Do You Know the Real Way to Say Konjac Sponge? – The Basics of Learning How to Speak Japanese

August 7, 2015

Unlike English, Japanese is very basic, with only 46 distinct sounds to learn. Yet it does take some practice to learn how to master all of the nuances of this incredible language. The best way to begin learning Japanese is to explore the language on your own before seeking professional assistance. After that, immerse yourself in the culture so that you can begin to achieve fluency.

Study the Characters and their Specific Sounds

Once you are able to correspond the Japanese character with the proper sound, you will be able to begin to be able to speak some of the more common words. As with any language, start with conversation starters like hello, how are you, and nice to meet you along with enders like goodbye or have a nice day. Keep in mind that Japanese does not have rules with greetings, for example you can only say good day until sunset, and then must switch to good night in order to not be considered rude.

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Think of Your Most Basic Conversations

Once you have greetings down, think of the basic conversations you have with acquaintances every day. Learn not only how to say how are you, but listen for how it sounds so when asked you respond properly. I am fine, thank you, sorry, excuse me, and I don’t know are all common phrases that will get you at least halfway started in making conversation.

Invest in an English – Japanese Dictionary

Having an understanding of the characters and the sounds they make will enable you to use a dictionary to pick up more basic words and phrases. Use it for practice as you watch TV or ride on the subway to start your way towards Japanese mastery. This is a complex language to learn, but you will be able to overcome those complexities with hours of practice.

Look at the Common Japanese Words Around You and Start Making the Connection

You already know some Japanese, but because the words have been modified, you likely don’t realize it. Think of the major car companies like Hyundai, Mitsubishi and Kia. These are all derived from the Japanese character alphabet. Another good example is the konjac sponge. These are used to deep clean the face, and come from a plant that is found primarily in Japan. Sound out the word konjac and find the corresponding characters for each syllable, and you’ll know how to spell it in two different languages. There are a variety of Japanese words you’ll come across in beauty products, as you’ll find at beautifullyunrefined.com.

Japanese presents a unique challenge to learn because of its complicated character system. Once you are able to overcome that, you should be able to enter a class better prepared than the rest of the students.

Using Your Foreign Language Skills to Engage With Companies Overseas

April 17, 2015

With the internet now such an import part of commerce, there is rapid growth in international corporations. This makes knowing a second language a big selling point when trying to land a job. We took a look at the lovely Finland recently to see what their customs are when it comes to having foreign business associates in their midst.

The first thing you should know is that with Finland, and most European countries, you should not expect that your foreign business associates will be fluent in English. In fact, in a country like Finland which is very reserved, it will be considered rude if you are sent there without at least a rudimentary understanding of the language. When looking at this research into Finnish business practices, we found out a few other interesting tidbits:

Don’t bother bringing your very own portable infrared sauna or sauna blanket along on the trip. Business meetings are often held inside of a sauna. Don’t think this means you should invite business associates to your portable infrared one. Instead, your Finn business associate will ask you to the sauna for an informal meeting, and this is a request that is considered rude to refuse. This is a sign of hospitality and a means of getting to know your new colleagues. Thank goodness you took that time to first learn the Finnish language.

You also must be aware of how you look when doing business in Finland. Finns abhor signs of wealth, and see it as a way to object superiority over others. Dress like your new associates, and avoid designer accessories and large amounts of jewelry, and you will be better received.

For all of your time spent on learning Finnish, don’t expect much chit-chat or small talk. Finns prefer to sit in silence rather than talk about inane topics. Also always make sure you are on time. The people of Finland value punctuality and will consider it extremely rude, and a sign that you feel superior, if you show up to events and meetings late.

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When you are showing off your Finnish language skills, avoid showing signs of emotion, or using your hands too much when speaking. Finns are straight to the point kind of people, and appreciate professionalism from business colleagues. In that same token, do not interrupt when a Finnish associate is speaking. If you have a question or something to add, you will need to wait until they are finished. Once again, this goes back to the Finnish strong belief in a utalitarian society, where everyone is viewed at the same level.

It is a good idea to study up on any country you will be visiting professionally. All have their unique practices and beliefs. If you know and respect those, you will be better representing your company.

