[Repost] Vuoi fare conversazione in una lingua straniera? (by Francesca Cosi e Alessandra Repossi)

DOMENICA 16 MARZO 2014

Articolo originale apparso su:
Studio editoriale Cosi e Repossi –>¬†http://www.cosierepossi.com/2014/03/imparare-lingue-scambi-di-conversazione.html

Vuoi fare conversazione

in una lingua straniera?

Hai mai fatto¬†scambi di conversazione¬†per imparare o perfezionare una lingua straniera? Per met√† del tempo parli italiano e per l’altra met√† la lingua del tuo interlocutore.

Se una volta era necessario incontrarsi di persona, oggi su internet è possibile organizzare gratuitamente scambi con utenti di tutto il mondo, grazie al sito ConversationExchange.

Su¬†ConversationExchange¬†la procedura √® semplicissima: cliccando su “Cerca un partner di conversazione” al centro della pagina, si apre un form in cui dobbiamo inserire la lingua del nostro interlocutore, la nostra e spuntare la casella “Usando un chat software“. In base a questi dati, il sito ci offre una lista di utenti che rispondono alle nostre esigenze e che potremo contattare via Skype o con uno degli altri software suggeriti.

Se poi vogliamo incontrarli di persona, √® sufficiente selezionare la casella “Conversazione faccia a faccia“, il paese e la citt√† in cui vogliamo organizzare lo scambio.

Abbiamo messo alla prova il sito cercando interlocutori madrelingua portoghesi e i risultati sono stati incoraggianti: abbiamo trovato 251 utenti disposti a scambiare online conversazioni in questa lingua con l’italiano e 2 brasiliani che accettano anche incontri¬†face to face¬†a¬†Firenze.

E tra una conversazione e l’altra √® possibile¬†ampliare il nostro vocabolario¬†con¬†Memrise, che permette di creare e rafforzare i collegamenti mentali tra una parola italiana e il corrispettivo nella lingua scelta arrivando a¬†memorizzare 1000 vocaboli stranieri in 22 ore. Da provare!

La foto √® stata scattata nel 1973 da Charles O’Rear ed √® disponibilequi.

[Repost] A Word, Please: Superstitions of the grammatical kind (by June Casagrande)

A Word, Please: Superstitions of the grammatical kind

By June CasagrandeMarch 4, 2014 | 10:55 a.m.

How time flies.

It seems like just yesterday I was writing a column debunking the myth that it’s wrong to start a sentence with a conjunction.

And it seems like just the day before yesterday that I wrote the same thing. And the day before that, the same thing, going back about 12 years to when I started writing this column, bright-eyed and hopeful that I could make a difference by debunking grammar myths.

Foolish child. Grammar superstitions are a heck of a lot more powerful than I’ll ever be, as evidenced by an email I got recently from a reader named Paul in Venice, Calif. After some introductory matter of an ad hominem nature (“You’re an embarrassment” and the like), Paul proceeded to outline a number of grammar atrocities I committed in a recent column.

I do make mistakes in this column. When I get an e-mail with a subject line like “You’re very disappointing,” I cringe in anticipation of learning that I made an actual, you know, error. Happily, this was not such an instance.

All the mistakes Paul found in my column were his, rooted in a slew of common grammar superstitions. Paul’s biggest beef, judging by the amount of time he dedicated to it, was that I started four sentences with conjunctions.

A conjunction is a joining word that comes in several varieties. The best known are the coordinating conjunctions, the most common of which are “and,” “but,” “or” and “so.” These words coordinate ‚ÄĒ join ‚ÄĒ words, phrases or even whole clauses.

A much larger group, subordinating conjunctions, introduce clauses that are subordinate to some other clause in the sentence. For example, “if” is a subordinating conjunction in “If you want me, I’ll be in my room.” The word “if” renders the first clause subordinate, meaning it can’t stand on its own as a complete sentence.

There are other types of conjunctions too. But coordinators are the ones to note because, not only are they the most common, they’re also the subject of a widespread grammar superstition.

Some folks are taught that it’s wrong to start a sentence with one. So the sentence before last, which started with “but,” would be considered an error. So would this one. And this one would too.

Unfortunately for would-be critics too eager to play the “gotcha” game, that’s superstition. But you don’t have to take my word for it.

“There is a widespread belief ‚ÄĒ one with no historical or grammatical foundation ‚ÄĒ that it is an error to begin a sentence with a conjunction such as ‘and,’ ‘but’ or ‘so,'” writes the Chicago Manual of Style.

“‘and,’ A. Beginning sentences with. It is a rank superstition that this coordinating conjunction cannot properly begin a sentence,” notes Garner’s Modern American Usage.

