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The Many Challenges of Speaking English

Global Immersions - Friday, September 30, 2011

Have you ever traveled abroad and noticed a sign in English that makes no sense or has been literally translated into English?  They are often very funny and for an English speaker it is cause for a good laugh!  Let’s relate this same translation concept to our homestay visitors and how easy miscommunication can happen between the host and visitor due to misuse of a word. 

Our homestay visitors are all learning English and come to our program with varied degrees of understanding and comprehension.   Adjusting to a new country on your own and translating everything you want to say can be tiresome and challenging especially for those with lower level English skills.   

When a visitor is trying to express themselves in English, some words may get lost in translation and come across as sounding odd or nonsensical just like the translated signs. Many words used may not have a direct translation or might only be used in specific sentences, thus creating confusion for the host.  When you are communicating with your visitor, remember the visitor might not know the correct word to use or how to use it to convey their question or idea so patience is important.

Here are a few examples of signs found in other countries that have been translated into English, word for word, to start a conversation with your visitor about the many challenges of speaking English!






Different Cultures - Different Chips

Global Immersions Recruiting - Friday, August 26, 2011

Though different cultures and people worldwide eat a variety of different foods, there’s at least one thing we all have in common – potato chips. As Vicki Santillano of Divine Caroline states, “we think of potato chips as being quintessentially American, [but] they’re a popular snack in countries all over the world.” The different flavors, however, may not be quite what you expect. Here are a few of the unique favors from around the world:

1. Fries 'n Gravy, Canada

2. Wasabi Beef, Japan


3. Mango Flavor, China

Photo source: zieak (cc)


4. New Yorker's Street Cheese Dog, Japan


5. Spanish Chicken Paella, UK

6. Lime 'n' Masala Masti, India 

Slowly but surely, the U.S. is catching up with our foreign snack-food counterparts and creating fun, unique flavors to excite our taste buds! What is your favorite chip flavor from your country? Let us know!

Sources:  Divine Caroline

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