20 Jul 2018

Client Evaluation of an Interpretation / Translation Agency

How does a client know if an interpretation agency is doing a good job? Here are some factors to consider:

-Attention to client needs. If a client has an urgent need, such as ordering an interpreter for an appointment scheduled to start in two hours or finding out if a client has an interpreter for a very rare African dialect, how long will it take the agency to respond to the client ? Every agency should have a pathway for clients to get immediate attention in these situations, preferably by phone or email. Urgent voice mails and emails should receive a response within thirty minutes. One way agencies can be more attentive to client needs to have each language coordinator to be an expert on certain clients. This means that if there is ever an urgent / important issue with a client the issue will be referred to the appropriate language coordinator for a quick resolution.

-Organization skills. If a client has a question for an agency, how quickly can the agency answer? The agency's database, file organization and operating procedures will go a long way in answering this question. A client may inquire about a broad range of issues such as: Which interpreter went to an assignment three months ago? What are the agency's cancellations policies? What is the procedure for providing feedback about an interpreter? Agencies should have standardized procedures to deal with these types of requests so that when they arrise the client's questions can be answered quickly. These standardized procedures should be reviewed and updated periodically to ensure that they are serving current client needs.

-Meeting the client's performance standards. Clients will have certain performance standards that are unique, such as: confirmations must be made with the client by email / client's website, interpreters must arrive to appointments 15 minutes early, all interpretation hours must be pre-authorized by a supervisor, a certain dress code must be followed etc. It is up to the agency to know the performance standards of each of its clients and make sure interpreters are aware of these standards. Failure to meet a client's standards could result in difficulties for the agency and the client and could extremely lead to the client choosing another provider for their interpretation and translation needs. Agencies should have periodic contact with client representatives who determine performance standards so that the client and the agency are always on the same page regarding what is expected of interpreters sent by the agency.

Source by Alex Uvarov

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20 Jul 2018

Writing the Personal Narrative

Personal Narrative Defined:

The personal narrative is a compositional piece of writing, usually employing the first person, which includes a factual event, incident, experience, or person integral to the author's life.

"The experiences we have are the basis of our dispositions, our world views, our characters, our ways of thinking, and our ability to undertake and integrate new experiences," according to George Hillocks, Jr. in his book, "Narrative Writing: Learning a New Model for Teaching" (Heinemann, 2007, p. 1). "They are, in every meaningful way, who we are. When the experience is gone, our memories of it remain and become part of us. "

They can serve several additional purposes for the writer, including enabling him to reflect on his experience; re-examine something that occurred in his childhood when he lacked the tools, understanding, maturity, development, intelligence, and even emotional capacity; process and resolve misunderstood, emotionally charged incidents; integrate them, and understand how he was shaped by them.

What he chooses to write may be either consciously or only subconsciously known. If it falls into the category category, it may become the first step to the revelation of its significance.

There is no such thing as an unimportant topic. If, for whatever reason, the writer chooses it, then it can be considered important to him.

For the reader, it vicariously enables him to purse the same path, experience the event as it then unfolded, share any feelings or sensations, assess potential growth or development, and be rewarded with the insight or wisdom the experience provided.

Like other writing forms, it can employ exposure, narrative, and / or narrative summary types, and, depending upon length, can comprise characters other than itself, settings, dialogue, inter-personal interactions, interior monologue, scenes, climaxes, and resolutions . It places the reader in the writer's world for the duration of the story.

Idea Origins:

While it may not be definitively possible to determine the origin of ideas for the personal narrative or any other genre for that matter, they can certainly emanate internally, from a thought generated by the mind or inspiration of the soul, or externally from a countless number of stimuli. In either case, they give the author an opportunity to express, reflect, preserve, understand, work out, or complete something that formed a part of his life.

