Life is hard for native lingua francans learning new languages. But why do they do it at all?

An interesting blog entry ( by  ) about why native English speakers learn foreign languages

“I believe that by reaching out and learning another peoples’ language, I’m increasing the net empathy of the human race. I’m taking off my shoes and trying on yours so that one less person thinks their shoes are the truth. By learning a language, we’re making humans care about each other, one word at a time.”

My OED word of the day…the world needs more of this.

The world needs bayanihan

bayanihan, n.

[‘ A traditional system of mutual assistance in which the members of a community work together to accomplish a difficult task. In later use also: a spirit of civic unity and cooperation among Filipinos.’]

Pronunciation: Brit. /bʌɪəˈniːhan/, U.S. /ˌbaɪəˈniˌhæn/, Philippine English /ˌbɑɪˌjɑˈniˌhɑn/

Origin:A borrowing from Tagalog. Etymon: Tagalog bayanihan.

Etymology: < Tagalog bayanihan < bayani to work unpaid + -han, suffix forming nouns denoting reciprocal or mutual action.

Philippine English.

A traditional system of mutual assistance in which the members of a community work together to accomplish a difficult task. In later use also: a spirit of civic unity and cooperation among Filipinos.

1958 Washington Post 21 June d6/3 Bayanihan is an ancient island custom, symbolic of cooperative group work.

1978 Y. Hayami Anat. Peasant Econ. ii. 14 When children marry, instead of living in parents’ farms..they move to bamboo and nipa huts built by bayanihan.

2000 Teaching Tolerance Fall 3/1 Residents of Palo Alto, Calif., have adopted the Filipino meme of bayanihan to express their own spirit of cooperation and shared responsibility.

2015 Manila Times(Nexis) 26 Dec., Upholding the tradition of bayanihan..let us lend cheer where it is needed most and come to the aid of the downcast.

Useful Software Tools

The part of my course that I am doing today is all about useful free tools to help with productivity etc.  I will share some of my favourites here.

  1. RescueTime – An add-on to Google Chrome. It is supposed to tell me how much time I spend doing certain activities – and build reports so that I can analyse time spent doing work, research, study etc.  Not sure how it works really, haven’t investigated thoroughly yet as there are so many tools that I am learning about today.  I have decided to just add/download and try the ones that I like the sound of and evaluate as I go along.  Will keep you posted on this one.
  2. Text to Speech –  It’s a feature in Microsoft Word which reads your text back to you and you can get language add-ons too.  I already know this will make a huge difference, as when you have read the same text over and over it is easy to miss small errors, but much easier to spot them if you hear them. In fact, I just copied and pasted this into Word to test it – the voice is a bit robotic but quite amusing. It says Microsoft like “my crow soft”.
  3. Toggl – Toggl is a free tool that helps you keep track of the hours you have worked on a particular project. Will be handy when billing clients per hour.  It also builds reports and gives insights, so might be a useful time management tool.  Again, I will keep you posted. I just remembered to change it from study to blog!
  4. CintaNotes -am going to see if it works as a vocabulary list – I already use and love OneNote..will see how, or if, this compares.
  5. Pocket – A Chrome add-on that allows you to save online content to one place with just a click – might be useful for storing interesting stuff on the go and then deciding what to do with it later on.
  6. Count Anything – A free tool that does what it says on the tin – handy for students doing essays and translators who charge by the word…it supports the following file types:
    Word (.doc, .rtf)
    Excel (.xls, .csv)
    PowerPoint (.ppt)
    Writer (.odt)
    Impress (.odp)
    Calc (.ods)
    It counts words in text boxes and many other embedded objects. It counts the numbers of words, characters (with and without spaces), Asian characters, and non-Asian words.
    You can save the reports generated by Count Anything as HTML files or tab-delimited text files, or print them.
    Another utility that comes with the setup program, Dump Text, will dump the text from the specified files into text files with the extension “.segs.txt” appended (useful if you want to get the text out of an MS Office, HTML, or XML file). This can also be useful if you want to make sure of your word counts since Count Anything uses the text dumper internally to get at the file text.

They are the free ones that I am testing so I will let you know how useful I find them.