Learning French – Contemporology

Coming from India, not knowing a foreign language is almost normalized; as there are more than 25 languages spoken across the country. One either sticks to Hindi (a popularly understood language all over India) or English (also one of the official languages of India). However, it is indeed frustrating when I go to another province in my own country and run the risk of not being able to communicate effectively or even get simple things done due to language barriers. Not knowing a foreign language can be painful and so can be the inability to speak the language you are in love with!

About two decades ago, for some forgotten romantic reason I fell in love with French and decided to pursue it. I biked to the nearest book store and purchased a French for beginner’s book. It’s grammar rules almost immediately turned me off. What do you expect from a child? Children do not give up on their dreams easily. My feeble attempts led me to learn a few words which I dare not speak in front of anyone as I did not know how to pronounce it. In addition to that, I was also struggling to learn English which further nipped my hopes of speaking this beautiful language anytime soon.

What do you expect from a child? Children do not give up on their dreams easily.

A few years later, when I was in University, I found myself looking at a “Teach Yourself French Kit” with a Book and CDs. I immediately purchased it and this time with a lot more determination. I reduced socializing with my friends and practiced French instead. The results where a lot better. But this Kit completely lacked grammatical explanations which led me to spend considerable time clarifying my doubts on the internet and feeling hopeless.

I was again running the risk of being lost in my pursuit, when my brother introduced me to Duolingo, a free language learning website, which rescued my dreams. I literally worshipped the website and practiced everyday. I improved my pronunciation and vocabulary considerably. And finally started to understand the grammatical rules of French. What do you think happened afterwards? I mastered French? Certainly not. I lost my tempo!

I was burned out. I wanted to learn the language but my brain needed a break. So I obliged, I took a break. The wonderful thing about our supercalifragilisticexpialidocious brain is that it does not forget things you have practiced. Even when if you seem to have forgotten things, when you review or revise it, it comes back to you at a surprisingly fast rate.

Once my brain was satisfactorily refreshed, I got back to my French game, and I again improved considerably. Over the period of time I burned out twice but I got back to it. My skills have considerably improved. With the help of Duolingo, I have been able to express myself in French, ask questions, hold up a conversation and and even meet fellow French learners. Over the period, Duolingo also improved as it added good quality stories, competitions, virtual clubs and podcasts. These free resources are any language learner’s dream come true.

I am still pursuing French and will continue to do so until I can quench my thirst for French literature, music, recipes and things I do not know about. I now practice regularly with my friends and it is a fulfilling and hilarious experience, especially when we make mistakes.

You might begin to think that I could have sped up the learning process by taking professional help. That is true to an extent, but where I come from, I do not know anyone who could teach me the language without Indianized version of French. Moreover, over the time I have also realized that learning cannot be rushed or standardized, I needed to understand my learning patters and be ready learn voluntarily, instead of being a part of some strict regime which helps me pass all the exams but takes the fun out of it.

So what did I learn from my experience the I want to share with you? I have learnt that language learning a time-taking process and you can learn any language as long as you are headstrong. If you have learnt a language it shows that you are patient, persistent, strong-willed, more cultured and awesome! Learning language is also quite fun if don’t do it all alone; use social media and awesome initiatives like Duolingo to meet fellow language learners, inspire each other, make group goals and achieve it together and play language games together.

If you have learnt a language it shows that you are patient, persistent, strong-willed, more cultured and awesome!

Remember three things: Be headstrong – Meet fellow language learners – Have fun. Language learning is an exhilarating experience and being able to talk to foreigner in their tongue is something you definitely want to add to your bucket list.

Bonne chance et à bientôt ❤

( Good luck and see you soon in French ❤ )

If you know someone who loves learning languages or want to encourage someone to learn a language, don’t forget to share my story.

For you information: This is NOT a sponsored blog post. The author has merely shared her personal experiences and expressed her perspective.

This content was originally published here.


8 Steps to Study French With French Audio Books

🎧 So you got a French audio book method. Good for you. And now what? Here are precise directions on how to study French with audio.

