Merry Christmas in 24 Languages

I wish all my followers a Merry Christmas! 🙂

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Incorrectly Used Words That Can Make You Look Dumb

Some days, I get more than a hundred e-mails and I need to read and answer them all. I don’t see those people and our main communication channel is e-mail. When this is the case, the sentence structure and the selection of words are the defining ways of creating the first impression. When somebody uses the words incorrectly, they just make a bad impression and somehow I even don’t trust their ideas on a certain subject. Maybe I’m so strict about that, I have to admit but some incorrectly used words can make you look dumb. 🙂

I found this article on Linkedin. It is written by Jeff Haden. Here I chose the words that interest me most. 🙂

I hope you enjoy! You can always click the line at the bottom to read the full article.

affect_effect

Affect and effect

Verbs first. Affect means to influence: “Impatient investors affected our roll-out date.”Effect means to accomplish something: “The board effected a sweeping policy change.”

How you use effect or affect can be tricky. For example, a board can affect changes by influencing them and can effect changes by directly implementing them. Bottom line, use effect if you’re making it happen, and affect if you’re having an impact on something that someone else is trying to make happen.

As for nouns, effect is almost always correct: “Once he was fired he was given 20 minutes to gather his personal effects.” Affect refers to an emotional state, so unless you’re a psychologist you probably have little reason to use it.

Compliment and complement

Compliment means to say something nice. Complement means to add to, enhance, improve, complete, or bring close to perfection.

I can compliment your staff and their service, but if you have no current openings you have a full complement of staff. Or your new app may complement your website.

For which I may decide to compliment you.

Discreet and discrete

Discreet means careful, cautious, showing good judgment: “We made discreet inquiries to determine whether the founder was interested in selling her company.”

Discrete means individual, separate, or distinct: “We analyzed data from a number of discrete market segments to determine overall pricing levels.” And if you get confused, remember you don’t use “discretion” to work through sensitive issues; you exercise discretion.

Elicit and illicit

Elicit means to draw out or coax. Think of elicit as the mildest form of extract. If one lucky survey respondent will win a trip to the Bahamas, the prize is designed to elicit responses.

Illicit means illegal or unlawful, and while I suppose you could elicit a response at gunpoint … you probably shouldn’t.

Fewer and less

Use fewer when referring to items you can count, like “fewer hours” or “fewer dollars.”

Use “less” when referring to items you can’t (or haven’t tried to) count, like “less time” or “less money.”

Principal and principle

A principle is a fundamental: “Our culture is based on a set of shared principles.”Principal means primary or of first importance: “Our startup’s principal is located in NYC.” (Sometimes you’ll also see the plural, principals, used to refer to executives or relatively co-equals at the top of a particular food chain.)

Principal can also refer to the most important item in a particular set: “Our principal account makes up 60% of our gross revenues.”

Principal can also refer to money, normally a sum that was borrowed, but can be extended to refer to the amount you owe — hence principal and interest.

If you’re referring to laws, rules, guidelines, ethics, etc., use principle. If you’re referring to the CEO or the president (or an individual in charge of a high school), use principal.

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20141203134446-20017018-40-incorrectly-used-words-that-can-make-you-look-dumb

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Interesting Language Facts

We always talk about some aspect of a language- English mainly. But there thousands of other languages around the world and unfortunately some of them are endangered.

Here is a detailed infographic summarising world languages and showing the current situation. It is a kind of reference point, so I hope you find it fun and informative.

50-awesoem-facts-about-languages-720

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“Epiphany”, “Mistletoe” and Many More Christmas Words

It’s again Christmas time! 🙂 It feels good and sad, a little bit both. I just don’t understand how the years pass by. This is our 3rd Christmas together by the way. 🙂

And as a tradition, I want to remind you some Christmas terminology which is quite useful for non-Christian bilingual community here. 🙂

Have a happy new year already! 😀

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Advent – From the Latin Adventus (coming) the four week period preceding Christmas which serves as a time of reflection in preparation for the celebration of the Nativity.

Baubles – Shiny trinkets and ornaments, traditionally made from glass, used in Christmas decorations.

Bells – Hollow metal objects that emit a tuned sound when struck, used during Christmas to announce the arrival of the season and proclaim the birth of Christ.

Carols – Originally secular songs to accompany dancing during communal celebrations, Carols have evolved to become religious songs sung at Christmas.

Christmas Star – The star that guided the Wise Men, or Maji, to Jesus in the stable. One of the more prominent symbols of Christmas and one extensively used as decoration at Christmas time.

Dove – An ancient symbol of love and peace, later used by Christians to symbolize the Holy Ghost. Often used as a decoration at Christmas, particularly on the Christmas Tree.

Epiphany – A life changing event. The last of the 12 days of Christmas, Epiphany celebrates the revelation of Christ to the gentiles, as represented by the visiting Wise Men.

