May 2014
Directly Speaking
Language learning is so much more than just learning words. If you have ever listened to a robotic translation, or even to Siri on your iPhone, you can understand the role of tone, inflection and nuance. If you have ever had communication with a heavily accented customer service representative or technical support person, you can easily understand the relevance of correct syllable stress and pronunciation to understanding. And lastly, if you have ever tried to go beyond a scripted dialogue, either as listener or as speaker, you can easily understand the importance of achieving a level of facility with a language that enables you to engage in free dialogue and expression that may develop following a scripted dialogue. The classic example is a language learner placing a detailed menu order at McDonalds yet is unable to understand or respond to: 

"You want fries with that?"

Reliance on rote dialogue and phrase book knowledge can only take you so far. To be truly functional in a foreign language, immerse yourself in the culture of that language. Listen to music sung in your target language, watch or listen to news broadcasts, watch soap operas, which will clue you in to how people really speak; clearly and correctly with appropriate slang and acceptable shortcuts. Immigrants to this country have told us that they learned to become fluent in English by watching American television, easy to do in most places in the world. Through the power of the internet and the ease of accessing authentic broadcasting or recordings, you can do the same thing to enhance your learning of a modern foreign language. 

What's Trending? 

Talking the Talk: Excellence in Phone-Based Customer Service

The way you express yourself can impact how your customers feel about the company you are representing, both positively and negatively.


This course is designed for companies that provide most of their customer service over the phone.


This interactive presentation includes 4 workshops, each with its own goal.  From teaching good manners and quality of voice while increasing active listening skills, to breaking bad habits and resolving conflicts.


E-mail for more information. 


We are always looking for qualified instructors 
who are bilingual in English any other languages,
or who can teach ESL.
If you are interested, send your resume here.
Thank you for your time and interest!

Sharlene Vichness, President
and the rest of the Language Directions Team
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We are delighted to bring the May 2014 issue of DIRECTLY SPEAKING 
to your inbox. In this issue, we offer up some strategies you can use to push past language and cultural challenges at work. We will continue to post little tips to improve rapport, understanding, and efficiency, both at work and in any interpersonal communication with folks of a different culture.
Words With No Direct English Equivalent
Iktsuarpok (Inuit)
the frustration of waiting for someone to turn up

Pochemuchka (Russian)
a person who asks too many questions

Friolero (Spanish)
someone who is sensitive to cold temperatures

Fernweh (German)
feeling homesick for a place you've never been to

Utepils (Norwegian)
to sit outside on a sunny day enjoying a beer

Prozvonit (Czech/Slovak)
to call a mobile phone only to have it ring once so that the other person would call back, allowing the caller not to spend any minutes
Fast Fact 
All pilots on international flights identify themselves in English.
Tongue Twister
Four furious friends fought for the phone.

 Language Directions, 188 Eagle Rock Ave, Roseland, NJ 07068, (973) 228-8848

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