A Guide to Plan the Berlin-Prague-Vienna-Budapest Trip

Source(s): penpaland.com
One of the most popular European traveler circuits is a trip
through four of Eastern Europe’s biggest cities: Berlin, Vienna, Prague,
and Budapest.
 Just One Visa to Go 

Germany, Austria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic come under the Schengen Area, and thus don’t require separate visas.

has been the pioneer of the cultural, technological, and societal
development of the world for a few centuries. The geopolitical and
cultural history of the second smallest continent on earth invites
travelers of all kinds. Eastern Europe, long hidden under the Iron
Curtain, holds many spectacular examples of European heritage.Berlin,
the city that has had probably the most influence over the geopolitical
evolution of Europe through the ages, is one of the largest cities in
the continent, and the second most populous. It is the ideal city to
start one of the most culturally enriching and deservedly popular travel
routes in Europe: the Berlin-Prague-Vienna-Budapest journey.

The Eastern European Journey

This route is one of the most
popular among travelers from Europe and elsewhere, and not without good
reason! These cities are among the most advanced in Europe, and offer a
standard of living seen in few places elsewhere. Behind their modern,
sophisticated face, however, lies a treasure trove of wonders from times
gone by. All three were crucial at various times in European history,
and offer an irreplaceable glimpse into medieval times. Here are some
handy tips that will enable you to enjoy this vacation as it should be.

When Should I Visit Eastern Europe?
                                                            City Square of Prague
➙ The peak time for traveling in Europe is during the summer: Late
June to October. Traveling during this duration will allow you to enjoy
the full benefits of all travel-oriented facilities.

off-season is usually a useful tip to lower the costs of any trip, but
braving the freezing winters or annoying rainfall just to save some
bucks can be pointless in this case. Unlike most tourist hotspots,
Berlin, Prague, Vienna, and Budapest are all bustling capital cities,
and don’t rely extensively on tourism for generating income for the
locals. Hence, the prices in such urban travel hotspots tend to not vary
too much seasonally. But going off-season will ensure that you at least
beat the rush, and still can sneak in a good deal or two. If you notice
most of the rooms’ keys still on the racks, you can often bring the
quoted price down to surprising amounts. Pretend to be a cash-strapped
student or beleaguered artist, if you must!

➙ Going in the winter by
design, to experience the Christmas and New Year celebrations, is
another excellent option. This way, you can be prepared for the bracing
cold, but still beat the peak-time rush of tourists. Off-season is also a
better time to pursue artistic endeavors. Given the vibrant cultural
and artistic background flaunted by cities like Prague and Vienna,
dodging the rush of tourists is the way to go.

➙ All in all, going just before or just after the peak time, i.e., April-May or October-November, should work out well.

How Do I Move About?
                                                      Szechenyi Chain Bridge, Budapest


➙ All four cities are connected to most major airports all over the
world. Berlin, especially, will almost definitely be within your reach.
If this trail is just one of many sections of your European vacation,
the Eurail is the most convenient option. However, last minute
reservations on the train can be expensive, and buses or low-cost
airlines emerge as better options.

➙ As for traveling between the
four cities, many tour operators offer an 8-night, two-nights-per-city
package. If you are not the sort of traveler who likes having things
done his own way, this is an excellent choice. Some operators also offer
11-day packages.➙ If you plan to travel on your own, getting a
Eurail pass is your best choice; most commercial operators also use the
train. If you want to fly, try low-cost airlines such as Wizz Air.

For visiting tourist sights in a city, use the local bus or tram
network. This is more often than not the cheapest option, and will also
allow you to experience day-to-day life in that city. In some cities,
especially Berlin, you can also hire bicycles and explore the city’s
myriad streets on your own.

Where Should I Stay?

➙ If you are a
premium traveler, these cities will leave you spoiled for choice with
their collection of high-end hotels and resorts. Being national
capitals, all four contain countless high- and mid-range options for
your stay.

➙ If you are traveling on a budget, couchsurfing can be a
huge help, since it will cut down on the cost of accommodation
altogether. If not couchsurfing, look for other options of homestays,
which is quite popular in Europe. This will also reduce your cost of
food quite drastically. Though some homeowners may charge a fee (which
is not the norm, but is understandably common), it is much less than any
hotel or even hostel.

