Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Why Learning Foreign Languages is Vital For Diplomacy

A diplomat’s job used to be synonymous with fluency in several languages. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. English may be the universal language, but it helps to know a few other languages when you’re applying for a job in diplomacy. Here is why-

You will be representing your native country – It’s unfair to go to a different country and expect the natives to talk to you in your language. If you know the local tongue and can use it to communicate with them, you should do so. It will leave a favorable impact on the local population and they will hold you in high regard for respecting their culture.

Language is a window to culture – In fact, language is often referred to as verbal culture. You will find each culture has language expressions unique to them that reflect their unique cultural practices and traditions. Also, knowing the language of the place you'll be traveling to opens up avenues for cultural interaction that may not have been possible otherwise.

You don’t compulsorily need to know different languages to be a diplomat, but it sure helps! Learning a new language can help widen your perspective and see the world from a different point of view, you weren’t aware of.

Reasons for Language Change

Language is not a static entity. It changes over time. The change may be semantical, phonetic, morphological or syntactic. It is the job of historical linguists and evolutionary linguists to study this language change. There are certain causes that lead to changes in a language, what are these?

Economy – People tend to shorten words wherever possible to facilitate faster and easier communication. Phonetic reduction is also an example of economy practiced in language.

Migration – When language speakers migrate from one area to another, the language they use becomes diluted and borrows from the local language of their current location.

Flawed learning – An immigrant group can learn a language improperly and then use it in this manner. Their usage will gain popularity in their community and may even overwhelm majority usage, becoming a new standard in itself.

Contact with other cultures – As already discussed above, coming into contact with other cultures and languages impacts a language. It borrows terms and expressions to supplement their own grammar.

Reanalysis – Some new words and expressions may be better suited to convey certain events/situations than what was used formerly.

Language keeps changing to reflect societal advances and we shall try to keep up.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Top Event Technology Trends in Recent Times

Looking at how things are going on in today's world, it will be safe to claim that the event space will go mobile in the future with technologies such as VR and AR dominating the field. Changes in technology have been accelerating as a result of thousands of innovations, apps, and ideas popping up to assist the event managers and planners to enhance the participants' experiences and discharge their responsibilities in a  better manner. Marketers and event planners will have to work even more closely and offer the profile of customer (participants) interests in much more depth. Check out these latest trends in the field of event technology:

Interactive Virtual Reality technology

The popularity of this technology is increasing at a rapid pace as it offers the user a personalized experience of any service or product. The Virtual Reality headsets can create a virtual ambiance that is extremely close to reality.  The process of product demonstration is a fantastic experience for the attendees of an event. The VR technology is particularly useful while displaying bulky and huge items that are otherwise not possible or tough to be displayed at events/trade shows.

Interactive Augmented Reality

The technology creates a deeply immersive experience. It helps both the online, as well as, the offline world to join hand and create a perfect harmony. Interactive Augmented Reality can trigger the flow of interactive content on a user’s mobile device.

Role of Corporate Training in Retail Sector

The retail sector has been experiencing an unprecedented growth as far as implementation of corporate training programs is concerned. The reason for this is an organization’s front-line employees have an instant and key influence over the purchasing decisions of the consumers.

For instance, the sales people act as the most important trigger for buying decisions of customers in any shopping complex. As such their product knowledge, soft skills, and communication skills become a crucial concern. Plus, it becomes imperative to keep a close tab on the interaction between the retail workforce and the customers to close any sales transaction. Corporate training sessions make sure that an organization’s workforce structure is always strong.

When employees of an organization are trained and enjoy access to their relevant training materials whenever they need, they are usually more satisfied. The retail space is famous for high turnover rates. As such, the merits of the corporate sector in this field is that it is helpful in improving the employee retention rate as they get all the essential skills and knowledge for fulfilling their job requirements. Today, a number of cost optimization techniques are being used for training delivery such as online training while some parts of the training get delivered using self-paced learning through apps. 

Monday, 29 October 2018

Languages With More Than One Script

Many languages across the world have multiple writing systems. Arabic, Latin and Cyrillic languages, for example, use more than one writing script. Multi-script languages can be extremely challenging to learn. Let’s take a look at some of these multi-script languages –

 Serbian – The Serbian language can be written in Latin or Cyrillic alphabet. However, the alphabets to the two correspond quite nearly with each other – to the relief of Serbian speakers.

