Academy of Foreign Languages and Culture
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Rs. 1, 20, 000/- *
*Cost includes: Airfare (to fro), Visa fees, Stay, Meals, Travel & Sight-seeing (rail-fare, bus-fare) & Entrance Fees.
Call on 9820807552 and lets go to Japan...!!!
• Mount Fuji, Toyota Museum, Asakusa Kanon Temple, Venus Fort, Palat Town, Rainbow Bridge, Hot Water Springs, Lake Hakone in Tokyo.
• Hiroshima Museum & Peace Park, Learn some origami with Japanese People at Sadako Monument & Bomb Dome in Hiroshima.
• Enjoy some time at Shinto Shrine & the island of deers at Miyajima Island – one of the most beautiful islands in Japan.
• Kiyomizu Temple, Golden Pavilion and Nizo Castle in Kyoto.
• Todaiji Temple and Deer Park in Nara.
• Enjoy 1 whole day at Universal Studios in Osaka.
• The Beautiful Korakuen Gardens in Okayama.
• A village visit – Kurashiki in Okayama.
• Explore the sea-world under the Pacific Ocean – the Ring World at Osaka Kaiyukan Aquarium& Japanese Culture Osaka Castle in Osaka.
You will also get to experience Bullet Train Journey, staying at Ryokan, attending Japanese tea ceremonies, visiting Japanese Schools & explore Japanese Culture & a chance to exhibit any Indian art or perform Indian dance or songs & much more…!!!
Don’t just travel to a land, explore the land, and that’s exactly what we will be doing on our tour. You will get to see and experience everything closely. It is not a regular- “6am wake up time tour” where you need to rush everywhere.
Explore the land, Enjoy the food, language, music, Experience the culture & Earn a lifestyle!
All this & much more ...
Prof. Amrutha Joshi Amdekar — Foreign Language Expert
Thursday, May 14, 2009
And the spotlight falls on the languages…
Questions like was there one original language???
Who speaks Indo-European???
Which language did Adam and Eve speak???
With so many differences, what do the indo-European languages have in common???
Sooo many questions are unanswered...
but there are some striking similarities between languages or between the language families which are quite surprising.
Here are a few of them...
As early as the beginning of the 19th century, linguists detected similarities in texts written in Sanskrit and others written in ancient Greek. Comparative studies have uncovered a number of other phonetic and grammatical similarities between the languages of the European and Asian regions.
This produced the theory that there was one original language, from which many independent languages evolved. Just as a tree forms branches, so did Indo-European languages-previously called Indo-Germanic languages-develop subfamilies (Romanic, Slavonic, Germanic or Indo-Aryan), which gave rise to other independent languages (such as French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese, in the Romance subfamily.)
Some Striking Similarities:
The similarities between five languages from the Indo-European family are shown below by the words for the numerals
8, 10 and 100.
English-Old Irish-Latin-Gothic-Ancient Greek-Sanskrit
While the literature of the Indo-European world languages, such as English, French, Italian, Spanish, or Russian, is of general interest, and can be learned at schools or adult education centres in nearly every city, the Finno-Ugrian languages are little spoken outside their home regions. Apart from three national languages- Finnish, Estonian and Hungarian- the Finno-Ugrian family also comprises dialects which are only used by a couple of thousand people. Some examples being, Mansish, Ingrian, Weps, Livonian, all of which are languages spoken by small groups in the former Soviet Union.
The Finno-Ugrian languages, which are native to Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland), the Baltic States (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia) and Hungary, make use of the Latin alphabet. The Volga-Finnish and the Uralic languages of the former USSR, however, are normally written in the Cyrillic script.
You all might be surprised to know the fact that, there are about 20 Finno-Ugrian languages, and that they form a scientifically identifiable family.
Linguists use the phonetic method- the study of the sounds and speech- to determine their relationship to one another. If two or more languages show a close correspondence in vocabulary, then they are likely to be related. This statement seems quite obvious, and it is the key to the unity of both the Indo-European and Semitic language families. However, there are certain features of Finnish and Hungarian that make the linguist’s task more difficult. A comparison of four Finnish and Hungarian words illustrates their close relationship:
In comparison to the Indo-European languages, the Finno-Ugrian idioms have remarkable grammatical structures. One of these is the so-called harmonization of vowels, in which a word or a term comprising several word units will often repeat the same vowels in the root are repeated in the suffix:
Házanban (in my house)
Haz-an-abn (house mine in)
Kertemben (in my garden)
Kert-em-ben (garden mine in)
In addition, the grammatical forms of these languages are exceddingly complex. Many students despair of ever learning the numerous declensions of Latin or Russian, but these seem like child’s play in comparison to Hungarian or Finnish.