As an independent student of French, it’s likely you’ve invested in some kind of French learning method.

I surely hope you picked one with audio. If you want to learn how to communicate in French, you absolutely need audio – and audio featuring modern spoken French.

The tips below apply to any kind of French audio book method.

However, my French learning audio book method features several “speeds”: different levels of enunciation:

As in many good audio book methods, there’s a study guide which explains grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and a story part which illustrates everything in context.

I know learning a language in context is essential, so my method features a long story part… actually, it’s a novel – a progressive and ongoing novel – it’s that part which is recorded at several level of enunciation.

The tips to study French with audio I’m about to give you could apply to any audio book method – if your French learning method doesn’t have different speeds, then ignore this part.

Step 1 – Listen to the French Audio

Start by listening to the fastest recording of the first chapter in the story part of your French audio book.

Don’t look at the French transcript or the translation. It’s essential you resist the urge, and only work with the audio at first!

Can you follow the gist of the storyline? Stay focused on the context and the storyline, and try to guess what you don’t fully understand.

Being able to guess from the context is an important part of communicating in any language!

If it’s too difficult, move to a slower speed, and listen again once or twice. It’s OK if you don’t understand everything at this point. Try your best to get a gist of what’s going on. You need to develop that skill.

Step 2 – Learn the New French Vocabulary in the Audio Book

Proceed to the “French vocabulary” and “French Pronunciation” chapters in the study guide section and study them.

Now listen to the story again: it should be much clearer now!

L1 + L2

À Moi Paris Method – Beginner

4.94 (224 reviews)

Step 3 Study With the Transcript Part of the Audio Book

It’s time to study – this is the part many students skip… And that’s too bad because without it, it’s unlikely you’ll make much progress in French.

Step 4 Make Flashcards

Or lists… or whatever you need to do to memorize the new words you learned in the audio book.

Train on the new grammatical concept with exercises (which should of course come with audio as well – questions and answers). Do them out loud to train on your spoken French, or in writing if that’s the focus of your studies.

Understanding is one thing. Being able to come up with the new French word/expression in a conversation is another story… You need to do whatever it is you do to memorize the new vocabulary.

Step 5 – Repeat Out Loud

At the speed that best fits your level and goal, repeat the story out loud – firstly, parts of sentences, then repeat longer sentences.

Use the “pause”, “rewind” and “rewind 5, 10, 15… seconds” buttons of my app as needed to repeat a word, an expression, part of a sentence. Insist on the parts that maybe surprised you when you first listened to the story. Mimic my pronunciation.

I suggest you alternate studying with the story (the part the student usually prefers) and
studying with the study guide (hard work but essential to progress).

Step 6 Take Your Time to go Through the French Audio Book

Mastering one chapter may take a couple of hours, or much more! We are all different, and it’s OK.

To progress in French, you need to memorize the info: I’m sorry but simply repeating the story out loud won’t be enough.

Drill the verbs, make flashcards, test yourself on the vocabulary…

Step 7 – Tackle the Q&A section of the Audio Book

Once you’ve done studying the story and study guide, you’re ready to tackle the Q&A section of the audio book.

Step 8 – Allow Some Time For Review

Good luck with your French studies, and remember, repetition is the key!

This content was originally published here.


Why Japan Doesn’t Learn English

In a 2019 survey, Japan dropped to 53rd in global English proficiency, squarely in the “low proficiency” band. Japan ranks near the bottom of Asian and developed countries alike despite constant reshuffling and refinement of the English educational curriculum in schools and the frequent assertions, acknowledged by Japan’s Ministry of Education, that English-language skills are needed to compete in the modern economy.

The failure to adopt English is particularly unexpected given that the English language—and the whiteness associated with it—signifies privilege in Japan. Countless advertisements flaunt white foreigners on TV and use English aptitude as the basis for selling products. Top companies such as Rakuten, an e-commerce website and the Japanese competitor to Amazon, place immense weight on English proficiency, whether or not English is needed for an employee’s role. Eikaiwa (English conversation) programs run daily on TV, and accounts featuring videos of Japanese American children speaking English cultivate tens of thousands of Instagram followers.

