Linguivocal

podcast and blog about my English learning

Archive for the ‘Interesting reads’ Category

you might find it interesting

Artworks or Alien signs?

Posted by shashi on June 10, 2006

Can you guess what it is? No, it is not a painting nor it is any designs. It is called as Crop Circles.

Crop circles are areas of cereal or similar crops that have been systematically flattened to form various geometric patterns. The first crop circle was appeared in England in 1970 and since then this phenomenon has gained a momentum and a lot of controversy. Most of the people speculate that these circles are man-made. There are some people who are professional in this arena and they create these kinds of circles just for an interest.

But still there is a place to say that these circles may be a work of aliens. First thing is that these circles appear over a night. If someone is looking after their crop and suddenly in the morning he observes that his crop is flattened and some huge signs are made in his field. This happens in over a night which might not be possible for human beings. Also, over a period, the structure of crop circle has been evolved from simple circles to intricate designs on very mass level. Some of these circles are spread over few hectors. They cover a very large area and there is no edge that’s jagged. There are certainly some points to speculate that it might be a work of an extraterrestrial life.

We can’t say anything firmly. Who knows who will ever know? Perhaps one day we'll find out, but until then we can only speculate and continue to speculate.

Here are some of the beutiful pictures of crop circles

I find this interesting article in the linguist library under space category.

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Posted in Interesting reads | 1 Comment »

Today, I’m turned to 7

Posted by shashi on May 10, 2006

                       

Don’t be dazed. Virtually, it’s true. I have just become 7 years old. No, there is no miracle that has made me 7 again. I am feeling very proud that I am a 7-year-old child and have achieved this goal in such a short span. I have to work hard to grow faster. If someone were in my shoes he would definitely be angry, knowing that he had just become a 7-year child. However, I am feeling very nice and satisfied. It took four months to achieve this task. I am not concerned about my age, but I am totally trying to focus on my study. Until and unless the linguist is with me and I have the right attitude, I will succeed.

(Oh! I may have confused you, but the fact is that today my grand total of “known words” is over 7000 and Steve says that even a 7-year child knows over 7000 words. Therefore, in terms of English knowledge, I have become 7 years old today. Ha!)

Posted in Interesting reads, The Linguist | 6 Comments »

Business Baazigar

Posted by shashi on May 9, 2006

Now days, in India, there is big reality show, which has become very famous in a short period, called as BUSINESS BAAZIGAR.( baazigar means risk taker)

 

There are so many reality shows running successfully on TV but this show is unique one. This show is basically to support newer entrepreneurs by funding for their Business Ideas. In this show, participants were called up on from all over the India with their business ideas.  The response was tremendous- over 2 lakh entries poured in from all corners of the country. The aspirants spanned various ages and came from different strata’s of society, economic and educational background. Only one thing united them- smart ideas and a common aspiration to convert it into a business empire. These business ideas sent by applicants were screened through a set of rigorous criteria and narrowed down to 200 who were then called in for further evaluation. These selected ideas were further screened down to 50 finalists and Business Baazigar went on air on March 31 with them. Week after week,they will be given challenges that will test them on the various qualities that are needed to set up and run a successful, profit making business. These tasks will test the finalists on their ability to cope with unpredictable situations, make smart judgments and find satisfactory solutions when problems arise and finally prove to the jury and the audience alike who among them is truly capable of succeeding as a Business Baazigar. Only one will succeed and be given funding (worth corers) for his Business Idea, while some other deserving candidates will get short term funding.

In the last episode, participants were given just a single Indian rupee and asked to survive for 24 hours in the city of dreams, Bombay. All the precious material (including mobile phones, wallet, ornaments and so on) was removed, so they have to survive for one day with only one rupee in hand. (In India, with one rupee you can’t even buy a single slice of bread). Two of the participants had secured a job in the popular Café, and spent the day waiting at tables and interacting with the customers. They were assured of good food but nothing concrete was fixed in terms of money. Someof them managed to fix the deal with road vendors and earned some money in the term of percentage. But my favourite pair is Ali and Ankur. They started with cleaning the taxies and earned some money. (Both are computer engineer but they never feel ashamed for doing such work.) After cleaning taxis, Ali and Ankur got a lucky break when they earned big money by assisting some foreigners in buying a laptop. They earned a fat commission of Rs.2300/-, putting them ahead of the rest with the most money earned so far.

Big ideas, innovative money making schemes, team spirit, ego clashes, hunger, thirst and competition are all a part of this task of survival. I am eagerly waiting for its next episode to watch who will be out of the game. It’s really wonderful and exciting show.

Posted in Interesting reads | 3 Comments »

World’s Greatest Living Polyglot

Posted by shashi on May 3, 2006

Who is this Ziad Fazah?

For those of you who know nothing about him, Ziad Fazah is probably the greatest living polyglot, for he is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for knowing 56 languages. Here is what I've found on net about him….