 

Helpful Study Aides for Learning a Foreign Language

February 8, 2015

Whether it be English or French, taking on a foreign language is not an easy feat. It requires focus, determination and a lot of extra studying. If you find that you are having a hard time with the studying part, try some of these tips to help make the words come to you easier.

Start by Changing your Studying Attitude

Attitude means a lot, even when you are trying to take on a new language. Approach studying as an opportunity, rather than a task. This is something that you should enjoy doing if you want to achieve the best results. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else, or put yourself down, instead look at studying as a way to improve your life and you will find that your focus improves.

Now Find the Right Place to Study

Raise your hand if you study with the TV on. Unless it is tuned to a channel in the foreign language you are studying, you are studying in the wrong place. A quiet corner in the house, the library or even a table in a coffee house are much better so long as there are not any distractions for you. If you find that you are constantly staring out the window, it may be time to turn the chair around. Studying requires full concentration, and a quiet place is the only place to get that.

Buy an Essential Oil Diffuser Necklace

This may sound strange, but studies show that essential oils can help boost focus and concentration. If you just can’t get conjugating verbs in French, mix up a blend of: frankincense oil, sandalwood oil, Melissa oil, cedarwood oil, blue cypress, lavender and helichrysum oil. Combined into one mixture and worn in your essential oil diffuser necklace, verbs will be conjugating themselves as you take in all you need to know about the foreign language you are studying.

Use Memory Games

If you are having trouble with a concept in your foreign language, try associating it with something else. Tricking your brain to take another path to the answer will help you in your memory skills. This is a technique in studying that has been used for generations.

Picture the Word in Your Mind

This is a technique for people who learn better by seeing than hearing. If you are having trouble with pronunciation, write the word down a number of times. Sounding it out as you write. When it comes time to use that word in a conversation, you will picture the letters in sequence, and will be better equipped to pronounce it correctly.

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Practice Does Make Perfect

With language study, the more you use it, the better you will get. Converse with yourself in the foreign language. Grab a friend from class and converse with them. The more you practice the words, the easier they will start rolling off of your tongue.

This is not an easy undertaking, and you should be patting yourself on the back just for taking it on. If you take learning a new language as a fun challenge, you are going to find that studying for it becomes a looked forward to part of your day.

 

Use Your Foreign Language Skills to Provide International Medical Aide

January 24, 2015

There have been recent medical crises around the world that have shown us just how dire the need is for foreign medical care. These nations lack the resources and skills to give quality health care to their populations in a why that many of us take for granted.

Skilled medical professionals from all fields can help by joining forces with organizations that work to provide the care that is needed. If you work in any of the following medical professions and want to do something extraordinary with your skills, learn a foreign language and then take your job abroad:

Emergency Room Physicians

Doctors and nurses who work in an emergent environment have the skills needed to take care of patients who are living in war torn areas of the world. Knowing how to triage, evaluate and improvise is essential in these situations. Learn the language of a country who is struggling from the effects of a prolonged war, and you can make a big difference in saving innocent lives that are being affected by it.

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General Physicians

A great many third world countries are still unable to provide even basic health care. A general physician who is able to communicate will not only be vital in curing illness and disease, they can assist in showing the citizens how to take better care of themselves. Contaminated water for example is a big cause of disease around the world. A trained physician can discuss the importance of boiling water first, before drinking it.

Ultrasound Technicians

Ultrasound technology has replaced the x-ray as the preferred choice for medical imaging. With your special skill, you can assist a physician in the diagnosis of disease. Your training to become an ultrasound technician provided you with the skills needed to not just examine unborn babies, but also to explore the entire body and provide the information needed for a treatment plan. If you are an ultrasound technician interested in making a global difference, learn a new language and then take your skills overseas.

Nurses

Part of the problem with treating worldwide disease is the sheer volume of people who are affected. Trained nurses are professionals at multi-tasking with multiple patients and can assist a physician in hundreds of ways. A nursing degree combined with the knowledge of a second language would be invaluable to an organization that is providing medical care world wide.

It is almost shameful to see thousands of people suffering from illness and disease that industrialized nations have long abolished. Medical professionals should take that into consideration and consider taking their specialized skills to parts of the world where it is needed most.

