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Top 5 similarities between Kazakh and Turkish languages

Top 5 similarities between Kazakh and Turkish languages

It is widely known that people in Kazakhstan speak Russian as a second language and use Cyrillic script as a base for Kazakh alphabet. Therefore, many foreigners think that Kazakh language is similar to Russian. However, it is not true at all. The two languages are totally different, and they don’t share any resemblances in word formation, grammatical or lexical structure. Of course, you can find Russian loanwords in Kazah, but there are not so many.

Now you are puzzled, and you wonder “if Kazakh is not like Russian, then how does it sound like it and to what language is it related?”. The answer is Turkish. read more

Differences between American English and British English

Differences between American English and British English

Although the United States and the United Kingdom share the same language, many differences can be found in the vocabulary, the grammar or the pronunciation. On top of that, both countries have very different cultures, which can be found in the food, their history, the sports they play, or even the TV shows they usually watch.

In contrast, it’s true that they both share the mile system, but it is actually the only measurement system that they have in common! In short, it can be said that the two countries are divided by a common language! All of these points will be developed in this article (among many others), so if you’re interested to discover all the differences, they will be listed below!

Grammar in British and American English: what are the differences?

First things first, the basis of any language is grammar. You can’t begin to learn a language unless you know its alphabet and the basis of its grammar, as you generally build your sentences with verbs if you don’t want to speak like a robot!

Among all the differences, I’ll start with the irregular verbs. Yes, if you want to learn English or if you’re already struggling with irregular verbs, be aware that there are plenty of differences. For example, the widely used verb “get” is also irregular. You would say get, got, gotten in American English whereas you’d say get, got, got in British English. You can note that British English uses the past participle more often! You can also find differences in endings just like in the verbs “burn”, “learn”, or “dream”. In the past tense, you would add -ed in American English but a -t in British English.

You can find other spelling differences below, with a short explanation followed with examples:

-“ou” (UK) vs. “o” (US): “colour” vs. “color” / “favourite” vs. “favorite”. The difference is that the American version gets closer to the way it is actually pronounced than the British one.

-re (UK) vs. -er (US): such as “theatre” or “theater”. The reason behind this difference is because British people have borrowed and adopted many French words, while keeping the French spelling. On the contrary, American English decided to make the word American and reversed the two final letters. Same reason for the following.

-nce (UK) vs. -nse (US): “licence” or “license”. For the noun, the British spelling will get into line with the French spelling. But the verb is “to license” in both English. Careful, this isn’t always the case! You have “defence” in British English but “defense” in American English!

You can also differentiate many verbs ending in -ise (UK) vs. -ize (US). Example: “organise” (UK) or “organize” (US).

Mum or Mom? Both are commonly used in British and American English respectively, but the first spelling “mum” can also refer to a flower.

Last but not least, the grammar section! Should you double the L between two vowels? Well, if you’re a British or you want to learn British English, then you should! You’d write “travelling”, “traveller”, “travelled”. Americans would only use one L though!

Careful: some exceptions exist and don’t double the L in “appealing”, “devilish”, “loyalist”, or “travelogue”.

Now, to express possession in English, you can find “have” VS. “have got”. In Britain, people tend to say “I’ve got” while an American will simply say “I have”. Both mean the same but the grammar differs slightly.

Finally, British people use A LOT of question tags, both in oral conversations and dialogs. It’s just natural for them to add “don’t you?”, “hasn’t it?” or “aren’t you” at the end of their sentences, even though they are not always asking a question. With “isn’t it” for instance, you could hear “The weather is so nice today, isn’t it?”. In America though, they tend to say “right?”, just like “The weather is so nice today, right?”.

Vocabulary and spelling in English: British vs. American

Until now, the differences listed above wouldn’t have caused any problem for a Brit or an American to understand you. They would have just noticed on which side of the ocean you’re standing! But it comes to different words, they might feel a bit destabilised. Many people would understand what you mean, especially because they know which differences exist now between the two languages. However, if you talk to a young child or an elderly person who doesn’t know the differences, for them, it might sound like you’re speaking a different language.

Let me give you an example. You have “garbage” in American English but “rubbish” in British English. Both mean the same, but an American would never say “rubbish” and vice-versa. You have SO many differences with simple words just like these. To be able to know and distinguish all of them, you’d have to live in these countries for some months. For now, you can find some of them in the following table:

AMERICAN ENGLISH

BRITISH ENGLISH

Faucet Tap
Cotton candy Candy floss
Stroller Pushchair
Cart Trolley
Front desk Reception
(French)  fries Chips (French fries for thinner ones)
Chips Crisps
Apartment Flat
Elevator Lift
Closet

Wardrobe

Finally, you also have “subway” vs. “tube”/”underground” which express “metro”. In this case, people will understand what you’re talking about, although the tube can only refer to the London underground. So even within the UK, the different regions will use different words to express the same thing. Talking about regions, different pronunciations and accents can be found at the national level, but the main difference is found between the two countries.

