LINGO ROCKET BLOG
Communicating across cultures is challenging but could yield big results whether it comes to your business or personal lives. To be a successful cross-cultural communicator you have to be aware of your own cultural biases and understand cultural differences when it comes to communication. It’s important to know whether you conversation partner comes from a high-context society (Mediterranean, Central European, Latin American, African, Arab, Asian) or a low-context society (most Germanic and English speaking countries). For members of high-context societies it’s typical to leave much of the message to be understood through context and between-the-lines. While for low-context cultures, it’s normal to expect messages to be explicit and direct. Also, you need to understand the differences between sequential vs synchronic and affective vs neutral styles. Contact us today to learn more about communication styles and know what you are most likely to encounter when working with members of different cultures.
Many of us have probably heard about benefits of learning a new language. You get to meet new friends from around the globe, advance your career opportunities, build your self-confidence and creativity, and stay smarter for longer. One of my favorite quotes says: “learning a new language to the mind is what exercise does to your body.” So, what’s stopping you from learning a new language? We’ve all heard excuses like “I do not have time” or “I do not want to travel far to study a language.” Luckily for all of us, nowadays you do not need to leave the comfort of your home to add a new language to your collection. You can easily have language lessons via Skype, WattsApp, and other platforms. In addition to that, you can explore e-learning sites like Rosetta Stone, Babbel, and Duolingo. For the past two months we have used the above sites to study Spanish and here is our review of the resources.
Let’s start with Rosetta Stone. Rosetta Stone was founded in 1990s and currently offers lessons in 28 -languages. It is a paid service with fees ranging between $180 and $224 for a 24-month subscription. You can go with a CD, software download or an on-line access. Spanish course consists of 20 units and each unit has 33 lessons. Lessons are divided into Core, Pronunciation, Writing, Listening, and Vocabulary sections. Rosetta Stone uses a repetition approach to help learners memorize the material. New words and grammar concepts are introduced in Core Lessons and are repeated throughout the unit. Rosetta Stone is a so-called dynamic immersion program where all of the lessons are provided in targeted language only, which is Spanish in our case. Through the dynamic immersion approach you are forced to learn a language as if you are a baby who is learning sounds, words and then attaching meaning to those words. You will be figuring our word meanings and lesson structure based on visuals and already accumulated knowledge. Rosetta Stone caters to visual and auditory learners since it uses a lot of images and recorded phrases. Extended Learning offers Games, Reading Activities, Phrasebook and a Chat Option. What we really liked about reading activities is that you can read or listen to a pre-recorded text, record yourself, and to then hear yourself reading the text. Phrasebook gives you an opportunity to go through words and phrases learned on Rosetta Stone. Rosetta Stone also gives you an option to schedule a private one-on-one Skype session with one of its instructors.
Babbel was founded in 2007 and currently offers courses in 14 languages. You can take a placement test or start your course from the very beginning. Courses are divided into Grammar, Listening and Speaking; and Countries and Traditions. You have an option to focus on a new language specifically for a vacation; in which case you will learn how to make a hotel reservation, order food, recover lost property, and words for visiting a doctor. If you choose to study a language for everyday life you will be immersed in simple dialogues, and phrases on buying food and entertainment. Under Colloquial Speech, you can learn idioms, which in our opinion are a very important part of any language that is not appreciated enough. Under Specials, you can find True Friends and False Friends. True Friends are words that are similar in English and Spanish and that have the same meaning, like “el actor” or “the actor.” Under False Friends, you will see words that sound similar in English and Spanish but have different meanings, like “el exito” which means “success.” First lesson in every course is free and after your first lesson you can pay $12.95/month if you go with a monthly payment or $6.95/month if you buy a 12-month subscription.
Duolingo was founded in 2012 and offers courses in 28 languages. Like Babbel, Duolingo has a free and a paid version. Except for when it comes to Duolingo, it is not limited only to the first lesson. You can take an an entire course for free as long as you do not mind seeing an occasional ad. If you want an ad-free option with downloads, the fees are $9.99 for 1 month or $6.99/month for a 12-months subscription. Just like Babbel, Duolingo provides instructions in Spanish with English translation and explanations. Duolingo has a pretty cool feature, Duolingo Events, which lets you meet with other fellow language learners around you. For example, there is a Informal Night of Spanish Conversation and Salsa Dancing offered for Spanish learners in DC area. Stories are where you can practice a language using listening and reading comprehension. Another cool feature offered by Duolingo is language podcasts which are becoming increasingly popular among language learners.
After spending several weeks exploring the three systems, we can easily say that all of the options are really good to supplement your language learning routine. When it comes to choosing a platform, think about if you want an immersion approach or explanations in your native language, what topics you would like to focus on, and what aspects of a language that are important to you. Our personal preference was Duolingo. Duolingo not only saves you money but provides cool modern features like podcasts, discussions, and stories. Whichever platform you decide to go with, we wish you the best of luck in your language adventure! Finally, do not forget to contact Lingo Rocket for any of your foreign language or translation needs.
