Monthly Archives: September 2013

Sep 29th 2013

Sentence Rephraser for Android Mobile Devices Now Available

As you may or may not know, we released Ginger Sentence Rephraser for Android mobile devices recently. The news was widely distributed in the media, some of the more prominent pickups included:

GigaOm
TechCrunch
CNN Money

The big splash this new tool made is no small feat. It really changes the way you can use your Android to type. Sentence Rephraser analyzes text sentence by sentence to identify more linguistically stylized, enhanced ways of getting the original message across. Enhancement here means that Sentence Rephraser adds synonyms, idioms and missing words to enrich the text, therby adding more depth to the original message and optimizing communication. Sentence Rephraser leverages Ginger’s NLP platform, which is based on a corpus of more than 1.5 trillion sentences from the web, to identify phrases that have similar context to that of the user’s original text. It then presents the most prevalent phrases to the user as options for rewriting the text.

Obviously non-native English speakers will love the ability to write like a native, using local idioms and phrases. But we are confident that even native English speakers who want to quickly write their messages using abbreviations will find value with a tool that transforms “plz” to “please” with a tap on the keyboard.

Download Ginger Keyboard (free) from Google Play store.

Read the PR here.

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Sep 22nd 2013

The Importance of the Cover Letter

Getting the job of your dreams requires that you have the right education, the right experience and the right recommendations. All of this critical information needs to be neatly presented in your CV so that recruiters can quickly understand that you are potentially their dream candidate and call you in for an interview. However, there are many candidates with education, experience and CVs that are similar to yours, so you have to stand out! Your best chance to show off your advantages over the competition is your cover letter.

What is a Cover Letter?

Cover letters are freehand text documents that are sent to potential employers along with a job seeker’s resume. Cover letters for resumes are in essence, essays about yourself and your career.  Good cover letters sample the candidate’s specific skills and experience as they relate to a desired position. In fact, serious job seekers rewrite their cover letter to suit each particular job they are applying for. One good practice is to create a cover letter template which can be tweaked to suit different jobs.

Cover Letter Rules to Remember

  1. Always make sure your cover letter addresses the requirements detailed in the job posting.
  2. Always remember to thank your readers for their time and to provide your email address and phone number. 
  3. Never send out your cover letter without first checking it for spelling and grammar errors with Ginger’s Grammar Checker. You can also use the Sentence Rephraser to find more professional, sophisticated ways to write your text.
 Sample Cover Letter

A good cover letter starts by greeting the hiring manager.

The next step is writing the body of the cover letter. In the body you should try to immediately associate yourself with the desired position by stating who you are, what you do an what job you’re applying for. The rest of the cover letter body should tailor your qualifications and experience to the requirements listed in the job posting. A short message about why you are personally drawn to the company or company industry would also be appropriate here.

In the last paragraph of the cover letter you should discuss the next steps.

Cover Letter Examples

Cover letter examples can be found all over the internet. One good source is About.com.

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Sep 9th 2013

Back to School – Time to Write an Essay!

 

That’s it the vacation is over!

Now that September is officially here, we have to face the ugly truth  — the summer has almost ended and it’s about time to go back to school! Of course there’s a lot more to going back to school than actually getting out of bed on a predetermined day and finding a place to sit (hopefully as far away from the teacher as possible). By now you’ve probably bought new school clothes, caught up on all the gossip and let’s not forget, finished all of those annoying projects they gave you to work on over the break. The worst of these pesky projects is, without a doubt, the dreaded “What I did over my summer vacation” sample essay.

The perfect student essay – Or how I became a smarter/deeper/funnier person

You should see this academic essay as your very best chance to make a good impression on your teacher. This is it, the ultimate self-promotional tool that, if used wisely, could get you on your teacher’s good side for the whole year. My advice to you here is to go Hollywood! Like a good movie script, show how your character (you)  developed over the summer to become a better person.