At the same time, essays and books about the supposed uniqueness of Japanese language, culture, and identity—a genre known as nihonjinron—are in every bookstore, next to shelves of English-learning books. They overflow with complaints about young people’s poor Japanese and instructions on how to speak polite and beautiful Japanese.

Today, Japanese are caught between a belief in the importance of Japanese language and culture and the need to exist in a globalized world in which English carries economic privileges and status associations. A plummeting population and an inevitable future influx of foreign workers collide with a proud national identity, structural and cultural obstacles to English learning, and enough economic independence to resist what might otherwise seem an inevitable future: an English-speaking Japan.

For years, multinational companies have been mandating English as the common corporate language. “In East Asia, many parents, professionals, and students themselves see English as a prerequisite for attaining the best jobs on the market,” said Minh Tran, the executive director of academic affairs at Education First, a Swiss language-education company that offers classes in Japan.

Yet the spread of English has left behind a “trail of dead”: mangled languages, literatures, and identities. As countries around the world scramble for widespread English, there’s a fear of losing their own traditions, cultures, and even names.

English became a tool of the Japanese elite throughout Meiji era Japan’s relentless race to catch up technologically with the West. And while Japan was never a colony of a Western country, the U.S. occupation after World War II lasted for seven years—enough time for the U.S. military to implement widespread political and economic changes throughout the country. In the Cold War, Japan came under the U.S. nuclear umbrella of protection from the Soviet Union, further cementing America’s image as a symbolic protector.

This presence of American soldiers at this time exposed the general Japanese public to spoken English. “America [was] idealized in Japan at the time as a symbol of freedom and democracy, partly as a result of the success of the American occupation,” writes Takako Yoshida, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Lleida. English accordingly became associated with freedom, power, and status.

Throughout the 20th century, more and more English loanwords were introduced into the Japanese language, and English signage, slogans, advertising, and speakers spread across the country. Foreign loanwords, closely associated with the world’s strongest nations and Japan’s social elite, took on elements of prestige. English developed an undeniably positive association in Japanese culture. “English for speaking proved attractive to the general public, particularly since the image attached to eikaiwa in the media was cheerful, fun, and accessible, accompanied by akogare (desire) for America,” Yoshida wrote.

Yet despite this growth, studies estimate that less than 30 percent of Japanese speak English at any level at all. Less than 8 percent and possibly as little as 2 percent speak English fluently. For comparison, in Germany, roughly 60 percent of the population speaks English, and 16 percent of speakers say they are proficient.

There are various possible explanations for this gap between enthusiasm and proficiency. The sheer difference between two languages certainly plays a role—whereas German and English are closely related, Japanese and English have extremely distinct vocabulary, writing systems, and sentence structure. Japanese tutors at the English Tutor Network with fluent English say they spent a ridiculous 4,000 to 5,000 hours studying to reach that level. Compare that to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages used for foreign-language study within Europe, which is based on achieving total fluency in a foreign language in just 1,200 hours of classes.

Teachers in Japan have pointed to English classes’ strict correspondence to university entrance examinations as a major culprit of their students’ poor proficiency. They argue that the focus on exams leads to an over-emphasis on grammar as well as boring, memorization-oriented classes.

“I studied English in junior high school, high school, and university, and when I graduated college I didn’t speak English at all,” said Norihiko Inoue, the regional sales and marketing director at Education First Japan.

“The Japanese Ministry of Education has introduced initiatives to make classrooms more interactive, but the teachers don’t know yet how to execute on these initiatives,” he said. “Japanese students are actually very good at grammar and vocabulary, but they can’t communicate very well because they’re afraid of making mistakes.”

Numerous studies agree that Japanese culture’s aversion to risk-taking leads many students to be reluctant to push their limits, especially in speaking, which is essential for language learning.

Heather Rucker, an associate language teacher with the government’s Japan Exchange and Teaching Program in Nagoya, said that when she initially followed the official lesson plans, many of her students tuned out and avoided participating.

