How to learn spanish it s a cinch

How to learn Spanish? As I am sure you know learning a foreign language is not an easy task unless you are one of those people with an “ear for language”, something I never really understood. There are many available options. The first that comes to mind is obviously taking course in your high school, college, or other educational institution. This is a convenient and trusted way to learn, and one that has been utilized for years. However, given that most of the people that take a language in high school or college never actually become bilingual, the merits of this method seem to be suspect.

As with anything else, when deciding how you want to learn Spanish, the internet is as good a place to start as any. If you look on the internet you will find a wealth of options available to you. There are a very large amount of study systems being sold, some at reasonable prices and others for a small fortune. There are also programs for placement in Spanish speaking countries that allow you to totally immerse yourself in the language. Then there are even websites with free exercises and drills that will help you get started.

Of course everyone’s system claims to be the best and only way to truly master the language. During my research I came across no less than three study systems all claiming to be in use by varying branches of the US government and I am sure that doesn’t even scratch the surface of the number of products making such claims. When you are making your decision regarding how to learn Spanish do your research and take into account the pros and cons of each method and pick what is best for you. Personally, I enjoy the free online exercises, but then again I am just out of college and have no money. However you decide to go about it, learning will not be easy.

Spanish language teaching methods

Most people would agree on the absolute necessity of learning a foreign language in today’s society. But what is the most adequate, most effective way to do it? Here things get a little bit more complicated. Different answers to this question have guided the various methods employed in the language classrooms throughout the years.

If you grew up during the 70s or 80s you’ve probably been studying a second language at least since you were in high school. Studying is the key word here, because most likely, at the time, you used to complain about the fact that, in spite of hours and hours of study, in the end you could not use the language at all.

Well, it is time for you to know that this was not your fault. It was the consequence of a traditional approach to language teaching with an enormous emphasis on grammar. At the time, it was thought that the grammatical rules of a language were its most important aspect. Consequently, students were forced to memorize hundreds of verb tenses and word lists. But they were never taught to use the language.

The writing and reading skills were also given precedence under the traditional method in detriment of the listening and speaking ones. As a result, the overall communicative competence of the students was very poor. Think about this: after several years of studying, let’s say, Spanish, were you able to follow a film or a television program in that language? Did you feel comfortable speaking Spanish? Or did you panic at the thought of having to travel and encountering native speakers? This is what having a poor communicative competence means, and it is typical of ‘traditional’ students.

Later on, you may have decided to attend a language school. There you probably found a radically different approach: you spent hours and hours repeating sentences after the teacher, without even knowing how they were spelled or what the individual words meant. You were told that this was not necessary.

That ‘communicating’ was the important thing. Most likely the motto of the school was that learning a second language was as easy as learning your native one. This is a typical example of the audio-lingual method, a response to the traditional one. Speaking and listening are the skills stressed here, so students almost never write or read. Unfortunately, most of the conversations drilled are not even near to a real conversation with a native speaker. When you as a student are old enough to understand this, it will be almost impossible to be motivated, and who can blame you?

You’ve probably guessed by now that the most comprehensive method to learn a foreign language should be a combination of traditional with new techniques. This approach would try to pay equal attention to and combine the four different skills by, for example, trying to present the grammar in a conversational format. Students also need meaningful activities that correspond to what they do in the real world. In other words, language teaching needs to be oriented towards a context that is relevant for learners, with materials that engage them and make them become active in their learning.

How to choose exactly the right foreign word

English has many words with more than one meaning - for example: 'can' - to be able to; tin receptacle. Many foreign language words also have multiple definitions. How can you ensure that you choose the correct one? Mistakes can be embarrassing!

Instead of searching for a single word, prepare a list of synonyms (words that mean close to the same thing).

========== The Word 'Can' ==========

If you want to find the word that means 'can' as in 'to be able to', your list might be something like this:




Now, if you search for 'can' in foreign language dictionaries, you might discover the following in the English-[Foreign Language] section:

* German *

Bьchse, Dose, Kanister, kцnnen, dьrfen

You know that German capitalizes all nouns, so you eliminate the first three words. The main definition for 'kцnnen' is 'to be able to', and the main definition for 'dьrfen' is 'to be allowed to'. Therefore, the correct word in this case is likely 'kцnnen'.

* French *

poubelle, arrosoir, pouvoir

'Poubelle' means 'garbage can'; 'arrosoir' means 'watering-can'; and 'pouvoir' means 'to be able to'. The correct word in French is probably 'pouvoir'.

* Portuguese *

lata, ferro-velho, poder

'Lata' means 'can, tin, tin can'; 'ferro-velho' means 'garbage can'; and 'poder' means 'to be able to'. The correct word in Portuguese would most likely be 'poder'.

========== The Word 'Check' ==========

'Check' can mean 'check mark'; 'bill at a restaurant'; 'part of a pattern of squares'; 'to ensure or confirm'. If we are looking for the definition that means 'to ensure or confirm' we might make the following list:





Now let's see what we find when we investigate the word 'check':

* German *

Rechnung, Beschrдnkung, ьberprьfen, kontrollieren, Kontrolle, nachprьfen

First we remove the capitalized words (nouns). This leaves three words to research: 'ьberprьfen' (to examine, check); 'kontrollieren' (to control, supervise, to check); 'nachprьfen' (to check, verify); therefore, 'nachprьfen' appears to be most similar to our desired definition.

* Italian *

A search in an Italian dictionary gives us the following partial list:

controllare, verificare, assegno, assegno bancario

'Controllare' (to audit, check, check up on, supervise, verify); 'verificare' (to audit, check, check up on, supervise, verify); 'assegno' (check, cheque); and 'assegno bancario' (check, cheque).

It would appear that either 'controllare' or 'verificare' would suffice.

* Swedish *

The list of results:

besiktiga, kontrollera, check

Reverse-lookup gives us these definitions: 'besiktiga' (inspect, audit, check, check up on, supervise, verify); 'kontrollera' (audit, check, check up on, supervise, verify); and 'check' (check, cheque).

It seems that we could use either 'besiktiga' or 'kontrollera'.

========== Resources ==========

Use your common sense, books, people, and the resources on your computer.

Whenever possible, try to find a dictionary that includes example sentences. Seeing a word used in context is the best way to zero in on its exact meaning.

Word processor thesauri and grammar functions will be valuable assets. Online dictionaries are plentiful - use them whenever you can. Make sure that you have at least one recently published printed dictionary and/or thesaurus nearby. When in doubt, try to get advice from a teacher, a friend who speaks the language, or an online forum.

Now, don't be afraid to make mistakes. That's the way we learn. Whenever possible try to use words in everyday speech. Remember: your language learning will progress more quickly if you don't obsess over errors.