The accent: do you speak like a British or like an American?

The American pronunciation follows the “General American English” whereas the “Received Pronunciation” is followed by the British English people. The major differences of pronunciation are obviously found in consonants and vowels. You’ll be able to notice them once you’ve watched enough episodes of your favourite Anglophone series on Netflix! It is actually the best option to learn if you don’t have the opportunity to go and stay in an English-speaking country! So keep your ears wide open!

What is the most striking is the -t pronunciation. It is almost a [d] in American English when placed between two vowels. But in British English, it remains a -t sound. Example for the word “twitter”: TwiTTe: (UK) vs TwiDeR (US).

In addition, the final -r in American English is pronounced, but not in British English. For example, the word “car”, you can hear a “caR” (US) or a “ca:” (UK). Also, when placed between a vowel and a consonant, the British -r isn’t pronounced either. You’d say “tu:n” for “turn” to a British.

The two diphthongs /oʊ/ or /əʊ/ also differentiates the two languages. As the phonetic spelling indicates, Americans rather pronounce the “o” contrary to the “e” for the Brits. For the word “close”, you’d say “clOse” in American but “clOEse” in a British accent.

The units of measure in British and American English

You may be quite at a loss when it comes to units of measurements and conversions, as both countries do not use the International System of Units (SI). The US uses the customary units while the U.K uses Imperial units. Actually, it is quite hard to remember them all, except if you learn them by heart. Here is a list summarising the ones you should know:

  • 1. The temperature outside: Fahrenheit (US) vs Celcius (UK)
  • 2. To measure your ingredients while cooking: cup (US) vs. grams/liters (UK)
  • 3.To measure liquids like petrol(UK)/gasoline(US): US gallon vs. Imperial gallon

But for distances (miles, yards, inches, feet), volumes (cubic foot, cubic yard), weight (LBS) and for areas (square inch, square mile etc): it’s the same and thank god for that!

To finish a bit more lightly: the two countries culture

The two countries’ history at the time of the colonial period

The US was a British colony before they gained their independence from the UK in 1776. Since, they’ve been building their own society and laws, to become one of the most powerful countries in the world.

Westminster vs. Washington: the political structures read more

Is Serbo-Croatian still a thing?

Is Serbo-Croatian still a thing?

Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro. 4 countries of Western Balkans and their language chaos

Speaking about Serbo-Croatian or asking if the same language is in use in Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro is a good way to start a discussion among people from those countries. Opinions on this are different and due to the region’s complicated past, this topic may lead to a real argument. The good news is that no matter if you do Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian or Montenegrinian course, it will help you on your travels through all of the four above mentioned countries! Some words and phrases are good to know whether you decide to go partying in Belgrade, explore Croatian islands, sunbathe on Montenegrin beaches, or try some tasty food in Sarajevo. Serbs, Croats, Bosniaks, and Montenegrins understand each other almost perfectly. However, there are some differences between how they speak in each country. Let’s see what they are!

A brief history of the language

Before starting to explain the differences between languages, maybe it is worth explaining where all the similarities come from. Well, the first thing that you should know about this European region is that countries’ borders were often changing throughout history and they kept changing even in the 21st century. Serbs, Montenegrins, Croats and Bosniaks differ in religion and were historically often part of different cultural circles, but in some parts of their history, they have lived side by side under foreign overlords. In the area of today’s Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, different south Slavic dialects were spoken. In the 19th century, Croatian and Serbian writers and philologists started the process of standardization of their respective languages. Croatian and Serbian standard languages were both based on the same eastern Herzegovinian dialect (Shtokavian) and therefore very similar to each other, although with some small differences.

In 1945 Yugoslavia was established as a federation of 6 federal republics, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Macedonia (today North Macedonia). Serbo-Croatian was an official language and two versions of languages were accepted, the eastern (Serbian) one and

the western (Croatian) read more

Best movies for learning Turkish

Best movies for learning Turkish

Learn a language by watching movies

The first reason is that you can be familiar with daily conversations. As you all know, all movies are for native speakers and the language that they use reflect daily language. Watching movies is one of the best ways to learn a language. Because you can understand their daily conservations and pronunciation. Secondly, listening is one of the most important key elements in learning a language. Listening can help to memorize foreign words and phrases easily. Additionally, even if you do not understand the meaning of words in a movie, you can easily understand or guess because of the visuality of cinema.

