Pronunciation: Get Better In Another Language

Pronunciation can affect how we communicate. Many people, who have had a go at learning a foreign language, have experienced that sinking feeling when they try a well-constructed sentence in another language only to be met with a blank face.

Why is this?

Languages are built on sounds. If I speak English and live in an English-speaking country I expect a speaker to say sounds in a particular way. In French or Spanish I would expect to hear different sounds. When we can’t recognise the sound we try and adjust how we are listening, a bit like tuning a radio, but if we can’t guess the sound, the chances are we won’t understand what is being said.

The Blocks of Pronunciation

Pronunciation has two main aspects to it, physically producing it and the sound that is produced from it, the hearing of the sound. As we get older the ability to do both of these, i.e. physically work out how to make the sound and recognise it, can diminish. This doesn’t mean we can’t continue to learn new languages but we need some extra tricks to help us.

Let’s look at some ideas on what we can do when we learn a new language.

How am I saying it?

Try saying the letters. Notice how your mouth is working. If you don’t know how a sound is physically made you may find it harder to say it.

What sounds are the same?

English has many more sounds than other languages but it also has a lot of sounds in common with other languages. Good dictionaries in a new language will usually offer an English sound or word to compare with. Use it to check what sounds are similar.

Which sounds are hard to say?

Go through the alphabet of the new language and mark out the ones you find hard to say. Give them some attention. Try and physically make the sound and see how your mouth works. Say the alphabet. Look at how children use the alphabet song in English to help them remember the alphabet, doing the same in a new language will also help memorise the letters and sounds.

Read out loud.

Find some reading form your course book or any other book. There are two advantages here. One you get to say the letters and words. Secondly you get to practise sounds that you expect to hear and you become accustomed to the sounds of the language.

How good do I need to be?

There is much discussion on this. For many of us the ability to get by in other languages is good enough. If we can say what we want, simply, slowly and the person we are speaking to, can understand us, then our pronunciation is probably good enough. After that it is a matter of choice. Some people become very good at other languages and get to very good levels of pronunciation. Not many of us are such gifted linguists but there’s no reason why we can’t make the words so that people can understand us.

Some Of The Most Popular Card Games For Kids

It may surprise you to hear that kids can be entertained by products other than high-tech, high-dollar video game systems, DVDs, and television. They don’t have to spend their game-playing time blasting aliens, swinging digital golf clubs, and blowing up buildings. Amazing as it may sound, kids really do enjoy traditional games like board games and card games. Card games are a great way for you to spend more time with your children and get them away from the television. In addition to being fun, card games can be educational.

One such fun, educational card game for children is CardWord. The CardWord deck consists of cards with letters on them instead of numbers. The object of the game is to spell words. It’s challenging and educational.

Another fun, thought-provoking card game for kids which you’ve probably played yourself is Concentration. This can be played with a conventional deck or you can purchase specially made decks which feature fun pictures, words, numbers, etc. The cards are laid out face-down and the object is to find the matching cards. This game, of course, develops concentration, and almost every kid loves it.

Some other old favorites are Old Maid or Go Fish. Probably the most loved of all card games for kids is War. Kids of all ages can learn the simple rules to this game which can keep them occupied for as long as any video game.

One of the more acclaimed card games for kids is Apples to Apples Jr. This game consists of cards that on one side have red or green apples on them, and on the other side they have a word with its definition. The object of the game is to match the word on one card that best fits with the word on another. For example, if the word “beach” is laid down, then the winning card will likely be “sun” or “ocean”. The winner is determined by a player acting as judge. This allows for a lot of leeway.

Uno is a game almost everybody has played. Uno is great because it can be tailored to suit children of all ages. If your child is very young and not able to comprehend complex rules, you can ignore the cards which involve skipping turns, drawing extra cards, and you can ignore the wild cards. With older children, you can utilize the entire deck and you’re likely to find yourself in quite the Uno battle with your progeny. Be assured that even if you’re playing your best, you’ll lose to your kids sometimes, and they’ll love it!

