A new busy semester

Dear all,

The new semester have just begun. Our authors will be extremely busy. There will be less new posts, and it will take us quite some time to reply to your comments. I hope that you still enjoy our blog. Feel free to explore it and leave us feedback 😉

Wish all a very good semester with success 🙂

englishstudyforvms.

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Writing a letter in English

In many cases, you have to write some formal or informal letters. I hope this book will help you in writing appropriate letters.

email-english-by-paul-emmerson.pdf

Around the world of blog

This post is to answer to a Luan’s question about news from Vietnam from us. Along with waiting for news our authors and readers, I’d like to introduce some of the interesting blogs that I’ve known so far.

Blog Khoa Học Máy Tính, from a Hưng, Associate Professor of the Computer Science Department of my school, SUNY at Buffalo. This is a little like his online journal, and many of his posts are very interesting. There he has Blog Cầu to introduce interesting blogs around us, and in a post where he asked reader to introduce interesting Vietnamese’s Blog, a reader gave lots of blogs from our journalists, I think those might help us with having lots of news from Vietnam. He also personally recommend the journalist Huy Duc’s blog. He also have the Categories of Dành Cho Du Học Sinh, Giới Thiệu Sách and Trang Web Hay that I think are very interesting for us.

Well, those are just one way to know more about news from Vietnam, I hope that someone at home might be willing to answer a Luan’s question for more news ^^, the more people the more news the better 🙂

Friends TV show

250px-friends.png

Let me suggest one more way for you to improve your listening skill. You should watch the TV show “Friends”. This TV show has 10 seasons. This is its description in Wikipedia

Friends is an American situation comedy about a group of six friends living in the New York City borough of Manhattan that was originally broadcast from 1994 to 2004. It was created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, and produced by Kevin S. Bright, Marta Kauffman and David Crane. One of the most popular television series of all time, the show has been broadcast in over one hundred countries and still continues to attract good ratings for its episodes in syndication. The final episode of the show remains one of the largest in terms of television audience numbers in the U.S.

Watching this film, you will know how the Americans talk to each other in daily life. In my opinion, this is one of the most excellent comedy films I have ever seen. Especially, if you are familiar with the American culture, I’m sure that you will like it. Hopefully, you can find this film on DVDs in VietNam.   

Daily News

Let me give it a try. Since I find Vietnamese newspapers untrustworthy, I give up reading them all. It would be nice if our friends can write here in English some messages that bring a piece of our country to this blog. Any kinds of news are welcome provided they are reliable. Then we can discuss more from there.
First, I start with yesterday’s news 🙂 . Yesterday was my birthday and today is somebody else’s. So Happy Birthday to that somebody else. All of my friends and relatives wished me good luck in … finding a soul mate. See how desperate I am now. Watch and avoid mistakes, my dear friends 🙂
How about you? Do you have anything to say?

Blog’s news and new ideas are needed.

1. Recently we received some nice ideas from htluan’s suggestions: “In my opinion, writing Vietnamese on this blog is a bad idea already. The exceptions may be the translation from Vietnamese to English, and in a few cases from English to Vietnamese. Writing Vietnamese without accents here is the worst ever.

About the Vietnamese without accents problem, I’ve just add it into Blog’s rule. I don’t know whether using “rule” here is appropriate or not but can’t think of anything else now 😀 . We only have one “rule” so far, that is no Vietnamese without accents comments will be accepted from now on 🙂

And about writing in English, yeah we would encourage everyone to use English no matter how bad their English could be. So, except for some special posts that should be written in Vietnamese because of its originality (such as some of Dr. Le Dung’s or a Long’s) we better use English more often 🙂

2. About a month ago, we scarcely saw comments from our READERS, mostly us AUTHORS wrote and commented for themselves so we was quite sad for a while. Two wordmaps were then placed on the site, one with name of locations and one without. Surprisingly, we see there are so many visitors from around the world and that cheered us up a little bit 🙂 Our Department is from Ho Chi Minh city, but from both maps we see a lot more accesses from our friends from Ha Noi.

Again, welcome to anyone who come to visit us. Please leave comments about your thoughts, suggestion, questions for us (and remember not to use unaccented Vietnamese 😀 )

3. About the writing topic each week, I was so busy to take care for it, and asked some guys to help me with posting new topics each week but it seemed that they forgot it. I am wondering myself should we keep that going on, and reduce it for like once per 2 or 3 weeks? As we are now at the beginning of the new academic year, everyone should be much busier so we won’t be able to keep track and fix errors from essays so often.

3. New ideas for the blog are needed. We are now short of new ideas for this blog to make it more alive, so if you have one yours will be very appreciated 🙂 The Contribution page is actually for this “góp ý” thing, but it is so deserted that we figured out it is better to bring this concern to the front page. Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelp!!! 🙂

And finally, have a nice week and a nice semester 🙂

englishstudyforvms.

What is your favorite online dictionaries and why?

My current 3 favorites dictionaries are:

1. Dictionary.com:  fast and easy looking up with a huuuuuuge result coming from a diversity of resources: Dictionary.com Unabridge, American Herritage Dictionary, Online Etymology Dictionary, Wordnet, Online Medical Dictionary and Merriam Webster’s Medical Dictionary. Moreover, from the right upper corner links of the page, we can easily change to Thesaurus for synonyms and antonyms (from Roget’s New Millennium™ Thesaurus, ), Encyclopedia for anything related to the word, All References for the combination of all the 3 above, and finally, The Web for … well… I don’t know 😀 . Previously it also cited results from The Merriam Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus, and offered sound pronunciation for each word. Now as it have just begun its commercial version where we have to pay to be able to listen to the pronunciation, the Merriam Webster results are taken off. The free version is still valuable for us when looking for a word.

2.  Merriam Webster’s Dictionary: There is 2 ways to use it.

One way is, simply use its features on the front page for a fast result. We can hear the pronunciation by clicking on the small red speaker next to the word.

Second way is, using its Unabridged Dictionary. If we look at the lower left corner of the front page, there is a small add say “FREE Premium Access”, click on it, then click on the blue button saying “Click Here To Enter Free …”, view a short commercial add. When the add is over, there will be a link to the Unabridged Dictionary at the lower right corner of the page, click on it and enjoy its premium features.

Personally I prefer Dictionary.com over Merriam Webster, and just go to Merriam Webster to listen to the word.

3. Vdict.com: mostly for a fast English – Vietnamese translation. This dictionary is sometimes not accurate and not so informative. But in general it is OK to use.