False Friends

What an unbelievable coincidence!

Not only do Poland and Indonesia have exactly the opposite meaning for this word, their flags are opposites as well!

Words in different languages that look or sound similar but differ significantly in meaning are called “false friends.” Words like these can lead to miscommunications with speakers of other languages that are weird, confusing, and hilarious.

The Spanish word embarazada is another good example of a false friend.  Embarazada sounds very close to the English word embarrassed, but actually means pregnant. Many Spanish students will come across this “friend” at some point. Even professionals can miss it sometimes-  this mistake was made by a pen company whose Spanish advertisements for ballpoint pens translated to: “It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant.”

German and English in particular have a ton of language frienemies to watch out for.

Several English words with very different German meanings:

bald – soon

herb – bitter, harsh;

fast- almost

Mist – dung

Gift – poison

Say ” Happy Birthday” in a different language


Chinese – 生日快乐 – Shēngrì kuàilè

German – Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag

Japanese – お誕生日おめでとうございます – Otanjōbiomedetōgozaimasu

Dutch – gelukkige verjaardag

Arabic – عيد ميلاد سعيد

Czech – všechno nejlepší k narozeninám

Greek – χαρούμενα γενέθλια – charoúmena genéthlia

Finnish – Hyvää syntymäpäivää

Turkish – Mutlu yıllar

French – joyeux anniversaire

Hebrew – יום הולדת שמח

Polish – z okazji urodzin

Hindi – जन्मदिन की शुभकामनाएँ – Janmadina kī śubhakāmanā’ēm


Italian – Compleanno felice

Korean – 생일 축하합니다  – saeng-il chughahabnida

Japanese – お誕生日おめでとうございます – Otanjōbiomedetōgozaimasu

Portuguese – feliz aniversário

Spanish – feliz cumpleaños

Swedish – Grattis på födelsedagen

Romanian – fericit ziua de naştere

Norwegian – Gratulerer med dagen

Vietnamese – Chúc mừng sinh nhật

Ukranian – днем народження – dnem narodzhennya

Urdu – سالگِرہ مبارک – salgirah mubarak

Thai – สุขสันต์วันเกิด – sook sun wan gerd

Malay – Selamat hari lahir

Latin – Felix dies natalis

Language learning for kids

Popular Children’s Literature of Italy

–          Aesop’s Fables (Dover Children’s Thrift Classics):

(Author- Aesop, Pat Stewart) Ages 4 to 8

–          The Adventures of Pinocchio: The Story of a Puppet:

(Author- Carlo Collodi, Iassen Ghiuselev)  Ages 9 to 12

–          Pompeii:

(Author- Peter Connolly) Ages 9 to 12

–          The Buried City of Pompeii: What It Was Like When Vesuvius Exploded (I Was There):

(Author: Shelley Tanaka, Greg Ruhl)

            Ages  9 to 12

–          Vulca the Etruscan (Journey Through Time Series):

(Author: Roberta Angeletti, Beatrice Masini) Ages 8 to 12

–          Leonardo and the Flying Boy:

(Author: Laurence Anholt) Ages 8 to 14

–          Bravo, Zan Angelo!: A Commedia Dell’Arte Tale With Story & Pictures:

(Author: Niki Daly) Age 10+

–          The Legend of Old Befana:

(Author: Tomie De Paola) Ages 4 to 10

–           Big Anthony: His Story:

(Author: Tomie De Paola) Ages 4 to 8

–          Opera Cat:

(Author: Tess Weaver, Andrea Wesson) Ages 4 to 8

Read more

Inventions for Kids: French Inventions, DID YOU KNOW???

