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Archive for October, 2012

Reasons to Learn a Foreign Language

by Brent Jenkins October 12th, 2012 More

What does Friday mean to me?  It means that the weekend is only a few hours away and that it’s time to give my brain a well-deserved break.  Learning a language is important, and we’ve all been working hard.  We deserve a break – check out this video from Mr Jake Beus of LearnALanguage.com and have yourself a good laugh to start off the weekend:

Jake Beus on Learning – Click Here

We’ll see you on Monday!

 

 

Language learning tips

How to Turn Motivation into Celebration

by Jake Beus October 11th, 2012 More

celebrateWhat gets you motivated? What gets you super-pumped and excited? What events cause celebration in your life? Take a moment and really think about those questions. It may even be helpful to write down your answers. I’d like to take a moment and answer those question for myself, and together I hope we can learn how to turn motivation into celebration.

What gets you motivated? For me, the answer to that question depends on what the goal is. In my life, I usually see or experience something that motivates me and gives me the desire to set a goal and achieve it. For example, I have seen a healthy transformation in my father. For years, he could not sleep in a bed because he would get heartburn every night due to his diet and lack of exercise. He has completely changed his diet, eats much healthier and does his best to avoid eating late at night. He also spends more time exercising than he used to. He has lost weight, feels better and is happier because of this change. His discipline has motivated me to eat healthier, exercise more and be more disciplined in general.

I have also been motivated by others and their desire and commitment to learning, whether it be learning a new language, learning how to wake board or learning how to make homemade pizza. People in my life who are consistently learning seem to live more fulfilling lives. There is a certain excitement that comes from learning from life’s experiences, whether they be your own or someone else’s.

What gets you super-pumped and excited? I have a little brother who is talented in basketball and football, and I get excited watching him score touchdowns, make tackles and swish 3-pointers. I get excited when great things happen to the people close to me, whether it’s a buddy of mine who meets a great girl or someone does well on a test. I get excited when things go right for me, whether it’s finding a solution to a problem or just being blessed with unique opportunities. There are lots of things that make me super-pumped.

What events cause celebration in your life? This question is very similar to the previous question, but there is also a difference. For me, the difference is that excitement can be random and celebration usually is a result of hard work. That being said, here are 2 quotes that I really like regarding celebration:

“Remember to celebrate with others those things you have accomplished together. Celebration creates unity and strengthens relationships.”

“Celebrate every small victory.”

I am a celebrator. I think that people don’t celebrate enough, and perhaps I celebrate too much. If I want to be a millionaire, am I only going to celebrate as soon as I make that first million? No. My philosophy is to celebrate the little things that will ultimately help you achieve your goal. Celebration and motivation are closely tied. Celebrating the small things has helped me to enjoy the journey and stay motivated to keep working toward goals.

How to turn motivation into celebration:  The simple answer is hard work. For me, it’s a cycle of never-ending fun and excitement. This cycle begins as motivation, which translates into hard work, which leads to multiple, small celebrations, which keeps me motivated, which keeps me working, which leads to more celebration. I met a professor at a prestigious university who taught me that when working toward a goal, I should plan, do, evaluate and learn; then plan, do evaluate and learn. I would add celebrate into that cycle of progression, which will ultimately help me to continue the cycle of progression.

One of my favorite movies is Rudy. If you’ve never seen the movie, I highly encourage you to watch it. This is the final scene of Rudy, which is a celebration of a great moment that is a result of years of hard work. It’s obviously a dramatic celebration, but think about how you might celebrate more as you watch it. Enjoy:

 

What is something you should be celebrating in your life? Please login and comment below. I’m gonna go celebrate the completion of this post.

Language learning tips, Learn a Language, Motivation , , ,

Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award Winners

by Taylor Pebley October 10th, 2012 More

One great way to immerse yourself in a new language is by watching TV or movies in that language. If movies are your choice, you should consider picking from the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award winners. Every year since 1956 non-English films that are made outside the United States are nominated for the award.

These nominations and awards make a great resource when looking for the best foreign language films. The winner at the 2012 Academy Awards was “A Separation” directed by Asghar Farhadi. The film is in Persian and marks Iran’s first win since the award began. Some other notable nominees from this year included “Bullhead” in Dutch, French and Limburgish; “Footnote” in Hebrew; “In Darkness” in Polish, German, Yiddish and Ukrainian; and “Monsieur Lazhar”  in French.

Yes, speaking is the best way to learn, but watching a foreign movie will definitely help you learn, understand, and love a new language. Know any more great foreign films? Let us know in the comment section.

Language learning tips, Learn a Language, Learn French , , ,

What Are Some Useful Language Tools?

by Brent Jenkins October 9th, 2012 More

Every day, Google gets asked hundreds of thousands of questions about how to study better, what are the best tools to learn a language, what are the short-cuts, what advice do professionals offer, where are the great resources, the list goes on.  We all know it – Learning a language is a very difficult thing.  So why make it harder?  Every single tool that we come upon should be used to the fullest benefit possible.  It has been said that ‘life is a game of inches.’  Here at LearnALanguage.com, we have another tool to help you ‘get those inches.’