“‘but.’ A. Beginning sentences with. It is a gross canard that beginning a sentence with ‘but’ is stylistically slipshod. In fact, doing so is highly desirable in any number of contexts, as many stylebooks have said,” Garner’s adds.

“There is a persistent belief that it is improper to begin a sentence with ‘and,’ but this prohibition has been cheerfully ignored by standard authors from Anglo-Saxon times onwards. An initial ‘and’ is a useful aid to writers as the narrative continues,” notes Fowler’s Modern English Usage.

I wrote Paul back to thank him, explaining that it’s a treat to open an email about mistakes I made and learn that I made none. I even threw in a little free advice for Paul ‚ÄĒ advice of the “Maybe do your homework before you fire off emails of the ‘You are an embarrassment’ variety.”

But Paul didn’t write back. And I don’t expect him to anytime soon.

JUNE CASAGRANDE¬†is the author of “It Was the Best of Sentences, It Was the Worst of Sentences.” She can be reached at¬†JuneTCN@aol.com.

[Reposted from Veronica]¬†Cf. original piece: “http://bit.ly/1hLEZlf

[Repost] 7 Sentences That Sound Crazy But Are Still Grammatical (by Arika Okrent)

7 Sentences That Sound Crazy But Are Still Grammatical

filed under: grammar, Lists
IMAGE CREDIT:
NATIONALGRAMMARDAY.COM

Martha Brockenbrough, founder of The Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar, started National Grammar Day in 2008. Since then it has been held every year on March 4th, a date that also happens to be a complete sentence (March forth!). It is celebrated in various ways: There is a haiku contest, an anagram unscrambling contest, and even an official song.

That’s all good clean fun. Some people, however, like to use the holiday as an excuse to engage in what Kory Stamper calls “vigilante peeving.” Stamper, a lexicographer at Merriam-Webster who knows from good grammar, dreads the way the holiday seems to encourage the shaming of others for their mistakes, or, as she calls it, “asshattery in the name of grammar.” (Read the whole thing. It’s worth it.)

This Grammar Day, let’s not look at grammar as a cold, harsh mistress. She can also be a fun, kooky aunt. Here are some tricks you can do to make crazy sounding sentences that are still grammatical.

1. ONE MORNING I SHOT AN ELEPHANT IN MY PAJAMAS. HOW HE GOT INTO MY PAJAMAS I’LL NEVER KNOW.

Take advantage of the fact that the same sentence can have two different structures. This famous joke from Groucho Marx assumes that most people expect the structure of the first part to be

One morning [I shot an elephant] [in my pajamas].

But another possible, and perfectly grammatical, reading is

One morning [I shot] [an elephant in my pajamas].

2. THE HORSE RACED PAST THE BARN FELL.

Make a¬†garden path sentence. In this one, we think we’ve reached the main verb when we get to “raced,” but instead we are still inside a reduced relative clause. Reduced relative clauses let us say, “the speech given this morning” instead of “the speech that was given this morning” or, in this case “the horse raced past the barn” instead of “the horse that was raced past the barn.”

3. THE COMPLEX HOUSES MARRIED AND SINGLE SOLDIERS AND THEIR FAMILIES.

Another garden path sentence, this one depends on the fact that “complex,” “houses,” and “married” can serve as different parts of speech. Here, “complex” is a noun (a housing complex) instead of an adjective, “houses” is a verb instead of a noun, and “married” is an adjective instead of the past tense of a verb.

4. THE RAT THE CAT THE DOG CHASED KILLED ATE THE MALT.

Make a sentence with¬†multiple center embeddings. We usually have no problem putting one clause inside another in English. We can take “the rat ate the malt” and stick in more information to make “the rat the cat killed ate the malt.”¬† But the more clauses we add in, the harder it gets to understand the sentence. In this case, the rat ate the malt. After that it was killed by a cat. That cat had been chased by a dog. The grammar of the sentence is fine. The style, not so good.

5. ANYONE WHO FEELS THAT IF SO MANY MORE STUDENTS WHOM WE HAVEN’T ACTUALLY ADMITTED ARE SITTING IN ON THE COURSE THAN ONES WE HAVE THAT THE ROOM HAD TO BE CHANGED, THEN PROBABLY AUDITORS WILL HAVE TO BE EXCLUDED, IS LIKELY TO AGREE THAT THE CURRICULUM NEEDS REVISION.

Another crazy center-embedded sentence. Can you figure it out? Start with “anyone who feels X is likely to agree.” Then go to “anyone who feels if X then Y is likely to agree.” Then fill out the X and Y. You might need a pencil and paper.