  • AQUALUNG: a breathing apparatus that supplied oxygen to divers and allowed them to stay underwater for several hours. It was invented in 1943 by Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
  • BAROMETER: a device that measures air (barometric) pressure. It measures the weight of the column of air that extends from the instrument to the top of the atmosphere. There are two types of barometers commonly used today, mercury and aneroid (meaning “fluidless”). Earlier water barometers (also known as “storm glasses”) date from the 17th century. The mercury barometer was invented by the Italian physicist Evangelista Torricelli.
  • BATTERY: a device that converts chemical energy into electrical energy. Each battery has two electrodes, an anode (the positive end) and a cathode (the negative end). An electrical circuit runs between these two electrodes, going through a chemical called an electrolyte (which can be either liquid or solid). This unit consisting of two electrodes is called a cell (often called a voltaic cell or pile). It was invented by Alessandro Volta.
  • BICYCLE: a wooden scooter-like contraption called a celerifere; it was invented about 1790 by Comte Mede de Sivrac of France.
  • ELECTRIC IRON: The electric iron was invented in 1882 by Henry W. Seeley
  • MAYONNAISE: invented in France hundreds of years ago, probably in 1756 by the French chef working for the Duke de Richelieu, The first ready-made mayonnaise was sold in the US in 1905 at Richard Hellman’s deli in New York.
  • METER (and the METRIC SYSTEM): Was invented in France. In 1790, the French National Assembly directed the Academy of Sciences of Paris to standardize the units of measurement. A committee from the Academy used a decimal system and defined the meter to be one 10-millionths of the distance from the equator to the Earth’s Pole (that is, the Earth’s circumference would be equal to 40 million meters). The committee included the mathematicians Jean Charles de Borda (1733-1799), Joseph-Louis Comte de Lagrange (1736-1813), Pierre-Simon Laplace (1749-1827), Gaspard Monge (1746 -1818), and Marie Jean Antoine Nicholas Caritat, the Marquis de Condorcet (1743-1794).
  • PENCIL: invented in 1564 when a huge graphite (black carbon) mine was discovered in England. The pure graphite was sawn into sheets and then cut into square rods. The graphite rods were inserted into hand-carved wooden holders, forming pencils.

Read more

Historical French Figures: From Disney to Helping the Blind See

William the Conqueror actual French name is Guillaume le Conquérant, and he was Duke of Normandy, a large area of northern France.  He is a historical figure of France because in 1066 he took his army across the Channel, and killed the English King, Harold, and most of the English nobles in the Battle of Hastings. He conquered England and put his Norman followers as leaders. His knights built strong castles like Dover, and his bishops built fine cathedrals like Canterbury. For 300 years, the King of England and all the important people in the country spoke only French. Today, English still has thousands of words which come from French.

Claude Monet is an artist, the leading member of the Impressionist painters. His most famous painting is the “Water-lillies” which he painted in the elaborate garden he had made for himself.

Claude-Achille Debussy was a French composer whose work is often linked with the Impressionist painters. He is famous for piano pieces such as “Children’s Corner” and his orchestral work “The Afternoon of a Faun” (“L’apès-midi d’une faune”).

Alexandre Dumas wrote the two historically known adventure classics “The Three Musketeers” and “The Count of Monte Cristo”.

Victor Hugo credited forDisney film and video “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”. The original novel was written by Victor Hugo and is known in France as “Notre Dame de Paris”.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is theauthor of “Le Petit Prince” a well- known French children’s book.

Napoléon Bonaparte was a famous French general who became Emperor of France in the aftermath of the French Revolution. Napoleon was responsible for introducing measures which form the basis of many of France’s institutions that still exist today, including an educational law to set up state grammar schools (lycés) which aimed to provide well-trained army officers and civil servants. During Napoleon’s reign France was constantly at war. Napoleon built a huge empire, so that by 1812 he controlled the greater part of Western Europe. Eventually he was defeated when France was invaded by Russian, Prussian, Austrian and British armies. Finally, Napoleon was exiled to the island of Elba. He managed to escape and ruled France again for just a hundred days before being defeated by Wellington at Waterloo. He was sent as a prisoner to St. Helena, where he died in 1821.

Louis Blériot is credited as a French airman who became the first person to fly the English Channel. On 25 July 1909 he flew from Calais to Dover in 37 minutes.

