Analysis of data from dating agencies show that people who speak a foreign language are more attractive. Check out this interesting infographic.
Didn't realise English was banned in French universities in the first place.
Latest from The Telegraph:
Plans to ease a ban on the use of English in French universities will be debated on Wednesday with unions threatening to strike in protest at a measure some claim will turn French into a “dead language”.
Under a 1994 “Toubon” law defending the French language, French must be used in classrooms from right through
nursery to university, barring lessons in a foreign language and visits from foreign guest teachers.
The law also obliges public bodies to find French alternatives to Anglicisms, such as “mercatique” for “marketing”.
Geneviève Fioraso, the Minister for Higher Education, wants to ramp up courses in English, warning that otherwise universities will eventually end up with “five people sitting around a table discussing Proust”. The measure, she said, is aimed at increasing the number of foreign students at French universities from the current level of 12 percent of the total to 15 percent by 2020.
But it has ignited a storm of protest from language purists, including the influential Academie Francaise, set up in 1635 and the official guardian of the language. Courriel, a French language defence association, even branded it “linguistic assassination”.
Now several leading unions in the education sector have threatened to strike on Wednesday, when a parliamentary debate over the proposal opens, with even some members of the ruling Socialist party opposing the plan.
News just got out that New Zealand soprano Hayley Westenra has found a French boyfriend. “I have a lovely boyfriend, who I met in London,” she told Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper.
News just got out that New Zealand soprano Hayley Westenra has found a French boyfriend. “I have a lovely boyfriend, who I met in London,” she told Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper.
“He’s French. I’ve done very well for myself. I’m learning French, with lessons from one
of his friends.”
“His English is great,” she added. “It’s really easy to be lazy and not to learn, but I really want to, particularly when I go to France and I
hang out with his relatives who don’t speak a word of English.”
It’s amazing that she is even taking French lessons! She is naturally very talented; we
blogged about Hayley singing in Chinese last year.
Well, I guess this is bound to disappoint some of Hayley’s male fans.
Congrats Hayley. All the best for the future.
In this article, Jack Yan talks about growing up in Wellington, and how being multilingual has helped him with living life to the fullest. Jack is a renowned businessman from Hong Kong/Wellington, and publisher of fashion magazine Lucire. He has been very successful at building a global brand, and now delving into politics. If Jack has his way, Wellington City will get free wifi, one car-less Sunday a year, perhaps even solar-powered council buildings.
Jack has a good chance of becoming the next Mayor of Wellington City. If you google “Wellington mayor”, you will see Jack’s campaign site displayed prominently on page 1 (after the official Wellington site and Wikipedia), further demonstration of Jack’s internet marketing prowess. Jack is impressive not just because of his amazing business credentials. I remember chatting with him a few years ago and discovering he is one of very few Kiwis who can speak both French and Cantonese – and putting his language skills to good use in business.
I hope Jack’s story will inspire you to learn another language, perhaps to finally work on the new year resolution that keeps reappearing on your list every January.
In the 1970s, New Zealand was a far more monocultural place. When I was four, two of my cousins, who were slightly older, were attending primary school and started speaking English at home, instead of our native Cantonese. I asked my parents if I could do the same.
My parents were usually pretty good at rationalizing things to me. Mum explained, ‘No, because it’s important that you speak Cantonese at home, and leave English for outside. Wouldn’t it be better to speak two languages well rather than one?’
That sold me.
A similar argument came at age six, when my parents asked if I would like to learn an extra language.
The choices offered in 1978 at St Mark’s Church School, Wellington, were French and Japanese.
‘Wouldn’t you like to learn Japanese?’ asked Mum. ‘The Japanese have some characters that are the same as ours, and you can learn to write your own language.’
While none of my Japanese friends would like to hear this, the thought that went through my mind at that age was, ‘I’m not learning a form of Chinese with the wrong pronunciations.’ Hey, I was six.
However, I never regretted that decision.
Of all my travels, I only have visited Japan once. Few business opportunities ever availed themselves in that country. However, I have visited France over half a dozen times, with most of those times for work.
