If you’ve studies a Modern Language you know it’s because of a variety of reasons; for the love of literature, or even an obsession with a beautiful country, or sometimes simply because you just want to take a year abroad during your university years (although we suggest to not simply study a language purely for that reason). We’re sure you’ve heard it time and time again the endless list of benefits that learning a second language can provide you with and it’s not an easy task! This is why it tends to ruffle our feathers when non language learners dismiss our efforts when it comes to the studying of a language.
We’ve come across 11 things that linguists out there know to be true:
1.People do not seem aware that you study both languages and literature.
2.Erasmus will not make you fluent in the language you are studying.
3.WordReference and JSTOR are your best friends.
4.People underestimate the usefulness of the language you are studying.
5.Hypothetical Clauses are a nightmare.
6.You will try to impress your significant other with your language skills during trips abroad.
7.Your will use WordReference and Google Translate for your homework and wonder how you will survive without it during exams.
8.Finding anything new to say about books that have been studied for 500 years is impossible.
9.People will tell you your degree is easy.
10.People will assume you want to teach or become a translator.
11.You will read most of the books in English first.
Language is not simply just a means to an end; it is more than simply just ordering your lunch whether it be on your lunch break from work or on holiday. Language is identity and culture, is has true depth. But with a vast majority of the world tapping into the digitalisation era, languages seem to have been forgotten along the way in many aspects.
Technological infrastructure now dominates our working and private lives and therefore has given a high percentage of the population across the idea that technology can replace interpersonal communication in various languages. Why? Because language technology advances mean it will be possible for people to communicate with each other and do business with each other, even if they don’t speak the same language.
This can lead language learning into dangerous territories causing languages and more specifically minority languages under threat especially as English has been reinforced once again as the lingua franca. A number of these language technologies rely on imprecise statistical approaches that do not make use of deeper linguistic methods, rules and knowledge. Sentences are automatically translated by comparing a new sentence against thousands of sentences previously translated by humans.  Thus leaving minority languages in a danger zone as they have traditionally relied on informal use to survive.
However, nothing can replace the beauty of communication between two people for whatever reason (business related or personal), once a language is perfected by a human. Although inventions over the years are wise, such as Google translate, they can never replace the elegance of real life communication. So don’t allow technology to get to your head, realise you potential and learn a language to help you, your future and your career!
The origin of Valentine’s Day is wrapped in a myriad of legends. One story revolves around Saint Valentine of Rome who was imprisoned for comforting persecuted Christians. This led him to become a martyr when he offered his life in exchange for the lives of a young soldier and his wife whose wedding he had performed, in defiance of Roman law. Since this day cultures across the world celebrated love on the 14th February in many different ways
However, over the years the retail industry began to commercialise Valentine’s Day to such an extent that it simply stripped away the entire concept of the occasion. The consequence of this has led people across the globe to disregard the day altogether. But we’re here to say that Valentine’s Day is day to share your love for those that you cherish around you, so why would you opt out of something so spectacular?
Here are some love quotes to get you into the spirit:
- “Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.” — Zora Neale Hurston
- “At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet.” — Plato
- “To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead.” — Bertrand Russell
- ”The only abnormality is the incapacity to love.” — Anaïs Nin
Tell us who the lucky person to receive your love wish this Valentine’s Day; whether its your parents, grandparents, children or partners, we want to know!
P.S Are there any Valentine’s Day traditions from your culture? Share them with us!
The 15-day celebration of Chinese New Year starts on Friday 31st January. The day marks the end of the year of the water snake and welcomes the start of the year of the wooden horse. The spirit of the horse is recognized to be the Chinese people’s ethos – making unremitting efforts to improve themselves. It is energetic, bright, warm-hearted, intelligent and able.
Those that were born in the year of the horse are said to have both strengths and weaknesses according to the Chinese. Some of their great strengths include having ingenious communicating techniques as love to be in the limelight. They are clever, kind to others, and like to join in a venture career. Although they sometimes talk too much, they are cheerful, perceptive, talented, and earthy. They like entertainment and large crowds. They are popular among friends, active at work and refuse to be reconciled to failure. All of the above are some great characteristics to have.
What will the year of the horse bring?
For those born on the year of the horse, they will encounter the Year of Birth (Benming Nian). It is believed they will offend Taisui, the god in charge of fortune, so their finances may fluctuate. In terms of career, it is advised to keep the peace between colleagues.
For those not born on a horse year, the year ahead will bring health and prosperity. It is said to be an excellent time to travel, as the next 12 months will bring good luck. You are advised to mingle with the locals, savour authentic cuisine and discover somewhere you have never been before.
