Ultralingua
For people who love languages
VOLUME 14, NEWSLETTER 3 March 2012
IN THIS ISSUE
All Dictionaries Available in Mac App Store
Grammatica is Moving
Editor Interview: Darren Wright
Spotlight: Spanish Voices
Tools to Try: ePronounce
 
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Sidebar: Amerigo Vespucci

Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci was born in this month in 1454. Vespucci was an Italian explorer and cartographer. The feminine Latin version of his first name is the foundation for The Americas. Feel like exploring the Italian language this month? Check out our variety of Italian dictionaries.

 
 

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All Ultralingua Dictionaries Now Available in Mac App Store

Don't miss your chance to win a free copy! See below for details.

Ultralingua is excited to launch all of our dictionaries in the Mac App Store! The Ultralingua French-English dictionary, our first Mac App Store app, was so successful that we decided to add the rest of them. We built all of the dictionaries you love into one single app, Ultralingua for Mac version 7.3.

Here’s how it works:

  • Purchase your Ultralingua 7.3 app from the Mac App Store.
  • Choose the dictionary you want.
  • Done!

When you want to buy another dictionary, you can purchase it for a reduced price within the app you already have. If you already have the Ultralingua French-English dictionary from the Mac App Store, you will get a free update to the new app so you can purchase additional titles if you wish. More questions? Watch the instruction video here.

Though the widget and hotkey features are not available in the Mac App Store version, per Apple guidelines, your favorite features such as the flashcards and verb conjugators have not changed. Check out the Ultralingua for Mac video to discover how the features of our Mac apps can help you in your language learning or teaching endeavors.

Author and Professor Dr. Robert L. Plummer, who requires the Ultralingua French-English dictionary for his Theological French class, reveals, "For teaching graduate students to access French journal articles in their research, I have found no better resource than Ultralingua. The program is accurate, fast, intuitive, and affordable. Students who have tried other print or software French resources inevitably come to agree that Ultralingua is unsurpassed in design and usability.”

Get your new Ultralingua version 7.3 app in the Mac App Store for $34.99 and purchase additional dictionaries for $14.99-$24.99.

WIN A MAC APP!

Enter to win a free Mac App Store app from Ultralingua by commenting on our Facebook post here. We’ll pick one comment at random to receive a redeem code for a FREE Ultralingua Dictionary from the Mac App Store!

 
Grammatica is Moving

Due to the end of our arrangement with Meta Agent, spelling and grammar checker Grammatica will no longer be sold at Ultralingua.com.

For our customers who currently use any of the four Grammatica software products on their Mac or Windows computers, have no fear - you can continue to come to us for answers to frequently asked questions.

Grammatica will be sold by Semantica Software in the future. They will post information about Grammatica products on their website here. For technical support, current users can contact Semantica Software via the email addresses listed on this page.

We want to thank everyone who purchased Grammatica from us over the years, it has been a pleasure working with you!

 
Editor Interview with Darren Wright

Darren Wright is our Asian Languages Specialist and a Chinese linguist in the aerospace industry. Apart from his work at Ultralingua, he works closely with the American Translators Association and is working to establish a Chinese-English translator certification exam. We asked Darren a few questions about his language learning and teaching endeavors and here is what he shared with us.

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Ultralingua: Where did you grow up and how did you first become interested in other languages?

Darren: I grew up in Evans, Georgia. I first became interested in Spanish because my brother married someone from Honduras, and so I learned some Spanish from her when I was pretty young. My interest was renewed while taking a course on Greek and Roman mythology together with Latin in middle school.

UL: Tell us about your life in China and the cultural challenges you faced returning to the U.S.

D: The first time I went to China, I was a Mandarin-speaking missionary with only one semester of college Chinese under my belt, so I had to throw myself into the culture and study quite intensely in order to be able to fulfill my responsibilities. Because of the length of time (2 years) and due to the level of immersion I experienced, the reverse culture shock I experienced when I returned was worse than any culture shock I had after arriving in Taiwan. I missed speaking Chinese and the things I had grown to love such as street food, shopping at outside markets, riding a bike everywhere, interacting with native Taiwanese friends and acquaintances, etc. At the same time, my love of these things gave me additional motivation to learn more about China’s history, language, and culture that remains with me today.

