinced yet? Here’s another good reason: with enough practice and reviewing, you’ll be able to gain expertise of language rules within a year of studying Swedish. Also, even if you’re studying the language outside of Sweden, you’re sure to find others to speak in Swedish with for practice, with tens of thousands of Swedish language students enrolled at any given time. However, nothing can introduce you to the language’s melodic and expressive quality quite like a regular conversation with a native Swede. It is a language best acquired for more than just deciphering the manual of an imported car.

         
    Why should i learn a foreign language

     

    More and more software programs, electronic devices, and websites devoted to foreign languages are being developed daily. Why all the excitement? Why would YOU want to learn a foreign language? Job Advancement - Get the Competitive Edge Many large corporations and government agencies have positions requiring a second language. In a country like Canada, which is officially bilingual, someone who knows both French and English will have better employment prospects. Travel Travel to a foreign country can be exciting - and also very exasperating if you can't understand the local speech. Many North Americans are somewhat egocentric in this regard, expecting to find English spoken no matter where they are. Although this is sometimes true in larger cities, don't expect to find English-speakers in small communities. Relatives The world is a melting pot of cultures and languages. You probably have living relatives in other countries with whom you could communicate more effectively if you took the effort to learn at least a few words. Genealogy Research Some of your ancestors probably spoke a different language. If you plan to search old genealogical records, you will be more successful with at least a basic understanding of your ancestors' language(s). Understanding Your Own Language Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once said, 'Wer fremde Sprachen nicht kennt, weiЯ nichts von seiner eigenen.' or 'Those who don't know foreign languages know nothing of their own.' Learning a foreign language will give you a much better understanding of English. Your knowledge of English grammar, vocabulary, verb tenses, and sentence construction will improve when you tackle another language. Self-Actualization and Challenge If you've already been everywhere and done everything - perhaps it's time to tackle something new. What could be more challenging and rewarding than immersing yourself in another language? Opera, Poetry, and Prose Appreciation Artistic works written in a different language often cannot be fully appreciated when translated into English. This is especially obvious when listening to poetry. If poetry is translated into English with a preserved rhyming scheme, the meaning of the poetry is almost always altered. Being able to listen to the original language - with its subtle tones and nuances - will lend to a greater appreciation of the artist. Culture Appreciation One can only truly comprehend a foreign culture if the language is also understood. Exactly what is 'Bratwurst' or 'Calvados'? And what about foreign films? Wouldn't you like to be able to watch something with subtitles - and skip reading them? Invigorate the Brain Adults benefit from the brain stimulation produced by language training. Seniors who tackle a foreign language show improved brain function over a period of time. Students who learn foreign languages as children score better on academic tests. There is also evidence to suggest that they may be more creative and resourceful when faced with solving complex tasks. Learning Teaches You How to Learn The self discipline and study habits acquired through successful acquisition of a foreign language can be applied to many other aspects of your life. Studying Abroad What better way to learn about a country's culture than to study there? This requires an excellent command of the local language. Communicate With Someone Secretly in Public Imagine chatting in public with a friend about something private, knowing that only your friend understands! Make Online Penpals and Friends The internet is transforming our world into an intimate global village where you can chat via e-mail, forums, live chat sessions, and audio/video feeds. Impress a Date? In closing - male or female - you will make points with your bilingual date by learning a few important words. If your date doesn't speak a foreign language, he or she will be impressed by the enchanting allure of intimate expressions in one of the 'romance' languages. So - what are you waiting for? Get learning!

         
    Why should people learn spanish

     