Louis Braille is credited towards inventing the system of raised dots which form letters for the visually impaired to read. Louis was blinded in an accident at the age of 4. He was sent to one of the first schools for blind boys in Paris, where they were taught simple skills to help them earn a living without begging. Without being able to read, it was difficult for blind people to have much education. The system is now used everywhere in the world.

Ferdinand de Lesseps is credited towards building the Suez Canal – regarded at the time as the world’s greatest engineering triumph, and tried but failed to build a Panama Canal.

Read more

Czech culture for children – Fun facts, food, music, language and more…

Children’s Games of Czech

1)      Pesek (Duck -Duck Goose): For this game, all of the children sit down in a circle, facing one another. There is one child that is “it”, and they sing a song while going around in a circle. The person who is “it” goes around singing the song until he or she taps one of the seated children on the head, and once that person is tapped, they chase the person who is “it” until the person who is “it” takes the newly tapped child’s position on the floor. This game has no definite ending, and can go on as long as the children wish to play it.

Common Czech Cuisines

The traditional Czech cuisine consists of roast pork, with sour kraut and dumplings. Some popular foods all have the same sides, like soups, potatoes, and more. While the Czech Republic has recently turned the cuisine over to a healthier menu, one cannot forget what meals make the Czech cuisines memorable.

Popular soups: potato, garlic, and chicken noodle

Popular Main Dishes: Chicken, Pork, Beef, or Fish. Usually roasted, certain meats are served during certain events and certain times of the year. For example, Carp (a fish) is served only at certain times a year.

Popular Appetizers/Side Dishes: Boiled, Roasted, and Mashed Potatoes, Dumplings, Rice, and Bread

Popular Czech Sweets

If its sweet bread, it’s a popular Czechoslovakian dessert. Some common sweet treats of the Czech Republic includes, but are not limited to the following; pancakes, yeast cakes, fruit filled dumplings, sugar dumplings, and more. Strawberry cookies and galache are just two examples of the deliciousness served on occasion. Like in the United States, the Czech Republic enjoys cake as well, such as poppy seed and vanilla. Vanilla crescents, pecan cookies, and so much more are common desserts in Czechoslovakia.

Read more

Simple Czech Cuisine Recipes

  1. Yeast Dumplings
  • Ingredients: 1/2 package dry yeast, 1 cubed bread roll, 2 cups warm water, 4 cups instant flour, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon sugar, 2 tablespoon salt
  • Directions: – Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water with sugar

-In a big bowl combine flour, salt, egg and bread roll. After yeast rises, add to mixture and knead for 10 minutes. Form 4 rolls on a sheet with flour. Cover and let rise.

-Boil salted water and gently place in water – maybe one or two at a time. Cover and cook about 20 minutes.

-Test for doneness with toothpick. It should be light and puffy. Remove from water and slice.

2. Pancakes (Palačinky)

  • Ingredients: 2 eggs, am, fresh fruit or even Nutella for spreading, pinch of salt, 1/4 cup butter for pan, 3 tbs sugar, 2 cups flour, 2 cups milk
  • Directions: -Beat together eggs, salt, sugar milk, and flour until smooth. Heat a non-stick frying pan and brush with butter.

-Pour a thick layer of batter into the pan – spreading it to cover the base of the pan. The pancakes should be very thin. The thinner the better.

-Fry on both sides until golden brown. Spread with filling of your choice and roll into a tube. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or add whipped cream a cherry and be creative.

3. Garlic Dip

  • Ingredients: 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, 3 garlic cloves, minced, 1 tablespoon sour cream, 1/2 cup shredded cheese (muenster, mozzarella, etc.)
  • Directions: -Shred cheese coarsely. Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, and shredded cheese.

-Use a garlic press to mince the garlic directly over cheese mixture, Mix well and serve.

Children’s Games

The citizens of Czech Republic celebrate Children’s Day on June 1st annually. On this day, families take their children to local churches and parks, in which the parks hold carnivals and fun events for the kids of the republic. This day celebrates peace, harmony, and great health of all children.

