How to Say Hello in 15 Languages

One of my goals in life is to be able to greet someone in 15 different languages. So here is my list on how to say hello in 15 different languages:

  1. Hello/Hi-English
  2. Hola-Spanish
  3. Olá-Portuguese
  4. Bonjour-French
  5. Hallo/Guten Tag/Servus-German
  6. Hej/Goddag-Danish
  7. Ciao-Italian
  8. 你好 (nĭ hăo)-Mandarin Chinese
  9. こんにちは (konnichiwa)-Japanese
  10. 안녕하세요 (anyeonghaseyo)-Korean
  11. नमस्ते (namaste)-Hindi
  12. Salve-Latin
  13. привет (privet)-Russian
  14. Merhaba-Turkish
  15. مرحبا (marhaba)-Arabic

hello

2019 Life Update

It’s been a little over 2 years since I have last written. Unfortunately, time has slipped away from me for various reasons. A lot has happened since 2017. First off, I have been on several trips both internationally and domestically. The first being the Europe trip that I mentioned in one of my previous posts in 2017, but never got the chance to update about it. One of the next posts that I plan on writing will be about the Europe trip for sure.

The domestic trips that I went on last year were to Niagara Falls and to Wildwood beach. I’ve been to Niagara Falls several times since I have family living in that area, but my boyfriend and daughter have never been so I thought it would be nice to take a trip there again for their sake. The beach was also a nice little getaway to enjoy the ocean and the boardwalk. Plus it was nice to have my daughter enjoy the beach, now that she’s old enough to actually enjoy it.

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Next important event that happened was that I finally graduated college last fall with a Bachelor’s in German and also a Bachelor’s in Multidisciplinary Studies. It’s been a long couple years in getting my bachelor’s degrees, but it can be done with hard work and determination. Now I am working on my Master’s in Secondary Education. I just finished up with my first semester in my master’s program, so I finally have some time to relax a little until the fall. Now now I finally have some time, I can finally get into the groove again on posting about different languages, cultures, and places around the world. So stay tuned!

How Do You Say ‘Ghoti’?

The English language is definitely a complex language to learn. For us native speakers, it may not seem so since we’ve been learning it since we were born. However if you look more closely at English words and even pronunciations, you’ll understand why English is so difficult to learn for non native speakers.

If I gave you the word ‘ghoti’, how would you pronounce it? Perhaps like [go-tee] or [guo-tee].

What if I told you ghoti was pronounced like fish? You might be thinking, how do you get fish? It doesn’t look it would be pronounced as fish. But there’s where you’re wrong. If you look closer into the English language and into pronunciations, you’ll see exactly how this word could be pronounced as fish.

Take the gh in ghoti. What words do you know with gh sound like f?
Enough – f

Now take the o.
Women – I

Lastly take the ti.
Nation – sh

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And there you have it. This is one of the things I learned in my Linguistics class, which I find absolutely fascinating. It’s so interesting to learn about the background of language and everything that goes into language like phonetics, phonology and so on. Even though I just started learning about linguistics, it’s already helped me understand more about not only foreign language but even my own language. If you, too, are serious about learning languages, I would highly recommend studying at least some about linguistics. It will definitely make learning languages a little easier and everything will start to make more sense to you.

CIEE Leadership Academy in China

I am finally back from 4-week my study/visit in China. I must say, I had an absolute blast. At the beginning of the trip, I met the 7 other students and my group leader accompanying me on this trip. We were complete strangers, intimidated by each other. However, by the end of our 4 weeks together, we grew closer and became close friends-we learned there was nothing to be afraid of.

The CIEE Leadership Academy in Nanjing, China is mainly composed of 6 components: living (host family), service, language (Mandarin), leadership, and the week-long tour.

The first 3 weeks, we were in Nanjing, China. Our first two days in Nanjing consisted of orientations, meeting up with our Chinese host siblings/co-teacher, and moving into our new host families.

