Wednesday, 31 August 2011




Thanks &  Warm regards

" Many of the great achievements of the world were accomplished by tired and discouraged men who kept on working"

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[HM:245317] How to Learn a Foreign Language Without Spending a Cent

Last week at Far Away Places (my new travel blog), I shared some tips on how to learn Spanish fast. The short version: Hire a tutor. But what if you can't afford a tutor? What if you don't want to spend money but still want to learn a language? In this guest post from Benny Lewis, the Irish polyglot, he shares tips on how to learn a language on the cheap. For more info, visit Benny's site, Fluent in 3 Months.

You don't need to spend a lot on books and software to learn a foreign languageWouldn't it be great if you could effortlessly communicate in another language? For many people, this seems like a pipe dream. We aren't going to wake up one day (à la Jason Bourne) suddenly fluent in a bunch of languages, and we can't download them into our brain instantaneously like they do in The Matrix. Such dramatic changes aren't possible.

However, it is possible for the average adult to learn to speak a foreign language confidently in a relatively short time.

I'm sure you've met people who have managed to learn a foreign language, either by growing up with it or learning it as an adult. The only problem is that we tend to think they had resources we didn't have: time, talent, and (above all) money. Surely it must have cost a small fortune for the courses they took, the software they bought, and the time abroad to study. It all seems out of reach for those of us on a budget.

Today I'm here to tell you that money has nothing to do with learning a language. In this article, I'll give you several steps to learn your target language and reach a good spoken level — maybe even fluency — without spending a cent.

It's time to start language hacking!

Finding the right mindset
I've been learning languages for about eight years, and can indeed speak several fluently now. I typically socialize and live my life almost entirely without using any English, depending on where I am and who I'm with.

However, at age 21 I could only speak English and had poor academic results in German from school. Learning a language seemed impossible.

  • I didn't have the right "genes".
  • I had to work full-time so I simply couldn't spend all day studying.
  • I have a terrible memory for simple information.
  • I was too old (I heard from somewhere that 14 or something was a critical age limit for learning a second language, but it turns out this rumor is totally unfounded).
  • I had just graduated in engineering — "you're either good at Mathematics/Physics or you're good at Art/Languages" I told myself.

I was so sure of all of this that I managed to spend six months living in Spain without learning to speak any Spanish!

But then one day I had a Eureka! moment. I realized what had been holding me back all this time: My devotion to the excuses, not the excuses themselves. It was a fear to speak, a fear of ridicule, a fear of annoying natives, a fear of making mistakes and looking stupid.

Only fear kept me from learning to speak another language.

In meeting thousands of language learners over the last decade I can confirm that fear is why they aren't speaking — the actual excuses they give are what they lean on to justify that fear. But it's unfounded.

After living in dozens of countries, I can tell you that most people across the planet have no interest in making fun of your attempts to learn their language. First, they're generally thrilled that an English speaker is even trying to speak their language. And second, very few people are that malicious. When you try your best to speak to a person in their native language, they appreciate it. People's focus is always on understanding and communicating, never ridiculing someone willing to try.

So, my top tip to learning a language is to deal with your fears. This is a psychological barrier, not a monetary or genetic or intelligence problem. Apply some of the other tips in this article, and try to use your new language at every opportunity. By doing this you'll see that all your fears are unfounded and even when you are speaking with just the basics, you can indeed do a lot! Each time you try, the fear starts to seem more illogical until it vanishes.

Learn the essentials
Too many people who have a real desire to use a language get caught up in the learning stage and stay stuck there indefinitely. Too many of us are perfectionists, so we feel that you need to know all of the grammar and all of the vocabulary before you can "bother" a native with your stumbles.

So they get the biggest, fattest courses they can find. Perhaps that's expensive software, which in my opinion actually leaves a lot to be desired, (as you can see in my frank Rosetta Stone review) or maybe it's signing up to a classroom-style course. These systems use a ground-level-up approach of trying to teach you everything, and in doing so tend to teach you nothing that you can use right now.

All you really need to get started is a vague understanding of how the language works and some key phrases and essential vocabulary.

