Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Learning French is easy...

...according to The Sketch Show's Mary Lynn Rajskub.

Although I wouldn't recommend her technique for learning languages, I do think it's important to keep an element of humour and fun in the learning process.

There comes a point when verb conjugations and grammar lessons just won't cut it anymore. Try freshening your approach with new material, such as the French Expressions or Authentically French audio learning guides. As you acquire new expressions and learn when and how to use them, you'll also be picking up verb tenses and vocabulary.

Think outside le box.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Extra, extra!

Issue 46 of English Now magazine is hot off the press!

In this issue:
- improve vocabulary for ordering in a restaurant.
- learn about applying for a job in English.
- read about Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook.
- find out how Britons and Americans spend their money.
- see the differences between UK and US spelling.
- learn keywords and phrases for food in the refrigerator.
- learn about Broadway theatre in New York City.
- discover a new side of London through day trips!

For whom is English Now written?
Our international team of language specialists designed this 52-page magazine for French-speakers wanting to improve their English in an enjoyable way. The magazine is full of interesting articles on the language and culture in the UK, US and other English-speaking countries. Click here to view sample pages from a recent issue.

Each article has keywords translated into French. You'll acquire idiomatic expressions and up-to-date vocabulary, receive news and practical information, and even learn some slang. For advanced beginner and intermediate learners, English Now is also valuable, authentic teaching material for teachers. The English Now CD (optional) includes over 60 minutes of articles from the magazine read by native speakers as well as pronunciation and intonation exercises. Click here to listen to an MP3 sample.

Short, varied articles that are specially written for language learners and an attractive layout make the magazines an enjoyable and stimulating read. The audio component, using native speakers, helps complete the language learning experience.
* varied, specially written articles
* different language levels
* keyword translations
* attractive layout
* stimulating language activities
* modern, idiomatic language
* cultural background information
Published every two months, English Now is a complete and enjoyable English learning experience. English Now magazine has subscribers in over 40 countries.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

New release: Good Pronunciation in English

If you forget to pronounce the ‘s’ at the end of words, if you don’t make the distinction between ‘law’ and ‘low’ and omit the ‘h’ sounds where it’s needed (and use it when it’s not), this CD is for you.

From the alphabet to tongue twisters, learn how to pronounce English sounds correctly.

60-minute CD with transcription booklet.

Click here for more information.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New release: Shopping in France

Everything you need to know when shopping in French. Learn how to attract the attention of the salesperson, try something out, ask for another size and enquire about prices and discounts all in French.

60-minute CD with transcription booklet.

Click here for more information.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

New release: British conversations

Improve your spontaneous conversations in English. Meet four British friends and listen as they discuss topics at a natural speed. Test comprehension with exercises and build your skills to interact and participate naturally.

60-minute CD with transcription booklet and exercises.

Click here for more information.

Friday, September 18, 2009

New release: Bon voyage!

This audio guide is your passport for travelling around France. Acquire the vocabulary and useful phrases you need when planning your trip, asking for directions, buying tickets, making reservations, renting a car and getting information.

60-minute CD with transcription booklet.

Click here for more information.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

New release: Simple dialogues in English!

Gain confidence when speaking English with this audio learning guide featuring practical dialogues for common situations when travelling in an English-speaking country. Reserving a hotel, asking for information, eating out… it's all here!

These dialogues will give you the helping hand you need. 60-minute CD with transcription booklet.

Click here for more information.

Monday, September 14, 2009

On a lighter note

A mother mouse and a baby mouse are walking along, when all of a sudden, a cat attacks them.

The mother mouse yells, "BARK!" and the cat runs away.

"See?" says the mother mouse to her baby. "Now do you see why it's important to learn a foreign language?"

Monday, September 7, 2009

Getting back to Hindi roots

I wouldn't go so far as to say that I'm big into etymology, but I do think it's cool when I find out that words I use regularly have roots in places I've never set foot. For example, today I learned that a word that seems very common to me (shampoo) actually comes from a language I don't speak at all: Hindi. (When I say 'not at all', I really mean 'not at all'!)

Hindi is one of India's two national languages, the other being English. It is spoken mainly in northern states and alongside regional languages like Punjabi, Gujarati, Marathi or Bengali throughout north and central India. Outside of India, Hindi is also understood in the neighboring countries of Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

But maybe we already speak more Hindi than we realize. Guru, karma, Garam masala... Let's take a look at some commonly used words in English that came to us from Hindi.

Avatar - means incarnation
Bandana - from bandhna, to tie a scarf around the head
Bangle - kind of bracelet
Cushy - from khushi, easy, happy, or soft
Chutney - from chatni, to crush
Jungle - from jangal, wilderness or forest
Loot - from lūta
Pundit - from pandit, a learned scholar or priest
Thug - from thag, a thief or conman

Now all together...
As John was leaving his cushy lifestyle for the jungle, he tied on a bandana, threw a jar of his favorite chutney in with his loot, then headed out of town before the thugs could catch him.
Our Hindi is coming along rather well, wouldn't you say?