EZ ENGLISH

Archive for 2012|Yearly archive page

Tricky English

In Как улучшить английский?, Полезно знать on Ноябрь 19, 2012 at 2:56 пп

This Should Rattle Your Brain a Little!

There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend?

If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught?

If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

C’mon, let’s polish the Polish furniture!

The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

How can ‘A Slim Chance’ and ‘A Fat Chance’ be the same?

How can ‘You’re so cool’ and ‘You’re not so hot’ be different?

Why are ‘A Wise man’ and ‘A Wise guy’ opposites?

There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple.

Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat.

The farm was used to produce produce.

English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France.

Scotland In Brief

In Как улучшить английский?, Полезно знать, Путешествия on Ноябрь 8, 2012 at 2:50 пп

Сегодня мы продолжаем знакомить коротко с некоторыми (из многих!) чудесами Шотландии, итак…

Loch Ness

More than a thousand people claim to have seen the bulbous back of an unidentified creature briefly break the glassy surface of Loch Ness, then disappear. This legendary body of water is the country’s second largest loch, slightly smaller in surface area, though deeper, than Loch Lomond to its south.

Highland Dancers

Traditionally performed by men, Scottish Highland dancing today is more often performed by women. Highland dancing involves vigorous exertion, precision positioning, and meticulous arm- and footwork. Bagpipers generally accompany the dancing, playing intricate tunes composed by a single family in the 16th century.

Jacobite Steam Train

One of Scotland’s most famous contemporary authors was heavily influenced by her homeland — J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series.  Take a trip to the Highlands and board the Jacobite train, used as the Hogwarts Express in the films. Travel on board the steam train to Mallaig over the stunning Glenfinnan Viaduct, which also featured in some of the films.

Isle of Lewis

The western shore of the windswept Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides is dominated by jagged, rocky cliffs and roiling Atlantic waves. It’s also the site of ancient stone circles. Inland are fertile lands, expansive peat moors, and in the south, hills. A low population and diverse habitats make the island one of Scotland’s premier wildlife-watching sites.

Scotland In Brief

In Как улучшить английский?, Полезно знать, Путешествия on Ноябрь 7, 2012 at 12:14 пп

Сегодня для наших читателей — чарующая Шотландия и нескольно любопытных фактов об этом невероятно красивом и интересном месте на Земле. Завтра мы порадуем Вас продолжением этой рубрики

Eilean Donan Castle

Widely considered Scotland’s most photographed site, Eilean Donan Castle perches on an island at the meeting of three lochs in western Scotland. The island’s first castle was an early 13th-century fortification against raiding Vikings.

Lonach Highlanders

The mission of the Lonach Highland & Friendly Society includes preserving Highland dress and promoting «peaceable and manly conduct.» Each summer since 1823, the group has held a «gathering,» a march through the towns around Strathdon in eastern Scotland, culminating in an afternoon of traditional Scottish games.

Edinburgh Castle

Castle Rock, whose vertical flanks rise above the Scottish city of Edinburgh, may have first served as a strategic stronghold around 850 B.C. For the past thousand years it’s been the site of Edinburgh Castle, the thick-walled fortress at the center of nearly every major conflict in Scotland’s history.

Puffin

Each spring nearly a million puffins arrive at the cliffs of Scotland’s west coast to lay their eggs. These birds, with their colorful beaks and doleful expressions, can be seen darting to and from the ocean, gathering mouthfuls of fish for their hatchlings.

Ceilidh Dance

The Scottish ceilidh (pronounced KAY-lee) began as a gathering where people shared music and told stories. These days, it tends to be more about the dancing. Ceilidhs, like American barn dances, are high-spirited social affairs with group dances and callers who help novices, like this young Scot in the Outer Hebrides’ Castlebay, learn the steps.

