Ultralingua
For people who love languages
VOLUME 13, NEWSLETTER 12 December 2011
IN THIS ISSUE
Holiday Sale
How to Give Ultralingua
Interview with Charles Fry
Tools to Try
Share Our Newsletter
 
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Celebrate Esperanto

December 15 is internationally recognized as Zamenhof Day. Dr. L.L. Zamenhof created Esperanto, with the vision of a single worldwide language. Celebrate his birthday by checking out the Ultralingua Esperanto Dictionary.

 
 

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Holiday Sale

Ultralingua is having an amazing sale, just in time for the holidays. Look for details to be announced later this month.

'Tis the season for giving presents to family and friends. If you're tired of gifting candy and stationary, Ultralingua has the answer for you. Our dictionaries are the perfect presents that are fresh, practical and memorable.

Ultralingua dictionaries are now available on the most popular platforms on the market. Our products work on Mac, Windows, iOS, Palm webOS and Windows Phone. Convenient to use and twenty pounds lighter than your average dictionary, Ultralingua is a gift made for traveling.

Students, teachers and professionals love Ultralingua because of the easy-to-use features. All of our dictionaries include verb conjugation, numeral translation and smart search.

Give Ultralingua products to everyone on your list for a gift they'll never forget. Remember to check back at Ultralingua for a great holiday deal.

 
How to Give Ultralingua

Ultralingua products are the perfect present for your friends and family who love languages. Ideal for travelers, language students, medical professionals and international workers, Ultralingua has something for everyone.

Gifting an Ultralingua dictionary is easy to do with just a few quick clicks.

From the Ultralingua website, choose a dictionary and click "Buy Now!". Enter your billing information and click "Next" to confirm and complete your purchase. At your convenience, send the download link and registration key to your recipient. For example, you could send the link and key in an email, a card or in another special way.

You can also gift Ultralingua dictionaries from the iTunes Store. Choose a dictionary, and select "Gift This App" from the drop down menu. Enter your recipient's email address, and your gift will be instantly sent.

 
Interview with Charles Fry

Charles Fry uses the Ultralingua Spanish-English Dictionary at work and at home. Not only does the app help him in his farm and food company, but also communicating with his family. Charles shared with us how the dictionary is essential to his daily activities.

Ultralingua: As a native English speaker, why is Spanish important in your business?

Charles: A large portion of our workforce is Hispanic migrant labor. They do an important job for us, and they are integral to our business of producing edamame soy. So with that in mind, it makes sense that I should be able to communicate with them on their terms - or at least make an effort! As it turns out, we have a better work force and crew because of the effort.

UL: How do you even begin communicating with your workers without a language in common?

C: Migrant laborers usually know some English - or some part of the crew knows some English, so you puzzle your way through it. But it is hard work and a lot goes unsaid. Aside from the loss of human connection, there are practical problems too - quality of work, safety, and the like. Can you imagine trying to work in a place where you only understood a little of what was being said to you?

UL: Did you know any Spanish before you began working in Central America? How did you learn it?

C: Part of the year we grow our seed crop in Honduras. I didn't really know any functional Spanish before beginning our business five or six years ago. The work in Central America spurred me on. I try to learn through just about every method you can think of: online, tutors, immersion, self-paced books.

UL: What advice do you have for other readers who are trying to learn a second language?

C: Most languages have two "forms" or uses: formal, academic language and the colloquial, common tongue. Decide what your goal is for a language and set your course. If and when a course of study becomes boring or less productive, switch to a different study method for a while. And in my case, about every three months or so, I just take a break. A month off can be refreshing! But ultimately, you need to find some method of being immersed in the language. I have found it important to work at learning the language a little every day (well, almost) but I seem to learn in "bursts." I might go for weeks and feel like I am learning nothing, and then a few things will fall in to place. And the cycle repeats, so over time I actually make progress. As my friends and family learn English, I hear them making similar mistakes so I know it isn't just me!

UL: Do you use Spanish in your personal life?