Just in case you missed our Christmas wishes, all of us here at Euro London hope you enjoyed the holiday season and joined us by eating and drinking way too much. Yes, we’re paying for it now, but still can’t help but want a sugar rush in the office.
But it’s back to business. So we’re half way through the first full week back at work since a wonderful Christmas and New Years break and we’re starting the New Year with determination. Determination to get fit and healthy, determined to take up a new and interesting hobby, determined to spend more time with the family, the list goes on and on. However here at Euro London are determined to help you make this year the perfect year by helping you find the right job, tailored just for you. We have a number of exciting opportunities coming up this year for budding linguists looking to find a job to utilise their love of language as well as their career prospects all into one.
We’re here in the office Monday-Friday from 8.30am until 6pm, in order to fulfil our determination and help you. So remember to keep in touch with us and keep a regular check on our website for jobs as they can be updated daily.
We look forward to working with new and old candidates and clients in the year 2014, let’s hope it’s one to remember!
The public had a tough decision to make when choosing their 2013 language champion this year but it seems that Arsenal football club’s manager, Arsene Wenger has won the title this year. The award goes to the French football manager for his long-lasting commitment to languages as well as his outstanding work when learning languages for children through sport.
This award was the first of its kind, which made it all the more special when it came to Wenger picking up his award alongside the British Academy’s language schools. He proudly said “Being voted Britain’s first ever public language champion is an incredible honour. I am very proud that Arsenal and I can help raise the profile of language learning in schools.”
Throughout Wenger’s career at Arsenal languages have always played a crucial part in his role therefore leading Wenger to be fluent in English, French and German and learned Japanese while coaching Nagoya Grampus Eight in Japan. Quite amazing, right? Well, he decided to put his fluency to good use in order to raise public dialogue over language learning alongside the British Academy. It was, and still is, to show that learning a new language does not always have to be a challenge and sport can help make it enjoyable learning.
Learning languages doesn’t have to be boring, why not take a leaf out of Wengers book and learn a language to help develop and assist other aspects of your life.
It was once, and in many cases still is expected of residents of other countries to conform to our language. England has managed to slip further and further down the table when it comes to citizens learning new languages. For years this has been a problem but the European Education Commissioner warns that if England continues this bizarre mind frame then it is seriously going to have a damaging effect on their chances to enter and even sustain employment in the business world.
Figures cited by Androulla Vassiliou show that the UK is quite literally at the foot of a European languages league table. This is rather disappointing when compared to the rest of the EU the UK boasts a mere 9% of 15 year olds who spoke one foreign language, compared to other countries. For example both the Netherlands and Sweden, who of course topped the league table with a whopping 80% of 15 year olds speaking one or more language. 
The UK has quite simply become lazy when it comes to language learning due to high volumes of other countries learning English as a second language. However Ms Vassiliou, Education Commissioner said that “This attitude doesn’t work. We live in a globalised world. We travel a lot. The EU, for instance, won’t employ people unless they speak two other languages.” This is something a lot of people fail to understand, which may soon become increasingly out of control if action does not take place.
Which leads us to share our delight and success at a language event which took place from the 18th – 20th October when Euro London attended the Language Live Show in Olympia which saw excited crowds of language lovers flow through the open doors; a refreshing sight for eyes which are fed up of reading about the lack of enthusiasm which runs throughout the UK.
As we hosted both a seminar and a CV clinic we were delighted at the positive response, restoring faith in people in relation to language learning and furthering their careers using these languages. Something which we can only hope to see flourish to a greater degree within the next year!
If you joined us at the weekend, please get in touch via Facebook and share your experience with us. www.facebook.com/eurolondon
Research which has previously taken place suggests that language learning is at its peak during the early stages in your life. This is typically up until the age of 9 years old and that’s why language learning should be thrust upon children for greater fluency. But just how relevant is this?
Research which was funded by the National Institutes for Mental Health (US) and the Wellcome Trust provides an insight into language learning for toddlers. This new research suggests that the brain has a critical timeframe between two and four for language development. This is mainly due to environmental factors.
UK and US scientists say that the biggest impact on the brain’s writing development to process new words is before the age of four. This was taken from brain scan images which provided results that suggest that young children are good at learning two languages because of the levels of myelin in the brain.
Two scientists, based at King’s College London, and Brown University, Rhode Island, studied 108 children with normal brain development between the ages of one and six.  They used brain scans to look at myelin – the insulation that develops from birth within the circuitry of the brain. To their surprise, they found the distribution of myelin is fixed from the age of four, suggesting the brain is most plastic in very early life.
