Posts Tagged ‘exact pronunciations’

More Natural Pronunciations for Online Language Learning

Finally, I found a website with natural sounding pronunciations for online language learners. I have introduced many websites before; however, the pronunciations all have a kind of mechanical sound. This one, although including only basic words, is more realistic if you want to try new languages in your spare time! I just tried Arabic and I already learned the numbers! 🙂

 

There are 11 language options. When you move your pointer over “French”, for example, you can see a brief info about the language and the flags of the countries where French is spoken.

 

When you select a languages, you see different types of conversations.

 

Let’s say you click on “My Home”. You see the whole plan of a home and you can click on any subject and hear the pronunciation.

 

You can also visit each room and click on anything! You can cook meal and see what’s in the fridge…

This is quite funny and exciting because you eventually learn some words and hear the exact pronunciations…

 

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Common Grammar Mistakes in Translation

There are certain words or phrases that most of the people use wrong. Spelling is also another issue considering such mistakes. For example, I always misspell “grammar” as “grammer”. I can only edit this mistake after proofreading. I do not know why, I am also confused when it comes to import and export 🙂 Whenever I work as an interpreter, I write these two words on post-its and put them somewhere close to me. I came across a good article explainingthe common grammar mistakes in translations. It is a column by JON GINGERICH, I want to thank him for this wonderful post. If you have more grammar mistakes in mind, please feel free to add 🙂

Who and Whom

This one opens a big can of worms. “Who” is a subjective — or nominative — pronoun, along with “he,” “she,” “it,” “we,” and “they.” It’s used when the pronoun acts as the subject of a clause. “Whom” is an objective pronoun, along with “him,” “her,” “it”, “us,” and “them.”

Which and That

This is one of the most common mistakes out there, and understandably so. “That” is a restrictive pronoun. It’s vital to the noun to which it’s referring.  e.g., I don’t trust fruits and vegetables that aren’t organic. Here, I’m referring to all non-organic fruits or vegetables. In other words, I only trust fruits and vegetables that are organic. “Which” introduces a relative clause. It allows qualifiers that may not be essential. e.g., I recommend you eat only organic fruits and vegetables, which are available in area grocery stores.

Lay and Lie

This is the crown jewel of all grammatical errors. “Lay” is a transitive verb. It requires a direct subject and one or more objects. Its present tense is “lay” (e.g., I lay the pencil on the table) and its past tense is “laid” (e.g.,Yesterday I laid the pencil on the table). “Lie” is an intransitive verb. It needs no object. Its present tense is “lie” (e.g., The Andes mountains lie between Chile and Argentina) and its past tense is “lay” (e.g., The man lay waiting for an ambulance). The most common mistake occurs when the writer uses the past tense of the transitive “lay” (e.g., I laid on the bed) when he/she actually means the intransitive past tense of “lie” (e.g., I lay on the bed).

Moot

Contrary to common misuse, “moot” doesn’t imply something is superfluous. It means a subject is disputable or open to discussion.

Continual and Continuous

They’re similar, but there’s a difference. “Continual” means something that’s always occurring, with obvious lapses in time. “Continuous” means something continues without any stops or gaps in between.

Envy and Jealousy

The word “envy” implies a longing for someone else’s good fortunes. “Jealousy” is far more nefarious.

Nor

“Nor” expresses a negative condition. It literally means “and not.” You’re obligated to use the “nor” form if your sentence expresses a negative and follows it with another negative condition.

May and Might

“May” implies a possibility. “Might” implies far more uncertainty.

Whether and If

Many writers seem to assume that “whether” is interchangeable with “if.” It isn’t. “Whether” expresses a condition where there are two or more alternatives. “If” expresses a condition where there are no alternatives.

Fewer and Less

“Less” is reserved for hypothetical quantities. “Few” and “fewer” are for things you can quantify.

Farther and Further

The word “farther” implies a measurable distance. “Further” should be reserved for abstract lengths you can’t always measure.

Since and Because

“Since” refers to time. “Because” refers to causation.

Disinterested and Uninterested

Contrary to popular usage, these words aren’t synonymous. A “disinterested” person is someone who’s impartial. For example, a hedge fund manager might take interest in a headline regarding the performance of a popular stock, even if he’s never invested in it. He’s “disinterested,” i.e., he doesn’t seek to gain financially from the transaction he’s witnessed. Judges and referees are supposed to be “disinterested.” If the sentence you’re using implies someone who couldn’t care less, chances are you’ll want to use “uninterested.”

Anxious

Unless you’re frightened of them, you shouldn’t say you’re “anxious to see your friends.

Different Than and Different From

This is a tough one. Words like “rather” and “faster” are comparative adjectives, and are used to show comparison with the preposition “than,” (e.g., greater than, less than, faster than, rather than). The adjective “different” is used to draw distinction. So, when “different” is followed by a  preposition, it should be “from,” similar to “separate from,” “distinct from,” or “away from.” e.g., My living situation in New York was different from home. There are rare cases where “different than” is appropriate, if “than” operates as a conjunction. e.g.,Development is different in New York than in Los Angeles. When in doubt, use “different from.”