Card games provide a wealth of educational and entertainment possibilities for children. Even at their most formative stages, children can learn about words and numbers from card games. Card games will improve their concentration and enhance their logical reasoning abilities.

Five Home Improvement Tips To Help You Transform Your House Into A Stylish Home

When deciding to transform your house into a stylish home, you can use different approaches to the various parts of the house in order to minimize your renovation costs.

- The Interior Design Approach

1. One approach that you can employ is by focusing your renovation design towards your staircase. You can change the design of your staircase to make it appear more cozy and modern or use wooden materials with carving designs to have a more traditional and yet stylish look. Redesigning your staircase would also depend on which part of your house, it is located.

2. Once you have redesigned your staircase, the part of the house where it is located should also follow to match with it. If it’s in the living room, then the living room should be redesigned as well. In renovating your living room, you can repaint the walls to match the color of your staircase railings. If the railings are made of wood, then it would best to have a wall paint colored beige or other variants of earth colors. If you still prefer a light colored wall, you can repaint the base of the wall with a darker tone of brown.

3. Aside from transforming the staircase or the ceiling you may also redesign the flooring of your house. A quick and easy way of doing this is by replacing your old flooring with laminate floorings. You can choose from the variety of materials that are used for laminate flooring. For example, if your theme is the more traditional look, then you may use the laminate flooring which resembles wooden parquet flooring. If you are looking for a more environmentally sound floor, then one of the incredibly stylish and durable bamboo flooring options currently on the market may well be a better choice.

- Transforming by Changing the Furniture

4. If renovating the entire interior of the house is too costly for your budget, you may opt to buy new furniture to replace those old and tired looking pieces that are an eyesore. You can purchase new designs of living room sofas with matching sleek and modern center and side tables. 5. You can also purchase a made to order bar if your living room has more space to accommodate this. A living room bar adds excitement and style to any boring traditionally styled living rooms.

So there you have it, five simple yet extremely effective tips for transforming your house into a stylish home. Have fun!

Gambling Addiction Can Ruin You

Everyone in this world wants to make money; easy money is something that involves a hell lot of risk. Gambling is said to be the thing that can make you rich but can also make you bankrupt. When in Vegas people say nothing is better than the gambling casinos in Vegas. A place where a person might come as a pauper and leave with a money but what happens in a reverse scenario, a person that is supposed to be a millionaire might become a beggar. Gambling is a common thing with many people around who spend money on betting, some turn out to be the winners and some loose. A visit to a casino doesn’t mean that it is a bad habit, it is just the testing of ones luck. But a frequent visit to a gambling station would mean that you are addicted to gambling. The legal gambling industry is on an all time high in America. Where you get gambling casinos in your home town, and the Internet that seems to have made the world small.

Gambling can be of various types such as at casinos, card rooms, mobile gambling, Internet and many various types of gambling that people are addicted to. Gambling involves a lot of stake where your money is put to the ultimate test of dragging in along more money but this might not turn out to be the case, and you might find yourself loosing. Your luck is tested and said to turn negative, but it is not that you were unlucky. In fact you were foolish where you kept on loosing even though there were no signs of winning and then you start cursing yourself by saying that you are a person that has all the ill luck in the world. A pathological gambler will find problems such as family ones, debts, suicidal tendencies and many more. In order to triumph over your bad habit of gambling problem you can look for help from a hypnosis session that you can conduct your self.

Gambling is looked upon as an illness that is chronic and progressive but can be treated with timely help. Hypnosis is said to be the solution to your problem as in the past it has treated many addictions such as alcohol, drugs, etc. Gambling is also stated as an addiction. One that is addicted by gambling can get help with hypnosis treatment. A victorious person or a businessman might have nothing left other than debts if he is a constant gambler. If you are a person who is addicted to gambling then you should look for the mp3 download. They are sought after by many people all around the world for its overall success to overcome gambling addiction. Mp3 downloads helps your stressed and anxious mind set free and stop doing wrong things and take in only things that which have positive results. These will calm your nerves and enable you to perceive life with a correct approach. It helps you control and stop your inkling towards gambling.