But to regular people like us what on earth does this mean exactly? It simply means that we are more susceptible to environmental influences on our brain’s development earlier on in life. This is a fantastic trait to have when it comes to language learning; by being able to absorb useful information during infanthood it provides children with a greater base and understanding of what it is they are taking in. In this case fluency is greater at a younger age when it comes to language learning.
This gives a greater understanding as to why submersing children, before the age of four, into a bilingual environment before the age of four gives them the best chance of becoming fluent in both languages.
Some fascinating facts to remember when you may have children of your own!
Recently the media has highlighted on many occasions the lack of interest that languages are receiving in schools across the UK. Every year there seems to be an increase in the decline of pupils choosing to study languages beyond compulsory years, at GCSE and for their A-levels. Exam board AQA is determined to change this and emphasize the advantages that learning and studying a language can bring.
A production company working for AQA exam board, Production24, got in touch with us here at Euro London in order to arrange a short video with one of our consultants on the benefits of language learning at GCSE level. Consultant Nathalie Worsley provided her experiences and benefits with regards to the benefits of languages, any struggles she may have faced whilst learning a language, if she was able to overcome these and how being bilingual has had a positive impact on her life.
Nathalie expressed her love of being bilingual in a passionate way as she discussed her experiences with Production24. She began by explaining that her and her siblings had been brought up speaking Dutch at home as it was her parents’ mother tongue. Nathalie finds being bilingual beneficial in a number of ways including allowing her to be able to converse with other Dutch natives and fluent speakers which allows her to never forget her cultural roots despite now living in the UK’s capital, London.
Further to this Nathalie explained how beneficial it has been to her in relation to finding a job whilst incorporating both languages she speaks. As a recruitment consultant at Euro London Appointments, Nathalie is able to speak Dutch on a daily basis when she or other consultants recruit for Dutch speaking roles. This is due to language fluency tests which are taken in order to ensure we provide the best speaking multilingual professionals to our clients.
Upon hearing that the younger generations lacked motive to study languages when it came to school because they believe that the only jobs out there for language speakers are teachers or translators, Nathalie was quick to disagree with this. By working at an international recruitment company Nathalie stated that it opened her eyes to the amount of language related jobs that there are out there today within a number of sectors including media, the arts and many other business sectors. Having an additional fluent language to add to your CV can literally set you apart from one person to the next, particularly in the current economic climate. Businesses are intently looking for candidates that can provide additional benefits on top of other qualifications they have.
Many students choose subjects on the basis of fun as well as where their future lies, without even realising how potentially crippling not choosing to study a new language to a fluent level can be. A local language school found that many adults came to the school in desperate hope of learning a language as it was a requirement to move forward in a job position.
Why harm your future – enforce language learning amongst the younger generation and help them grow to the best of their ability in life.
Certain factors can influence the way we think, act, and react to life and what it throws at us. For example when the sun is shining some of us tend to feel full of life and generally more upbeat but as soon as winter rears its ugly head many of us across the world can end up suffering and feeling low (and vice versa for those who prefer the winter months). By being hit suddenly by a change in the weather our decisions may change. So if something such as the weather can have an effect on us could it be possible that our language can have an effect on particular influences throughout our lives?
In 2012 an economist Keith Chen released work which suggested that different languages had either weak or strong tenses when it came to speaking about the future and this had an effect on their behaviour. For example in English, we say “I will go to the park tomorrow.” This is considered a strong future tense however in Mandarin or Finnish they say, “I go to the park tomorrow” this is considered to be a weak future tense.
Chen believed that speakers of languages that lacked strong future tense would tend to be more responsible when it came to planning for the future. This led to further speculation with regards to languages and their tenses. As a result Chen collected data to determine whether or not language could in fact have a hold over our behaviour such as saving and even smoking.
Remarkable results revealed that speakers with weak future tenses such as German and Finnish were 30% more likely to save money, 24% more likely to avoid smoking, 29% more likely to exercise on a regular basis and even 13% more likely to be less obese than those language speakers that have strong future tense, such as the English language.  Chen also compared speakers that were both born and raised within the same country as well as their age and number of children. Similar results were found that speakers with weak future tenses demonstrated greater responsibility within their behaviour when it came to their future. A number of factors can have an affect on our behaviour such as religion, culture and now even language – who would have thought it?!
Do you believe that language has shaped your future or decisions in any way?