“There are definitely kids who want to learn English and do things abroad in the future. But the others try to avoid taking part in class as much as possible,” she said. “I try to make activities as fun as possible, so it won’t drag for them at least.”

The practical economic benefits of English for Japan might seem clear. Japan’s population fell by a record rate in 2019. Foreign residents now make up more than 2 percent of the population, nearly double the proportion 20 years ago. In the last two years, Japan has created new visa programs to attract more foreign workers, highly skilled and service sector employees alike, although the new workforce, especially caregivers, mainly comes from its Asian neighbors.

“If Japan is content with not being connected to the rest of the world, then it doesn’t need English,” said Liang Morita, a professor of language and culture at Nagoya University. “However, big businesses such as Toyota and Shiseido have found that the Japanese market alone is not able to sustain the growth in profits they desire. So it follows that Japan needs English to do business with the rest of the world.”

On the flip side, Ryuko Kubota, a professor of language literacy and education at the University of British Columbia, conducted a 2011 study that showed English-language skills do not contribute to upward career mobility in Japan. While those numbers may have shifted by 2020, Japan still has one of the lowest dependencies on foreign trade in the world. Japan is lightyears away from requiring nationwide English fluency to keep the economy going.

Studies show that positive portrayals of white people and the English language are highly overrepresented in the Japanese media. Some of the national obsession with English proficiency is based on social capital accumulated by proximity to whiteness and the West. “Teaching and learning eikaiwa in Japan is a commercialized activity built on the commodification of English, whiteness, Western culture, and native speakers constructed as superior, cool, exotic, or desirable,” Kubota said.

“If you know how to speak English, people think you’re smart,” said Maki Shirase, a Japanese undergraduate studying at the City University of New York. “That’s a pretty big benefit.” The discourse around English as a challenging skill that doesn’t come naturally to many people may be an additional barrier for everyday learners.

“After graduating college, when I visited my hometown, some of my friends started to treat me differently,” Shirase said. “Not making fun of me, but the fact that I had studied abroad and spoke English made me different.”

Even with the relatively low number of English speakers in Japan, others are concerned about Japanese language and literature becoming overshadowed by the behemoth of English. In 2008, Minae Mizumura made waves with her book The Fall of Language in the Age of English, in which she traces the development of the English and Japanese languages and argues for more of a focus on Japanese-language education. At the time, many called her an old-fashioned Japanese imperialist.

“Since the end of World War II, any talk about the need to defend the Japanese language has been considered as a reactionary, nationalistic gesture,” Mizumura said in an interview with the literary blog Bookslut. “Now, there seems to be more of an awakening among the general population that they should take a fresh look at their own language.”

Mizumura says that Japan should establish a national literary canon and better literature education, as fewer Japanese are able to read literary classics. Surveys show that many Japanese evaluated their own reading habits similarly—in a 2014 study, 70 percent of respondents said that they believed people in Japan read fewer books than they used to.

“[After 1946], Japan began to produce generations for whom reading anything prewar in its original form is increasingly a struggle,” Mizumura writes in her book. “Older, premodern texts have of course become even more remote.”

Ultimately, despite the hype, there is ample resistance to studying English in Japan. Most people simply don’t need it in their daily lives. But given demographic trends, Japan will have little choice but to up its English game or fall behind in a competitive global economy. Critics such as Mizumura want to ensure that Japanese doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.

These combating priorities have left experts with mixed projections for the future of English in Japan. “I think the English learning industry will grow gradually in Japan,” Inoue said. “Parents are spending more money on education per child. English language is in high demand from parents.”

The emergence of the coronavirus has also shaken up the global balance of power, leading some to speculate that the United States’ bungled pandemic response may change the Japanese perception of America.

“The U.S. response to COVID-19, which falls short of what is expected of the largest economy in the world, may change the perception of U.S. superiority permanently,” Morita, the Nagoya University professor, said. “I’m not very optimistic about the future of English in Japan. Nihonjinron thinking is still strong.”

This content was originally published here.