Ideas can spring from having the writer ask himself what changed him, what caused him to view the world differently, what effect did an important person have on him, what realization did he have, what was one of his failures or successes, what occurred in His childhood that he has not yet processed, what evoked sadness, happiness, humor, surprise, fright, shame, or pride, what defied his logic or understanding, what reflected his essence or values, what proved contrary to them, and what helped him discover or understand something about himself.

Writing Guidelines:

There are several writing guidelines to keep in mind regarding the personal narrative. The author should, first and foremost, strive to tell a clear, well-developed story with the appropriate details that contribute to it. Well-organized and linked by logical transitions, it should feature an optimum mixture of vocabulary and varied sentence structure. Finally, grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors, even before the editing stage, should be insignificant enough so that they do not interfere with first draft understanding.

Compositively, its actions should be specifically and appropriately narrated with character gestures, expressions, postures, and movements. If scenes are employed, they should contain visual details so that the reader is able to picture them in his mind, and realism should be increased with the use of dialogue, character interaction, interior monologue, and actions. It can be particularly enhanced with the use of several senses. The author should, if at all possible, express any recalled feelings, emotions, and sensations he experienced as he reconnects with his past accidents and include any realizations or insights that they evoked.

Pacing anticipates the speed and intervals with which the events are reproduced and it can be both accelerated to accommodate time, illustrative mood changes, and omit unnecessary details, and reduced to elaborate upon or highlight those events that are critical to the moment and integral to the climax, if any. The latter can create tension, suspense, or surprise.

If more than one scene is included, then the author must determine the interrelation and importance between them.

Integral to effective personal narrative writing is the use of concrete detail so that the author can create a sense of reality and immediacy, and anose an empathetic response in his readers.

"Perhaps the most important quality of effective stories is concrete detail," according to Hillocks, Jr. (ibid, p.43). "Specific details allow readers to see scenes in their own minds as they read. But effective specific detail may be the most difficult quality to achievable. it, arrange the words in effective syntax, (and) evaluate the effort by comparing it with the version in their mind … "

The types and number of details are equally important. By selecting and incorporating those events that illustrate the story and complete its narrative purpose, and eliminating those that offer little effect, the text will be concisely and cohesively illustrative.

If the writer, for example, wishes to discuss what occurred at his afternoon board meeting, he does not need to mention what time he woke up that day, what he had for breakfast, and which activities characterized his morning.

Other important elements to be considered are readership, length, and style.

In the first case, the author needs to ask himself what his intended audience is and how relevant his composition will be to them. His friends and relatives, for example, may enjoy reminiscing about incidents that they shared with him, but how important will they be in the greater arena where readers have never met him?

The impact his incident had on him and, to a degree, the interval during which it occurred, will, in the second case, determine his narrative's length. If, for instance, he wants to write about his last drive to the beach, he may be able to cover it in only a page. If, on the other hand, he desires to explore the impact his parent's divorce had on him when he was nine, it would most likely require several pages to explore, if not a longer memoir.

Style, the third aspect, may hinge upon writing proficiency and experience, but entails considerations of language, forcefulness, syntax, and control over stylistic devises, including the use of humor, suspense, and foreshadowing, among other author voice determinants.

Writing Types:

There are several types of writing and the personal narrative, like many genres, may employ all or any combination of them.

Expository writing, the first of these, is primarily fact-oriented. It presents information, explains, analyzes, and discusses ideas. Think of an essay. It tells, illustrates, explains, and reviews what occurs. In this type of writing, the author speaks. He seeks to "expose" through it and it is usually associated with reports, dissertations, newspaper and magazine articles, encyclopedia entries, and history books, but it is used to tell, inform, and explain in all literary forms, including memoirs, biographies , creative nonfiction pieces, flash fiction, short fiction, and novels.

"Narrative, which is simply the act and art of storytelling, (is the second of them and) makes use of several modes of discourse: scene, summary, and exposure among them," according to Bill Roorbach in "Writing Life Stories: How to Make Memories into Memoirs, Ideas into Essays, and Life into Literature "(Writer's Digest Books, 2008, p. 45).