Trick’O’Treat

In Как улучшить английский?, Полезно знать on Октябрь 29, 2012 at 11:46 дп

Straddling the line between fall and winter, plenty and paucity, life and death, Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition. It is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints and martyrs; the holiday, All Saints’ Day, incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows’ Eve and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a secular, community-based event characterized by child-friendly activities such as trick-or-treating. In a number of countries around the world, as the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, people continue to usher in the winter season with gatherings, costumes and sweet treats.

 

Talk 2 Me :)

In Как улучшить английский?, Полезно знать on Октябрь 24, 2012 at 12:26 пп

What do you know about Polyglots? Today some information for your curious mind.

List of Noted Polyglots

                         The Greatest Ones

The world’s most prolific living polyglot may be Ziad Fazah (born 1954) who apart from his mother tongue Arabic is reported to speak 55 other languages. The greatest polyglot in history may have been cardinal Giuseppe Gaspardo Mezzofanti (1774-1849), who is reported to have spoken up to a hundred languages fluently (though about fifty of them were «only» dialects). On a visit from the Lord Byron, he surprised Byron by showing knowledge of certain things in local London slang that the poet himself was not aware of. Cardinal Giuseppe Mezzofanti (1774-1849), Italian ecclesiast. Sir John Bowring (1792-1872), British M.P. Kenneth Hale, (1934?-2001), MIT linguistics professor (over 50 languages)

                            40 Languages

Georges Dumézil (1898-1986), famous French philologist, knew up to forty languages. William James Sidis (1898-1944), child prodigy, knew around forty languages and could apparently learn a language in a day. Ferenc Kemény (Francis Kemeni), Hungarian translator, understands 40 languages, writes in 24 languages, speaks in 12 languages

                                30 or more

Rasmus Christian Rask, Danish philologist, could read in 35 languages

                                20 or more

Sir Richard Francis Burton (1821-1890), British explorer/orientalist — spoke 29 European, Asian, and African languages and countless dialects. Sir William Jones (1746-1794), British philologist — reported to speak twenty-eight languages. Barry Farber speaks more than 25 languages. Mithridates VI of Pontus (said to have known 25 languages). Dr. José Rizal (1861-1896), National hero of the Philippines, 22 languages. Pico della Mirandola, Italian scholar of the Renaissance (said to have known 22 languages at the age of 18). Paul Robeson (1898 — 1976) American actor, athlete, singer, writer, and political and civil rights activist. He was conversant in over 20 languages.

                              10 or more

João Guimarães Rosa — one of the most famous Brazilian writers, spoke more than twelve languages fluently, read eighteen. James Joyce — famous Irish writer, spoke thirteen languages. Anthony Burgess — British writer, knew thirteen languages, fluent in eight. Niels Ege, Danish translator, translates into 6 languages, interprets from 15 languages, knows 5 further languages. Narasimha Rao (19212004) — Indian politician and former Prime Minister, could read and write 17 languages. Sándor Korösi Csoma (aka Alexander Csoma de Körös), Hungarian scholar, explorer of Eastern languages, could read in 17 languages. Kató Lomb, Hungarian translator and interpreter, spoke 17 languages, could read in 11 further languages. Andrew Sugár, Hungarian translator, speaks 10 languages, understands 6 more languages. Ármin Vámbéry, Hungarian linguist, spoke 16 languages. Comenius (Jan Amos Komensky´), Moravian linguist, scholar of learning languages (said to have translated his own book into 15 languages). J.R.R. Tolkien — British writer and conlanger, as well as a professor at Oxford. He is known particularly for the Lord of the Rings. He knew some thirteen languages, in addition to his own creations.  Jean-François Champollion (1790–1832) — French Egyptologist, mastered at least 13. Heinrich Schliemann, German archaeologist, who discovered the ruins of Troy, was familiar with English, French, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Italian, Greek, Latin, Russian, Arabic and Turkish. André Martinet, French linguist, speaks 12 languages. Thomas Young (1773—1829), British scientist — 12. Admirable Crichton, Scot musician, sportsman and linguist (said to have known 12 languages). Aleksandr Naumenko, Russian translator, speaks 8 languages, translates from 4 further languages. Herbert Pilch, German scholar, speaks more than 11 languages. Gedeon Dienes, Hungarian consultant, speaks 11 languages. Jacques Berg, French historian and linguist, writer, speaks 11 languages. Eva Toulouze, French, speaks or understands 11 languages. Lajos Kada, Hungarian archbishop, spoke at least 10 languages. Michel Thomas Polish born linguist spoke at least 10 languages. Otto Back, Austrian, director of the Translators’ College, speaks at least 10 languages. Pope Benedict XVI, current head of the Roman Catholic Church, speaks at least ten languages (his native German, Italian, English, Spanish, and ecclesiastical Latin among them).

