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10 Mandarin Phrases or Words to Learn Before You Travel to Shanghai

Jul 11, 2017 8:30:00 AM / by Julie Ritz

Every country has their own idioms that mean something totally different than what they first appear to. You might say to your friend, “Wow! That cost an arm and a leg.” If someone from another country heard you- well, let’s just hope they don’t take it literally or they may get worried! If you think about it, you can probably come up with quite a few other unique phrases you use in daily life.

Since this is a common phenomenon that you'll encounter no matter where you go, we’ve rounded up 10 important Mandarin phrases to know in Shanghai that will help you speak like the locals!

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1. 三人成虎 (sān rén chéng hǔ) = three people can turn into a tiger

If you say something over and over again, it might just become true. This idiom warns that you should be careful not to lie often, or you might forget what the truth really is.

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Posted in: Shanghai, China, Language

10 English Colloquial Phrases or Words to Learn Before You Travel to Dublin

Jul 4, 2017 8:30:00 AM / by Julie Ritz

Every country has their own idioms that mean something totally different than what they first appear to. You might say to your friend, “Wow! That cost an arm and a leg.” If someone from another country heard you- well, let’s just hope they don’t take it literally or they may get worried! If you think about it, you can probably come up with quite a few other unique phrases you use in daily life.

This is a common phenomenon that you'll encounter no matter where you go. To help you out, we’ve rounded up 10 important English colloquial phrases to know in Dublin that will help you speak like the locals!

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1. What's the craic? = What’s up?/ What’s the news?/ Hello!

This phrase has a lot of meanings that all mean pretty much the same thing- just wondering what’s going on! It’s a friendly way to greet someone and something you’ll hear often.

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Posted in: Dublin, Ireland, Language

10 Italian Phrases to Learn Before You Travel to Florence

May 30, 2017 8:30:00 AM / by Julie Ritz

Every country has their own idioms that mean something totally different than what they first appear to. You might say to your friend, “Wow! That cost an arm and a leg.” If someone from another country heard you- well, let’s just hope they don’t take it literally or they may get worried! If you think about it, you can probably come up with quite a few other unique phrases you use in daily life.

Since this is a common phenomenon that you'll encounter no matter where you go, we’ve rounded up 10 important Italian phrases to know in Florence that will help you speak like the locals!

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1. Non avere peli sulla lingua = not to have hair on your tongue

When you have no hair on your tongue, you’re someone who tells it like it is. You don’t see the need to sugar-coat or lie about something- but make sure the things you say don't come off as harsh!

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Posted in: Florence, Italy, Language

10 English Colloquial Phrases or Words to Learn Before You Travel to London

May 16, 2017 8:30:00 AM / by Julie Ritz

Every country has their own idioms that mean something totally different than what they first appear to. You might say to your friend, “Wow! That cost an arm and a leg.” If someone from another country heard you- well, let’s just hope they don’t take it literally or they may get worried! If you think about it, you can probably come up with quite a few other unique phrases you use in daily life.

This is a common phenomenon that you'll encounter no matter where you go. To help you out, we’ve rounded up 10 important English colloquial phrases to know in London that will help you speak like the locals!

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1. That went down a treat = something was very enjoyable

Just about exactly as it sounds, if something goes down a treat, you enjoyed it. It doesn’t have to be about food, but makes the most sense contextually that way.

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Posted in: London, England, Language

My 5 Favorite Argentine Phrases

May 15, 2017 2:30:00 PM / by Julie Ritz

CAPAStudyAbroad_BuenosAires_Spring2017_Elizabeth Withers - Copy (2).jpgElizabeth Withers is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2017, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A double major in English literature and history & philosophy of science at the University of Pittsburgh, she is studying abroad in Buenos Aires this semester.

In this week's post, Elizabeth tells us her favorite Argentian Spanish phrases she's learned, and how to use them.

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I came to Argentina knowing very little Spanish (okay, fine, you got me… virtually none at all).  This semester has been my first Spanish class and first serious language class, unless you count a second grade course where we mostly watched movies and I think all I learned was colors. I’ve learned that there are many differences between Argentine Spanish, Spanish in Spain, and the rest of Latin America, most notably the accent and the ‘vos’ form.  Instead of ‘tu’ people use ‘vos’ and pronounce ‘ll’ like ‘j’.  My vocabulary is still pretty limited, but with the help of friends and my host family I’ve managed to pick up a few phrases specific to Argentina.

These are ones I like the most:

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Photo: here’s my host sister, Sofia, humoring me for a picture for the blog

1. Chanta

This one is my favorite, and I’m pleased to say I’ve already used it, and it went over pretty well.  It comes from the verb ‘flatter’, and it’s used to describe a real ladies’ man or player-type who flatters excessively.  It’s pretty insulting, so if you feel the need to tell someone off using this word, it’s better to say ‘Eres un poco chanta’ than to flat out accuse him (or her) of being a chanta.  This is just one of many useful phrases and tips my host has given me.

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Posted in: Buenos Aires, Argentina, Language

10 Spanish Phrases to Learn Before You Travel to Buenos Aires

May 9, 2017 8:30:00 AM / by Julie Ritz

Every country has their own idioms that mean something totally different than what they first appear to. You might say to your friend, “Wow! That cost an arm and a leg.” If someone from another country heard you- well, let’s just hope they don’t take it literally or they may get worried! If you think about it, you can probably come up with quite a few other unique phrases you use in daily life.