Learn French online @ Alliance Francaise of Hyderabad – The Hindu

Alliance Francaise of Hyderabad (AFH) has shifted all its courses online owing to the lockdown. While this is rekindling interest in learning a new language, it is also opening up an opportunity for learners to continue with digital learning and polish their language skills. With over 30,000 students across different centres of Alliance Française in India, the online French language training was already in use with My Alliance network. Students access several online resources; upload tasks, pictures, videos; work on auto-evaluation modules; and interact with their classmates and professor through live chat and discussion options, informs Aparna Venson, the co-administrator of My Alliance.

Students and teachers find this a different yet enjoyable experience. Course director Manisha Kumar shares, “Given the pandemic, it is comforting to learn a new language from one’s own space. Students and teachers connect as per mutual convenience and have a digital interaction. This real life situation bringing communities together to teach and learn, focusing on achieving goals and furthering one’s career has paved a new era; a positive digital era for all ages and groups.” One of the students Vinay Sai mentions a distinct advantage: ‘I can save my travelling time and in the present situation, we safeguard our health too.’

Besides a wide spectrum of courses for adults, teenagers, and children and profession-based courses for corporates, AFH offers online activities too. The digital media library with extended subscriptions provides access to resources such as a multitude of books, audio books, videos, newspapers, films, magazines, and music. Many museums and cultural institutions in France provide free access to their online visits and collections.

AFH’s social media pages is for all music, books and food lovers. Classical, Symphonic and Chamber music by La Philharmonie de Paris (Philharmonic Orchestra of Paris), brings online music shows from Paris every night at 8.30 pm. Recordings are also available. Cooking from home by chef Jean-Jacques Berteau has home cooking recipes and techniques. Cirque du Soleil, an entertainment programme of musical circus is aired online.

The digital library offers 500 French literary classics for free download; one can also check out their demo classes for new courses for online and classroom.

Details at: or at AFH FB page

This content was originally published here.


A large percentage of Minnesota COVID-19 patients don’t speak English –

The pandemic has heightened the need for interpreters as hospitals cope with a disproportionate number of COVID-19 patients who speak languages other than English.

As of mid-May, 22% of the Minnesota Department of Health’s interviews with people who had laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases required an interpreter — more than five times the proportion of the state’s population lacking fluency in English.

At least part of the trend is driven by outbreaks at meatpacking plants that employ many immigrant workers, such as the JBS pork processing plant in Worthington, where hundreds of employees contracted the virus.

But the health department and major health care organizations had no explanation for why the number is so much higher than the roughly 4% of the state’s population who reported to the U.S. Census Bureau that they speak English “less than well.”

“In general, health disparities have really come to the surface with COVID-19,” said Idolly Oliva, director of language services at the M Health Fairview health care services provider in Minneapolis. “More than ever, language services are crucial to control the pandemic.”

When the pandemic hit, M Health Fairview shifted its 60 staff interpreters to call centers to communicate with patients remotely as in-person interactions grew risky. Medical staff contact interpreters over iPads mounted on a cart with wheels — dubbed an “interpreter on a stick” — and conference phone devices. When videoconferencing is not possible, the system shifts to audio.

On a daily basis, 30 to 40% of M Health Fairview’s COVID-19 patients have needed an interpreter, a spokesperson said. In-house interpreters work in 16 languages, with Karen and Somali being the top non-English languages related to COVID-19 cases.

Oliva said M Health Fairview has worked with researchers around the U.S. to help interpreters explain medical terms in some languages. Some are newer languages with more limited vocabularies and speakers may come from countries with different health care systems, she said. Interpreters also work with providers to help them rephrase or ask more open-ended questions that fit a patient’s culture.

“Coming myself from a family that doesn’t speak the language, I can tell you that when you see someone on the screen that may look like you, is from your community and can speak your language, that really brings such a touching moment for the patient,” said Oliva, whose first language is Spanish.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) interviews with COVID-19 patients spanned 27 languages other than English. A majority of them took place in Spanish and Somali, 57% and 28%, respectively. Karen accounted for 5%, Amharic 2%, and all other languages 8%. Those numbers don’t include people interviewed for contact tracing, said Julie Bartkey, an MDH spokeswoman. And she noted that not all those who tested positive for the coronavirus have been interviewed yet.

