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Languages for Businesses  An innovative way to learn a foreign #language with a difference.


Expressions in French, German and Spanish

Cute Cats: The Key to Language Learning? By Sophie Mihell-Hale

Amusing photos of #cats have become a firm favourite for those trawling the internet in search of a good laugh. Recent claims however have suggested that these furry felines can serve a much more serious purpose and help with the learning of foreign languages.

Following analysis of what helped their members remember information, online learning company Memrise found an unexpected link between people’s abilities to recall foreign words and phrases and the entertaining cat pictures.
According to the chief operating officer at Memrise Ben Whately, speaking to the BBC, "We wanted to know what kinds of visual mnemonics were most effective at helping people to learn fast. "The pattern began to emerge that pictures of cats always featured disproportionately among the most effective," Memrise has backed its claim with research from Japan, which studied the connection between cognition and #cuteness.

The company has now developed CatAcademy, an app that claims to help you learn #Spanish by displaying a cute kitty alongside a corresponding phrase.
Still not convinced? “I have to admit we were slightly skeptical to begin with,” says Whately. However, “we're a scientific group, and data driven — but the data did drive us towards cats.”

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.’

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.

The Customer is always...by Mark Titcombe

I have the English trait of not liking to complain, moan or make a fuss about anything. It usually has to be something very harrowing to make me complain, even then usually quite politely.  I don't even like the word 'complain' itself; think about it, it makes the person feel like a whiner. “I am complaining about this or that". Not saying that "Hey this is wrong" or any such decisive or direct wording, the term sounds vague and can immediately put the respondent on the defensive foot, which isn't good as far as effective communication goes.
A 'complaint' sounds to me something abstract that is dealt with, talked down, manoeuvred out of, or resolved for the group or individual, but does a complaint actually lead to policy changes of whatever is being brought up?
I bought an item from a well-known retailer and when I got home, unpacked and checked the parts, two minor items were missing.
So trivial they could be bought in any hardware store in fact. But I called the missing parts hotline (just out of principal) but the parts could not be posted to me. The rep said it was wrong but there was nothing he could do about it, apart from recommend I return it to the store, which would be a very lengthy and out the way process, or buy my own parts.
The climate of 'complaining' and 'all calls are recorded' meant that the guy was more focused on reading out what 'customer actions' he had taken to help me; by informing me it wasn't available. He was more focused typing loudly into his log to 'resolve customer complaint' than sending me the missing item.

I think when you're 'complaining' about something, you're not actually complaining, you're just letting someone know you just want to be listened to and something done about it.

Audrey in Rome by Giuliana Militello

Audrey Hepburn’s son, Luca Dotti’s latest book Audrey in Rome, covers the actress’ twenty years in Rome, from film sets to #Italian housewife status.
Hepburn shot three films in Rome: War and Peace, The Nun’s Story and the marvellous Roman Holiday.  The book’s #photography proves difficult to distinguish the true beauty: Audrey or the Eternal City that housed her and many film productions of the era, under the Cinecittà studious. Dotti himself, a well humoured Italian, admits that #Hollywood fled to film in Rome for tax reasons, yet often the finished product was something of a tour de force.
He confesses that he never saw Audrey the actress or #fashion #icon. He saw his mother, who used to travel with spaghetti and olive oil, who wore jeans and a shirt, who every Sunday brought the patisserie cakes for lunch at her mother in laws.
The Roman and also Italian culture, for that matter, is world renowned. Perhaps even more so than Hepburn herself! To think that one of the most iconic actresses in the world identified herself in that environment is perhaps both a testament to the woman and the #city.

Tips for Entertaining Yourself in the Airport, by Sophie Mihell-Hale

Travel is all about adventure and discovering new lands, #languages and lives. However, we often overlook its less exciting elements, in particular the tedium of long airport stopovers. Anyone who has done so will know that time spent in airports can seem endless. Nevertheless, it needn’t be dull and there are numerous ways to entertain oneself beyond the well-trodden aisles of the Duty Free.

A Chance to Catch Up
We complain about our hectic #lifestyles limiting our free time and, if you think of it in this light, one thing airport stopovers give us is the luxury of time. This presents a great opportunity to catch up on anything you might be behind on - whether it is a #book you’ve been meaning to #read or writing #postcards home.

Make a Photo Diary
Filled with a constant flow of colourful #characters, airports are one of the best places to watch the world go by. Why not turn your time in the terminal into a project, using your camera to snap everyone and everything going on around you; even the mundane can be made memorable this way!

Do Things You Wouldn’t Usually Do
Let’s face it, in an airport, your options are limited. However, this is simultaneously a great #opportunity to try out something new. Rather than taking solace in old favourites, live a little by exploring all the goodies on offer, from sushi to oyster bars to striking up conversations with strangers.

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!

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