Archive for September, 2012

Don’t Turn a Deaf Ear to This Post :)

Have you ever thought about the idioms related to the ear? There are many. 🙂 Some of them are quite interesting, and it is almost impossible to guess the meaning if you are not a native speaker. Here are the ones you should know. Feel free to add more! 🙂

 

all ears

– eager to hear something, very attentive

assault the ears

– to be very loud or persistent

believe one`s ears

– to believe what one is hearing, to become sure of something

bend (someone’s) ear

-to talk to someone (usually in an annoying or persistent manner)

ears are burning

– someone is talking about you when you are not there

ears are ringing

– one hears a ringing sound because of a very loud sound

ears become red

– one’s ears become red from embarrassment

fall on deaf ears

-to have one’s talk or ideas ignored by the person that they are intended for

flea in (someone`s) ear

– a severe scolding, an idea or answer that is not welcome

give (someone) an earful

-to talk to someone in order to criticize or complain about something

grin from ear to ear

– to have a big grin on one’s face

have an ear for (something)

– to have the ability to learn music or languages

have nothing between the ears

– to be stupid, to have no brains or intelligence

have one’s ear to the ground

– to listen carefully because you want to get advance warning of something

have (someone’s) ear

-to be able to get someone to listen to you (usually someone who has the power or ability to help you)

in one ear and out the other

-a piece of information is heard and then quickly forgotten

listen to (someone) with half an ear

– to not listen carefully to someone

make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear

– to create something of value out of something of no value

out of earshot

– too far from a sound or voice to hear it

out on one’s ear

– to be forced to (unwillingly) leave one’s job or organization or home

play it by ear

– to decide what to do in a certain situation when you are already involved in the situation, to not plan in advance for something, to improvise

put a bug in (someone`s) ear

– to give someone an idea

smile from ear to ear

– to have a big smile on one’s face

talk (someone’s) ear off

– to talk to someone and bore him or her

turn a deaf ear to (someone)

– to pretend not to hear someone, to not pay attention to someone

wet behind the ears

– to be young and inexperienced, to be new in a job or place

 

 

Visit our Facebook page to read more posts about languages, translation, books and stuff you like!

You can also follow me on Twitter.

Let’s get connected more! We are on Google+.

Best Libraries Around the World, Part #2

Hello everyone! This is the second part of “Best Libraries Around the World, Part #1”. For those who missed the introduction, I just pasted it here. You can continue enjoying more libraries! These ones are more modern compared to the previous post.

 

“I know you guys love books. People who are interested in languages love reading and books as well. Somehow, we instinctly know that learning involves reading. :)

However, a lot variables may affect the reading experience. The most important one of them is the atmosphere. While you can read for hours in a place you like, you can read and read the same line without understanding a word in another place. With this in mind, I searched the best libraries around the world. Let’s see what I’ve found:”

George Peabody Library – Baltimore, Maryland

 

Kanazawa Umimirai Library, Kanazawa City, Japan

 

 

 

 

New York Public Library, New York City

 

 

Old Market Library, Min Buri, Bangkok

 

Stuttgart City Library, Stuttgart, Germany

 

The Royal Danish Library (the Black Diamond), Copenhagen, Denmark

 

Vennesla Library and Culture House, Vennesla, Norway

 

Villanueva Public Library, Villanueva, Colombia

 

Trinity College Library, University of Dublin

 

 

Visit our Facebook page to read more posts about languages, translation, books and stuff you like!

You can also follow me on Twitter.

Let’s get connected more! We are on Google+.

 

Best Libraries Around the World, Part #1

I know you guys love books. People who are interested in languages love reading and books as well. Somehow, we instinctly know that learning involves reading. 🙂

However, a lot variables may affect the reading experience. The most important one of them is the atmosphere. While you can read for hours in a place you like, you can read and read the same line without understanding a word in another place. With this in mind, I searched the best libraries around the world. Let’s see what I’ve found:

Canadian Library of Parliament-Ottawa, Canada

Abbey Library of St. Gall- Switzerland

Admont Abbey Library- Austria

Bibliotheca Alexandrina- Alexandria, Egypt

British Museum Reading Room- London, England

El Real Monasterio de El Escorial- Madrid, Spain

Mitchell Library- Sydney, Australia

National-Library, Site Richelieu -Paris, France

Real Gabinete Português de Leitura- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Strahov Theological Hall- Prague, Czech Republic

Visit our Facebook page to read more posts about languages!

You can also follow me on Twitter.

Let’s get connected more! We are on Google+.

“Like”, “Comment”, “Tag” and “Follow”

I guess, social media is one of the most important factors that change languages. The other day, I was thinking they were too late to translate Facebook or Twitter into local languages. It was too late because there were many terms/English verbs that had already found their places in the local languages. For example, we have “like”, “comment”, “tag” and “follow” in Turkish now but they all sound too weird and awkward.

Last winter, Microsoft announced that they introduced their products in 37 different languages. Even this one is good news. Here is an article about this. I paste the parts that are interested me more. You can always read the whole article by clicking the link at the bottom.

“In recognition of International Mother Language Day, Microsoft Corp., a strong supporter of language preservation, today highlighted the company’sLocal Language Program (LLP), which enables the development of custom language translation. LLP enables 1.7 billion people worldwide to access technology in their own language, while striving to preserve those local languages and cultural identities.

“Providing technology in a native language is critical to helping people access the tools they need to create better economic opportunities,” said Anthony Salcito, vice president of Worldwide Education at Microsoft. “Language preservation and support also help preserve cultural identities for the next generation of learners.”