Broaden Your Foreign Language Horizons By Learning Sports Terminology

One of the most interesting flubs in global language is the word football. For 99% of the countries around the globe, football is played with a round ball that is kicked around a field. Yet in just one country – the USA- the word football describes a sport that is the polar opposite.

This little flub can cause a lot of confusion when trying to talk sports in a foreign language. While you may be talking up the upcoming Super Bowl and the Seattle Sea Hawks, your foreign friend is rubbing their head in confusion. If you want to make sure that your point is being made, you have to own up to it and call the oval ball version of the game American football.

Sports offer a great opportunity for casual conversation in any language. If you are looking for ways to get to know your new neighbors in France, talk to them about sports and they will become very interested in what you have to say.

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Start by doing a little culture check. What types of sports are popular in the countries where your foreign language study is spoken? You won’t need to worry about knowing the word surfboard if you are learning the language of a land locked country like Germany. Familiarize yourself with the sports they do like, and start to learn the basics to describe it.

The Equipment

Each sport comes with its own set of essential equipment that you will want to learn first. The word for ball is always a good start. For countries where archery is popular you will need to know how to say target, recurve bow and arrows of course. Knowing the basic equipment, like a recurve bow for archery (learn more at fastflightarchery.com), gets you off to a good sport lingo start.

Learn the basics of the game. For example, a foreigner who is trying to learn American English would study up on baseball. The type of field, number of innings and jargon such as strike and ball would have to be studied. But the end result would be a foreigner who can chat about the Yankees winning last night with everyone they come in contact with.

Pronunciation

To get pronunciation of sports terminology down, you may have to watch it on TV. By listening to the broad casters you will learn the right way to say recurve bow in German. A good part of your battle is going to be pronunciation, but if you listen more than you talk you should soon be able to emulate it.

The more versed you are in a foreign language the more opportunity you will have to use it. It’s one thing to speak in classroom environment, but something else entirely when you put your foreign language skill to practical use.

4 Career Opportunities Where a Second Language Will Be an Asset

January 10, 2015

In almost any job imaginable, knowing a second language can open more doors for you. There are however certain occupations where a career may actually be enhanced. Since you need to take minor courses to get a degree anyway, you should always choose at least one language to study that will make sense for your future career.

An Attorney

A lawyer of any type should study latin if at all possible, but any Latin based language if not. This includes the vast majority of languages around the world, so even taking Spanish will give you more linguistic tools to break down Latin words. Also consider the area you are going to be working in and any other special considerations. For example, an immigration lawyer may want to consider Spanish as his second lawyer considering the influx of immigrants from Latin American countries has grown over the last decade.

Any Type of Medical Professional

Medical professionals deal with people from all walks of life. If you are able to speak another language, you will be the one called if someone from that country is seeking medical assistance where you work. This does not just apply to physicians either. An ultrasound technician for example should have at least one foreign language under their belt if they want to be able to help pregnant women from all over the world.

Wedding Photographer

As someone who is going to be in very close contact with a large group a people, wedding photographers should also consider learning to speak multiple languages. It is an important part of their job to communicate not only with the couple but with the friends and family of the couple too. A Calgary wedding photographer for example will be dealing in French and English of course, but should also be prepared to deal with an older generation that came to the area from Poland. Even a basic course in the native language of some of the families a Calgary wedding photographer will be working with will make it easier to tell them to smile for the camera or change position in a lineup of family.

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Editor

As the internet continues to grow, so does the need for good copywriters. Even if you can’t write, you can apply for editing positions. Freelance editing is needed in almost all languages for web development and could increase your ability to always find work by increasing the number of jobs you can apply for.

The opportunities you have in life increase exponentially with every foreign language that you learn. Pack your resume full of foreign language experience, and the job offers will be pounding on your door.

Click here for more information on how you can learn a second language from home.

You Never Know When Knowing a Second Language is Going to Come in Handy! – Can You Say Deep Fryer in Spanish?

November 28, 2014

With few exceptions, all languages come from a one basic root.  Once you pick up on the subtle differences amongst other countries you will have a much easier time translating what is being said to you, and how to get your own point across.

It sounds cliché, but the American habit of throwing a vowel at the end of their words to try to make them sound foreign is really not that far off. Wine becomes vino and cigarette becomes cigarro. It isn’t always that easy, but if you know the base of the word, you can usually get the gist across.

