How Do You Pronounce Hurricane Ophelia?

Hurricane Ophelia - pronunciationHurricane Ophelia arrived in the British Isles on October 16th, leaving many homes in Ireland and Wales without power and schools temporarily closed. There were violently strong winds across parts of Scotland, Wales and England as the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia hit British shores from the Azores in the Atlantic Ocean. With so much discussion in the news about the hurricane, English language learners might have been intrigued or confused about the ‘ph’ pronunciation in the word Ophelia. Read on to find out the correct pronunciation of Hurricane Ophelia, how hurricanes get their names and how the ‘ph’ sound and letter combination works in English. Continue reading

Forgotten First Languages Leave Imprint On Brain, Study Shows

forgotten first languages - baby learningYou never forget your first language – even if you have never spoken it, scientists have discovered. Babies develop knowledge of the language they hear in their first few months of life and will always retain that knowledge on an abstract level. It has been discovered that your brain retains the hidden ability to recall forgotten first languages decades on. The findings indicate not only that you never truly forget your birth language but also that language acquisition as a baby is abstract in nature and not dependent on experience. Continue reading

No Swearing with New Google Voice Typing Tool

Google voice typing toolGoogle has launched a brand new ‘voice typing’ tool that allows you to write by talking into your microphone via the Google Chrome browser. This exciting new development is the latest addition to Google Docs, Google’s word processing app.

The Google voice typing tool is great news for mobile users and lazy typers, however, a few early problems have been detected regarding the way the app deals with strong accents, swear words and American/British English. Continue reading

English Tongue Twisters for Pronunciation Practice

Swan tongue twisterEnglish tongue twisters are great for pronunciation practice as they really help you to enunciate your words properly. They are also good for showing you just where you need help with your letter formation. For English language learners, tongue twisters can seem like hard work, but its worth mastering a couple in your target language because they are fun ways to learn more about the relationships between words and sounds. She sells sea shells, anyone? Continue reading