 Shilha – The Berber language spoken all over Morocco can be penned down in Latin, Arabic, and Tifinagh.

 Japanese – Japanese uses three different scripts predominantly. These are – Kanji, Hirangana, and Katakana.

 Sanskrit – Sanskrit which started as an oral language in the Indian sub-continent can be written in all major South-east Asian, Indian and Tibetan scripts (these are the places it enjoyed the most popularity). It has no native script of its own. Khmer, Brahmi, Kharosthi are some of the scripts used to write Sanskrit.

 Chinese – Chinese is written in the traditional Chinese script, i.e. used in Taiwan and the simplified Chinese script, i.e. used across the People's Republic of China.

Don’t want to confuse yourself too much? Skip learning these languages.

Language v/s Dialect

Let’s try to understand the difference between a language and a dialect. If two people are having a conversation and they seem to be understanding each other just fine – they are speaking the same language. They may not necessarily be speaking the same dialect, but since dialects are closely-related variations of the same language, comprehension is possible. It is not so with different languages. However, sometimes dialects too are majorly distinct from each other. Cantonese, Mandarin, and Taiwanese are dialects of Chinese, but a Cantonese speaker would have difficulty understanding Mandarin as he/she would when faced with a German speaker.

The only overarching differentiator between the two is that languages are standardized written systems with literature to boot whereas dialects are predominantly oral, without any codified rules of their own or literature in existence. Dialects are not then a lesser form. A language is made up of several dialects. The difference between languages and dialects is arbitrary in nature.

Languages descended from the same linguistic family are usually intelligible by speakers of brother/sister languages. Dialects of a language vary from one geographical location to another. Both languages and dialects serve the same purpose and should be regarded equally.

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Most Spoken Languages In The World

Want to learn a new language that will open up your career prospects globally? Wondering which language is spoken most commonly across the world? It is not easy to determine the most spoken languages in the world. One has to weigh whether they mean the most number of native speakers a language has or the number of speakers that globally speak the language. On top of that, it is difficult to differentiate a language from a dialect. A rough estimate can be guessed at however. Below, we discuss the languages spoken most widely all over the world –

 Mandarin (Chinese) – The official language of the People’s Republic of China, Republic of China and Singapore – Mandarin is the biggest language group among
Chinese, spoken by billions in the world. 

 English – The colonization efforts of the British Empire and the neo-colonization by the United States has cemented English’s place in the second most spoken language in the world.

 Spanish – Spanish is spoken by hundreds of millions of people across Spain, South and Central America and the United States. 

These three languages dominate the list of languages spoken most frequently in the world. Hindi and Arabic snap closely at their toes.

Least spoken languages in the world

Languages and dialects are dying at an alarming pace all over the world. Growing disinterest in learning dying languages is fueling this trend. Some languages are so rare that they are only spoken by a small remote community. Let’s take a look at the languages that are spoken the least in our world –

 Hanti – Hanti is a West Siberian language spoken by less than 10,000 people at this moment. The languages rely on an evidential system where the speaker has to indicate whether they’ve gained knowledge about something from hearsay or personally witnessed it happening.

 Njerep – Njerep is even more endangered. The Bantoid language has become extinct in Cameroon and is only spoken by 4 people in Nigeria. The youngest person reported to speak this language is 60 – the language is unlikely to survive beyond the current generation, as a result.

 Taushiro – Only one person in the entire world speaks this Peruvian language.

 Tanema – The Tanema language of Solomun Islands also has one surviving speaker. You will need to travel all the way to the Emua village of Solomun Inslan’s Temotu province in order to find somebody who might understand Tanema.

These 4 languages are some of the rarest in the entire world.

Language Based Learning Disabilities

Language acquisition is a function of complex cognitive processes. People who struggle with age-appropriate writing/reading or speaking in a language, can be said to have a Language Based Learning Disability i.e. LBLD. LBLD can negatively affect a student’s school experience as most curriculum-based study is closely related to language comprehension. There are certain indicators to LBLD, these are-

 Difficulty following written/oral instruction.
 Struggling with sound production.
 Difficulty in recalling words.
 Confusing between letters when writing/reading.
 Problem telling time.
 Struggling with sentence creation.
 Being unable to differentiate between left and right.
 Not being able to sustain eye contact.
 Not being able to express themselves clearly.
 Struggling with learning new vocabulary.