➙ European hostels are an important part of
the experience of traveling through this continent, and are a lot
cheaper than hotels. Budget travel guru Nomadic Matt personally
recommends hostels such as ‘Aboriginal’ in Budapest, and ‘Wombats’ in
Berlin and Vienna.

How Much Will It Cost?

➙ Most commercial tour
packages charge well below USD 2,000 per person for this sojourn. If you
are traveling on your own, a standard 8-day itinerary will cost,
according to your starting point in the U.S., up to USD 2,200.

➙ Cut
down on needless, frivolous spending. Go to bars during happy hours, or
buy your liquor in stores. Or else, just jump onto the wagon for the
duration of your trip; your liver will thank you for that! Cut down on
impulse buying. Put aside a certain amount of shopping money before
leaving, and if you see something you really like, compensate elsewhere
to make up the extra expense.

What Should I Beware Of?

➙ Get your
mobile coverage and credit cards sorted out well in advance of your
departure date. You don’t want to come home to see a huge mobile bill
that you weren’t aware you were accruing, and you really don’t want to
have any problems with your credit cards in a foreign country!

➙ In
general, Europe is a very peaceful continent, and violent crimes are
rare. But tourists are scammed quite often, and in ingenious ways. So,
take some necessary precautions. Always order your cab from your hotel,
or if you are staying with someone, ask them the rates. If a cabbie
demands more than adequate, let him know that you know the correct
rates; most cabbies gamble on travelers not knowing the correct charge.
Another notorious scam is fake police demanding to check your money, and
taking some without you being any wiser. If a suspiciously dressed or
mannered cop does stop you and makes such a demand, politely ask for his
ID. Explain that you aren’t making any accusations, but you are a
tourist and really don’t know if he is a cop. Be pessimistic, and always
assume that any spontaneous scuffle on the streets is meant as a ruse
for pickpockets to get to work, and stay well away from such crowds.
Even if you are not a ‘mark’, you don’t want to get caught up in matter
you don’t understand, in a foreign country.

Why This Route?

Europe, particularly France and Italy, have become so popular among
global tourists that the previously Soviet-aligned Eastern Europe
remains criminally underrated. Berlin is, of course, one of the most
influential cities in human history, having been a crucial junction in
Charlemagne’s kingdom, Barbarossa’s Holy Roman Empire, and the Third
Reich. It also houses the most notorious symbol of the Cold War: the
Berlin Wall. In modern times, the city’s progress has gathered
tremendous pace, and it now has one of the best standards of living in
the world.

                                                         Brandenburg Gate, Berlin
Prague, like Berlin, having played a vital role in the Holy Roman
Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, has been an important cultural
and commercial center for centuries. It is one of the most attractive
and appealing cities in Europe, and its city center is a UNESCO Heritage
Site. Before the German annexation of Czechoslovakia, Prague was home
to a flourishing Jewish community, and artifacts from the period have
now become very popular tourist sites. It is also famous for its busy
art scene.
Vienna is an important nexus of Germanic and Western European
cultures, and flaunts its Baroque past with pride. It has a long
tradition of music, having been home to legendary musicians such as
Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, and Strauss. Other performing arts, such as
drama, are also held sacred in Vienna, with the city housing the oldest
English-language theater outside the UK. Vienna’s cafes are also very

Budapest, like Prague, is considered one of the most
beautiful cities in Europe, and lies on the picturesque location beside
the Danube. The banks of the iconic river are a World Heritage Site
complex. Like Vienna, Budapest is famous for its cafe culture. It is
also the best place to sample various Hungarian delicacies, such as a
plum cake. Various sightseeing programs can be arranged to properly
enjoy the numerous sights of Budapest. Hungary has a rich political and
cultural history, and Budapest’s museums pay a fitting tribute to that
very aspect of Hungarian life.

                                                 Natural History Museum, Vienna
If you are really intent on discovering more of Europe’s historic
architecture and exploring another of its disparate cultures, you can
take the Danube Express from Budapest to Istanbul―another bedazzling
jewel in the wonder that is Europe.So, when you plan your
once-in-a-lifetime European vacation, don’t forget to include this
stunning journey through the sands of time!

Japanese Words in English

Source(s): penpaland.com

There might hardly be a language in the world, which is not
influenced by at least one or two languages. Just as many English words
have proliferated into other languages, there are many
foreign/non-English words that are commonly used in the English language
today. This Buzzle article presents a list of Japanese words that are
used and accepted in English.

Did you know?