Health department epidemiologist Mateo Frumholtz said that early COVID-19 cases were predominantly English-speakers; then came a wave of Spanish-speaking patients. Frumholtz shifted to working full time to interview people in Spanish and sought other bilingual employees to do the same. The agency — like many hospitals — used the Language Line service for on-call interpreters in less widely spoken languages. But as the numbers grew, particularly as meatpacking plant cases surged, the agency contracted with interpreters to help.

“We were getting a little overwhelmed, but … we’ve quickly increased our capacity,” said Frumholtz, who is the agency’s leader for case investigations involving non-English speakers.

In Worthington, where hundreds of JBS meatpacking workers tested positive, Sanford Health was accustomed to managing care for an ethnically diverse population. The plant alone has workers that speak more than 56 languages. But as health care services unrelated to COVID-19 were put on hold, Sanford Worthington allowed three bilingual employees to avoid layoffs and instead be trained as interpreters to help with the influx of immigrant patients sickened by the novel coronavirus.

Most of Sanford Worthington’s interpreting services are still contracted out. Though the organization prefers in-person interpreters, it’s had to rely on videoconferencing for COVID-19 patients who speak rarer languages and dialects. Multilingual access extends to Sanford’s drive-through testing site, where an interpreter is available for people who call ahead to a nurse triage line for an appointment. Sanford has emphasized the importance of everyone coming in.

“I think for everybody there’s some hesitancy of how sick am I? Do I really need to go in?” said Jennifer Weg, executive director of Sanford Worthington. “I know that’s universal for all cultures, but we really had … to make sure that those of diverse cultures know that we want them to come in and seek care.”

Eh Tah Khu, executive director of the Karen Organization of Minnesota, said he believes the virus spread in the Karen community as meatpacking workers went home and exposed their families. He also suspects there are delays in getting out information translated into Karen, which is a newer language in Minnesota than Somali or Spanish.

Some refugees he knows haven’t yet recognized the severity of the virus.

“I feel like, for whatever reason, a lot of people are not taking this very seriously,” Khu said. “I keep hearing some of the people keep saying it is just kind of a different flu.”

As outbreaks at meat-processing plants also made the St. Cloud area a COVID-19 hot spot, CentraCare Health reached out to immigrant and refugee communities in their respective languages. For example, it has worked with the local Somali radio station to share information on COVID-19 and deployed people like Hani Jacobson to be a community liaison of sorts. Jacobson and her team field calls for assistance from Somali-Americans and help connect them with other services when needed.

Jacobson believes the virus spread disproportionately among Somali-Americans because many had essential jobs in warehouses and meatpacking plants, where they worked closely together and were exposed to the virus and then brought it home to families living in close quarters. Jacobson noted that Somalis, with their large networks of family, neighbors and friends, often share vehicles or depend on one another for rides, making it harder to self-isolate.

“When you still have people working in places that they’re exposed to the virus and they come back to their tightknit, tight-space communities, that’s like a breeding ground for a virus,” said Jacobson, a registered nurse and community health specialist. “For this community, they had all odds against them.”

Jacobson said some fear being stigmatized if they share their diagnosis. She wonders how interpreters can explain to someone with language and cultural barriers “something that’s so new that even us professionals are still wrapping our heads around it?”

“We just have to take our time, and sometimes I talk to the same person for two hours trying to help and make sure they understand,” she said.

This content was originally published here.


Learn English meaning of therapy – Therapy

Lily:  Hey, Brian. How’re you doing?

Brian:  Good. I just got done with my first therapy session.

Lily:  Oh. You go to therapy?

Lily:  What is that like?

Brian:  It was actually really great. It was just talking to someone else. It was really nice. It was really cathartic. I got to vent and let off my frustrations.

Lily:  Release all of your inner feelings to a complete random stranger? Do you think that’s actually helpful?