Video Games Becoming Addictive To Children

Parents, teachers, and adults are beginning to wonder with all the research being done on video games if children are not becoming obsessive even addictive to video games. Most of the research that has been complete have focused on video games that have more of a violent theme due to the behavior now appearing in children.

Researchers do feel that there is a connection between violent video games and violent behavior in children. It is felt that when these violent video games are played repeatedly then the children will have aggressive thoughts and become less helpful to others and less sociable as well. In video games where the goal is to kill as many characters as you possible can, then the objective turns into the violent the kills are the more points that they will collect. While a child is playing such a game ninety-nine percent of the time their heart rate will increase dramatically due to the affect the game is having on them.

A study was done by three teenagers and was put on observation at an International Science and Engineering Fair in Cleveland, Ohio that showed how video games affected children who played them. The study showed that people, not only children, or all ages had a rise in blood pressure and heart rate after they played a super violent video game. However, when the same person played a nonviolent video game did not have the the same effect as the violent video game.

Children all over the world play these violent video games every day and some play for more than three or four hours a day. There will always be a debate as to whether violent video games can actually make an individual have behavior that is of an aggressive and violent nature, but the fact is that these video games are addictive to children. It is true that playing video games can help children develop their visual skills while learning about computers, which may help them in school. In fact, studies are now showing that video games can be helpful for children.

The fact is that video games are proving to help children that labeled ADD or ADHD learn how to focus their attention. Video games are often innocent bystanders to the problems in society. Video games have the potential to inspire children to learn if it is presented in the right manner to children. Video games have already proven to have the capability of improving the coordination and visual skills of children that play them.

Children tend to choose video games that have the combination of being challenging, entertaining, and complicated. Many of these video games can take up to one hundred hours of play to complete and most children will have their concentration focused on the video game the entire time. Children that are labeled with ADD and ADHD by teachers are those children that can not sit still in school, but this might just be because they find the school work boring, because the majority of these children can spend hours trying to make it to the next level of a video game.

These same children, who professionals feel can not pay attention, can play a video game for ten straight hours if given the opportunity simply because the game focuses their attention in a way school is unable to try, which is interactive. These children are not simply sitting and watching, but are participating in what is going on and solving problems.

Loads Of Enjoyment With Online Games

The internet has become a major source of gaming content with the passage of time. Just like the games that can be installed and played on the computer, the online games also need a computer to run. The main reason why online games are now taking over the local computer games includes their wider range and easier availability. It is possible to enjoy racing games like truck games and car games to even bike games and unicycle racing games. Then there are traditional classics like card games, casino games and highly popular arcade games which give a hint of the days of gaming long gone by.

The thing that is important to know about online games is that online games are not just about playing. There are complete communities built around these games. You can find blogs and discussion forums about online games which are extremely helpful in enjoying the game to the max. In case you are stuck somewhere and need some help or if you have developed some nice trick or strategy that you want to share, these forums and blogs are just the place. Above all, you can find reviews about the games that you should play and the games that you should avoid.

Playing online games is extremely exciting and at the same time, extremely challenging. The adrenaline pumping that you can receive by playing online games can not be paralleled by anything else. There are a number of people who are involved in playing games online. You can easily find competition and you can also find allies for your games.

The best thing about online games is that you can find free online games. You have to look for them though. Most of the online gaming sites provide you a subscription model. In this case, you would get a free trial membership that would last for anywhere between a week to a month. After this, you would have to cough up money to keep on playing games online. Creating a new account would not help because you would not be able to transfer your game levels and statistics from the old user account to the new user account. The thing is that free online games are available. While they are not exactly free because they are being sponsored by advertising on the site. You would have to look for the games that are completely free and not just a ‘free trial’.