Living: We were matched with our siblings by our interests. And I must say, CIEE couldn’t have done a better job with matching me to my host sister, Tracy. We had identical personalities and the same interests: music, languages, etc. She was shy at first, but she quickly opened up to me and we quickly became close. My host parents were also very warm, kind, and passionate people. They made me feel completely at home. One of the biggest pluses is that my host mom loves dumplings (and making them, too)-I absolutely love dumplings!

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Service: Monday-Friday morning, the 8 of us students and our Chinese peers became English teachers to migrant children (5th graders) at the Yuhuatai Elementary school. We taught from 9 a.m.-11:20 a.m. Each class was 40 minutes long with 10 minute breaks between each of the three classes: English class, games component, and the cultural component. In my class, I had 14 students (10 boys and 4 girls). By the end of the third week, I had only 12 students (8 boys and 4 girls). I did have some troublemakers in my class, some quiet students, and some in between-but they were all eager to learn and have fun!

Afterwards at 11:30, we would have lunch at the school cafeteria.

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Leadership, Language, and Cultural Activities: After lunch, we would go back to CIEE Center where we would have classes 5:30. Everyday, however, composed of different classes:

Monday: Taichi, Leadership, and Lesson planning

Tuesday: Chinese, Leadership, Lesson planning, and Chinese

Wednesday: Lesson planning and Field trip (lasted until at least after 7)

Thursday: Chinese, Leadership, Lesson planning, and Chinese

Friday: Taichi and Lesson planning (we got to leave early on Fridays)

On our field trips, we went to the Confucius Temple, Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Masoleum, Ming Tomb, Presidential Palace, Yangzhou, etc.

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On the weekends, we all had free time with our host families to explore or do whatever we wanted. My host family arranged for me and my host sister to go to Suzhou for the second weekend, and stay at my host dad’s younger brother’s home with him, his wife, and their 10 or 11 year old son. When I was in Suzhou, I went to three beautiful gardens, a temple, the Suzhou museum, and also went to a movie theater (or cinema as they call it there in English). During this same weekend, several other members of my group also went to Suzhou while others did other activities in Nanjing like going to an opera and/or climbing the Purple Mountain.

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Week-long Tour: After our three weeks of living, teaching, and learning in Nanjing, we said goodbye to our host families and hopped on a train to our first destination: Shanghai. We stayed in Shanghai for about 3 days. There we went to the Chenghuang Temple area, the Bund, the French Concession, the Shanghai Museum, an acrobatics show, and went to Zhujiajiao-a Shanghai river town.

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Our next stop on the tour was Beijing. In Beijing, we went to Tiananmen Square, the Wangfujing shopping area, the Great Wall, 798 Art Zone, Kungfu Show, the U.S. Center in Beijing, the Forbidden City, and the Silk Market.

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This experience was an once in a lifetime opportunity, and I am extremely glad I decided to do this program. A month of my summer to go to China and learn the Chinese culture, learn to become a leader, learn Mandarin Chinese, live with a host family, make new friends and connections, and most importantly, make a difference in the lives of others. There is no better feeling that that.

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I highly recommend this program to all high school students. It is only 4 weeks to go to one of the following countries: China, Japan, Spain, Dominic Republic, Czech Republic, Senegal, Ghana, Jordan

CIEE Leadership Academy website:

http://www.ciee.org/high-school-summer-abroad/

Prom

Last night was my high school’s annual prom, which I had an absolute blast at. So let’s talk about prom.

Prom is a BIG thing in the United States. Prom is short for promenade. It is a formal dance for high school students (usually juniors and seniors=11th and 12th graders). It is a black tie event, which means tuxes and evening dresses galore. Guys and girls can go with a date or with friends. Some people (specifically girls) spend a lot of money for prom: dress, hair, nails, makeup, shoes, photography, etc. All for one night of a dinner and dancing. At proms, a Prom Queen and Prom King can be revealed. And I have to say, proms in the United States are NOT all the same. For example, we did not have a Prom Queen or King at my prom. We did have a dinner and dancing, while other schools may not have dinners. It all depends on the school one goes to. 

