How Long Does it Take to Learn a Language?

how long does it take to learn a languageThere are any number of reasons a person learns a new language: it may be necessary for them to take it to graduate from school, maybe they’re planning on moving to a foreign country, or perhaps they just want to challenge themselves for the fun of it.

Whatever the reasoning behind the learning of a new tongue, many factors play into how long it takes to learn a new language, and there’s no set amount of time that it takes to learn any one language. Today, we will be discussing the various circumstances that go into learning a new language, and how they translate into time spent mastering it. If you’re a prospective polyglot (speaker of many languages), but only know English, consider Spanish as your first foreign language, and this article on the best ways to learn Spanish, as well as this course on Spanish for beginners will help you get started.

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Impromptu Speech Topics: 60 Subjects for Your Quick Talk

impromptu speech topicsWe’ve all heard the cliché many times before that people fear speaking in public more than they fear death. Whether or not that’s actually true is up for debate (plane crashes, anyone?!), but it would be foolish to deny that giving a speech can be quite nerve-wracking. Luckily there are public speaking courses, Toastmasters, and drunken wedding speeches to get us over this fear. For those of you out there that have shunned the more informal drunken wedding approach, and have instead chosen to attack your discourse difficulties from a more rigid and educational standpoint have no doubt come across the impromptu speech.

The impromptu speech is, like its name suggests, one that is done done with very little preparation, and that lasts just a few minutes. It’s most famously a part of speech and debate, and is an event in competitions. The guidelines of impromptu speech giving are both freeing and limiting for the speaker, and provides a unique challenge to anyone willing to (or forced to) give one of these mini addresses. If you’re biggest obstacle to public speaking is your confidence, this course on how to speak more smoothly and confidently will lay the groundwork for successful speeches in the future.

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Writing to Persuade: Convince People With Your Pen

writing to persuadeThe art of persuasion has probably been around as long as at least two people have existed, and it continues on to this very day. Studies show that every five seconds, 13,000 people around the world are persuaded to do something (note: not an actual statistic – if only I had persuaded you that it was true, though….) The main objective of persuasion is to convince – you may be trying to convince someone to do something, to think something, or both. Persuasion may take the form of a speech, or, more often than not, writing, which is what we will be discussing today. Some of the more popular written forms of persuasion include essays, editorials, reports, reviews, and all forms of advertisement.

Certain situations call for specific writing styles, and it’s up to the writer to find the appropriate one. For example, a persuasive style of writing wouldn’t fit into the reporting of a football game, but would do quite nicely in a political campaign. If you’d like to become a writer, but aren’t sure what style of writing is best for a certain situation, don’t worry – it’ll be pretty obvious when you should be persuading people, and when you shouldn’t. This course on novel writing will help those interested in long-form writing, and this course on writing for children has some good information for those that want to write for kids, from picture books, to young adult.

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Japanese Onomatopoeia: Giseigo, Giongo, and Gitaigo

japanese onomatopoeiaAs anyone who speaks a Latin-based language, such as English, Spanish, or Italian, can attest, Asian languages are impossible to understand if you’re unfamiliar with them to begin with. Even Westerners with little to no knowledge of other Western languages can pick up a word here or there when listening to someone speak Spanish, or even German, which isn’t Latin based, because certain words were borrowed from your own language, or you’re somewhat familiar with the Latin roots. However, Western ears are not at all attuned to Asian languages, and no matter how convenient a word may seem to a Japanese person, even if it makes the sound of the thing it’s describing, it still probably won’t register to us.

When a language turns the sound of an action into a word, such as “buzz”, “pop”, and “sizzle”, it is called onomatopoeia. Today, we are discussing some of the onomatopoeias found in the Japanese language, which utilize this linguistic tool much more than you might suspect at first. Even though the words might not make a lot of sense to the English speakers out there, many of them do sound almost like a cartoon version of the action or thing they are depicting, and in fact, are often found in Japanese comics (manga) and animation (anime). If you’re new to the Japanese language, and would like to learn, this course on casual Japanese conversation will provide a good place for you to start.

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Japanese Culture Facts: 23 Things You May Not Have Known

japanese culture factsJapanese culture is very interesting, especially to Western observers, many of whom immediately think of sushi, sumo wrestling, and samurai when they think of Japan. While these three things are very much part of Japanese culture and history, they only scratch the surface of this country and its people. At first glance, Japan appears to be a land of conflict, embracing its ancient past, while at the same time spearheading almost frighteningly futuristic technology, and the simple sushi dishes that help define the culinary landscape and history are served next to groundbreaking molecular gastronomy delights.