"Every narrative makes use of these, with different writers giving different emphasis to each. A scene takes place in a specific time and place, records events, actions, talk, stuff happening." It shows, through scenes, dialogue, features, feelings, facial expressions, interior monologue, actions, and character interactions, what occurs, as if the reader had a front-row seat in a play on stage. In narrative writing, the characters speak.

Narrative summary, which combines elements of both of these, provides a collapsed-event, condensed-form illustration of a particular story and offers a brief mention of people and places, minimizing interaction, as illustrated through dialogue. It generalizes time, but still moves the plot along.


Depending upon the length, depth, detail, and writing types employed, the personal narrative can comprise many or all of the following elements.

Hook: An interesting, unique, enticing, or evocative opening, consisting of a single statement or short paragraph, which "hooks" or lures the reader into the piece, sparking the interest or intrigue that will propel him through it.

Inciting incident: The event or conflict that sets the story in motion.

The location and time of the narrative.

Characters: Those, other than the author himself, who were involved in his real-life incident or episode.

Dialogue: The conversations and verbal interactions between the narrative's characters.

Interior monologue: The thoughts the author wishes to share with his readers, even though they are not otherwise audibly expressed.

Scenes: The character interaction, dialogue, and actions illustrated in narrative style.

Emotions: The emotions, feelings, and sensations evoked as a result of the narrative's events.

Resolution: The successful exit, along with any knowledge, wisdom, and insight, the author may wish to capture at the end of his story.


Transitions links similar and divergent thoughts, expressed in individual words, phrases, or sentences sentences, together, creating logical connections for the reader. Consider the following: "He was very poor. However, he was rich in insight." Here the transition "however" provides both an exception and a contrast.

As signposts, they facilitate the reader's direction of thought and argument, enabling him to determine how to think about, organize, and react to the information they connect. They provide relationships between ideas. Like seams between puzzle pieces, they foster the inter-relationship between them so that he can understand how the writer's thoughts and facts have been cohesively assembled.

Personal narratives, like pieces belonging to other genres, are subdivided in two fundamental ways. The first is the order in which details, events, points, people, arguments, and actions are presented, and the second is the relationships between them. In the later case, transitions are the helping hands in their connection.

Placed at the beginning, middle, and / or end of sentences, paragraphs, and even sections of longer works, these logical inks enable the reader to compare, comprehend, and anticipate, like switches in railroad tracks, the journey of information encountered.


Setting is the location or stage where the narrative takes place and can lace any action with mood, meaning, and thematic connotations. Longer pieces may incorporate two or more settings. Although they can range from an elementary school classroom to an Eskimo settlement above the Arctic Circle, there are several aspects to them.

The "locale," for instance, entails a house, street, neighborhood, city, state, or country, among others. The "time of day" can encompass dawn, afternoon, dusk, and midnight, and of the year, summer, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and New Year's Eve. "Elapsed time" implies the time required for the scene to play out, such as ten minutes, the time between scenes, such as a day, and the elapsed time the narrative covers, such as a week. Flashbacks and backstory will amend these totals. 'Mood and atmosphere' include such elements as the weather, the temperature, light, darkness, and twilight. And "climate" entails designs like tropical, Sahara, and monsoon.


Since the personal narrative entitles something the author himself has done or experienced, including how he deal with it and what he learned from it, he can be considered its "character." His story, however, may entail others.

Characters themselves can be illustrated in two fundamental ways: physical description and personality.

In the former case, it may entail height, weight, hair color, eye color, facial features, mannerisms, and voice tone, such as raspy or high-pitched. In the latter case, the character's personality, which is far more important than his visual image, is illustrated through his actions, ways, thoughts, feelings, and perspectives.

Personality, in psychological terms, can be considered a consistency or continuity of these very aspects. Whatever a person does, feels, or thinks originates within him, reflecting his psyche, and is translated into behavior, which can be considered fairly reliable in the prediction of it. Combined with his predominant, commonly exhibited practices, such as caring or careless, reliable or unreliable, and neat or sloppy, it reflects his essence or what makes him tick.

