JetCracker

Life-time learner's blog

Category Archives: Vocabulary

EnglishSmacks – Real life English words and phrases

English Smacks logoThe-English-Patient.Com – a ground-breaking service for learning English – has recently released a preview of its brand new service: EnglishSmacks!

The app tests your English language skills! Just listen to the phrases and fill in the gaps typing the words missing in the transcript.

There are 5 levels of difficulty. Phrases are taken from world news (CNN, BBC), science movies, pop music etc. I am sure that you will enjoy gathering “tambourines”. Good luck!

Download EnglishSmacks from Google Play!

EnglisSmacks-sceenshotEnglishSmacks-screenshot2

Key features

  • Huge base of phrases
  • Daily updates of exercises
  • Reliable sources (CNN, BBC, movies)
  • Awesome phrases from real life situations

Feel free to download, rate and review the app!

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Symphony of Slang

Looking through the latest videos by Philochko on Youtube, I came across a couple of ones that I really liked and enjoyed watching. In the videos, he explains a lot of slang words and expressions that were used in a really amazing cartoon by Tex Avery – “Symphony in Slang“. It is really awesome!!!

According to Wikipedia, “Symphony in Slang” is a 1951 cartoon short directed by Tex Avery, written by Rich Hogan and released by MGM. Minimalist and abstract in style (many of the “gags” are created either with single, still frames or limited animation), it tells the story of a man John Brown, who finds himself at the Pearly Gates explaining the story of his life to a bewildered Saint Peter and Noah Webster using slang of that era. The majority of the short is made up of sight gags based on Peter and Webster’s imagined, literal understandings of such phrases as “I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth” and “Outside it was raining cats and dogs.”

If you like English, you must WATCH IT!

And here are the clarifications from Philochko.

Have fun! 🙂

Report: Comparison of Nikon Coolpix 4600 and Coolpix L1

Howdy!

My today’s post is my English homework. I was given a task to write a report on the Nikon digital cameras Coolpix 4600 and Coolpix L1. All necessary information and technical features of these cameras were given in my course book. I had to use appropriate linking words and active vocabulary. Here is my report.

Nikon Coolpix 4600 vs. Nikon Coolpix L1

We were asked to compare the above mentioned models of digital cameras.

The 4600 model is cheaper than L1. However, the picture quality is better and battery life is excellent. It’s quite quick at starting up: it takes only 3.5 seconds to be ready for taking pictures after power turns on. In addition, you have to wait just under 2 seconds before taking shots. The camera can record video, but sound is not supported. It has a very short shutter delay. Consequently, it is very good for action shots.

The Coolpix L1 has a very stylish classic design. Although it is more expensive, it has a quite powerful zoom lens (38mm-190mm) and a large LCD screen. Therefore, it is good for composing and reviewing photos. The shutter delay is rather long – 0.9 seconds. As a result, it cannot be used for taking action shots.

Our opinion. We were a little disappointed in the Nikon Coolpix L1 test results. We found that its picture quality was below the average. Also, it is rather slow. In contrast, the Coolpix 4600 appeared to be very quick and with better picture quality. Moreover, it is good for shots in bad light. So, considering its relatively low price, we can conclude that the Nikon Coolpix 4600 is a very good buy.

All linking words and expressions are underlined. If you find any mistake, please, let me know.

Anton Danshin

Translation: Use modal verbs

Hello. This is my new English homework 🙂

1. Вам не нужно делать презентацию этого изобретения сегодня. Вы сможете сделать ее через неделю.

You don’t have to make a presentation of this invention. You will be able to make it next week (in a week).

2. Они, должно быть, знают много о нашем инновационном проекте, но я не уверен.

They might know a lot about our innovative project but I’m not sure.

3. Я не думаю, что вам следует расспрашивать незнакомого художника о его планах на будущее. Вы бы лучше пришли на его выставку.

I don’t think you should ask unfamiliar artist about his future plans. You had better visit his exhibition.

4. Возможно, они сейчас как раз обсуждают вопрос о начале производства инженерного оборудования. Они должны были подписать все документы вчера.

They might be discussing a question about start of production of engineering equipment. They must have signed all of the documents yesterday.

5. Не может быть, что ему сорок лет. Он выглядит гораздо моложе. Должно быть, он следит за своим здоровьем.