The LearnALanguage.com Toolbar can be downloaded and customized for up to 8 languages. Yet another great tool to help us learn quick.

You can find our toolbar all over our site.  Download the bar that has each language (by selecting the image to the left), or you can go to the Learn Spanish page to download the Spanish Toolbar, the Learn Italian page to download the Italian Toolbar and so on.  You get the idea.

This isn’t a ground-shaking, world-changing development, but it is a tool that we can use to remind ourselves to study every single day, or several times a day.  It will make our free language lessons now one-click away.  With learning this easy, why are you still reading this?  www.learnalanguage.com

Learn a Language, Motivation , ,

Self Motivation Quotes

by Jake Beus October 8th, 2012 More

motivation

It’s not easy to be self-motivated. We realize that learning a language is not an easy task. It takes self-motivation and hard work. In order to help you when you may not feel very motivated, I have compiled a list of some of my favorite self-motivation quotes. Many of the quotes come from the community of Mindbloom.

  •  “One learns the most about writing once their pen is moving.”
  • “You can’t fly if you never jump!”
  • “Your breakthroughs will come when you do what you’ve been afraid to do.”
  • “The principle is competing against yourself. It’s about self-improvement, about being better than you were the day before.” -Steve Young
  • “If you find yourself getting nervous, stop and relax for three full breaths. Then take one small step, then another. That is how people get to the top of Everest.” -Martha Beck
  • “Today I do what others will not, so tomorrow I do what others cannot.” -Jerry Rice
  • “When faced with mountain-like obstacles, I envision myself already at the top.”
  • “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” -Maria Robinson
  • “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” -Lou Holtz
  • “If I can’t make it through one door, I’ll go through another door – or I’ll make a door. Something terrific will come no matter how dark the present.” Rabindranath Tagore
  • “Celebrate every small victory!”
  • “No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch.”
  • “Confidence comes not from always being right, but from not fearing to be wrong.” -Peter T. Mcintyre
  • “I am not my challenges. I am not my illness. I am stronger than my mind. I am stronger than my pain.”

I hope that one of those quotes took you from la-la land in your mind to putting your mind to work. What is your favorite quote? Please comment on this post below. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Learn a Language, Motivation , , ,

Learning a Second Language….. and a Third….. and a Fourth…..

by Brent Jenkins October 5th, 2012 More

Ioannis Ikonomou speaks 32 languages.

Do you know who Ioannis Ikonomou is?  I didn’t either – that is, until I ran across an article about one of the smartest living human beings.  Most of us would consider speaking a second language as a great feat.  A third language? Incredible.  A fourth language?  Impossible.  Not Ioannis Ikonomou.  This 46-year old Greece-born, world-citizen “feels comfortable” speaking and communicating in 32 languages.  That’s not a typo – 32 (as in thirty-two).

As a native Grecian, his mother-tongue is Greek.  He began learning English when he was 6 years old.  After English came German…  Then Russian…  Italian…  Turkish…  Arabic…  And so the story goes.  Ioannis is now employed as the only in-house translator for the European Commission of the United Nations.  He spends about half the year in Beijing, China as a representative of the European Commission.

What does this mean for the rest of us?  Are we to find the story of Ioannis as encouraging or discouraging?  I say that we ought to be encouraged, and here is why:

  • Mr Ikonomou is amazing, but he is still a human being.  If he is capable of learning 32 languages, shouldn’t I be capable of learning at the very least, a second language, and maybe even a third?
  • His second language started when he was 6.  He is now 46.  That means 40 years of dedicated language-learning.  What’s my point?  My point is that this isn’t a race.  You don’t have a deadline for learning that language that you’ve been working on (unless you’re moving to Costa Rica at the end of the month – odds are, you aren’t).
  • “There’s really no hard or easy language to learn,” he says. “Anyone can learn a language if they fall in love with it.”  He goes on through-out the article explaining that his single greatest key to success is falling in love with the language.  That makes sense.  Everything from using it daily, learning the culture, eating the food, watching TV and reading in that language, and eventually dreaming in it.

It’s possible – as long as we fall in love with it.  I completely agree.  I’m bilingual and working on my third – the periods of the greatest success come at times when I’m genuinely interested in the language itself, not just in learning the language.

This blog is hosted by LearnALanguage.com– a site that is dedicated to helping people from all around the world learn languages, all for free.  The learning material is here, but that’s not everything that you need.  My challenge to you, is to dive in and don’t just learn the language, learn about the language.  If you’re learning Russian, do some research on Russia: the weather and seasons, the culture, the food – you can even download a recipe and try it at home.  If you’re learning Spanish, study the several countries where Spanish is spoken and find out about the people who use these languages.

Learning about the language and those who use it will help us to become better learners of the language itself.