It’s especially handy given I own a fashion magazine, Lucire, and Paris is very much the centre of that industry in so many respects. Even things as simple as filling in a form present no challenges.
At the Medinge Group, a think-tank where I am a director, we hand out Brands with a Conscience every year. We do so from Paris, rather than our usual Swedish location.
Even back in Wellington, French is very useful when chatting to expatriates or dealing with the diplomatic corps.
It’s been a good foundation for other countries. For example, I was able to travel through Italy and understand the locals. The languages are dissimilar, but there are enough common roots that you can get pick out key words and get about the place.
I would hate to think where I would be without these languages. Certainly in business, I would have lost plenty of opportunities dealing with French designers, photographers, and make-up artists. I would not have been able to develop business in Hong Kong, my home town, where Cantonese is the norm. I would have been pretty lost in various American Chinatowns, unable to get proper medicine if I was sick, if I did not have any Taishanese.
I also have a limited grasp of Swedish, which has helped my work at Medinge and some of the work I do in Sweden.
While 90 per cent of Swedes speak English, Swedish is still the language in which they conduct most of their lives, so being able to read and write some of it, even if my comprehension has some way to go, has been incredibly useful.
With understanding a language comes understanding a culture, often the biggest barrier in international business.
The extra language is an extra means to get inside the other side’s mindsets, and attempt to find that common ground where you can do business or form a friendship.
As a mayoral candidate, I have discovered that the skills you acquire in learning languages come into play in politics.
Over the 18 months, in preparation for my mayoral run, I have attended more diplomatic events, in part to pave the way for better relations with other countries should I be elected.
You can’t just go and demand sister-city relationships with others if you don’t lay the groundwork first. To do that, you must have some accord.
In all these conversations, you are acutely aware that you are an ambassador for Wellington and New Zealand, and you are finding a way to promote us in a way our foreign visitors understand.
They respect you in return because you know your own language and heritage, those of the country which you
have adopted as your home for 34 years, and you have extended your goodwill by embracing theirs.
Beyond business, arts, cultural exchanges and politics, multilingualism gives a person one extra thing.
It shows that you are complete, and you have a sense of self. That equates best to the Māori concept of mana. It is the greatest advantage one has over others in so many facets of life.
in the Ass” (L'Emmerdeur) by French writer-director FRANCIS VEBER, the guy behind The Valet, The Dinner Game and The Closet. This summary from Flicks: Francois Pignon (Patrick Timsit), whose wife (Virginie Ledoyen) has just left him for a shrink, checks into the same Nice hotel as hitman Ralf (Richard Berry). Ralf is there to stake out a key witness in a major corruption trial, while Pignon plans
to hang himself in the bathroom. Their adjoining rooms bring them together; the perfect killer and the perfect pest. Complications cement their relationship as Pignon’s fondness for the cold-as-ice assassin grows stronger.
If you think you've met people who are a pain in the ass, wait till you meet Pignon!
This movie is coming out 15 October at your local cinema. Go check it out.
Should you wish to be able to watch French movies one day without looking at the English subtitles, you know who to call for French lessons.
p/s: Thanks Christine and Frederic from Evian for asking me along. Also met this guy who runs a water concept store. Yes they only sell water. Aquadeli on Mt Eden Road. They've been around for a while, but I've yet to go check them out. Have to visit sometime soon.
The people at Online College have written an interesting article on 101 tools that can help you learn a new language. At Euroasia we believe that these tools are best supplemented by classroom time with a teacher. Nevertheless these are good resources for language learners.
With these tools, you’ll find translation and dictionaries.
- Xanadu: Get a free all-in-one translation wizard on your PC with Xanadu.
- Google Language Tools: Search across languages, translate text, and more using Google’s tools.
- Freelang: Check out Freelang for free dictionaries, human translation, fonts, and more.
- Rikai: On this page, you can enter the URL you want to go to and see translations as you move your mouse over the text.
- Free Online Dictionaries: Make use of these dictionaries to learn more about different languages.
- DictSearch: Access 265 online dictionaries using this one simple interface.
- Yahoo! Babel Fish: Yahoo!’s Babel Fish will translate text or a web page for you.
