Are language skills a must for global CEOs?

I recently came across a rather interesting article on bloomberg.com about the importance of language skills for heads of global corporations. The article cites a few examples of CEOs who resigned from their positions due to their inability to establish trust with key stakeholders, which may have been, in part, attributable to their failure to communicate with those in their native tongue

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Raising a bilingual child? Annika Bourgogne's book Be Bilingual - Practical Ideas for Multilingual Families is full of tips and advice for parents of bilingual children.

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope 2015 is full of great things and happy memories in the making for you! 

This post is about a book I read recently, Be Bilingual - Practical Ideas for Multilingual Families by Annika Bourgogne. Ms Bourgogne  contacted me via this blog to tell me about her book and very kindly sent me a copy.

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Are you interested in teaching English abroad? A newly qualified English teacher shares his story.

If discovering new places and experiencing other cultures holds any appeal to you, then I bet you like travelling. In this day and age, following the advent of the Internet and low-cost travel, it is so easy to go online and book a 2 week holiday in Spain or a weekend break in Prague. However, as we all know, spending a few days or a week in a foreign place is often not enough to really immerse yourself in the local culture, customs and way of life.

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Now you can actually wake up and smell the coffee...thanks to Barisieur

I've never been a morning person. As much as I would like to become one of those highly productive people who wake up at the crack of dawn, immediately leap out of bed  and are so full of energy in the morning they manage to get a ton of things done before they even sit down to have breakfast, it just does not seem to work for me.  I detest the sound of my alarm going off early in the morning. I hit the Snooze button way too many times. When I do get up though, the first thing I look forward to is my first cup of coffee.

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Google announces the Translate Community initiative

A couple of weeks ago Google announced the launch of the Google Translate Community, an initiative aimed at improving the quality of translations offered by its hugely popular Google Translate tool, which covers 80 languages. This community is open to everyone. Essentially, the company is calling on users to get involved and use their language expertise for the greater good - namely, to crowd source translations, thus potentially improving the Google Translate experience for millions of people across the globe.  

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Want to become fluent in a foreign language? Read as much as you can

Reading is one of the most enjoyable pastimes known to us. Many people read for pleasure and others do so to develop their knowledge or gain a skill. When you are learning a foreign language, reading books in that language will go a long way towards helping you achieve a decent level of fluency. Obviously, frequent interactions with native speakers are probably the best and quickest way to master a language, but if those are in short supply then reading comes a close second. 

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Brazilian taxi drivers are learning English ahead of the FIFA World Cup

There are only a few weeks to go until the FIFA World Cup gets underway and Brazil is getting ready to welcome thousands of football supporters, due to arrive in the country for what undoubtedly is the most hotly anticipated sporting event of the year. Many fans will be relying on local taxi services to get around the host cities and will speak little, if any, Portuguese. Keen to ensure that the language barrier does not become an issue, Brazilian taxi drivers are brushing up on their English language skills ahead of the big event. 

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Could French make a comeback as the world's lingua franca?

In a recent article on Forbes.com Pascal-Emmanuel Gorby talks about languages of the future. We all know that currently English is undoubtedly the world's lingua franca and has been for quite some time now. It is the language people all over the world use to communicate with each other, be it for social or professional reasons. It is the global language of business and commerce, technology and culture. But how long will the dominance of the English language last and will it at some point be replaced by some other language? According to the article, French may well be the language of the future. How likely is that to happen?

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Forever young

Recently I had a rather interesting conversation with my work colleagues about age. Someone at work had a birthday and the subject came up. The thing is, we don’t know the age of many of our co-workers and many of us don’t feel comfortable asking them either. Somehow it just does not feel right asking people to reveal their age and they tend not to volunteer this information. Personally  I am always quite surprised if someone asks me how old I am.  Admittedly, it does not happen very often.

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Lexifone launches an automated phone interpreter service

 Only recently I posted an article about machine translations,  highlighting the perils of relying on such automated tools without getting the completed translation looked over by a human. By and large, it seems that developers of automated translation software have a long way to go before they are able to create a product  that would achieve such levels of linguistic excellence and accuracy so as to fully replace the work done by human translators. If they have not been able to do so just yet, it's not for lack of trying though. There are a number of translation tools out there able to translate written text with varying degrees of accuracy. But what about conveying the meaning of verbal communication or, in other words,  interpreting?

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