Language

Producing the Initial ‘Ng’ /ŋ/ in Asian Languages

Next to getting the tones right, the initial ‘Ng’ sound that is found in so many Asian languages proves to be one of the major pronunciation issues for non-Asian learners of ‘initial ng’ languages.The languages that have an initial NG sound include: Thai Lao Cantonese and other Chinese Languages / Dialects (especially southern dialects) Bahasa […]

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Mistakes People Make When Learning A Language

Have you ever spent weeks, months … even years learning a language only to have people still scratch their heads trying to figure out what you’re saying? .. Or even worse? How do you know that people are really getting the message you intend them to get? Have you ever had terrible experiences with language […]

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Preparing to Master a Language

Pick a Language Any Language Over the past 2 weeks, I have received over 50 messages, comments and emails from people all over the world asking about how they should embark on learning a language.  I normally keep the following for people who enroll in my Cracking Thai Fundamentals programme, but after reading through it, […]

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Walking Dictionaries

“Wow! You speak Chinese so well …. you must have a Walking Dictionary!? 哈哈哈哈” “Wow! You speak Thai so well …. you must have a Walking Dictionary!? 5555” “Wow! You speak Korean so well …. you must have a Walking Dictionary!? ㅋㅋㅋㅋ” “Wow! You speak Bahasa Indonesia so well …. you must have a Walking […]

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Learn Braille on Your Way Home from Work

I had a sensuous train ride today.  I’ve gotta tell you – you would be amazed what two Taiwanese women on a train will say to each other in Chinese in front of you when they think that you don’t understand them!   I milked the situation for all it was worth, listening for about 20 […]

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NAUGHTY N.A.A.T.I Interpreter Exam- An Interpreter’s Nightmare

R.I.P. Stuart Jay Raj’s NAATI Professional Level 3 Thai Interpreters Exam 19th of August, 2010 Welcome to the Matrix – This Won’t Hurt a Bit Moving to Australia recently was a tough call for me.  I love my life in Thailand and never would I have imagined a year ago that this time this year […]

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Language – Weapon of Choice for Propaganda and Disinformation

Has language ever revealed things to you that you wish everyone else knew? The first casualty in any war is the truth. From a glimpse of the headlines in my news-feeds today, it looks like the veritas body-count is sky high. Sifting through the propaganda in the aftermath of 9/11 Just after 9/11, I can […]

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A Polyglot’s Secret for squeazing More Out of Los Libros

I’m sitting here looking across to at a pile of around 3,000 books that just arrived from my home in Bangkok. About 85% of these books are ‘language’ books. That is, they’re books whose purpose is to teach you a language, or books on linguistics … in many languages, or dictionaries. How Many of Your […]

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