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Archive for January, 2017

¿What’s the story with ¿ and ¡ ? Posted by on Jan 30, 2017

¿Did you know the inverted question mark and exclamation point were originally suggested for use in English? ¡It’s true! Apparently, sadly, the upside-down question mark and exclamation point are slowly dying in the Spanish language. According to one commenter on the comic above, this is because when you use text-to-speech on smartphones it doesn’t recognize…

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Libraries as Linguistic and Cultural Community Centers Posted by on Jan 25, 2017

It comes as no surprise that public perception of libraries is shifting – drastically. Libraries are no longer just houses for books. As communities and technologies evolve, libraries must keep up with the changes to remain centers for lifelong learning. As a result, many libraries are doing everything they can to provide cultural resources and…

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Language Learning Addiction Posted by on Jan 23, 2017

Language learning is fun, and it’s tempting to “collect” new ones along the way. But don’t lose sight of your goals. Finish what you start. Outside of my cartooning and blogging I’m also a photographer and filmmaker, and in the photography community there’s a psychological phenomenon known as Lens Buying Addiction (LBA). When it comes…

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Three Idioms Across the World Posted by on Jan 16, 2017

In American English, “Joe Average” is your regular guy, “Nowhereseville” is that far-away town, and “when pigs fly” is practically never. Who knew these idioms, or similar ones, were common across the globe? Not much is more fun than transliterating idioms across languages – that is, translating them literally. By their very nature idioms are…

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Transparent Language Online Receives Platinum Award for Second Year in a Row Posted by on Jan 11, 2017

It really is a happy new year! We just found out that Transparent Language Online is receiving the Modern Library Award’s Platinum Award again this year. The MLAs were created to recognize the top products and services in the library industry in a truly unbiased format. Products and services were submitted in the fall using…

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Language Learning is Cultural Learning Posted by on Jan 9, 2017

Language learning is cultural learning, from the cradle to the foreign language classroom. It’s an often-repeated cliché in language learning that learning about foreign cultures is just as important as learning their languages. But what does that really mean for language learners? Already as infants each and every one of us finds ourselves navigating the…

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Reducing Your Language Learning Baggage Posted by on Jan 4, 2017

It’s not easy being a beginner. You need a lot more to do a lot less – that’s as true in language learning as anywhere else. But like a seasoned traveler that packs less and less, you too will eventually need only your smarts. There’s a parable about beginners I’ve heard, and it involves cats…

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