Fazah was born in Liberia but while still an infant moved with his Lebanese parents to Beirut. "By the time I was 17, I spoke 54 languages," Fazah said during an interview at his small, dark apartment in the middle-class neighbourhood of Flamingo. Aside from his mother tongue of Arabic, and French and English, which he learned at school, Fazah taught himself all the languages. He began with German and moved on to such Far Eastern tongues as Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese and Japanese.

At the age of 17 the Lebanese government called on him to interpret for a visiting delegation from Turkey. "When I began learning Chinese I went to the consulate of Formosa but they told me I couldn't learn it by myself," said Fazah. Determined, he bought a grammar book and a dictionary. "Two months later I went back to the consulate and they were so amazed they offered me a trip to Taipei. But I was in school at the time and could not go."

Two years ago Fazah came to international attention when he had his abilities tested on a televised program in Spain. "They brought in people from Mongolia, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand," said Fazah, whose business cards proclaim the fact that he "reads, writes and speaks 54 languages fluently." (Since printing the cards he has picked up two more languages.) He also participated in a program in Greece, where he was tested in Hungarian, Czech, Korean, Chinese and Japanese.

It's really amazing that he learned all the languages by the time he was 17. Could you believe this?  If we assume that he started learning languages at the age of 7, it means he finished 51 languages in a span of 10 years, around 5 languages per year. That is a rate of one language per two months. Fazah claimed that in seven years he could learn the rest of the world's estimated 3,000 dialects. But his dream is to create a universal language that would be written as it is spoken.

Amazing person!!

Posted in Interesting reads | 6 Comments »

I am on holiday. Cheers!!!

Posted by shashi on April 24, 2006

It is past midnight and I am sitting at my computer, trying to concentrate on my studying. However, I do not feel comfortable. There is a disturbing tranquillity in the atmosphere. There are grumbling noises coming out of the computer; otherwise, everything is quiet. This extreme calmness disturbs me. It echoes in my ears and causes my heartbeat to increase. Now my heart is beating very fast and there is excruciating pain, which has forced me to keep my fist on my chest. I am trying to hold myself, but I feel that certainly there is something inside my chest that is pricking me. Hey!! Who the hell are you? What are you trying to do? I scold it, but it keeps going on and now I can't bear it anymore.

I find a crack on my chest as if you find on ground in droughts. It's very tiny but I can make it out. It is exactly on my heart area. I am surprised why the blood is not oozing out man!! Hey, this crack is getting wider and wider and deeper. What's going on!!!!!! The pain is getting more intolerable. I am feeling as if someone trying to pierce my chest with blunt knife. "Hey stop! I can't bear it anymore." I yell. But it doesn't stop and keep going on. A gush of blood comes out and spreads on my chest. Two tiny hands with little fingers try to hold my skin. With its little foots, it comes out and sits calmly on my chest. I am looking at it surprisingly; its stranger who has come out from my body. "Who are you?" I ask politely. Still it is smiling and staring at my eyes. " Who am I? Can't you recognise me? I am your heart. Your lovable and only heart." " But why are out? I will die if you stay outside." " You will die if I stay outside? How mean you are!! You are thinking of yourself. Have you ever thought how I am living inside? I am living alone inside that cage, working 24 hours and 12 months without any break and without any expectation. Don't you think that I should get some break? Hey man! Now I am on holiday and I will enjoy my outside stay. Cheers!!!!!"

Posted in Interesting reads, My Diary | Leave a Comment »

Perspective of learning English in India: Education system

Posted by shashi on April 23, 2006

In India, most of the students study in local language schools where English is second language as compared to convent school where English is the first language. Most of the students don't concern about English till they get admission to high school or college. It is the time when they actually expose to English. At school level, English is usually third language subject and students study English only through some grammar rules and vocabulary. They are mostly encouraged to write some essays and to answer some questions. Though these are English classes, they are usually conducted by English teacher who has limited knowledge about speaking English. These teachers, nevertheless, have good knowledge of English grammar. They speak in local language and teach grammar usually and ask to complete some grammar tasks. Despite studying English for five to six years at school, student doesn't get any opportunity to speak in English and never encouraged to speak in English.

 When such students enter in college, they are usually very worried and depressed about their English. At college level all subjects are taught in English and all lectures are conducted in English only. Now they try to concentrate only on academic words and try to imitate them. They usually don't get any problem understanding the subject and clearly pass the exams despite lack of sufficient English knowledge. I have found some students who ranked top in English but they couldn't speak in English. After completion of college study, students get admission for university degrees. At the university, education is again in English. If you are majoring in English then you might get sufficient knowledge about speaking English. At least you will try to speak in English. If you are majoring in some other subjects then there will be no any progress in your English proficiency.  

When student actually come in real world, then he realise that he can't speak in English even though he had studied English for eight to ten years. Then he gets frustrate and at this stage he actually try to learn English. Now he focuses on his speaking ability and tries to improve it.

What students do to improve their English? What are the sources available in India if someone wants to improve English communication skills? Are there sufficient classes and sources available for students to learn English?

Keep reading "prospective of learning English in India."

