German clothes: die Kleidung.

1392566_76695561

Last Tuesday I returned to my regular German classes and, oh my, it’s so good to be back. I had never lost touch with the language as all my gadgets, computer, Facebook, Twitter and even some of my friends posts are in German. Anyhow, following a book again, speaking German, making mistakes, having a great teacher to correct me, and interacting with others by using German are things you cannot easily get outside a classroom.

So we’re studying clothes, die Kleidung, and I’d like to share what I’ve learnt so far.

I bet you’ll like it…

Continue reading

日本語: the Japanese language.

297628_7512So I decided to finally write a post about the Japanese language; the language I’m a beginner at but which I’ve already fallen in love with.

You may be wondering: “why in the world would I learn all these crazy symbols if I know nothing about Japan?” For starters, the fact that something is different from what you know doesn’t make it crazy; besides, it’s easier, way easier, than you think.

When I had decided to study Japanese some people suggested me to study Chinese instead, due to its economical advantages. What people don’t get it, and I hope you do, is that no matter what you study, work with, and do, you must feel connected to it somehow. Yeah, it sounds cheesy, but I mean it! Maybe you’re just curious and attracted by the exoticness of Japanese “letters” or the richness of this language’s culture, it doesn’t matter: go for it!

I want to introduce you to this wonderful language, may I?

Continue reading

Port, harbour, dock, wharf, quay, pier, mole and jetty: fight!

431201_10151412050924434_2116400162_nDuring my trip to Canada I stayed in a coastal city – Vancouver – where I heard these words a lot. Being born and raised in a Brazilian inland city – Blumenau – the definition of those words were overlapping inside my head; I couldn’t understand their differences and neither could some native Canadians. When I asked them some would stop to think about it and start discussing with each other whether a specific place is a quay or harbour, for instance.

Now, after researching (i.e. googling) for a while, I’m here to share with you what I’ve found.

Ready?

Continue reading

Many or much? Few or little? Know what you can count.

531969_55075139Some things you can count but other ones you cannot.
That’s the reason you have to be careful when using “many” or “much”, for instance. Let me make it clear: some words can only be used with things you can relate to a quantity, i.e. a specified amount.

So you want to use indefinite quantifiers – words you put in front of a noun which are not quantities but represent “how much” it is – but you are not sure when to use them?
It’s easier than you think.

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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!

Continue reading