Category Archives: Guest Post

4 Wege mit denen Du Dich automatisch zwingen kannst, eine Fremdsprache zu lernen

Fällt es Dir schwierig Dich zum Sprachenlernen zu motivieren und aufzuraffen?

Jeden Tag nimmst Du es Dir vor, aber wenn es so weit ist, schaffst Du es einfach nicht anzufangen? Irgendwie kommt Facebook, YouTube, der Fernseher oder sonst irgendwas dazwischen?

Das ist auch für mich ein bekanntes Phänomen. Irgendwie fallen einem tausend andere Sachen, die noch machen könnte, anstelle zu lernen.

Es gibt aber eine ganz simple Lösung dafür: Mach Dir Termine. So hast Du gar keine andere Wahl als zu lernen.

Das ist ein bisschen wie früh aufstehen. Wenn Du zur Arbeit musst oder einen Termin hast, schaffst Du es immer (auch wenn es manchmal sehr schwer fällt). Wenn Du das nicht hast, ist es kaum möglich früh aufzustehen.

Hast Du Dir schon mal vorgenommen am Wochenende früh aufzustehen? Das klappt sehr oft nicht.

Termine_Sprachen_Lernen

Mit Terminen zwingst Du Dich ganz einfach zum Sprachenlernen.

Nach diesem Prinzip musst Du auch Dein Lernen gestalten.

Mit Terminen zwingst Du Dich ganz einfach zum Sprachenlernen.

Hier sind 4 Wege, mit denen Du Dein Lernen mit Terminen versehen kannst, damit Du gar keine andere Wahl hast als zu lernen.

1. Feste Termine für Tandemgespräche

Mach Dir über die Woche verteilt mehrere Termine für Tandemgespräche. Optimal sind 3 Tandemgespräche pro Woche, um schnell voranzukommen. Mindestens 1 Termin sollte es aber auf jeden Fall sein.

Hier erfährst Du, wie Du einen Tandempartner findest und optimale Tandemgespräche führst.

Wenn Du einen Termin hast, bist Du deutlich weniger gewillt diesen ausfallen zu lassen als eine Stunde lernen, die Du Dir vorgenommen hast.

Denn Du kannst nicht einfach so nicht erscheinen. Du musst Deinem Tandempartner absagen. Und dafür brauchst Du in der Regel einen guten Grund.

Das ist eine gute Hürde und sorgt dafür, dass Du die meisten Termine wahrnehmen wirst.
Vor allem, wenn Du einen Tandempartner schon länger kennst, wirst Du weniger gewillt sein diesen hängen zu lassen.

Noch besser klappt das mit richtigen Treffen. Ein richtiges Treffen sagst Du nicht so schnell ab.

Am besten ist es wöchentlich immer wieder denselben Termin zu haben. So wird es zur Gewohnheit und Du brauchst Dich nicht immer mit Deinem Tandempartner auf ein Neues abzusprechen.

Vergiss nicht am Ende jedes Tandemgespräches den nächsten Termin zu machen. Sonst gerät es in Vergessenheit.

2. Stammtische / Tandemevents und weitere Veranstaltungen

In den meisten Städten gibt es regelmäßige Veranstaltungen für das Sprachenlernen.
Das können Sprachstammtische sein oder Tandemevents bei denen Teilnehmer entweder auf einer Sprache sprechen oder verschiedene Sprachen miteinander üben.

Mach es Dir zur Gewohnheit zu solchen Veranstaltungen zu gehen.
Verpflichte Dich selbst indem Du im Anschluss allen ankündigst, dass Du beim nächsten Mal kommst.

So fällt es Dir schwerer den Termin am selben Tag abzusagen, wenn Du keine Lust hast. Du hast allen anderen schon versprochen, dass Du kommst.
Lerne auch die Leute näher kennen. So bist Du viel motivierter wiederzukommen.

3. Lerntreffen mit anderen Sprachlernern

In den letzten 2 Punkten hast Du erfahren, wie Du die Sprache regelmäßig sprechen kannst.

Auch wenn das die wichtigste Aktivität beim Sprachenlernen ist, reicht es meistens nicht ganz aus.

Du musst weiterhin die ein oder andere Vokabel lernen (so lernst Du schnell neue Vokabeln und behältst sie dauerhaft), Texte lesen und auch Grammatik lernen. Das alles ist jedoch weniger wichtig als Gespräche zu führen.

Diese ganzen Zusatzaktivitäten zu machen, macht oft wenig Spaß. Und deshalb ist es besonders schwer sich für diese Aktivitäten aufzuraffen.

Eine Alternative ist jemanden zu suchen, der dieselbe Sprache lernt wie Du und dieselben Probleme hat.

Zusammen_Sprachen_Lernen

Zusammen mit jemanden Lernen macht mehr Spaß und gibt dem Lernen einen etwas mehr verpflichtenden Charakter.

Zusammen mit jemanden Lernen macht mehr Spaß und gibt dem Lernen einen etwas mehr verpflichtenden Charakter.

Trefft euch 1-2 Mal die Woche an einem festen Termin, um zusammen zu lernen.
Z. B. könnt ihr erstmal zusammen Vokabeln lernen und euch dann gegenseitig abfragen.
Ihr könnt euch auch gegenseitig Texte vorlesen oder einen Film oder eine Serie in der Fremdsprache gucken.

Alle Aktivitäten, die Dich weiterbringen aber vielleicht alleine langweilig sind, kannst Du mit Deinem Lernpartner durchführen.

So bist Du motivierter, weil Du einen Mitstreiter hast. Du kannst aber auch weniger einfach Dich rausreden, denn dann müsstest Du Deinem Lernpartner absagen, statt wie üblich es auf morgen zu schieben.

Diese Lernaktivitäten kannst Du natürlich auch alleine ganz einfach zwischendurch ohne zusätzlichen Zeitaufwand durchführen.

Dafür eignet sich am besten Deine tote Zeit, also wenn Du etwas zu tun hast oder unterwegs bist und Dich auf nichts konzentrieren musst. Das kann in der Bahn, im Auto oder beim Putzen sein.

Wenn Du aber Schwierigkeiten hast, Dich in solchen Situationen zu motivieren, dann eignen sich die Treffen mit anderen Sprachlernern.

4. Sprachkurse

Wenn Du große Probleme hast Dich zum Sprachenlernen aufzuraffen, kann ein Sprachkurs eine gute Ergänzung sein.

