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

Do you have a Favourite Word? by Elisa Baelus, 21st September 2018

People will always ask you what your favourite #movie is, your favourite band, food, colour, and so on. No one ever asks about your favourite word, isn’t that weird? We use words every day, but we never stop and think about how wonderfully #curious they can be. They just become a means to an end, a #communication tool to get something done.

No one ever seems to pause and think ‘hey, that’s a cool word’, except for kids or weird language nerds such as the likes of myself. In fact, I remember that as a kid, I had this #epiphany (if that isn’t just one of the coolest words to begin with). I decided that the #Dutch word glimlach (which can be both a noun and a verb) would be my favourite word forever.

The cool thing about this word is that there really isn’t a good #translation for it. In Italian it is sorriso, in French sourire, and in English –what a disappointment really- smile. But it’s so much more than just a smile! It must secretly be the happiest word in the history of everything. ‘Glim’ means something close to gleaming, or shining, ‘lach’ means #smile. Put the two together and it becomes more than a familiar expression of happiness that makes the corners of your mouth curl up (let’s not get into the weird faces, let alone noises some people make when they laugh). If you glimlach, you smile, you beam, you radiate, but you can also be modest, mysterious, mischievous, like you just had a funny thought or like you’re trying to hide a secret that’s bubbling underneath the surface.

And all of that in just one word. Ah, #language. Isn’t it the best?

A trip to Buenos Aires by Sarah Brown, 20th September 2018

Ever considered a getaway to Buenos Aires?

As the second largest city in #South America, Buenos Aires has so much to offer. For your next trip, here are some must-dos whilst you're there.

Visit #La Boca
An irresistibly charming neighbourhood, La Boca is associated with #football and #tango. With stunning #visuals of rows of brightly coloured buildings, it is the most #photographed area in the #city. Take time out to watch mesmerising tango dancers in the street or cheer on a football match at the famous Boca #stadium.

Drink Mate
A #herbal #tea, #Mate (pronounced Ma-tay) is an immensely popular drink in #Argentina. Having brewed the green leaves in an intricately decorated cup, the tea is drunk through a silver straw before being passed to the next person. It’s an acquired taste but one worth trying.

Party in #Plaza #Serrano
When the sun goes down, #party-goers come out to play in the many #bars and #restaurants in Plaza Serrano in classy neighbourhood #Palermo. All week this place stays up with loud #music and drinks available until the sun comes up and beyond.

Learn Spanish
Argentina has arguably one of the most beautiful Spanish #accents, making it a great opportunity to practice your Spanish with friendly, helpful locals. There are plenty of #language #schools there with #courses available.

Amsterdam: The Venice of the North by Giuliana Militello, 19th September 2018

Have you ever visited Amsterdam?

In #Amsterdam, it’s best to expect the unexpected. Yes, the coffee shops are a hoot and the red-light district is like a shocking scandal on a tabloid newspaper; you don’t want to look yet you can’t peel your eyes away.
However, what makes Amsterdam unique is not the illegal-legal debacle, but the way of life. Bicycles, fitted with anything from baby seats to shopping carts, inundate the streets and canals walkways. The #canal system is a one-of-a-kind design of which you’ll stumble upon subconsciously.
Some pointers for anyone looking to go: food is ridiculously expensive and ridiculously awful. For once, McDonalds is perhaps the better option. #Coffee shops, like bars and pubs, are more expensive in the centre. It’s best to venture a little bit further out in order to get more for your money. One last piece of advice: visit Anne Frank’s house. I was wary of not falling into a dreaded tourist trap, yet the tour was kept so tastefully humble that you’ll inevitably be moved by this emotional experience. It’s a #city highlight, perhaps even more so than the coveted #Van Gogh gallery and Rijksmuseum. It summarises Amsterdam perfectly: simple, yet effective.

The Languages of Tomorrow by Giuliana Militello, 18th September 2018

What are the languages of the future?

With the #Oriental and #Middle #Eastern markets’ constantly expanding #economies, it is now beneficial to learn a wider range of languages than ever before.
#Universities have seen a rapid rise in language students now opting to learn previously ‘unconventional’ languages including #Russian, Arabic and Mandarin Chinese. Whilst #French, #Spanish and #German remain popular studies following up from their A-Level and Baccalaureate counterparts, they are often mixed with the new wave of languages at university, i.e. students nowadays are more likely to take French and Arabic, or Spanish and Chinese. For adults who want to acquire a new tongue, fascination delves them into #Mandarin and/or Cantonese as well as Hindi and Japanese. It appears that conventional French is no longer ‘à la mode’, despite being the primary language of the #European Union. The economic crisis of recent years could go some way to explain this influx of interest in the Eastern world – sources of income now stretch far beyond Europe and #USA.
On the same road in a city like #London, one could find #Italian, #Lebanese, #Chinese and #Indian restaurants all lined up alongside each other in perfect harmony. This form of #globalisation has expanded from not only picking a new eatery, but watching foreign #films, visiting historical and #cultural #exhibitions about foreign lands, and most importantly, learning the #language (or at least its basic elements).

Politically Correct Emojis by Diogo Silva Santos, 17th September 2018

It is thought that Emojis which are used to 'ease' communication (although they can actually be difficult to understand if misused), apparently don't display enough cultural differences and skin tones.

