They’re not “f”, “s”, “d” nor “t”; they’re the “th” sounds.

th_mouth_position_YYBFor non-native English speakers these sounds might be very difficult to be learnt. There’re 2 standard sounds represented by the letters “th” in English.
And there is no way out: you can’t replace them with sounds you consider ”alike”. They’re unique sounds and once you learn them you – and others – will notice a watershed in your English pronunciation ability.

When travelling for instance, people may not understand if you pronounce “three” and “tree” the same; they might get what you’re saying from the context but still, this kind of mistake definitely affects the quality of the communication.

Let’s dive into it, shall we?

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Take control over your tongue: learn the IPA.

einstein_tongueOne thing that frustrates everybody learning a new language is pronunciation.

We get shy, think we are not able to do it, that it’s too hard, that we are dumb, yada yada yada. The reason for this is probably the social pressure we are usually subjected to. Quite often we have that friend, who speaks the language we are learning, and who may tease us for not being able to reproduce the sounds of that language properly. And the jokes are everywhere, not only in our social circles, but in the internet – obviously – as well. Here are some…

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Assume vs presume: don’t assume it!

664535_23124841You have probably noticed that I love to watch words fighting. :P
I mean, there are so many words that look very similar and can have the same meaning in some contexts, that we just ignore their diferences. We assume their meanings.

A friend and former teacher of mine, Vicky, told me something her father says: “don’t assume, or you might be making an ass out of you and me“. Clever, eh?

So, do you really know the difference between assume and presume?
I didn’t. And I’ve just found a video that will…

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Trademarks that became words. Part 1.

Trademarks are symbols and words used to identify a company, product or service (called servicemark in this sense). More than that, they’re managed by specialized organizations which not only take care of trademarks but intellectual property as a whole. Usually, each country has one of those organizations, often a branch of its government, which may – and usually does – follow WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) guidelines. That said, trademarks are not kid stuff; to register one you have to overcome many legal bureaucratic expensive barriers. That’s one of the reasons companies get really angry when they feel their ideas were stolen or copied. And the law is on their side.

Enough about bureaucratic mumbo jumbo; let’s talk about languages!

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Let’s speak Portuguese! Part 1.

As you may know, I’m Brazilian and here we don’t speak “Brazilian” but Portuguese (Português) instead. That’s because instead of being colonized by England as English speaking countries were, Portugal was the country who settled in the area Brazil is today. FYI, we don’t speak exactly as Portuguese people do, some would say it’s “totally different” but I disagree. I think it’s very similar and I would even compare the relation between Brazilian Portuguese and Portugal’s Portuguese to the American and British English.

There’re many ways to start learning a new language. Since you are able to read this, you already know how to write dozens of languages which are all abased on the latin alphabet. I think whatever you do, if you want to keep doing it, you have to be motivated all the time. A good way to do that is to start right away. I mean, grammar is important and I loved it but when you begin learning a new language, knowing all the special rules will only make you stressed and unmotivated.

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