Learn 284 words in a month #10 – Personalize!

Use NEW words and USE new words. Make them yours. To know what they mean is not enough. You need to be comfortable with speaking them in a natural way, surrounded by other words.

Ask yourself which would be the most useful to you. I would choose TRANSITION becausepeople, situations and things are changing all the time, and each change involves a transition of some sort, between the old and the new. We could talk about the transitional government in Egypt, or the transition phase in a factory, while the workers learn to operate new machines. For children, the transition from a friendly primary school to a bigger one could be difficult time and, of course, the transition from studying in your own country to a foreign country could too!

Let´s take French for a change.

Looking at linguee.fr this time, we can see that our possibilities for Egypt are gouvernement de transition, gouvernement provisoire and governement transitoire. I can check which of these phrases is the most often used in real life by googling each phrase surrounded by inverted commas (“…..”).

The first scores 5.5 million hits, the second scores 2.1 million and the last one scores less than a million. That means I´ll probably use gouvernement transitoire.   But it is so useful to know an alternative way of saying it, for instance when you are doing an essay.  If you can show that you are able to use two or more ways of saying something, it really looks sophisticated.

As an added bonus, I discovered the English phrase “interim government” while I was looking at linguee.fr .

For “transitional phase” we can have phase de transition, phase transitoire, stade de transition, phase transitionnelle, période de transition etc.

Linguee. Fr also provides all sorts of other words which are used in the context of transition, such as transition towards, transitional measure, transitional arrangements, transitional provisions. It is a wonderful help.

But the thing I am really interested in now is which word you would choose, and which words you would find to accompany it.


About Fun with languages

Blogging about learning languages, making it fun Hobbies: paragliding, cycling, reading, BBC radio 4.
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4 Responses to Learn 284 words in a month #10 – Personalize!

  1. jennifer says:

    It’s pity that I miss three funny challenge…I have been busy with taking exam these days….now it is finally over;-) I would like to choose patient.eg.a patient suffer from disease;I am patient with kids,I lose my patience…..by the way,yesterday I went to vodafone for phone fee and internet service….but I don’t know how to say in English…..could you help me to find some dialoge example?

    • Hi Jennifer
      It must be great to have the exams behind you!!
      A good starting place for Vodafone vocabulary would be http://www.vodafone.co.uk/brands/samsung/olympics/index.htm?icmp=int-ue-oly-smg-brnd1 especially the PRICE PLANS and SUPPORT tabs. There are some useful phrases there. To ask for an internet service would be correct. We had to wait about a month for a landline connection for free telephoning in Europe and some other countries, but they gave us a sort of stick to use while we were waiting, so that we could go on-line free with a temporary number. To ask about our phone fee you could ask for their best price plan.
      A “patient” joke for you taken from funnyjokes4me.blogspot (There you can find plenty of jokes on other subjects too):
      The doctor comes to see his heart transplant patient. “This is good news. It is very unusual, but we have two donors to choose from for your new heart.”

      The patient is pleased. He asks, “What were their jobs?”

      “One was a teacher and the other was an accountant.” “I’ll take the accountant’s heart,” says the patient. “I want one that hasn’t been used.”

  2. jennifer says:

    I didn’t get the joke…..why the heart of teacher is used?….;-)

    • I guess it is a sort of black joke about accountants and the idea that they have no heart (feelings). That is rubbish, of course.
      The implication is that teachers do have hearts. As you know, we all all warm-hearted people (ha ha). I think this joke could be used for other professions too.

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