Although Japan is the only country in the world to
have Japanese as its official language, 127 million people around the
world speak Japanese.

apanese is the official language of Japan and Palau. The Japanese
language has three main dialects, namely Tokyo dialect, Kyoto-Osaka
dialect and Kyushu dialect. This language belongs to the
Japonic-Ryukyuan group of languages.It is made up of three
different scripts, namely kanji, hiragana, and katakana. All three
scripts are said to have been derived from ‘Chinese’ characters. There
are a number of Chinese words which have made their way into the
Japanese language. At the same time, Japanese also has loanwords from
Indo-European languages like English.

In the US, especially in
the state of California, there are more than 42,000 Japanese-speaking
people. The English language has always been enriched with words from
different cultures and languages. So, how can Japanese words be an
exception to this rule?

Having said that, let’s take a look at some Japanese loanwords used in the English language.

Japanese Words Pronunciation Meaning
Aikido ahy-kee-doh Japanese martial arts
Anime an-uh-mey Animation
Bento ben-taw A home-packed meal
Banzai bahn-dzah-ee Cheer of enthusiasm or triumph
Bonsai bon-sahy Miniature tree grown in a tray or shallow pot
Dashi dah-shee Soup stock; fundamental to Japanese cooking
Dojo doh-joh Any physical training facility
Futon foo-ton A type of mattress
Geisha gey-shuh Traditional Japanese female entertainers
Haiku hahy-koo Short poem of 3 lines
Harakiri hahr-uh-keer-ee A ritual suicide carried out by cutting the belly
Hibachi hi-bah-chee Traditional Japanese heating device
Ikebana ee-ke-bah-nah Japanese art of flower arrangement
Imari ee-mari Plates and cups made of multicolored porcelain
Judo joo-doh A sport adapted from jujitsu and similar to wrestling
Jujitsu joo-jit-soo Martial art form
Kabuki kah-boo-kee Traditional Japanese theater
Kanji kahn-jee Japanese writing using Chinese characters
Kamikaze kah-mi-kah-zee Divine wind or a pilot trained and willing to cause a suicidal crash
Kakemono kah-ke-maw-naw A vertical hanging scroll containing either text or a painting
Karaoke kar-ee-oh-kee Singing popular songs along with recorded music
Karate kuh-rah-tee Type of Japanese martial art
Kendo ken-doh Martial art form
Koto kaw-taw Traditional musical instrument
Kimono kuh-moh-nuh Outer garment, generally made of silk
Koi koi A colorful, ornamental carp fish
Manga mahng-guh Comics
Makimono mah-kee-maw-naw Horizontal hand scroll containing either text or a painting
Miso mee-saw Paste made from fermenting rice, soybean, koji and sea salt
Noh noh Stylized classic drama of Japan
Ninja nin-juh A skilled warrior
Obi aw-bee A long, broad sash used over a kimono
Origami awr-i-gah-mee Paper-folding art
Pachinko puh-ching-koh A Japanese pinball game
Ramen rah-muhn A variety of Japanese noodle dish
Ronin roh-nin A samurai without a master
Rickshaw or Jinrihisha rik-shaw/jin-rik-shaw Human-pulled vehicle
Sake sah-kee Alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice
Samurai sam-oo-rahy Japanese warrior
Sashimi sah-shee-mee Thinly sliced, fish or raw meat
Satsuma sah-tsoo-mah A kind of mandarin orange
Sayonara sah-yaw-nah-rah Goodbye
Sensei sen-sey Master, teacher
Seppuku se-poo-koo A ritual suicide carried out by cutting the abdomen
Shoyu shoh-yoo Japanese soy sauce
Shamisen sæmɪ-sen Three-stringed musical instrument
Shiatsu shee-aht-soo Acupressure massage
Shogun shoh-guh A military commander
Surimi soo-ree-mee Minced fish flavored in imitation of lobster or crabmeat
Sudoku soo-doh-koo Literally means ‘single number’, but now associated with a number puzzle
Sumo soo-moh A Japanese form of wrestling
Sushi soo-shee Vinegared rice topped with raw fish, shellfish and rarely vegetables
Tanka tahng-kuh Short poem form consisting of five lines with 31 syllables
Tatami tuh-tah-mee Straw matting
Teriyaki ter-uh-yah-kee Cooking technique in which fish or meat is grilled in soy marinade
Tofu toh-foo Bean curd
Tsunami tsoo-nah-mee Large waves as a result of underwater earthquakes or other disturbances
Tycoon or Taikun tahy-koon A businessperson of great wealth and power; magnate
Typhoon tahy-foon Violent tropical storm or cyclone
Ukiyo-e oo-kee-yaw-e Painting and printmaking developed in Japan
Wasabi wah-suh-bee Green paste similar to horseradish
Zaibatsu zahy-bah-tsoo Business Conglomerate
Zen zen Branch of Mahayana Buddhism
Zori zawr-ee A Japanese sandal; formally worn with kimono on special occasions