Use proper essay structure 

 First things first – Like all things of essence and quality, a well-written essay requires the use of a formulated essay structure.  That’s right I’m talking intro, main body and conclusion — your 1-2-3 knockout combination! Use your intro to describe your frustrations/fears going into the summer vacation.

I came I saw I overcame – People (and when I say people I mean teachers) love a good “against all odds” story. Try to work up the sympathy by describing how bored you thought you would be, or how bummed you were that you had to get a summer job. Surprise and delight the reader  by showing how eventually you learned  to use the time to your advantage (by advantage I mean how you read books, did homework and engaged in otherwise uncool behavior).

Close it down gently - Now that you’ve got your audience eating out of the palm of your hand, you need to wrap your essay writing efforts. This is the place where you “realize” that you had it all wrong from the get-go, that you “grew” as a person. Maybe you helped someone along the way by showing them that reading/helping the elderly/doing chores is a great way to spend your time. Another option might be to show how you were able to outwit the neighborhood bully with the knowledge you acquired while doing your summer reading.

Last but not least – Essay review for student essay writing!

A minute before you start casting your blockbuster student essay, let’s slow things down and take it for an essay review. Use Ginger’s Grammar Checker to make sure that your spelling and grammar is beyond reproach and then try out the Sentence Rephraser to give your academic essay a bit of that Hollywood sparkle!

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Sep 1st 2013

Importance of English in the Business World

 

Success in business is often hinged on one single important word – communication; and most of it happens in English.

The world is flat; the economic migrations of the past decades have become permanent expat communities. Asians, especially, continue to migrate to the United States or to Europe for jobs and live there permanently. Even for those involved in business from their native countries, if they want to sell to a larger market, need to understand the trends and the cultures of those markets. This is often best done through the common currency that is English. Love it or hate it, we simply can’t ignore it. Big businesses call the shots, so if in Germany you do as the Germans do, in the common world market, learn English.

In order to get ahead in your chosen field you need to make yourself completely understood by the people you work with. There will be emails; there will be telephone conversations, and they are costly! Knowing good English helps you to make your point faster. If you have a website that the whole world can see, you had better have content that is meaningful and accurate and does not embarrass you or harm your business.

Even within Indian companies, especially large corporations, the number of employees is too huge for personal, one-on-one communication. Hence the intranet is the notice board and all communications are made through it. Imagine a secretary who didn’t know grammar and punctuation sent out a company wide email – “meeting cancelled because of indisposed”.  Because of whom? Because of indisposed? Is indisposed the name of a person? Another Indian might scoff and laugh at the very poor grammar, or might even get the gist of it, but what about the impression you make on, say, foreign collaborators who receive the same email? And even if we ignore the impression we make, what about the issues that arise from miscommunication? People just don’t know what you mean. Written communication is as important as verbal.

Engineers typically are nonchalant about their lack of language skills, saying that they understand their core subjects and that’s enough.  I would say that it is not enough to understand the concepts through insight or genius, you need to communicate that you know. Think interviews and group discussions for job-seekers! You cannot do this without proficiency in a language.

And what about presentations? You might have the most brilliant idea in the world, but if you do not know how to get it across, you are lost. I have seen scores of presentations made by students who are too stumped or lazy to formulate simple, brief and attractive sentences in English, which are the backbone of any good presentations. What they do is to simply type into Google, move into relevant or sometimes irrelevant sites, copy a large section of content and simply paste it into their power point slides, without a thought as to how readable or attractive it might be. A little education here (either training through company intranets, or an on-line course, or some self motivated self-education) can go a long way. The employee will not only use better grammar and vocabulary, but will also use logical chunking and sizing of the content, so he only puts as much on a slide as is easy to read and understand. One point per slide, with an example if it is there – this is a good rule. Anything more is actually taking away from your content.

This guest blog was written by Ramya Raju, an English professional working out of London. Check out his website: http://www.englishcourses.pro

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