There is an endless variety of online games that you can play – from games as simple as Texas Hold’em Up Poker that allows you to gamble against other players to games like Chess where you pitch you gray cells against the power of a computer or the brains of other people. After you have finished a long and tiring day of work, online games can be the perfect way to vent your frustration and make yourself fit and free for another day at work. With online games, you can easily get fast track entertainment at almost no cost.

The Best Designer Board Games

Designer board games are something that is generally considered to have been started in Germany, and while sometimes referred to as German style board games, this title can be misleading. Designer board games have come from nearly every country and all have great success stories in the popularity they enjoy with fans. Many different Americans, for example, have produced vastly popular designer board games. A number of designer board games do come from Germany, however, but despite the intimidating nature of the titles, players should feel comfortable with any of these games. They often are similar to many games that players already know and love, but often present some form of twist or enhancement that can make them even more enjoyable!
Good designer board games all feature some sort of theme which unites the strategy and methods used within the game. Sometimes these themes can seem somewhat bizarre and unsuitable for a game, but that is also part of the charm of the designer game. Once such game, Bohnanza, is technically about bean farming, which causes many a player to raise an eyebrow. However, the real game deals with heavy negotiation and trading between players. By using different cards dealt from the deck, players must plant different bean crops, trade for certain bean crops, and eventually harvest the crops to gain money in return. The player who, at the end of the game, has the largest amount of money wins. While initially sounding a bit ridiculous, Bohnanza provides players with much enjoyment as the strategy needed in the game always changes based on the other players.
Tigris and Euphrates is another designer board game which enjoys much popularity with fans. Based on ancient civilizations, this game gives players the chance to act as neighboring dynasties which are clashing over this region. Players randomly select tiles from a bag and during the game, place these tiles in strategic positions around the board, gaining control of areas to expand their kingdoms. Different tiles stand for different aspects of the game and through careful placement, players can build and strengthen their domains in ways that will reap vast benefits. At the end of the game, players collect points based on the numbers and types of tiles that they have placed, and the player with the largest number of tiles is declared the winner of the game.
Scotland Yard is a designer game that pits one player against the others in a team. One player is designated as “Mr. X,” a fugitive from the law who is running around London, trying to avoid capture. The other players all form the law enforcement team trying to arrest him before a certain time limit has passed and Mr. X can roam free. The board is a map of London, marked with certain transportation routes and all of the stops along those routes. All players are forced to travel along these routes, with Mr. X trying to evade capture while the other players pursue. The twist is that only 3 forms of transportation are available and each one can only be used a certain number of times by the police team.
Much strategy and careful teamwork is required with these games, as with most designer board games. However, with the many different varieties and themes available, it is no wonder that they have become as popular as they are. Everyone should be able to find a game that suits their interests!

Taking Your Personal Finance Situation Online!

In modern times, society has reached a point where money represents the number one force and everyone is interested in providing for himself. That has always been the law of nature but it seems that the more we struggle to lead an existence, the more credit we give to money. In the end, we are left with just one question: how can we understand better our personal finance situation? Where should we resort for help? The answer is more obvious than we imagine: the Internet!

The advent of the World Wide Web has brought numerous advantages and that includes the personal finance sector as well. Fortunately, we have a multitude of resources to help us out, providing all the information we need to know about financing, cheap loans, mortgages and other similar subjects. In fact, one single website can represent our portal into the entire financial world. We have access to multiple subjects related to personal finance and we are sure to find some of the best experts to provide us with the much-needed assistance, imparting valuable knowledge.

When you say personal finance, you automatically think about finding a reliable and experienced accountant. With the help of the Internet, not only you can discover some of the best accountants out there but plenty of other experts working in the field of accountancy. If you are in need of professional auditors, you can make good use of such services by getting their contact details. Also you can get in touch with one of those specialists that can provide you taxation-related services and an extensive analysis of the banking field.