glee prom queen and king
glee prom
gleee prom

Let’s talk a little bit more about the evening wear. Most guys usually wear tuxedos. They also usually wear colored vests and ties/bow ties that matches their date’s dress (if they have a dress). Girls, on the other hand, wear dresses (usually), jewelry, makeup, high heels, and get their hair done. Dresses can be long or short. Girls are given corsages by their date (if they have one). Then, the guys are given matching boutonnières.

prom dresses
corsage
boutonniere
Usually before prom, prom dates usually gather outside at someone’s house, a park, garden, etc. for photographs. Then, prom attendees can go to their school for Grand March-which is where prom attendees are showcased and photographed. Afterwards, prom attendees go to a banquet hall or their school gymnasium for the prom. Some people even rent limos to ride to the prom, instead of riding in their own cars. Like I said earlier, dinner may be served. There is usually a photographer to take pictures and a DJ that plays music at the prom or a band. There are usually various activities after prom, such as a prom after-party, bowling, etc.
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All in all, prom is fun. At my prom, there was a dinner, DJ, and dancing, of course. I wore a short black dress with black high heels, and a necklace and earrings that match. I got my hair styled. My hair was curled and styled in a updo with some curly pieces hanging around my face. I did not have a date, and do NOT worry if you do not have a date. I had as much fun as everyone else.
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*A picture of me after prom. I felt and looked beautiful.
Prom is what you make it, so do not let anything get to you-not boys, drama, or anything. Prom is YOUR night.

Toasted Sunny Side Up Egg Sandwich Recipe

Here’s my recipe I use to make a toasted sunny side up egg sandwich-which is quite simple to make!

For 1 Sandwich

Ingredients:

2 slices of bread

1 egg

1 bag of shredded cheese (or 1 cheese slice if you prefer)

Butter (personal preference)

Salt and pepper to taste (personal preference)

1 cooking spray

1 pan

1 spatula

Directions:

There are two ways to toast the bread.

1. Spray the pan with cooking spray

2. You can either put the 2 slices bread in the toaster/toaster oven or spread butter on each side of each of the slices and cook them on the pan.

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3. Crack the egg in the pan and put the heat up to medium or low.

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4. When the egg starts to turn white, sprinkle some cheese on top (don’t use the whole bag! unless you want to...)

eggs sunny side up in pan

5. Wait for the cheese to melt a little, then turn off the heat.

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6. Carefully remove the egg with the spatula, and lay the egg on one of the bread slices.

7. Close the sandwich with the other bread slice. Cut the sandwich diagonally with a butter knife (so the yolk spills out), and enjoy!

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Easter

Today is Easter. Heute is Ostern. 오늘은 부활절이다.

It is the day of the Easter bunny, Easter candy and chocolate, Easter egg hunts, and dying and decorating Easter eggs.

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However, Easter is also the day Jesus resurrected from the dead. The true meaning and purpose of Easter is to celebrate his resurrection.

Easter also is the end of Lent, a 40-day period of fasting, repentance, moderation, and spiritual discipline. Lent starts Ash Wednesday and ends Easter Sunday. Easter is always celebrated the Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon.

On Easter, most Christians go to Easter church services. Families also often have Easter dinners or lunches. For example, my family had an Easter lunch (since my dad has to work in the day). We had ham (actually it was turkey ham), mash potatoes, and carrots. For dessert, we had dutch apple pie topped with rocky road ice cream (which was delicious by the way).

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Happy Easter everyone! Frohe Ostern! 부활절을 잘 보내세요!

M&M’s

Let’s talk chocolate. Specifically, let’s talk about M&M’s. They’re small, round, and delicious! And they have a multitude of fillings such as chocolate, coconut, mint, peanuts, almonds, pretzels, cherry, white chocolate, and dark chocolate. Let’s learn a little bit about American culture and M&M history.

