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Languages for Businesses  An innovative way of learning foreign languages and cultures successfully!

English As We Know It by M E Smith, 10th December 2018

As one of the World’s most widely used #languages, #English, first termed so by Alfred the Great in the ninth century, is continually transforming, with factors such as #technology, socio-#economic, multiculturalism and youth subculture influencing and shaping the vocabulary we use today; and for language purists, how we abuse it.

The Etymology of the English language in the UK can be traced to various invasions. Most successfully to the Viking invasion through the period 793 AD to 1066 AD which affected the English language; prior to the #influence of the Scandinavian dialect, little is known about how Anglo-Saxon settlement influenced the English language, other than to say that the Celts perhaps had most influence on its grammatical development.
With a possible 600-900 word count first documented in the early 12th Century coming from the Scandinavian dialect of ‘Old Norse’, like those beginning with Th and Sk, (i.e. Then, There, Sky and Skirt), and also many of the Town names in the North East of England are Old Norse in origin. Towns ending with –by like Grimsby, Whitby and Wetherby and also Thorpe meaning ‘Village’ like in Scunthorpe are but a few of the 210 town names recorded.
The Regional dialect of the North East is also thought to have been a lasting legacy of the Viking conquests. The 11th Century Invasion and occupation of the Normans brought further changes to the language and introduced ‘Old French’. Though mainly used by nobility, how far it filtered to the mainstream can perhaps be noted in the many French words we still share; entrepreneur, milieu, boutique, voyeur…

Understanding your Car and the Mechanics Market by Diogo Silva Santos, 9th December 2018

From my experience, the money charged by a mechanic has nothing to do with how reliable and professional they are. When most of the #car parts are now available at great prices from different competing parts manufacturers, the hourly labour rates are rising sharply and are not justified by the amount of certificates the mechanic has earned over the years, but are purely dictated by personal ambition.

The amount of time one spends asking around for quotes is paid off within just a few visits to different #mechanics, especially when it is understood (or you let them know) that you are asking for more quotes and will eventually go with the best offer. Your 'loyalty discount' for always trusting the same mechanic is automatically given to a new customer who understands this procedure and takes the time to #shop around.

The 3D American Dream by Giuliana Militello, 8th December 2018

Snippets from #Botticelli’s Venus feature on Lady Gaga’s ‘ARTPOP’ album cover. A modern twist of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ was run at the Noël Coward theatre in London. Baz Luhrmann’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ remake. These modern #adaptations of #timeless works often beg the question: can traditional #art ever be revisited? More importantly, should it?

It’s true that the mention of a timeless piece can boost publicity and interest for new works of art. However, with it come enormous pressure and the high risk of being critiqued and compared to the original. Some contemporary #creatives play their cards wisely; ‘The Great Gatsby’ remakes have proven to be hit-and-miss in the past (its 1974 version starring Robert Redford was a critically slated). Luhrmann found a winning formula in 1996 with a revitalised ‘Romeo + Juliet’, starring Leonardo De Caprio. It was therefore only wise to once again employ him in the coveted Jay Gatsby role.
Yet the real stroke of #genius came in strengthening focus on the screen rather than the script. With Jay-Z as musical producer, and #Prada as costume designer, cinema geeks would be flocking to view the first ever 3D Gatsby knowing that while #symbolic interpretation would be lacking, Luhrmann, like Gatsby himself, would be sure to put on a great show.

Brazil by Giuliana Militello, 7th December 2018

While the iconic #sporting #events have catapulted #Brazil to #international prominence, up until now the country was not only renowned for its footballers and supermodels but for its #Carnival. The Carnival of Brazil is held just before Lent and is the most famous holiday in Brazil. It attracts millions of spectators and participants each year, including tourists.
With the growing #Brazilian economy, learning #Portuguese is more popular now than ever before. This romantic language is not just the official language of #Portugal and #Brazil, but also several #African and #South American countries including #Mozambique, #Uruguay and #Cape Verde. A strong history of colonisation means that the language is also prominent in certain parts of #China, #India and #Malaysia. #Portuguese is in fact the sixth most spoken #language in the world! If you can’t afford a plane ticket to #Brazil this summer or anytime in the near future, learning Portuguese is always a way to capture the spirit of #Rio.