No way he is 40. (He can’t be 40 years old) He looks much younger. He must be taking care of his health.

6. Современный покупатель выбирает долговечные удобные для пользователя приборы, выпускаемые в различных вариациях цвета и формы.

Modern consumer chooses durable and usable appliances produced in different varieties of colour and shape.

7. Необходимо, чтобы достижения современной науки имели положительное влияние на жизнь людей. Кроме того, новые технологии должны быть экологически чистыми.

Advances of modern science must have a positive impact on people’s lives. More than that,  new technologies must be environmentally friendly (eco-friendly).

8. Основной причиной успеха этой продукции является то, что она оправдывает свою стоимость и ее производство хорошо отлажено.

The main reason for success of the product is that it is a value for money and its production is streamlined (well established).

Active Vocabulary

  • invention – [count noun] something, typically process or device, which was designed or created;
  • innovative – [adjective] featuring new methods; advanced and original;
  • durable – [adjective] able to last for very long; able to stand wear, pressure and damage;
  • usable – [adjective] easy, comfortable to use;
  • advance – [count noun] achievement, development or improvement; forward movement;
  • streamlined – [adjective] smooth, with very little resistance to flow of water or air, increasing speed and ease of movement; efficient and effective (well established);
  • value for money – something that is worth its price; practical;
  • would rather / had better
  • environmentally friendly – not damaging or polluting environment.

Anton Danshin

P.S. I’ll probably add some explanation grammar soon.

Last modified: 23 Feb 2012

What is Design?

Hello, dear readers!

It’s been very long time since I last wrote here. Sorry about that, I was busy a little bit. Meanwhile a new semester started and we already have plenty of boring academic stuff to do in all subjects. Our English classes are not an exception: we have a lot of tasks for our homework, and this semester is going to be full of reports, essays and presentations. So, I thought it would be a good idea to publish my homework right here. Any objections? 😉 Then, let’s get started!

The first task that our English teacher, Victoria Vladimirovna, gave us, is to prepare an article on the topic “What is design?”. I’ve done a little research on the net. Take a look at what I found.

Report: What is Design?

What is Design?

Design is everywhere – and that’s why looking for a definition may not help you grasp what it is. The word design means different things to different people. There are broad definitions and specific ones – both have drawbacks. Either they are too general to be meaningful or they exclude too much.

Wikipedia gives the following definitions:

  • (noun) a specification of an object, manifested by an agent, intended to accomplish goals, in a particular environment, using a set of primitive components, satisfying a set of requirements, subject to constraints;
  • (verb, transitive) to create a design, in an environment (where the designer operates).

One definition given by designer Richard Seymour is ‘making things better for people‘. It emphasises that design activity is focused first on human behaviour and quality of life, not factors like distributor preferences. But nurses or road sweepers could say they, too, ‘make things better for people‘. There may be no absolute definitions of design that will please everyone.

Scientists can invent technologies, manufacturers can make products, engineers can make them function and marketers can sell them, but only designers can combine insight into all these things and turn a concept into something that is desirable, practical, commercially successful and adds value to people’s lives.

There are many misconceptions about design. Magazines often use the word design when they mean style or fashion. For example, when they show a toaster or bottle opener which is well designed, the result is that people think that design is all about how things look. Design is also about how things work. In reality, the way how a product looks is something that (usually) happens at the end of development process.

Designers, unlike artists, can’t simply follow their creative feelings. They work in a commercial environment, which  means there are many points to consider. Designers have to ask themselves questions such as: ‘Is the product really wanted?‘, ‘How is it different from everything else on the market?‘, ‘Does it fulfil a need?‘, ‘Will it cost too much to manufacture?‘ and ‘Is it safe?

Design is fundamental. People often need reminding that everything around us is designed and that design decisions impact on nearly every part of our lives, be it the environments we work in, the way we book holidays, or the way we go about getting the lid off the jam jar. When those things work, it’s taken for granted, but, as Bill Moggridge, founder of international consultancy IDEO, says: ‘A lot of trial and error goes into making things look effortless‘. And I completely agree.