How to learn german fast

: The following tips to learn German are personal recommendations that you probably won't get from a teacher. But it is worth giving them a try. Picture Dictionaries Picture Dictionaries are books that differ significantly from what you would expect from a regular dictionary. They are made up of different themes - such as "At the airport" or "in the supermarket". They will show many pictures - mostly things and situations that fit this specific theme and mention the words below the picture in English and German - and maybe many other languages. You might think this is just for kids. But any adult can get such a great deal of information out of a picture dictionary. It makes learning fun, visual and context sensitive. Most people learn better in a visual way. So these mostly 2-sided themes will help you tremendously because they summarize the most relevant vocabulary for a theme clustered together with pictures that are fun to look at and to browse through. I use them myself regularly and it just doesn't feel like you are learning - it's as relaxing as going through a magazine. But the amount of content you pick up this way is amazing. Think of it: It resembles much more reality than learning pairs of printed words. A word is just an abstraction of something real. So when you are learning pairs of words you are dealing with two abstractions tied together. However, we tend to think in pictures. Your mind has to do two things: Translate the picture in your mind to an English word, translate the English word into the German word by looking up that word pair you memorized. So when you look in picture dictionaries you get the words associated directly with pictures in your mind. Sometimes a picture dictionary is the only way to explain a certain thing to a non-native speaker, because in many situations we cannot explain what we mean even in our own language - particularly certain types of food or special technical terminology. Advertisements Another unusual way to learn German - as well as any language is through advertisements. Why ads? Because ads are made by professional marketing experts for just one thing: Transport a message clearly and quickly and get in your memory and make you remember it. That's exactly what you want when you learn a language. A teacher or a textbook author does not come close to the effectiveness of the communication professionals in the agencies. So while you may not like to be bothered by ads in your own language you should take a look at them in the language you want to learn. Certain phrases will store themselves in your brain instantly remain in your memory for a long time. Most of them are short, funny and easy to remember. Eh, it's advertisement isn't it? Picture Associations When you hear a word in German that does not resemble anything you know in English try to think if this word reminds you of anything funny or strange that your know. The more unusual the association the better. Consider the German word 'Kissen' which means 'pillow'. Just think of yourself kissing your girlfriend/boyfriend on a pillow. This association makes sense and is easy to memorize. The best thing: It involves emotions. Emotions are a great accelerator for memorizing and remembering things. It doesn't even have to be positive emotions. Negative feelings work as well. Anything that is not boring will make you remember the words you wanted to remember. What You Should NOT Do Although it might seem tempting DO NOT use music and song lyrics to learn German or any other foreign language. Most songs contain either a form of dialect, inappropriate slang or rude language. Many songs play with language by falsifying it and twisting it around. Some use very old-fashioned and poetry-style language. So don't use it. Don't read German newspapers. Most of them are very political and use a terminology which is extremely hard to understand. The sentences are extremely long, so usually when you get to the end you cannot remember how it started. Newspapers are clearly for the advanced language learner. So please stay away from them in the beginning. This article was first published in our German Language Knowledge Base.

Teaching english in brazil the ultimate way to enjoy everything brazil has to offer

As the largest country in South America, Brazil is big on business. Their geographical proximity to the United States, as well as their trade agreement with North America, makes speaking English a very important asset for Brazilian citizens. English is taught to all levels of Brazilian students, from childhood on up. Some Brazilian companies will hire English teachers to train their employees to make foreign communication easier.

With that said, Brazil is naturally a major destination for those looking to teach English in a foreign country. Teaching English in Brazil is a unique and enriching experience that anyone who wishes to travel should consider.

What is required?

Some countries require English teachers to be certified in any number of teaching courses. TEFL, TESOL, and the Cambridge CELTA are all certifications that are often required for foreigners wishing to teach English in another country. Brazil, however, does not consider this a prerequisite.

If you do have a certification, it may very well help you in the classroom. But chances are good that if you are hired by a Brazilian company or school, they will require you to go through an in-house training program regardless of whether or not you are certified to teach.

What is recommended is a BA in some subject and a working knowledge of Portuguese, the official language of Brazil.

What about a visa?

This is where the information can get a little sketchy, and keep in mind we're not advocating one course of action over another. The truth is, getting a work visa for teaching English in Brazil is going to be very, very difficult.

The vast majority of schools in Brazil that hire English teachers are unwilling to sponsor those teachers for work visas. Sponsorship by an employer is required to get a legitimate work visa. It is also extremely expensive and complicated, and many companies steer clear of doing so for those reasons.

With that said, if you are planning on remaining in Brazil to teach English for an extended period of time, you may be able to find an employer who is willing to sponsor you. The catch is that you will probably have to pay for the process yourself. This is something that you should actively research and discuss with your employer if you're interested in pursuing a work visa.

So you might be wondering how so many English teachers manage to work in Brazil. The answer is, the majority of them are working on tourist visas. Technically, it is not legal for a foreigner to work on a tourist visa; however, chances are very slim that you will ever get into trouble for doing it.

Tourist visas are fairly simple to get, and require an application through the Brazilian Consulate as well as a valid passport and other documents. Tourist visas are valid for three months, which means if you are working in Brazil you will have to renew your visa at a Brazilian police office every three months. You are also not allowed to remain in Brazil on a tourist visa for more than six months every year.

It is possible to get a tourist visa changed over to a work visa, provided you can find a sponsor. Your best bet may be to begin a job on a tourist visa, get comfortable with your employers, and then bring up the subject of a work visa after they have decided they want to keep you. At that time, they may be willing to sponsor you.

It sounds like a lot of red tape, but the truth is that teaching English in Brazil isn't as complicated as it sounds. The market for English teachers in Brazil is booming, and with that demand comes an increased possibility that you'll be able to find the right job for you. With thousands of English teachers needed all over the country, Brazilians are for the most part eager to help. Do your research and be prepared, and you're sure to have the experience of a lifetime.

Learning spanish - part 6 - what s the best way to learn spanish verb formations

In my last article I started to talk about a Spanish textbook called ‘Pasos’. This was the textbook I used when I first started learning Spanish. When I started studying from it I didn’t use it to its full potential. This was really down to time constraints and the fact I was about to embark on a long trip to central and South America. I wanted to finish the book before I set off.

The point of the article was really to warn others against falling into the same trap if possible. This particular Spanish textbook and others like it are full of quizzes and exercises that are designed to test the reader’s ability to retain and understand the information that is being taught. I didn’t spend enough time working through the various chapters or attempting all of the exercises. In hindsight I know it would have been better to spend as much time as I needed in order to cover everything that the book had to offer.

In this article I want to talk some more about the same Spanish textbook, in particular about how it dealt with teaching Spanish verb formations. Learning how to form Spanish verbs can be very frustrating for native speakers of English. This is because they are formed very differently. In Spanish it is often not necessary to use subject personal pronouns (I, you, he, she etc) with verbs like it is in English. Look at this simple example:-

I live in England. = Vivo en Inglaterra.

Notice in Spanish no word for ‘I’ is used. This is because much of the time the way that a Spanish verb is formed will automatically indicate what subject personal pronoun is being referred to (I, you, he, she etc). At first this can seem very confusing and then later on it can still seem very confusing! The difficulty is that there are so many different ways that one single verb might be formed. Not only does the verb change depending on which subject personal pronoun it is used with but it also changes depending on what verb tense is being used (present, past, future etc).

Unfortunately, you will have to learn how Spanish verbs are formed even to have a very basic conversation. There is no escaping it!

Spanish verbs can be split into those that are regular and those that are irregular. The benefit of learning how to form Spanish regular verbs is that once you know how to form one verb in one particular tense you can apply the same formation rules to all regular verbs. You only need to know how to form the verb once!

So, what are the best ways to go about learning how to form Spanish verbs? There are without doubt a lot more regular verbs in Spanish than there are irregular ones so learning the formation rules that apply to regular verbs is probably a good start. Some of the most very common verbs in Spanish are irregular however, so sooner or later you will have to study these too!

The Spanish textbook I was using started to introduce verb formations right from the very beginning but didn’t include any detailed explanations about them until perhaps half way through the book. I was putting sentences together using different verb formations without really knowing why. Of course a sentence without a verb is not much of a sentence so being subjected to them right away was unavoidable.

To begin with it is probably a good idea to start making sentences with verbs by concentrating on remembering what the verb in it’s infinitive form means rather than trying to learn how it is formed in different tenses.

Infinitive verb examples – (to live = vivir / to eat = comer / to talk = hablar)

You are still learning, simply by remembering what lots of different verbs means. Later on at a point, which best suites, you, you can begin to look at different verb tenses and formations. For me, the Spanish textbook I was using didn’t explain in sufficient logical detail how verbs were formed. I was keen to understand this quite early on in my studies. My textbook approached the subject on a piecemeal basis, which seemed a little too disjointed for me. I would have preferred to learn about verbs as a separate topic rather than having them introduced them bit by bit!

Whichever way you decide to learn about verbs, one thing you will almost certainly want in your possession is a verb conjugation (formation) book. This is a book that will tell you how every conceivable verb in the Spanish language should be formed in all tenses. (Some books are more in depth than others!)

Verb conjugation books and more about what my basic level Spanish text book taught me is what I intend to continue talking about in my next article.

Learning french the easy way

Planning to learn a new language? Great idea! After English, French is the most popular language used all over the world. Not only is it popular, but French is also often used in high societies and romantic circles.