Whether you are a foodie or like exploring palatable international dishes, there is no better way to make a fool of yourself than butchering the pronunciation of menu items. It seems like there is a new item from a global cuisine that becomes trendy at least once a month. We are sure you all have tried or at least heard about gyro, bruschetta, acai, and gnocchi. But do you know how to pronounce those international words? Read on to learn how to properly pronounce some of the popular mouthwatering foods.
While many of us pronounce the delicious toast with garlic, olive oil, and diced tomatoes on the top as “brush-etta,” the proper Italian pronunciation is "bruce-kay-tuh."
Gnocchi are tasty dough dumplings that could be made from semolina, wheat flour, egg,cheese,potato, breadcrumbs, cornmeal, or similar ingredients. It has been a traditional type of Italian pasta of Middle Eastern origin. The right way to pronounce the dish is "noh-kee."
This hearty and fragrant soup is one of the most commonly botched words. It might surprise you, but the right way to pronounce pho is “fuh.”
We bet you were pronouncing this Greek dish wrong, as most people say "gee-roh" when ordering the mouthwatering food. However, the Greek pronunciation is "yee-roh."
The trendy and healthy berry is pronounced as “uh-sy-ee.”By the way, did you know that, açaí berries are the number one superfruit. They are energy-boosting, support the immune system, facilitate sleep, and help you combat aging.
Prosciutto is an Italian dry-cured ham that is usually thinly sliced and served uncooked. The right way to pronounce the ham is "pro-shoot-tow."
The salad usually includes raw red peppers, shallots, artichoke hearts and other seasonal raw vegetables. The right pronunciation of the salad is "nee-swahz."
Are we solving a math problem? Building a programming language? No, just having fun with Russian verbs.
Russian verbs could easily be the most-complained-about aspect of learning the language. Think about having six different forms of each verb in past, present, and future tenses. The good news is that once you figure out Russian conjunction pattern you will be able to use the verbs correctly.
Another good news is that Russian does not have a complicated verb tense system like English. There are only three tenses: Past, Present, and Future. That said, you will have to pay a thorough attention to Russian verbs of motion. It is not just “go” but also “carry”, “come”, “fly”, “swim”, “regularly go”, “go and come back”, “go around to several places” and many more.
Another topic you will have to spend time on is verb aspect, which could be “perfective” or “imperfective.” Imperfective aspect is used for repeated or habitual actions or to indicate a single action in progress and therefore incomplete. E.g. “I work every day.” Perfective aspect is used for a single, completed action in the past or in the future. E.g. “I have finished this book.”
After teaching Russian for many years, I noticed that sometimes it’s worth to learn basic verbs by heart, then study the patterns of conjugation, and then just tackle perfective/imperfective verbs in pairs. Once you understand the conjugation patterns, you can get away with just learning the infinitives without breaking it all the way down to each conjugation for each aspect of the verb.
Success in a global business is about much more than just knowing the language. Cultural competence is the ability to work effectively with people from a variety of cultural, ethic, economic, and religious backgrounds.
The following strategies ( Jones J., 2014) can be utilized to enhance cultural connection:
Translation is only one of several elements of localization process. More and more companies are realizing the importance of adapting graphics and content to target global markets. We are sure many of us remember slightly sloppy but handsome Trivago pitchman, Tim Williams, aka Trivago Guy. But did you know that Trivago uses different pitchmen for different markets? Scroll through the images below to find Trivago pitchmen from different global markets. Feel free to let us know which Trivago Guy is your favorite.
¿Hablas español? If not, it might be a good time to start taking Spanish lessons now. Not only is Spanish the second most frequently spoken language in the US and a very dominant language in the world; it is also pleasing to your ear to hear or say something in Spanish. Here are five very good reasons why we think you need to learn Spanish sooner rather than later.
Have we convinced you yet? Give us a call at 804-997-9308 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org to start your Spanish exploration today.
"If I’m selling to you, I speak your language. If I’m buying, dann müssen Sie Deutsch sprechen!" Willy Brandt
The above quote was once said by Willy Brandt, a former German Chancellor, and the quote stands true to this day, especially for companies with global presence. If your company is a part of a global business network, make sure your website and marketing materials are understandable to your global clients and partners.
To prove our point of how important it is to hire a professional company for your translation and localization needs, we put together a list of mistranslated marketing campaigns around the world:
"Translation is that which transforms everything so that nothing changes." Günter Grass
1. The most common target languages for translation are German, French, Spanish, English and Japanese.
2. The Bible is considered to be the most translated text in the world. Pinocchio takes the second place when it comes to being the most translated book.
3. The most translated authors are Agatha Christie, Jules Verne, and William Shakespeare.
4. The majority of the world’s translation community (about 45%) live in United States
5. Some of the most difficult languages in the world include Arabic, Hungarian, Japanese, Finnish, Polish, and Chinese.