In Hungarian, the word fog(tooth) can be declined in no less than 17 different cases!!!
A lot of words in English have also been borrowed from these languages…like, the word ‘couch’ from the Hungarian word kocsi.
The word ‘ski’ has come from the Saami language via the Norwegian, while the word ‘sauna’ is of Finnish origin, like the Sauna Bath itself.
Last but not least, the Finno-Ugrian languages are rich in illustrative and expressive words: for example, the Finnish words for ‘wind’ include suhina (the wind which blows), suhahdus (the wind that blows fast), tohina (the storm wind), kohina (the howling wind) and humina (the wind that whispers in the branches)…
And now can you think of declining all these winds, and even if you do…then am sure…we will be gone with the winds!!!
(This extract has been taken from my book 'Akshar-A Multilingual Book').
Der internationale Talk… LOAN WORDS!!!
The use of English loan words in a specific genre of languags has become like a part of any language. That's how English is encroaching on one among many languages and occurring in their texts.
The key question is in a specific context, what are LOANWORDS?
KRAMSCH has called the inserting of elements of one language into another ‘Language Crossing’
For her it as a way of performing cultural acts of identity and a way of trying to achieve solidarity.
SPOLSKY notes that ‘the integration of a word from one language to another’ is the classical borrowing case.
BLOOMFIELD stated in this regard that the ‘adoption of features which differ from thoseof the main tradition is Linguistic Borrowing’.
In the present state, words which are ordinary English words but the historian taking the past into view classes them as loan words providing examples of the word CHAIR which now seems perfectly normal English word.
However it actually derives from old French from Latin CATHEDRA (which has been derived from Greek)
And its modern French equivalent is CHAISE.
The term borrowing and loan are the main ways of describing this process although not everyone agrees that these are the best words to use.
CRYSTAL notes that neither of the terms is actually appropriate, as the receiving language does not really give them back. We can term it as Inheritance.
This has been noticed in lot of languages right from Indian to foreign
We thought that we Indians are using a lot of English
We are mixing a lot of English words in our conversation and are we forgetting/ignoring our language. But this problem as we may call it has been noticed by the Europeans, Japanese and Chinese as well.
Words like TRAIN/TV are being commonly used by us without even realizing while we talk in our respective mother tongues.
The same problem as we may call it has been faced by the Europeans as well.
It has been noticed in Italy the newspapers are using a lot of English words…
One such example,
Botti vietati agli under 14 -which means ‘fireworks forbidden for the under 14s’.
Some more examples:
La leadership nelle vacanze
Il turismo e un business
Per avere organizzato un ‘christmas party’
Un vero e proprio “christmas party”
Che vedono nei film e telefilm americani
Un invito a preferire il made in Italy politics
Il check-in Alitalia
Alla Grande Malpensa, aeroporto hub
Le istruzioni sono su internet
Governement to governement
Governement to citizen
Governement to business
Pin per telefonini, password delle e-mail
Del tabloid dmenicale “the mail on Sunday”
Now this can be put into 4 categories according to their construction: cryptolexic and private; foreign; ambiguous; and difficult.
Fifth can be code explication.
But the second one FOREIGN- this word is of greatest interest.
The kind of jargon in which a foreign word is used as it adds to the uncommunicative style of the newspaper and the incomprehensibility of the news.
Sociolinguistics only exists as a field of study because there are choices in the use of language and languages.
In this particular case it can be said that where a journalist decides to use an English word instead of an Italian/ French/ Hindi one a choice has been made and it is valid in sociolinguistics to analyze such a choice.
Language plays a symbolic role in our lives, and when there is a choice of languages the actual choice made be very important.
This suggests that we should look at what type of symbolic gesture is being made when these English words are used.
Conversational code-mixing is not just a haphazard mixing of two languages
It requires conversants to have sophisticated knowledge of both the languages and to be actually aware of community norms.
The choice therefore of inserting Foreign Words rests on the readers being able to understand such words and/or why they are being used.
It’s also noticed all over the world that ENGLISH makes a valid point for our discussion when we say:
Today new words are no longer regarded as parvenus with suspicious backgrounds: they are fashionable.
They have the status, albeit ambiguous, of buzz words.
In this their symbolic nature may be related to status.
The speaker, consciously or not, chooses a stylistic level appropriate for the audience where he or she wishes to address.
People who cannot understand these foreign words will be put off reading the newspaper, whereas daily readers will feel secure in their choice if the language used is the kind that they are at ease with.
Using English words therefore, we may say, adds status to the language style of the newspaper.