The author is thus tasked with taking numerous behavioral characteristics and reducing them to a few illustrative mannerisms, attributes, and defects, identified in his actions and interactions with others. The manner in which the person does and says things is the final determinant of his personality.


Dialogue audibly expresses thoughts thoughts, feelings, intentions, and actions between two or more characters, while interior monologue, or "silent dialogue," reflecting what a person thinks. Usually written in italics, it allows the reader to tune into what the person is running through his mind. Single characters, of course, can speak to themselves aloud.

Dialogue should reflect a character's opinion, perspective, educational level, culture, accent, and region, and should approximate how it really speaks, even if it is grammatically incorrect or nonstandard and its sentences are incomplete.

Quotation marks should surround what people say and should be followed by a comma and a dialogue tag, which itself should be restricted to terms such as "he said" and "Sarah asked." With the exception of those like "William yelled," "Jonathan screamed," and "Lorraine whispered" that emphasize volume, emotions such as anger and happiness should be reflected by the character's behavior. "Adverbs, as in" Jennifer said joyfully, "should be minimized if not eliminated eliminated.

Each time a new person speaks, the sentence, in quotes, should be indented. Dialogue tags themselves should be used sparingly-that is, when it is not clear who is peaking, when there are more than two characters, and when they have not been used for some time.

Thoughts, Feelings, and Senses:

Tantamount to the understanding of and reader connection with characters in a personal narrative is the ability to illustrate their inner thoughts, feelings, and sensations.

The latter two, particularly, can be expressed both explicitly and implicitely, enabling the author to illustrate both what occurred and how his characters felt when it did in other words, how it affected them. Interior monologue can be an effective technique in exposing their thoughts to the reader.

Events usually generate both thoughts and feelings. If, for example, the character's grandmother passes away and serves as the event, then his thought may be, I'll have to take off from work tomorrow to attend the funeral, and his feeling may be, I'm so sad. I feel so empty. Similarly, if close friends send the character an invitation to their son's wedding and this serves as the event, her thought may be, It was really nice of them to include me, and her feeling may be, I feel grateful and honored that they want me to join in on their celebration.

Any type of writing can be significantly enhanced and its descriptions rendered more vivid by incorporating as many of the five senses-that is, sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste-as possible, so that the writer can transfer the images in his mind to the reader's, creating a more immersive experience. Although the first of these, sight, is most frequently used and it is often difficult to replicate the others on paper, the effort will produce far greater realism.

In the case of sight, it usually precedes the experiences of the other senses-that is, a person will see a shirt on the rack in a department store before he actually touches it and tries it on or view the donuts in a box before he tastes them. Description therefore begins in the writer's eye and can incorporate aspects such as size, shape, color, physical properties, and even comparisons. The process can be aided by using an item's or object's proper name, such as "African violet" as opposed to just "flower."

Sound, the next sense, "plays an important part in many narratives," according to Hillocks Jr. (op. cit., p. 83). "Sometimes they are used to underscore the importance of an event, sometimes to set a scene, sometimes to make an important point about a character."

Sound-incorporating literary techniques including indicating the sound's source, describing its character, using words that sound like it (onomatopoeia), and employing analogies or similes to describe it. The technique can be aided by taking them apart, thinking of words or phrases which describe their rhythm and tone, and modifying them with adjectives, such as "The fluffy bedroom slippers whispered as they swept across the hardwood floor."

Smell is another often avoided reason employed in writing because there are few words that can adequately describe it, leaving the writer to use comparisons to serve the purpose. As the most primitive one, however, it is also the strongest, linking memory with emotion. The scents of blooming flowers and pine, for instance, can certainly pave a neurological path to, respectively, spring and Christmas. Descriptions of an odor's properties can also enhance reader transfer, sparking olfactory memories. Ammonia, for instance, can be described as "abrasive," "sharp," and "nostril-piercing."

