Archive for January, 2008
Learn the Chinese Language
As China becomes more dominant in the world markets and economy, the need for those who speak Chinese continues to climb in the business community. Unlike many languages, learning Chinese can be challenging for a few reasons. First of all, Chinese is written in symbols, not in traditional letters we are accustomed to. Second, the Chinese language varies from region to region. Some dialects are so different even native speakers have difficulty understanding each other.
Because of the difficulty of Chinese, the most efficient way of learning the language is in a classroom setting. Chinese is based on symbols and tones. Subtle differences can make all the difference in what you say or write. Chinese is not a language that remotely resembles anything Americans know, so it will take a great deal of time and effort to fully understand the language People study Chinese for years before they completely master the language.
The good news is we live in a time when resources and technology make learning new languages fast, easy, and convenient. Whether you want to learn Chinese for business or pleasure, choosing Mandarin as your language dialect; Mandarin is spoken in most major cities and in business associations.
Many metropolitan areas have schools dedicated to language instruction. These schools provide a variety of ways to learn Chinese. The quickest and best way to learn Chinese is with the aid of a private tutor or instructor. These tutors immerse their students in the Chinese language so skills are acquired quickly. Instruction can be tailored toward business, travel, or social needs.
These schools also offer classes via internet. Again, with the aid of a private instructor, you learn Chinese from the comfort of your home using your computer and web cam. These schools also offer shorter, introductory courses that teach fundamentals such as grammar and vocabulary.
There is a variety of software programs that can be purchased or downloaded that teach Chinese. These programs are effective because instead of repetitive drills and memorization of vocabulary, verb conjugations, and grammar rules, they immerse you in Chinese language so you learn the language as native speakers learn. These programs must be highly effective as they are used by government and businesses alike.
Websites also offer instruction in the Chinese language. There are websites that provide free lessons. These lessons are usually simple vocabulary and grammar skills. Sometimes they will email you a Chinese word of the day. There is little opportunity for actually speaking the language.
Other websites, however, have actual classes. For a fee, you schedule weekly lessons with a private tutor. When not conversing with your tutor, the website provides interactive exercises that reinforce mastery of the basic grammar skills and vocabulary skills.
Regardless of your reason for learning Chinese, a variety of methods are available. From traditional classroom methods, online tutors or websites, to software programs, or total immersion classes, there is a class that will fit into your schedule and will be budget friendly.
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Tweet” & “Social Media” Added to M-W’s Collegiate Dictionary
In further confirmation of social media’s penetration into the language, Merriam-Webster has added both “tweet” and “social media” to its Collegiate Dictionary.
M-W, which announced the move Thursday, is a bit late to the game.The Oxford English Dictionary just added ”tweet” and “retweet,” not to mention “sext,” last week. Collins English Dictionary added ”Twitter” as a verb and a noun in 2009.
M-W’s Collegiate Dictionary, the country’s best-selling dictionary, added 150 words, just a few of which are tech-related. Others include “m-commerce” and “crowdsourcing.” Among the other new additions are “fist bump,” “bromance,” “cougar” (in reference to middle-aged women on the prowl) and “helicopter parent.”
This was the first time M-W added new terms since 2009. Back then, the dictionary added “vlog,” “webisode,” “flash mob” and “pdf.”
Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large for the dictionary, says the new terms are decided upon in an informal manner. “It’s just a process of seeing a word used frequently and in many different sources,” he says, noting that inclusion in outlets like The New York Times is a big consideration.
Sokolowski says there are a few words on his short list for likely inclusion next time around including “man cave,” “millennials” and “mashup.”
“Bromance,” “social media,” “tweet” and over 150 more new words have been added to the pages of the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.
In a statement, Merriam-Webster’s Editor at Large Peter Sokolowski said, “From the dramatic events of the Arab Spring to the scandal that brought down Congressman Anthony Weiner, tweet is a word that has been part of the story.”
“We’ve been tracking words like social media and tweet for years, of course, and now we feel their meanings have stabilized enough to include them in the dictionary,” he added.
Some of the words that also made it to the dictionary include the following:
Americana – “a genre of American music having roots in early folk and country music”
boomerang child – “a young adult who returns to live at his or her family home especially forfinancial reasons”
bromance – “a close nonsexual friendship between men”
cougar – “a middle-aged woman seeking a romantic relationship with a younger man”
crowdsourcing – “the practice of obtaining information from a large group of people who contribute online”
duathlon – “a three-part long-distance race with a running phase, a bicycling phase, and a final running phase”
first bump – “a gesture in which two people bump their fists together”
helicopter parent – “a parent who is overly involved in the life of his or her child”
m-commerce – “a business transaction conducted using a mobile electronic device”
parkour – “rapid and efficient running, climbing, or leaping over environmental obstacles”
robocall – “a telephone call from an automated source that delivers a prerecorded message to a large number of people”
walk-off – “ending a baseball game immediately by causing the winning run to score for the home team in the bottom of the last inning”
Earlier this month, Oxford Dictionary also released the list of new words that included “cyberbullying,” “retweet” and “sexting” among others.
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