In Italy, the continual use of English words in otherwise normal Italian texts has been denoted by the verb COCACOLONIZZARE, based on both coca cola and colonize.
In Marathi we may call it as, "COCACOLIKARAN"(jagatikikaran)
So what can we conclude it as ... ???
Can we say that "English words or English language seem to be taking over"???
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Britain’s treatment of the Iraqis was compared last night with that of the Gurkhas as it emerged that scores of families are still living in fear of being murdered by militias who accuse them of collaborating with the enemy.
MPs from all three parties have described the assistance scheme as deliberately restrictive and called for a review. The scheme gives former interpreters, cleaners and other local employees a chance to relocate to Britain or receive a one-off cash sum to stay in Iraq or resettle in a neighbouring country such as Jordan.
It was launched a year and a half ago after a Times campaign and is limited to those who have worked 12 consecutive months — a requirement often difficult to prove given the volatile environment in Iraq. People are only eligible to apply if they worked for a year from January 1, 2005. Many interpreters were forced to quit earlier because of intimidation.
The Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, said that the programme would close on May 19 for all former staff. He believes that enough time has passed for eligible candidates to apply.
The Tory MP David Lidington said that he had written to Mr Miliband. “I cannot see why they are in such a rush,” he said. “If the numbers [of outstanding applicants] are small then what is the harm in keeping it open and if the numbers are large then it is being wound up prematurely.
“Britain has a duty to help anyone who is in danger because they worked for our Armed Forces. We have been concerned for a long time that the criteria for the scheme has been drawn strictly and inflexibly.”
Lynne Featherstone, the Liberal Democrat MP, said: “There are going to be people still in danger. The enemy is still out there. It is mean-spirited.”
Keith Vaz, a Labour MP and chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said: “In the last week we have seen echoes of this in the government handling of the Gurkha situation.”
Daniel Leader, a barrister for Leigh Day & Co, said that both policies were designed to win publicity points rather than ensure that all worthy applicants get help.
The firm is examining the plight of more than 100 Iraqis and their families who so far have received nothing from Britain. They include an interpreter who worked under contract for a week short of the one-year minimum. Another interpreter abandoned by Britain was shot twice in the head by militants as he drove to work at a base in Basra in 2004.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “The Locally Engaged Staff Assistance Scheme is for people with a substantial employment relationship with the British Government. This is defined as working in a professional and public role alongside us for a year or more. Those who have worked for shorter periods are not eligible. We think this is reasonable.” Both the Foreign Office and the Home Office said that there were no plans to review its policy.
Up to 20,000 Iraqis have worked for Britain since March 2003. Under the scheme, 123 workers and their families have begun new lives in Britain. A further 273 Iraqis are due to arrive by August, while 544 people opted for cash to stay in Iraq or move elsewhere.
Hundreds were rejected and received nothing. All appeals must be heard by June 30. A decision has yet to be made on how long to keep the scheme open for Iraqis still working for the British mission as it winds down.
These interpreters assisted British troops at great risk of revenge attacks to themselves and their families and they deserve respect for it. This government is clueless - it sets an ugly precedent for future conflicts if those who assist them, often at grave personal risk to themselves and their loved ones, are cast aside.
Would the government treat those who testify against organized crime in this shoddy manner?
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
One little thought,
With which I’m always caught…
I would like to share,
Languages are the Nation's Pedigree,
and when any language is lost, I feel sorry…
As the saying goes “One cannot simply learn a new Language but a new Culture”
Keeping the same thought in mind I started with these classes "Academy of Foreign Languages and Culture" in 2003, at a place located in the heart of Mumbai for the study of foreign languages & cultures. Here students are exposed to the borderless, seamless and needless to say fascinating world of languages and I let them discover and experience it. It is an attempt to make the process of language learning more interesting and even more enjoyable.
I feel language learning is a thrilling ride through the provocative, bewildering and often downright bizarre world of languages and cultures. From the brash jargon of celebrity magazines to the delicacies of Pushkin, Keats, Sartre, to the vocab of fashionistas and the lingo of dodgy dealings, from the polite white collared language to the eyebrow flashes, whistling languages, it’s all in the language.
Apart from language teaching and translation jobs, I also conduct counseling sessions which are open to all. Here we discuss about various languages and career opportunities related to the same. Later in August 2006, I had also started a community on Orkut called Language Lovers Club, which got a tremendous response and at present there are about 1200 members. A lot of exchange of languages takes place on this community.
It was observed that generally, people forget the language, if they are not in touch with the same. Also there isn't abundant material available in the market, through which one can be in touch by reading it, or else improve the language one knows.