Watching foreign movies can help you to learn a language if you do it in the right way:

  • Focus: You need to watch carefully to understand the plot of the movie. Foreign movies can be tricky if you are a beginner of that language so you can stop it when you do not understand an idiom or phrase to catch.
  • Repetition: You can watch the movie more than once to understand everything.
  • Do not look at the dictionary we can understand your hesitation about fast learning but the truth is that a dictionary cannot help you when you are trying to concentrate on the movie.
  • Do not read all the subtitles all the time. Try to understand on your own!
  • read more

    The differences between European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese

    The differences between European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese

    You can learn a lot about a language by its country’s history and culture. So, if one of your goals is to learn Portuguese, the history of Brazil and the history of Portugal are very important in order to understand not only the Portuguese language but also the main differences between both variants.

    Origin of the European Portuguese

    The European Portuguese origin comes from the vulgar Latin. The language was first introduced by the roman who occupied the Iberian Peninsula. We can call Portuguese a neolatin language, since it is one of the modern languages that originated from the vulgar Latin. The Portuguese language suffered modifications with the invasion of the Germans and later the Arabs, although their language was never established in total. In the XV century, the peninsula was reconquered from the Arabs and after that different dialects emerged from the contact of the Arabic and Latin.

    Although the language wasn’t established in total, the Arabic occupation in Portugal was crucial to shape the Portuguese language, given that there are more than one thousand words in Portuguese that have Arabic roots. Which is also why Arabs can learn Portuguese more easily! Here are some examples of those words:

    English

    Portuguese

    Arabic

    sugar açúcar السكر (asukkar)
    alcohol álcool الكحول (al-kuhul)
    neighborhood bairro حي (hayu)
    hanger cabide الكابد (al-kabid)
    pillow almofada المخدة (al-mohada)
    tile azulejo الزليج (azulejo)
    saffron açafrão الزعفران (azafran)

    Origin of the Brazilian Portuguese

    Portugal occupied Brazil in 1500 and the Portuguese language took root, while the indigenous languages started to disappear slowly. But their existence was crucial for the Portuguese spoken in Brazil nowadays. The

    Brazilian Portuguese is influenced by the indigenous languages, along with the African language read more

    The truth about French stereotypes

    The truth about French stereotypes

    French people are well known for a lot of French things that represent basic French stereotypes. In this article, the goal is to contextualise in the XXIst century all the French stereotypes, to tell the truth and to stop spreading false stereotypes. We are going to speak about sixteen key points which refer to French things. To facilitate the reading, we can classify them by sections. The first section talks about clothes, the second one about meal traditions and the last one about attitudes.

    Let’s start with stereotypes about clothing

    When you research images about French people you will definitely find a picture with a man wearing a beret and a striped shirt.

    Where are these stereotypes coming from?

    There is no official source that can attest that these stereotypes are coming from a specific thing. But we can suppose that this cliché became famous for two reasons. The first reason is that small farmers used to wear it to work. The second, related to the first one, is that these French small farmers went to Great Britain in the 20’s for work. They were called “onion Johnny” because they imported onions. These famous small farmers wore berets and striped shirts and we can suppose that they diffused the myth. Since it is supplied by artists like Jean-Paul Gaultier or Picasso (everybody knows the famous picture of him wearing a beret and a striped shirt made when he was living in France) and companies ( Justin Bridou’s logo in France).

    What about now?

    Nowadays, farmers don’t wear berets anymore. Nevertheless, some French people wear separately the beret and the striped shirt. In fact, on the Basque coast the tradition for men is to wear a beret. But it depends on the period of the year and events. It is a kind of appartenance symbol of the Basque region, which is very important for them. That is also the idea for the striped shirt in Brittany. They wear it as a pride distinction to represent their region. For all that, because the beret and the striped shirt are related to France and therefore to elegance, you can easily find them in fashion stores all over Europe.

    Let’s continue with meal traditions

    French people are known all over the world for their cuisine, that is the reason why the French word “chef” is now used in many languages to refer to the cook. That is also why foreigners think that French people only eat gourmet meals. But that is not true! They like to eat gourmet meals, of course, but with globalization they have changed their lifestyles and now they are also eating fast food, etc. And what about wine, cheese and baguette?

    Why are baguettes, wine and cheese symbols of France?

    The baguette was probably born during the reign of Napoléon 1st. In fact, the traditional bread was round, but to permit the soldiers to bring bread with them, the baguette was created. This way they could bring bread putting it in their back. The other hypothesis is that workers asked the baker to cook bread which could be cut without a knife/by hands. In both cases, it was born in France and surely that is why it is a French symbol. Nowadays, French people still delight in baguettes. Moreover, it has been registered in France, as an “immaterial culture patrimoine” since 2018.

