Blog

Dec
22

What Words Should I Learn First When Learning a Language?

** UPDATE ** I have added several languages to the chart as well as increased the base word list.  This chart is far from comprehensive.  It was originally just something done for myself, wanting to take an available resource and exploit it for my own learning benefit.  Now, I am opening it up to anyone […]

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Dec
08

Automatic Teller Machine Hacks – Getting More from your ATM

Are You Willing To Do What It Takes to Learn a Language? Two days ago I was giving a presentation entitled ‘Rebooting Your Mind to Learn [pick-a-language]’ to a group of 100 expats living in a particular SE Asian nation.  I don’t want to mention the actual language as I believe that the story that […]

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Dec
01

How to Become ‘Gifted’ at Learning Languages – You’re Never too Old (Revisited)

“That’s O.K. for you – you’re ‘gifted’ when it comes to learning languages …. but what about us normal folk? How are we supposed to learn a new language when we don’t have the ability to absorb them by osmosis like you?” I have been going through hundreds of articles in my archives as I noticed many […]

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Dec
01

Thai, Khmer, Indian … Same Same?

Over the weekend I had the privilege to present to a group of around 100 expat Indians working in the Engineering and Technology sectors in Thailand.  I had spoken to the group a couple of months earlier and after the seminar, many people approached me and mentioned how much trouble they were having learning Thai. […]

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Nov
30

Expat Managers – Why are you Training Your Local Staff?

Over the past four weeks I have been working with an international Technology company that has extensive operations here in Asia – in particular Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, China and India. With the Chinese market undergoing some big changes in my client’s industry, their Thai operation has seen an influx of business shifting across from China. […]

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Nov
18

Cringeworthy Bad Google Translate Fails Explained

What on earth could possibly translate into “Today’s mother cooking something to eat some rats”, or “Like a chicken in rats with”? Yesterday this cringeworthy excerpt from a Thai English language learning book was posted on a number of sites and caused a lot of questions about a number of topics.  How can Google translate […]

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Nov
13

Your Dog Can Help Coach Your Tones when Learning a Tonal Language

“You Speak So Well!” Have you ever been learning a language like Thai, Chinese or Vietnamese and received a compliment in the very beginning stages along the lines of “You speak so well!” While providing that much needed motivation to keep going in the language, receiving such compliments can start to be detrimental to your […]

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Oct
29

Why Do Many Asian Languages Mix Up ‘R’ and ‘L’?

When I was a kid in a much less politically correct world, I used to love watching ‘Get Smart’ episodes after school.  There was a Chinese villain in the series named ‘The Claw’ who had a claw for a hand who would always end up in crazy back and forth ‘Who’s on first’ like discussion […]

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