New iPhone App Breaks Language Barrier

September 12, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. dialect (n.) [dahy-uh-lekt] – a language spoken by a group of communities or individuals in a region; a language that can be distinguished from the standard language by pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, or speech
Example:  There are more than 120 dialects spoken in the Philippines.

2. terminology (n.) [tur-muh-nol-uh-jee] – a set of expressions and words used by people in a specialized and specific activity or field of work
Example: Medical students must master medical terminology.

3. etiquette (n.) [et-i-kit] – the rules governing correct or polite behavior in society in general or in a specific social or professional situation
Example: Social etiquette differs from one culture to another.

4. strategic (adj.) [struh-tee-jik] – necessary to carry out a strategy or a plan in order to achieve a goal
Example: Managers attend a strategic planning seminar in January to help them set sales targets for the year.

5. barrier (n.) [bar-ee-er] – something that causes difficulty
Example: Anna considers her strong local accent a barrier in getting hired by international companies.

Read the text below.

Soldiers deployed overseas can now learn foreign languages using their mobile phones.

A new iPhone application called TripLingo offers quick language lessons to users. This is especially helpful to American soldiers in Afghanistan who need to learn Dari, a Persian dialect widely spoken in the country.

The interactive application works even without internet connection, making it very convenient for soldiers assigned to remote areas.

In particular, the application TripLingo Dari features different versions designed for soldiers, civilians, and even medical personnel who need to learn medical terminology in Dari. In addition, the application includes important information about Afghan history, culture and local etiquette, such as removing shoes when entering a house.

Dari is one of the featured languages in TripLingo because it is considered as one of the strategic languages set by the US Department of Defense for military personnel to learn.

TripLingo CEO Jesse Maddox said that his two friends and a cousin working in Afghanistan inspired him to create the application. He believes applications such as TripLingo that help break language barriers have a huge and limitless impact on travellers.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

·         How many languages are spoken in your country? How about dialects?
·         Is it an advantage for a person to be able to speak many languages?

Discussion B

·         Have you ever travelled to another country? If yes, how many countries have you been to so far?
·         What cultural practices from other countries are you interested in?

September 12, 2011