Seeking help

A Speech-Language pathologist (SLP) can evaluate a child’s hearing, writing and speaking language ability. They will then gather additional information from the child’s teachers and parents in order to suggest intervention strategies that will enable the child to achieve their learning potential. An SLP will be able to assess exactly which area the child’s language learning is deficient in and target these areas specifically to treat his/her LBLD. A child with LBLD should be given the care they need in order to successfully navigate around their disability.

Factors that influence language learning

All of us pick up our primary language quite easily when compared to a secondary language. Then again, some of us appear to be more skilled at language acquisition than others. What are the factors that come into play while learning a new language? Let’s discuss a few below-

 Age – Children pick up languages much faster than adults. Motivated adults perform well at language learning too, but struggle when compared to children.

 Personality – Extroverts are risk-takers and less critical of themselves. Introverts doubt their learning ability more. So, extroverts learn faster than introverts as they seek out opportunities to communicate in the language they happen to be learning.

 Learning environment – Are they learning the language from the comfort of their home? Are they part of a second language class? Is this class engaging or boring? All of this plays a part in how well a student is able to acquire a new language.

 Motivation – How willing the student is in learning a new language determines how proficient he/she will be in it. If the person is keen on learning the language, this keenness will reflect on their learning ability.

These are some of the factors that influence language learning.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Most difficult languages to learn

Trying to learn a new language but facing more roadblocks than you anticipated? Maybe it’s not all your fault. These following languages are among the most difficult to learn. Browse through the list to see whether the language you’re learning figures among them –

·         Mandarin – Mandarin is rich with idioms and aphorisms unfamiliar to a foreign language speaker. Every sound in its phonetic transcription system has four separate pronunciations and makes learning Mandarin a headache for most language students.

·         Finnish – Finnish has 15 different noun cases as opposed to English’s three. You can guess why mastering Finnish would be a task.

·         Arabic – Arabic is not an easy language to learn. First, it has various dialects. Then, its vowels are not included in writing and the letters have four different forms for where they’re placed in a word.

·         Russian – Russian requires you to memorize an entirely different alphabet. The vowels are alien and the spellings can be challenging to learn.

·         Japanese – Japanese has three separate writing systems with their own independent alphabets. You have to memorize thousands of characters before you can even begin to write in Japanese.

The languages listed above are some of the most difficult to master in the world. So, is the language you’re learning on it?

Easiest languages to learn for English speakers

So you want to learn a new language but are pressed for time. Why not pick a language that you can pick up more easily than others. Like English, most European languages originate from the Germanic family. So if you have a good base in one, it isn’t very difficult to learn the others. Here are some of the easiest languages you can pick up as an English speaker –

·         Norwegian – Norwegian shares a good part of its vocabulary with English. Moreover, the word order is the same in both languages. Also, Norway has many accents, so your accent wouldn’t be a problem when learning Norwegian.

·         Afrikaans – The pronunciations and phonetics of Afrikaans are comfortable for English language speakers.

·         Spanish – Spanish is not from the same language family but shares a lot of similarities with the English language, making it an easy language to learn for those who already know English.

·         Swedish – English and Swedish have a lot of cognates i.e. words that stem from the same source, in common. The word order, again, is similar to English. The rules of grammar are fairly easy too.

Wondering which language to learn as an English speaker? Give these a try.

Monday, 8 October 2018

How Can You Read A Foreign Language Better?

Being able to read in your target language is an essential part of learning a new language. It is also one of the easier parts of new language acquisition. All you have to do to read and comprehend better is read some more. Here are some tricks that will help you read a foreign language better-

 Be fine with not understanding everything. You will understand more and more with time. Look up words that particularly confuse you and keep reading!

 Note down these confusing words for further reference. So, the next time you come across those words you will be more familiar with them.

 Choose your reading material wisely. Sure, newspapers and magazines make for good basic reading material but they may also be quite challenging to a new language learner. Why not pick something more interesting that you’ll feel more motivated in your attempt to read? Pick up a graphic novel instead of a dense novel and enjoy the process.

Like everything else, language learning comes with its share of hurdles. Persist in your efforts and you will soon see a difference in your foreign language reading skills.