Roughly the size of California, this interesting country, as well as its 130 million inhabitants, refuses to lose its cultural identity among the din of smart phones and bullet trains. Today we will be telling you all about some interesting tidbits about the culture of Japan. Whether you’re planning on visiting someday, or would just rather flip on The Travel Channel and visit from home, these Japanese culture facts will probably cover things you didn’t already know. If you’re the adventurous type, and would like to see Japan in person, but are a little intimidated, this course on traveling with courage and confidence, and this article on how to pack for travel will both prepare you for a trip to Japan, or anywhere else in the world. [Read more…]

Mass Media Influence: 3 Theories About the Media’s Role

mass media influenceUnless you model your life off of those that shun society, such as ascetic monks or perhaps The Unabomber, chances are that you are exposed to mass media during most of your waking hours. Mass media refers to any type of communication, be it written, spoken, or broadcast, that reaches a large audience. This includes radio, television, film, the Internet, magazines, newspapers, or any other forum in which messages are disseminated on a large scale. While they may not necessarily be bad or harmful in and of themselves, they are quite influential on individual people, as well as society as a whole, which has led sociologists to refer to our culture as a “mediated culture”, in which media not only reflects culture, but creates it as well.

Today, we are discussing the influence of mass media, a topic which falls within the realm of sociology. If you would like to learn more about this subject, this coarse on the basics of sociology and this article on the many different careers in Sociology will get you better acquainted with this topic.

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Turn Off Notifications in Android With These Simple Steps

turn off notifications in androidMost of us have taken to the new smart phone technology like ducks to water, going from very few people having them a decade or so ago, to now everyone and their mother…and their sister, and their aunt, and everyone else not only having a smart phone, but rarely being separated from it for more than a few minutes. One of the benefits of this technology is that we are now always able to be updated about anything and everything. While we are usually the ones that are making the effort to find this information, sometimes it’s our phone taking the initiative and informing us via notifications. Notifications are basically the phone’s way of telling us one of our apps wants our attention, and they exist in both the Android and Apple’s iOS operating systems.

If you’ve grown weary of one (or many) of your Android notifications, and want to eradicate them, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’ll show you how to pick and choose which notifications you see, if any. If you’re a developer and you’re considering making an app for Android, this article on the things to know before creating an app, and this course on Android app development should be good places for you to start.

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Audit Procedures: 7 Ways to Streamline Operations

audit proceduresIn any kind of organization, whether it’s a Fortune 500 multinational company, or the small, local non-profit down the street, these places must be internally audited at some point in time. Most people associate the auditing process with the IRS, when they take a closer look at your finances if they think something is fishy. While that is one form of auditing, the version we are discussing today is different, and much less frightening, as it’s usually done at the request of the organization’s leaders themselves, and is meant to help the firm run more smoothly.

The guidelines for the internal audit, also referred to as the audit procedures, is our subject today. They dictate how and where the auditor should be looking at an organization in order to get a thorough and honest assessment of its inner workings. As you can imagine, this is a very organized process, that may appeal to people that thrive in that type of environment. If you think you would enjoy the auditing profession, then this article on human resources (HR) auditing, and this article on making the auditing process smoother will both give you a pretty good idea of what this job is all about.

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How to Draw Cartoons for Kids: Make a Character From Scratch

how to draw cartoons for kidsWho doesn’t love cartoons? Kids of all ages will always be “drawn” to the famous cartoon characters found on TV and in the movies. Certain timeless cartoons, like Looney Tunes, The Flintstones, The Simpsons, and Spongebob Squarepants will always have an audience that, no matter what their age, will be able to sit back and laugh at the characters’ wacky adventures. Some cartoons, such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Tom and Jerry, and Scooby Doo have even been rebooted to appeal to the kids of the the 21st century.

Besides being fun and entertaining, cartoons have been known to inspire many children to explore their artistic side. Sometimes they decide to just try drawing once or twice, other times they go on to make a career out of it when they grow up. If you’re a kid that wants to learn to draw the cartoons you love, we can show you how to get started, and who knows, maybe drawing will be your job one day. After you read about drawing here today, and you still want to learn more about drawing cartoons, this course on how to draw and design cartoon characters, and this article on how to draw Mickey Mouse will take your new skills to the next level.

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Theories of Punishment: 5 Ways to Keep Society Together

theories of punishmentWhen you wake up in the morning and leave the house to go to work or school, you probably don’t think about it too much, but you are entering “society”. You’re constantly interacting with other members of society, and it dictates many of the things you do, as well as some of the things you don’t do. There are countless aspects that make up what we refer to as “society”, from paying for goods and services, to driving on the right side of the road. One of the major motivations for us as members of this society to stay within its boundaries is punishment, which is doled to those of us that choose to break society’s rules, or laws.

Punishment is our topic of discussion today, specifically the reasonings behind it, also referred to as the theories of punishment. Always a hot button issue, how and why we punish law breakers is left up to the government, and depending on which way the current government leans, they decide which theories will influence how they sentence criminals. If laying down the law seems like an interesting career path, this article on the different careers in criminal justice and this course on crime studies will help you decide if this is the right career for you.

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