There are many completely free resources for getting these basics. A few of my favorite include:

  • Your local library for a book-based mini-course. I actually find these to be fine in many cases.
  • Your cell phone can actually be a great language-learning toolFor learning the top 1000 or so words, I like to use a great flashcard app called Anki. It's a free installation on computers (Windows/Mac/Linux), a free app on Android (called Ankidroid) and a free app on jailbroken iPhones (legally available in Cydia). The standard iPhone/iPod/iPad app is paid, however you can use the web interface instead for free via Safari (it's very light on data requirements). This flashcard app uses the Spaced Repetition System that has proven to be an extremely effective way to retain vocabulary. You download pre-made decks (of the most important vocabulary) on the desktop application and transfer them to your smartphone to learn while waiting somewhere to use time most efficiently, or to study directly on your computer. (J.D. uses Flashcards Deluxe for the iPhone, but that costs four bucks.)
  • If you feel you are finding it hard to memorize words, I have personally found that applying image association and sound association can be very effective to make sure you don't forget them. It takes some getting used to, but after a few tries it becomes second nature to learn vocabulary quicker this way. Also keep in mind that they are not all entirely new words. There are thousands of words you know already, especially in European languages.
  • Go through completely free online courses. Listing them here would be quite complicated, but one site that has done an excellent job of linking to some of the best online is Omniglot. Find your language in the list and scroll down to the bottom of its summary page to see the course links. Note that several will be (affiliate) links to paid products — you can get all the essentials you need from the free ones, such as BBC's and's language overviews.
  • When you aren't sure of a particular word, no need to have bought a dictionary! Google Translate can help to give you the basic gist (I wouldn't recommend it for anything serious) and and other websites (depending on the language) have extensive free dictionaries for individual words with proper context explanations.
  • This may sound counter-intuitive, but I actually find that going through the shortest course is best when starting off. You just want an overview of the language — not the start of a very long and endless journey to find out everything about it. So after reading through and studying one of these online courses for just a few hours, and learning key basic vocabulary, focus entirely on learning phrases. Many of the courses linked to have some essential phrases included, but I actually find that learning a different set called conversational connectors can help you maintain the flow quicker in real conversations.

With just this handful of free tools, you can start learning the basics of your chosen language today.

Find people and start speaking the language immediately
Dazzle people with your new language skillsThere are hundreds of ways to learn a language, but I will tell you very frankly that if the goal is to speak it then anybody who tells you anything but to speak it right away is hurting your potential progress.

Studying indefinitely is a waste of time in this respect. The purpose of studying should be to improve what you're already saying, not to prepare to speak some day. (There are seven days in a week and "some day" is not one of them.)

The communicative approach of language learning involves using it naturally as much as possible and doing so immediately. Studying is a minor part of what you should really be doing. What you should really be doing is speaking the language naturally. And no, you don't have to fly to the country to do this!

First, see if you can meet up in person to practice your language. This is a powerful way to make a language a truly natural part of your social calendar and life. Here are several ways I've been able to make this happen:

  • Find a group that meets to practice the language on — they can be very active in some cities for particular languages! There are many other learners here, as well as friendly natives in many cases. Nobody will ever judge you as they understand what you're going through.
  • Use Couchsurfing. This site is famous as a way for budget travelers to save money by sleeping on other people's couches. While staying with natives abroad can be a great way to learn a language, traveling may not be possible for you right now, but that's okay! Enter the site, sign up for a profile and attend the meetings that occur regularly in cities, perhaps including your home town. It's possible a native is passing through. But even better than this is to go to the Couchsurf page and only select your home city and your target language among search criteria. You'll be very surprised to see how many open minded people who speak the language fluently or as natives live just around the corner! Message them and invite them out for coffee.
  • Depending on who you know, you may be able to meet up with family members or friends who speak the language. They'll certainly be willing to help you practice! But otherwise be sure to ask in your local community: reading clubs, churches, sports clubs, classmates, work colleagues etc. You may be surprised to see that someone there speaks your language and would love to help out!
J.D.'s note: I've been learning Spanish for two months now. Over the past two weeks, I've begun to practice my new language skills with friends and strangers. One of my favorite interactions was with the gas station attendant, who patiently listened to my poor Spanish and offered corrections with a smile. It was awesome.

If you live in any major city you will find natives and fluent speakers of most languages if you look hard enough. They are definitely there! If you're really stuck, or live too far from such cities, there's another option: online (Skype-based) conversation!

There are many sites that you can use to find someone who actually wants to learn English who you can help, while they teach you their language. My own website, for example, has a forum section where plenty of people post the combination they are looking to exchange and many are finding a conversation exchange!

Other sites that can help include Livemocha and Busuu. These actually have paid course aspects that I really don't recommend to people, but their social connections to find native speakers are great and free!

Be imaginative, confident and let the conversations flow!
So you've got the basics, found someone to speak to, and decided to put your excuses aside and attempt to enjoy the experience. There's still something missing though — what do you talk about when you've learned so little?

This is actually much easier than people think. A few weeks into learning languages I can have dozens of conversations, and it's because I try to use my imagination (no, I don't talk about the weather), try to be charming to balance out any minor slip-ups I'm making or simply laugh at them as not a big deal, and listen to the other person.

If you're worried that you won't be interesting enough for the other person, it's important to realize that sometimes to be interesting you have to be interested. Being a good listener will have the other person appreciate your company all the more, and with time you will be saying more and more.