FREE Introductory Courses
- French I: Follow this course for an introduction to the French language and culture.
- American Sign Language: Here you’ll find lesson plans, information on deaf culture, and vocabulary.
- Learn to Speak Dutch: You’ll get access to language lessons, vocabulary, and more here.
- German I: Acquire an understanding of German through active communication.
- BBC Greek: The BBC’s Greek resource offers a quick fix for learning the language.
- Beginning Japanese I: Use this course’s interactive study materials to learn beginner Japanese.
- Introduction to Portuguese: Use this course to get started learning the Portuguese language.
- Learn to Speak Korean: These video courses offer a convenient way to learn Korean.
- Intermediate Japanese: Improve your fluency and learn Kanji characters in this course.
- BBC Portuguese: BBC’s Portuguese course offers an introduction to the language in 10 short parts.
- Farsi: Follow this beginner’s course to get an introduction to vocabulary, sentences, and basic phrases in Farsi.
- Advanced Japanese I: With the help of this course, you’ll become an expert in Japanese.
- Learn to Speak Russian: You can improve your Russian vocabulary and grammar using these courses.
- Kenyan Sign Language: You can learn about Kenyan Sign Language using this illustrated course.
- BBC Chinese: Get a taste for the Chinese language with BBC’s slideshows, quizzes, and more.
- Introduction to European and Latin American Fiction: Learn about the language and culture of Europe and Latin America through this literature course.
- Spanish I: Watch this course’s videos to learn authentic Spanish and all about its cultural diversity.
- First Year Chinese: You’ll get an understanding of the basic Chinese speaking and writing principles from this course.
- BBC Italian: Improve your Italian skills using these resources from the BBC.
- Oral Communication in Spanish: Get an understanding of Hispanic culture with the help of this course.
- Learn to Speak Portuguese: Use these audio lessons to learn Brazilian Portuguese.
- Communicating Across Cultures: With the help of this course, you’ll learn how to converse with people outside of your culture.
- BBC German: Learn grammar, vocabulary, and more in this German Quick Fix.
- Spanish Conversation and Composition: Improve your speaking and writing in Spanish with the help of this course.
- Learning German: Find four courses in the German language here.
- Learn to Speak Japanese: Take these Japanese lessons, and you’ll improve your vocabulary and pronunciation.
- Chinese I (Regular): MIT offers a full series of Chinese language learning.
- Spanish for Bilingual Students: Students who are bilingual in Spanish and English can improve their Spanish skills with this course.
- Learning the basics of French: This beginning course offers a look at verb tenses, grammatical structures, and simple vocabulary.
- BBC French: You can find resources for French learners from beginners to intermediates here.
- English grammar in context: Learn about speech and writing in English using this course.
- The Linguistic Study of Bilingualism: This course will help you better understand bilingualism.
- Chinese I (Streamlined): This collection of Chinese courses is designed for students who grew up in a Chinese speaking environment.
- BBC Spanish: Get access to Spanish TV, radio, and other resources here.
Language Learning Communities
Through these communities, you’ll be able to meet other people learning a new language and find partners to practice with.
- Livemocha: Connect with language partners around the world for social language learning.
- My Language Exchange: Make friends and learn a new language on My Language Exchange.
- Skype Community: On this board, you can connect with others that want to learn your language, and share theirs.
- LingoPass: In this language learning bartering system, you’ll teach and learn new languages.
- Palabea: Palabea canada viagra is a social networking site for communicating in foreign languages.
- UniLang: You can learn languages with these free language resources, as well as learn, discuss, and practice languages in this community.
- italki: Use this add-on for Skype to find other users to learn languages with.
Follow these podcasts, and you’ll find regular entries that will have you speaking a new language in no time.
- English as a Second Language Podcast: Check out this podcast for more than 100 ESL lessons.
- Chinese Learn Online: Chinese Learn Online offers an introduction to Mandarin Chinese.
- French for Beginners: Get started with these lessons for French beginners.
- Learn Japanese Symbols: With this podcast, you’ll learn how to use Japanese symbols.