If you are need in some professional advice for your personal finance situation, then you can go ahead and search for consulting experts. They can highlight the best investments for you to make, along with perspective risks and risk management strategies. Finance consultants are just the specialists you need to make it into the tough business world, knowing all the trends of the market and how to avoid potential pitfalls. They can provide an appropriate course of action in case you find yourself in debt, suggesting cheap loans and other procedures that are beneficial for you.

As for banks, the World Wide Web contains an incredible selection of the best and most reputable banks in London. You can easily access them and discover their offers for mortgages, cheap loans and other banking services. Most of these banks have just released Internet banking services, with great plans for savings and potential investments, so you can definitely check them out. With them, you will get a clear picture of where you stand when it comes to personal finance, versus the current market and get experts advice, particularly when it comes to managing your finances. If you want to be knowledgeable in the field of interest savings and financial planning, then these are the online resources you should look for.

The Internet is the perfect tool to discover a lot of interested things about today’s business world. As an example, if you are interested in cheap loans, you can certainly take advantage of the specialized resources offered online and compare a multitude of existing offers. No matter if you are interested in homeowner loans, unsecured loans or car financing, it is guaranteed that you will find a specialist to help you out and also get you the best possible deal. Also, most of these portals offer what is known as a loan calculator, the most essential thing you need to compare loans. As you are probably interested in cheap loans, this resource is perfect, taking into account the sum you want to borrow and providing you with set answers.

Many people are afraid to take up a loan because they fear they will go even deeper in debt. While that may be true for a few cases, most people are actually satisfied with the cheap loans they find online and consider that they were exactly what they needed. In order for the loan calculator to provide you the cheapest loan, you will have to mention the loan amount, the loan period (from 6 months to 25 years) and your residential status. You can also use the Internet to find out the best selling loans, the APR rate and also how you can use one of these cheap loans for debt consolidation. As you can see, when it comes to finance, the Internet is just what you need!

Food For Thought When Travelling

That’s what most people try to tell themselves when they go travelling. The stress of remembering the lights you left on in the house, the rubbish you forgot to throw out or the toothcrush that didn’t make it into your suitcase will make your trip agonizing.

If you’re one of the people above then you know that life’s little lessons are tried and true – buy a travel checklist. This will help you to ensure that your essential travelling documents like passport, flight tickets and itinerary are with you as well as your tanning cream and bathing suit.

Finding the right packing style for your trip is actually kind of fun. Even if you don’t know where you’re going yet or about how much you want to pack with you, take the time to shopg and compare. You can compare the measurements and weight of suitcases, flight bags, carry on luggage, garment bags, and hand bags online or in the retailers near you. Try to look for accessories that are light but of durable quality. Lots of sales assistants try to sell you the colors you’re looking for and don’t think about what you need to put in the case. The more appealing cases and bags, usually high quality, tend to be the heaviest of them all. When you find something you like, literally weigh it out in your mind before buy it.

Travel diaries and disposable cameras are a very important of your trip. Without these accessories you have no real way of recalling the most craziest and most fascinating experiences you’re about to have. You know what it’s like when you ask someone how their holiday was and they tell you they saw the beach and a couple tourist areas and took in a show in the evening for fun. You want to see it too! Take a look online or in the shops to find the product you like and will actually use.

Most people don’t think they’ll last long on a journey before they get comfortable and fall asleep. For some that is true but for others, like me, we need something to keep us entertained. A good book to lose yourself in will take your attention off the clock and allow the chance to escape the journey into a whole different time and/or place. Best sellers can be purchased at the airport at a slightly higher cost to the average retailer or bookstore but usually carry a wide selection.

