Tag: Languages

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Before You Go: Five Words to Know in Chilean Slang

Where: Chile
August 26, 2014 at 11:39 AM | by | ()

When you visit Chile for the first time, you'll notice very quickly that while the locals are technically speaking Spanish, their dialect is 1) very fast and 2) filled with slang words. You will be understood if you speak proper Spanish, but understanding a local will be much easier if you spend some time learning their lingo. Plus, you want to sound cool, right? Below, we've provided a few words that are simple to remember to help get you started:

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Looking for Free Language Lessons Before Your Trip? Check Out This Website

August 20, 2014 at 11:00 AM | by | ()

We've all been there. You're headed to Italy in three months, and want to learn some basic words in Italian before you go. Or you're going to South America later in the year, and you haven't spoken Spanish since high school. You'd love to take a class or two, if only life at home would allow it. Programs like Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur exist, but they can be pricey, and you're not sure if you want to make the financial commitment or submit to their daily regiments.

Enter Duolingo, an online language learning program that lets you learn casually at your own pace. The best part - and certainly the most unique - is that it's absolutely free. Duolingo offers lessons in Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, and Dutch, including speaking, listening, translation, and multiple choice quizzes.

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To Learn Spanish Quickly and Cheaply, Look to Guatemala

Where: Guatemala
August 14, 2014 at 11:46 AM | by | ()

While we all no doubt learn something cultural when traveling, some take it a little further than others. Many destinations in Mexico, Central, and South America have become targets for Americans looking to learn Spanish abroad. During our travels throughout Guatemala, especially Antigua, we ran into lots of foreigners who had come to study Spanish. Some were staying a week - others months.

There are exceptions to every rule, but, generally speaking, Guatemala's Spanish immersion programs are in line with the cheapest you'll find anywhere in the world. For example, one of the country's highest-rated schools, Antigüeña Spanish Academy, costs only $180 per week for 20 hours of lessons and full room and board (meals) with a host family.

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The Most Important Phrase to Know When Visiting Costa Rica

Where: Costa Rica
July 23, 2014 at 10:53 AM | by | ()

First-time visitors to Costa Rica will notice a particular saying that flows from the lips of every local, one that seems to be very flexible in terms of its use and meaning.

Pura Vida (pronounced POO-rah VEE-dah) literally means "Pure Life," but the meaning of the phrase goes well beyond its simply translation. In fact, it has many loose translations to go along with its direct one. Practically, it is used as a salutation, farewell, thank you, descriptor, and state of being. More contextually, it represents the idea of living a peaceful, uncluttered existence amongst nature, family, and friends, and that life, no matter how much or how little you have, is wonderful.

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Aussie Slang 101: The 21 Words to Know for a Trip Down Under

Where: Australia
February 24, 2014 at 1:06 PM | by | ()

If you've been lucky enough to head Down Under, you know well that Australia most definitely speaks their own version of English. You've also likely found that the Aussie lexicon contains an innumerable variety of slang terms used on an everyday basis. For tourists or any sort of non-local, however, these terms may take some repeating and explaining.

For those of you who've not yet taken that long flight down to Oz, allow us to highlight some of our favorite colloquialisms. And, even if you're a regular to the continent, you might pick up a few new sayings to throw out during dinner with new Aussie friends.

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Watch Travelers Try to Pronounce Ultra-Difficult City Names

March 13, 2013 at 12:28 PM | by | ()

"Hard to say, easy to fly." That's the title of a rather clever little video from the folks at Turkish Airlines.

All around Istanbul, Turkish Airlines has found people willing to give it a go at the pronunciations of Turkish Airlines' more exotic destinations, like Guangzhou, in China.

The video is a bit like Jay Leno's "Jaywalking" segments where the audience laughs at the cluelessness of the average person, when, most likely, they themselves also have no idea. We even admit to having no idea how to go about voicing a few of these cities. As one can imagine, it helps if you've been there (the case for Ljubljana, Leipzig & Guangzhou for us).

You know who would definitely have to know how to pronounce all of these city names? The people at Istanbul Airport, who announce airline departures to them!

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Word Lens for iPhone Totally Has the Potential to Be Travel App of the Year 2011

December 20, 2010 at 5:14 PM | by | ()

Alright, admit it: you're obsessed with the new Word Lens iPhone app too. If not, you're about to be.

Word Lens is a free app to start, and what it does is uses the camera on your iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4 to instantly manipulate words. In the free version, the app reverses the words right on screen, or erases them completely—your choice. If you pony up $4.99 each, you can upgrade to a Spanish to English or English to Spanish dictionary, which provides the magical instantaneous translation of (clear) words viewed by your phone's camera. We held it up to a Kindle, and a page of Spanish literature, to demonstrate above. The real thing is on the left, and at right is how the Kindle appears in our iPhone camera, with the Word Lens translation.