    I remember the first time I visited Mexico. It is a beautiful country. I was young so naturally, I went with my parents. None of us could speak more than a few words of Spanish. We had a vague idea of how the Mexican currency worked, but we were clueless when it came to how much to pay people at restaurants and the shops. Let’s just say it was an interesting experience (and I’m sure we were overcharged a number of times). Oftentimes, it’s when you have to go without it that you realize how important communication really is. For example, it’s not fun listening to a group of people talk about the latest widget or gadget when you know absolutely nothing about it. You sure can’t add anything to the conversation. And just listening in on a topic you know nothing about will take a toll on you since you won’t be able to relate to the group’s conversation. (Think about the last time you had to listen to a group of guys talk about football ladies, or for the men, perhaps a conversation related to make-up). It’s even worse to be surrounded by a group of people who are speaking an entirely different language. Just think about it, you may not even be able to decipher what the topic of conversation is! In addition to the awkward moments, not being able to speak the language of the people around you can be a bit frightening. Imagine if you were lost … or had an emergency. Not being able to communicate would only add to the trauma. Like everyone else, you feel alone and a little vulnerable when you can’t express yourself to others. That’s why if you are planning a vacation to a foreign, Spanish speaking country or have Spanish speaking friends, you may want to at least learn conversational Spanish. Otherwise, you may be left out in the cold, so to speak. How to learn Spanish? The problem is learning a new language can be frustrating and time consuming. In fact, learning a second language can be one of the most difficult learning tasks to master. But it doesn’t have to be. You can learn to speak Spanish in a user-friendly and comfortable environment. For many, learning a new language opens the door to a large amount of other activities; like international travel, career advancement, and meeting new people. Believe it or not, learning a new language is usually one of the top New Year’s resolutions. So you’re not alone. Other people learn Spanish, so can you! Learning a new language is easiest if you can see progress and gain some self confidence. Otherwise, you run the risk of giving up. So if you’re ready to start learning Spanish, there is an easy way and a hard way to do it. Studies have show that it’s best to learn a new language the same way people naturally learn their native tongue. That means you need to hear Spanish being spoken and practice speaking Spanish as often as you can. Just keep with it and you’ll learn conversational Spanish in no time. Remember, language is a powerful force. Learning Spanish will only open new doors for you!

         
    Writing japanese what is kanji hiragana and katakana

     

    : The Japanese language is so fascinating. The tonal qualities of the language is quite unique and the inherent politeness of the Japanese people is translated well into its language which is in turns elegant and stylish and drips with respect. Japanese writing is also a very elegant script and it has evolved from its original Chinese script beginnings to become something that is intrinsically Japanese. There are actually different types or ways of writing Japanese characters and it has been a source of confusion for people who are not familiar with Japanese culture or for students of Japanese culture who have not yet fully researched the intricacies of the Japanese written language. The three ways of writing Japanese characters are Kanji, Hiragana, and Katakana, with another version called Romaji being used for special purposed. Kanji The word kanji is a Japanese derivative of the Chinese word hanzi, which translates to “Han characters”. The word Han pertains to the Han Dynasty and is also the name that the Chinese use to refer to themselves. Using Kanji would mean employing between 5000 to 10000 Chinese characters. This meant that writing in this form was very difficult. In 1981, the Japanese government, as a measure to simplify how Japanese is written and read, intrduced the j? y? kanji hy? or List of Chinese Characters for General Use. The list includes 1945 regular characters and 166 special characters that has a use only for writing people’s names. All official documents, as well as newspapers, textbooks as well as other publications only use this form. Hiragana Chinese characters are considered as the source for Hiragana syllables. Hiragana – which means “ordinary syllabic script” -- was referred to originally as onnade or “women’s hand” because women used this form the most. Men are known to write in Kanji and Katakana. But usage of Hiragana evolved through the centuries, and by the 10th century, it was being used by both men and women. The earliest versions of hiragana had diverse characters that represent the same syllable. The whole system was simplified however in order to make it easier to use by establishing a one to one correspondence between the written and spoken syllables. Katakana The Katakana “alphabets” have a very storied history. It was taken from abbreviated Chinese characters that were used by Buddhist monks. They used Katakana in order to illustrate the correct pronunciations of Chinese text back in the 9th century. Initially, there were so many different symbols used just to represent one syllable that it became quite confusing. But through time, it became more streamlined. Katakana was initially thought of as “men’s writing” but over the centuries it has been used to write onomatopoeic words, foreign names, telegrams, and non-Chinese loan words. Katakana contains about 48 syllables. There is also another script used in the Japanese language called Romaji. It is basically used to write the Latin alphabet into Japanese characters, especially for English or Latin alphabet-spelled words that do not have a direct Japanese translation.

         
     
         
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