Jun 22

A collection of English videos from Ted (Medium)

Hi all,

ID-100208715The Ted website is one of favourites to visit for technology, design and engineering related content. However, today the publish material about a variety of topics and issues. Here is a brief collection of a few videos from the last few weeks that related to English learning and training.

Please use the translation feature if you need to or take a look at the tape scripts for the videos. You can follow the presenter while they are speaking and learn a lot of new words.

1. Jamila Lyiscott: 3 ways to speak English

2. Anne Curzan: What makes a word “real”?

3. BUSINESS TOPIC: Alan Siegel: Let’s simplify legal jargon!

Jun 02

Britain Won the War, Germany Won the East!

ID-100183883As we move through the 100 year anniversary of World War I, I found myself watching an entertaining BBC documentary about how to become more German and what is it like to be German. It seems the British somewhat envy Germany’s industrial strength and want to understand what it is that makes Germany so successful and what they can learn from them.

For those lucky enough to be in or able to visit Berlin, there is also a fascinating and interesting World War I anniversary exhibition at the Deutsche Historische Museum (German History Museum) with tickets at €8 for adults.

One of the concepts the video below explores is that of German ‘Mittelstand’, which is equal to small to medium sized traditional or family owned companies. One thing the video misses, and which is an important feature I have observed during difficult economic periods, is the ability of German companies to keep workers EMPLOYED. Many workers will accept 30-50% less work for a short period of time ‘Zeitarbeit’ or until economic conditions improve. US companies normally fire people first to protect profits and then rehire as the economy improves. The difference is that German workers and companies remain highly skilled and are able to produce superior quality products and services as their experience levels deepens and strengthens over time. Competitors often play catch up by retraining new staff constantly and focusing on quality improvement programs. For Germans, quality is almost a given.