So, while I was into learning and teaching different languages, I thought of arranging study tours wherein the students get to visit the country of origin of the language they have learnt. They also get to stay with the family and learn more about their culture and not just learn but also EXPERIENCE the Language!!! Which I think can definitely make a lot of difference in today's world- characterized by globalization, mass communication, cheap air travel and abundant Chinese takeaways.
“We cannot afford to neglect the study of LANGUAGES & CULTURES”, was the only thought that lingered in my mind for days. And that is how I STARTED CONDUCTING STUDY TOURS to various places…
Since last 2 years every year I have been taking study tours to Japan and Europe … and this year onwards 2 more destinations are getting added 1-China and 2-US…
Here’s the itinerary for China- Study Tour and Japan- Study Tour
Do go through it and if interested…e-mail me for more details on
China - STUDY TOUR - ITINERARY
- Proposed tour date: July 2009
- Group Size : Minimum 18 or 20 pax
- Duration: 9 Nights / 10 Days
- Entry / Exit : Beijing / Shanghai
- Day 01-Sat--> Mum- Pek--> International Travel-->On Flight-->On Flight
- 02-Sun--> Beijing- Interiors & Decoration Fair (Architectural Fair)
- 03-Mon-->Great Wall of China, Jade Ornament Making, Blue Enamel Painting, and Miniature World, Olympic Statium and Water Cube-->Indian-> 3 Star
- 04-Tues--> SchoolBLCU--> Visit BLCU – Beijing Language Culture University for Calligraphy, and Chinese Tea Culture Show and Chinese Learning--> Indian / Chinese --> 3 Star
- 05-Wed--> School--> Visit Beijing Huawen Chinese Language School , Beijing Planning Museum / Tiananmen Square / Forbidden and Acrobatic Show--> Indian--> 3 Star
- 06-Thu--> School--> Visit Chinese Painting School, Lama Temple / Confucious Temple and leave for Shanghai--> Indian/Chinese --> On Train
- 07-Fri--> School--> Visit FudanUniversity or Jiaotong University and Shanghai Tunnel Museum--> Indian--> 3 Star
- 08-Sat--> Shanghai--> Bund, Nanjing Lu and Huangpu River Cruise--> Indian--> 3 Star
- 09-Sun--> Shanghai--> Jinmao Tower, New Pudong District and Shopping--> Indian--> 3 Star
- 10-Mon--> Pvg-Mum--> International Travel --> On Flight--> On Flight
JAPAN - STUDY TOUR - ITINERARY
Itinerary:Tentative Schedule for Okayama Summer Camp 2009. (Group Size:minimum:10 pax)
May 2009 and Sept 2009
- Day-01- Flight from Mumbai Airport
- Day-02- Arrival at Kansai Airport (located in the middle of the sea) Oosaka [stay in Hotel]
- Day-03- Visit to Universal Studio, Oosaka Castle, Shopping, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan in the Pacific Ocean (2nd largest in the world) The theme of KAIYUKAN is based on the concepts such as Ring of Fire and Ring of Life. [stay in Hotel]
- Day-04- Departure to Okayama...meeting respective families [family stay]
- Day-05- sight seeing in Okayama & Kurashiki ... which includes Okayama Castle Korakuen Gardens and lots of other scenic spots...[family stay]
- Day-06- Visit to Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park, Hiroshima...[family stay]
- Day-07- Indian Evening - Exchange Programme Activities in Gakugeikan School, Okayama...[family stay]
- Day-08- Miyajima Islands, Maejima Islands, Seto Hashi, Itsukushima Shrine(itsukushima shrine is located at miyajima) ...[stay in Hotel]
- Day-09- some more sight seeing and shopping at near by cities... [stay in Hotel]
- Day-10- Departure to India from Oosaka...[okayama to Oosaka by Shinkansen - Bullet Train Journey]
Benefits of going on a study tour:
Group Study Tour Programs offer the ideal mix of academic excellence while enjoying the cultural benefits of living in the place of origin of the language they have learnt...know more about their educational system, and their culture may it be food and wine, or art and festivals.
The program is tailored to each group's specific needs and are usually of 10days duration, but may be reduced or extended according to the requirements of the group.
Amrutha Joshi Amdekar
Foreign Language Teacher, Translator, Interpreter
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
recently i made a free website ...
and as i am always fascinated by websites and blogs ... i instantly jumped on that site and created my new webpage!!!
hee hee :-D
ok...so if you wanna check that out here's the link to it...
actually know what guys... till i have my own website ... i am not going to be satisfied ...
you enjoy all enjoy reading my 2 webpages!!!