Language learning tips, Learn a Language, Learn French, Learn Italian, Learn Spanish, Meet Famous People , , , ,

Spanish Speaking Countries

by Jake Beus October 4th, 2012 More

There are too many people in the world who think that the only Spanish-speaking countries are Spain and Mexico. In addition to that, people often assume that all latinos are Mexicans. This is simply not true. There are 21 Spanish-speaking countries in the world, and here is a list of those countries and their capitals:

  1. Argentina – Buenos Aires
  2. Bolivia – La Paz, Sucre
  3. Chile – Santiago
  4. Colombia – Bogotá
  5. Costa Rica – San José
  6. Cuba – Havana
  7. Dominican Republic – Santo Domingo
  8. Ecuador – Quito
  9. El Salvador – San Salvador
  10. Equatorial Guinea – Malabo
  11. Guatemala – Guatemala City
  12. Honduras – Tegucigalpa
  13. Mexico – Mexico City
  14. Nicaragua – Managua
  15. Panama – Panama City
  16. Paraguay – Asunción
  17. Peru – Lima
  18. Puerto Rico – San Juan
  19. Spain – Madrid
  20. Uruguay – Montevideo
  21. Venezuela – Caracas

There are millions of people in the world who speak Spanish, and now you are familiar with 21 Spanish-speaking countries and their capital cities. We have created a Spanish-speaking countries page and we will be updating it with all kinds of information about each country ranging from culture to travel. Bookmark that page and we’ll do our best to give you the information you want to know about each country.

Learn Spanish

Spanish Love Poems

by Jake Beus October 3rd, 2012 More

There is something about October that seems to make people fall in love. Here in Utah, the weather starts to cool down for the autumn/fall season and makes all the summertime singles want to settle down with someone for the winter. My grandpa told me that if you can make it through the winter with your favorite gal, then you ought to continue to court her through the spring and marry her in the summer. Good ‘ole grandpa. Maybe it has something to do with Major League Baseball? Either way, it’s time to get romantic on this blog with some Spanish love poems.

I have scoured the internet for some of the best Spanish love poems and Spanish love phrases, and I’ll post my favorite and include some links to some other great ones.

Verdades (Anonymous)
No me preguntes si te amo,
porque esa pregunta me ofende,
si pudiera colocar moneda sobre moneda
para hacer una torre de todo lo que siento,
créeme llegaría hasta el cielo.

Te amo mujer,
amo tu historia,
amo tu vida,
y amo tu paz,
inclusive me gusta verte estornudar,
tu manía de tocarte el cabello,
tu nerviosismo cuando beso tu cuello.

A pesar de que estés lejos,
lo que siento aquí dentro crece y crece,
que a veces me asusta el pensar
donde voy a poner tanto amor,
cuando ya no me quepa en el pecho.

No importa que te mudes a otra galaxia,
tu siempre estas aquí,
y sobra decir que yo vivo en un mundo dentro de ti.

Porque por más lejos que estés,
por más preguntas que hagas,
no importa el lugar donde estés,
donde tu vives es aquí… en mi corazón.

Definiendo el amor
Amor Eterno
Me gustas

 

Learn Spanish ,

French Loanwords

by Taylor Pebley October 2nd, 2012 More

Did you know that there are around 200 words in the English language that are actually French loanwords? In fact, English shares words with a variety of other languages (and the same goes for many other common languages). This should be encouraging news for anyone considering learning a new language! But first…what are loanwords?

Loanwords are words and phrases that one language (English, in this case) borrows directly from another language (French) in everyday conversation, such as the word cliché. English includes loanwords from many different languages but has gained a significant number directly from Latin-based and Germanic languages. Some of these include French, Spanish, Italian, German and Dutch. Again, this is great news if you want to learn one of these languages.

Can’t think of any examples of French loanwords? See how many you recognize from this list of some of the most common:

Amateur, au jus, avalanche, baguette, ballet, bayonet, bistro, budget, café, carousel, casserole, cigarette, clarinet, corset, croissant, cuisine, cul-de-sac, debris, déjà vu, denim, entrepreneur, expose, faux pas, filet mignon, glacier, hors d’oeuvre, lesson, liaison, lieutenant, limousine, lingerie, maneuver, Mardi Gras, massage, matinee, mayonnaise, naivety, plateau, en pointe, premiere, provost, prude, questionnaire, renaissance, repertoire, sauce, sauté, souvenir, surveillance, tourniquet, vandalism, and village.

Click here for a complete list of French loanwords in English.

Were you surprised at how many you knew? Loanwords are used every day. If learning a new language intimidates you, start with one that has words in common with English, like French! You will find many more French loanwords as you learn.

Learn French , ,

How Will You Spend $350-2,000?

by Jake Beus October 1st, 2012 More

Have you ever wondered why it costs so much for language-learning software programs? You could pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars to learn a language through software, the classroom and/or tutors. For the most part, spending money to educate yourself is a good thing. Realize, however, that the internet can transform the way you learn and how much you pay for your learning experience. I encourage you to take a moment and browse LearnALanguage.com and discover what you can learn for free in 8 languages.

Since you may not need to spend so much money with software and classes anymore, how else would you spend $350-2,000? This could be the difference between you having a good vacation and a GREAT vacation. Use the money to travel to a foreign country and have a true ‘immersion’ experience. Allow yourself to be completely immersed in the new language, new people and the new culture.

Your goal to learn a new language should not change. How you spend your money should change. How are you going to spend the $350-2,000 you will save by not purchasing software, taking classes or paying for tutors? Please answer this by commenting below.

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