Check Out the Most Popular Articles on This Blog!
One day I decided to check the statistics of my website and see which blog posts you’ve been reading the most. I selected the top 10 articles and I guess it provides a fair representation of what my average blog visitor is interested in, so you may want to check out the top 10 of English Harmony blog posts of all times! If you visit this blog frequently, you’ve probably read a good few of them, but I’m sure you’ll find at least a couple of links you haven’t encountered before and they might just provide you with some English fluency related info you’ve been looking for to no avail. So, let the countdown begin! (more…)
Popular Misconceptions About Foreign English Speakers
My Opinion on Who the English Language Belongs to…
Random Stuff – Perfectionism, English Word Chunks and Blind Faith
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2pZ8jFVPM8 Hi my fellow foreign English speakers :!: Here's a video I recorded on a Saturday night - I just thought "Why not just have a chat with my YouTube subscribers and blog readers? All my video Episodes are prepared and rehearsed; why not record something completely random and speak anything that crosses my mind?" So I did - and in this video you can hear me sharing my views on: perfectionism importance of learning English collocations having faith in your ability as a fluent foreign English speaker making mistakes, hesitation and stuttering when speaking English drinking And please - don't take me too seriously in this video. It's not an official English Harmony video Episode; it's rather a friendly informal chat with you. Enjoy! ;-) Best Regards, Robby
English Harmony System Download Version Goes Live NOW!
As you might remember, the original English Harmony System was nothing more than a simple eBook. Then I created a multimedia video course on three DVDs which took my customers' experience to a whole new level. Now I’ve taken it a step further once more. An INSTANT DOWNLOAD version of the English Harmony System 2.0 is finally ready, and my sleepless nights spent on working on technical aspects of the download version are over :!: ;-) First of all, I had to figure out how to make the nearly 5 GB large files easy to download – after all, the System consists of Flash videos and they aren’t the smallest files around. Secondly, I had to find a reliable and user-friendly piece of .exe compiler software so that the files can be easily distributed and all users can be managed. Thirdly, I had to set up the download software, integrate PayPal into it, and conduct countless tests to make sure everything works like clockwork! I’ve been working on this download version since Christmas, and now I can take a deep breath because finally completed. It works, and it’s ready to be used by you, my dear impatient foreign English speaking friends who don’t want to wait till the physical package containing the 3 DVDs arrives at you doorstep. Here’s a few facts about the downloadable version of the System: it consists of 3 .exe files – one for each of the 3 Modules – Speech Master, Confidence Mentor and Chat Assistant; it takes about 20 – 30 minutes to download all three files; the files are protected by unique registration codes e-mailed to you shortly after the purchase; constant Broadband Internet connection is required to run the System (more…)
101 Wrong Reasons (and 1 True Reason) Why I Love the English Language
Print This Poster to Motivate Yourself to Improve Your English Throughout 2012!
=== Click HERE to OPEN THE POSTER! === (Then print it out and stick it up on your wall!) :!: :grin: Happy New Year, my fellow foreign English speakers :grin: :!: The party is over, and now we have to go back to the grim reality… The holiday season is over, Christmas gifts have been unwrapped long ago, and now we have to go back to our daily routines. How depressing, isn’t it? Well, not everything is looking so gloomy! Despite the reality check we all undergo when the holidays are over, New Year is a time well known for the biggest aspirations and life-changing decisions! === Click HERE to OPEN THE POSTER! === (Then print it out and stick it up on your wall!) (more…)
Moving to an English Speaking Country is Like Recovering Eyesight
Lost in Translation OR Why I Couldn’t Translate Gulliver’s Travels
I was watching TV the other day with my wife, kids and my sister-in-law. It was Gulliver’s Travels – a very nice family comedy, and as we settled down in the front of TV I was ready to translate it for my sister-in-law because her English isn’t as advanced as to understand every subtlety of English language. You’d think I was very comfortable with the task, right? So would I – until I realized it’s not easy at all given the fact I haven’t built my English vocabulary as direct translation from my native language. I’ve acquired the bulk of English that I use and understand by learning from context, mimicking native speakers and reading loads of English fiction. If you’re still wandering what it’s got to do with my inability to translate Gulliver’s Travels into Latvian for my sister-in-law, here’s a very detailed explanation. (more…)
English Harmony System’s Review
Taking a Break from Speaking English May Have a Positive Effect on Your Fluency!
The Best English Class for Improving Your English Fluency
The English Language is Multidimensional Indeed!
Today I’d like to talk about diversity of the English language. Here at English Harmony I’m focusing on spoken English which tends to be more informal as opposed to formal English as it’s taught in schools. The other day I was reading a blog post by Aaron from Phrasemix.com about differences between formal and casual English and he’s put up a very interesting chart on his blog post about how people from different backgrounds speak. According to Aaron’s chart, ordinary people you’d meet on the street in your local estate would speak mostly conversational English, but advanced English students, strangely enough, would be quite on the opposite side of the chart having mastered conversational skills of a native English speaking toddler yet their formal English knowledge would be nearly as high as that of a business executive :!: Well, I have to say that I agree with Aaron 100%, and this is the first time I’m seeing formal and conversational English skills of people from different backgrounds compared in such an interesting way! (more…)
St Patrick’s Day Greetings
Does Integration of Foreigners into English Speaking Society Work?