Learning a new language is always a new challenge. Helping you learn are many resources that you can use. This includes the Internet, books and coaching classes in your local area. Today many schools and colleges also have a French course which you can pickup.

If you are working for or if you are in an institution that does not offer the course, then learning it online is the best option. The Internet offers many great courses with audio samples, exercises and discussion forums. If you want to go at your own pace without stretching, then learning it from an online source is the best possible choice. Keying in the term "French for beginners" will yield many results that will help you master the language.

However, if you are on the move and cannot spend the time downloading course materials and visit the Internet regularly for exercises, then it is preferable that you go for a complete and engaging package that will guide and assist you while giving you the freedom of doing it yourself.

While looking around, I discovered that Get Into French offers a complete learning package including two PC CD-ROMs, book, audio CD and a dedicated web site. Designed for people on the go, the flexible approach puts you firmly in control of how, when and where you learn.

The main part of the course is in a CD. Here, you are put into a virtual French town where you can interact and learn the language while having fun. A recording feature allows you to compare your tone to that of native speakers.

In this unique approach, you will have complete freedom to choose a path and style of learning that fits your personal preferences and interests. You will encounter the language that you really need for travel and holidays and, from the very beginning, you will start to speak French and begin to understand when people reply. With clear feedback, you will be able to make progress quickly and enjoyably. A copy of this material can be purchased from Amazon.

Usually considered the language of poets and romance, earlier youths from England were sent on a French trip after their education. It was mandatory for all Englishmen working in the court to know French.

Now, in countries like India, French has become a very necessary language with English. This gives the students a global perspective and helps them understand international people and businesses. Truly, French has become the next international language after English.

French is an amazing language. Helping you interact more effectively, this language gives you an incite of a people who have enjoyed a rich culture and heritage. Learn their language, visit their country and you shall see the beauty of France, its people and the influence they had over Europe for 200 years.

Middle school teacher finds key to making reading fun

Most teachers have found that getting their students interested in reading is no easy task. But one teacher in Queens Village, N. Y., has found an innovative way to keep students in her sixth-grade class focused and entertained while improving their reading skills.

Bertha Cuascut, a literacy coach at The Jean Nuzzi School, a public middle school, agreed to take part in a pilot program called Read-A-Movie. The program was created by SFK Media Specially for Kids Corp. and is part of the company's suite of courses that aim to improve reading-readiness and skills.

The program revolves around SFK Media's Reading Movies, which combine reading with entertaining movies in a technique the company says can help teach vocabulary and improve comprehension.

The movies use Action Captions, a patented technology that displays the dialogue on the screen as text, in real-time, without interrupting the flow of the movie. Researchers and educators indicate that these Action Captions activate the cognitive elements of the brain so that the development of both reading and spoken language skills takes place naturally.

"My students had no problem recalling the facts and explaining concepts and details," Cuascut said. "On tests, projects and other work, students exhibited greater comprehension, improved vocabulary and an increased hunger to learn more."

The movies are available in such classics as "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," "Tales of Gulliver's Travels" and "The Trojan Horse," and come as interactive DVDs that include vocabulary practice, quizzes and other activities.

Cuascut said her students seemed to be able to identify with the child actors in the films, which she said further sparked their interest and held their attention.

"It struck me that even those students who normally would be fidgety and distracting others were instead paying close attention to what was going on in the movie," she said.

Learn to teach english as a foreign language

: Perhaps you are at career crossroads, and you are looking for a more fulfilling and interesting way to utilize your skills. If you are interested in teaching and traveling to exciting and interesting destinations, then you might want to consider teaching English as a foreign language abroad. English is the most commonly spoken language in the world today, and desire of those in other countries to learn the English language is growing at a steady rate. Therefore, there is a demand for bright and motivated individuals to teach conversational and written English to those abroad, both young and old. The benefits of teaching English as a foreign language in another country are numerous. Not only are you providing a service to those who desire it, but you will benefit from those you teach as well. In choosing to teach the English language in one of several locales such as Southeast Asia, South America, Western Europe, and the Middle East, you will learn about new cultures and traditions. You will have the opportunity to shatter stereotypes regarding our own American culture. You will have the opportunity to do a large amount of traveling to neighboring nations. You will become self-reliant and self-assured on your journeys, and you will certainly make many new friends. Teaching English as a foreign language can have many benefits for your career as well. Your exposure to new surroundings and your experience teaching will garner you excellent communication skills. You might find that your prior work experience coupled with your new teaching venture will provide you with a considerable amount of career options when you have completed your teaching duties. You will have opportunities to change your life and career on a global scale. Because the demand for instructors to teach the English language abroad has increased, so has the demand for more qualified individuals to apply. Language schools are highly discriminating when it comes to hiring new instructors. That is why it is important to get your certification in TEFL/TESOL (Teaching English as a foreign language/Teaching English as a second language) if you intend to apply for a position with a language school. Certification demonstrates to potential employers that you are serious in taking on this challenging new career. Certification can be achieved by taking courses at a number of campuses nationwide, and there are even certification course programs available online. Receiving your certification for teaching English as a foreign language will certainly prepare you to be a more effective and successful teacher by instructing you on how to teach grammar, how to teach vocabulary, how to teach speaking, how to teach writing, how to motivate your students, how to manage a classroom, and how to construct lesson plans. Receiving your certification will also better prepare you for a move abroad, which can be daunting and stressful. Having the peace of mind in knowing that you are fully qualified to perform your new job will help to alleviate some of the stress in throwing yourself into an entirely new country and culture. Teaching the English language to students in foreign nations can be exciting, fulfilling, and highly enjoyable. It is a mutually beneficial experience for you and your students. Not only are you representing your own country and culture, and imparting your personal knowledge of the English language and your culture onto others, but you are also learning about other individuals and their various experiences and traditions. While broadening your mind and experiencing something totally unique, you are also embarking on an exciting new career, one that has the opportunity to open many new doors for you professionally. Find the essential information on where and how to learn a new or second language at Teach English Language

Memory techniques to boost your foreign language learning

Using Mnemonics in Foreign Language Teaching and Learning

So how much vocabulary do you actually need to know before you can "get by" and actually converse in a foreign language? That depends on who you ask, as that tends to vary somewhat.

In his book, "Using Your Memory", author Tony Buzan says that a mere 100 words comprise nearly 50% of the vocabulary used in every day conversational speech in most languages. Learning the equivalent of these words in a foreign language can help you to quickly develop essential vocabulary for everyday conversational use. But is this really enough?

Link Word Technique

Generally, you can function at the most basic level in a foreign language with a core vocabulary of around 1000 words according to Dr. Michael Gruneberg who formalized the "LinkWord" technique. He claims that, using this technique of linking a word in your own language to a word in the new language, you can acquire a core vocabulary in a foreign language in as little as 10 hours.

The LOCI Method

According to Cicero, the LOCI Method or Roman Room System is said to have originated in ancient Greece circa 500 B. C. When the building he was in collapsed, crushing all of the people inside beyond recognition, the only survivor, poet Simonides of Ceos identified the victims by name solely based on where they had been sitting at the dinner table. The technique was commonly used for centuries by Greek and Roman orators to give speeches without using notes.

The Pimsleur Method

The Pimsleur Method folks check in at 2,500 words as a minimum core vocabulary to communicate fluently in a foreign language. This is much closer to what I've actually found in real-world practice to be an effective depth of vocabulary.

Personally, I advocate a minimum core vocabulary in the range of 1500 to 2000 words. Sure you can "communicate" with much fewer words, as few as 500 depending on the context, but you could often sound "strained", "artificial" or even "childish" in your speech constructions while trying to get your point across.

In addition, if you're working in a skilled trade, vocation or profession, the minimum core vocabulary count could ramp up as much as another 300 to 500 words. So any time spent acquiring needed foreign language vocabulary is definitely time well spent. In the next article of this series we'll consider a simple method you can use to start learning key vocabulary right away.

Spanish dialects

A dialect is defined in linguistic terms as a language variety which is spoken in a specific territory. In the Spanish peninsula, for example, there are different dialects of Spanish. One should not, however, mix up the different dialects in Spain with the different languages spoken in the Peninsula: Spanish, Catalan, Basque and Galician.

