Tag Archives: language

Top 20 countries for travelers who have vowed only to speak English on their journey

2016-11-27

Chinese is the most spoken language in the world, Spanish is the second, and English third. Nonetheless, the language of the biggest corporations, largest media services, most popular pop stars, books and movies is English. If French used to be the universal language of the world hundred years ago, English took its place in the 20th century. There are many countries across the world where you can step out of an airplane, talk English with locals during your whole trip, and return home without learning a word of local language.
EF: top English speaking countries
Language education institution EF has collected a list of 20 countries where it is easy to get along in English alone. So, if you like to travel, but like to speak English only, North Europe is your first choice as far as language is concerned.

Here is the top 20 English Proficiency Index by EF Education First:

1. Netherlands
2. Denmark
3. Sweden
4. Norway
5. Finland
6. Singapore
7. Luxembourg
8. Austria
9. Germany
10. Poland
11. Belgium
12. Malaysia
13. Philippines
14. Switzerland
15. Portugal
16. Czech Republic
17. Serbia
18. Hungary
19. Argentina
20. Romania

All but 4 out of 20 top English-speaking countries are in Europe.

Practically everyone (50 years old or younger) in Singapore, Malaysia and Philippines speak English, but it may take a little time for a foreigner to get used to the accent if you are only used to native English-speakers accent.

Which countries EF has ranked the most challenging if you only speak English? Saudi Arabia, Cambodia, Laos, Libya, and Iraq are countries where many languages are spoken, but English isn’t one of them.

The most typical writing mistakes made by both non-native and native speakers

2016-08-09

As is known, numerous misspellings in English have long been a subject of extensive public discussion. A thorough reform of English spelling that would facilitate a number of grammar rules and establish (if possible) the correspondence between graphemes and phonemes is being prepared.
ibm selectric typewriter
Well, without pretending to be the final authority and being a blogger from an essay writing website, I’ve tried:

a) to analyze typical the typical spelling mistakes made by both native and non-native English speakers;

b) to define a typology of errors and their dependence on the pronunciation of the word and its etymology;

c) to determine the prevalence of some spellings in modern English on the basis of written communication practice.

Let’s see what I’ve got. I hope the research will be interesting to you and even help you to become a better writer.

Grammar Cannot be Automated

It is obvious that computer spelling checkers don’t work as well as we have been hoping. Although information technology has introduced significant changes to typing and checking processes, mistakes and misprints are still widespread.

In the pre-computer era, spelling manuals, directories, dictionaries, and many other instruments were used to check difficult words along with the relevant orthography rules. Now, this activity shifts to cyberspace.

Supporters of strict spelling rules (usually linguists, editors, school teachers) continue compiling such lists, trying to analyze typical misspellings and get some statistics, indicating the degree of mistakes propagation. The study of written communication in English on the Internet shows that, despite the availability of checkers, spelling is far from the perfect.
cartoon character

The Hardest English Words

A deliberate violation of spelling has become the hallmark of communication on the Internet (for example, smmr instead of summer, hols instead of holidays, tht instead of that, etc.). Well, there are also a number of unintended mistakes in the most common words which are familiar to any English teacher (for example, it’s – its, there – their, then – than).

Cornell Kimball, an American scholar, conducted a study that compares the percentage of correctly written words vs. misspellings. The scientist found that about 33% of taken words were misspelled.

Here is the top 10:

Minuscule
Millennium
Embarrassment
Occurrence
Accommodate
Perseverance
Supersede
Noticeable
Harass
Inoculate

In this list, 5 words have double consonants that “support” pronunciation of the word, despite the fact that some of them, like the other 5 words, were once taken into the English language from the Romance languages.

On the basis of these 10 words, we can make the assumption that words with double consonants are the most “vulnerable” in their writing. We can also expect to see a spelling error in the words, in which the sound in an unstressed syllable is transmitted via allographs (for example, occurrence).

The study led to the following conclusions:

1. There is no distinct relationship between the complexity of the spelling of a word and the number of mistakes in it.

2. The most frequent mistakes are the ones that deal with writing of graphemes that represent the vowels in a phonetically weak position.

3. The sequence of letters in digraphs , is one of the reasons of incorrect spelling of the words.

4. A significant number of mistakes are usually made in words of foreign origin, which are written in English according to the citation principle and, therefore, contain unusual language graphemes.

5. Doubled consonants are the weak link in spelling because their sequence of appearance and location are not always reproduced correctly.

Of course, misspelling in a word is far from being the main problem of non-native speakers. This category of people often has huge problems with understanding the meaning of texts, so striving to perfect spelling is not the first and foremost task for a beginner.

If you’re just started to learn English, try to understand it on an emotional level. English is quite a logical language, so the understanding of its principles will allow you to deeper understand the essence of each rule instead of stupidly memorizing them.

Lucy Adams is a professional essay writer from buzzessay.com/. She’s an open-hearted blogger who’s ready to bring to life your craziest ideas. Thus, if you have something interesting in mind, feel free to contact Lucy, and you’ll get a fast response very soon. There’s a great chance your topics will be used for future research.

Instant translation of foreign signs is exactly what millions of travelers need

2016-03-09

Often, travelers who speak one of the major languages of the world like Chinese, Spanish or English think that everyone in every travel destination should speak their language. It only feels natural that if hundreds of millions of people speak your language, it must be familiar to people across the world. Everyone who has ever traveled, for instance, in Europe has faced the reality: travel a few hundred miles and sure enough, you enter a country where they speak yet another language that sounds like gibberish.

Fortunately, mobile applications for smartphones and tablets can help travelers to understand something about a language that you don’t know. An application called Word Lens was developed by a startup company for translating foreign signs and any printed words. Google acquired the company and incorporated it into the Google Translate application.

In practice, if you have the Google Translate Word Lens application on your smartphone, you can point your camera to a foreign sign, and the app will instantly translate it.

Business Insider filmed a brief video that introduces the features of the Word Lens app:

This is how to get the free translation app onto your phone or tablet:

1. Search for “Google Translate” in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
2. Install the app. It includes the Word Lens.
3. Start the app and push the camera sign on the screen to activate the text recognition feature.
4. If you point the camera to sign with a couple of words and no other elements, like graphics or colors, the app can instantly show you the translation. If there is something else in the frame besides words, push the camera button once more, swipe your finger over the words you want to translate, and there you are.

Google Word Lens Translator, a Swedish map translated to Spanish

Google Word Lens Translator, a Swedish map translated to Spanish

Here is a video where the inventor of the Word Lens application tells how and why he created it:

The World’s Most Translated Books Are Classics, but Which Language Was the Original?

2015-05-18

What’s the world’s most translated book? Well, it has to be a classic so that the title has had time to find publishers in smaller and smaller language markets. If it is a classic, would it also mean that the original language of the book is one of the old global languages, such as French? Yes, that seems to be the case. French, Italian, Portuguese, Danish and Swedish titles along with English titles dominate the top ten chart of the most translated books.

1. The Little Prince, originally written in French.
2. Pinocchio, Italian.
3. Pilgrim’s Progress, English.
4. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, English.
5. Andersen’s Fairy Tales, Danish.
6. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Seas, French.
7. The Adventures of Asterix, French.
8. The Adventures of Tintin, French.
9. The Alchemist, Portuguese.
10. Pippi Longstocking, Swedish.

Translation agency 7Brands created the following infographic of the world’s most translated languages.

world's most translated books, 7brands

Via Ebookfriendly.