I have tried to cover the most common Japanese words used in the English
language here, but if you think I have missed out on some, then please
leave a comment in the box given below and I will be glad to add them.

10 Day Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore

Article Source(s): penpaland.com


  Never miss the chance of taking the advantage of visiting these
three exotic cities. Beginning of May 2016, the prices in these
destinations are considerably perfect for a marvelous vacation in
Southern Asia.

The guests will begin their trip by spending three
nights in Hong Kong, featured with its skyscrapers; the city is among
the sections that are still under the governance of China.

word Hong Kong means the perfumed port. Distinguished with a significant
location overlooking the pearl Estuary and the South China Sea, Hong
Kong is one of the largest growing economies in the world and a
wonderful destination for a holiday as well.

The accommodation in
Hong Kong will be in the Park Hotel, located near many interesting
attractions like shopping centers and the Disney Land of Hong Kong. This
hotel is among the best the city has to offer.

In Hong Kong, the
half day tour to the Peak of the city, the highest point of the island
where the guests would surly have a magnificent time viewing all the
tall buildings and skyscrapers of Hong Kong from above. Afterwards, the
guests will enjoy exploring the Stanley Market, the largest touristic
market in the city. At the end of the day we will be also visiting the
floating fish village and one of the amazing local jeweler factories
where the guests will learn about this matchless traditional handicraft.

wonderful evening tour in Hong Kong would be the Symphony of Lights
Cruise, this magnificent cruise of the Victoria Harbor, the most
astonishing and the largest sound and light show in the whole world. The
guests would enjoy their ride in a boat all over the harbor with
amazing lights coming from everywhere lighting up the sky, with the most
remarkable music.

The guests enjoying their vacations in Southern Asia
will spend the following three nights in Bangkok, the city that is
favorite among tourists all over the world. The capital of Thailand has
several secrets to reveal to its guests! Guests enjoy their vacation in
Thailand would stay in the Aetas Lumpini Hotel, one of the highest rated
among tourists in Thailand.

Explore the wonders of the Island of
Macau to visit some of the historical landmarks of the island including
the renowned Guia Circuit, the Temple of A-Ma, Porta do Cerco, the Saint
Paul Cathedral, and the Penha Hill Church in one memorable day.

remarkable optional tour in Bangkok would be the Chao Phraya River
Cruise with dinner that includes the finest dinner cruising all over the
wonders of the city. For travelers who are fond of the astonishing
historical sites, we recommended the optional tour of that consist of a
half a day to explore the Grand Palace and the Emerald Buddha, among the
most popular landmarks of the city.

During the last part of the
vacation, the guests will experience spending two nights in Singapore in
the Dorsett Singapore Hotel, one of the finest and most comfortable
places to stay in Singapore.

Optional tours in Singapore include
the morning tour of the city of Singapore that include visiting the
notable Merlion Park, Thian Hock Keng Temple, one of the most ancient
Buddha temples in the region,. Finishing the day with the awesome nature
in the National Orchid Garden with more than 60,00 orchid trees that
surrounds the guests in the most fascinating ambience.


The Benefits of Learning a Language Online


The world is turning faster and faster and the more countries a company seals deals with, the more likely is the achievement of economies of scale, through access to a larger market and an increased geographical expansion. It is obvious that the piece of the cake is going to be much smaller in saturated markets, which is why companies have begun targeting and expanding into the emerging economies that will be dominating the world in the future: India, Brazil and China. Nothing can be achieved without mastering English and ideally the language of the targeted country, however, and that is where companies seek the help of e-learning specialists that will help them understand, manage and administer foreign employees, legislations and customs.