Holly – A bush with green glossy leaves, and most known for the varieties with red berries, used as a Christmas decoration representing new life.

Holy – Sacred, or participant of the holiness of a divine power, usually God.

Lamb of God – One of the titles given to Jesus in the New Testament of the Bible.

Mistletoe – A semi-parasitic plant that grows on certain types of trees, typified by the sticky substance surrounding the seed which helps it to attach to a potential host when excreted by birds. Mistletoe is used as a Christmas decoration.

Nativity – That moment of birth when the infant takes its first breath and so begins the process of self maintenance of bodily functions. In Christmas terms, Nativity refers to the birth of Jesus.

Offerings – Gifts of money made in the spirit of Christmas gift giving and used to aid the needy.

Parade – A ceremonial procession involving people marching and also sometimes decorated vehicular floats. Christmas is a popular time for parades with many cities holding official parades.

Santa Claus – An imaginary man who circles the globe on Christmas Eve distributing gifts. Believed to be a derivation of Saint Nicolas, the patron saint of Children.

Shepherd – Someone who watches over a flock of sheep, usually in the fields. This concept has been expanded to mean anyone caring for another group of beings, such as a Pastor who watches over and cares for a group of people.

Sleigh – A vehicle used in snowy conditions, traditionally pulled by animals. Used by Santa Claus on his Christmas Eve journey.

Twelve Days of Christmas – A popular Christmas song representing the twelve days from December 35 to January 6. It is thought that the song was a means to teach the tenets of the Catholic faith during times when Catholicism was banned, although this is open to debate.

Wassail – From the Middle English “Waes Haeil”, meaning to be in good health, the custom of toasting to each others health, a custom that has woven itself into Christmas traditions.

Wise Men – Magi/Sages/Medicine Men from the East who visited Jesus with Mary and Joseph shortly after he was born. Although never stated, it is assumed they were three in number as they brought three gifts for the child; Gold and Frankincense and Myrrh.

For more words, click here.

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An Illustrated Catalog of Untranslatable Words

In many blog posts before, we discussed that there are many untranslatable words that should be explained across cultures. As language evolves parallel to people’s need of expression, it is quite normal that there are different terms in different cultures. To understand these terms and words, one should really understand the culture itself.

Anyway, Maria Popova compiled them for us in her article on brainpickings.com. Thanks Ella Frances Sanders for such beautiful illustrations!

Let’s have a look at the most interesting ones. You can always click the link at the bottom to read the original article.

lostintranslation1 lostintranslation2 lostintranslation3 lostintranslation4 lostintranslation6 lostintranslation9

Source: http://www.brainpickings.org/2014/11/24/lost-in-translation-ella-frances-sanders/

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Auto-correct Victims

This a kind of new term that has come to our life with text messages and especially with smart phones. Auto-correct is useful most of the times but if you don’t pay enough attention, you can be victim of a typo and you may end up with a complete different word! 🙂

Here are some examples where people tried say different things but ended up saying something meaningless and funny! 🙂

I just chose the ones that I like most. you can always read the whole list by clicking the link at the bottom.

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Source: http://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicamisener/crimes-committed-against-the-english-language

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Translation of Relationship Text Messages

Translation process does not necessarily occur between 2 different languages. It can offer within a language and even between 2 people who are speaking exactly the same language with the same dialect. 🙂 Yeah, well, we see such kind of translation all the time between 2 lovers- mainly the opposite sides. Men and women are meant for each other but sooo not meant for understanding little details hidden between the lines. 🙂

Here is a very funny post from Mashable, that explains what one side of the relationship says and what the other side should understand. I chose the ones that I liked most but you can always read the whole article by clicking the link at the bottom.

Hope you enjoy! 🙂

fine haha home many-has miss-you pizza

Source: http://mashable.com/2014/09/10/relationship-text-translations/

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The Etymology of Months

In my opinion, the autumn always comes and goes so fast. First in September, you just cannot accept the fact that summer is almost over and it is still basically summer. 🙂 In October there is always a lot of rush; you change the house, clothes, all the errands etc. Only in November you convince yourself that winter is on the way it is really autumn. However, after mid November you just begin to make plans about Christmas or new year. For these reasons, I always think that autumn is somewhat a missing season and a little bit overrated. :)))

Anyway, today I really wondered why we call November as November, then I remembered the latin number reference. I’d learned the etymology of months when I was in college but I realized that I’ve almost forgotten them all. So this article will be a kind of reminder for me. 🙂 I hope you also enjoy it.

January — Janus’s month

Middle English Januarie
Latin Januarius “of Janus”
Latin Janu(s) “Janus” + –arius “ary (pertaining to)”
Latin Januarius mensis “month of Janus”

Janus is the Roman god of gates and doorways, depicted with two faces looking in opposite directions. His festival month is January.