The existence of dialects is a natural consequence of the dynamism of languages. For example, throughout its evolution, Spanish has adopted unique characteristics in the different places where it is spoken. Some of the dialects of Spanish in Spain are canario (from the Canary Islands), andaluz (from Andalusia), and madrileсo (from Madrid). The different Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America also present national and regional variations. Thus, we can speak of an Argentinean, a porteсo (from Buenos Aires city), a Chilean, or a Colombian dialect, among others.

The differences between dialects are usually limited to intonation, pronunciation and isolated words and expressions. An example of word variation within the Spanish peninsula is “candle”. Candle is referred to as “vela” in the northern and center parts of Spain, but as “candela” in the South. As for pronunciation, the word “Madrid” is pronounced in the capital of Spain as “Madrith”, whereas in the bilingual areas of the East coast, and because of the contact between Spanish and Catalan, it becomes “Madrit”. In the South, however, people tend to eliminate the final consonant and say “Madrн”.

One of the main differences between the dialects of Spain and those of Latin America is the use of pronouns. Thus, in Spain, the informal pronoun that has remained for the second person singular (in English “you”) is “tъ”. However, some Latin American countries, (Argentina, Uruguay or Paraguay, for example) have retained the pre-modern “vos”. This leads to unique verb forms such as “їentendйs?” for “do you understand?” instead of the peninsular “їentiendes?” or mixtures such as “їVos te marchбs ya?” Instead of “їTъ te marchas ya?” (In English, “are you leaving now?”).

The plural “you” also varies, and thus in Spain people differentiate between an informal “vosotros” and a formal “ustedes”, whereas this difference does not exist in Latin America at all. As for pronunciation differences, the only country where we can find speakers who pronounce the letter “c” before “e” and “i” as the English “th” is Spain. In the rest of the countries, (and also in the South of Spain) this “c” is pronounced as an “s”. Try to pronounce the word “cenicero” (ashtray) in both ways and youґll hear the difference!

Even though dialects are socially valued differently (Andalusian, for example, is perceived as less educated than Castilian), linguistically speaking all dialects are equally valid. What we need to remember is that everyone speaks a dialect, and therefore dialects are NOT incorrect or less valid versions of a language. If you study Spanish in Buenos Aires and interact - as you should - with locals, you will learn the particularities of that area.

Fundamental principles of language part i

All language depends on two general principles.

First. The fixed and unvarying laws of nature which regulate matter

and mind. Second. The agreement of those who use it.

In accordance with these principles all language must be explained. It

is not only needless but impossible for us to deviate from them. They

remain the same in all ages and in all countries. It should be the

object of the grammarian, and of all who employ language in the

expression of ideas, to become intimately acquainted with their use.

It is the business of grammar to explain, not only verbal language, but

also the sublime principles upon which all written or spoken language

depends. It forms an important part of physical and mental science,

which, correctly explained, is abundantly simple and extensively useful

in its application to the affairs of human life and the promotion of

human enjoyment.

It will not be contended that we are assuming a position beyond the

capacities of learners, that the course here adopted is too philosophic.

Such is not the fact. Children are philosophers by nature. All their

ideas are derived from things as presented to their observations. No

mother learns her child to lisp the name of a thing which has no being,

but she chooses objects with which it is most familiar, and which are

most constantly before it; such as father, mother, brother, sister.

She constantly points to the object named, that a distinct impression

may be made upon its mind, and the thing signified, the idea of the

thing, and the name which represents it, are all inseparably associated

together. If the father is absent, the child may think of him from the

idea or impression which his person and affection has produced in the

mind. If the mother pronounces his name with which it has become

familiar, the child will start, look about for the object, or thing

signified by the name, father, and not being able to discover him,

will settle down contented with the idea of him deeply impressed on

the mind, and as distinctly understood as if the father was present in

person. So with every thing else.

Again, after the child has become familiar with the name of the being

called father; the name, idea and object itself being intimately

associated the mother will next begin to teach it another lesson;

following most undeviatingly the course which nature and true philosophy

mark out. The father comes and goes, is present or absent. She says on

his return, father come, and the little one looks round to see the

thing signified by the word father, the idea of which is distinctly

impressed on the mind, and which it now sees present before it. But this

loved object has not always been here. It had looked round and called

for the father. But the mother had told it he was gone. Father gone,

father come, is her language, and here the child begins to learn ideas

of actions. Of this it had, at first, no notion whatever, and never

thought of the father except when his person was present before it, for

no impressions had been distinctly made upon the mind which could be

called up by a sound of which it could have no conceptions whatever. Now

that it has advanced so far, the idea of the father is retained, even

tho he is himself absent, and the child begins to associate the notion

of coming and going with his presence or absence. Following out this

course the mind becomes acquainted with things and actions, or the

changes which things undergo.

Next, the mother begins to learn her offspring the distinction and

qualities of things. When the little sister comes to it in innocent

playfulness the mother says, "good sister," and with the descriptive

word good it soon begins to associate the quality expressed by the

affectionate regard, of its sister. But when that sister strikes the

child, or pesters it in any way, the mother says "naughty sister,"

"bad sister." It soon comprehends the descriptive words, good and

bad, and along with them carries the association of ideas which such

conduct produces. In the same way it learns to distinguish the

difference between great and small, cold and hot, hard and soft.

In this manner the child becomes acquainted with the use of language. It

first becomes acquainted with things, the idea of which is left upon the

mind, or, more properly, the impression of which, left on the mind,

constitutes the idea; and a vocabulary of words are learned, which

represent these ideas, from which it may select those best calculated

to express its meaning whenever a conversation is had with another.

All about french- speaking countries

The French Language

Roughly around 200 million people around the world speak French. This number includes people who speak French as a native language, as a second language and students of all ages who do not live in a francophone (French-speaking) country but have learned French. In fact French as a foreign language is the second most commonly taught language worldwide after English. It is also the only foreign language that can be useful throughout the world as well as in the United States. French comes in second after English on the list of the world’s 10 most influential languages. Proof of this is the pivotal role French holds. It is one of the official working languages in dozens of powerful international organisations such as the European Union (EU), United Nations (UN), World Health Organisation (WHO), World Trade Organisation (WTO), and a host of other worldwide institutions.

The French language of today is a direct result of long periods of evolution. France, throughout its long history, had been invaded by different ethnic tribal groups. The most distinguished of these are the Franks. They adopted the Latin being spoken at that time. Thus, the French language is a descendant from Latin. It is also known as one of the Romance languages which include Catalan, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese. They are called such because their parent tongue Latin was the language of the Romans. Over the years, the early French language has undergone changes in words and grammatical structures. It has evolved into today’s global French.

Frenchspeak - Here, There and Everywhere

The French-speaking world spans the entire globe with its language heard in all the continents. Aside from English, French is the only language spoken as a native or first language on 5 continents.

In Europe, French is the official language of France, Luxembourg, Monaco, Belgium and Switzerland. France with a population of more than 60 million is one of the most modern countries in the world. It is one of the predominant leaders in the European Union. French is a co-official language in Switzerland. This picturesque country is one of the world’s richest countries. It is the centre of many international associations. Belgium, in the half past century, has emerged as a progressive European state. Brussels, the capital of Belgium, is home to the headquarters of the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).

In Africa, the French-speaking countries include Algeria, Burundi, Benin, Chad, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Comoros. Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Guinea, Madagascar, Morocco, Rwanda, Togo, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Tunisia, Mauritius, Reunion and Seychelles.

In the Americas and the Caribbean, French is spoken in Canada, Haiti, French Guiana, Martinique and Guadeloupe (these last three are French territories).

In Australia and the Pacifics, Vanuatu and the overseas French territories French Polynesia, New Caledonia and Wallis and Fortuna are French-speaking.

In many other countries, French plays a significant role either as an administrative, commercial or international language. Some of these countries are Andorra, Argentina, Brazil, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Egypt, Greece, India, Italy, Laos, Lebanon, Mauritania, Poland, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom (Channel Islands), United States particularly Louisiana and New England, the Vatican City and Vietnam. Clearly, the French language is spoken everywhere.