Common Roadblocks to Language Learning

Learning a new language can be a lot of fun. But it is a slow process and requires patience and perseveration. Many people who begin learning a new language never achieve fluency because they quit midway. They become disheartened when they face obstacles in their path to acquiring a new language. Here are some common roadblocks language learners face –

 Limited vocabulary – Often language learners do not practice speaking the language they’re learning because they are critical of themselves knowing very few words to communicate with. It hinders their exposure and in turn, their ability to learn new words.

 Lack of confidence in speaking ability – They may be able to read or write in their target language fluently but fail miserably at speaking. The trick here is to find native speakers to converse with. The more you communicate with a native speaker, the better you will understand the nuances that go into speaking the language.

 Frustration – Many language learners experience frustration when they get stuck in the process of learning a new language. It is natural and shouldn’t be reason enough for them to give up learning the language altogether.

Have you faced these roadblocks while learning a new language too? Let us know.

Monday, 1 October 2018

Why Sales Training is Extremely Important?

Due to the competitive nature of the business world, having an edge over your competition is essential. One of the best ways to stay several steps ahead of the game is to invest in sales training, a tool which propel your business to greater success.

It not only provides salespeople with the necessary skills, it allows them to hone them to perfection. Here are three reasons which highlight the importance of sales training:

Build brand identity

The salespeople are essential to your company, as they are the face of your business. Brand identity is important, as customers attach emotional value to it. With sales training, your employees will learn how to be professional with consumers, giving your company a positive impression.

Improves communication

Communication is the most important skill your salespeople need to succeed in any given environment. Sales training will teach your employees how to listen to the needs and wants of the prospects. At the same time, they learn how to ask questions at the right time, which will increase the chances of converting prospects into customers.

Overcome obstacles

Prospects may have several reasons as to why they don’t want to invest in your products and services. Untrained salespeople won’t know how to persuade these types of prospects and change their mind. With sales training, they will learn how to anticipate problems and use strategies and techniques to overcome these situations.

Advantages of Audience Response Systems

Audience response systems are extremely useful to businesses, as it permits interaction between the speaker and the audience. Organizations are making the most of audience response systems, as they increase efficiency.

Here are three advantages you will observe at corporate meetings and conferences when you use audience response systems:

Collect important data

One of the major reasons why these tools remain extremely popular is due to its potential to gather knowledge from the audience. For instance, your speaker can talk about important strategies and understand how the audience perceives this knowledge.

With this data, you can bring about necessary changes throughout your organization. At the same time, you can use feedback from the audience to improve and customize the presentations, to increase effectiveness.

Interact and engage with audience

It is important for the speaker to engage with the audience, which makes it a wonderful experience for both parties. By interacting and engaging with the audience, knowledge retention improves significantly.

Zero wastage of time

One of the main advantages of audience response systems is its power to collect data from your audience instantly. Your presenter can display the data after conducting a poll. As a result, you can ensure that the presentation sticks to the schedule.

How to improve your second language speaking skills

Most language learners are eager to speak the language they are learning but find it a much harder task than reading or listening. Here are a few tips to help you master speaking a foreign language –

 Speak – If you don’t practice speaking the language you are learning, you will never be able to express yourself or communicate with others using it. You may not be very good at it, but don’t let that deter you.
 Record while you speak – You can play it back and listen to the flaws in pronunciation and try to improve them as you work ahead.
 Read out loud – Reading aloud provides you with a wonderful opportunity to practice speaking the target language without actually having to stress yourself about having to find an appropriate response.
 Interact with native speakers – Listen to how they speak and try to emulate this. Pay close attention to the sounds they stress upon and the tone they use to pick up first-hand knowledge of how the language should be spoken.

Speaking a new language can take time but stick with it and you will find yourself gaining fluency the more you try.

How to improve listening skills in a foreign language

Listening forms an integral part of picking up a new language. It forms the basis of all  communication. If you cannot understand what you’re hearing, you need to brush up on your language listening skills. Also, listening requires immediate response unlike writing or reading which allows us enough time to revise our understanding of the language. Here are some steps that will improve your foreign language listening skills –

 Set your perception of your skills straight – Brace yourself for not understanding what is being spoken and be okay with it.

 Listen as frequently as possible – Tune into a radio show, TV programme or podcast in the second language while doing your household chores or running an errand.

 Watch movies in your target language – The visuals will aid your auditory comprehension and you won’t lack motivation for this activity.

 Try to avoid translating into your native tongue first – Focus your attention on the speaker and comprehending his dialogue instead of translating in your head.