                         5 or more

Roman Jakobson, famous Russian linguist, structuralist, knew at least six languages fluently. Alexander Lénárd or Sándor Lénárd (1910-1972), Hungarian linguist, doctor, musician, painter, writer and translator, spoke at least nine languages. Julien Green, American-French, speaks at least nine languages. Sol Plaatje, (1877–1932), South African journalist and statesman, spoke nine languages. Philip King, British teacher of English in Birmingham, speaks nine languages. Sascha Felix, German professor of Language Institute at PassauUniversity, speaks at least eight languages. Otto von Habsburg, Hungarian-German diplomat, speaks eight languages. Albert Lange Fliflet, Norwegian professor, speaks eight languages. Maria Gaetana Agnesi, Italian linguist, mathematician, and philosopher could speak French and Italian by age 5 and Greek, Hebrew, Spanish, German, Latin by age 13. Angelo Possimiers, Belgian translator of the European Parliament, speaks at least seven languages. Susan Polgar, Hungarian, professional chess player, seven languages including Esperanto. Will Hay, British comedian/actor, was first an accomplished translator — fluent in French, German, Latin, Italian, Norwegian and Afrikaans. Juan Alvaro Sanges d’Abadie, English politologist, speaks six languages. Julio Dam, Uruguayan Messianic Renewed leader, writes English, and Spanish, speaks Hebrew, Yiddish, and some French and Italian. Yesudas, Malayali singer, recorded songs in Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil, Gujarati, Telugu and Bengali. Arvydas Sabonis, Lithuanian basketball player, speaks Lithuanian, Russian, Polish, Spanish, and English. Dikembe Mutombo, Congolese basketball player, speaks English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and five African languages. John Milton, famed English poet of the 17th century, spoke English, Latin, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian and a great deal of Dutch.

Other Polyglots

Harold Williams (1876-1928), New Zealand journalist.  Cleopatra (said to have not required interpreters at receiving messengers). Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), spoke, understood, read, and wrote in English, Spanish, French, Italian, Latin, Greek, Arabic, and Hebrew.

Fairytale Pass

In Как улучшить английский?, Полезно знать, Путешествия on Октябрь 11, 2012 at 1:04 пп

Сегодня в нашей рубрике уникальных мест на планете — прославленная шотландская морская пещера, известна также как сказочная Фингалова пещера.

Fingal’s Cave is a sea cave on the uninhabited island of Staffa, in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland, part of a National Nature Reserve owned by the National Trust for Scotland. Its size and naturally arched roof, and the eerie sounds produced by the echoes of waves, give it the atmosphere of a natural cathedral. The cave’s Gaelic name, An Uaimh Bhinn, means «the melodious cave».

The cave was brought to the attention of the English-speaking world by 18th-century naturalist Sir Joseph Banks in 1772. It became known as Fingal’s Cave after the eponymous hero of an epic poem by 18th-century Scots poet-historian James Macpherson.

In Irish mythology, the hero Fingal is known as Fionn mac Cumhaill, and it is suggested that Macpherson rendered the name as Fingal (meaning «white stranger») through a misapprehension of the name which in old Gaelic would appear as Finn. The legend has Fionn or Finn building the causeway between Ireland and Scotland.

The cave has a large arched entrance and is filled by the sea. However, it is also possible to land elsewhere on the island and walk to the cave overland, where a row of fractured columns forms a walkway just above high-water level permitting exploration on foot.

