Ultralingua
For people who love languages
VOLUME 12, NEWSLETTER 8 August 2010
IN THIS ISSUE
Featured Language: Spanish
Facebook, Twitter, and Special Offers
Interview with Steve Kauffman
Meet Our New Team Members
Tools to Try
Palm Hot Apps Contest
Windows Mobile and Phone 7
 
QUICK LINKS
About Our Company
View Our Products
Product Support
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Join the Conversation in our Forums!
You'll find discussions addressing grammar questions, cultural differences, technical issues, and more in our forums!
 
 

Dear Subscriber,

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Featured Language: Spanish

Now is the time to get ready for your Spanish studies this fall with a new Spanish language tool from Ultralingua. All of our Spanish products are 20% off through August 31, 2010 with coupon code SPANISHSALE20.

All of the dictionaries above include our popular Spanish verb conjugation tool, which is a must-have reference for any Spanish language student. No other dictionary offers such an easy way to conjugate Spanish verbs - just begin typing the verb and it provides you with one-click access to all standard tenses and forms. You have instant access to conjugations for thousands of the regular and irregular verbs in the dictionary.

If you purchase one of the dictionary products above for Mac or Windows, it will also feature our convenient flashcard tool for creating and studying word lists. You can create flashcard decks to help you learn vocabulary, tricky verb conjugations, idioms and phrases, and more. Check out this video to learn more about this helpful resource.

Have you used one of our verb conjugation or flashcard tools in class? Do you have other ideas for helpful tools we could offer to make language study easier? Share your back-to-school stories with us in our forums, and let us know what you’d like to see next.

  • This offer is only valid for Mac, Windows, PalmOS, Windows Mobile Smartphone, and Windows Mobile Pocket PC products purchased from Ultralingua's website before August 31,2010.

 
Facebook, Twitter, and Special Offers

Did you notice the 30% off sale we offered on our iPhone and iPad apps last weekend?

If you follow us on Twitter or are a fan on Facebook, you couldn’t have missed it. As a newsletter subscriber, you get an Ultralingua update delivered to your email inbox monthly, but there’s lots going on between these emails. Get convenient daily updates by liking on Facebook here and following us on Twitter here. We share news and information, coupons and deals, and links we know you’ll love.

If you aren’t used to following brands on Facebook, it’s easy. Just visit a fan page, click the “Like” button, and you’ll see updates from our page in your newsfeed just like the rest of your friends. You can share your love for language by telling your friends to like our page as well.

Fans and followers who comment on our posts and participate in contests have a chance at winning free apps, online dictionary subscriptions, and more! Click here now to join other Ultralingua fans in the fun.

 
Interview with Steve Kauffman

Whether you are getting ready for the back-to-school season or consider yourself a year-round language learner, the right tips and tricks can get anyone geared up to take on their next language learning challenge with ease. This month we interviewed language learning expert and blogger Steve Kauffman about the language acquisition process, and he gave some interesting insight we are excited to pass onto you. He shares the three things you need for language learning success, the best ways to master vocabulary, and more in the interview below. Enjoy!

Ultralingua: How did your interest in language learning begin?
Steve Kauffman: I first got interested in French because of a stimulating professor of French civilization at McGill University, almost 50 years ago. What had been an uninteresting chore, the study of French, became a passion. From that point I knew I could learn languages. When I next had the opportunity to learn a language, Chinese, I knew I could do it. Then it just got easier and easier.

UL: If you could recommend one practice or habit to help a language learner master vocabulary, what would it be?
SK: Spend most of your time reading and listening and acquiring vocabulary. Words are the key to comprehension, and comprehension is at the core of language learning. Seek out things that you like in the new language, and spend your time with them. At first you need to study beginner texts, but as soon as possible move to authentic and interesting material. Do not worry about what you do not understand, or regularly forget, or have trouble saying. Everything will become clearer in time.

UL: What do you think is the most effective way to retain a language after attaining fluency?
SK: I learn languages through massive exposure to interesting content. For this reason I tend not to forget the languages. I am not relying on remembering rules. To refresh or improve in a language, I just pick up a book or audio book, listen to radio programs, or get together with people who speak that language, and it all comes back to me. Very often my skill in the language improves after a period of benign neglect.

UL: What do you think the biggest hurdle to fluency is for the language learners you’ve worked with?
SK: Most unsuccessful language learners lack the commitment and confidence needed for success. Most learners do not see themselves as potentially fluent speakers of another language. They have trouble leaving their own cultural space and are reluctant to throw themselves into a new language and culture. Instead they question the language and resist it. In the end they do not put in enough time, and their learning activities are inefficient, because they do not enjoy the language.

