Showing posts from December, 2014

The 6 low moments of learning a language

The six low moments of learning a language

Your pronunciation will sound hilarious; you will mistranslate and use the language inappropriately. During an English conversation exchange, a Mexican student translated the Spanish term for “manual labour” directly into the immortal sentence, “hand jobs are getting cheaper”. Moments later an American classmate tried to complain that she was hot. Unfortunately,estoy caliente means “I’m horny”, or “I’m sexually stimulated.”
You might participate in conversations that go faster than your brain You understand what’s being said, and you want to join in – but by the time you formulate a sentence that sounds natural, the conversation has moved on. The best way to get around this is to ask questions to show that you are following the conversation.
Talking on the phone for the first time Remember that 10% of communication is verbal so understanding someone on the phone becomes more difficult, especially if in another language. So, it’s not a sin to ask f…

What's the word?

What do these three sentences have in common?

The ex-president offered to broker the contract between the two companies.For more information, consult your travel agent or insurance broker.The communist party emerged as a power broker despite their loss of seven seats in the senate in the recent elections.

ANSWER: They all use the word broker. In language, the same word can be used in different ways and have different meanings. 
To be a proficient user of a language means is to know how to use a word in diverse contexts, often with diverse meanings. 
Here are some more examples. Do you know the missing words?

Word #2 We are unable to increase salaries in the current economic .......... The ......... of opinion is slowly changing about the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. President Bush suggested an international meeting at the White House next spring of scientific, economic and environmental officials to discuss responses to global ........ changes.
Word #3 This week we’ll be expe…

Christmas dinners - in some countries

But, wait, don't go yet
Since we are talking about dinners, here is a sneak peek at what my fellow Trinis eat at Christmas time:

For more examples, go here.
What's on your plate for Christmas this year?

Corruption around the world - how to move from perception to prevention?

Familiarizing myself with the work of Transparency International

Taken from the perspective of the impact it has on social order and economic growth, corruption is probably the most fatal plague we face.