News of Interest 111107
This article in the Denver Post by Colleen Smith lists “Five Ways to Learn a Local Language.” She makes the oft repeated points that going out of your way to learn a few phrases is beneficial to yourself and makes you more appreciated in the eyes of the citizens you’re visiting, however she only lists expensive and limited software options.
There’s a much more effective method of doing this: Take some classes. Local “free universities” are located in most major cities, (for example Colorado Free University,) offer intro to language classes one or two nights a week which last for a few months, and generally cost under $150. You’ll usually be taught by someone native or experienced in the region who can add important cultural, location specific, and up-to-date information. You’ll also have the opportunity to practice with others, make friends, and sharpen your mind.
I would never rely on software when first embarking on a new language. Personal one on one or group classes are the best way to build a solid foundation.
This article in Sunday’s Denver Post features the company “Future Solido U.S.A.“, which helps immigrants understand benefits and retirement packages.
Founders: Melissa Burkhart and her husband, Colombian-born Ferney Colorado, founded the company as “Casa Colorado” in 2001. They later changed the name to Futuro Sólido U.S.A.
Services: Written translation of benefit plans or other documents, workplace safety training, language instruction, on-site presentations in Spanish and English, and DVDs on workplace issues.