I learned the value of knowing languages other than English years ago while traveling through the Americas. I had half heartedly taken French during high school and learned in my travels that French and Spanish were very closely related. This helped me in getting out of a lot of jams while in Mexico.

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It was during this travel time that I found myself in El Salvador of all places for Thanksgiving. As this is one of those holidays not celebrated outside the US, I thought it would be fun to show our host family some of our traditions.

Trouble was that in tropical countries such as this one, no one uses an oven. In fact, the home we were in had one as part of their stove top, but the mother had no idea how to light it. Not wanting to scare her, or use up all their canned gas cooking a turkey, I decided to try and find a deep fryer (hoping for one like these, based off the awesome reviews) to cook it in.

This turned into quite the adventure as I was at the time without any type of dictionary and had no idea how to explain to a sales clerk what a deep fryer even was. Then my French kicked in and I started to think about how they call their fries. Papas fritas. Deep eluded me so I went back to the old stand by of throwing a vowel on the end of machine. A machina for fritas got a few blank stares at first, until one guy did the hand to forehead smack and brought out to me the perfect deep fryer to cook our turkey.

In French and Spanish the base for machine is the same as in English, just like other words such as study and family. By catching on to that I was able to use my cursory French lessons to become a somewhat conversational Spanish speaker.

What I took from that trip more than anything was the need for everyone to study at least one other language and become its master. With so many common roots tying them altogether you will have an advantage with trying to speak other languages as well. If you have the opportunity to take classes and expand your international vocabulary, take it because you never know when you may be in search of your own deep fryer while visiting a foreign country.

Access to French Grammar Exercises Made Easy!

December 13, 2013

A lot of people want to learn other languages for a number of reasons. Unfortunately, in some cases, some people just could not find the time to go to an institution and learn about it. It could be because of the busy work schedule, juggling tasks at home, school work, and other reasons.

Luckily because of internet, learning other languages was taken to a new level. People can learn languages from the comforts of their homes and at their own pace. There are several pages online that can be checked and it is just a matter of choosing where to go to learn more effectively. Two of the most common pages nowadays are rocketlanguages.com and http://www.transparent.com/learn-french/. With such websites, people can learn different languages without having to compromise an important regular activity in their daily life. They can do it when they get home or before going work. These websites provide great French grammar exercises that they can practice wherever they are. They can also bring a notebook with them so they can check it every time they want to. What is more special about it is, the pages are accessible anywhere as long as there is an internet connection.

Advantage of Learning French online

As mentioned earlier, pages like http://www.transparent.com/learn-french/ and Rocket Languages are just few of the many websites people can check if they are wondering how to learn French. to learn about different languages. These two, however, are popular and that’s for a reason. Rocketlanguages.com, for example, or Rocket Express Learning System offers a combination of scientifically defined mode of learning that is incorporated in e-learning and usage of top of the line technology in learning. In this way, the guarantee of understanding and speaking the language you want to learn is accelerated and amplified with a great set of French grammar exercises.

Approaches in Learning the Languages

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Learning. (Credit kev_hickey_uk, flickr)

Several methods are being used to help people learn the language as fast as they can but at the same time, allowing them to do it in their own pace. In accessing websites like rocketlanguages.com and Transparent, they get to have access to interactive audios that allow them to learn more about the words, pronunciation and sentence usage of the actual language. In addition, people can learn more about the culture of the people who talk in native French tongue. Tracking the progress in syllabus is also very easy by just clicking few buttons. Aside from all these, learning French becomes a fun activity with language master games. These games allow people to do their French grammar exercises while being entertained with the great games in the list.

This is why learning different languages online is now becoming really popular. Not only for its convenience, but also because the methods are typically evolving and up-to-date. In addition, learning is difficult tends to be not as tedious because the pressure is removed because of the fun games and restrictions in the set hour of the day to dedicate in learning the language. People are also able to learn whenever they have the time, they can do it from the comforts of their home, during office breaks or whenever they want to chill out in the sunshine, as long as they have an internet connection.