UL: How did your educational background prepare you to become a translator?

D: Since my B.A. was in Chinese Studies and my M.A. was in both Chinese Literature and Chinese Religions, my studies were focused on performing research using Chinese digital and textual resources.

UL: What aspects of your other trips to China stand out to you as especially influential in developing your love of languages?

D: In each of my trips to China, it has been the rote, daily experiences of interacting with people, eating great food, and being able to visit culturally rich and historically layered sites that have continued to spur me on to learn more. Everything I have done since I graduated high school in terms of education and work has been somehow related to Chinese language and culture, so I have been quite fortunate to follow a path that has combined my personal interests with my professional ambitions.

UL: What are some things you have learned from teaching languages that have helped you understand cross-cultural communication?

D: Since I had both lived in China and married someone from there, I gained a lot of insight into the culture that I didn’t realize until I taught students that were coming into contact with the culture and language for the first time. My experiences teaching Americans really taught me a lot about how different the two cultures are and what biases we as Americans have when attempting to understand another language. Teaching also provided me with ideas for how to understand and appreciate Chinese culture even if there are parts of it that I will not be able to embrace as my own.

UL: If you had the time, what other languages would you like to learn or where would you like to visit?

D: I took a year of Thai and would really like to continue learning it. I would also like to learn Tibetan and go back to Tibet to stay for a couple of months.

UL: Do you have any tips or advice that would be useful for language learners and travelers?

D: If you spend enough time at something with a desire to do so, you will become good at it. The earlier you are able to start something, the longer you have to learn and improve. For those wishing to become experts in a language, gaining a foundation through a strong college language program is essential. But beyond this, it is essential to stay for a prolonged period in a country that speaks the language you are studying. My best advice would be to do your research on how to get experience and education abroad for free!

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We appreciate the great insight and advice Darren took the time to give us. Learn more about Darren on the Ultralingua editors page. Don't forget to check out Darren's work in Ultralingua's collection of Mandarin-Chinese reference tools.

 
Spotlight: Spanish Voices

Ultralingua occasionally provides our dictionary data to other language and educational companies so they can create helpful language and educational tools.

Our Ultralingua Spanish-English Dictionary is built into Spanish Voices, a Windows software program that allows you to hear the way Spanish is spoken in real life.

If you're interested in becoming fluent in Spanish, but can't realistically move to Spanish-speaking country, you should give Spanish Voices a try. The computer program allows you to choose between structured lessons or learning at your own pace. Listen and read along with a Spanish speaker's story with the following features so you can:

  • Find conversations about topics you're interested in by using the vocabulary search tool
  • Slow down the audio so you can better understand the pronunciations
  • Look up vocabulary in the Ultralingua dictionary

There are several formats to choose from, based on your level and needs. Spanish Voices even allows you to burn CDs of conversations to listen to while you are in the car or not by your computer. With more than 10 other tools, such as index cards, phrase-repetition, and bookmarks, Spanish Voices has the resources you need to become fluent.

The application download is free and includes limited content and conversations. You pay only when you decide to subscribe to a plan with more conversational content. Download the limited trial version today and watch the video to see if adding Spanish Voices to your current language learning program is right for you!

 
Tools to Try: ePronounce

Are you or someone you know in the process of learning English? Figuring out how to pronounce words is often the trickiest part of learning a new language. Improve your speaking skills with ePronounce, a tool that can serve as a reference for English language learners through online videos.

The ePronounce dictionary has tens of thousands of American English words that were taken from a select group of public YouTube channels. Channels from sources such as The Whitehouse and Yale University are used to demonstrate a word's usage in daily discourse. The dictionary is a tool built on top of EmbedPlus.com.

The ePronounce team has adopted a crowd-sourcing model that allows any video producer to participate in the submission of video examples. Lead Developer Shola "Tay" Omojokun says, "We hope that ESL teachers can use this tool as an opportunity to get their videos in front of more English language learners. We want it to be useful for both English learners and English teachers." Tay also explained to us that crowd-sourcing is key, because the more video submissions they receive, the stronger the tool can be. Additionally, users can expect to see more tools in the future.

If you speak English and wish to submit your videos for pronunciation examples, simply email your YouTube channel link to submit@epronounce.com. Find the videos at www.epronounce.com.

 
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Regards,

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