According to the 9to5mac website, Apple will be the first company to address this 'issue' by releasing an #emoji collection of some 300 new #images which will have different skin tones and same-sex parenting. The new software created by the Unicode Consortium follows the Fitzpatrick Scale, a skin classification system developed by Thomas Fitzpatrick and a recognised tool for dermatological research into the colour of skin.

I admit I never imagined myself as an emoji nor wanted it to represent anything but my words. Wasn't this the reason why emojis were created in the first place? As handy symbols that spare us the effort of writing long sentences- nothing more, nothing less. Political correctness sometimes needs to be superseded by plain common sense!

Regardless of our skin colour, a good old smiley does the job. Let's use our time and effort to do something that really matters, instead of solving racial problems where they don't exist or listening to ignorance that only deserves our indifference.

Burberry Leading by Example by Diogo Silva Santos, 16th September 2018

The renowned luxury brand Burberry confirmed that it will stop using animal skin, and additionally abandon the common practice of burning accessories and items from the previous year's collection which were not sold.

The next Spring/ Summer #collection will not include any animal skin, and the items that were already made and use animal skin will be gradually taken out from the market. According to an official Burberry statement, there were some products which were reused, donated or #recycled, but from now on there will be a visible effort to make this type of action a routine.

According to Burberry's annual report, every item from the 2017 collection which was not sold was subsequently destroyed, a collection of items with a market value of 28.6 million pounds! The decision to destroy the items was supported by the idea that they would be stolen or end up on the market anyway, at a much lower price.

The new way of approaching old collection items has come up at the same time as Burberry announced their new Creative Director, Mr. Riccardo Tisci. Is it possible that we can thank the change in leadership for this new approach? I just hope that other brands (luxury or otherwise) follow this action and stop wastefully destroying quality items just because they are from the previous year year.

Bad Neighbours by Diogo Silva Santos

The flow of today's busy #city life means two things: a constant movement of #cars on the roads with the usual heavy traffic at rush hour, and a constant change of neighbours. Long gone are the days when our Grandfathers knew all of their neighbours by name, as everyone usually lived in the same area their whole life!

The constant search for a better job means we have to relocate once in a while just like everyone else around us. A bad outcome is when the area that we moved to (which seemed so nice in pictures and short visits) is aloud with ambulance sirens rushing to a local hospital, and bad-tempered neighbours who own dogs that enjoy barking whenever someone arrives, leaves or is just passing-by... Is there an answer to these issues? The most civilised of us would say that a nice friendly chat with a neighbour would suffice; meanwhile, the most-savvy of us would say: "Get out of there as soon as possible!" And I keep finding that the latter is usually the best answer... Fortunately, when we finally find the right place to #live, we understand that is was the best #research we could have ever done. All of the moving hassles and neighbour issues are quickly forgotten, and you can finally enjoy t calling a house you own your #Home!

I hope that you don't give up until you’ve found it!

The Art of Moda by Giuliana Militello

Kicking off in New York, the designer army then hop over to London, Milan, and eventually Paris. Each city brings its own interpretation and savoir-faire onto the scene. New York is the business powerhouse, London, the rebel younger sibling, Milan, the capital of elegance and suave and Paris, the incisive, outlandish land of #couture.
Fashion Week not only accounts for a stream of #creativity and self-expression but is also a massive coup for the economy. Yet the question has to be asked: is fashion a work of art or its destroyer? Various designers are inspired by their #heritage or countries they have visited – Dolce and Gabbana’s designs often feature components of Sicilian folklore, while Tom Ford recently declared that London is the only city in the world where people still dress well.
What is it about these cities that are so inspirational and central in regards to the infamous design form? #Fashion week, whilst aimed primarily at those with a high-end budget (thus alienating a large proportion of society), can also be a period of #cultural enlightenment – a reminder that the way you dress should reflect your passions and personality, instead of what you’re told to think by the ‘experts.’

Expressions in French, German & Spanish

Translators and Interpreters, the Unsung Heroes by Diogo Silva Santos

Nelson Mandela's memorial was one of the most important events of 2013 but the sign language interpreter at the #event managed to get on the news for the worst of reasons.
It's somewhat unfortunate that interpreters and translators in general are only worthy of headlines when they make mistakes. The high level of professionalism from the vast majority of #translators and interpreters is noteworthy and makes everyone in this business proud. So it is frustrating to say the least, when these bogus characters that show up every now and then. People with hearing impairments or deafness were deprived from a solemn unrepeatable ceremony. This is very unfortunate and should never happen again.

Being able to communicate clearly in another language; establishing diplomacy bridges and uniting the world through peaceful conversations while taking a #backstage role- this is the real definition of this profession. Translators and interpreters choose to aid those in the limelight to achieve their goals through clear communication in a foreign language; and to make foreign information understandable to their countrymen.

Thanks to translation, we all know our favourite foreign authors, we like #gadgets and the aid an instruction manual gives, we watch European movies and grew up with #Japanese cartoons. But we often forget the silent but efficient translator that made it possible for us to understand them.
It is not uncommon for translators to become experts in the author they must translate. The professionals that break #language barriers on a daily basis all over the world rightfully deserve more credit, awareness, and protection from impersonators.

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