Cambridge have a useful online dictionary of English specifically for business, and I have often given links to it in my classes and articles.
But they recently changed the way their site works. It is now impossible to link directly to a word's definition and example sentences in the business dictionary. Instead it is only possible to link to a page that shows the ordinary English definition and example sentences, and which has a tab you must click on to see the Business English definition and examples.
Just click on the tab marked "Business" and you can see the relevant definitions and examples.
I have many links to the old dictionary that don't work any more, in my class notes in my articles here. I will, over time, update them or replace them with links to other dictionaries. In the meantime, when I give a link to Cambridge in class, remember to click on the Business tab to see definitions and examples that are specifically for business.
Today I've done quite a bit of work on my ESL Links > Telephone English page.
I got rid of some dead links, reorganized others, and added some new ones, like the British Council page on conference calls, Business English Pod (including lessons on taking and leaving messages), BBC Business Language to Go and TalkEnglish page on business phone calls.
After the great Bing English-Chinese online dictionary disaster, there are still some broken Bing links in articles on my website.
Today I have eliminated Bing links from several articles and replaced them with working links to other online dictionaries and encyclopedias.
I hope these articles, now with working links, prove useful to students of English.
Summary: As someone who is not fluent in Chinese, I cannot rely on Tencent 腾讯/QQ for microblogging (or indeed anything). So I'm not using Tencent and now I'm trying LinkedIn instead.
Update 2013-11-15: Once again, Tencent Weibo is denying me access to my account without explanation and without a way to resolve the problem in English.
I used to use a Tencent Weibo microblog to give my Chinese students useful or interesting links related to English, China, business etc. But back in June, I had a major problem with it: I could no longer access it at all. I wrote about that in my blog post here.
Any attempt by me to fix the problem would lead to lots of untranslated pages in Chinese. So I e-mailed their international support. The only response I had from Tencent was a link to instructions about what to do when you lose your password.
There were several problems with this:
I continued to try to resolve this problem communicating in English with Tencent / QQ International, via e-mail and via their blog (which is what you get taken to when you click on "Help").
No luck for me with Tencent
I never had another reply from Tencent International's e-mail, despite me writing twice more.
My student Harry from China asks: (edited)
Could you please tell me which kind of certification is the most popular for Electrical Engineers in the US? Also, which certification can be got through examination useful all over the world.
Thank you for your kind help.
I don't know :) I'm not an expert on electrical engineering (EE) and the only electrical engineers I know are in China, but I've done a little searching on the web and I'll give the results here.
As examples, I'll give some links in this article to job advertisments on US jobs websites, but links to specific jobs might stop working once the employer finds an employee. If so, try making new searches for "electrical engineer" at these websites:
Bachelor's of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE / BSc)
It seems the basic qualification in the US is a BSEE (Bachelor's of Science in Electrical Engineering) from an accredited university (usually the university must be accredited by ABET ).
Click "Read more" to continue.
Tencent won't let me log in, so I can't access my Tencent microblog at all.
Even though I'm putting in the right password, I get an error about "restricted account access".
I clicked on the link, and it all changes to Chinese. So much for the international version in English. As soon as there's a problem, it all reverts to Chinese, with a lot of important text (e.g. action buttons) actually presented in image format, so I can't use translation software to help me understand it.
I tried guessing and various things but eventually got stuck here:
I tried googling and tried one piece of advice on the web, which didn't work but I did end up with the e-mail address for QQ International help.
I emailed them, and they sent me back a link to a blog post with instructions in case of a lost password. I didn't lose my password, but I'm trying it anyways.
That post explains in English how to get a new password (the whole process in Chinese again) using annotated screenshots.
I've managed to complete the first couple of steps, but then comes one that's not explained. It asks for 3 "Friend's Account Numbers". Which is fine if you use QQ instant messenger and have those numbers saved or written down somewhere.
But I don't use QQ messenger, I only use Tencent for microblogging. So I don't have any such numbers. I can't even access the IDs of my microblog followers (to try using those instead of QQ numbers) because I have to sign in to see those.
I've posted a comment on that blog article about this problem, and I await an answer. If there isn't one, I'll try writing QQ International support again.
The irony? When I have a China-related tech problem, I tell people and ask for help using Tencent Weibo. But this problem means I can't even do that.
I'll post about any future developments.
I used to use the Microsoft Bing (Engkoo) online dictionary a lot: in my classes, I gave Bing dictionary links to words & phrases in the chat window. (I prepare in advance and have the links saved in my class notes, so that I can quickly copy & paste them into the chat window during class.)
And in articles on this site, I give Bing dictionary links to words & phrases that I use in the article.
In short, I used to find it very useful for teaching English online to my students in China.
Some other articles of mine about Bing:
But none of those links will work now, because Microsoft/Bing have changed the format of their links (URLs): not only have they introduced a new format for their links, but also they killed the old links, so clicking on one will just take you to the Bing home page.
Different URL formats for Bing over time.
This is the 4th time they have done this. Four times before, they've done this; four times before, they have ruined all the links I already have in my class notes; four times before, they have ruined all the links in my articles on this website. Four times before, I have had to fix all the links in my notes (not extremely hard) and twice before I've had to fix all the links in my articles (much harder and much more time-consuming: in fact I'm not sure I've found & corrected all the links in previous formats.).
I will not try fixing them all again. And unless I can find some way of automatically updating them (and keeping them automatically updated for all future changes), I will not use Bing online dictionary again. I will not invest more of my time in links for an online dictionary that keeps breaking those links.
I can't even complain to them, because their own feedback link on their new-style home page doesn't even work!
I'd appreciate any suggestions for alternatives. I already use Jukuu, which provides whole sentences in English, with Chinese translation. (And Jukuu has never changed the format of its links; ones I saved 3-4 years ago still work today.) But can anyone suggest something similar to Bing/Engkoo? An online dictionary, with definitions of words as well as example sentences, preferably also giving a Chinese translation.
Also, I apologize to anyone browsing this site who finds lots of broken links to Bing. I will try to find them all and eliminate them (or replace them with links to another online dictionary).
Update 2014-04-07: Oxford just changed the links and appearance of their Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary... but 99% of the previous Oxford links still work! The old links are automatically redirected to the new URLs. At least someone at Oxford has enough sense to to make changes in an intelligent way. What a pity I can't say the same for Microsoft.
As for English<>Chinese links to give my students, I now use Baidu's dictionary: it doesn't have quite as many features as Bing, but at least the links don't keep changing every few months.
On the Verbs page of ESL links, I noticed that some of the links for Phrasal Verbs (e.g. put out, look after, take over) weren't working. So I've fixed some, removed some and added some new ones.
Check them out here (2nd section): ESL Links > Verbs.
By the way, if you ever find that any links on my site don't work anymore, please contact me and tell me, I'd appreciate it a lot :)
During my class Jobs 2 today, I wanted to give a student a link to some results on an American jobs website. He works in sales for ERP, so I did a search on IT jobs site Dice.com.
I wanted to put the link for the search results in the chat box, but it wouldn't enter. I finally realized it was because the URL was too long... way too long... insanely long:
I had to backspace through all that to get rid of it, and then I used Bitly to make a shorter link. Bitly is an URL shortening service, that makes long web addresses short. It took that gigantic URL and turned it into http://bit.ly/H4StbV . It is especially useful on microblogs like Twitter.
On Chinese microblogs like Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo, URLs are shortened automatically. E.g. on my Tencent microblog that superlong URL is shortened to just http://url.cn/3VYoRK .
I mentioned Bitly in Links During Online Classes and today it was a real lifesaver.
G.A.L.E.S.L. / joe3
Some tips and links on learning English.