Du hast einen regelmäßigen wöchentlichen Termin (oder mehrmals wöchentlich) zu dem Du gehen musst.

Es ist einfacher diesen Pflichttermin wahrzunehmen als eben einfach nur eine Stunde lernen, die Du Dir vorgenommen hast.

Achte jedoch darauf, dass mit lediglich einem wöchentlichen Sprachkurs Du nicht besonders weit kommen wirst mit Deinen Sprachkenntnissen.

Wenn Du wirklich eine Fremdsprache lernen willst, ist der Sprachkurs lediglich eine Ergänzung. Das Wichtigste bleibt die Anwendung mit Muttersprachlern.

Fazit: Umgehe ganz einfach Motivationsprobleme mit festen Terminen
Wie Du siehst, kannst Du selbst eine Fremdsprache lernen, wenn Du Schwierigkeiten hast Dich zu motivieren.

Anstelle, dass Du Dich zwingst und zum Lernen aufraffst, machst Du Dir Pflichttermine.
So erhöhst Du die Wahrscheinlichkeit ganz eindeutig, dass Du es schaffst zu lernen.
Versuche aber so wenige Termine wie möglich ausfallen zu lassen.

Wenn Du erstmal anfängst den einen oder anderen Termin abzusagen, wird es immer schwieriger nicht auch den nächsten ausfallen zu lassen.

Du kannst es Dir zur Gewohnheit machen Tandemgespräche zu führen oder zum Sprachkurs zu gehen.

Genauso kannst Du es Dir aber auch zur Gewohnheit machen alles ausfallen zu lassen. Und diese schlechte Gewohnheit fängt an sich breit zu machen, sobald Du den ersten Termin hast ausfallen lassen.

Autor:

Gabriel ist Sprachenthusiast und Gründer von Sprachheld.de. Fremdsprachen sind seine große Leidenschaft und mittlerweile beherrscht er 6 davon. Auch reist er gerne, vor allem in die Länder, in denen er seine Kenntnisse anwenden kann.

Gabriel-Gelman-Sprachheld

10 Reasons Why Knowing a Foreign Language Will Make You Happier

One of the most disappointing stats we have recently come across is that only 7% of American college students are currently attending language courses. An even more disappointing piece of data is that less than 1% of Americans who were taught a foreign language over the course of their education are proficient at it. Even so, these stats are hardly surprising, because there is more than one reason that is to blame for this situation.

First of all, there are the budget cuts, which prioritize subjects which are at the top of the list when it comes to their practical application, such as math, which leaves arts, sports, and languages out in the cold, with reduced or no funding. As a result, there are less language teachers, too.

There is also the fact that English is spoken pretty much everywhere around the world and is the unofficial language of the World Wide Web, which means that an average American will have no trouble communicating with foreigners no matter where they go.

But, we often forget about different ways in which knowing a foreign can benefit us and make us happier, which is why we have put together the following list, in order to remind ourselves, so keep on reading.

  1. The Satisfaction of Learning Something New

There are very few things in this world that feel as good as learning something new, and that is perhaps most evident when you learn a new language. You feel good about yourself, because you have accomplished something which is by no means easy, which gives an additional boost of confidence to learn other languages, or some other skills you previously thought were too difficult for you to master. Plus, there is the small bonus in being able to impress people around you with your knowledge of a foreign language.

  1. Taking Your Travelling Experience to Whole New Level

No matter how confident you are, once you find yourself in a foreign country, whose language you don’t speak, it’s natural to feel a little bit insecure or even intimidated. But, if you take the time to learn the language of the natives, your staying will turn into a totally different, and a lot more pleasant experience. There is also the fact you will be able to save money, because you will know where to find cheap lodging, transportation, and food. Also, in some countries, museum tickets are more expensive for foreigners.

  1. Being Able to Immerse Yourself in a Foreign Culture

You can learn about different countries, customs, and cultures in books or online, but nothing can compare to finding yourself on the soil of a foreign country whose language you speak, and being able to understand it and look at it from a whole different perspective. You are opening yourself to a wider range of pretty much everything: foreign movies, books, art, music, and history. Just the comfort of not needing subtitles is worth it.

  1. Meeting Different People

Like we’ve already said, pretty much everybody speaks some English nowadays, but you will find that communicating with different people online, and especially if you are visiting their country, will make them a lot friendlier towards you, because you have taken the time to learn their language, and anyone can appreciate that. Also, one can only really begin to understand the people, their emotions, the way their think, and speak, if they are familiar with all the nuances of their language.

  1. Access to More Job Opportunities

Some positions will require you to speak a certain foreign language if you want to get hired. There is also a flip side to that coin, as well, because you can command a higher salary if you are multilingual. Then there is the opportunity to go abroad and get a better job there, in some beautiful city. The fact that English is the most widely accepted language also means that there is a constant demand for English tutors and teachers, which is something you can take advantage of.

  1. Increasing Your Cognitive Abilities

Yes, learning new languages actually makes you smarter. There is whole raft of research which proves that students who speak more than one language have better test results, not just when it comes to languages, but other subjects as well, such as math. Believe or not, the process of learning and speaking one or more foreign languages actually alters your gray matter, which is responsible for information processing in your brain.

  1. Improving Knowledge of Your Native Language

Although it may seem strange, this actually makes a lot of sense. When you are learning a foreign language, it requires you to approach it in a different way to your native language. You have to be more mindful of the vocabulary, grammar, the way you compose sentences, use idioms, and apply all of those subtle details every language has. That approach will carry over to your native language, and you will begin to pay more attention to it than you ever did before.

  1. Become More Understanding of the World around You

Each culture has a slightly, or completely different view of the world, and speaking another language will help you understand world events much more clearly and figure out the reasons how and why they are taking place. Being able to evaluate something from an entirely different perspective is an eye-opening experience which nobody should not miss out on.

  1. Prevent Mental Illnesses and Disorders

Although degenerative conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s can have a number of different causes behind them, there is plenty of research data to suggest that people who learn and speak a foreign language can prevent or even slow down the progress of the disease. Keeping yourself mentally healthy is just as important as keeping yourself physically fit, and mastering a new language is one of the best ways to do it.

  1. Becoming a Well-Rounded Individual

When you put together all of the benefits of knowing a foreign language we have described above, they add up to you becoming a more confident, satisfied,
knowledgeable, and eloquent individual, which, in turn, will make you more successful, both at work and in your social life.