I discuss many other aspects of how to get into this flow of imaginatively in initial stages in a conversation on my blog and summarize my favorite tricks in this video.

As complicated as it seems, when you let go of your hang-ups then you may discover that you had the ability to speak all along, as my friend Geraldine showed me by speaking in Spanish all evening the first time she tried.

Rather than being a genius and needing to perform advanced grammatical calculations, to really speak a language you have to actually learn to stop thinking so much, learn enough to say something first, let go of your ego, make a few mistakes and just let conversations flow!

No credit cards or wads of cash are necessary for this.

Give it a try — with enough practice you will improve so quickly that soon you'll start to wonder if you really couldn't speak the language before!

J.D.'s note: This is one of my favorite GRS guest posts ever, probably because I've been so into learning Spanish lately. But it's also because Benny is awesome. He and I met and chatted briefly in June, and then he spent an hour with my by Skype, answering my questions about travel and language learning. He's a warm, funny guy, and genuinely wants to help others learn. I think that's awesome!



[HM:245316] Goodbye Prayer

A father put his 3 year old daughter to bed, told her a story and listened to her prayers which ended by saying: "God bless Mommy, God bless Daddy, God bless Grandma and goodbye Grandpa."
The father asked, "Why did you say goodbye Grandpa?"

The little girl said, "I don't know daddy, it just seemed like the thing to do."

The next day grandpa died. The father thought it was a strange coincidence.

A few months later the father put the girl to bed and listened to her prayers which went like this: "God bless Mommy, God Bless Daddy and goodbye Grandma." The next day the grandmother died.

"Holy Moley, thought the father, this kid is in contact with the other side.

Several weeks later when the girl was going to bed the dad heard her say: "God bless Mommy and goodbye Daddy." He practically went into shock.

He couldn't sleep all night and got up at the crack of dawn to go to his office. He was nervous as a cat all day, had lunch and watched the clock. He figured if he could get by until midnight he

would be okay. He felt safe in the office, so instead of going home at the end of the day he stayed there, drinking coffee, looking at his watch and jumping at every sound.

Finally, midnight arrived, he breathed a sigh of relief and went home. When he got home his wife said, "I've never seen you work so late, what's the matter?"

He said, "I don't want to talk about it, I've just spent the worst day of my life."

She said, "You think you had a bad day, you'll never believe what happened to me. This morning my golf pro dropped dead in the middle of my lesson.

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Coonoor Nilgris


[HM:245315] Things to know about COFFEE..!!

[HM:245312] Taqabbala Allaahu minnaa wa minkum | Eid Mubarak

The companions when they met each other on Eid would say:

"Taqabbala Allaahu minnaa wa minkum"

May Allah Accept (all acts of Ibaadah during Ramadaan: Salaah, Zakaah, Saum, Duaas, Obedience) from you and us. (Fath Al-Bari)            

Aameen !!!


[HM:245314] Flowers And Their Meanings

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Coonoor Nilgris


[HM:245311] "WHEN"...




[HM:245293] Most Expensive Book in the World

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Coonoor Nilgris


[HM:245292] Life is like

Life is like Race
between Cat & Rat.
Rat mostly wins the race,
because Cat Runs for Food and Rat Runs for Life. 
Discussion is always
better than Argument" because.
Argument is to find out
WHO is right.
But Discussion is to find what is right.


"Kerala Jolly Friends"
To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
Visit this group at

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Coonoor Nilgris


[HM:245290] 24 reasons to get Running



Top 24 reasons to get running

Running is one of the best forms of exercise, not only for getting fit but for weight control too.
1. Running is the quickest way to cardiovascular fitness. You get fitter faster by running regularly.
2. Running is one of the cheapest forms of exercising. You only need a pair of running shoes and shorts and T-shirt to get started.
3. Running is easy to learn. Most people have run at some point in their life, either competitively or at school/college, so there is no steep learning curve involved.
4. Running makes you feel good, not only physically, but mentally as well.
5. Running is excellent for reducing stress levels. There is nothing better than a run to clear your head and concentrate the mind. Many great ideas have been formulated on training runs.
6. Running is one of the most flexible methods of training around. Wherever you are in the world, it is nearly always possible to get out for a run. You can jog, steady run or sprint depending on how you feel that particular day.
7. Running is good for your heart. It not only strengthens the heart but also reduces the actual resting heart rate.
8. Running is accessible to all. As long as you are physically able, you can go for a run virtually anytime and anywhere. There are no race barriers to running.
9. Running helps you to lose weight and tone muscles. The more your train and run, the more weight you will lose. Also by toning up, you are getting rid of the excess fat and converting it to muscle.
10. Running is for people of all ages. Old or young, everyone can benefit from running.
11. When run training, you can get away with eating chocolate and legitimately say it is part of your training program.
12. Running is a great way to recover from a hangover. A run will help clear your head faster than sitting around feeling terrible.
13. Running is a great safety aid. Being able to run away from people puts you in a much better position if you are chased.
14. You can use running to change other people's lives. Run for a charity and raise money to help the needy or less able.
15. Running with friends gives you time to catch up on gossip and get fit at the same time.
16. Running is a time-efficient way to get fit and lose weight so you have more free time after exercising to enjoy yourself.
17. Running is a challenge that can be motivational and bring great personal satisfaction.
18. Running is a great way to see a new place if you have limited time available for sightseeing. Just think how much more of a place you can see when running around it compared to walking.
19. Running improves your concentration as you are forced to concentrate more when running. This in turn improves your concentration when you have to focus in other areas of life.
20. You nearly always work better after a run because you are still on a runner's high and feel ready for anything.
21. Running is a great way to meet people, especially if you join a club or enter a race.
22. There are no monthly subscriptions with running. You just put your running shoes on and go.
23. Endurance built-up through running can be transferred to other sports.
24. If you drink alcohol you can just run a little bit further the next day to work off the extra calories.