UL: What reference tools should a language learner always have on hand?
SK: Nowadays, the most useful tool I know of is my iPod touch, when combined with the resources of the Internet. On my iPod touch, I have countless hours of interesting podcasts and audio books in a variety of languages. I can access texts and flash cards from the LingQ language-learning site, online and offline. I also have dictionaries, including Ultralingua, for all situations. My iPod touch is a portable language-learning tool, more powerful than the language lab and classroom put together.

UL: Are there myths or misconceptions about learning language that you would like to set straight?
SK: There are many myths; that you need a special talent for language learning; that you need to go to the country to learn that language; that you need to attend a class and study grammar; that you need to speak all the time; that you cannot learn when you are older, and many more. In fact language learning depends on three things, your attitude, the time you spend with the language, and your attentiveness or ability to notice what is happening in the language.

You can learn more about Steve at his blog and check out his LingQ learning system here.

 
Meet Our New Team Members

Three new language-loving employees joined Ultralingua this summer, and we decided to give you a chance to learn a little bit about them by asking them to answer a few fun questions. You can learn more about the rest of the team at Ultralingua here.

Anna Marco-Cortiel

Anna began her reign as Staff Linguist by reserving a space on the conference room dry-erase board for her “multilingual tongue twister of the day” challenge. She joined us almost immediately upon returning to Minneapolis from Turkey and Kyrgyzstan, where she spent several years teaching English. While everyone in the office has studied multiple languages, Anna's linguistic history blew us all away. She has experience in Spanish, Finnish, German, Arabic, Tibetan, Bulgarian, Italian, Russian, Kyrgyz, Turkish, and Berber. We asked her a few questions to get her to open up a bit with you:

Q: What Russian word best describes your personality?
A: I have always been called thrifty, frugal, economical, or cheap, depending on who you talk to, so the Russian word I'd use to describe myself would have to be дешевле, which means "cheaper" and was a word I used every time I was shopping and had to haggle for the best deal.

Q: Tell us about the most impressive thing you’ve knit?
A: I knit my computer-loving dad a beanie with the Apple logo, the word iHat, and the slogan 'Think different.' It was a huge hit. There are a lot of Apple lovers here at Ultralingua so I might have to knit them for the whole office!

Q: What do you miss most about living in Kyrgyzstan?
A: While I was living there, there came a point when I was ready to leave, but now that I've been away for over a year, the rose-coloured glasses are on and I miss a lot of things – Soviet architecture, beautiful Kyrgyz nature, laghman (a Central Asian noodle dish), speaking Russian, bazaars, and donkeys.

Think you can stump her with a language question? Post it to the Linguistics section of the forum and she’ll respond as ULLinguist. Good luck!

Ben Cochran

As our newest software developer, Ben got to work right away on making our Mac and iPhone products better than ever. He recently graduated from Carleton College, where he majored in Computer Science and dabbled in Studio Art. He enjoys biking and creating sculptures, as well as answering questions for our newsletter. Check out his responses below:

Q: If you were a programming language, which one would you be?
A: Depending on the application, I'd either say Objective-C or Python. They both have pretty strong stylistic guidelines and conventions. And I like my code to be pretty. Of course, appearance isn't everything. They both also have great libraries and communities.
Or, to interpret my choices as they apply to the personification in the question: I like style/design, value knowledge and information, and am a social being. (Though I'd always be jealous of the number of cool friends Ruby has.)

Q: What is your favorite thing about working at Ultralingua so far?
A: I love how quickly I was thrown into being a full member of the team. I had about two days getting to know you followed by a month of real software design. This attitude/style has been great for making me feel at home and that I have a voice in the company.

Q: Pirates and zombies battle. Who wins?
A: I've never been a huge zombie fan, so I’m going to have to say pirates. They do have the water on their side (I'm pretty sure zombies shouldn't be able to swim). And having Johnny Depp on their side can’t hurt!

Allison Knapp

We knew Allison belonged at Ultralingua since she interned with our marketing team last fall. After studying abroad for a semester in Italy this spring, she came back as our Marketing Assistant and now helps lead the intern team she was once a part of. Allison will graduate with a degree in Marketing Management and minors in Psychology and Advertising from the University of St. Thomas in the spring of 2011. Here are her answers to the questions we asked her:

Q: If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be?
A: That's a hard question, but I would most likely live on a boat near the Dalmatian Coast. I wasn't fortunate enough to visit the coast while I studied abroad in Italy last semester; so it's high on my list! By some miracle it has escaped the allure of concrete, and there are more than 1,000 little towns and islands to explore along the coast. I would try to reach most of these small islands by boat.