Learning a foreign language is one of the most rewarding experiences a person can have in their lifetime. And the best thing about it is that it’s available for you in a number of different ways.

Language schools, language-learning apps, books, or simply chatting with foreigners online, those are all legitimate methods, and some of them are completely free, so why not make use of them? Start learning a new language today!

Antonio is a consultant at dissertation writing service EduGeeksClub where he provides online assistance to students and supports them throughout all stages of dissertation writing. When not doing that, he’s biking to new exciting places.

7 Tools to Polish Essay Writing Skills for Language Learning

One of the best, yet criminally underused ways to improve your knowledge of any foreign language is to start writing essays in that language. If you take a moment and think about it, it makes perfect sense. Essays require perfect grammar and spelling, as well as use of words and sentences you wouldn’t normally come across in colloquial speech. This means you will have to expand your vocabulary, especially if you are writing an essay on a specific subject which requires you to master the necessary lingo. Most importantly, once you immerse yourself deeper, you will begin to think in that language, and that is your ultimate goal.

However, it takes time before you can reach such a level where you can write essays using a foreign language. In order to make that time interval as short as possible, you can rely on a multitude of different tools which will help polish your writing and lingual skills. We have done our research and chosen 7 best ones for you.

1. EssayMap

The tricky thing about essays is that they have to abide certain rules and have a particular structure, but you shouldn’t worry about that, if you decide to start using EssayMap. Basically, this interactive tool allows you to construct an outline for your essay in a graphic environment. It is especially novice-friendly, because it helps you develop your work with step-by-step instructions. If you don’t have a decent outline, you don’t have an essay,
because an outline allows you to build your essay around it, and retain a sharp focus on the subject, instead of meandering all over the place and missing the point. It’s so easy to use, you don’t even have to register. Just open its home page, and once you are done creating your essay map, save or email the final product.

2. The Easy Essay

If you think essay tools can only help you if you are already a pretty advanced speaker, think again, because The Easy Essay can help you craft an essay whether you’re a grade school student, or a PhD candidate. It covers all levels, because it enables its users to develop a logical way of thinking.
Moreover, thanks to a built-in translator, you can pretty much use it in any language. Its global appeal is not just limited to lingual aspect of essay writing, because it can be used to produce essays and papers in any line of work, ranging from medicine, law, arts and history, to business, marketing and technology.

3. EduGeeksClub

EduGeeksClub is one of the most complete online services if you are looking to develop your essay writing skills, and take your knowledge of a foreign language to a whole new level, because you will be working with some of the best professionals in the field. They can help you cover all aspects of essay writing, starting with the research process, and ending with writing itself, proofreading and publishing. They will teach you how to access academic journals, papers and publications, how to adjust your vocabulary for the task at hand, and help you correct some of the bad grammar and spelling habits you’ve picked up along the way.

4. Paraphrasing Tool

Another way to develop your language skills through essay writing is to use Paraphrasing tool. Not only will it enable you to make your work more original, but it will also introduce you to new words, phrases and sentences which you haven’t come across before, and which offer a different way of expressing your ideas and arguments. It is incredibly easy to use. All you have to do is paste a word, a paragraph, or an entire essay, and answer a simple math question asked by the app, and you will get a thoroughly rewritten content.

5. Vocaboly


Using Vocaboly is one of the most fun ways to expand your vocabulary. Offering more than 12,000 words, it also allows you to add your own, which means you can keep up with modern slang and new words that are created almost every day. It has plenty of features through which you can learn new words and definition, among which is the Word Ticket, which presents you with flash cards that contain a word along with a short definition. There is also a spelling quiz, and a multiple-choice test feature. Its user interface does feel a bit old-fashioned, but it’s simple and easy to use.

6. Thesaurus.com

When writing an essay, especially in another language, one tool which you simply can’t do without is Thesaurus. Offering a massive catalog of synonyms, Thesaurus.com will provide you with all the synonyms there are out there, but it will also suggest related and similar words, as well as history of every word, and how it came into existence. Along with Dictionary, Thesaurus is your ultimate destination for learning new words, and there is also plenty of useful features, like Word of the Day, Word Fact, and an endless number of useful blog articles.

7. PlagScan

Another tool you’re going to need when writing an essay is a plagiarism checker, and we recommend that you check out PlagScan. Out of all the plagiarism-detecting apps out there, PlagScan is one of the most accurate and one which offers a multitude of different features, such as user accounts which you can customize to your liking, accurate reports, and above all, quick and helpful customer service. Equally useful if you are native or a second language student.

Despite the fact that most people would shudder at the very mention of the word “essay”, essay writing has many advantages, including the possibility of entering contests, earning money, receiving scholarships and grants from prestigious academic institutions, and last, but not least, learning another language, with all its nuances. Start using these tools today, and see the change in your lingual skills happen for the better, every single day.

Micheal is a Content Manager at resume writing service Resumes Planet. He’s psyched about marketing, business, blogging and SMM. In his parallel life, he loves hiking and can’t wait to see the Himalayas one of these days.

Few Things That Contribute To A Good Translation

Today’s guest blog post is from Trisha Gill from TranslateDay. Enjoy!

Why is translation essential?

There are many languages in this world. A lot of information, books, documents and texts are available in all these languages. Translation allows people to get what they want in whichever language they are familiar with. There are individual translators as well as online companies that offer translation services to fulfil people’s translation needs.

What makes translation an art?

Translation is to express the ideas of a text using some other language. This is why it requires a certain skill and art. Simply changing the words may be disastrous. If the translation is not done with concentration and skill, the entire concept can be misinterpreted. Therefore, it is very important that the basic concept remains unaltered.

Translation as a career option:

Translation is a great career option in the modern world. Good translators get easily employed by companies that ensure good translation services. A number of Certified translation services throng the net and satisfy people with all types of translation requirements. Companies and individuals also hire translators for a variety of legal documents translation.

Few things that contribute to a good translation:

Translation is a great expertise. Therefore a good translator has to keep in mind a few things that contribute to a good translation.