C: I live about seven months a year in Ohio and about five months in Honduras. I am a resident of the U.S. and a U.S. citizen, but my wife Mariana is Honduran. Her two daughters (my step-daughters) and nephew live with us and they are ages 16, 15, and 4. Our house communicates in Spanish only. My current frustration is that my four-year-old nephew is now a better Spanish speaker than me! So yes, we use Spanish every day, and I am the one with the worst grammar and vocabulary.

UL: How did you meet your wife Mariana, and how do you communicate without speaking the same language?

C: Well, I spoke a little Spanish - call it "tourist Spanish" - when we met in Honduras. And to be honest, we met in a bar when we were out with friends. How much communication does anyone need when you meet in a bar? After Mariana and I met, we relied heavily on Google translate - and I quickly realized the translations were full of errors. For a while my "learning" process was more about detecting errors in the computer translations. I still use the Google translation tool for a "quick and dirty" translation. We have found that the "big things" in a relationship don't really require a common language, but as we grew closer, the need for more detailed conversations grew. Now Mariana is learning English, so we have more of a give-and-take in our conversations and learning.

UL: What cultural challenges have you experienced splitting your time between Honduras and the U.S.?

C: I could write a book on this, but I am not going to write it now! Suffice it to say that I hope some day I will be both "bilingual" and "bi-cultural"… but that is some time off. Language and culture are two sides of the same coin. Living in a Spanish-speaking country helps me learn more of the everyday uses of the language. Let's face it - we don't speak in textbook form all the time. Colloquial usages, slang, profanity, baby-talk… it all adds to the language, and living in Honduras has helped me a lot. Most of my days are split - much of my work remains in English, but I slip into Spanish as required. When I am done working for the day, we speak Spanish in the house.

I have never had a native speaker react badly to my clumsy Spanish. Sometimes the conversations are awkward, and sometimes they end up being funny, but using any Spanish seems better than not trying at all. Everyday life - culture - just happens, and when you begin learning the language you become less of an observer and more of a participant. I will always be an American, but I feel like I have gained a lot of insight in to Spanish and Latin cultures by learning Spanish.

UL: What are your plans for the future? Five years from now, what role do you think Spanish will play in your life?

C: Spanish will likely continue to be important in my life. My language goal is to become fluent enough that I can give a short business presentation in Spanish without being a complete fool. Mastering Spanish in a business setting, being comfortable in a friends-and-family setting, and easily reading the newspaper are all on my to-do list. Plenty of work to get to this point, so that will probably soak up my next five years! (Oh yes… I also want to be able to tell good jokes in Spanish.) There is no doubt English has been and will always be my primary language - I think and dream (most of the time) in English. But the more I learn, the more opportunities open up.

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Charles shows how Spanish has impacted his life from Honduras to the United States and gives some great tips for how to get started learning a second language. We appreciate his time to show us practical ways to use Ultralingua products and how helpful they are for him.

Are you a loyal Ultralingua user? Share your story with us and you may be the featured user in an upcoming publication.

 
Twitter Tools to Try

Twitter has over 100 million users who use words in creative ways to tell their message. On this popular social networking site, users have just 140 characters per tweet. Explore more about Twitter with these three websites.

Thsrs is a searchable short-form thesaurus. If you have a lot to say and are always hitting the 140-character limit, try Thsrs to condense your message. Enter a long word, such as "experimentation," and Thsrs recommends shorter alternatives, like "inquiry" and "research."

If you're baffled by Twitter-talk and confusing your twam and twatters, try the Twittonary. When Twitter starts sounding like a whole different language, the Twittonary is a great reference to decode the unfamiliar words and abbreviations. Driven by user submissions, the dictionary is constantly growing and being updated.

What do your tweets say about you? TweetPsych analyzes your messages and categorizes your topics. Your score is based on how often you talk about certain subjects and how it compares to other users. According to TweetPsych, Ultralingua tweets about learning 202% more than the average user.

Follow Ultralingua on Twitter and connect with other language lovers.

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Regards,

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