Q: If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
A: If I were a crayon, I would be the color sea-foam green. I've been obsessed with this color for about a year now, and because I love to decorate I hope to paint a bathroom this color someday.

Q: What book are you reading now?
A: I am currently reading "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert. I hope to finish before the movie comes out in a couple of weeks!

If you think you would like to join our team like these fine individuals recently did, you should check out our current openings on our new employment page.

 
Tools to Try

We know that those of you who use Ultralingua dictionaries for reference also use a variety of language learning and retention programs. Whether you attend classes, use software, or travel the world to celebrate your love for language, you will need a variety of resources to meet your goals. We want to hear about your favorites, and will share some we like with you as well.

This month, we’re looking at LingQ – an online language learning system started by Steve Kauffman who we interviewed above. LingQ offers a simple resource to help you learn languages, and includes a large amount of free content to read and listen to. They also offer paid services like writing correction and one-on-one conversations with native speakers. You can learn more about the LingQ method with their videos here.

 
Palm Hot Apps Contest

Palm’s Hot Apps Contest has ended, and we are proud to announce one of our apps was awarded a prize!

Palm kept track of which apps were downloaded the most between February 1 and June 30, 2010, and thanks to you, our Spanish-English Dictionary was among the winners. When Palm announced the results last week we couldn’t wait to thank you.

We’re putting our winnings right back into Palm development, working hard to bring our Palm Pre and Pixi users even more exciting updates this fall. We’ll let you know here when updates are available. Thanks again to all of our Palm users for making our apps some of the most popular on webOS!

 
Spotlight: Windows Mobile and Phone 7

From time to time we have questions from Windows Mobile users about which Ultralingua app is right for them. A wide variety of devices are powered by the Windows Mobile OS, and the way the devices are categorized has changed over time. With recent announcements from Microsoft regarding the future of their phones, we want to take the time to clarify any confusion among our users regarding what to expect from Ultralingua apps for Windows Mobile.

History
When Windows Mobile devices were first launched in 2006, Microsoft differentiated them based on whether or not they included a phone. A handset that could make calls was called a Windows Mobile “Smartphone”, and a PDA that allowed you to use email and apps but didn’t include a phone was called a Windows Mobile “Pocket PC” (PPC). The naming eventually shifted to “Professional” (phone with touch screen) and “Standard” (phone with keyboard), but Ultralingua has always offered apps for both devices. Windows Mobile apps for these two handset categories need to run slightly differently, which is why when you purchase Ultralingua apps you can choose which version you would like to download.

Moving Forward
Microsoft announced plans on February 15, 2010 to change their phone offerings once more, and the new plan simplifies things quite a bit. They are leaving the old Windows Mobile OS behind, and making Windows Phone 7 Series available for the holiday season this year.

Windows Phone 7 looks, feels, and behaves differently than other smart phones available today. Microsoft provides further detail and demos on their site here that we recommend checking out. We are pretty excited about the potential of this new platform, and although we can’t announce anything official yet, you should stay tuned for news regarding Ultralingua’s plans for Phone 7 in the coming months.

Current Windows Mobile Users
Because Phone 7 is so different from the existing Windows Mobile OS, phones currently running Windows Mobile will not be upgradeable to Windows Phone 7. Microsoft will continue to support Windows Mobile OS in some capacity through 2015.

Similarly, Ultralingua’s existing apps for Windows Mobile will not be compatible with Windows Phone 7. We will announce our plans for continued support of our Windows Mobile customers soon, but rest assured that we are not in the habit of abandoning our users. Our Windows Mobile apps will continue to be available from our website and the Marketplace as long as it makes sense.

All things considered, we are excited to see what Microsoft comes up with and what the impact of Phone 7 is on the smart phone industry this winter. If you have questions or comments, connect with us in our forums, on Twitter, or on Facebook. We look forward to hearing what you think!

 

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Apple, the Apple logo, iPod, and iTunes are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries. Palm and Pre are trademarks of Palm, Inc. Windows Mobile is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries.

 
Regards,

Ultralingua, Inc.
www.ultralingua.com
1313 SE 5th Street, Suite 108, Minneapolis, MN, 55414