6. BUFFALO BUFFALO BUFFALO BUFFALO BUFFALO BUFFALO BUFFALO BUFFALO.

Buffalo! It’s a noun! It’s a city! It’s a verb (meaning “to intimidate”)! We’ve discussed thenotorious buffalo sentence before, but it never stops being fun. It plays on reduced relative clauses, different part-of-speech readings of the same word, and center embedding, all in the same sentence. Stare at it until you get the following meaning: “Bison from Buffalo, New York, who are intimidated by other bison in their community, also happen to intimidate other bison in their community.”

7. THIS EXCEEDING TRIFLING WITLING, CONSIDERING RANTING CRITICIZING CONCERNING ADOPTING FITTING WORDING BEING EXHIBITING TRANSCENDING LEARNING, WAS DISPLAYING, NOTWITHSTANDING RIDICULING, SURPASSING BOASTING SWELLING REASONING, RESPECTING CORRECTING ERRING WRITING, AND TOUCHING DETECTING DECEIVING ARGUING DURING DEBATING.

This sentence takes advantage of the versatile English ‚Äďing. The author of a 19th century grammar guide lamented the fact that one could “run to great excess” in the use of ‚Äďing participles “without violating any rule of our common grammars,” and constructed this sentence to prove it. It doesn’t seem so complicated once you realize it means,

“This very superficial grammatist, supposing empty criticism about the adoption of proper phraseology to be a show of extraordinary erudition, was displaying, in spite of ridicule, a very boastful turgid argument concerning the correction of false syntax, and about the detection of false logic in debate.”

Not only is this a great example of the wonderful crazy things you can do within the bounds of proper English, it’s the perfect response to pull out the next time someone tries to criticize your grammar.

Sources of sentences: 1. Groucho Marx; 2. Bever (1970); 3. Wikipedia; 4. Chomsky & Miller(1963); 5. Chomsky & Miller (1963); 6. William Rapaport; 7. Goold Brown (1851).

Primary image courtesy of NationalGrammarDay.com.

March 4, 2013 – 10:06am

Repost: The benefits of being bilingual

The Benefits of Being Bilingual

http://www.englishschoolnyc.com/772638/2013/10/29/the-benefits-of-being-bilingual.html
[LAST UPDATED 3 MONTHS AGO]

Did you know that over half of the world’s population is bilingual? This statistic may come as less of a surprise if you consider that there are nearly 7,000 languages spoken around the world! Being bilingual offers a wealth of benefits, from better brain function to improved job prospects. If you live in a vibrant place like New York City, being bilingual can even make it easier for you to meet new people. If you are considering learning a second language as an adult, it’s important to enroll in language classes designed for adult learners and immerse yourself in the language. Once you become fluent, you can maintain and improve your language abilities by taking classes, watching movies, and conversing in your new language. To find out more about the benefits of bilingualism, check out this infographic from Bluedata International Institute, an ESL school in New York City. Please share this infographic with your friends and family who are also hoping to learn English or any other second language!

The-Benefits-of-Being-Bilingual-Infographic-01

Repost: 12 Parole Tedesche che Non Esistono in Italiano

12 Parole Tedesche che Non Esistono in Italiano.

Posted on September 16th 2013, by Arturo Robertazzi in BERLINO, SCRITTURA. 14 comments

L'eternità serve a dare ad alcuni di noi la possibilità di imparare il tedesco - Mark Twain #ScrittoreComputazionale

Lo so, il tedesco a noi italiani suona come una lingua dura, difficile e a volte fastidiosa. Ma avete mai ascoltato una poesia di Brecht recitata da una flebile voce femminile? √ą pura melodia, con quegli ‚Äúich‚ÄĚ, ‚Äúsch‚ÄĚ e ‚Äúung‚ÄĚ.
Dopo quattro anni di Germania e dopo aver incontrato autori come Goethe, Kafka e Brecht, ho scoperto la bellezza della complessità, e la ricchezza del vocabolario tedesco. Con un po’ di invidia verso quegli scrittori tedeschi che possono mettere insieme i moduli di questa lingua per farne storie e romanzi. Anche Mark Twain, uno che non lesinava critiche al tedesco, ha dovuto ammettere con un certo stupore che alcune parole tedesche sono in grado di esprimere un concetto complesso.
In questo post propongo una breve lista di parole tedesche che contengono mondi, traducibili in italiano solo con intere frasi. Parole che svelano come i tedeschi interpretano la realtà che ci circonda Рa proposito, Dward Sapir e Benjamin Whorfaffermavano che il linguaggio è uno strumento attraverso il quale concettualizziamo la realtà.

Ecco le dodici parole:

1. Weltschmerz.¬†Letteralmente ‚Äúdolore del mondo‚ÄĚ. Il termine, coniato dall‚Äôautore tedesco¬†Johann Paul Friedrich Richter, indica il ‚Äúdolore cosmico‚ÄĚ provato da colui che si rende conto che la realt√† fisica non pu√≤ soddisfare i bisogni della mente. Una visione del mondo tipica di autori come Leopardi, Heinrich Heine e Lord Byron.