Microsoft’s services and products focusing on the importance of language and culture through the LLP include the following:

  • Localized versions of Windows and Microsoft Office are available in 37 languages.
  • Nearly 100 languages are supported by Language Interface Packs through free downloads for Windows, Office and Visual Studio.
  • The Microsoft Terminology Collection provides uniformity of meaning to IT terms translated to the local language.
  • Microsoft Translator allows users to translate text and Web pages in 37 languages.
  • Microsoft Tellme, a speech recognition platform, works across multiple platforms simplifying everyday tasks.
  • The Microsoft Language Development Center works on many services, such as speech synthesis technology for under-resourced languages. In addition, through extensive research and development, it creates language opportunities for people worldwide with disabilities.”


Click here to visit the website.

Visit our Facebook page to read more posts about languages and translation! They are quite funny!

You can also follow me on Twitter.

Let’s get connected more! We are on Google+.

Microsoft’s services and products

Why to Choose a Major about Foreign Languages

You have tens of reasons to study in a department related to foreign languages. It can be literature, translation, interpreting or simply foreign language education. Such majors kind of broaden your mind and you happen to obtain a global vision. Vista Wide has made a list of skills that one can obtain through foreign language majors:

Cultural Competencies of Foreign Language Majors

• cross-cultural communication
• understanding of cultural differences
• knowledge of culturally specific behavior, customs, and values
• language competence for speaking, writing, reading and listening
• understanding of target culture, history, literature, music, and folklore
• appreciation of diversity
• sensitivity to cultural issues
• awareness of differences in cultural perspectives
• global experience
• ability to adjust to new environments
• ability to interact effectively with peoples of different backgrounds

Analytical Skills of Foreign Language Majors

• critical thinking
• analyzing and comparing cultures
• creating and clarifying ideas
• gathering and analyzing information
• defining and analyzing complex problems
• weighing values and assessing needs
• ability to conduct research

Communication Skills of Foreign Language Majors

• clear and concise writing
• understanding of audience needs
• ability to persuade / influence
• effective use of language
• listen and clarify well
• oral presentation and public speaking

Practical / Organizational Skills of Foreign Language Majors

• oral and written comprehension
• following oral and written instructions
• attention to detail and good observation skills
• ability to instruct / motivate
• computer skills
• generating innovative ideas and solutions
• identifying resources
• evaluating / assessing processes and products
• ability to work cooperatively and to coordinate work with others
• flexibility in learning and thinking
• ability to take risks
• overcoming obstacles and barriers
• independent thinking

Do you agree? 🙂

Click here to visit the website.

Visit our Facebook page to read more posts about languages! They are quite funny!

You can also follow me on Twitter.

Let’s get connected more! We are on Google+.

Basic Conversations in 22 Languages

I published many web sites about online language learning. However, this one attracted my attention more because it also displays the dialogues with simple and funny cartoons. You can select the language pairs and there are 22 different languages. Moreover there is audio option. You should give it a try! 🙂

 

There are hundreds of sentences that may be useful in your travels. 🙂

 

Click here to visit the website.

Visit our Facebook page to read more posts about languages!

You can also follow me on Twitter.

Let’s get connected more! We are on Google+.

 

English Language ‘Originated in Turkey’

 

BBC says English language originated in Turkey! I know it sounds weird given the little similarity between Turkish and English but theorists had made an extensive research about the issue. You know, there was a different language in Anatolia before the Turks came to this land. I am not an expert, so I do not want to say something misleading. You’d better hear it from BBC:

Modern Indo-European languages – which include English – originated in Turkey about 9,000 years ago, researchers say.

The New Zealand researchers used methods developed to study virus epidemics to create family trees of ancient and modern Indo-European tongues to pinpoint where and when the language family first arose.

Their study is reported in Science.

A language family is a group of languages that arose from a common ancestor, known as the proto-language.

Linguists identify these families by trawling through modern languages for words of similar sound that often describe the same thing, like water and wasser (German). These shared words – or cognates – represent our language inheritance.

According to the Ethnologue database, more than 100 language families exist.

The Indo-European family is one of the largest families – more than 400 languages spoken in at least 60 countries – and its origins are unclear.

The Steppes, or Kurgan, theorists hold that the proto-language originated in the Steppes of Russia, north of the Caspian Sea, about 5,000 years ago.

The Anatolia hypothesis – first proposed in the late 1980s by Prof Colin Renfrew (now Lord Renfrew) – suggests an origin in the Anatolian region of Turkey about 3,000 years earlier.

To determine which competing theory was the most likely, Dr Quentin Atkinson from the University of Auckland and his team interrogated language evolution using phylogenetic analyses – more usually used to trace virus epidemics.

Phylogenetics reveals relatedness by assessing how much of the information stored in DNA is shared between organisms.

Like DNA, language is passed down, generation to generation.

Although language changes and evolves, some linguists have argued that cognates describing the fundamentals of life – kinship (mother, father), body parts (eye, hand), the natural world (fire, water) and basic verbs (to walk, to run) – resist change.

These conserved cognates are strongly linked to the proto-language of old.

Using phylogenetic analysis, they were able to reconstruct the evolutionary relatedness of these modern and ancient languages – the more words that are cognate, the more similar the languages are and the closer they group on the tree.

The trees could also predict when and where the ancestral language originated.

Looking back into the depths of the tree, Dr Atkinson and his colleagues were able to confirm the Anatolian origin.

“Compared to the Kurgan hypothesis, this new analysis shows the Anatolian hypothesis as the clear winner” Prof Mark Pagel FRSUniversity of Reading

 

Click here to read more.

Visit our Facebook page to read more posts about languages!

You can also follow me on Twitter.

Let’s get connected more! We are on Google+.

%d bloggers like this: