quarta-feira, 25 de agosto de 2010

Describing Pictures

      Take a look at the image beside and tell me what you see. Well, some may say it seems a Pokemón in profile, while others will swear it could be a character of Watchmen, but let's just be pratical: it is an inkblot. This is an objective anwser, kind of obvious, and, since you do not have to think too much, you may give it safely and without hesitation.
             By the way, that is the first tip on the guide I elaborated about the subject presented hereafter:

Guide For Not to Seem So Dumb While Describing a Picture 

1. (As mentioned above) Be objective: do not imagine too much possibilities for what you are observing because the examiner may not be so imaginative as you are. What if he has never seen Pokemón?

2. Use a varied and suitable vocabulary: start with structures like 'There is...', 'There are...', or, if you are not so sure about something in the picture, just say 'It seems to be...', 'It appears...';

3. Explore the picture: try to compare it with another picture or situation, give your opinion about it, in other words, find something in it about what you can really talk, to demonstrate your oral skills;

4. Keep in mind that you may make some assumptions: not all images will be of an inkbolt, or as obvious as one. However, try to approximate your guesses to things of universal knowledge;


Observation: This is a guide in construction, so if anybody has any suggestion to improve it and make it more efficient, be my guest. Dumbs like me will thank a lot...

Disclaimer: I do not own the image. It is part of Rorschach's Test, used in psycology to trace psychological profiles of people.

quinta-feira, 12 de agosto de 2010

About Idioms

               Have you ever watched a movie or listened to a song and faced expressions that appeared to be totally out of the context? More than this, have you picked up a dictionary and tried your best to translate them and ended up much more confused?
                Do not worry, you are not getting crazy. Those expressions are IDIOMS. They can give exactly the meaning or comparisson you need in a sentence, exactly when and the way you need it! (gee, it looks like a commercial...) Well, IDIOMS are available in many languages in the world, yeah, you can find them next to your home.
                It's necessary to note that the expressions and their meanings may change a lot from a language to another because, in most of times, they cannot be translated or understood considering the exact and usual meaning of the words that compound them. In other words, you should not interpret them literally.
                 Use IDIOMS, they are fun, fast and safe. All right, maybe they aren't, but they are, at least, important for you to improve your knowledge of a language and not to go through embarrassing situations, for exemple, if someone comes to you and say "it takes two to tango" and you think that he or she is inviting you to dance... Also, if your mother tells you to "hit the books", do not start to maltreat them, because, actually, she is wanting you to study. 
                 Warnings: IDIOMS aren't right for everyone they may cause bloating, cramping, hair loss, disturbing visions and fits of rage. Children under three and people too literal should not be exposed to them. Do not get IDIOMS wet, and never feed it after midnight. If you experience embarrassing situations, give your best fake smile, pretend you were just making fun and go consult your psychologist immediately.