Posted in English Language, Interesting reads, My Diary | 2 Comments »

Perspective of English learning in India

Posted by shashi on April 22, 2006

English is now world wide language for communication and well accepted in all aspects from politics to poetry, sports to shopping, travels to telecommunication, Internet to entrepreneur and so on. It is now must to have good communication skill in English.In India, as other developing countries, English is now well accepted as business language. In most of the metropolitan cities, English is first language of communication. If you don't have good English then your chances of success will remain far away from you. Though some small businesses are still using local language for their work, English is still considered as royal language for it. Even though you have choice of studying up to school level in your mother tongue, after that from college level, education is compulsory in English medium only. In fact if some one graduates from university then he will be studying English at least for 10 years. Then why doesn't Indians have good English compatible at international level?

It is not like that Indians doesn't have good English. There are so many Indians who can speak English very well, even as native speakers. Again it is applied to those folks who study in English medium school (convent schools), so naturally they start to speak English from childhood. (Now there is increasing trend of sending children in convent schools instead of local language schools). But what about others who spend their school days studying in mother tongue? When these pupils entered in high schools, they are very much afraid about English and still they have to study their subjects in English medium. Even though they get adjusted to this change they never learn to speak English. They just learn vast vocabulary of academic words, which are useless for casual speaking (these words only accounts for 8 to 10% of any content).

Then why government has made compulsory to study academic education in English? Why it is not to have education in English right from your junior KG? What initiatives should government take to improve education system?

I will deal with this topic in few of my forthcoming posts…keep reading this blog.

Posted in English Language, Interesting reads, My Diary | 4 Comments »

My favourite English song from Hindi cinema

Posted by shashi on April 15, 2006

Song: My heart is beating

Film: Julie (Hindi film from Bollywood) released in 1975

Music Director: Rajesh Roshan

Listen to song:    button_audio.gif

This song is one of the finest songs from Bollywood. This film was released in 1975 and I think it is the only English song from Hindi cinema. I love this song because of its heart touching music.

Lyrics of this song:

My heart is beating, keeps on repeating
I am waiting for you.
My love encloses, a plot of roses,
And when shall be then our next meeting,
'Cos love you know,
That time is fleeting, time is fleeting, time is fleeting.

Oh, when I look at you,
The blue of heaven seems to be deeper blue,
And I can say that,
God himself seems to be looking through (hoo..hoo)
Zu-zu-zu.zu-ru-zu (that's what it sound like)
I will never part from you,
And when shall be then, our next meeting,
'Cos love, you know,
That time is fleeting, time is fleeting, time is fleeting.

Spring is the season,
That rolls the reason of lovers who are truly true.
Young birds are meeting,
Why I am waiting, waiting for you (hoo-hoo)
Darling you haunt me,
Say do you want me.
And if it is so, when I will be meeting,
'Cos love you know,
That time is fleeting, time is fleeting, time is fleeting.

My heart is beating…

Posted in Interesting reads | 6 Comments »

Steve has commented on my blog

Posted by shashi on April 14, 2006

Hey guys !!Could you believe that Steve has commented on my blog. I was really shocked and surprised but it's really good surprise.

Here is link: The linguist and grammar

Here is steve's comment:

Shashi,

I find your blog just outstanding and an excellent resource, not only for you, but for other English learners. Congratulations! I have to learn more about blogging from creative bloggers like you. Alexandre has provided me a few tips and I will be putting them into practice.

I am sure that Alexandre is an excellent language learner. I stick with my point of view that grammar instruction, which has been and remains the backbone of most language teaching, is largely counterproductive.

A grammar book can be a useful resource for the person who wants a grammatical explanation or summary. A teacher is also a useful resource. The language itself, in its many forms, written and spoken, is a fantastic resource. Our Linguist system and our tutors are a resource. Your blog is a great resource. The key figure in all of this is the learner who needs to take best advantage of these resources.

Steve.

Posted in Interesting reads, The Linguist | 2 Comments »

Sleepers

Posted by shashi on April 14, 2006

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Content studied from London Life: sleepers

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Words and expressions from the programme

Haven't had:

I feel really tense if I haven't had a good night's sleep.

Catch up:

If you don't sleep enough you need to catch up. [You need to sleep more]

Insomnia:

Some people are really affected by lack of sleep and some people can't sleep at night. It is called insomnia.

Run down:

To feel run down means feel tired or without energy.

I find if I am under stress of work or I feel anxious, I will have real long period of insomnia and I am sure it doesn't do your body any good. I find I don't digest food properly. My skin looks horrible, I feel dehydrated and generally run down.

Pass time:

Enjoy the time by doing some interesting thing like gardening, reading etc.

Sleep is very important to me; it is my most enjoyable passtime.

Grumpy:

In a bad mood.

If I don't get enough sleep, I am really very very grumpy and I am especially grumpy if somebody wakes me up in the middle of a nap.

Nap, kip, and snooze
These words mean a short sleep.
Example sentence
I sometimes like a snooze after lunch.

Posted in BBC Learning English, Interesting reads, London Life | 2 Comments »