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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Aug 27th 2013

11 Untranslatable Words From Other Cultures

The relationship between words and their meaning is a fascinating one, and linguists have spent countless years deconstructing it, taking it apart letter by letter, and trying to figure out why there are so many feelings and ideas that we cannot even put words to, and that our languages cannot identify.

The idea that words cannot always say everything has been written about extensively – as Friedrich Nietzsche said:

Words are but symbols for the relations of things to one another and to us; nowhere do they touch upon the absolute truth.

No doubt the best book we’ve read that covers the subject is ‘Through The Language Glass‘ by Guy Deutscher, which goes a long way to explaining and understanding these loopholes – the gaps which mean there are leftover words without translations, and concepts that cannot be properly explained across cultures.

Somehow narrowing it down to just a handful, we’ve illustrated 11 of these wonderful, untranslatable, if slightly elusive, words. We will definitely be trying to incorporate a few of them into our everyday conversations, and hope that you enjoy recognizing a feeling or two of your own among them.

Visit Maptia for more interesting posts.

1.  German: Waldeinsamkeit

A feeling of solitude, being alone in the woods and a connection to nature. Ralph Waldo Emerson even wrote a whole poem about it.

2. Italian: Culaccino

The mark left on a table by a cold glass. Who knew condensation could sound so poetic.

3. Inuit: Iktsuarpok


The feeling of anticipation that leads you to go outside and check if anyone is coming, and probably also indicates an element of impatience.

4. Japanese: Komorebi

This is the word the Japanese have for when sunlight filters through the trees – the interplay between the light and the leaves.

5. Russian: Pochemuchka

Someone who asks a lot of questions. In fact, probably too many questions. We all know a few of these.

6. Spanish: Sobremesa


Spaniards tend to be a sociable bunch, and this word describes the period of time after a meal when you have food-induced conversations with the people you have shared the meal with.

7. Indonesian: Jayus

Their slang for someone who tells a joke so badly, that is so unfunny you cannot help but laugh out loud.

8. Hawaiian: Pana Poʻo


You know when you forget where you’ve put the keys, and you scratch your head because it somehow seems to help you remember? This is the word for it.

9. French: Dépaysement

The feeling that comes from not being in one’s home country – of being a foreigner, or an immigrant, of being somewhat displaced from your origin.

10. Urdu: Goya

Urdu is the national language of Pakistan, but is also an official language in 5 of the Indian states. This particular Urdu word conveys a contemplative ‘as-if’ that nonetheless feels like reality, and describes the suspension of disbelief that can occur, often through good storytelling.

11. Swedish: Mangata


The word for the glimmering, roadlike reflection that the moon creates on water.

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Aug 15th 2013

Aug 12th 2013

Ginger Ranks High in Huffington Post Top 10 Startups

We’re proud to be part of the Huffington Post’s top 10 Israeli startups! You can read the entire article here.

Ginger epitomizes the startup working environment almost like no other startup on the local scene. When you enter the Ginger offices, you cannot help but feel invigorated by the high-energy buzz that floats around the offices. The tangibly frantic, yet focused pace that hovers above Ginger employees as they run from meeting to meeting is perhaps the single most powerful evidence of its startup working environment. This energy is derived from the feeling that Ginger is truly creating something valuable for the world, in a sphere where before Ginger there was nothing.

 

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