    In France, for a feast with family or friends, the menu is composed as followed:

    • pre-dinner drinks and morsels
    • first course
    • main course
    • cheese with salad
    • desert
    • infusion, tea, coffee
    • after-dinner liqueur

    The first hypothesis to answer the question “why are wine and cheese French symbols?” is because French people drink wine during all dinner, from the first course to the cheese and salad moment. And rightly, they dedicate a part of their dinner eating cheese with bread, salad and wine. This part of the dinner is typically a French tradition which comes from farmers, again. As we can see with the description of a French feast above, this persistent tradition carries on those French symbols.

    French people eat frog legs and escargots

    It is a true story! French people were used to eating frog legs and escargots. But actually, eating escargots is very occasional. In fact, it is also an old tradition and young people do not approve of it. Some events are organised to eat escargots and some people can eat it for Christmas, but it is not a daily or weekly or monthly meal at all. Concerning frog legs, nowadays, almost nobody in France is eating frog legs except in starred restaurants.

    Last section: French attitudes

    Speaking about French attitudes is a very large topic because a lot of things are evoked by foreigners concerning their behaviors. They are heavy smokers, they always say “ohlala” or “putain”, they do not speak English or if they know they do not want to speak because of their accent, they are rude, they are to proud of their country, they are racists, they are fraudulent and they are always late. Let’s see what is true and what is false.

    French people are heavy smokers read more

    Romanian phrases to sound like a native

    Romanian phrases to sound like a native

    Why is it important to learn common Romanian expressions?

    Learning vocabulary is probably one of the most important parts when it comes to studying a new language. Whether you want to learn Romanian for fun, to do your studies, find a job or visit this country of mystery and romance, you will most likely meet some colloquial language. Such informal words and phrases can cause many misunderstandings, that’s why it’s important to know them. If you will

    learn and understand different informal Romanian phrases and words read more

    Top 5 similarities between Kazakh and Turkish languages

    Top 5 similarities between Kazakh and Turkish languages

    It is widely known that people in Kazakhstan speak Russian as a second language and use Cyrillic script as a base for Kazakh alphabet. Therefore, many foreigners think that Kazakh language is similar to Russian. However, it is not true at all. The two languages are totally different, and they don’t share any resemblances in word formation, grammatical or lexical structure. Of course, you can find Russian loanwords in Kazah, but there are not so many.

    Now you are puzzled, and you wonder

    “if Kazakh is not like Russian, then how does it sound like it and to what language is it related?” read more

    Chinese slang words: how to sound cool in China

    Chinese slang words: how to sound cool in China

    Slang words are never taught at school but it’s quite useful to know them. When your Chinese friends are gossiping about a leftover woman 剩女, you might want to know what they are talking about. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to understand their gossip after learning these useful Chinese slang words.

    Here is a list of Chinese slang words used in everyday life:

    1. Playboy 大猪蹄子 (dà zhūtí zǐ)

    听说她男朋友是一个=&0=&。Tīngshuō tā nánpéngyou shì yīgè dà zhūtí zǐ
    I heard that her boyfriend is a =&1=&.

    Wait… He is a what?

    When your friend is talking about a big pig’s trotter, she doesn’t mean this:

    大猪蹄子 dà zhūtí zǐ actually refers to playboy. So if you hear from someone that your Tinder date is a big pig’s trotter, I think you should avoid him.

    2. Little fresh meat 小鲜肉 (xiǎo xiān ròu)

    No, we are not talking about barbecue here. A little fresh meat, or 小鲜肉 xiǎo xiān ròu, is actually used to describe a handsome young male. It’s most commonly used for celebrities.

    那个=&2=&是谁?Nà gè xiǎo xiān ròu shì shéi ?
    Who is that =&3=&?

    是一个歌手。Shì yī gè gē shǒu.
    He’s a singer.

    很帅啊!Hěn shuài ā
    He’s so handsome!

    3. Leftover woman 剩女 (shèngnǚ)

    Ok. You can guess that it’s not a compliment, right? Indeed, leftover woman is actually used for girls over 27 who are still unmarried. In Chinese culture, many women are put under pressure by their parents because not getting married is a sign of disrespect. In an extremely patriarchal society such as China, being single is seen as something to be ashamed of.

    明年你27岁了,还没有男朋友!你想变一个=&4=&吗?

    Míngnián nǐ 27 suì le, hái méiyǒu nánpéngyou! Nǐ xiǎng biàn yīgè shèngnǚ ma? read more