List of words

  1. drawback – problem or disadvantage;
  2. to accomplish – to achieve or complete successfully;
  3. misconception – a view or opinion that is incorrect because it is based on faulty thinking or understanding;
  4. to fulfil – carry through: put in effect; “carry out a task”; “execute the decision of the people”;
  5. creative – relating to or involving the imagination or original ideas, esp. in the production of an artistic work;
  6. insight – an understanding of this kind;
  7. to get the lid off a jar – to open a jar;
  8. emphasise – underline, strengthen in the meaning.

Links

Thanks for visiting. Goog luck with you English!
Anton Danshin
P.S. Can you give any example of the best or the worst design? Each answer is appreciated.

English Slang: piss, piss off

Another funny video from EngVid!

Don't take a piss. Don't take the piss. What’s the difference? Piss has many meanings in English! Learn some slang expressions you can use in a pub or at a party! In this lesson, I teach the following vocabulary and expressions: take a pisstake the pisspissedpissed off.

Source: Slang in English – PISS.

This teacher makes me laugh! 🙂

Thank’s for visiting!

English Tek

English Vocabulary–Negative Characteristics

Hi, dear readers!

Another great video from EngVid.com with my clarification.

“Learn English vocabulary in this advanced lesson that will help you express the negative characteristics that people have. Is that man at the shop a snob, or is he conceited? Is your sister vain or is she arrogant?”

EngVid.com :: English Vocabulary–Negative Characteristics (by James)

Original: EngVid.com (with quiz)

Clarification

  • arrogant [‘ærəgənt] ADJ (disapproval)

– Exaggerated view of worth or importance in a way that is too much for others. (by James)

– Someone who is arrogant behaves in a proud, unpleasant way towards other people because they believe that they are more important than others. (Collins)

– Having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities. (Oxford)

  • vain [veɪn] ADJ (disapproval) *

– Very proud of one’s looks or abilities (by James)

– If you describe someone as vain, you are critical of their extreme pride in their own beauty, intelligence, or other good qualities. (Collins)

– Having or showing an excessively high opinion of one’s appearance, abilities, or worth. (Oxford)

* This word has more different meanings, use a dictionary.

  • conceited [kən’siːtɪd] ADJ (disapproval)

– Having a very high opinion of oneself (by James)

– If you say that someone is conceited, you are showing your disapproval of the fact that they are far too proud of their abilities or achievements. (Collins)

  • snob [snɔb] N-COUNT (disapproval)

– Imitates/wants to hang with others in superior position; looks down on others as inferior; acts superior (by James)

– 1) If you call someone a snob, you disapprove of them because they admire upper-class people and have a low opinion of lower-class people. 2) If you call someone a snob, you disapprove of them because they behave as if they are superior to other people because of their intelligence or taste. (Collins)

– 1) A person with an exaggerated respect for high social position or wealth who seeks to associate with social superiors and dislikes people or activities regarded as lower-class. 2) [with adj.] A person who believes that their tastes in a particular area are superior to those of other people (Oxford)

  • brag [bræg] VERB (disapproval)

– To tell people how wonderful you (your things) are. (by James)

– If you brag, you say in a very proud way that you have something or have done something. (Collins)

– To say something in a boastful manner. (Oxford)

** Translations from ABBYY Lingvo Online Dictionaries.

Examples

  • That sounds arrogant, doesn’t it?
  • He was so arrogant!
  • Kenneth is an arrogant, rude, social snob.
  • Going to a private school and spending weekends with other pupils whose parents had massive houses made her a snob…
  • I think he is shallow, vain and untrustworthy.
  • He brags that he wrote 300 pages in 10 days!
  • I thought him conceited and arrogant…
  • You conceited idiot!

Supplementary vocabulary

  1. exaggerated(adj.) Something that is exaggerated is or seems larger, better, worse, or more important than it actually needs to be.
  2. vanity(noun) Excessive pride in or admiration of one’s own appearance or achievements.
  3. superior(adj.) Higher in rank, status, or quality.
  4. inferior (adj.) Lower in rank, status, or quality.

Hope it is helpful. Smile

Thank you for visiting our web-site. Good luck and take care!

English Tek

Learn Pronunciation with Poetry

Hello, dear English learners!

We’ve got one enjoyable video for you!

Original: EngVid.com

The text of the poem

The Chaos
by G. Nolst Trenite’ a.k.a. “Charivarius” 1870 – 1946

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer…

Read the whole poem here.

Have a nice day!

English Tek

Translate, please #1

Howdy, dear readers!