Convinced now to learn global French? It is quite easy. Browse through this site’s French Language Program and master French in the best place – the comfort of your own home.

Bonne chance! Good Luck!

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.

Learning spanish - part 10 - the benefits of attending spanish classes instead of self study

There is no reason why anybody shouldn’t be able to learn Spanish by themselves without having to attend language classes or take private lessons. There are certainly ample learning resources in the form of textbooks or online material that can guide you through the entire learning experience. The question is which method of learning works best for you! In this article I explain why I decided to attend classes at a Spanish school in Guatemala even though I had previously studied most of the material they were about to cover via some form of self-study!

After spending about a month or so in Mexico I decided it was time to head further South into Guatemala via Belize. Mexico was my first experience of being in a Spanish speaking country and trying to communicate using the Spanish I had learnt from a text book back in the UK. Not only was the Spanish I learnt in Mexico invaluable but the entire experience taught me a lot about different learning methods and in particular the benefits of learning via cultural immersion.

Although I had done some previous self-study in the UK one of the biggest problems I encountered when trying to communicate in Spanish in Mexico was not knowing enough vocabulary and not being able to structure my sentences properly. I was putting words together but in the wrong order or I was using verbs in the completely wrong tense, or just using a verb in its infinitive form because I didn’t know any better!

These are some of the reasons why I decided that I needed to do some repeat studying. I basically felt that I had forgotten a lot of the things I had previously studied! This type of problem is of course a very common one. Nobody can be expected to learn and retain absolutely everything they have studied. To forget things is completely normal!

There are many reasons why we might forget the things we learn. Many of these reasons stem from bad learning techniques. I talked about some of these things in more detail in an earlier article, but generally speaking using a variety of techniques (written, oral and listening), and using different types of quizzes and exercises generally works better than just reading from a textbook.

One of the things I could have done was to spend more time each day by myself with my head in a book going over Spanish grammar and trying to learn and remember more Spanish words. Even though I could have used a number of different techniques to best achieve this, the idea still wasn’t very appealing! Something that was much more appealing and logical, especially as I was already immersing myself in Latin American culture was to attend classes at a Spanish school run by local Spanish speaking teachers.

I am not suggesting that attending language classes will work better than self-study. As I said before this really depends on the individual! There are however some real benefits of having someone teach you Spanish face to face rather than trying to learn entirely by yourself.

The obvious advantage of being taught by a real person is that a person can talk back to you and answer your questions if you don’t understand something. A real teacher can explain things in more than one way or in a way that makes you understand better. Textbooks cannot change the way they explain things based on who it is that is reading the book!

Another great advantage of being taught by a real person is that you can put what you have learnt, into practice immediately. You can get instant feedback on whether or not you have understood something correctly.

Although it is not essential, being taught by a teacher that is a native speaker of Spanish can also be an advantage! This isn’t because they will necessarily know more, or be better teachers. Actually it is often the opposite! Native speakers of Spanish might know less. They can tell you how the language should be spoken without thinking about it but they might not be able to explain to you why it is spoken in the way that it is! This is because they don’t need to understand the grammar that underpins the language. They just speak it naturally! Of course any good Spanish teacher whether a native speaker or not should be able to teach you Spanish grammar.

Being taught by a native Spanish speaking teacher means you can practice listening to how the language is actually spoken! Listening is a very important part of the entire study process and the more accustomed you get to hearing real Spanish the better.

The Spanish language school I decided to go to was situated in Antigua, Guatemala. My choice of school was dictated by location more than anything. It was the obvious choice after leaving Mexico! I had read that not only was Antigua a good place to study Spanish but it also offered a rich colonial history and was surrounded by several volcanoes, one of which (Pacaya), was continually active and could be visited via a guided tour.

Antigua is home to a number of different well-established Spanish schools that are geared towards teaching Spanish to foreigners. The specific school that I chose in the end was larger than some of the others and was able to provide accommodation and different guided tours as part of the entire study package.

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 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.


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!

Learn spanish quick and easy

The first thing I discovered upon my arrival in Caracas was that I remembered much less Spanish than I thought I did. As it had been over five years since I had taken a Spanish course I guess I really shouldn’t have been surprised right? Who can really expect to remember much from a high school course that was mediocre at best? As I tried desperately to order a simple sandwich and something to drink, I realized that if I didn’t at least attempt to learn Spanish I would most likely starve after a week or so.

How exactly does one go about learning Spanish in a Latin American country? Seems pretty easy right? Well I assure you it is not, especially when your entire day is spent speaking English. Another obstacle that I quickly encountered was the very rapid way in which everyone speaks in this city. It is amazing how a sentence containing 10 words or so can come out sounding almost like one long word. Is that what English sounds like to people who don’t speak English? It is exceedingly difficult to learn words in another language when you are unable to decipher exactly where one word ends and another begins. This process is made even harder by the fact that most people here fail to pronounce the whole word anyway. There were many words that I was convinced I knew and was using quite frequently. Imagine my dismay when I found out they had whole other syllables on the end of the word. No wonder I had been getting funny looks from people on the street and in restaurants.

I eventually came to the conclusion that an actual course was needed or even better, a private tutor of some sort. The only way I was ever going to learn Spanish was by actually sitting down and studying with someone who could answer the myriad of questions that arose everyday. Sad isn’t it? Here I sit, living in a Latin American country and I am unable to pick up the language without resorting to private lessons. Some people seem to have an ear for languages and can pick them up simply by listening, too bad I will never be one of those people.

Finding the best course to learn spanish

Finding the best course to learn Spanish can be a daunting task, especially on the internet where there is so much to choose from. So, how do you find the best one? Here are a few things to consider when deciding which course is the best to help you learn Spanish:

1. Choose a Spanish course that offers interactive learning, where you actually participate and use your voice to repeat words and phrases out loud. This is important because it will help to reinforce the learning in your brain, and help you learn Spanish faster.

2. Choose a course that has Spanish learning games included. If you are doing something fun such as playing a game, you are much more likely to learn Spanish faster and easier because you are having fun. Anything is easier to learn when you're having fun doing it!

3. Make sure the course has enough material and is complete. There are many courses that fall short in this area. You want to make sure there are enough exercises and lessons in the course to enable you to learn Spanish thoroughly enough to carry on conversations. Ideally, you want to find a course that offers beginner through advanced Spanish.

4. Look for a course that helps you learn Spanish with audio lessons, to help your ear get used to the sound of the language and help you pick up the accent faster.

5. Find a course developed by a native speaker. The chances are better that the course will include more "street lingo" of the language, which is much better for you. While it is ok to learn proper grammatical Spanish, you also want to learn Spanish that native speakers actually speak. After all, that is why you are learning Spanish in the first place, to be able to converse with native Spanish speaking people.

6. Compare prices for the type of content offered. Many times you can find Spanish courses that offer about the same information, but the prices fluctuate greatly. Many Spanish courses that cost several hundred or even thousands of dollars sometimes just aren't worth it. You can find a good Spanish course for less than $300. If it costs any more than that, don't bother. Just because you spend more money doesn't mean you will necessarily learn Spanish any better or faster. Concentrate on the quality of the course first, and then consider price.

Copyright 2006, ReviewsOnTheWeb. com.

History of the spanish language in latin america

The Spanish language arrived in America first through Cristуbal Colуn’s exploratory travels, and then with the rest of colonizers, at the end of the fifteenth century. At this point the Spanish language was already firmly consolidated in the Iberian peninsula. In the “new world”, however, Spanish had yet to be established, and this was done through a process labelled by historians as “hispanizaciуn”.

During this period, the southern part of the American continent was a conglomerate of hundreds of different languages and dialects. Moreover, the cultures that the settlers encountered were radically different from the Spanish one. Communication, therefore, was really a challenge in the first stages, and it was done first through gestures and later on through captive natives who acted as interpreters.

The Catholic Church played a fundamental role in the expansion of the Spanish language throughout Latin America. Thus, Jesuit and Franciscan missionaries established schools where they educated and converted into Catholicism most children and teenagers. Of course, this was all done in Spanish, and thus this language started to penetrate little by little in the daily lives of the different indigenous groups.

