Newsletter #4 – Speaking and writing

Our last episode about accents (in case you missed it, stop now and listen to it at was in English, so this newsletter will be in English as well.

It’s not a secret that accents and the way we speak play important role in how others perceive us and even how we perceive ourselves. There is a great performance by Sarah Jones on the TED stage, which illustrates exactly this point.

Sarah Jones on TED stage: A one-woman global village

Sarah Jones on TED stage: A one-woman global village

Dima came across this TED talk listening to the episode Playing With Perceptions podcast TED Radio Hour, where Sarah shares one of origin stories about her performance, where she impersonates very different people.

Speaking better language can definitely help you make bonds with other people, which can positively impact many areas of your life. Russian speakers have distinct problems, when it comes to speaking English. Good news is that knowing about common pitfalls is the first step towards better spoken English. Here is a list of sounds in English, which do not have direct equivalents in Russian, and naturally cause problems for English learners.

Highlighted sounds do not have equivalents in Russian

Highlighted sounds do not have equivalents in Russian

The Swan and Smith’s English Learner (pages 145-149), we already mentioned, gives great summary of things to pay attention to.

Idiom of the week

Ben Thompson and James Allworth in episode 72 “Low hanging fruit” of the Exponent podcast discuss Apple’s new iPhone SE and compare it to, well, low-hanging fruit :)

The “low-hanging fruit” is a very common idiom to denote the most easily achieved of a set of tasks, measures, goals, etc. It simple, straightforward and easy to use idiom, you can hear a lot when building plans, discussing strategy and setting goals.

Business communication

143 000 000 emails are sent every single day! Over 60% of this correspondence is written in English. And we bet huge chunk of that is business-related communication. That’s why we are going to talk about business communication in English and emails specifically.

Different people see emailing standards extremely differently. Here is a good summary of email etiquette from BusinessInsider.

You can put your email writing skills to test with a set of exercises from Oxford University Press. Good luck there.

And even if you managed to pass the Oxford test it makes sense to check yourself for these common mistakes in business writing.

And remember

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