Today we start the Monthly Translation Contest!

You are given a paragraph in English. The task is to translate the paragraph into your native language (or into one of the common languages). You don’t have to provide the exact translation.

The main point is that you must get the idea and explain it in your language. Also, you are to identify the source of the paragraph (at least point out the direction where the text could be found).

If you include this to make a call to another constructor in the same class, the other constructor would have either an explicit this call in the beginning of the code block or an explicit or implicit (added by the compiler) super call. If the other constructor had a this call, then at the end of this chain, a super call would be made eventually.

Source: Find it out!

Thanks for visiting our website. Good luck!

English Tek

Funny phrases, or confused meanings

Hello, dear readers.

Today we have a few interesting phrases or labels in English that can be found in different countries and places. Be aware – it is not correct English! The correct variant is also provided.

1. Cocktail lounge, Norway:
LADIES ARE REQUESTED NOT TO HAVE CHILDREN IN THE BAR.

Correct: Ladies are requested not to take children to the bar.

2. At a Budapest zoo:
PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS.
IF YOU HAVE ANY SUITABLE FOOD, GIVE IT TO THE GUARD ON DUTY.

Correct: Please, do not feed the animals. If you have any suitable food, ask the guard on duty for permission.

3. Doctor’s office in Rome:
SPECIALIST IN WOMEN AND OTHER DISEASES.

Correct: Specialist in problems of women and other diseases.

4. Information booklet about using a hotel air conditioner. Japan:
COOLES AND HEATES: IF YOU WANT CONDITION OF WARM AIR IN YOUR ROOM, PLEASE CONTROL
YOURSELF.

Correct: … please, control (operate) it by yourself.

5. In Aamchi Mumbai restaurant:
OPEN SEVEN DAYS A WEEK, AND WEEKENDS TOO.

Correct: Open all week including weekends.

6. The best! In a Tokyo bar:
SPECIAL COCKTAILS FOR THE LADIES WITH NUTS.

Correct: Special cocktails with nuts for the ladies.

7. In the lobby of a Moscow hotel across from a Russian Orthodox monastery:
YOU ARE WELCOME TO VISIT THE CEMETERY WHERE FAMOUS RUSSIAN AND SOVIET COMPOSERS,
ARTISTS, AND WRITERS ARE BURIED DAILY EXCEPT THURSDAY.

Correct: You are welcome to visit cemetery daily except Thursday. It is the place where famous Russian and Soviet composers, artists and writers are buried.

8. Hotel, Zurich:
BECAUSE OF THE IMPROPRIETY OF ENTERTAINING GUESTS OF THE OPPOSITE SEX IN THE BEDROOM,
IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THE LOBBY BE USED FOR THIS PURPOSE.

Correct: … it is suggested that the lobby be used for entertaining.

9. Advertisement by a Hong Kong dentist:
TEETH EXTRACTED BY THE LATEST METHODISTS.

Correct: Teeth are extracted using the latest methods.

10. A laundry in Rome:
LADIES, LEAVE YOUR CLOTHES HERE AND SPEND THE AFTERNOON HAVING A GOOD TIME.

Correct: Ladies, leave your outer clothes here. Spend the afternoon having a good time.

11. Tourist agency, Czechoslovakia:
TAKE ONE OF OUR HORSE-DRIVEN CITY TOURS. WE GUARANTEE NO MISCARRIAGES.

Correct: horse-driven !? Surprised smile

12. Advertisement for donkey rides, Thailand:
WOULD YOU LIKE TO RIDE ON YOUR OWN ASS?

Correct: No mistake. Just funny. Open-mouthed smile

13. The box of a clockwork toy made in Hong Kong:
GUARANTEED TO WORK THROUGHOUT ITS USEFUL LIFE.

Correct: Can’t get the humor here. Can you?

14. Airline ticket office, Copenhagen:
WE TAKE YOUR BAGS AND SEND THEM IN ALL DIRECTIONS.

Correct: We take your bags and send them wherever you need.

15. In a Japanese cemetery:
PERSONS ARE PROHIBITED FROM PICKING FLOWERS FROM ANY BUT THEIR OWN GRAVES.

Correct: ? It is so terrible… Crying face

The source available at: http://lingualeo.ru/jungle/13043

Thanks for visiting our blog. Good luck and take care.

English Tek