This is a common phenomenon that you'll encounter no matter where you go. To help you out, we’ve rounded up 10 important Spanish phrases to know in Buenos Aires that will help you speak like the locals!

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1. Che = hey

This simple word might seem small, but it’s still significant. The new friends you make in Buenos Aires will most likely use this all the time to greet each other or to get each other’s attention, so it’s a good one to remember.

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Posted in: Buenos Aires, Argentina, Language

Top 5 TED Talks to Inspire You to Communicate in New Ways

Oct 18, 2016 1:30:00 PM / by Julie Ritz

Language can be a tricky thing to understand. There are many words with the same meaning, many words whose meaning changes with one letter removed or added, and some words that are so complex they never get used at all. In fact, you will probably never know every single word in your native language because there are new words created each day.

So, for people who speak more than one language, imagine how many words there must be to learn. For those of us who want to learn a second language, it can be daunting to think about all of the classes we’ll have to take or how much we’ll have to practice to sound like a natural.

Top 5 TED Talks that will Inspire the Way You Communicate

Studying abroad will give you the opportunity to be surrounded by a new language and hear the way it’s spoken by locals. It will allow you to see their body language, how they use gestures, and what their faces look like as they speak. There is so much more to language than just "words" and it's important to understand all aspects of a language to truly master it.

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Posted in: Travel, Language

The Most Common Italian Words & Phrases You'll Hear in Florence

Oct 10, 2016 5:30:00 PM / by Stephanie Sadler

CAPAStudyAbroad_Florence_Fall2016_Spence_Hood_Square_Profile.jpgSpence Hood is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2016, sharing his story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A computer science major at the University of Colorado (Boulder), he is studying abroad in Florence this semester.

In this week's post, Spence shares a few of the most common words and phrases you'll hear on the streets of Florence, their meanings and an appropriate response.

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Strolling through the bustling streets here, the senses are left anything but unentertained. I’ve grown to quite enjoy (oddly enough) the smell of cigarettes mixed with cooked meats and sweet pastries wafting out of every other shop, emphasizing the intricacy of this machine of a city that we’re cogs within. I’ve only recently started smiling at all this stimulation, and I’m convinced it has a lot to do with the slowly but surely dissolving language barrier. I now understand maybe 45% of the chatter around me among locals, turning my wonder about all of the exciting, exotic things that a few Italians could be talking about on the streets of Florence into thorough excitement about being in on the joke. I’ve got a long, long way to go of course, but I figured it may help some future Florentines (tourists or otherwise) to list several of the most common Italian expressions being passed around today.

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Beforehand, do bear in mind that this is what’s being said (and in this particular way) in Florence. Florence is a city whose residents have a distinct accent according to Italians elsewhere, and who have a distinct way of speaking about things (very similar to cultural and conversational variations between people from different US cities). Let’s dive in. 

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Posted in: Florence, Italy, Language

5 Ways to Overcome Language Barrier Fears & Study Abroad

Aug 9, 2016 1:30:00 PM / by Stephanie Sadler

❝If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.❞ ‒Nelson Mandela

If there's anything that has the ability to swoop us straight out of our comfort zone, it's a language barrier.

5 ways to overcome language barrier fears and study abroad

It starts as early as sitting in the airport where you might hear announcements or conversations in Italian or Spanish before you depart for Florence or Buenos Aires. And when you land, you'll navigate your way through the airport, sometimes helped along by signs in both English and the native language of your destination. From there, you're immersed in a different world and simply explaining to your taxi driver how to reach your host family's apartment or ordering lunch can become a daunting and frustrating task. 

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Posted in: Shanghai, China, Language

Top 10 Spanish Words & Phrases I Use All the Time in Buenos Aires

Jun 13, 2016 8:30:00 AM / by Stephanie Sadler

CAPAStudyAbroad_BuenosAires_Spring2016_Tommy_Sullivan.jpgTommy Sullivan is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2016, sharing his story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A broadcasting and Spanish major Western Kentucky University, he is studying abroad in Buenos Aires this semester.

In this week's post, Tommy shares some of the top Spanish words and phrases that you'll want to memorize before you before you study abroad in Buenos Aries.

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 While there’s no doubt my Spanish teachers have prepared me extraordinarily well to live and study in Argentina, there’s definitely a few Argentina (and Buenos Aires) specific words they left out of the curriculum. My accent while speaking the language, after a full semester in this city, has changed a little bit, and my daily vocabulary has also switched up a bit. Listening to and speaking with my host family, taxi drivers, servers, my Spanish teacher, other writers at The Bubble and random strangers has affected how I speak Spanish. I still clearly have the “yankee” accent; however, my speech has slowly become more Argentine.

10 Words and Phrases to Memorize When You Study Abroad in Buenos Aires

Here’s my top 10 words and phrases I’ve started to use all the time.

1. Che. This word is used as an interjection and directly addresses someone. I think the definition would be a mix between “hey” and “dude” and is not gender specific. Saying “che” will get someone’s attention if they are across the room or add emphasis to what you’re telling someone.

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Posted in: Buenos Aires, Argentina, Language