- Arabic Language Lessons: Through this service of the US Peace Corps, you’ll find lessons that teach you the Arabic language.
- Bulgarian Survival Phrases: With the help of this podcast, you’ll learn enough Bulgarian to get around.
- Latinum: Latinum offers language learning in podcast form from London.
- English for Spanish Speakers: Check out this podcast to learn English from Spanish.
- Le Journal en francais facile: Hear nightly news slowed down for comprehension.
- Maori: You can learn the language of New Zealand’s indigenous people with this video podcast site.
- Chinese Lessons with Serge Melnyk: With Serge Melnyk, you’ll get weekly lessons in Mandarin.
- Esperanto: Use these lessons to become familiar with Esperanto.
- Ta Falado: You’ll find Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation for Spanish speakers in this podcast.
- Hebrew Vocab Pronunciations: Find out how to pronounce words in Hebrew using this podcast.
- GermanPod 101: Find materials for German learners from beginners to advanced in this podcast.
- Learn Romanian: This podcast offers survival phrases for Romania.
- ArabicPod: Here you’ll get access to mp3 podcasts as well as transcripts of learning Arabic.
- I Speak Hindi: With this podcast, you’ll learn essential words and phrases for Indian travel.
- A Taste of Russian: Find real, every day life chats to learn with this podcast.
- Dar to Danish: Learn dirty Danish words and other daring parts of the Danish language with this podcast.
- Special Finnish: This podcast slows down the language to make understanding easier.
- Learn Hindi from Bollywood Movies: You’ll have fun learning Hindi with this podcast.
- Russian Literature: This literature podcast can help you improve your comprehension and vocabulary with Russian classics.
- German Grammar: These German grammar podcasts are designed for American students.
- One Minute Catalan: Get quick learning for Catalan using this resource.
- Let’s Speak Italian: Break Italian down into manageable 5 minute podcasts here.
- Cody’s Cuentos: Learn Spanish by listening to these classic fairy tales and legends.
- Survival Phrases Arabic: With this podcast, you’ll learn the essentials of getting around in Arabic.
- Laura Speaks Dutch: Prepare for travel to Holland with the help of Laura’s podcast.
- Insta Spanish Lessons: Students of all levels will enjoy this Spanish grammar podcast.
- Easy French Poetry Podcast: This podcast uses poetry as a topic for French language learning discussion.
- Japancast: You’ll learn from anime and everyday conversation using this podcast.
- LoMasTv: LoMasTv offers language immersion for Spanish.
- Yabla French: With Yabla French, you’ll get captioned videos, integrated dictionaries,
Here, you’ll find tools made just for language learning.
- Mango: Use Mango’s online language learning system, and you’ll build your conversation skills in any language.
- Babbel: Learn a language with the help of flash cards on Babbel.
- Lingro: On this useful site, you’ll find study tools, online translation, games, vocabulary lists, and much more.
- Tibetan Language Tools: Here you’ll find resources for the basic alphabet, vowels, and more in Tibetan.
- Busuu: Get writing and speaking practice with the help of Busuu.
- Byki: You can download language learning software, follow lessons online, and more, even on your iPhone.
Use these online textbooks in your foreign language studies.
- German: Make use of this Wikibook to learn German, or take the bite-sized German course.
- Belorusian: Learn the Belarusian alphabet and beyond in this textbook.
- Afrikaans: Check out this Wikibook to find pronunciation, lessons, and much more for Afrikaans.
- Scottish Gaelic: Find pronunciation, sentence structure, and grammar from this book.
- Polish: With the help of this Wikibook, you’ll be able to learn the basics of the Polish language.
- Irish: Learn the old language of Irish Gaelic using this Wikibook.
- Arabic: This Arabic workbook shares the Romanization system, alphabet, definite articles, and beyond.
- Portugese: Choose between European and Brazilian Portuguese on this Wikibook.
- Yiddish: This book covers Yiddish for Yeshiva Bachurium as well as conversational Yiddish.
- French: Check out this excellent French Wikibook for French language learning.
- Russian: This Wikibook presents Russian for English speakers.