2. Drachenfutter.¬†In italiano si traduce come ‚Äúcibo del dragone‚ÄĚ. Diciamo che hai dimenticato il tuo anniversario di matrimonio e tua moglie √® incazzata nera. Cosa fai? Le fai un regalo per riparare alla tua dimenticanza. Ecco, quello √® il ‚Äúcibo del dragone‚ÄĚ.

3 Fremdschämen. Fremd significa estraneo e Schämen provare vergogna. Fremdschämen significa sentirsi in imbarazzo per qualcosa che qualcun altro ha fatto. Capita spesso, no?

4. Vorfreude. Diciamo che ti aspetta una cena con una persona che ti intriga. √ą pomeriggio, fra tre ore la incontrerai, ti prepari, pensi a cosa succeder√† e senti una forte sensazione di gioia.¬†Vorfreude¬†significa letteralmente ‚Äúpre-felicit√†‚ÄĚ.

5. Treppenwitz.¬†Sono trascorse un paio d‚Äôore, e pensi che in quella situazione avresti dovuto dire una battuta pi√Ļ efficace. Tornato a casa, hai l‚Äôilluminazione e pensi ‚ÄúAh! Avrei dovuto rispondere cos√¨!‚ÄĚ. Ma √® troppo tardi. Questo √® il¬†Treppenwitz, letteralmente ‚Äúscherzo delle scale‚ÄĚ.

6 Geisterfahrer. ‚ÄúL‚Äôautista fantasma‚ÄĚ. Il¬†Geisterfahrer¬†√® colui che imbocca una strada nel senso di marcia sbagliato.

7 Handschuhschneeballwerfer. Sì, sì, lo so, sono quasi trenta lettere! Niente panico: Handschuh (che è costituita già da due parole) significa guanto,Schnee neve, Ball palla e Werfer lanciatore. Tutto insieme significa: colui che indossa dei guanti per lanciare una palla di neve.

8 Herbstmelancholie. Un’unica parola per descrivere l’emozione che stiamo provando in questo periodo: la malinconia d’autunno.

9 Waldeinsamkeit.¬†Einsamkeit¬†significa solitudine,¬†Wald¬†√® bosco. √ą quella pressante sensazione di solitudine e disagio quando ci si inoltra in un fitto bosco.

10 Torschlu√üpanik. In questa parola c‚Äô√® un romanzo. √ą il panico provato in era medievale quando il ponte elevatoio si abbassava indicando un attacco dei nemici. Indica l‚Äôansia provata quando ci si rende conto che la nostra vita va avanti e le chance di realizzare i ‚Äúnostri sogni‚ÄĚ diminuisce ogni giorno.

11 Schadenfreude. Non vogliamo ammetterlo, ma ci capita spesso. Il vostro arcinemico ha appena fatto una sciocchezza ed è diventato lo zimbello del gruppo. La sottile punta di felicità che state provando è la Schadenfreude, la gioia della sciagura di qualcun altro.

12 Fernweh. La mia preferita, perch√© questa sensazione l‚Äôho sempre provata, ma non sapevo esistesse una parola per definirla. Letteralmente significa ‚Äúnostalgia dell‚Äôaltrove‚ÄĚ. √ą il forte bisogno di dover viaggiare per esplorare il mondo.

Latest news: Vizify

Da oggi potete trovarmi anche su Vizify.

https://www.vizify.com/one-sec-translation-service

One Sec on Vizify (website)
One Sec on Vizify (website)

Vi presento il link:

Navigando per la rete, ho trovato questo semplice portale (grazie alla simpatica collega Scheherezade) dove è possibile connettere tutti i propri contatti personali al fine di creare un profilo interattivo che funga da presentazione online.

Personalmente, lo ritengo utilissimo per mettere in evidenza tutte le informazioni professionali che si ritengono appetibili per tutti quei clienti che navigano in rete alla ricerca di informazioni sui vari professionisti del mestiere nella propria zona. Infatti, il risultato √® una mappa interattiva perfetta¬†per presentare i propri servizi (nel mio caso nell’ambito della Traduzione e dell’Interpretariato) usufruendo di simpatiche linee del tempo dinamiche che mostrano lo sviluppo della propria esperienza in ambito lavorativo e/o la propria formazione professionale e di collegamenti ai propri post lasciati in precedenza in portali come facebook e twitter.

Gli strumenti che la rete mette a disposizione dei professionisti sono davvero molti ed alcuni – come questo – risultano molto intuitivi ed anche semplici da utilizzare; perci√≤, date un’occhiata, potrebbe tornare utile anche ad altri di voi impegnati in campi differenti dal mio.