  • Precision: A good translation offers great accuracy in interpretation of thoughts. People trust the Certified translation services for their accuracy and precision. The semantics are covered well, leaving no vague interpretations.
  • Clarity: Clarity of the expression is a must. A good translation service satisfies its customers by processing a comprehensive and uncomplicated document.
  • Factual: Facts should remain as what they are in the original document. The translator should not change them even if they seem incorrect.
    Maintain the tone and style: A good translation carries the tone and style of the actual text. The legal document translation should maintain the legal tone while an adventurous story should not allow the thrill of adventure to disappear.
  • Knowledge: A good translation requires a perfect knowledge of both the languages: the language of the original text and the language in which the text is to be translated. Plenty of information and understanding of various genres of texts are also important. The legal documents translation will require a particular kind of vocabulary and awareness; and a literary translation will require literary expertise.
  • Enhancement of skills: Enhancement of certain skills is important for a translator who aspires to get employed by companies. Certified translation services are good translation services who hire linguistics with perfect command over the language and have impeccable expression power. Hence, reading voluminously and research in various fields are necessary. Travelling, talking to people, getting to know about their history and culture are also beneficial.
  • Connect: A good translation is a bridge between two languages, two regions and two cultures. It connects thoughts, ideas and views. So the target language text should carry all the moods and expressions of the original text.

Trisha Gill, understands the essence of making excellent content that suits the needs of every business especially when it comes to translating legal documents. She can spice up your marketing campaign with the content and then incorporate TranslateDay services.

Interview with LWO user Veronica Perez

Today’s interview is with language learner Veronica Perez who uses LearnWithOliver to learn languages. Even though she isn’t a famous blogger it’s one of the best interviews I’ve read for some time. Definitely worth reading. Enjoy!

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

I am 38 years old, a graduate of Accountancy, and I speak Filipino, as a native language; English, which is an official language in our country; and Japanese. I started learning Japanese in 2009 and passed N2 in December of 2013. I can’t claim I studied entirely on my own, though I learned only by getting online. I’ll forever be grateful to the authors of the different websites I used, and blogs that I read, not to mention authors of published books on the language. In 2014, I started learning other languages as well. Currently, besides English and Japanese, I’m also learning French, Swedish, Spanish, Korean, Latin, Ancient Greek, Brazilian Portuguese, Mandarin Chinese, Italian, Greek and German. That’s in the order that I started learning them. I started learning German just this October.

How has your strategy to learn new languages changed over the years?

While learning Japanese, I focused on collecting sentences. After familiarizing myself with its writing system, which took barely a month, I went ahead and read sentences, and only acquired vocabularies in the process. I passed the Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) doing just that. Well, I also watched a lot of Japanese movies, anime, TV programs and series, to acquire some listening skills, but I did not actively learn to speak. Eventually, it just happened, though it wasn’t my intention. A lot of reading and watching movies did that.

Since I couldn’t actively use the language, I didn’t personally know any Japanese national, so I had no one to talk to, I started keeping journals in that language. That’s when I noticed that I was utterly lacking in vocabularies. I could understand a great deal but I could not produce the right words to express what I wanted to say. So, when I started learning French, I did it both ways. I still focused on learning sentences but I also coupled it with lots of practice on vocabulary words alone. That’s how I discovered LearnWithOliver, which was then called Antosch & Lin. Its contents were exactly what I felt I needed at the time. A collection of sentences, plus a list of all the vocabularies used in them.

I’ve used electronic flashcards since the very first day and I don’t think I will ever be able to do without them. It’s only how I set up my cards that’s changed over the years. I change them based on what I believe I need at a certain period in my learning. Like, right now, I’m focusing on reading Japanese aloud. With a writing system like theirs, you can actually understand everything you’re reading without actually knowing how to pronounce the words. This is what I’m trying to achieve now, to be able to read Japanese aloud at a decent speed.

Do you have a favorite language?

I couldn’t explain why I kept adding to my list of languages I was learning, besides the fact that I felt it could be done, thanks to our current technology, but when I got to learning German, I thought: This is it! I stopped adding more languages after that. But I have to say this may only be for the time being, because I’ve also wanted to learn Russian. But then, it’s going to take a while before I start doing that. I want to be able to reach a certain level of proficiency in German first, before I start on another language again. Why German? I honestly don’t know. It just felt so right.

Are there any language blogs or podcasts you follow closely?

There’s not a single one I follow closely but I do read a lot of blogs and listen to podcasts. I’m basically everywhere. I read blogs, not just about the languages I’m learning, but about language learning in general. I particularly like those relating about their personal experiences. Since I’m just on my own here, tapping on my keyboard and clicking my mouse, I consider them my classmates in this broad school called language learning. I think this is important, hearing from kindred souls. It helps in keeping my passion for learning aflame. It’s the same with podcasts, I prefer listening to personal ones, like those talking about the traffic and the food they had for lunch. I consider that to be the closest I can get with the language. The reason I’m learning this many languages is I like reading books. Novels, in particular. And I want to be able to read literature in as many languages as possible. But there might also come a time when I would have to speak it, too, and I wouldn’t want to sound like a dramatic novel when I did. That’s why I listen to podcasts, to get the feel of how the language is actually being used in day-to-day conversations.

What would you recommend a new language learner? How to get started?

He has to know what he wants to do with the language he wants to learn first. That’s how he’ll be able to know what to do next. Does he want to be able to read in that language? Then, read right away. Does he like watching movies or listening to music? Then, focus on acquiring the listening skills necessary to do that. Does he like to talk, or have someone, in particular, he wants to communicate with in that language? Then, start with everyday conversations. Is it for a job? Then, go towards what that job requires. Once he has the answer to this, the materials he thinks he needs will just present themselves. It’s like magic. When one already knows what he wants, it will come to him. (Stated otherwise, Google will become his best friend.)

I also suggest that he does what he finds enjoyable. When he realizes that he doesn’t like what he’s doing anymore, find something else. When one likes what he’s doing, it starts to feel more like fun, though learning a language demands a great deal of work. It won’t matter where he starts, really. He can start with medical jargon, if that’s what interests him the most. Be it, say, basic, intermediate, or advanced, they will come together, eventually, as long as he keeps going. As long as he learns constantly, he’ll be using the language, even before he realizes he already can.

What keeps you motivated to keep learning?

Understanding words, or phrases, I wouldn’t have understood had I not learned the language. That’s the best motivation for me. The first time I weaned myself off the subtitles, when watching Japanese movies, and still understood what was going on, I was crying the entire time. I did it! Nothing can compare with the joy that brings.

And what point would you recommend to read up on grammar?