 

 

 

Daring Projects

In Как улучшить английский?, Полезно знать, Путешествия on Октябрь 5, 2012 at 11:16 дп

Tunnel Under Bering Strait

Last year the Russian government has given the go-ahead on an ambitious new tunnel project that could connect Siberia with Alaska via an underground rail line. If completed, the $65 billion project will be the longest underwater tunnel in the world, besting the Chunnel between England and France by twice the distance. The planned course would stretch over 65 miles and would snake beneath the Big and Little Diomede Islands. According to Inhabitat, the project will be funded by a private and public partnership. So why build it?

Aside from being a civil engineering marvel, the tunnel would also provide an efficient way to move 100 million tons of freight per year. In addition, the tunnel could provide an easy transmission route for electricity developed by tidal energy stations and wind plants in Russia to Alaska and Canada. In addition, the rail system would complete a high-speed network that could stretch from London to New York City. Unfortunately, the project doesn’t seem to be geared toward passenger travel. At least, not for now. In 2-3 years we will finally know what the future of the daring project is.

 

 

Typically British

In Как улучшить английский?, Полезно знать on Октябрь 3, 2012 at 8:50 дп

Talking about the weather

Being overly polite

A soothing cup of tea to ease worries

Obsession with the Royal Family

Gossiping with neighbours over the garden fence

Inability to complain

Obsession with the traffic

Fish’N’Chips

Watching soaps

A love of bargains

Pandering to political correctness

Being proud of where we live

Texting instead of calling

An inability to express our emotions

Love of rambling through the countryside

Achieving against all odds

Irony

Keeping our homes neat and tidy

It Rocks!

In Как улучшить английский?, Полезно знать, Путешествия on Сентябрь 20, 2012 at 11:00 дп

Новое чудо в нашем хит-параде уникальных творений природы — «Арки», национальный парк в штате Юта, США.

A red rock wonderland: Arches National Park is a U.S. National Park in eastern Utah. It is known for preserving over 2000 natural sandstone arches, including the world-famous Delicate Arch, in addition to a hundreds of soaring pinnacles, massive fins and giant balanced rocks. This red rock wonderland amazes with its unique geological resources and formations variety, refreshes with its trails, and inspires with its sunsets.

What You Did Not Know About Celebrities

In Как улучшить английский?, Полезно знать on Сентябрь 13, 2012 at 8:30 дп

5 facts about… Abraham Lincoln 

Speaking of top hats, Lincoln’s stovepipe top hat served as more than fashionable headgear.  He used it to store and carry notes, letters, even bills.  Why do they call it a stovepipe hat?  Well, the rise is so tall and straight with no flair that it resembles a length of pipe.  They’re hard to come by nowadays, the traditional top hat being much more current, but still pretty “retro”.  Best you go to a custom haberdashery to get one made just for you.

Lincoln was really tall — 193 cm. That stovepipe hat just made a tall guy a whole lot taller.

Lincoln really liked machines and gadgets.  He liked to take them apart to see how they worked and try to put them together again.  He even tried his hand at inventing, and in 1849 had a patent issued for “A Device for Buoying Vessels Over Shoals”.  The machine never made it, but the patent was a new thing for a president, and no president has held a patent since.

There are some pretty bizarre coincidences between Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy.  Here are a couple: 1.Both were shot in the head with one bullet on a Friday. 2. Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846, Kennedy in 1946. 3. Lincoln’s successor (named Johnson) was born in 1808. Kennedy’s successor (also named Johnson) was born in 1908.

Lincoln had a way with words. Not only was Lincoln spiritual and intelligent, he was also a heck of a speech writer.  He wrote his own speeches, and it is said that his famous Gettysburg Address wasn’t even the best one!  Rumor has it that the speech Lincoln made to the Illinois Republican Convention on May 29, 1856 was his best, but it was either so enthralling that nobody remembered to take notes, or it was so controversial that nobody was allowed to print them.  Either way, no record of it exists.