The evangelization was accompanied by the slow but firm administrative imposition of the Spanish language, which relegated the Amerindian languages to an unprivileged position. This was the inevitable consequence of the cultural and ethnic cleansing imposed by the Spanish Empire to its colonies.

However, there was a two-way flow of cultural and linguistic influence between the colonizers and the colonized. This happened because, in spite of their dominant position, the natives of Spain always constituted a very small minority in the American continent. Thus, there was a constant contact among languages and a progressive mixing among the different populations. This allowed the incorporation of aspects belonging to the pre-Columbian cultures into what would later become American Spanish. African languages, brought by those who were taken to America as slaves, also contributed to the formation of this rich mosaic.

Just listening to the intonation of the different South American Spanish dialects we can see that they are closer to the various native languages than to peninsular Spanish. In terms of vocabulary, two of the most influential languages were the Mexican nбhuatl (spoken by the Aztecs) or the Peruvian quechua (spoken by the Incas). These two languages were accepted and spoken by a significant part of the population, and therefore they were used for commerce purposes, even after the arrival of the Spanish conquerors. Examples of words that have been incorporated into American Spanish from these languages are “papa” (potatoe), “cuate” (friend), or “chamaco” (boy).

On the other hand, the characteristics of the Spanish explorers were also heterogeneous, since they came from all over Spain. However, their meeting point before starting their long journey was Seville, in Andalucнa, the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula. Since they stayed a long time while preparing their adventure, they ended up adopting some of the characteristics of the Andalusian dialect. Then they took them to the “new world”. This is why American Spanish shares most of the Spanish pronunciation characteristics with Andalusian Spanish. The most significant one is the phenomenon known as “seseo”, which indicates the fact that the sound “c” (pronounced “th”) is transformed into the sound “s”.

All these factors have made American Spanish the rich and multicultural linguistic variety that it is today.

Learn the korean language

The Korean language is spoken by more than 70 million people, primarily in North and South Korea. There are a number of native Korean language speakers in several countries, including the United States Australia, Canada, and Japan. The Korean language is made up of an alphabet of 28 characters that have been in used for hundreds of years. These characters are in no way similar the western alphabet that makes up the English, French, Spanish, and other languages. This can prove to be intimidating for someone interested in learning the Korean language. If you are a soldier, a diplomat, or just someone planning a trip to South Korea, learning the language will help you to break down cultural and communication barriers.

There are several ways you can learn the Korean language, to varying degrees. If you study Korean at a college or University, you will receive an intensive education on the alphabet, reading, writing, and speaking the language that will give you a leg up on communicating with Korean citizens and work associates. If you are planning a career in as a United States diplomat, for example, there is a chance that your job will take you to Korea. Being able to communicate with native Koreans will help you make the most of your job and experience in a new land. You will be a better representative of your country if you are able to demonstrate your willingness to learn the indigenous language. Your cultural sensitivity will be appreciated. Also, if you plan to be a teacher of English as a second language, being fluent in Korean will make your experience living there more pleasant. As an instructor of English, you will be teaching Korean students, but you will also be learning from them.

Another way to learn the Korean language is by enrolling in one of many accelerated courses that are available through community colleges and even online. An accelerated course in Korean will provide you with a basic knowledge of the language, which will allow you to understand basic phrases, and ask basic questions. You will also be introduced to the Korean alphabet, which might seem daunting. There is language instruction available for purchase, as well. You do not learn the language by memorization. Rather, native Korean speakers provide real-life scenarios that provide you the opportunity to “learn as you go”, using voice technology over your computer. You get immediate feedback, which is a less stressful way for you to learn. When the learning process is less stressful, you are more apt to take the information in and retain, thus learning the Korean language with greater ease than you thought possible.

Whether you are interested in learning the Korean language for your own intellectual development and enjoyment, or you are inclined to do so for a job such a international diplomacy or teaching, learning to speak, read, and write Korean gives you the knowledge to communicate with people of a different culture, and if you are working abroad, helps you to have a less worrisome experience communicating with native Koreans. There is nothing more stressful than being unable to communicate with people while in a foreign country. Learning Korean will alleviate that stress, as well as make a good impression with your overseas associates. Learning the Korean language will enhance your travels and work experiences in that you will be appreciate the lives and culture of the Korean people, a people that seem mysterious to us. Learning a second language such as the Korean language is an intellectually and personally improving achievement that will provide many benefits to you professionally and intellectually. http://www. foreign-languages-school. com

Find the essential information on where and how to learn a new or second language at Learn Korean Language

Dutch progression the changes in the dutch language in the 20th century

The Dutch language is spoken by more than 22 million people, most of them in countries like the Netherlands and Belgium. Given this statistic, Dutch can be considered as one of the more popular languages in Europe.

Before the 17th century the Dutch language was not yet standardized. There were many dialects in existence that it was beginning to pose a problem.

After the 17th century, after the standardization of the Dutch language has taken place, it became so much easier to identify the distinctions between the standard Dutch language and its dialects. But the developments surrounding the Dutch language has continued well into the 19th and 20th century. Because of the influences being exerted by other languages like German, French, and English, the standard Dutch language is undergoing a change.

One of the more noticeable change in the Dutch language over the past century is with regards to pronunciation. The voiceless pronunciation of certain letters or syllables are now entering the standard language and is a unique feature that was more commonly heard from a dialect found in a province in Holland. These voiceless pronunciations commonly revolve around “v” as “f”, “z” as “s” and “g” as “x”. This current trend mirrors the desire for a change in spelling Dutch as near to its phonological sound as possible. This would mean that each particular sound is represented by a single letter or that a grapheme is only made in one particular way.

There is also a shift in how three diphthongs are being pronounced. The diphthongs in reference are ei, ui, and ou. The current shift for these are now moving towards aai, ou, and aau. This change was first seen among women who are middle aged and well educated and who come from the upper middle class. These women are identified with the world of the academia, politics, arts and literature.

From these beginnings the practice eventually spread out to women from other demographics. But lately even men have started employing this language change. It is also becoming employed by children, even those under the age of ten years and from very diverse backgrounds.

Already, this change can be heard in large parts of the Netherlands, but most especially among women of Turkish or Moroccan descent.

There are also some changes being seen in the area of morphology. One very significant change is inclusion of plural endings ( - s) even for nouns. This change is mostly seen in words that end in – e – for example, hoogte – de hoogtes, which was usually hoogten.

Even the suffix – baar is becoming more and more prevalently used in modern Dutch usage more often in the use of neologisms. In turn, the suffix -(e)lijk is becoming less and less used and in fact is being ignored in favor of the aforementioned – baar.

There is even a rising use of “concentrations” in modern Dutch. This is most commonly seen when using multi part compound nouns.

Learning spanish - part 8 - first encounters in mexico

In this article I want to talk about what happened to me during my early attempts at trying to communicate in Spanish with the native Spanish speaking peoples of Central America. After spending six weeks ploughing through a basic level Spanish text book and learning as much Spanish vocabulary as my memory would permit I thought I was ready to take on the Spanish language for real!!

I actually started my trip through the Americas in the U. S. I spent some time in San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego before heading south to the Mexican border on route to Tiajana. Although I didn’t actually converse with anybody in Spanish in the U. S I did learn a lot about the Spanish conquest of this region before the English took over!

You might be wondering what that has to do with learning Spanish! Well, the point is that learning Spanish shouldn’t just be about learning how to communicate in Spanish. One of the best ways to keep yourself enthused about your studies is to immerse yourself in all things Spanish. Learning about Spanish history for example and in my particular case about the Spanish conquest of the Americas is a great way of adding substance. It kind of validates and gives purpose and added reason to why you are learning the Spanish language in the first place.

This might all sound a bit deep but the truth is that cultural immersion really can help you to understand certain things about the Spanish language that you might not be able to gain from a textbook alone! Plus, if your anything like me you’ll simply love learning about Spanish history and the conquest of the Americas as a matter course.