When one feels he already has enough vocabularies, to which he can apply these grammar rules on, that’s the time. This will save him a tremendous amount of time. Languages tend to have these exact phrases, with which one expresses certain ideas. If he will keep on digesting sentences, or materials, in the language he’s learning, he’ll naturally be able to acquire and use these phrases. Learning grammar can be likened to polishing your shoes before you wear them. Vocabulary words, and common phrases, are the shoes. It’s grammar that polishes them. You wouldn’t polish a piece of leather and wrap it around your feet, would you?

How important do you think is talent when learning a language?

A great deal. But only if it had to be done really fast and effortlessly!

We all have different capabilities. There will always be someone who can do it better than the other, and there’s nothing wrong if we admired that someone. When it comes to one’s own learning, though, what’s important is knowing what will work best for him. One ought to pick that method that he thinks will be most effective for him. If one has the talent, he should embrace it. If not, then, he would just have to exert more effort, and invest more time, to get to where he wanted to go. He will get there, for sure, as long as he stays the course. I know I don’t belong in the talented category but it’s the least of my concerns. It may take me longer than the rest, but I’m getting there, too.

Additionally, to borrow Kató Lomb’s words, “Language is the only thing worth knowing even poorly.” Either way, talent or none, in learning languages, one always wins.

Do you use mnemonics to learn new words?

Yes, but not actively. What usually happens is that I tend to associate them with words from another language. Like, when I learned the (Brazilian) Portuguese word for cigarette butt: bituca. In our language (Filipino), bituka means intestine. I instantly imagined an intestine full of cigarette butts. (He swallowed them, after smoking, because littering harms the environment!) Then, the word stuck. Because I have this tendency, to associate words with another, learning more and more languages works for me, because more and more associations become readily available to me as well. In cases when I couldn’t make any association at all, I’d try picturing the word in my head, say a window, and imagine the word written there. If that still didn’t work, I’d just leave it to the flashcards. After seeing the words multiple times, they stick, anyway.

I’ve read books on mnemonics, and the like. I believe I understood the idea, but I just couldn’t make it work for me. Either I’d forget the mnemonic I came up with, or I’d successfully come up with something really clever, but a full hour had already passed me by. It’s a waste of time for me. I’d rather see more new words than spend my time thinking of mnemonics I just might forget, anyway. I forgot what I thought could help me remember! That’s the worst feeling in the world, so I just go with what comes naturally to me.

What would you say is the hardest language?

One I can’t understand. That would be the hardest language for me. I’m a native Filipino speaker, so I’d say that’s the easiest language, but only because I know it with all my heart and soul. English used to be really difficult for me, when I was still learning it as a young girl in school. Now, though, I can’t say it’s so hard to learn. I thought I’d lose my mind, when I started learning Japanese, but now, I’d say, it’s relatively easy. Relatively? Compared with what? With a language I don’t yet speak. I could go on and on. French is easier than German, because I’ve been learning French for almost two years now. I started German only two months ago. On the other hand, my Spanish is a lot better than my Swedish, though I started learning Swedish six months earlier than Spanish. We (the Filipino language) use(s) a lot of words that have Spanish origin. The association helped a great deal.

What do I consider to be the most difficult among the languages I’m learning now? Latin. But only because LearnWithOliver doesn’t have it yet. It’s the lack of materials that engage me. In other words, though I don’t want to say this, it’s the relatively less amount of time I spend in learning the language that makes it difficult.

 

6 Great Ways to Learn Writing with Kanji

japanese_1

The most famous and difficult aspect of Japanese writing is kanji. Kanji are the Chinese hieroglyphs which were adapted to the Japanese language. Mostly, Japanese words are written in kanji, but they still sound the same as in hiragana and katakana.

A little more than 2 thousands of hieroglyphs are used in modern Japanese, however, learning each of them individually does not work as well as with the hiragana syllabarium. Due to the great amount, the Kanji requires special memorization methods. In the learning practice, the knowledge and the use of these strategies make the learning process faster, much more efficient and enjoyable for the learner.

An effective strategy for mastering Kanji lies in learning them with new words in a context. Thus we associate each symbol with the contextual information and fix them in our memory. Kanji are used for representing the real words, so you should focus on the vocabulary, rather the characters themselves.

Compare 暑い and 熱い, both hieroglyphs have the same meaning “hot”. However, the first one is used to describe the weather, and the second hieroglyph is used when someone is talking about the temperature of an object or a person.

To memorize Kanji better, you need to keep up a few simple rules, such as:

1. Track the correct writing.

Japanese hieroglyphs contain many strokes and the right order of writing helps not only to remember the Kanji itself, but also helps to recognize it at reading.

For that purpose you may use an online applications, such as:

KanjiQ by Aribada Inc. With KanjiQ you can practice Kanji, repeating their writing by the lines, or train yourself by looking simply at the strokes’ order.

2. Study radicals (keys)

Kanji are not just the characters, the looks of which are absolutely disconnected with the semantic content. A limited set of unique elements, named “radicals”, is used for writing Kanji. 214 of radicals are so-called keys, which are also the meaning-bearers of each hieroglyph.
Hence comes out the second method: learn hieroglyphics, breaking them into groups with the same keys.

The useful applications for that:

Imiwa? This is an interactive online kanji dictionary, which will help to find not only the hieroglyphs’ meaning and reading rules, but also group them according to the number of the strokes. Also, this application allows to search hieroglyphs by the radicals.

Kanji Game. This application is a bit more challenging. In addition to the usual Kanji reading tests, there is a useful game “Is it a real Kanji?”. The application will show you the hieroglyph, and you should have to guess whether it is a true kanji or not.

3. Memorize reading

Another method is based on the learning the “Onyomi” reading. Anyone, who studies Japanese language, knows that the hieroglyphs have 2 ways of reading – a Japanese (kunyomi) and original Chinese – (onyomi).
Japanese words, denoted with hieroglyphs, are not too difficult to remember, but reading in Chinese way, which often consists of a single syllable, might cause more troubles to the learner. Thus, in some cases, it may be easier to split kanji by groups with the same reading.

4. Use Associations

Each character of Kanji is a little picture, a real art. Why not to involve this into the learning process?

For instance:

  • Kanji 休 (a rest) consists of the elements 人 (a human) and 木 (a tree). It turns out that the rest is when a man leans to a tree.
  • Kanji 東 (east) consists of the two elements 木 (a tree) and 日(the Sun), which are fused together. It turns out that the east is where the sun appears from behind trees.

