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All posts by pauljorgensen - 5. page

Passionate language learner and professional language instructor.

Do Google Translate`s New Space Age Features Render Language Learning Useless?

I`m an EFL instructor at the university level in Japan, which involves marking a lot of essays. A surprising percentage of the essays submitted by first year students are near-total gibberish. I write “Google Translate?” on the essays and hand them back with no score. The students are always stunned. How did he know I used Google Translate?

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Chinese Hanzi traditional and simple

The 10 Most Common Immigrant Languages in Canada

With Aboriginals making up only 4.3% of its population, Canada is very much an immigrant nation. And like most immigrant nations, it is a country that is constantly changing depending on immigration trends. When I was a kid in Richmond, BC I witnessed my town changing from a mostly white population into a majority Chinese population. Nowadays it`s even more diverse due to more recent waves of immigrants. Continue reading

Bilingual Stop Sign

“Are Canadians Bilingual?” The Strange Reality of Canadian Bilingualism.

As you may know, Canada has two official languages, English and French, which has had a big impact on Canada`s civic culture. For example:

• When you reach immigration at the airport, you will be greeted in both English and French by bilingual officers (and they will speak to you in whichever language you respond in)

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linguistically neutered

Restarting a Language After Taking Time Off? Impossible!

So after studying long and hard to make progress in your favorite foreign language, you dropped the ball and stopped studying for a few weeks, months, or years? GIVE UP NOW, THERE IS NO HOPE OF RECOVERY! You will be forever linguistically neutered.

Well, at least that`s how most of us feel after slacking on our studies for a while. The truth, though,  is that you can restart your language study fairly easily. Continue reading

language dabbling

Is Language Dabbling a Waste of Time?

Sa oled ilus! That`s the one phrase I know in the Estonian language, meaning “You`re beautiful”. From what I`ve been told, that phrase is highly relevant and useful for men visiting the Baltic nation. 🙂 But I literally don`t know another single word of Estonian. Like most language enthusiasts I spend some of my time dabbling with languages of interest, and some of my time going to war with the main languages I want to conquer.

Is dabbling a waste of time? Should you feel guilty about it? Well that depends.

Pick any given language, and there will be people dabbling in it for the following reasons (among others): Continue reading