I've long wanted to add a search box to my website so visitors could find things more easily.
But adding a search box to every single page seemed very complicated.
Finally I realized there was another way: a specific page just for searching. It's not exactly what I wanted but it's better than nothing.
To give it a try, click on "Search" in the menu on the left of the site, or click below:
Update 2017-08-18: Fixed and removed some links.
Update 2015-12-15: Fixed some vocab links. Replaced Netspeak links with Youdao because Netspeak is blocked in China (?!?).
Update 2013-09-02: Removed broken links to Bing dictionary, replaced with links to Cambridge, Oxford & Macmillan. Added links to The Phrase FInder and The Free Dictionary at bottom.
My latest class on Marketing and Advertising reminded me of an example of very creative advertising from China.
"Outside the box" means to think or do something that is very creative and even unexpected or surprising.
A box is a container. It contains, it restrains, it limits. Our own habits can also be a container, restraining and limiting our ideas. So when we think outside the box, we try to break out of the limitations of our habits and try something new, original and unusual.
In business, we are sometimes asked to think outside the box in order to find a solution to a difficult problem; the usual, normal ideas are not working and we need to come up with something new (and hopefully better).
The yoga club was having trouble getting the attention of potential clients, and this advertising idea was unusual... but it worked.
So this example of advertising that put a person inside a box is a great example of thinking outside the box.
Some people feel the phrase "thinking outside the box" is used too much: it has become a cliché, abused by business people in general and consultants in particular.
But if you work in the modern business world and use English, you absolutely must know what this idiom means.
Re the class on Setting Priorities and Time Management, here are a few tools to help you prioritize your tasks and manage your time effectively.
First, PIMs. PIM = Personal Information Manager. It's software to manage to your schedule, contacts, messages etc.
Here's some info:
And here is a review of some free ones:
complex for you, maybe all you need is an electronic to-do list. Here are some free ones for Windows computers:
And now there are many online to-do lists, which you can access from anywhere with an internet connection.
Soon after I posted Explaining Food, Part I, I read that the Beijing authorities have made a list of sensible names for many Chinese dishes.
I found out through an article on ChinaSmack, a blog translating Chinese internet news into English:
Which is based on this article from Beijing Ribao:
Update 2014-01-07: I have updated the vocab links, as they used to from the Bing online dictionary, which keeps changing its URLs.
Im my Hiknow business English class on Food & Entertaining, I like to make one point clear: food can't always be translated. A Chinese dish might not have a name in English. So what do you say when trying to speak about Chinese food in English? What should someone say when trying to explain foreign food to someone Chinese?
If you said in English to a foreign visitor "Please eat these Acid Hot Copy Hands", they might think you were mad, maybe murderous, perhaps a plagiarist and possibly a cannibal to boot! Although they might also just laugh, realising that the food you're offering couldn't possibly contain acid and hands and that it's (probably?) just a language barrier issue.
Here are a couple of alternatives to just translating the Chinese name:
1. Give the Chinese name and a short explanation.
"These are suānlà chāoshǒu. They are large dumplings, made with wheat flour. First, pork and spices are wrapped in thin sheets of dough, then they're steamed and finally covered in a spicy sauce. They're a speciality of Sichuan. Try one! They're delicious!"
That way, not only does the visitor get the right idea about what the food is, but you're also selling them on it: describing its features and making them want to have it.
2. Give a simple explanatory name.
For example "Spicy steamed Sichuan dumplings". It's less poetic... but also less scary and less confusing!
What you imagine when you say "suānlà chāoshǒu":
What an English speaker imagines when they hear "Acid Hot Copy Hand":
We all need to know vocabulary, but too often we see a new word and then forget it later.
The Language Centre of the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology has some great pages of tips & strategies to help you really learn and really remember English vocabulary.
Vocabulary page in ESL Links.
2016-10-24: I recently found out that the service I've been using to share the presentation file, Slideshare, is now blocked in China. I've added a direct download link now, which isn't blocked.
In our class on Culture today, one section talked about how to handle giving a presentation in a foreign language.
I'd like to give you a deck I made with tips on giving a presentation in English, which I originally made for my university students at Universidad Iberoamericana Puebla.
Here's the link:
Below is the direct download link, for students in China.
G.A.L.E.S.L. / joe3
Some tips and links on learning English.