Such mnemonic technique allows you to create persistent images and understand the essence of the kanji, not just memorize its form by heart.

An application, which will help you:
FluentU. This program includes video, pictures and flash cards which provide a persistent association between a word and its meaning.

5. Compose meaningful groups

Another technique to facilitate kanji memorization is compiling personal dictionaries and combining hieroglyphics by their meaning. For example:
母 (mother), 父 (father), 兄 (elder brother), 姊 (elder sister).
赤 (red), 青 (blue), 黒 (black), 白 (white).
野菜 (vegetables), 果物 (fruit), 果実 (berries)

A handy application for you:

Kanji Star. In addition to the routine tests on Kanji memorization and writing, this program can offer you much more. You can choose the hieroglyphics in different categories, such as “fruit”, “vegetable”, “animal”, “color”, etc and focus only on them.
Learn Japanese. This application is designed for beginners. The program contains 800 words and popular phrases, backed by pictures and audio recordings.

6. Use phrases (mnemonics)

This method consists in memorizing phrases or stories, which can remind the hieroglyphic writing. For example:
馬 (horse): “Fondle the horse on its neck, and then on the head, then down to the nose, then on the back, and then to the tail, and the point – the point – the point – the point.” – this process depicts Kanji writing as if it was a picture of an animal.

Or give the name to each stroke in the same order as it is written:
正しい(right): The Vertical, the horizontal, the vertical, the horizontal and two large horizontal lines.

頑張ってね、皆さん!

My name is Jennifer Broflowski. I am a freelance writer and experienced content distributor, fond of reading, news and everything connected with our life. At present, I am a staff writer in Edusson.com, which is one of the best essay writing services on the web. Working with its wonderful and professional team, I understood how it is important to be helpful, solve any student problem and draw a confident smile on their faces.

If your have any questions or just need academic help, please do not be confused to contact me by email: broflowski.jen@gmail.com or follow me on my Google+, Twitter, Facebook, About.me, LinkedIn.

How a Polyglot Can Help Us Become Better Language Teachers

“You’re so young! You have so many years ahead to learn more languages!”

~ 86-year-old Kato Lomb to her 54-year-old friend

I bet you heard the name of Kató Lomb.

If no, shame of you.

The chemist who spoke 16 languages fluently. One of the first simultaneous interpreters in the world. The author of the bestselling book How I Learn Languages.

And a polyglot who will help you (and me) become a better language teacher.

She managed to learn so many languages in times when there was no Skype, no online tutors (Gosh, I would be unemployed there!), no CDs with voices from native speakers…

Her ten commandments of language learning are worth remembering for students. But it’s interesting to note that teachers can consider these tips from Kató Lomb a method to improve teaching techniques, ease the process of language learning for their students, and become successful online educators.

1. Learn a language every day

How it can help a teacher: If you don’t teach every day, make sure to break homework into small tasks for your students to spend 10-15 daily on completing it. It can be reading a text, learning new words, repeating them, listening to a song in the target language and making a vocabulary of unknown words from it, etc.

Don’t give a time-consuming homework. Your students will learn everything by all means, but they are more likely to forget this “everything” once you give the next homework to them.

2. Create a lesson algorithm

How it can help a teacher: Sometimes, even your earnest pupils lose a desire to learn languages. So, the best decision is creating a lesson algorithm that would let them take a little break and motivate them to continue learning.

Do not force students to spend hours learning new words or doing exercises. If you see them bored or demotivated, listen to some music in a class, or discuss something interesting with them. It will take 5-10 minutes and not harm your time management, so you will back to the lesson with a clear conscience.

3. Remember the context

How it can help a teacher: We all know that context is everything, and it’s much easier to learn collocations, not separate words. So, always give your students new phrases to memorize.

For example, the expression “strong wind” will help them remember two words at once, and one will automatically recall the second one in their memory.

4. Write in and use ready phrases

How it can help a teacher: When you learn new words and phrases with your students, ask them to write them in. First of all, it will help them remember faster and better; secondly, it can make them love writing; and thirdly, it makes students able to use those phrases whenever they can, as they will always carry those words with them.

Encourage students to use written data in dialogues. It’s a proven technique that will allow to learn more collocations on different topics.

5. Translate everything you see

How it can help a teacher: I bet you used this trick! When you mentally translate everything you see – the titles of articles in newspapers, advertisements, etc. – you train your brain by memorizing new language units and associating them with visuals you see in billboards, for example.

Try the same with your students. Give them a task to translate every text sign they will see on their road to school. Ask to share the results with classmates.

6. Learn by heart

How it can help a teacher: Simple as that. Learning by heart is the first and most common task all teachers give their students. And nothing seems tricky here, but…

Ask your students to learn ONLY the phrases that are checked to be correct. Be the first one who will check them; otherwise, they might confuse students and cause a misunderstanding that leads to disappointments, motivation loss, and more.

7. Learn in the first person

How it can help a teacher: Ready phrases and idioms are better to learn in the first person, as we image them with the help of associations.

Thus, give your students a task to put new phrases into the first person, creating sentences or monologs with a collocation, phrasal verb, or idiom.

8. Communicate

How it can help a teacher: Your students will never learn a language if you are the only person they are listening. And your students will never speak a target language if their only activity is doing exercises in laptops or textbooks.

Engage different activities in your classroom: watch and discuss movies, listen to music, read books, talk to each other. Communication is the key factor for language learning, so don’t miss a chance to organize a chat with native speakers for your students.

9. Make mistakes

How it can help a teacher: Let students see it’s okay to make mistakes. Discuss the most common mistakes every language learner makes and help them understand how to avoid them.

Teach students to check everything they do, correct mistakes, and learn from them. All in all, the person who never makes a mistake will never make anything.

10. Never doubt

How it can help a teacher: Encourage your students that no matter what – they will learn the target language. And make no doubt about them.

Nothing is worse for students than a teacher who doesn’t believe in them.

So, use a personal approach toward your every mentee to understand what is the best technique to learn languages with them, and take it away!

Kató Lomb was able to learn 16 languages alone! So, I believe you can become the best teacher for your students and learn at least one foreign language with them.