Expressions in French, German & Spanish

Il Modo Corretto Di Parlare by Pietro Giribaldi, 6th December 2018

Si può dire che esiste un modo corretto di parlare? In un mondo dominato da accenti, dialetti, #terminologie particolari adottate a linguaggio comune di gruppi o clan? Io ritengo di sì: esiste una terra comune dove tali linguaggi secondari devono cedere il passo, ma senza mai perdersi, alla lingua ufficiale. E viceversa.

In un luogo pubblico, dinnanzi a chi ci deve offrire un servizio ed a maggior ragione con coloro cui dobbiamo "vendere" noi stessi come persone che presentano determinate abilità e conoscenze, non possiamo che attenerci alle norme #grammaticali e sintattiche di un parlare formale e preciso.
In una situazione più familiare ed informale, è invece giusto lasciare libero sfogo a quelle #espressioni popolane ed a parlate più caserecce e dialettali: non solo sono parte di un patrimonio generazionale e locale, ma è un modo per trasmettere memorie, usanze, tradizioni e modi di pensare.

Insomma: il modo corretto di parlare, in realtà, non è ne l'aulico conversare che teniamo davanti ad alti dignitari ne il popolano #dialogare con cui ci esprimiamo con conoscenti, amici e famiglia, ma bisogna comprendere in quale momento l'uno o l'altro debbano essere adoperati per relazionarci nel modo migliore alla persona che ci sta dinnanzi.

Expression in French, German & Spanish

Joint Birthday Party by Tim Lai-Smith, 5th December 2018

Last week we received an #invitation to a #party for a mother and daughter who both #celebrate their #birthdays during the same week. The daughter Laura will be 24, and the Mother, who we call “MC,” is #celebrating her 50th. We’ll be driving down later this week for this very #special #occasion.

We’ve known the #family for 10 years, and over this time we have watched Laura finish #school, #travel and live #overseas, pass her #driving #test, attend #university and start #working full-time.

During this time MC has been a great #Mother and has #worked hard to take the #children on #holidays when and where she could, and she is one of the most welcoming people we know. She has always been there to help when we needed it, from lifts to the #airport to #support and #advice when we asked for it; making us feel so welcome and treating us like #family.

I have been assigned with the #task of choosing some #gifts for them, and I will find something nice of course. The most important thing is that they know how much we #love and appreciate them, which we don’t say often enough.

Languages and Our First Years of Life by Diogo Silva Santos, 4th December 2018

According to research that highlights the importance of the first years of life, the brain continues to answer to the sound of a #language listened and learned during early childhood.

When a child's brain is exposed at a very young age to language, it builds representations of the sounds, but it was unknown until now if there was a long-lasting #memory of them even when the child is no longer exposed to that language.

To answer this question, 48 girls aged from 9 to 17 years old that were exposed during their lifetime to different levels of #French and #Chinese were tested by dividing them between three groups.

The first group had girls born and educated among French-speaking families, the second group had girls born in #China and adopted before they were 3 years old by French-speaking families and the third group had girls fluent in Chinese and French. The three groups listened to records with tones typical of the Chinese language but non-existent in French, while a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was conducted.

The MRI revealed that all the girls previously exposed to Chinese, (whether they continued to speak the language or not) had the same part of the brain active, whilst the girls exposed to French alone did not.
Researchers concluded that "Mental representations built in the brain while learning a language at a very young age do persist into #adulthood, even when one loses the ability to speak it.” Children begin life with the ability to distinguish the sounds of every language in the world, but as they are exposed to just one language they become more sensitive to the sounds and tones of that particular language. #Phonological categories built during that period reinforce the learning of the Mother Tongue and are the foundations for superior levels of language #knowledge.

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