3 Must Go See’s

  1. Prague City Center: one of the most visited areas; it is a central point of Prague. Here is where one can find shops, amusement centers, restaurants, and so much more. Many visitors and citizens visit here for a great time, or wonderful sights to see as well.
  2. Petrin Lookout Tower: 60 meters high, this tower is compared to the Eiffel Tower. Many people use the lift to get to the top, which hovers on the hill over the city. It’s a major tourist attraction.
  3. Prague Castle: Holding the Bohemian crown jewels on display, everyone who visits has no other option than to stop at the most common viewed place in Prague. Standing as one
  • of the grandest and largest castles in the world, it holds many cathedrals, museums, galleries, and gardens.

Festivals/Celebrations of Czech Republic

  1. New Year’s: While tourists fill the streets of Prague, the local citizens escape the city for the mountains. Regardless of where everyone is, everyone engages in the festivities of fireworks and family time to bring in the New Year.
  2. Folklore Festival: This festival celebrates the history of Prague. For three days, colorful mini festivals fill the city, with food, music and much dancing in the streets.
  3. Easter: The tradition of Easter in Prague is for a young boy to chase a girl with branches and switches, to ward off ugliness for a year, and the girl must give the young boy a colorful egg.

Fun Facts

  • Czech people are the heaviest beer consumers
  • There are 2000 castles in the Czech Republic
  • The official language of Czech Republic is Czech.
  • About 59% of the population is agnostic, atheist, or non-believer. About 26.8% is Roman Catholic while 2.5% is Protestant.
  • The country has four national parks, the oldest being Krkonoše National Park (Biosphere Reserve). The other three are Šumava National Park (Biosphere Reserve), National Park Podyjí, and Èeské Švýcarsko National Park.
  • The former tennis champion Martina Navratilova, statistically the second best female player of the 20th century behind Steffi Graf, is a Czech.

Czech Customs and Culture

–          Do not go to someone else’s home without bringing flowers, or a sweet treat

–          You are expected to remove your shoes upon visiting someone’s home, most homes will have slippers for you

–          Czech culture means less private space, culturally, they are a lot closer than Western civilization

–          They seldom call people by their first name, unless they are family

–          Initial greetings are formal and reserved

–          The oldest woman or honored guest is generally served first.

Sounds of the Czech Republic

Traditional Czech Republic music requires traditional instruments. Majority of the instruments used are handmade, and are done so delicately. The wood chosen for these instruments is an intricate process in itself, as the trees used for them have to be at least 100 or more years old. Fiddles, drums, and accordions are some examples, but the saxophone is a widely used instrument as well. Some traditional music genres of the Czech Republic includes but are not limited to; modern music, folk music, alternative music, jazz, and the blues. One of the most notable Czech Republic marks of music is the “Underground Movement,” which battled conformity, political oppression, and consumerism. In the 1960’s, the communist government did not agree with this movement, as it was a “threat to society.” Yet, Westernized music does not fail to make its way to the Czech Republic for the younger generation who is not as into traditional music as their elders.

Czech Attire

A lot of Czech Republic clothing is determined by the area and time period of which it derived, and its purpose.

–          Blata: Lying in the České Budějovice, Tábor, Jindřichův Hradec and Vodňany regions, the women’s clothing is decorated lavishly, and extremely embroidered. The Plena is the most common part of any clothing outfit, and resembles a decent sized scarf. In the 19th century, chemises were added to it as embroidery, an in the early 20th century late 19th century, beads were added as well.

–          Doudlebsko: This area is in South Bohemia. This area is the poorer region, and their clothing reflects it. Their clothing is less lavish, and less embroidered, rather simple and plain. Males are often seen wearing bearskin trousers, a shirt, and a hat. Belts are worn to carry money, not for fashion.

These are just a couple of examples. Clothing depends on the region, the status of the individual and/or family, and the time period of which the clothing was introduced to the Czech society.