These steps should help you with your language listening skills and make you more proficient in your language of choice. So listen all you can!

Psychology of Language Learning

Learning a foreign language can be difficult despite having all required resources at hand if you’re not in the correct frame of mind. The following qualities influence how easily a person can pick up a new language-

• Grit – Learning a new language can take time and may contain numerous setbacks along the way. The language learner should inculcate persistence in himself to face these challenges that crop up.
• Growth Mindset – Language learners need to give up a fixed mindset which says that competence in language learning is a function of fixed ability. Those with a growth mindset believe their abilities can be developed.
• Competence – Language learners need to assure themselves that they can cope with the hurdles that come with language learning.
• Control – When a learner can choose his techniques of learning, he feels more empowered. He can no longer blame extraneous circumstances for his failures.
• Connectedness – Learners feel more encouraged to put in an effort into their learning when they feel more connected to their teachers, peers, institution and the language itself. They may lose interest in learning the language if they don’t feel a connection with it.

The way a language learner views themselves can greatly determine their prowess in learning a new language.

Five Stages Of Second Language Acquisition

Linguist Stephen Krashen visualized five stages of second language acquisition. These are-

• Silent/Receptive – The silent/receptive stage can last anywhere between a few hours to a few months. New language learners spend time brushing up their vocabulary and in practicing how to pronounce new words in this stage. They are unable to speak the language with any fluency or understanding.

• Early production – Language learners begin to acquire words and use them in phrases, which may not always be grammatically correct. The stage can last for upto six months.

• Speech emergence – Learners begin to read and write the second language in this stage and gain greater comprehension. They can communicate in questions, short phrases and sentences.

• Intermediate fluency – After a year of speech emergence comes intermediate fluency. In this stage, learners can think in their second language, improving their verbal proficiency. They can write and speak using more complex sentences.

• Advanced fluency – Advanced fluency or the stage of continued language development is reached after two years of learning the language. The student is now able to grasp the nuances and complexities of the second language.

Consistency and practice are the two cornerstones of learning a new language.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Translation Prizes Around the World

Think your translation services are top-notch? Test your skills with these translation prizes that are on offer around the world. These prizes provide recognition, prestige and even cash rewards to translators who can ensure high quality of work.

 Read Russia Prize – The Read Russia Prize is a biennial award for the best translation of Russian literature in the preceding two years.

 Man Booker International Prize – Despite being a literary award originally, it rewards the winning novel’s translator equally with the author.

 Found in Translation Award – The Found in Translation Award is an annual prize that comes with a cash reward of PLN 16,000 and a three-month residency in Krakow. The award recognizes translations in English from Polish.

 The John Dryden Translation Competition – It is an annual prize that awards a one-year BCLA membership and cash prizes of 350, 200 and 100 pounds. The prize recognizes the translation of unpublished literary translations from any language into English.

 The Stephen Spender Prize – It recognizes poetry translations made from any language into English. It rewards young translators with an under-14 and under-18 category.

The PEN Translation Prize and the Goethe-Institut Award for New Translation are other notable translation prizes that aim to reward fine translation work around the world.

Challenges in Translating Poetry

Translating literary texts is generally considered to be more difficult than translating other texts. Poems are even more challenging for so many reasons. Many factors need to be considered like the choice of words, figurative languages and metaphors used and so on. The translator also must be mindful of being able to convey the thoughts and emotions of the poet. Let's not even begin with differing rhyme, meter, rhythm, and expressions not generally found in other poems. Most of these words are not used in daily conversations and that only works to further complicate a translator's job.

Potential hurdles while translating poems are –

 Linguistic issues – Some words have no literal translation in another language. Others can refer to upto two-three words in conjunction to mean a single word in English or vice versa.

 Literal v/s figurative translation – Poems make use of words to serve as symbols or metaphors. The hidden meaning of these words adds charm to the work in context. Translators suffer the dilemma of translating these words literally or figuratively, taking
away from the combined effect of the original poem.

Translators are also confounded when they have to match the sounds of the original text in their translation, which is not often possible. When the rhyme scheme of the poem suffers a blow, it subtracts from the beauty of the poem.