Januarius had 29 days, until Julius when it became 31 days long.

February — month of Februa

Middle English Februarius
Latin Februarius “of Februa”
Latin Februa(s) “Februa” + –arius “ary (pertaining to)”
Latin Februarius mensis “month of Februa”
Latin dies februatus “day of purification”

Februarius had 28 days, until circa 450 BC when it had 23 or 24 days on some of every second year, until Julius when it had 29 days on every fourth year and 28 days otherwise.

Februa is the Roman festival of purification, held on February fifteenth. It is possibly of Sabine origin.

Intercalaris — inter-calendar month

Latin Intercalaris “inter-calendar”
Latin Mercedonius (popular name) “?”

Intercalaris had 27 days until the month was abolished by Julius.

March — Mars’ month

Middle English March(e)
Anglo-French March(e)
Old English Martius
Latin Martius “of Mars”
Latin Marti(s) “Mars” + –us (adj. suffix)
Latin Martius mensis “month of Mars”

Martius has always had 31 days.

March was the original beginning of the year, and the time for the resumption of war.

Mars is the Roman god of war. He is identified with the Greek god Ares.

April — Aphrodite’s month

Old English April(is)
Latin Aprilis
Etruscan Apru
Greek Aphro, short for Aphrodite.

Aprilis had 30 days, until Numa when it had 29 days, until Julius when it became 30 days long.

Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love and beauty. She is identified with the Roman goddess Venus.

May — Maia’s month

Old French Mai
Old English Maius
Latin Maius “of Maia”
Latin Maius mensis “month of Maia”

Maius has always had 31 days.

Maia (meaning “the great one”) is the Italic goddess of spring, the daughter of Faunus, and wife of Vulcan.

June — Juno’s month

Middle English jun(e)
Old French juin
Old English junius
Latin Junius “of Juno”
Latin Junius mensis “month of Juno”

Junius had 30 days, until Numa when it had 29 days, until Julius when it became 30 days long.

Juno is the principle goddess of the Roman Pantheon. She is the goddess of marriage and the well-being of women. She is the wife and sister of Jupiter. She is identified with the Greek goddess Hera.

July — Julius Caesar’s month

Middle English Julie
Latin Julius “Julius”
Latin Julius mensis “month of Julius”
Latin quintilis mensis “fifth month”

Quintilis (and later Julius) has always had 31 days.

Julius Caesar reformed the Roman calendar (hence the Julian calendar) in 46 BC. In the process, he renamed this month after himself.

August — Augustus Caesar’s month

Latin Augustus “Augustus”
Latin Augustus mensis “month of Augustus”
Latin sextilis mensis “sixth month”

Sextilis had 30 days, until Numa when it had 29 days, until Julius when it became 31 days long.

Augustus Caesar clarified and completed the calendar reform of Julius Caesar. In the process, he also renamed this month after himself.

September — the seventh month

Middle English septembre
Latin September
Latin septem “seven” + -ber (adj. suffix)
Latin september mensis “seventh month”

September had 30 days, until Numa when it had 29 days, until Julius when it became 30 days long.

October — the eighth month

Middle English octobre
Latin October
Latin octo “eight” + -ber (adj. suffix)
Latin october mensis “eighth month”

October has always had 31 days.

November — the nineth month

Middle English Novembre
Latin November
Latin Novembris mensis “nineth month”

Novembris had 30 days, until Numa when it had 29 days, until Julius when it became 30 days long.

December — the tenth month

Middle English decembre
Old French decembre
Latin december “tenth month”
Latin decem “ten” + -ber (adj. suffix)

December had 30 days, until Numa when it had 29 days, until Julius when it became 31 days long

Source: http://www.crowl.org/lawrence/time/months.html

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Second Languages Around The World

Most of the times, the choice of the second language is not up to you. When I was in primary school, we “had to” learn English as the second language because we/ or our parents did not have a chance to decide on that. In Turkey example, English is considered as the global language and it should be in the curriculum.

When I was in college, I studied in Ghent, a Flemish city Belgium. Unlike Turkey, the second language is French there because of the bilingual nature of the country.

Anyway. For this or that reason, every country has a second language around the world. Let’s see it with a funny and informative infographic. 🙂

second-languages-map-1350px

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English Language Learning Tips

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I don’t know how but I never came across to this Youtube channel before. 🙂

Cambridge English TV contains tons of useful videos giving tips about English language learning. From tenses to vocabulary tips, this channel is a rich and a visual source for those who are trying to learn English.

I know, if you read this article, you probably have no problem learning English but I’m sure there are tens of people around you who strive to master this language. So even if you’re not their teacher or tutor, you can always recommend this channel to them! 🙂

 

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