Bring and Take

In order to employ proper usage of “bring” or “take,” the writer must know whether the object is being moved toward or away from the subject. If it is toward, use “bring.” If it is away, use “take.”

Impactful

It isn’t a word. “Impact” can be used as a noun (e.g., The impact of the crash was severe) or a transitive verb (e.g., The crash impacted my ability to walk or hold a job). “Impactful” is a made-up buzzword, colligated by the modern marketing industry in their endless attempts to decode the innumerable nuances of human behavior into a string of mindless metrics. Seriously, stop saying this.

Affect and Effect

Here’s a trick to help you remember: “Affect” is almost always a verb (e.g., Facebook affects people’s attention spans), and “effect” is almost always a noun (e.g., Facebook’s effects can also be positive).

Irony and Coincidence

“Irony” is the incongruity in a series of events between the expected results and the actual results. “Coincidence” is a series of events that appear planned when they’re actually accidental.

Nauseous

Undoubtedly the most common mistake I encounter. Contrary to almost ubiquitous misuse, to be “nauseous” doesn’t mean you’ve been sickened: it actually means you possess the ability to produce nausea in others. e.g., That week-old hot dog is nauseous. When you find yourself disgusted or made ill by a nauseating agent, you are actually “nauseated.” e.g., I was nauseated after falling into that dumpster behind the Planned Parenthood. Stop embarrassing yourself.

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Have You Ever Thought about How We Form the Idioms/Phrases?

In a conversation, we do not realize how much-and how- we make use of idioms and phrases. Recently, I have deciphered a speech into text. The man used so many idioms and phrases that I am surprised. Later on, I have begun to pay attention to my speech as far as I can. We really use them a lot 🙂 I also realized that our ancestors attributed some meanings to the body parts. One of their favorites is “the eye”. Yes, we have tens of phrases related to the eye at some point. I tried to find the most popular ones, but you can always add more!

 Blink of an eye:   If something happens in the blink of an eye, it happens nearly instantaneously, with hardly enough time to notice it. “The pickpocket disappeared in the blink of an eye.”

Catch somebody’s  eye: If someone catches your eye, you find them attractive. “The pretty girl near the door caught his eye.”

Clap/lay/set eyes on someone: If you clap eyes on someone or something, you look at or see them. “I’ve heard of him but I’ve never clapped eyes on him.”

More than meets the eye: When something (or someone) is more complicated, difficult or interesting that it appears, it is said that there is more than meets the eye. “He said he simply sold his shares, but I think there’s more to it than meets the eye.”

See eye to eye with someone: To see eye to eye with somebody means that you agree with them.

Turn a blind eye to something: If you turn a blind eye to something, you ignore it intentionally.

The apple of your eye: If somebody is the apple of your eye, this means that you like them  very much. “My grandson is the apple of my eye”.

The eye of the storm: A person or organization who is in the eye of the storm is deeply involved in a difficult situation which affects a lot of people. “The minister was often in the eye of the storm during the debate on the war in Iraq.”

Eagle eyes: Someone who has eagle eyes sees or notices things more easily than others. “Tony will help us find it – he’s got eagle eyes!”

Eyes in the back of one’s head: To say that someone has eyes in the back of their head means that they are very observant and notice everything happening around them. “You need eyes in the back of your head to look after young children.”

Feast one’s eyes on something: If you feast your eyes on something, you are delighted and gratified by what you see. “As he drove along the coast, he feasted his eyes on the beautiful scenery.”

Eyes like a hawk: If you’ve got eyes like a hawk, you’ve got good eyesight and notice every detail. “Of course Dad will notice the scratch on his car – he’s got eyes like a hawk!  ”

Half an eye: If you have or keep half an eye on something, you watch something without giving it your full attention. “She kept half en eye on the tv screen while she was preparing dinner.”

In one’s mind’s eye: If you can visualise something, or see an image of it in your mind, you see it in your mind’s eye. “I can see the village in my mind’s eye but I can’t remember the name.”

In the twinkling of an eye: This expression means ‘very fast’ or ‘instantaneously’. “Public opinion can change in the twinkling of an eye.”

Look someone in the eyes: If you look someone in the eye, or eyes, you look at them directly so as to convince them that you are telling the truth, even though you may be lying.

Eyes wide open: If you do something with your eyes open, you are fully aware of what you are doing. “I took on the job with my eyes wide open, so I’m not complaining.”

A sight for sore eyes: This expression refers to a person or thing you are happy to see. “Sam! You’re a sight for sore eyes!  Haven’t seen you in a long time.”

Raise eyebrows: If you raise your eyebrows at something, you show surprise or disapproval by the expression on your face. “When the boss arrived in jeans, there were a lot of raised eyebrows.”

