Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

Monthly Archives: November 2013

Learn a foreign language month

Learn a foreign language month

“December is Learn a Foreign Language Month. Offering foreign language opportunities for your patrons is a wonderful way to boost your library programming and provide added benefit to your patrons. Studies have revealed that language learning supports academic achievement, provides cognitive benefits, and affects attitudes and beliefs about other cultures. Find out more about the benefits of learning a foreign language on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages website.”

Languages do matter!

Vietnamese jumping at chance to learn Thai prior to start of AEC

Vietnamese jumping at chance to learn Thai prior to start of AEC

Hotel staff and workers in shopping malls see it as a way to boost income.

AN increasing number of Vietnamese are learning Thai as second language in a bid to attract tourism and business investment to the country ahead of the Asean Economic Community (AEC), when it commences in 2015.

Languages and communication skills are increasingly being seen by Asean  countries as the path to improving economic competitiveness ahead of the AEC, with Vietnam realising that it could bring more investment to the country, especially in the area of tourism.

Vietnam is therefore promoting the importance of language skills in different industry sectors, expressing its wish that people should be able to speak at least two languages.

In recent years, Thai language has become particularly popular among Vietnam’s hotel staff and among staff working in shopping malls.”

Languages do matter! 

Another holiday gift for the Language Learner/Lover: Is it bonjour or hola? These apps will help you translate languages wherever you are

Another holiday gift for the Language Learner/Lover: Is it bonjour or hola? These apps will help you translate languages wherever you are

“t have to jet off to foreign climes to flex your language skills. According to the Census Bureau there are over 300 languages spoken in the US today. We could all use a little help when conversing in an unfamiliar language, and our smartphones are equipped to provide it. You won’t get the nuanced skill of a real interpreter, but good language translation apps will get close enough for you to understand and be understood.”

Languages do matter!

JHTA president calls for foreign language promotion in schools

JHTA president calls for foreign language promotion in schools

“:President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Assocition (JHTA) Evelyn Smith has called for the study of foreign languages to be better promoted within Jamaican schools.

Smith’s comments came during the official launch of the first Russian and Spanish Languages Skills Training Programme for tourism industry workers in Negril last Thursday.”

Languages do matter!

Today’s Holiday Gift fot the Language Lover/Learner: Beginner’s Self Study French/Spanish

Today’s Holiday Gift fot the Language Lover/Learner: Beginner’s Self Study French/Spanish

From Barron’s, for around $20, with a book and 4 audio CDs.

Languages do matter!

Global Language Network: Connect and Empower People through Language and Culture

Global Language Network: Connect and Empower People through Language and Culture

“Welcome!

The Global Language Network (GLN) is a DC-based 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization whose mission is to provide opportunities to learn any language at a minimal cost. GLN is about learning and community. We offer affordable language classes in more than 60 languages, helping thousands of learners reach their language-learning goals through high-quality instruction in a fun environment.”

Languages do matter!

Christmas in the Spanish-Speaking World

Christmas in the Spanish-Speaking World

The Christmas season is one of the most festive times of the year in much of the Spanish-speaking world.”

Languages do matter!

A German Christmas Guide: Christmas in German-Speaking Europe

A German Christmas Guide: Christmas in German-Speaking Europe

“In the German-speaking countries, Christmas (Weihnachten) lasts approximately from December 1 to January 6. However, in some parts of German Europe the Christmas season begins as early as Martinstag on the 11th of November!

Most of the Anglo-American Christmas traditions have been borrowed and adapted from Austria and Germany. ‘Silent Night’ is only one of them.

The Christmas tree (Tannenbaum, Christbaum, Weihnachtsbaum) arrived in both England and America from Germany. Even the American image of Santa Claus has a German connection.”

Languages do matter!

 

Christmas in Italy: Italian Celebrations and Traditions

Christmas in Italy: Italian Celebrations and Traditions

“Christmas season in Italy is traditionally celebrated December 24-January 6, or Christmas Eve through Epiphany. This follows the pagan season of celebrations that started with Saturnalia, a winter solstice festival, and ended with the Roman New Year, the Calends. However many events start on December 8, the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception, and you’ll sometimes see Christmas decorations or markets even earlier than that.

Christmas decorations and trees are becoming more popular in Italy. Lights and decorations are often seen starting around December 8, the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception, or even the end of November.”

Languages do matter!

‘Why don’t they speak our bloody language?’

‘Why don’t they speak our bloody language?’

“But we grow up with no international borders in Australia and there’s no need to communicate in other languages to be understood. So not only do we lack the facility to pick up languages easily, we are used to making the assumption that everyone will speak English. We’re lucky it’s the language that China, India and much of the developing world wants to learn but striking a country such as Turkey or Japan, where English usage is not common, can leave you befuddled.”

Languages do matter!