Brian:  But it is a way of venting. Have you ever talked to a friend about a hard day at work?

Lily:  Oh, yeah, definitely. All the time.

Brian:  It’s just like that. I feel like I’m constantly evolving. And it’s nice to have a way to speak to those things aloud and have a release. I feel like it makes me more self-aware when someone is listening to what I have to say.

Lily:  It’s like a personal growth kind of a thing?

Brian:  It’s really interesting. I really highly recommend it.

Lily:  OK. I’ll think about it.

This content was originally published here.


Learn English meaning of badminton – Badminton

1. Learn Vocabulary – Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare
– Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

In the United States, the three most popular sports are basketball, baseball, and American football. When Americans think about sports, badminton doesn’t usually come to mind. But in other parts of the world, like China, badminton is very popular. What sports you like is all about where you live.

Badminton is a racket sport, played either one on one or with doubles. The game is played on a badminton court, and the players must hit the shuttlecock over the net. Players score points by having the shuttlecock land in the other player’s court.

Marni wants to play badminton at a party this weekend. Find out if Kellie will join her in today’s English lesson about a fun sport.

1. Listen and Read
– Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

2. Study
– Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.

Kellie:  What game?

Marni:  It’s so much fun. First of all, the little birdie that you hit, is called a shuttlecock.

Kellie:  Is it hard?

Marni:  It can be really fast paced. But I think you just have to embrace it and think of it as fun. It’s kind of uncommon… not a lot of people play it. So I think you’ll be in good company.

Kellie:  It seems similar to tennis. Do you think so?

Marni:  I guess somewhat. It’s kind of, I think, a combination of tennis and volleyball.

Kellie:  Can we play doubles?

Marni:  Why not? We’ll make up our own rules, right? I think it’ll be a lot of fun and I think we’re going to love it.

Kellie:  Oh my gosh, I can’t wait.

This content was originally published here.


Five Tips For Learning French – Expat News – EasyExpat blog

24 June, 2014 10:19 


While these tips pretain to an expat’s experience learning French,
you can take some of her base tips to learn any language. If you’re
looking for an exchange partner – post in our expat forums! For language schools, look under “Language Courses” in our expat guides.

Learn French Like most travelers, I love delving into the local culture and opening my eyes to new ideas. In my opinion, you can be completely immersed in a new country, but until you know the local language, you won’t REALLY know the ins and outs of the culture.

can only speak from my personal experience, but I have a feeling that
most other Americans left high school and even college language classes
lacking the basics for communication in a foreign country. Maybe you
felt like, “Yeah! I’ve got this! I can ask a few questions; I can
express likes and dislikes. No problem!” But when the first local opens
their mouth to speak, your eyes widen and before you know it, you
realize that the past few year of studying have failed you.

If you find yourself suffering from, what I like to call, Language Class Disappointment (LCD), you’re in the right place. Today I present to you some tips for learning French (or any language, really), should you ever find yourself in France.
When I moved to France, I had only taken two semesters of French.
Somehow, despite my lack of communication skills, an amazing French
family accepted me as an au pair (nanny) for their adorable
children. The following are some tips I learned that helped me speak
French 500% more than when I arrived in France.

Top Five Tips For Learning French

1. Live with a French family: My French family couldn’t speak English, so I had no choice but to speak and listen to French all day, every day. Even if you can’t live with a family as an au pair, stay away from touristy hostels and try to find a local host family (or couch surf with a local). Offer to teach English to them or their children once a week. Offer to cook a meal from your home country. You’d be surprised the people willing to let you into their home for a small cultural exchange.

2. Find French speaking friends: Honestly, during my year in France, I didn’t have many actual French friends. Instead, most of my friends were other au pairs, but because we all came from different countries, our mutual language was French. Learning from someone who is about the same level as you is a great opportunity to gain confident speaking and understanding. Instead of just understanding the gist of the conversation, like you might with a local, you’ll understand everything except one or two words. Ask what those words are, and you’ve just added to your personal vocabulary!