Express Yourself Better with the Best Language Learning Software

December 10, 2013

Having and learning the universal language is also important especially to a traveler or a newcomer on a foreign land. Learning English is as important as getting to know the roads and the cities of the place and important transportation points because basically, these factors will help you survive. For sure, you have encountered language difficulties from one of your travels abroad and how you wish you learned some words in advance to make everything easier for you.

Although you may need to also learn the basic foreign language that they use, learning English is still easier for you and can help you convey your message especially in public places or key areas of the country where you can meet different people with different nationalities.

How to Learn English Fast

Nowadays, you can learn using the best language learning software to help you improve your English fast and in a more comprehensive way.

Topnotch Language Softwares

1. Rocketlanguages.com

This site does not only offer English language but can let you learn as many languages as you want. It offers languages like Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Korean and many more. The system that they use does not only focus on learning new languages but they can also give you better comprehension when it comes to sign languages that are paired with modern visual aids and an interactive system.

Some of its innovative features include interactive audio, progress and testing dashboard, rocket record (for better pronunciation) and a 24/7 customer hotline to help you on your queries.

2. Innovativelanguage.com

Online language courses, downloadable learning software, audio books and Android applications are just some of the services that you will get on this site. With more than 690 applications and 40+ languages that you can find in Apple store, this language developer is one of the top rated sites that can offer the most dynamic way of learning through their variety of learning applications in store for you.

You can also take advantage of their 15% discount once you availed of their premium membership discount.

3. Transparent.com

This software offers an extensive learning solution to subscribers. It will guide you from the first words that you can speak on your new language down to the perfect sentence construction and pronunciation. The program also enables you to learn through your portable devices with the help of downloadable modules for your online language course. It features more than 1,000 words and phrases per language and is supported by audio recording to watch your proper pronunciation.

Advanced Features

When it comes to features, the best language learning software that you can find today has interactive audio that can let you join the international community of students just like you who want to learn a new language. It also enables interaction with the system administrator to help and assist you on your queries. These softwares offer dashboards that show a comprehensive report on your progress when it comes to the language that you are learning. They also offer advanced recording features that can help you with the proper pronunciation of words.

And who says that learning is not fun? These language softwares will let you learn in a fun way through language and grammar games.

The Best Language To Learn

December 4, 2013

Since the beginning of time, languages do exist. The world is made up of quite a number of languages, those that are well known and a few that are not widely recognized. A language enables communication across National borders; hence language barrier may pose cultural, economic and political challenges within the Nations. Learning a particular language could be seen as difficult, but the perception can change if one adds extra effort on the task bearing in mind that there are those who are fluent in both writing and speech in a minimum of ten languages from across the borders.

English is said to be a universal language though it is not the first language to all communities worldwide. Mostly it comes second after each and everyone’s mother tongue. English is a useful and important language which is used to connect and build bonds between nations and recently it has been used in peace keeping missions. In simple terms, English can be classified as a symbol for Unity.

Most of the learning Institutions take English as the medium to all courses. Very few courses are taught using different languages unless it is an order from the administration depending with students’ curriculum demands. Most of the poets and other artists show their skills and talents in English. For those who do it in their native languages, they in the end find their way out by re-doing their pieces of work in English, a clear indication that it is a language accepted globally.

Most of the businesses and places of formal employment, knowledge of English is the most essential and necessary requirement for one to get employed. This is for the purpose of making proper negotiations with clients. A firm can easily collapse if it is run by a management that is not conversant with the language that its clients are. This is because technology is dynamic and most of the times it comes with gadgets to be used to reduce labor or as an attachment. All gadgets must have manuals with instructions about their use and most are written in English since they are made to be used worldwide. Knowledge of English however adds value to a business.

The English language has brought together communities from all regions. It has made it easier for people to learn and appreciate different cultures from different regions worldwide. Many people today are travelling around the world with a clear idea of what to expect or with the knowledge of what characterizes the region e.g. its demographic, environmental and cultural factors. This has been simplified by social sites and the media at large.

All in all, there are many other languages with a large number of speakers globally. These languages are equally useful and relevant. They have been used to substitute English; others have been used to work out daily activities while others have been learnt for leisure. They include French, Spanish, Russian, German, Portuguese and Hindu in the order of their relevance. But even after all is said English outshines them all and remains the best language to learn.