- Albanian: Learn about the unified version of Albanian here.
- Textkit: You’ll find books, readers, and more for Greek and Latin learning on Textkit.
The French Film Festival kicks off in Auckland next week. Running from February
18-26 at Rialto Newmarket, this annual event is bound to attract many local Francophiles.
Tickets cost $15.50. We highly recommend all our French students check out the films on offer. For those of you tired of reading the subtitles, come along for one of our French courses 🙂
According to the official website, the following films are on offer.
Baby Love With: Lambert Wilson/ Pascal Elbé
Love Me No More With: Marie-Josée Croze/ Pierre Vaneck/ Albert Dupontel
A Simple Heart With: Sandrine Bonnaire/ Marina Foïs/Pascal Elbé
Actresses With: Valeria Bruno Tadeschi/Mathieu Amalric/ Louis Garrel
Lady Jane With: Ariane Ascaride/ Jean-Pierre Darroussin/ Gerard Meylan
What if… With Alice Taglioni/Jocelyn Quivrin/Thierry Lhermitte
Guilty With: Hélène Fillières/ Jérémie Renier
Crossed Tracks With:
Fanny Ardant/ Dominique Pinon
Shall we kiss With: Virginie Ledoyen/ Emmanuel Mouret/ Fredérique Bel
London mon amour With: Virginie Ledoyen/ Vincent Lindon/ Pascal Elbé
The Great Alibi With: Miou-Miou/ Valeria Bruni Tadeschi/ Lambert Wilson/ Pierre Arditi
Me Two With: Alain Chabat/ Daniel Auteuil
Cash With:Alice Taglioni/ Jean Reno/ Jean Dujardin
Ulzhan With: Ayanat Ksenbai/ Philippe Torreton
Daddy Cool With: Daniel Auteuil/ Juliette Lamboley/ François Damiens
U Director: Serge Elissalde
Asterix at the Olympics With Gérard Depardieu/ Alain Delon/ Clovis Cornillac
If you decide that next year you would rather not rely 100% on the subtitles, come along for one of our French courses starting in March. Check out our French timetable here.
The team at Euroasia has put together a short video message, wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. You'll have to guess who's saying what. If you're playing this at the office, try not to laugh too hard ok. We don't want to get you in trouble.
p/s:If you can
9;t see the video here, check out the youtube clip at http://nz.youtube.com/watch?v=tzGqluc0kNs – Don't miss the outtakes ok
Our office closes on 19 December, and will reopen on 5 January for the 2-week intensive programme (2 weeknights + Sat half day).
At the start of next year you have 3 intakes to choose from:
5 Jan and 19 Jan for Fasttrack programmes
2 Feb for the standard courses.
French is the second most popular language at Euroasia, after Spanish. Here are some reasons why you should consider learning French:
- Together with English and Spanish, French is one of the most international of European languages, spoken in all the continents of the world.
- French was for centuries the international language of diplomacy and culture; it’s still important in those fields.
- The French-speaking world has contributed an enormous number of great artists, writers, philosophers and scientists.
- France has a large economy with a huge international presence.
- Young Kiwis can go and work in France, Belgium or Canada for one year under a working holiday scheme. A knowledge of French would obviously make a huge difference to anyone’s job prospects.
- France itself has an incredible variety of scenery, from the rugged Atlantic coast, to the beautiful central valleys, to the Alps, to the Mediterranean landscapes of the south. It offers great opportunities for outdoor activities.
- French cities are active, busy places, where there is always a lot going on. They have
a unique café culture, and there are great opportunities for cinema, theatre, eating out and clubbing.
- French cuisine is world-renowned, and French is still the international language of cooking, so at least a smattering of the French language is useful for chefs and food enthusiasts.
- If France seems a long way off, New Caledonia and French Polynesia are more accessible holiday destinations. And they are very French! Even a limited knowledge of the French language can enrich and enliven your tropical holiday.
- Much like speakers of English, French speakers tend not to be very enthusiastic about speaking other languages, so in France, for example, there is no guarantee you will find someone prepared to speak to you in English!
Courses start week of 13 October.