3. Go to a language exchange: In Paris there is a group called The Polyglot Café that meets several times per week in different cafés around the city. People from a variety of nationalities, but a majority French, get together to practice dozens of languages. I chatted weekly with so many open, friendly Parisians who defied every stereotype given them. Don’t be afraid to go alone—most people do. Just walk up to a stranger and ask, “Bonjour! Vous êtes ici pour parler quelle langue?” You never know what kind of interesting conversations could be created out of the simple question, “What language are you here to speak?

4. READ READ READ: Find your local library, get a library card, and go crazy! I tore through the young adult section during my commute on the subway, while relaxing in the park, and to put myself to sleep at night. My favorites were Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days, the first few Harry Potter books, The Chronicles of Narnia, and several other random books I picked up. In my personal opinion, I found the fast-paced action of young adult books kept my attention longer than children’s and lengthy adult books.

5. Find a local French class: Due to the previously mentioned LCD, I recommend going to class. My experience with Institut privé Campus Langues in France was absolutely incredible. My teacher focused on speaking and kept us laughing the entire two hour period. Instead of getting bogged down in verb tenses (a mega-cause of LCD), we talked about our ideal mate, our future dreams, our home countries (each student was from a different country), etc.

If you are anticipating going to France soon and would like to brush up before going, I would suggest checking out free online resources such as Franç, IlÉ, and French videos on YouTube.

Most of all, don’t stress. Learning a language doesn’t come overnight. Remember that you are your worst critic, so try to step back and appreciate the progress you’ve made, even if it seems small. Now go out into the big, wide world of French speakers, and I wish you bonne courage!

We’ve had the opportunity to host many excellent guest posts on our services site, Expat-Quotes. We are posting some of the best on the last tuesday of every month. Interested in contributing a Guest Post? Contact us with your idea!

most travelers, I love delving into the local culture and opening my
eyes to new ideas. In my opinion, you can be completely immersed in a
new country, but until you know the local language, you won’t REALLY
know the ins and outs of the culture – See more at:



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ANTHRAX Members Past And Present, FAITH NO MORE / MR. BUNGLE Frontman MIKE PATTON Pay Tribute To S.O.D. With “Speak Spanish Or Die” (Video) – BraveWords

Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante has posted another lockdown cover featuring himself, Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian, Nuclear Assault bassist / former Anthrax guitarist Dan Lilker, and Faith No More / Mr. Bungle frontman Mike Patton. They pay tribute to S.O.D. with a take on “Speak English Or Die” dubbed “Speak Spanish Or Die”.

Anthrax have announced a brand new line of merchandise, “The Quarantine Drop,” that consists of two limited edition t-shirts: the quarantine masked Not-Man on the front with “Stop Spreading the Disease: Stay the F*ck Home” on the back, and the “State of Quarantine” shirt featuring the album cover art.  But wait, there’s more:  shipping with each order for the next 72 hours only (ends Monday at 11:59AM ET), the band will include a free Anthrax quarantine mask. The band will be donating a portion of all proceeds to Direct Relief, an organization that helps equip doctors and nurses in 80+ countries and 50 U.S. states with life-saving medial resources to care for the world’s most vulnerable people. Log on to Shop Anthrax to place your order.

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Learn English meaning of contact lenses – Contact Lenses

Gary:  That must be so frustrating!

Jessica:  My contact lenses get dry, and I try to insert them, but the material they are made out of is just rigid.

Gary:  It does correct your vision, though. Right?

Jessica:  It does. And because I have contact lenses, I can wear them with sunglasses.

Gary:  Yeah, the compatibility is completely there. Absolutely. I’ve often wondered, though… is it invisible? Or is it clear?

Jessica:  Well, mine are tinted blue, but you would never know it. When you look at my eyes, you can’t tell that I’m wearing the contacts, because they aren’t big like soft lenses.

Gary:  Wow, and can you just wear them all the time? Because it really weirds me out, just touching your eye.

Jessica:  I know. I am a little bit limited with how often I can wear them. But I try to take them out at night when I go to sleep.

Gary:  Wow. That amazes me every time someone talks about it.

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