The advantages of e-learning vs. traditional language courses

The packed schedule of many employees and managers does not offer any gaps for visiting a language institute. The internet has offered a more flexible and less time-consuming way of learning a language. Time has become a more valuable resource than money and e-learning is the ideal way of saving time and money, as lessons can be taken directly from home or from the office and expensive language courses abroad are no longer necessary. E-learning companies offering language courses online have sprung up like mushrooms in the last few years. By means of communicational tools such as Skype or e-learning software like virtual classrooms and virtual conference rooms, businessmen and individuals are able to learn the language of their choice in an online environment without having to travel unnecessary distances. In addition to that, people have discovered the benefits of learning a language with a native speaker rather than a teacher that teaches his/her second or third language and will most likely have an accent when speaking.

How does it work?

The most popular tool for learning a language is Skype. Skype offers you the opportunity to speak to your teacher based in any desired country for free. You simply need to sign up and create your account and you are ready to go. It is recommended to have a broadband internet connection, a headset (the best ones are the ones with a USB connection) and a quiet learning environment to make the fastest progress. A webcam offers you the possibility to see your teacher and observe the way he/she talks and uses gestures to reinforce and emphasize his/her speech. Another useful tool for learning a language online is a conference room or virtual classroom. The teacher can upload files containing audio, videos, grammar exercises, activities and games into the virtual classroom where the student and the teacher can see the same screen. Virtual classrooms also provide a chat window which teachers can use to write down new vocabulary, expressions and anything that might be useful for the learner. The contents of this chat box can be copied and pasted into a word file which can later be emailed to the student. The student and the teacher can activate their webcam inside the virtual classroom which will make the learning experience more intense and real.

Which are the best e-learning companies?

On VerbalPlanet you can select the teacher based on experience, number of lessons taught, price of lessons, age and rating. MyWebAcademy provides interactive online German courses for all levels and ages with a native speaker in their advanced virtual classroom. Learnship is a German company that offers language courses that are conducted in an advanced virtual conference room with interactive learning material based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, produced by the Council of Europe. Gofluentis a French company that offers English courses via mobile learning, e-learning, lessons over the phone and e-writing.

Which language should I learn?

While English has been the most sought after language for decades, Chinese, Portuguese and Russian are currently among the top favorites against the background of Brazil, Russia and China becoming one of the world’s leading economies and offering high potentials with GDP grow rates of up to 9%. It might be hard to believe that Portuguese is spoken as a native language by approx. 178 million people and it has become the 7th most widely spoken language on earth. Besides, Portuguese is an official language of the EU and the MERCOSUR. Russian is the 8th most widely spoken language worldwide with 144 million native speakers and it is also one of the six official languages of the United Nations. The most spoken language of the world, however, is Mandarin, spoken by 845 million native speakers. It is also one of the six official languages of the United Nations. Learning German might also be a wise choice as German is the most widely spoken language in Europe and Germany has the 3rd strongest economy. German is also the second most commonly used scientific language. You will find great opportunities to study and work in Germany with a great number of scholarships being offered and special visas for skilled workers. Nevertheless, English remains to be the most important language in the world and in many countries English is the first foreign language studied at school. English is mostly the only connection there is between two people that do not speak each other’s native languages. Spanish is also an important language as it is spoken in more countries than any other language. It is estimated that in the future there will be more Spanish than English speakers in the United States.

It is time to start e-learning a language! Choose your favorite language and give it a try. You will not regret it and you will be amazed by the results you can achieve in a very short time.

Helpful Tips to Follow While Buying Luggage

You might have asked yourself the question of how to buy good luggage many times. There are certain important points to take into consideration while going through this particular process. Here you will also be able to gain some useful insights into the luggage and/or baggage world. These tips should be utilized to a very large extent because these are very important.

1. The weight and size of the luggage

You obviously don’t want to under pack for any trip that you are going to make. For this purpose it is important to choose the size as well as weight of your baggage without any type of complications. There are also bags that are labelled as light weight but it is recommended to never take the label for what it is. There is always something behind it.

2. The durability and construction

Waterproofing, fabric and frame are the basics for durability and construction of luggage. Thus it is recommended to look for these characteristics while you are selecting your luggage. In case your bag has an inner frame, you must look for the fiberglass that can provide immense strength but is also extremely lightweight.

3. A stand out style

You must just say no to any type of black luggage. There are other colors that can make your luggage look as sophisticated as it can get. Colors like blue, yellow and red look very beautiful when they are applied on your baggage. Thus it is good if you think outside the box and go for something that is extraordinary yet beautiful. People always notice the color of your bag while you are travelling. Hence make the most of this opportunity and purchase a bag that you feel is the best for you.