Have you ever heard a statement that people are inherently lazy? Personally I believe it to be true, more or less. I believe that humans will put the minimum amount of effort into achieving their desired goal in any aspect of life. There are always exceptions to the rule, of course. By and large though, human beings will do everything to avoid engaging in activities that they don’t find entertaining or which don’t result in a direct, tangible benefit. Are you outraged by my claims? Don’t be! I meant no offence to anyone, I merely stated the obvious. They even argue that human laziness is the driving force behind the development of technology! We just got tired of walking and running around, so one day we thought – hold on, why not use some animals to carry us around? In no time we were riding horses, then driving cars – and all that because we’re too lazy to walk! All, right, but what has it got to do with integration of foreign English speakers? Well, if you consider that integration in local English speaking society goes hand in hand with good English communication skills; it’s got everything to do with it! To put it simply – if foreigners aren’t REQUIRED to learn and improve English for PRACTICAL reasons, they won’t do it :!: There you go. I said it! If you want to stone me, you’re free to do it in the comments below. If you’re prepared for an even bigger dose of truth spoken by a Latvian expat living in Ireland – keep reading! (more…)
Unleash Your English Fluency with the English Harmony System 2.0!
Do You Really NEED to Improve Your Spoken English?
It may sound like a completely mad question on an English improving blog. Especially taking into account I’m a passionate proponent of English speaking practice as the main activity for improving anyone’s English. What you probably don’t know about me is that I’m also a vehement proponent of practicality in all aspects of life with English being not an exception. I strongly believe that you are what you do and regarding English improving it translates into your English is what you do :!: To put it simply, you have to look at it from the following perspective. It’s your daily activities that determine which aspects of English you’re relying upon most. If you live in a foreign country and use English mostly for surfing the Net and watching English TV channels, that is what you actually need your English for. Also if you don’t get many opportunities to communicate with other English speakers, you won’t be needing spoken English skills as badly as someone who has moved to an English speaking country or works, for instance, as a cell centre operator supporting English speaking customers. To dispel any confusion that might arise from what I just said clashing with my usual “English is a tool for communication first and foremost!”, please note that my blog and the whole English Harmony project is dedicated to those foreign English speakers who need to speak English regularly, but struggle with it. The point I’m trying to make in this blog post is the following – if you don’t need to communicate using English because of specific circumstances, probably you shouldn’t be overly concerned about improving your spoken English (unless you need it in the foreseeable future, of course!) (more…)
My Controversial Views On Correct English & British and American English
2010 in Retrospect – the Best Blog Posts and Videos!
Isn’t English “Improving” and “Learning” the Same?!
Quite often I receive e-mails like this: “Dear Robby, I’m … from …. and I speak English very bad. Please help me, Robby, to master English fluency and learn how to speak with good grammar.” Mind this – I’m not mocking those foreigners who’ve just recently embarked upon English studies and have a long way to go before they’ll be able to call themselves fluent English speakers, readers and writers. I’d never do it because I’m a foreign English speaker myself and I can still remember times when, for instance, I’d listen to an English song having no clue as to what the lyrics is about! Anyway, I’m usually forced to reply to such e-mails with something along these lines: “Dear …, thanks for your e-mail, your interest is much appreciated. Unfortunately I don’t offer English teaching services as my website is about IMPROVING the SPOKEN aspect of English. Your general English knowledge would have to be pretty good before you could consider using the English Harmony System” So as you can see from the above paragraph, you won’t find much on my website if you’re an English LEARNER. If you’re making your first steps in learning English basics and you’re only getting to grips with proper sentence structure and so on – sorry, I’m not much of a help for you then. I understand it must be slightly confusing to read so much about improving English on my blog and then being told you already have to be able to speak, write and read very well. I suppose the majority of foreigners perceive the two concepts – learning and improving English as being nearly the same. To make the matters clear - here’s what I understand with IMPROVING English – and please don’t forget that I’m focusing on improving SPOKEN English here on English Harmony! ;-) (more…)
How I Stopped Being a Non-native English Speaker…
Until about a year ago I considered myself a non-native English speaker. I arrived in Ireland back in 2002 from a small country in Baltic region. It’s roughly the size of Ireland but it has only half of Ireland’s population. Its capital is called Riga and our crimson-white-crimson flag represents a blood-stained stretcher used to carry mortally wounded soldiers from a battle-field. The country I’m talking about is called Latvia – andÂ I'mÂ one in a 1.5 million people on this planet whose native language is Latvian. Anyway, I chose the settle in an English speakingÂ country so I’m here for more than 8 years now and by the looks of it I’ll stay here for the foreseeable future. Living in an English speaking society has presented many challenges along the way – most of them due to my lack of English fluency. But I always faced up to the difficulties and thanks to my love for the English language I can enjoy communicating with locals easily and naturally. So after about 8 years spent in Ireland I stopped being a non-native English speaker! Brace yourself! I’m about to reveal one of the biggest secrets of integration into an English speaking society and how to stop being a non-native English speaker! :shock: So here we go… (more…)