How Learning a Second Language Can Benefit Your College Application

Admission officials in many colleges give preference to students who have taken up a second language study. Here are some of the reasons why-

It displays a dedication to learning – Learning a second language fluently requires persistence and hard work. Admission officials are on the lookout for students who constantly challenge and strengthen their skills. Taking a four-year language course in high school proves to them your dedication towards acquiring a new language.
It exhibits your interest in foreign cultures – You are required to acquaint yourself with the customs and traditions of the country whose language you are learning – this is part of the language learning process. Interest in other cultures can shape your interest towards the degree or career you go on to pursue. It also diversifies a classroom.
It indicates your knack for working hard – You have to add to your vocabulary while working on your pronunciation and being able to construct meaningful sentences as part of language-learning. All of this necessitates a level of persistence which you may also apply in other classes, if need be. Colleges seek this very hardworking spirit in their students.

Apart from the above, it can also help a student score higher on standardized tests which is a further asset to their college application. 

Cognitive Benefits of Language Learning

Being multilingual comes with its share of advantages. Apart from the obvious ones, learning a second language can also have several cognitive benefits. Let’s discuss some of these below –

It helps develop your brain – Having to learn a new language introduces your brain to complex new rules and etymology. The language centres in our brain expand as it works to recognize the structure of the unfamiliar language and how to utilize it. Our reading, negotiating and problem-solving capabilities also get a boost
It keeps away dementia – Multilingual adults experience the onset of Alzheimer’s at a much later age than their monolingual counterparts.
Improves your attention and multi-tasking – A polyglot is constantly on the watch for which language to use when improving the brain's ability to multitask. They also display more cognitive flexibility and find it easier to adapt to unexpected circumstances.

It sharpens up your decision-making skills – Polyglots are almost constantly needed to judge the nuances and regional expressions of their non-native tongues for appropriateness. Having to continuously practice their decision making makes them confident of their choices.

So, if you thought language learning had only so many benefits to offer, think again.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

The Future of Event Technology

Event Management today is a far cry from what it used to be a decade back and it is all thanks to event management technology. While the event technology landscape is expanding, the challenge for event organizers now is to keep up with the latest tools in the business and use the ones that work best for them. 

Here is a list of event tech trends foreseeable in the future –
Real-time Event Management – When you keep your event agenda updated to real-time, it ensures that your event attendees derive a positive experience from your event content.
Personalized Event Experience – Event attendees are demanding personalized experiences tailored for them more and more. Advanced event management technology is coming up with new personalization features to meet this need.
Live Audience Engagement – Live Polling and Q & A sessions can help you turn the most passive attendee into an active participant. If you display this content on a live screen, your audience engagement shoots up considerably.
All-in-one platforms – There is increasing demand by event managers for a single platform to manage event agenda and on-site technology, engage event attendees and so on.

The future of event technology is bright and it aims to bridge the gap between the real and virtual world, making for unforgettable events.

Event Technology Trends for 2018

We all know that event technology will most probably never replace face-to-face interaction but technology is making strides to make our events more meaningful.

Let’s look more closely at some event technology trends that will come to the forefront in 2018-

Facial recognition will be used for matchmaking 

Plenty of algorithms are built to analyze facial features, body language and interpretation. The ability to check a database of faces in real time can speed check-ins while boosting security protocol

AI-powered Chatbots

Artificial Intelligence can be used to help with attendee engagement and provide accurate information effectively.

Collecting Data via RFID

Radio-Frequency Identification will be continued to be used to gather real-time, detailed data during check-in to keep a tab on who is attending the event and to be able to put together a list of attendees after the event.

Event gamification

Event gamification has been picking up speed since 2017 and is known to help user engagement along with boost attendee networking.

Proximity Sensors

These help people identify the people around them while providing useful information about their professional lives.

2018 is half-way through. Which of these have you spotted so far?

Monday, 20 August 2018

Foreign Language Teaching Certification

There has been no better time to learn a foreign language. The global economy accommodates diversity in the workplace like never before. Students need to have effective communication skills in order to become effective workers in this climate. It is the foreign language teacher’s responsibility to help his/her students explore different cultures and their distinct languages.

Foreign language teachers are cognizant of the intricacies of language. They are aware of how language competency is a result of proper absorption of vocabulary. They know how best to teach their students these intricacies and where they may encounter a problem while learning a new language. 

Foreign language teachers are subject to a certification test before they can proceed to teach in a classroom.

Teacher certification works as evidence that an individual is equipped to handle the rigors of a career in education. The certification exam tests foreign language teachers on their fluency and understanding of the target language.