Spit in someone’s eye: If you spit in someone’s eye, you treat that person with disrespect or contempt. “You father raised you as best he could. Don’t start spitting in his eye.”

Not bat an eyelid: To say that somebody does not bat an eyelid means that they do not seem shocked or surprised, nor are they nervous or worried. They show no emotion.

Thank you learn-english-today.com for this wonderful compilation.

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Top 10 Common CV Mistakes

I think the interview is the vital part to get a job; however, if you do not have a proper CV, you may not have the chance to be interviewed at all 🙂 Recently, I have discovered a very funny infographic explaining the most common CV mistakes in a hilarious way! The creator of this colorful infographic is careerjourney.co.uk. They highlight very important points that all of us should pay attention as translators/interpreters because CVs are the basic images of you and your work experiences. Here is how we can avoid little mistakes that may affect our future career:

1-      Spelling Mistakes: Everybody is under the risk of making spelling mistakes- even if you use a language well.

2-      Typos: Let’s blame it on the keyboard and double check what we write!

3-      Lack of Specifics: Do not generalize what your job is- go into details as much as possible!

4-      Leaving out Important Information: You should provide every communication channel you have!

5-      Visually Too Cluttered: There are hundreds of good CV examples on internet. Keep it simple and tidy!

6-      Incorrect Contact Information: This may explain why no employers call you back!

7-      Layout, Design and Content Mistake: Getting a job is a serious milestone of your life, so your CV should be more or less formal!

8-      Lies: Do not lie because if you get the job, your employer may be dissappointed with you!

9-      Irrelevant Info: Nobody is interested in your phobias or irrelevant abilities!

10-   Mentioning Why You Have Left Your Current Job: It may create some misunderstandings. Just leave it in the past!

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Brotherhood Quotations for the Brotherhood Week

 

Today is the first day of the brotherhood week in Turkey. I think the term, brotherhood, is something that most of us has already forgot. What about reminding them that “we are all different but we are all same”? I know that this post will reach to very few people; however, I want to believe in the power of social media somehow 🙂 When I check the statistics of this blog, I see that language lovers from more than 20 countries read and enjoy the same post. I guess even this is enough to see that we have no major differences… Here are some quotatations about brotherhood and unity:

You cannot contribute anything to the ideal condition of mind and heart known as Brotherhood, however much you preach, posture, or agree, unless you live it.  ~Faith Baldwin

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent.  ~John Donne

The moment we break faith with one another, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.  ~James Baldwin

In union there is strength.  ~Aesop

Remember upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all.  ~Alexander the Great

So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.  ~Bahá’u’lláh

I look to a time when brotherhood needs no publicity; to a time when a brotherhood award would be as ridiculous as an award for getting up each morning.  ~Daniel D. Mich

Unity to be real must stand the severest strain without breaking.  ~Mahatma Gandhi

In all things that are purely social we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress.  ~Booker T. Washington

Our design is so flawed, so take everything and fill the gaps with selfless love.

We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers.  ~Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love, 1963

Cooperation is the thorough conviction that nobody can get there unless everybody gets there.  ~Virginia Burden, The Process of Intuition

We’re all just walking each other home.  ~Ram Dass

Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.  ~Kenyan Proverb

I have often noticed that when chickens quit quarreling over their food they often find that there is enough for all of them.  I wonder if it might not be the same with the human race.  ~Don Marquis

 

P.S. The word “brotherhood” may not sound politically correct 🙂 As a female blogger and translator, I wanted to find another term for this but I could not find anything more suitable to the context. Any comment about that is welcomed 🙂

Thanks to quotegarden.com for this compilation.

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Do You Have Problems with Your Pronunciation?

Even if you you know a language, it is almost impossible to know all the words and the way they pronounce. I am a French learner, so I generally try to read French articles and look up the dictionary for the unknown words. However, when I need to use them in a conversation, I  just cannot do anything. I know the word, I know how to spell it but I cannot be sure how to pronounce it in the right way. I have found a  very practical web site! There are 30 languages with many dialects. I find it very useful because you can also hear different pronunciations of the same word. I hope you also like it:

First you choose your language and the dialect:

You can also give some effects! Level feature enables you to change the form of the effect.

I recommend this website to my friends who are trying to learn a language online or on their own 🙂

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Digital Dialects

There are times you have to sit in front of the computer-waiting for something like an e-mail- but you cannot find anything useful to do and you just kill your time on Facebook or Twitter, looking at 500 photos of one of your friends 🙂 It happens to me a lot, that’s why I bookmark the useful websites and blogs that I come across on internet. You wouldn’t believe when you hear how many websites there are that can teach you any language at the basic level. I discovered one and I immediately bookmarked it 🙂 I also recommend you to do so. There are some language exercises with audio feature as well, such as Turkish 🙂 You can also test yourself with plays after learning 15-20 new words. I hope you enjoy this website.

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