4. Warranties and brands are very important

Who said don’t fall for the brand. The brand is an essential and important characteristic that must be taken into consideration. This is because without a good brand you will not be able to assure yourself of good quality and this can affect your long term needs and requirements. Also the warranty that you can avail on the luggage you purchase says a lot about your usage. You should thus go for the best and make good use of your luggage. There is always a lot in store than you might actually know about. It is one of the important things to remember.

To know more about custom luggage bags or custom made luggage, please check our website.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Achal_Mehrotra/1934376

Benefits of Being Bilingual

Source : penpaland.com

The ability to converse in two languages is known as bilingualism. People who are adept at speaking two languages enjoy certain advantages over their monolingual counterparts.
Read more at Buzzle:

In a modern world like ours, it has become commonplace for people to know more than one language. It isn’t uncommon to come across bilinguals who, not only have a command over their first or native language but are also fluent in a second, vernacular or foreign language as well.According to common underlying proficiency (CUP) model of language processing, even though the database of different languages is interconnected in our minds, it is stored in separate compartments and thus does not interfere or encroach upon the other.

Thereby, making it possible for bilinguals to switch between two languages with equal ease and fluency. Research has revealed that the practice of bilingualism is beneficial in the following ways.


Cognitive Benefits
➜ A bilingual individual’s brain has two active language systems which work simultaneously without hindering the performance of other. Thus, ensuring that the brain is always exercising both its linguistically oriented cognitive functions.

➜ Bilinguals are also able to conjure multiple phrases or words for each idea and object. While coming up with the words, bilinguals will think in both languages and thereafter choose the most appropriate options. Monolinguals on the other hand utilize their limited reservoir of words.

➜ General reasoning and ability to conceptualize among bilinguals improves drastically when advanced linguistic skills such as code-switching, accent neutralization, and syntax appropriation are acquired. This ability to grasp and improve, makes it easier for bilinguals to learn newer languages and evolve into multilingual speakers.

➜ Cognitive flexibility also improves through divergent and convergent thinking, wherein the speaker builds on a single idea and derives a suitable conclusion after scrutinizing various arguments. This ability has been attributed to parallel data processing.

➜ Bilingual speakers develop metalinguistic awareness and can differentiate between the implied and literal meaning of words and phrases. Such people can think beyond labels, symbols, and language structure because their minds are not restrained to think in a single language

➜ While conversing with others, a bilingual will automatically switch to the language which is understood by the listener so as to ease the flow of communication. Whereas, monolinguals would be forced to converse in the only language they know.

➜ Being bilingual has a positive effect on intellectual growth as well. It helps enhance and enrich a person’s mental development and awareness, because the rate of language assimilation, retentivity, and grasping of phonetics is higher among bilinguals as compared to monolinguals.
Academic Benefits

➜ Research has revealed that bilingual and multilingual individuals tend to perform better in competitive examinations. It is believed that bilinguals fare better at IQ tests because of their ability to think of multiple possible scenarios, so as to derive a suitable conclusion.

➜ Bilinguals find it easier to learn new languages and thus fare better in immersion programs.

➜ Bilinguals are also able to understand and appreciate the literature and discourses of their second language.Benefits for Kids 

➜ Kids have a natural aptitude for picking up new words and sounds because of the vast spectra of lingual inputs they are exposed to.

➜ Bilingual children can easily break down words into its component sounds and therefore categorizing words comes naturally to them. It is easier for bilingual children to detect rhyming words. Their responses can also be equally fast in both the languages.

➜ According to the renowned Canadian psychologist Ellen Bialystok, bilingual children are better at solving verbal and nonverbal problems that contain misleading and confusing aspects.➜ Bialystok’s research also revealed that bilingual children were better at detecting grammatical errors and extracting words from continuous verbal sentences.

➜ Bilingual children also fare better in reading and verbal skills as compared to monolingual children.

➜ In her research paper, ‘Reshaping the Mind: The Benefits of Bilingualism’, Ellen Bialystok states that bilinguals outperform monolinguals in tasks based on applying executive control.
Health Benefits of Bilingualism

➜ Research has suggested that elderly bilinguals have more cognitive control as compared to monolinguals.

