Interesting and funny blogs on translation, interpreting and language – have fun!
Everyone can identify with the power of song to stir up memories! Some people associate songs with a happy holiday or an epic road trip. For me, certain songs often conjure up the memory of a superb surf trip to Devon with friends that I went on 10 years ago.
Therefore, it’s no surprise that one of the best ways to consolidate language learning is through the medium of song. This is one of the successful ‘teaching methods’ employed by teachers at Veritas Academy who are passionate about promoting the benefits of learning foreign languages through song. For both children and adults alike, the benefits of learning about language and culture through song range from the development of listening skills, the encouragement of intuitive responses, aided memory, better pronunciation and most of all – fun!
I enjoyed attending one of our Veritas Academy sessions last week and was amazed to observe the recall that the children had for a French song. Not only did they remember every word, they also sang in perfect French accents! They were clearly having a lot of fun while learning about culture and language. Conjugating verbs certainly wasn’t that fun when I was in school.
While studying my BA in languages, I had the opportunity to live in Spain for a year. While there, I developed a passion for Spanish music and my language skills improved significantly. Perhaps this was due to the immersion environment that I found myself in (little village in Northern Spain), but I believe Spanish music contributed significantly to my grasp of the language.
If you would like to improve your French or Spanish, or would like to introduce your children the concept of foreign language and culture in a fun way, [...]
So, being 17 years old and studying for your exams is undoubtedly a difficult time. There is simply no accounting for youthful logic and my travels to the Hoek of Holland were no exception to this rule.
It was still pitch black outside the window at 3.30am on a cold and windy March morning when I dragged myself from bed. The trees shrugged like lonely skeletons as I waited for my lift to the train station ready to start my journey to the ferry. The weather forecast continued to issue warnings of gale force winds blowing across the Eastern counties of England. I smirked to myself. Wind or no wind, I was going to catch my ferry.
The sun had begun to creep over the vast outlines of the ferries resting in the port of Felixstowe as I prepared to board.
“Passport and boarding pass, please love.” I raised an eyebrow at the crusting make up around the oversized smile of the travel assistant greeting me. Her lips were stained dark crimson and her eyes sank beneath a heavy layer of grey eye shadow. She could have been quite attractive under there I supposed. I wasn’t quite sure though.
Mustering an equally vapid smile, I handed her my passport and felt my stomach perform a little flip. The ships horn echoed through the departure lounge.
“Last call now, love. You made it just in time.” I forced another smile and tried to look suitably relieved. I decided not to mention my unnecessary and prolonged lingering around the corner to avoid having to stand in the queue with what appeared to be an entire army regiment… (To be continued)
***The opinions and views expressed in this blog do not represent the [...]
Happy “Dia de la Bandera” or Mexican flag day! The 24th February is a national holiday in Mexico and an admiration of traditional Mexican heritage. As part of the celebration, the flag is hoisted up on the “Cerro de la Bandera” (Flag Hill) in Buena Vista and a race to the summit is held where anyone can participate. In the evening people party in Plaza Mijares in the main square of San Jos del Cabo.
The Mexican flag is enriched in cultural history and is symbolic of the efforts of the people to build an independent nation. Previously rules by the Aztecs, Mexico was a Spanish colony for over 300 years winning the War of Independence in 1821. Although the significance of the colours and design of the flag has changed over time, it is believed that the green colour represents hope and victory, white is symbolic of the purity of Mexican ideals, while the red is representative of the blood that the national heroes shed for their motherland. The coat of arms on the flag displays a Mexican eagle perched on a Nopal cactus devouring a serpent with it’s mouth and talons. Legend has it that the Aztec civilisation received a sign from one of their gods, indicating that when they saw the vision of the eagle, they should build what is currently known as Mexico city.
Did you know?
Mexico is both the most populous Spanish speaking country and home to the largest numbers of native American language speakers.
Mexico is the 11th most populated country in the world.
Mexico has 31 states as well as the capital Mexico city.
Popular Mexican dishes are tacos, enchiladas and burritos.
The most popular sport in Mexico is soccer.
We all do it without thinking about it, particularly at work, but using jargon is a very exclusive way of communicating.
The other day at work I was showing around two photographers and, at one of our photo shoot spots, we got chatting about the sort of shot we were looking for. Before I knew it, they started talking about angles, shutter speed, lighting, ISO and just about every setting on the camera, which I struggled to follow.
It wasn’t just because I hadn’t brushed up on my photography skills, it could have been any profession – electrician, scientist, bus driver, writer – they all have their own specific terminology. Not only that but it makes sense to be able to communicate amongst colleagues using this vocabulary to refer to particular subjects which are to do with your work. The use of jargon actually makes a job easier because you can quickly communicate what you need to say and know your colleagues will understand.
However, when you are outside of the circle, jargon is almost like a foreign language. You know roughly what people are talking about but you can’t always keep up. Unlike speaking a foreign language, it is not generally a conscious decision to start using it. It’s something you lapse into at work and with those in a similar profession and we use it as a way of signally that we are on the same level.
In the case of the photographers, this was normal vocabulary which they used on a day-to-day basis. Like many of us, we get used to certain words or phrases which, to anyone else, don’t make any sense. Jargon is a specialised form of language. It is used by [...]
Are you celebrating Valentines day? Whether you’re cooking something special for your loved one or spending the night alone to comfort eat, we’ve enlisted Izumi Anthony, local business owner of Authentic Japanese foods to give us a great Valentine’s recipe idea from her native Japan.
Hi Izumi, Thanks for taking the time to speak to us. We wanted to give our readers a bit of background about you, so to start, where in Japan are you from?
Saitama prefecture 15 – 30 kilometres north of central Tokyo,
And what is the speciality dish of that region?
There is lots of speciality dishes but the most well know food product is Green tea. It called Sayama green tea. It is one of Japan’s three major refined tea.
What was your favourite food as a child?
My mum was a very good cook! My favourite food was Soba.It is synonymous with a type of thin noodle made from buckwheat flour. Soba noodles are served either chilled with a dipping sauce, or in hot broth as a noodle soup.
How did you end up living and working in Britain?
I met my Welsh husband in Bristol about 14 years ago, we had 2 sons and lived in Bristol for 2 years. We moved to Fukushima in Japan for 5 years where he taught English and then came back to UK to settle in beautiful Wales!
Well we’re very happy you decided to come to Wales and cook us delicious and Authentic Japanese food! What do you think of British food? Do you have a favourite?
Oh yes! I love the British breakfast, especially the tomatoes and mushrooms. Also beef casserole is very tasty!
Do you have Valentines day in Japan?
Yes, but this is something we have borrowed from Western culture.