Touch, a tactile sensation contending upon intimate contact with a person or a physical object, requires describing texture and temperature, as in "scratchy wool blanket" or "soft, mushy mashed potatoes."

Taste can be most effectively described in terms of the tongue's gustatory map of sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. Comparisons are also useful, as is paring it with other senses. For example, "The sweet iced tea tempted the saltry heat that July day."

There are several other techniques, over and above sensory imagery, which can enhance writing descriptions.

Onomatopoeia, as already alluded to, consist of of using words that emulate the sounds they represent, such as "buzz," "sizzle," "bonk," "honk," "thud."

Another is the use of metaphor.

"Metaphor, like all components of successful description, begin in the eye and ear of the beholder," according to Rebecca McClanahan in "Word Painting: A Guide to Writing More Descriptively" (Writers Digest Books, 1999, p. 87). It is not a fancy embroidery stitch. It's the whole cloth out of which the writing is formed. "

An ideally used metaphor indicates that the writer has a good perception of resemblances and inter-relationships. Unlike literary speech, it is a figure of speech or a comparison between two seemingly unlike people, concepts, or things, enhancing or shedding light on them. Consider the following metaphor. "My past is an ocean in which I'm drowning."

Simile is yet another descriptive technique. Although it is similar to the metaphor, it differs in that it is a comparison which uses words such as "like" and "as," but still requires the comparison between unlike concepts. "Your past is an ocean in which you're drowning" (metaphor) as opposed to "Your past is like an ocean in which you're drowning" (simile). "That big lake is like an ocean" is either because of the similarity of the water bodies. "Waiting for the dentist to enter the examination room was like being strapped to the electric chair" is another example of a simile.

A hyperbole is an exaggerated metaphor or simile. For example, "His boss is a weasel."

Personification entailing giving non-living objects, abstract things, and nature human qualities, properties, and emotions, such as "The tree bent over and sagged to the ground until it cried."

Finally, synthesia entails using one stimulation to evoke or suggest another. It is almost a crossbreeding of the two senses. "It smelled blood red" -combines sight (color) with smell (blood). "Nightmares are like tsunami waves, crashing on to your shore until you're drenched by them" -combines sight (tsunami wave), sound (crashing), and touch (drenched). Which senses does the following termination employ: "The ocean air was salty and fishy."


A scene, a unit of story structure, is a sequence of continuous action within a short time frame and incorporates characters, dialogue, actions themselves, and reactions, and can reveal both time and place. Employing narrative writing technique, it can consist of a single, stand-alone episode or incident or, in the case of several, can depend upon the previous one as its foundation or serve as the stepping stone to the next.

"We think of settings as natural landscapes and inanimate objects, such as buildings and machinery," according to Hillocks Jr. (op. cit., p. 111). "(But) scenes are settings that include people doing things, descriptions of action."

They serve to move the story forward, establish character causes-and-effects, reveal the consequences of a previous scene, foreshadow what may occur in the next or hidden ones, subdivide the narrative into smaller units of action, and provide character interface. They can incorporate mini-story arcs-that is, those with beginnings, middles, and ends that are characterized by small climaxes or points of tension. They can feature new direction, decisions, and character change.

They should, however, have a high degree of specificity or concrete details.

"Correspondingly, the scale for specificity … is concerned with the presence, elaboration, and focus of details of action, of sensory impression, of internal responses of the body and emotions of imagination and figurative language, and dialogue both internal and between characters , "Hillocks Jr. continues (ibid, p. 23).

Scenes, or episodic illustrations, can potentially encompass numerous aspects, including the inciting incident that changes the protagonist's (the main character's) position, condition, and / or environment; the conflict which creates the goal that will rectify of resolve it; an internal response, which may be implied or reflected in the emotional response that forms and fuels his quest; the protagonist's effort to embark upon and pursue it; the antagonist, represented by an actual person or circumstance that opposes that quest; a consequence, indicating whether that goal has been achieved; a reaction to the consequence, which can either be emotional in nature or the catalyst to the formulation of a new or secondary goal; rising tension; a climax, and the character change that results from the journey. As with all scenes, it should contain one or more characters, a setting, dialogue, interaction, and the action itself.