The 7 Steps Of Do-it-yourself Financial Planning

You are in control

You are already your own financial planner. Regardless of the extent of help you receive from professionals, you ultimately are the decision maker and you are responsible for your own finances. Although the financial world has become increasingly complex, it is becoming easier today to do a lot of your own planning. The variety of resources has expanded such as software for money management and planning; online tools for banking, financial planning and investing, and resources, and books and blogs that are easy to understand. These resources may be good news for you if the cost of professional fee only financial planners is out-of-reach to you. Besides the cost of fees, others may avoid planners because they have heard stories of advisors trying to sell a product that didn’t fit their situation. Cost savings and avoiding product pitches are excellent benefits of being your own planner.

Everyone should take a more active role in their financial affairs. Not only does it help with educated decision making and fraud avoidance it also helps you better communicate with your other professional advisors such as your accountant and attorney. You will also find yourself spotting opportunities when they cross your path.

Becoming a better manager of your family’s finances will also help you ‘dig out’ if you are struggling financially. When you consider the low savings rates and the high household debt, many more people find themselves in this category today.

The following are 7 steps to do-it-yourself financial planning:

Step 1: Commit

The first step to financial planning always begins with commitment. Whether you are having financial difficulty, or have just avoided setting goals and mapping out a plan – commitment is the first step. Commitment provides the discipline and focus needed to help sustain you on the path towards your goals.

Step 2: Set Goals

Without specific goals and a plan to achieve them financial success stays a foggy dream. Therefore the second step is to list the dreams that will motivate you. Write down all of the goals you want to achieve in the short and long term. This will serve as the driver, or the fire in the engine giving you the motivation to move forward. Everyone has dreams, but without constant watering and attention dreams will go dormant. Leave your past mistakes and inaction behind you, light a new fire and chart a course forward. You have an enormous amount of potential and talent, and if you have made mistakes you now have more experience and wisdom. Dare to imagine what you could achieve because your best years are ahead of you.

Step 3: Assemble and Organize Information

Get your stuff together. Planning is easier if you assemble everything in one central location. Make an organized filing system either in a cabinet, accordion file, a box, any way that works for you. Now locate and file all of your tax returns, receipts, insurance policies, contracts, wills, mortgages, deeds, titles, pay stubs, employee benefit statements, banking (loan, savings and checking), bills, investment and retirement plan statements and any other important papers.

Step 4: Manage Cash Flow

Your household is a business. You need to know how much you are earning and spending each month. Balance your checkbook and establish a budget. There are dozens of books and software to help with this, and your bank’s website may provide this as well. This will help you know when and where you are overspending.

Step 5: Self Educate

Establish a sound foundational knowledge base about financial matters. Start with books about budgeting and money savings tips, debt, basic insurance and investing. Be sure to include reading about mutual funds and financial planning. Avoid get-rich-quick, real estate, gold or innovative ‘secrets’ books. Stick to the fundamentals. I find the “For Dummies, ‘For Idiots’ and ‘D-Mystified’ book series to be very helpful for many people. Lastly, stay informed about current financial topics by reading financial magazines, newspapers, the business section of papers, and blogs.

Step 6: Create a Written Plan

A written plan serves as a road map towards your financial destination. It helps you understand where you are presently and the steps that you need to take to move forward. A financial plan is a process. Your life will change, therefore you should revisit your financial plan at least once a year to make any updates or to include items in your checklist for completion. You should revisit your financial plan at least once a year to make any updates or to include items in your checklist for completion. If you write your own financial plan, you will have to obtain financial planning software. Your other options are to pay to have a written financial plan completed by a fee financial planner or by an institution or professional that provides products. Be sure to find out about how the planner is compensated and what your fees will be.

Step 7: Engage Professionals

Most people can’t entirely do all of their financial planning by themselves. Assemble a team of trusted professional advisors that you can rely on to help you implement different aspects of your plan, answer your questions and be on the lookout for you. The professionals that can be the most advantageous are a proactive tax accountant and financial advisor with extensive planning, investment and insurance knowledge, an attorney qualified in estate planning, and a banker that can help with credit ratings and debt management. Before committing to anyone, get referrals for trusted professionals from people whose opinion you respect and don’t be afraid to ask challenging questions.