Before I went to the U. S I didn’t realise just how much of the Americas that the Spanish were originally in control of. Their rule extended the entire Pacific coast from Southern Argentina right the way up to modern day Alaska. I also didn’t realise that the names of some US cities are actually Spanish names! San Francisco (Saint Francis) Los Angeles (The Angles).

The further south that you go in the U. S the more Spanish influence there is. In Florida and L. A, Spanish place names are common and some road signs are even translated into Spanish.

So, with a little Pre-Columbian history under my belt and my self study crash course in Spanish I caught a bus south from L. A direct to the Mexican town of Tijuana just over the U. S / Mexican border. To start with I didn’t really get much of a chance to test my Spanish out on anyone. The taxi drivers, the owner of the hostel I stayed at and the bar staff at all the bars I went to all seemed to want to talk to me in English! This wasn’t that surprising however! Tijuana has a reputation for being a bit of a party town for young North Americans looking for a good weekend!

I tried to speak a little Spanish to the locals but couldn’t string sentences together quick enough. I think most people could see I was struggling and decided to make it easy for the ‘poor gringo’ by speaking to me in English! It wasn’t until I decided to head south again further into Baja de California that I got my first real opportunities to speak.

I went to a local bus company to book a bus to the next town south, called Ensenada. This time I was on my own; no-body spoke a word of English. I then attempted to explain to the lovely young Mexican girl that attended me that I wanted to catch a bus to the next town south. The only thing was I didn’t know how to say it properly. I didn’t know the word for ‘catch’ or ‘get on’ and had forgotten even basic words like ‘to go’ and ‘ticket’. All I kept blurting out was ‘ummm…..bus…..ummm…bus….. Ensenada!’ I must have looked like a bumbling fool and I certainly felt like one!

Of course the lovely young Mexican girl understood that I wanted to go to Ensenada by bus, even from my mumblings, but the next challenge was figuring out the bus timetable and how much it was going to cost me. If this wasn’t bad enough I couldn’t understand a word of what the Mexican girl was saying to me in Spanish! In the end the Mexican girl had to write numbers down on a piece of paper (thank god numbers are the same in both English and Spanish I thought!) After a period of time, which seemed like forever I eventually paid my pesos and reserved a seat on the next bus out, which was in a few hours!

Admittedly I had only just arrived in the Spanish-speaking world and I hadn’t really done a lot of studying so I probably shouldn’t have expected much! Later I was told that the Mexican accent could be one of the hardest in Latin America to understand as well. But, the thing was, I was pretty annoyed and shocked at just how useless I was! So from that day onwards I promised myself that I would find a little time each day during the rest of my travels, (not difficult as a backpacker), to improve my Spanish skills. I knew I had a long way to go but I was determined to do it!

Learn spanish fast

How fast is it possible to learn a foreign language? You see products that claim to teach you to speak in weeks or even days. I am trying to learn Spanish fast, but as with any other language it is a long and tiring process that take months and even years to become proficient. It is possible to learn some Spanish very fast, but you will find that will mostly be swear words and slang terms that wont really get you anywhere when it comes to actual conversation.

Sometimes I have dreams with a few of the Spanish words I know in them but they unfortunately normally revolve around how dumb I am and how I don’t know any other words. Of course some people are able to learn Spanish very fast, or any other language for that matter, simply because they have what is frequently called an “ear or languages”. I wish I was one of those people.

Not matter how well you learn languages I have to say that I agree with the school of though that says the best way is through immersion. Living in a country that speaks the language is by far the best way to truly learn a language. You can also read books, listen to tapes, and use interactive software. Or there is another more novel method I found that involves learning through music. While this sounds interesting and kind of fun I have to say the words used in the lyrics to the Latin songs I have encountered here are not the words I would want to be learning.

To truly learn Spanish fast and well a nice combination of all the above mentioned methods would be nice. To live in the country, listen to tapes and music, read books, use software, and speak nothing but the language would be ideal and probably very successful. Unfortunately no one really has the time this would entail so we must instead settle for a long, drawn out, frustrating process.

Learn italian in italy

There are lots of ways to learn a language, but nothing can beat actually visiting and studying in the country where the language is spoken. Daily immersion in the language and culture is the key to gaining proficiency in a language. So where better to learn the Italian language than in Italy! Italy is a beautiful and diverse country with friendly people, fantastic food and an astonishingly rich cultural heritage.

For anyone who hasn't realised, Italy is a country rich in history, beauty, romance and style. It's also a country where good taste in fashion and food abound. Italians take an immense, and justifiable, pride in their national assets, and often refer to their country as the 'bel paese' or 'beautiful country'. Italy is among the oldest and most fascinating European countries, with art and architecture are second to none. Whether you choose to explore Italy by foot, by gondola, or by Vespa, the journey is breathtaking! To appreciate 'la dolce vita' fully, knowledge of the Italian language is essential, and there is no better place to learn than right in the midst of Italian life.

Italian language schools are located throughout Italy, from world-famous Venice and Milan in northern Italy to historic Taormina and Otranto in the south. Choice of location is one of the most important factors in deciding which language school to attend. Without a doubt, time spent outside the language classroom is at least as important as time spent in class. In larger cities, language programs typically emphasise amenities and activities but, depending on the size of the program, can neglect individual student attention. While there may be no shortage of cultural activities and museum visits, intimate cultural experiences are more likely to occur in smaller towns and villages. It is also much easier to fall back on speaking English in large cities, which of course defeats your original purpose entirely!

Throughout Italy, English is less spoken in smaller towns and villages than in cities. In such locations, it is almost impossible not to speak the language you’re there to study. Generally, people in the more rural areas of Italy will be quite honored that you’ve chosen to learn Italian in their home town and will be more welcoming, making it easier to establish lasting friendships and feel right at home.

The type of Italian language program you choose will of course be determined partly by your specific needs. There are many different types of program offered by language schools in Italy, including general Italian, Italian for business, Italian for academic studies, and Italian for art courses, music, design and culinary arts.

Whichever program you choose, there are several features to look for which are shared by all good programs: flexible, communicative instruction methodologies, a friendly atmosphere, personal attention, enthusiastic and qualified teachers, small groups. Depending on your requirements, the program should also provide a language qualification recognised by national and international colleges and universities.

In summary, to get the most out of an Italian language program in Italy, look for schools with small groups, qualified native-speaking teachers and programs providing plenty of individual attention. Cultural programs including excursions and activities are important, but they should not substitute for real language learning which occurs best in smaller groups and more intimate contexts. Whatever happens during your time in Italy, the most important thing is that you thoroughly enjoy the language learning experience! You will learn much better if you are happy with your program and enjoying yourself!

Learn spanish words it s a breeze

What are the first words learned when living in a foreign country? Well I can tell you when I started to learn Spanish words the first ones I picked up and began to use were the swear words. Why is that? Why do we focus on the negative aspects of a language first? The first thing we want to be able to do is yell at people and express our displeasure eloquently. Why do we not instead ask how to say something is amazing, or delicious, or fabulous? So to learn these important Spanish words the first thing we do when we get of the plane is make friends and ask them how to swear.

Well what about learning other Spanish words? Reading is a good way. Pick up the local newspaper and translate all the words you don’t know. This takes a long time and can be frustrating but is very effective. I have also found it helps to write down the words you learn to get a visual of them as you memorize them. It is a lot easier to remember a word when you know how it is spelled. You can figure out the pronunciation and remember it better than simply listening to your friend with the very strong Spanish accent say it and trying to imitate.

Unfortunately sometimes it seems like the more words you learn the more you don’t know. I constantly learn new Spanish words and think I can now say what I want until I try to formulate a sentence and realize there are 5 other words I need. It is a never-ending uphill battle to learn all I need.

Foreign language - tips to improve your foreign language skills

Learning a second language can be a daunting task. If you are lucky enough to have bilingual parents or attended a school that taught second languages, that's great. But what if you are older now and interested in learning a second language? The good news is there are many helpful tools for you to access.

Learning an additional language is beneficial in many ways. You can easily communicate in other language and express your thoughts, ideas and opinions in a different language. Some languages help in strengthening your interaction with others and you can increase your dealings and businesses to get better profit.