The content of the exam varies with every state but they all require you to pass a teacher preparation program and exam. The prospective teachers must adequately prepare themselves for the certification process in order to be cleared for a career in foreign language teaching.

Effective Methods for Learning a Foreign Language

Being able to speak a foreign language fluently can seem daunting to students introduced to a completely new language.

Employing metacognitive, cognitive or social and effective learning strategies often bring out effective positive results when trying to pick up a second/third language.

Metacognitive strategy refers to when students are aware of their own thinking and learning and can plan, monitor and evaluate what they learn. Inference is a common metacognitive strategy. Students make use of context clues present in the language to decipher difficult sentences.

Vocabulary learning exercises, completing exercises and working towards task completion all fall under the aegis of cognitive strategy. Students typically already have a basic hold on the language and are progressing towards metacognitive learning.

If students mostly interact with teachers and are unable to tackle solo assignments, they are said to be using social and effective strategies. Typically beginner language learners figure among these students who still rely on techniques such as repetition and translating to memorize new words and phrases.

Teachers ensure their students become effective language learners by pushing them towards using metacognitive learning strategies. If the teachers themselves don’t have a grasp on these strategies, it may pose difficulties in language acquisition for the students.

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Interpreting in Diplomatic Settings

A range of elements and factors are involved in diplomatic interpretation. Diplomatic settings include national institutions such as ministries, presidential offices, houses of parliament and international institutions like the UN and its agencies, the EU, WTO, NATO and so on. International and inter-regional military organizations also fall under its ambit.

An interpreter needs training in both liaison and conference interpretation to be able to work in diplomatic settings. He/she needs to have the knowledge and keep abreast of political, social and economic affairs around the world. Keeping oneself updated with international developments and being able to hold discussions about the issues in concern is important for a translator or interpreter working in any language mediation setting.

Good voice projection and modulation are keys skills in diplomatic interpretation as often microphones are not used. Also, whispered interpretation is a standard requirement.

The area of diplomatic interpretation/translation has its own set of rules and practices. The need for confidentiality prevents much to be known beforehand about projects. Diplomatic missions, embassies, and consulate do not often hire freelances, choosing instead the services of in-house staff interpreters. When freelancers are hired, they need to obtain prior clearance before they can get to work.

An interpreter is a critical link for communication in diplomatic settings, crossing cultural and language barriers.

How To Get Paid As A Translator

If you are a translator, you know how difficult it is to find clients. When it comes to getting paid for translation work, the most important battle is to find a client. It is even more crucial than the actual translation work. In the absence of clients, you won’t have material to translate.

Once, you find your client and have material ready for translation; the next challenge is getting paid. While the internet has made it easy to find clients across the world and reach out to people in need of your services, collecting payment for your work has become difficult. If you and your client are in separate countries, it becomes hard for you to confront your client in case of a payment dispute. You can blacklist the client, but it won't help you get paid. Here are some ways that will-

 Draw up a contract which you can use as proof later for your agreement. Also, it will spell out the expectations on both sides of the bargain.
 Ensure that payment is received before delivering the work
 Deal with trustworthy and reputable clients
 Beware of translation scams

Other ways of ensuring you get paid for your translation work is by using watermarks or password protection on your document, which you can then remove after you have received your payment.

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Funny Mistranslations

Translation can seem to be easier than it actually is. Many people think it is simply the replacement of the source word with the corresponding translated word. Syntax, grammar, linguistic nuance and colloquialisms all play a part in translation and widen the potential for mistranslation. Mistranslations can often be hilarious and are a regular occurrence when translating from Mandarin to English. Let’s look at some of these inopportune mistranslations below –

The Dried Vegetables sign in a Chinese supermarket was mistakenly translated as “Fuck vegetables” in English.
A road sign that asks for caution was mistranslated in English to say “Beware of Safety”.
A bar menu listing Whiskey and Coke read “Whiskey and Cock” instead.
The sign above a fire extinguisher read “Hand Grenade” in English.
The sign displaying a dumpling was made to read “dumping”.
No discount was incorrectly translated to read “No discount”.
A construction in progress sign was translated to read “Execution in progress”.
A road sign that prohibits drunken driving was translated to read “Do Drunken Driving” instead.
A sign advertising Fresh Crab in a market read “Fresh Crap” instead
Mistranslations can occur in any language. Time and patience make for good translation and help avoid these mistakes.