***********

About the author:

Lesley Vos is a private educator and online tutor. She teaches a group of ESL students in Skype, and she is passionate about blogging and writing. Lesley contributes content and shares her writing experience with readers of many websites on education, including Learning Advisor, Touro’s Online Education Blog, Bid4Papers Blog, and others. You are always welcome to follow her on Twitter at @LesleyVos.

The Beauty of German

Another guest post from LearnWithOliver.com user Robert Dupuis about the beauty of German. Enjoy! 🙂

When I began studying German I was simply overwhelmed. Accustomed as I was to lightly inflected languages such as English, French and Spanish, heavily inflected German was comparable to quicksand ― constantly in motion. There are six indefinite articles ― ein, eines, einer, einem, einen and eine ― and six definite articles ― der, das, die, den, dem and des ― which are declined differently according to the nuclear, gender, and case of their nouns. Add to them a few short words that begin with ein- and whole passel of short d- words, and I felt lost. It’s therefore essential that you, if you’re determined to master German, learn the articles upside-down and maybe even backwards, especially since the declension of adjectives depends on which articles they follow and the grammatical role of the nouns they modify. Find a table of declensions on Internet, print it out, and affix it to a wall that you often see. That is Step Number One.

Step Number Two is learn the word order. Most German main clauses begin with the subject followed by the verb, as in English, but then things get crazy quickly. What follows may seem backwards because it is backwards, at least to us Anglophones. While we would say “Erik is coming home on the train today,” a German would say “Erik is coming today on the train home.” Time-manner-place, TMP. So much for main clauses. In subordinate clauses the verb no longer comes in the second place but is sent packing to clause’s very end. The words that introduce most subordinate clauses are während, bis, als, wenn, da, weil, ob, obwohl, and dass. Put a list of them on the oft-seen wall too.

Step Number Three: Pay close attention to noun genders, otherwise using the articles correctly will be impossible and reading a guessing game. There are masculine, feminine and neuter nouns, some endings of which tell you the gender. Those that end in –keit, –heit, -schaft and –ung, for example, are invariably feminine, -ler, -ner and –ismus masculine, and –lein and –chen neuter, but there are many others whose genders simply have to be memorized. To help me do this I put everything in one of three locations: the masculine Platz (“square”), the feminine Straße (“street”), or the neuter Stadion (“stadium”). In the stadium I put only neuter objects: horse, car, baby, room, water, book, rope, bed, house, girl, etc. I’ve even created a surreal mental painting: The horse, ridden by the baby, is rope-towing the stuck-in-water car, driven by the girl. In this room too is a bed in which a deer with huge antlers and a yawning hippopotamus lie side by side. Through the window by the bed is seen the roof of the neighbor’s house and the inside of the curving stadium beyond it. The horse, by the way, is reading a book entitled Horse Sense splayed open on a portable podium extending from its chest. The nouns, all neuter, in order of mention are Pferd, Baby, Seil, Wasser, Auto, Mädchen, Zimmer, Bett, Reh, Geweih, Nilpferd, Fenster, Dach, Nachbarn, Haus, Stadium, Buch, Gefühl, Podium, Brustkorb. I’ve filled the street with feminine nouns and the plaza beyond it with neuter nouns. “Personalizing“ otherwise dry information using this or similar devices is very useful in language learning.

Am I saying that taking the above three steps will make learning German easy? No, not at all. German, at least in my opinion, is a very complicated language ― perhaps the most complicated. But to me it’s worth the effort. Why? With the exception of Dutch there is nothing similar, and Dutch is so much easier that its similarity to German may be less apparent than its differences. It’s much less inflected ― highly inflected languages such as German, Russian and Greek tend to be more syntactically flexible, therefore more specific and expressive. But there are two features of German that lighten the load, and one of the two make it creative and playful. The first is the capitalization of all nouns. Before you know a language fairly well, a text seems like a sea of swelling words, correct? What’s this? What’s that? Ai, just look at that thing over there!! Reaching the text’s end may seem as difficult as swimming from New York to Lisbon. In German, however, the nouns stand out and up like concrete pillars that make it much easier for you to identify the other elements in the sentence. And since the location of verbs is predictable, you can put them (the nuts) together with the nouns (the bolts) to get the gist. Noun capitalization is so handy that I recommend you do the same to your nouns in whatever language you use. I honestly think that world peace would come shortly.

Noun capitalization is proof that the sadist who invented German kissed puppies.

The other feature that makes German special is compound words. We have them in English too ― football, underground, without, hedgehog and undercut are examples ― but, perhaps because they aren’t capitalized, they lack the punch of those in German and are much less numerous. Many compound words are shorter than their translations. Verschlimmbesserung may at eighteen letters seem long, but compared to its translation is wonderfully short: “an intended improvement that makes things worse.” Good luck finding them in the dictionary since many of them seem to be and undoubtedly are made up on the spot by the Puppykisser or his Wordartistbuddies. Analogous to how explained jokes never provoke laughter, you either “get” compound words or you don’t ― if you don’t, it’s off to the dictionary for a Wildwordchase. Translation, however, consists of much more than denotation; connotation is usually untranslatable and phonetics always is: Sitzpinkler is comic while “a man who sits when he pees” is Dictionaryflat. Here’s one that might come in handy if you ever land a job in a German insane asylum: Unterhosenbügler ― “a man who irons his underwear.”

German is especially attractive in that it’s a great intellectual challenge. All languages are of course, but German is high up on the list. To use it very well will require a huge amount of blood, sweat and tears. At times that day of fluency may seem impossibly distant, but don’t give up. Remember that the longest journey begins with one step so, not only with language learning but with everything you set out to do, toss out the self-doubts and just keep walking. Just keep walking. Just keep walking…

What makes a good translator?

From our own experience finding the right translators for the LearnWithOliver project was always essential to offer a good flashcard site. Today’s guest post from Language Reach discusses this topic.

Translation Services

In today’s globalising world, language translation and interpreting services are one of the fastest growing industries in business. In 2012 the estimated size of the industry was an astonishing $33.5 billion, and as the international business is continuously growing, consequently the demand for translation services is also increasing and it is expected to reach over $37 billion worth only within the next three years!

Of course, due to some free translation tools such as Google Translate which are now widely available, translation has become somewhat ubiquitous. Nevertheless, any person who is professionally involved with multilingual publishing, marketing, legal, medical or any other niche specific documents which require a language translation, simply cannot underestimate the importance of human translators. Regular users of translation services are aware that the logic and reasoning skills that humans are capable of bringing to their documents and projects,  simply cannot be matched by computer software.

