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Archive for April, 2016

Why Language Matters for the U.S. Military Posted by on Apr 27, 2016

The U.S. is notoriously less language-capable than our allies and adversaries. This gap in training—which can’t adequately be filled by contract interpreters or machine translation—results in unacceptable risk and limited opportunities. In an era of persistent conflict and powerful cooperation, the U.S. military is recognizing the need for better language capabilities across the spectrum. A…

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Staying Positive While Learning a Language Posted by on Apr 25, 2016

Itchy Feet: Relativity

There are lots of reasons to be negative when learning a new language. It takes too long, it’s too hard, other people are better than you, none of the software or products or apps or methods you’ve bought are working, nobody wants to talk to you, the language is hard to pronounce, nobody understands you…

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Let a Poet Be Your Language Teacher Posted by on Apr 20, 2016

April is National Poetry Month in the United States. Since 1996, National Poetry Month has become the world’s largest, and most sustained, literary celebration. Throughout April schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets honor poetry’s vital place in culture. While it celebrates and honors English language poetry specifically, poetry is found in every country. This seems…

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Amuse Your Friends: We’ve All Got to Do It Posted by on Apr 18, 2016

We’ve all been here – we’re learning a language, our casual friends or distant relatives learn about this and are tickled pink to hear us say something in that crazy, weird foreign language. Either it goes like in the comic above, or it goes something like this: Your friend: “Say something in [language you’re learning]!” You: “I…

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Transparent Language Library Spotlight: Connecticut Libraries Posted by on Apr 13, 2016

Happy National Library Week to all of the hardworking librarians out there! This year’s theme is Libraries Transform, a mantra that highlights the transformative nature and significance of modern library services in the digital age. The video below demonstrates just a few of the transformations libraries have made, from cultural centers to business incubators. The…

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Language and Body Language Posted by on Apr 11, 2016

Itchy Feet: Cheer Up

Now, this may come as some surprise to you, but I suppose everyone’s got to learn sometime, so here goes: languages come out of a person’s mouth, and a person’s mouth is attached to their body. Furthermore, if you can believe it, the way the person poses and positions the various appendages and external parts of their body…

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Five to Halfway to Three Quarters After: Telling Time in German Posted by on Apr 6, 2016

Telling time in German can be a wee bit confusing. Yes, fünf nach halb sechs literally translates to “five past half six” (fünf = five, nach = after, halb = half, sechs = six) where in German “half six” means five-thirty, or “halfway to six” (Brits, however, use “half six” to mean “six thirty,” further confusing matters). “Half” in German…

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