Foreign languages are not easy to learn. A person needs to work hard on vocabulary, grammar, and expressions to get the basics correctly. Here are some tips that help you to get learn a language faster and easily:

1. Spend More Time

To grasp a language in a perfect manner, you need to spend more time on the language. You need to read different books written in your preferred language. Listening to music and conversation in that particular language will help you to get correct pronunciation and usage. Take foreign language help if you face any difficulty. You can also practice it by conversing it with people.

2.Computer Programs

If you enjoy learning with multimedia programs on the computer, there are several different brands that you can use. Most combine visual flashcard-type lessons or video with the ability to practice speaking the language using a microphone. An excellent example is Rosetta Stone software. They use a total immersion method, which can be a little frustrating at first but if you stay with it, you will see your comprehension develop.

3. Travel Abroad

Taking up frequent trips to different countries of the world will help you to understand their practices and culture. You can see and understand their values, traditions and importance of language attached to it. Sometimes you may come across the native tongue of a particular area and learn few words.

4.On-Line Programs

There are many programs for learning a second language on-line. This gives you the advantage of being able to study from any computer and gives you immediate access. Rosetta Stone has an on-line version. There are also many language reference and dictionary websites.

5.Learn the Essence of the Languages

Languages are the essence of a persons existence. It is the perfect medium to share your mindset with others and gives you a chance to analysis others' thoughts and actions. It is difficult to survive without any language, so value it and learn it thoroughly.

6.Audio Programs

If you don't have a computer or prefer to learn while doing other things like sitting in rush hour traffic, an audio program may be best for you. I recommend the Pimsleur programs. They combine an instructor with native speakers that let you hear a word or phrase and then give you a chance to repeat it. In fact, you may get sick of repeating it but you will learn it.

7.Complete Immersion

By far, the best way to learn a language is by living in a country that speaks the language. Of course you will still need to use one or more of the above methods but if you can do it while living around people who speak the language, you will learn much faster and speak better. No matter how good the program or class is, it is not exactly the same as actually living the language. You may not be able to actually move to another country but if you can spend 2 weeks to a month studying there, it will be well worth it.

Don t forget a spanish dictionary

On a recent tour through Mexico and Central America, I realized that I had forgotten many things for my journey. For some reason I made it out of my house without my toothbrush and toothpaste, but fortunately I was able to replace them as soon as I realized my mistake. I also forgot film for my camera but was able to purchase some once I got to Mexico as well. Far worse than forgetting those things, however, was the realization that I had forgotten my Spanish dictionary that I had received and practiced with just for this trip.

My best friend gave me the Spanish dictionary a few months before I headed out on my trip because she remembered what a difficult time I had in high school Spanish class. She assumed rightly that my Spanish skills were even more poor fifteen years after my last Spanish class. She handed me the Spanish dictionary and wisely advised me to practice the basic words and phrases found in the front of the dictionary every day until I left on my trip. I've never been good at following any advice that included the phrase "every day," so naturally I only picked up my Spanish dictionary a few times before I headed out on my journey.

Many people warned me that having a Spanish dictionary would be one of the best tools for me as I traveled alone throughout several Spanish speaking and foreign countries. I certainly believed the warnings of friends and family, but I had no real idea until I landed in Mexico how true their warnings had been. I was like a lost puppy or a child without her mother. I couldn't talk with locals or even begin to make out the words on signs or billboards.

I made it through the three week tour, but not without much stress and too many miscommunications. I learned quickly that gestures and pointing can go a long way when no words can be communicated. I made it to every city on my itinerary, so I did not miss out on anything in that sense, but I realized quite quickly that forgetting my Spanish dictionary made me miss out on what would have perhaps been the biggest blessing of the trip. Without a tool to help me communicate with the locals, I missed out on a lot of potentially amazing conversations and on getting to know the ins and outs of Spanish cultures from locals.

I will always regret forgetting my Spanish dictionary when I went on that trip, and not just because I couldn't get around with ease. I'll regret it even more because of the lovely Spanish people that I didn't have the privilege of conversing with during my journey.

Quickly learn a language by thinking in it

: It can be tedious to learn a language. There will always be a certain amount of rote memorization required. However, there are also many little techniques for more easily learning a language. Labeling things around the house in the language you want to learn comes to mind. Listening to tapes while in the car is another. Then there is a technique I used to learn Spanish. How I Quickly Learned Spanish I studied Spanish books for six weeks before going to Ecuador. I didn't speak a word of the language during this time - a big mistake. Still, I was able to converse with the locals in the hostel in Quito the day after I arrived. Within a few days I was discussing philosophy, politics and more with Ana, who is now my wife. How did I learn a language so quickly? I didn't really. I had a very limited vocabulary when I arrived in Ecuador, and a very limited vocabulary when I left. However, I could use what little Spanish I knew to express myself. This I credit to a habit that fortunately is also a great technique for learning a language. I have conversations in my head. I think of what I am about to say, and have always played out future discussions in my imagination. I found myself doing this in Spanish too. The result was that I learned how to speak the language quickly, and say a lot with few words. Learn To Think In A Language People imagine that they have to be fluent to think in a language. This just isn't true. You can choose to think "I am walking to the store," so there is no reason you can't think "Yo estoy caminando a la tienda," as soon as you know those six words. If you don't know the word "caminar" (to walk), but you know how to say "Yo voy a la tienda," (I go to the store) you can think that. Alternately, you can look up a word or two as you get "stuck." One reason this is a great way to learn a language is that it helps you remember the words. Repetition works, and saying the words, even if only in your mind, works better than reading or hearing them. When you make a point of translating your thoughts into your new language, you are always practicing. It is more than just good practice, though. Putting your thoughts into your new language forces you to learn not just words and rules, but also specific ways to express what you want to say. We all talk about different things and have different interests, right? A doctor might want to know how to say "where does it hurt?" while I may want to ask where the mountains are. Often, you learn what others think you should know. This helps, but your thoughts are uniquely yours, and when you think in your new language, you are learning exactly what YOU need to learn. Speaking a language is perhaps the best way to learn it, and thinking it is just speaking it in your mind. You'll learn your most important words, expressions and sentences quickly if you are thinking them continually. Another tip: Carry a language dictionary with you to use whenever your thoughts stop flowing. This is a powerful way to learn a language and start speaking it quickly.

It cannot hurt to learn chinese

It today's day and age, many people are learning a second, third or even forth language. There are probably many reasons to learn languages other than your own. Some people just love learning about foreign cultures, and therefore they choose to study a foreign language to help them understand a culture even further. Others learn a language such as Spanish or Chinese to help prepare them for a career that they hope to have or for preparation to travel to a foreign land.

If you are thinking of starting to learn another language, regardless of your age or of other languages you have learned, you should consider learning Chinese. There are many great reasons to learn Chinese. One of the biggest reasons that I, as an artist, loved learning Chinese was because of how artistic and beautiful to the eye the written Chinese language is. When I entered my first Chinese class I could not get over how intriguing and wonderful it looked on the chalk board. In fact, as the weeks of the class went on and I was getting frustrated by my lack of ability, it was the physical beauty of written Chinese that kept me going.

Another great reason to start learning Chinese is that the nation and people of China are undoubtedly rising up to be some of the world's most powerful people. Business, travel and trade are all increasing with China, so it will not hurt you to start learning Chinese. In fact, Chinese could very well become the next world language and be used with the frequency of English. If you are ever considering international business or trade, or if you just like to travel, then consider seriously how learning Chinese could be of benefit to you.

There are many ways to actually start learning Chinese. You can purchase books at a local bookstore that will give you the basics to start learning, or you can even buy video or dvd sets that will help you learn. An even better way to learn Chinese, however, is to enroll in a Chinese class at a local college or university. Getting in the classroom and being surrounded by other students might be the best way to really learn the Chinese language. So take some time to research the opportunities for Chinese that exist in your area. Or perhaps you have a Chinese friend that will agree to give you personal lessons. Even better.

Realize that learning another language such as Chinese can be fun and is definitely valuable for anyone. Start the process today and you won't be sorry.

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.

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