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Coonoor Nilgris


Tuesday, 30 August 2011

[HM:245294] INVITE: Cloud Developer Conference (September 17th, Hyderabad)


I got to know of an exciting event happening in Hyderabad on September

The future lies in the Cloud. Set your foothold in the Cloud today.
At the Cloud Developer Conference, CLOUD APPS & INFRASTRUCTURE TRACK
will focus on topics such as Collaboration in the Cloud,
I believe it is worth attending as there are interesting topics.

The Conference organizers will call you back to confirm.
Please find below is the url to go through the website



[HM:245294] Can't Stop Laughing...

A college student needed a small two-hour course to fill his schedule

and the only one available was wildlife Zoology. So he joined in and

after one week of study, a test was held.The professor passed out a

sheet of small paper where in each square was a carefully drawn picture

of a bird's legs. No bodies, no feet, just legs.

The test asked each student to identify the birds from their legs. Our

student sat and stared at the test getting angrier every minute. Finally

he stomped up to the front of the classroom and threw the test on the

teacher's desk. "This is the worst test I have ever written."

The teacher looked up and said: "Young man, you have not filled in

anything and you definitely have failed the test. Tell me, what's your


The student pulled up his pant to the knee showing his legs and said, "

You tell me..."




[HM:245294] astronomy


[HM:245294] "vedu eppude ela unte future lo..."

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[HM:245285] I need a song in mp3

Theres a song where ar rahman, joss stone etc will be singing. If i am not wrong its called heavy metal. Anybody have it?


[HM:245284] The Tax Poem (Read till the End)

A taxing poem !

True, Interesting !

This originated from USA but most of it is fully applicable to India too.
At first, I thought this was just too will realise the awful truth in it as you go on...
Do read it all the way till the end...
The Tax Poem
Tax his land,
Tax his bed,
Tax the table
At which he's fed.
Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes
Are the rule.
Tax his work,
Tax his pay,
He works for peanuts
Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.
Tax his ties,
Tax his shirt,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.
Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
Tries to think.
Tax his cigars,
Tax his beers,
If he cries
Tax his tears.
Tax his car,
Tax his gas,
Find other ways
To tax his ass.
Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won't be done
Till he has no dough.
When he screams and hollers;
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He's good and sore.
Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he's laid.
Put these words
Upon his tomb,
'Taxes drove me
to my doom...'
When he's gone,
Do not relax,
Its time to apply
The inheritance tax.

Few Other Taxes Include:
Accounts Receivable Tax
Airline surcharge tax
Airline Fuel Tax
Airport Maintenance Tax
Building Permit Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Death Tax
Dog License Tax
Driving Permit Tax
Excise Taxes
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment (UI)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Petrol Tax (too much per litre) 
Gross Receipts Tax
Health Tax
Hunting License Tax
Hydro Tax
Inheritance Tax
Interest Tax
Liquor Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Mortgage Tax
Personal Income Tax
Property Tax
Poverty Tax
Prescription Drug Tax
Property Tax
Provincial Income Tax
Real Estate Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
Retail Sales Tax
Service Charge Tax
School Tax 
Telephone Tax
Telephone, Provincial and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Water Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax
Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, and our nation was one of the most prosperous in the world.
We had absolutely no national debt, had a large middleclass, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.
What in the hell happened? Can you spell 'politicians? '
I hope this goes around INDIA at least 100 times!!

YOU can help it get there.
GO AHEAD - - - be an INDIAN !!!!!!!!!!

                                                       SEND IT AROUND EVERYWHERE for a change



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Coonoor Nilgris


[HM:245283] BABA Ramdev's - Babagiri Cartoons




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Coonoor Nilgris