Some history: M&M’s were created in 1941 by Mars, Incorporated. The founder’s son, Forrest Mars Sr., thought of the idea during the Spanish Civil War in 1931 when he saw soldiers eating chocolate pellet candies with a hard chocolate shell. During WWII, M&M’s were sold exclusively to the military. M&M’s didn’t always have the M imprinted. The M on the candies were first imprinted in 1950 and the M’s were originally black. In 1954, the M was changed to white. The originally five M&M colors were brown, red, yellow, green, and violet. Violet was discontinued. Red was discontinued in 1976 because of health concerns with carcinogen, it was replaced with the orange M&M’s, and were later brought back again. Tan was a M&M color in the 1940’s until 1995, then it was discontinued. In 1995, Mars introduced blue M&M’s.

Now the M&M colors are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and brown.

M&M’s were first only sold in the United States, but are now sold in more than 100 countries.

I actually have this habit with M&M’s, which made me to think to create this post. My family has this candy bowl at home, and we usually fill this bowl with peanut M&M’s. The one day I noticed my mom eating all the yellow and brown M&M’s. At first, I didn’t think anything of it. When we got a new bag of peanut M&M’s, I saw her do it again. So I asked her, “Why do you always eat all the yellow and brown M&M’s?” She looked at me and said, “Because all the other colors are so pretty. I have to eat the yellow and brown ones to make the bowl pretty.” At first, I thought it was funny. But now when I see the bowl with yellow and brown M&M’s, the bowl looks ugly to me… So whenever there’s new M&M’s in our candy bowl, I have to eat all the yellow and brown M&M’s…to make the bowl pretty again. You just got to love weird habits, right?

Photo on 2013-03-10 at 20.45

The candy bowl with all the yellow M&M’s gone..Next up-the brown M&M’s!

Cherry Blossom Festival

When I was in Washington D.C. for the past four days, I noticed something in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Cherry blossoms. I was looking around the gift shop in the museum and saw souvenirs that were related to the Cherry Blossom Festival. I became very curious about the Cherry Blossom Festival, so here we are.

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History: The National Cherry Blossom Festival (全米桜祭り) is a spring festival in Washington D.C. This festival commemorates the March 27, 1912 Japanese cherry tree gift from Mayor Yuki Ozaki of Tokyo (he donated 3,000 cherry trees). Mayor Yuki Ozaki gave these trees to the United States in an effort to enhance and support the friendship between the United States and Japan.

Read more information on the history on:

http://www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/about/history/

The first Cherry Blossom Festival was held in 1935 under a joint sponsorship by numerous of civic groups. Now, the National Cherry Blossom Festival is coordinated by the National Cherry Blossom Festival, Inc. Each year, more than 700,000 people come to Washington D.C. to admire the cherry trees in the beginning of spring.

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The National Cherry Blossom Festival is a festival that starts on the last Saturday in March (and lasts several weeks) with an opening ceremony in the National Building Ceremony. The 2013 National Cherry Blossom Festival is from March 20, 2013-April 14,2013.  There is a multitude of activities and cultural events on the following days such as photography, sculpture, and animation exhibits, parades, dancing, singing, kimono fashion shows, martial arts, and a rugby tournament. Every day there is a sushi and sake (Japanese alcoholic beverage) celebration, cherry blossom classes, and bike tours. The second Saturday of the festival, a three-stage festival takes place. After the three-stage festival ends, there is a firework show. The next morning, people can choose to participate in the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run (Washington Monument). At the end of the day, dignitaries gather at the Tidal Basin to light the 360 year old Japanese stone lantern in a ceremonial lighting. On the last Saturday of the festival, the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade takes place (Constitution Avenue) and the Sakura Matsuri-Japanese Street takes place during and after the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade (Pennsylvania Avenue-Northwest).

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cherry blossom float

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Festival gathering

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If you’re ever in Washington D.C. at the end of March-early April, participate in this festival. I have never participated in this festival myself, but I would like to one day since cherry blossoms are one of my favorite types of flowers. Even if you’re not a “flower kind of person,” still participate. You only get to live life once, so you might as well live life to its fullest. Experience a new culture, you’ll be surprised about how different cultures (or anything in general) may appeal/fascinate to you.