Czech culture for children – Children’s Games

Children’s Games

The citizens of Czech Republic celebrate Children’s Day on June 1st annually. On this day, families take their children to local churches and parks, in which the parks hold carnivals and fun events for the kids of the republic. This day celebrates peace, harmony, and great health of all children.


Czech culture for children – Czech Customs and Culture

Czech Customs and Culture

–          Do not go to someone else’s home without bringing flowers, or a sweet treat

–          You are expected to remove your shoes upon visiting someone’s home, most homes will have slippers for you

–          Czech culture means less private space, culturally, they are a lot closer than Western civilization

–          They seldom call people by their first name, unless they are family

–          Initial greetings are formal and reserved

–          The oldest woman or honored guest is generally served first.


Hopscotch to Craps; Traditional Greek Children’s Games

CRIPPLING: The  children  rule  a  rectangle  on  the  cement  and  using  parallel  lines , they  divide it  into 4 parts , the stairs”. The  first  3  should be equivalent to one another , but  the last one  is  about  3x  bigger  than  the  others  and  it  is   called “king”. The children number the stairs and they take it off for the turn to be determined, but every child gets to play and take a turn. The  child  who  goes first , takes  a  small  flat  stone , which is  called  the team” and  throw  it  to the first “stair”.  Then, crippling with his or her left leg he/she jumps with the right one from one “stair” to another “stair”. When he/she  reaches  the  “king” he/she can rest  or  turn , trying not to put down  the  curved  leg . Then he/she makes the  same  road  backwards crippling, and when  he/she  reaches the “stair where the  stone is , he/she  hits  it with the  edge of his/her  shoe , throwing  it  out , he/she jumps and  steps on  it . The same should he/she does with the rest “stairs”. The  child  who  is  playing , must  not  put  down his/her  “clippled” leg , step  with his/her  “good” leg  some  line  or  throw the “team” on a line. If he/she makes a mistake, he/she loses   his/her turn and the next child plays. If the child finishes with all the “stairs” without making a single mistake, he/she makes a “rubo”. The child who collects three “rubos” is the winner of the game.

Caps: This game is played outside. Two players are allowed to play this game at a time. Both players have their own cap. They sit down about 2 feet away from each other. In the middle there should be a hole 2cm deep. The players play in turns. In the beginning the first player pushes his cap towards the hole. The first player that manages to push his cap into the hole wins. This game is for ages 6 years and older.

Hopscotch: Draw 8 squares or more on the ground with the chalk. The squares must be one on the left and one on the right and show a rectangle. Put the rock in front of the first square. Then move towards the first square, jump on your leg and try to push the rock with one leg into the first square. Then, if you started from the left square, push the rock to the right and vice versa. You must push the rock into all the squares without moving it out of the square. If you push the rock out of the square that you want to move into, you lose. It is played in Greece, just as it is played here in the United States.

Visit Dino Lingo to learn more about available language learning programs for your child!

Visit Dino Lingo to learn more about available language learning programs for your child!


Say ”Nice to meet you” in a different language

Finnish – Hauska tutustua

Danish – Rart at møde dig

Hebrew  – נחמד לפגוש אותך

Dutch – leuk je te ontmoeten

French – Ravie de vous rencontrer

Turkish – Tanıştığımıza memnun oldum

Arabic – نيس لمقابلتك

Czech – Těší mě

Chinese – 很高兴认识你 – Hěn gāoxìng rènshi nǐ

Italian – piacere di conoscerti

Polish – miło cię poznać

Bulgarian – khubavo e da se zapoznaem – хубаво е да се запознаем

German – ‘Freut mich

Hindi – आपसे मिलकर खुशी – Āpasē milakara khuśī

Japanese – あなたを満たすといい – Anata o mitasu to ī

Norwegian – Fint å se deg

Korean – 당신을 만나서 반갑습니다 – dangsin-eul mannaseo bangabseubnida

Spanish – un placer conocerte

Portuguese – prazer em te conhecer

Swedish – trevligt att träffas

Russian – priyatnyĭ poznakomitysya – приятно познакомиться