➜ According to a study by UCLA Professor Jared Diamond, children who grow up in a bilingual family have lesser chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

➜ In yet another study of Spanish-English bilinguals, scientists of the University of California found that they were more resistant to such diseases than their monolingual counterparts. Their research also revealed that the age of onset of Alzheimer’s is directly proportionate to the degree of bilingualism.
The Character/ Personality Advantage
Bilinguals are able to emote better. Their temperament is generally adaptive and they can be more genial, as compared to single language speakers. With increased familiarity of dialects, they find greater confidence and sense of self-esteem.


The Cultural Advantage
Bilingualism offers greater exposure to different cultures and builds bridges between them. Knowledge of different languages entails a treasure of traditional and contemporary sayings, idioms, history, folk stories, music, movies, literature, and poetry of different countries and cultures. An extensive cultural experience also creates greater tolerance, open-mindedness, and appreciation.
The Employment Advantage
Bilinguals are preferred over monolinguals for jobs that require them to travel extensively or communicate with a wider group of people. Individuals who are proficient in a foreign language can work as translators, diplomats, teachers, doctors, etc. Employing bilinguals also helps in exploring new avenues and pooling in new clients from around the word. Bilingual and multilingual employees can also help in training new members when the need arises.
The biggest advantage of being bilingual is that the individual gets to be a part of two diverse communities without feeling excluded. Whereas, it can be extremely challenging for monolinguals to step out of their comfort zone and communicate with people who do not speak the same language as them.

Pros and Cons of Duolingo, the Language Learning Website



Learning a second language can be extremely difficult for some, especially when they don’t live in the country or region that speaks it natively. Many look to online sources to help them gain the vocabulary and grammar rules of the language. Duolingo is on the these sites and after a few months of using it I have a pros and cons list to share. Did you use the site? Comment below! Is the app for smart phones different (better or worse), comment that below too!

Pro: Several Different Languages to Choose From

I know this is different depending on the country you’re in; in America the standard second language is either French or Spanish. Sometimes if you stay slightly you’ll get Mandarin, Japanese, Arabic, German, and even Russian in some places. Duolingo has several options like Swedish, Vietnamese, Polish, Dutch, Korean, Hungarian, even Klingon and other options that aren’t the same old French or Spanish. They are even experimenting with a new language that is supposedly brining world peace by combining English, Spanish, Arabic, Hindi, and other languages around the world to promote better understanding around the world. There are so many options to choose from, so why not choose one of the different ones?

Pro: Easy Access and User Interface

While it’s another username and password, all you need is an email address and you’re done. It’s easy to click on the little circles to gain vocabulary and grammar such as “clothing” or “plurals.” You always know what you’re learning and they often include lessons inside of lessons so it’s easier to learn! It’s also available for your phone and your computer.

Con: Spelling Counts

If you ever type on a computer or on your phone you know that sometimes you can easily hit a wrong key, making a spelling error. Duolingo rarely makes up for these errors. Sometimes it doesn’t give you the spelling of the foreign word so make sure you triple check the spelling!

Con: Must Repeating Lessons in Order to Keep Moving On

Once you complete a lesson it shows that it’s up to “full strength.” The website also “warns” you to keep up those full strength bars because words can fade from your memory if you don’t use it. There has been several times when I return the next day only to find it isn’t near “full strength” at all! I’d have to retest several times in order to keep up those levels when I just learned those words the day before. In recent times I once returned an hour later only to find I was below “full strength” again. It was becoming to get annoying having to test and retest things I just learned just to make sure they stayed in “full strength” mode. No one else seemed to complain about this so it could just be me.

Con: Sound Problems

Others have complained about this too, just google “Duolingo sound not working” and you’ll get dozens of answers. On one of my computers the sound works perfectly. Unfortunately I can’t access this computer all the time. The other computer I have (the one I use the most and do have access 24/7) the sound doesn’t work at all. Youtube, Facebook videos, movies, they all sound just fine on that computer but Duolingo has no sound on it at all. This wouldn’t be such a problem if they didn’t have test questions such as “type what you hear.” I have no idea what the robot speaking Swedish is saying…so I can’t type it out to answer the question. Once I actually guessed the correct answer! When these happen you have to click the little “skip” button and then I get thrown back several more questions until it comes up again and I have to click “skip” again and on and on.

Con: It’s a Robot Talking

While the website is made by native speakers and those who actually already know and understand the language…the sound that comes from the website is robotic. It’s sometimes difficult to understand exactly what it’s saying because it doesn’t enunciate like a human would. I can’t tell you how many times I couldn’t understand what it was saying.