Finding the right translator who is suitable for the job isn’t however always a straightforward task. Can about anyone who speaks two languages fluently translate an official medical document or will a document translated by a person who isn’t certified be authorised in court? Indeed, there is a number of factors which can contribute to choosing the appropriate candidate for translating your project.

Experience:

Of course, there are no rules which state that the longer someone works as a translator the more accurately they will be able to translate a document. Like any other profession however, the majority of translators will become more proficient with time. An inexperienced translator, even if extremely talented, will most certainly come across situations where talent simply isn’t enough and a deeper understanding of the given subject as well as specific knowledge may be essential for an accurate translation.

Endorsements:

If you have never worked with a particular translator before, and you aren’t too sure whether the person is suitable for your project, websites such as the chartered institute for linguists, ITI, Language Reach or Proz.com may help you in making a decision. These are professional bodies in the UK for translators and interpreters which set and maintain high standards of entry and “protect both members and the public”.

Field Expertise:

Let’s face it, due to a specific lingo or jargon, majority of people would most likely not be able to fully understand a conversation between two lawyers or doctors. Now, imagine working with a translator who although speaks your target language, is similarly to you not aware of, for example, any specific medical terms. When working with documents or projects from a specific sector, it is vital that you choose a translator who is not only capable of fluently speaking the language, but also has a first-hand experience within that particular business area, so that any nuances can be accurately interpreted.

Reliability:

Finding a reliable translator can be perhaps most important and essential for persons who translate projects regularly for business or professional reasons. In many cases, for example the legal sector, punctual delivery of the translated documents can be simply fundamental. The safest way of finding a reliable translator for business purposes is working with a professional translation agency such as Translation Services 24. Not only can such agencies guarantee that your documents will be delivered on time, but also accuracy and field expertise.

Reference:

Yet another important aspect to consider when hiring a translator are one’s references. Has the person worked on similar projects before? If so, how did they do? Asking for a CV or a short free sample (although can sometimes be frowned upon by experienced translators), especially when working together for the first time, is always a good way of making sure that the person you choose is capable of delivering an accurately translated document on time.

As you can see, finding the right translator for the job can be, in fact, quite difficult. A number of factors must be taken into the account. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that alike any other profession, or perhaps even more so, translators value their time, knowledge and expertise and so choosing someone based entirely on their price can be a huge mistake, which may save some of your budget in the short term, but can be disastrous in the future.

How to Engage Your Classroom in Studying With These 11 E-Learning Resources

Today Julie Petersen from Askpetersen.com introduces 11 E-Learning Resources.

elearning websites

Long gone are the days when kids sat in a library and carefully searched through the stacks to find the resources they needed. Today, students rely on computers and the internet for their study needs. This can be a tremendous resource for teachers, since the internet contains a wealth of study tools to help your students succeed.

Whether your students need help with time management, organization, writing assistance, or help creating more in-depth projects, you can be sure there is a helpful website that can assist them. But with so many tools available, it can be difficult to know which sites are worth your time and which are not. These 10 E-Learning tools will help your students learn better study skills, create gorgeous interactive digital media presentations, and earn better grades.

1. Learn With Oliver

Learn With Oliver is an online language learning website that suggests flashcards, newsletter games and texts for reading exercises for over than 250 000 students. You can easily sign up for both free and premium accounts: just choose the language you would like to learn and sign up. Use the following website in your classroom to make language learning exciting and interactive for your students.

2. HowToStudy.com

How To Study does exactly what its name promises. It teaches kids helpful study skills like time management, test taking tips, various learning assessments, and tips for procrastinators. It is a one-stop fix for many common study issues. As a bonus, it has a section for “Teaching Tips,” where teachers can learn methods to help students with specific concerns or limitations.

3. ThingLink

ThingLink allows students to take digital projects to a new level. The easy to use platform lets users upload images, videos, and text into a complex, interactive presentation. Why use a simple Power Point when you can dazzle their class with a Thing Link?

4. Ninja Essays

Ninja Essays is an online writing advisor, where professional writers provide students with online writing, editing and proofreading advice. The company’s blog offers helpful writing tips and infographics to make information more accessible to students. Don’t forget ot check website’s free Wordcounter and Citation Generator tools.

5. Quizlet

Quizlet offers a broad selection of flashcards, quizzes, and games to make studying genuinely fun! The website has over 10 million flashcards, so you are bound to find something to help your students!

6. iPiccy

iPiccy is like Photoshop, but much easier to use. It allows users to edit photos. Students can crop, resize, and rotate photos with one click. It is easy to add filters and special effects. The completed photos can be uploaded to Facebook, Twitter, or other platforms that a class might be using to display their finished products.

7. Easel.ly

Easel.ly is a beginner’s guide to creating infographics. For students who may not be very technologically inclined, Easel.ly provides a template to create digital media for the classroom. For example, students can make graphs or maps with notations on important locations.

8. Padlet

Padlet is a virtual board that allows users to create a board with sticky notes that can be moved and embedded on the board. Students can organize notes and share their boards with other students. Teachers can start boards, and the entire class can log in individually to contribute to the board. It is a great resource for sharing information on a safe platform.

9. WeVideo

We video turns video editing into a simple, fun activity, rather than a tedious time sucking process. Students can upload a video, mute parts of the video, and record their own voice to narrate over the film. The smallest file size is free to use. Students might actually get excited about video projects!

10. StudyBlue

Similar to Quizlet, StudyBlue offers the largest collection of study materials available online. The site has over 350 million user generated flashcards. The site has been featured in The Wall Street Journal and Forbes. With topics varying from algebra to zoology, you are sure to find a topic to assist your students.

11. Help.Plagtracker

Plag tracker allows students to run their work through an online portal to check for any instances of plagiarism. This is especially helpful for research paper or other large projects. It can be easy to miss a citation or not realize that one is needed. Plag Tracker will assure students that they will never inadvertently take credit for another’s work.

Web-based learning tools will continue to become more prolific over time. Teachers who adopt the use of these tools are able to reap the benefits of being early adapters. Students are naturally more adept at technology. They have been raised with it. It is second nature to use the internet and online tools. By incorporating these tools into the classroom, you can provide more opportunities for your students and more chances for them to collaborate with one another. It will also teach them new skills that they can use later in their careers.