Note that it's not perfect, but it works best for reading simpler things, like menus at a Mexican restaurant or directions.

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The Bra That Welcomes You in Three Languages, Only in Japan

Where: Japan
November 11, 2010 at 10:34 AM | by | ()

Would you pay more attention to your tour guide if she was wearing a bustier that literally spoke to you? The Japanese hope so, as a lingerie company has just unveiled the "Welcome to Japan bra," based on the design of a regular tour guide uniform but oh so more revealing.

The bustier is part of a big push for Japan to attract 30 million foreign tourists each year, says the Sydney Morning Herald, and it even commemorates the opening of Haneda Airport's new International Terminal by affixing an airplane on a white bra strap, like a runway (you can just barely see this at the top of the image).

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Delta in Need of a Few Good Bilingual Flight Attendants

October 18, 2010 at 5:00 PM | by | ()

Delta might not have the fun factor of JetBlue or Virgin America, but they sure fly to a lot more destinations. So if you’ve ever dreamt of being a global flight attendant now might be a great time to consider a career up in the air with Delta. It’s more than just serving drinks and reviewing safety information, and you might just need to shell out some cash for a copy of Rosetta Stone.

Make sure you have some pretty strong stuff on your resume, because since Delta opened their website in search of new flight attendants they’ve received over 80,000 applications. The carrier is bringing back some workers from furlough, but they’re still looking for even more new blood for their crew. Now’s the time to update that LinkedIn profile you forgot about, and to delete those embarrassing pictures off that other social network.

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Rosetta Stone Busts into the Airport Vending Machine Game

Where: Orlando International Airport [map], Orlando, FL, United States
June 21, 2010 at 4:55 PM | by | ()

We've seen vending machines at airports peddling everything from Kosher food to gold bars, and yet this Rosetta Stone vending machine at Orlando International Airport completely took us by surprise last weekend.

It makes perfect sense to be selling the expensive (but comprehensive) language learning courses at an airport, but why in the terminal with the flights from Southwest and Jetblue? They aren't exactly flying to Europe or Asia or anything. That said, these are selling as when we passed back by this machine on our flight out of MCO, we noticed that a few more languages had sold out.

Would you buy a language learning course from an airport vending machine like this?Let us know in comments below!

Related Stories:
· Where to Find One of the WOrld's First Gold Bar Vending Machines [Jaunted]
· Keeping Kosher at JFK [Jaunted]
· Airport News [Jaunted]

[Photo: Jaunted]

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Five Great Phrases For Swearing Your Way Through Italy

December 3, 2009 at 2:09 PM | by | ()

In this day and age, travelers just have to realize that the blah, formal phrases in pocket guidebooks just won't do anymore. Words like "please" and "no, thank you" won't magically restore order to a mob trying to board a European LCC flight, and they sure won't stop a touchy-feely fellow passengers on public transportation. So we're here to help you out with a bit of dirty dialect, for special occasions of course.

Today's Lesson: Five Essential Italian Phrases

1. What the hell are you talking about? = Che cazzo stai dicendo?
We'd be tempted to use this in our daily life outside of Italy, but within it's truly indispensable. Using this phrase is how you deal with someone trying to confuse you with a flow of Italian. Set a stalling waiter straight, shake off the inevitable scam artists hanging around the Vatican, and have it ready for playful fights with your friends or the parking ticket officer.
[rough pronunciation: kay kahtz-oh sty dee-chen-doe]

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Hilarious Travel: Signspotting 2.0 Launches

May 9, 2008 at 1:00 PM | by | ()

The notoriously hilarious website Signspotting has just relaunched, featuring even more photos of ridiculous Chinglish, poorly worded bathroom placards and unfortunately named restaurants. (Dinner at Phat Phuc Noodle Bar, anyone?) The revamped site now lets you rate every sign, making it into a veritable Hot or Not for semioticians.

It can also net you some travel cash. Every week, site photo editor Doug Lansky sifts through dozens of entries to pick the best sign and pays the photographer $50, just like that. Really awesome signs can even earn round-the-world tickets on Star Alliance; so far six have been awarded and Lansky hopes to hand out another next month.

In the meantime, he's organizing an exhibition in Stockholm of some of the best Signspotting has to offer. The outdoor show in Kungsträdgården Park runs July 5-20.

Related Stories:
· Signspotting [Official Site]
· Signspotting Exhibit [Official Site]
· Chinglish coverage [Jaunted]

[Photo: Signspotting]