Revision entails the addition, deletion, reorder, rewording, condensing, strengthening, and tightening of the author's personal narrative, as initially captured in first draft form, to improve its clarity, cohesion, and flow.

"… (It) involves evaluating a text against the writer's plan as it relates to (his) intended audience, persona, meaning, and semantic layout," according to Hillocks Jr. (ibid., p. 126).

The process involves a change from generating text to self-assessing it, critiquing it, and finally correcting it.

Additions, particularly, improve its understanding, rectify inconsistencies, insert information that may otherwise be lacking, and increase reader interest and impact, while deletions, which can encompass single words, phrases, clauses, sentences, and paragraphs, eliminate superfluous, redundant, and irrelevant material. Reordering creates a more logical sequence of it, placing that which subsequent events, actions, dialogue, and scenes depend ahead of them.

"Students need to learn that reviewing is a process of re-seeing what has been written," Hillocks Jr., concluding (ibid, p. 127). "If writers can see what they have written in a different way, they will be able to improve it."

The actual process entailing comparing and evaluating the first draft against the outline, if that step was employed; identifying the reason (s) for the mismatches or weaknesses; selecting the appropriate revision remedies; and executing them to produce a second or subsequent draft.

The process itself can be enhanced by allowing some time to pass between the initial revision and the rereading of it, reading the draft echo, and having others read it aloud to the writer.

Article Sources:

Hillocks, George, Jr. "Narrative Writing: Learning a New Model for Teaching." Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Heinemann, 2007.

McClanahan, Rebecca. "Word Painting: A Guide to Writing More Descriptively". Cincinnati, Ohio: Writer's Digest Books, 1999.

Roorbach, Bill, with Kristen Keckler, PhD. "Writing Life Stories: How to Make Memories into Memoirs, Ideas into Essays, and Life into Literature." Cincinnati: Writer's Digest Books, 2008.

Source by Robert Waldvogel

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19 Jul 2018

What Does DVDRip, DVDSCR, CAM, R5, TS and TC Mean

To everyone who once wonder what DVDRip, DVDSCR, CAM, TS, TC, and R5 mean. Those are Video Quality names. When you are going to download a movie is important to know what does mean all this words in the name of the archive, because you dont want to spend time downloading a movie and find out the quality of the movie is not as expected.

DVDRip: Is a copy of a original DVD. The quality is excellent (DVD Quality). DVDRip Quality is ready to download when Original DVD is in the market. DVDrips are released in SVCD and DivX/XviD.

Worth to Download? YES

DVDScr: Or DVD Screener, usually is a copy of a PROMO Dvd. The DVDScr is out before the original DVD is in the market. Video usually comes with water marks in the video, clock counters and legends. Sometimes in some parts of the Movie video turns in black and white.

Quality is good.

Worth to Download? YES

R5: Refers to a specific format of DVD released in DVD Region 5, the former Soviet Union, and bootlegged copies of these releases that are distributed on the Internet. In an effort to compete with movie piracy, the movie industry chose to create a new format for DVD releases that could be produced more quickly and less expensively than traditional DVD releases. Quality is good because video is ripped directly from a DVD.

Worth to Download? YES

CAM: A cam is a theater rip usually done with a digital video camera. A mini tripod is sometimes used, but a lot of the time this wont be possible, so the camera make shake. Also seating placement isn’t always idle, and it might be filmed from an angle. Quality is awful.

Worth to Download? NO

TS: Or Telesync, is the same spec as a CAM except it uses an external audio source. A direct audio source does not ensure a good quality audio source, as a lot of background noise can interfere. Quality is awful.

Worth to Download? NO

TC: A telecine machine copies the film digitally from the reels. Sound and picture should be very good, but due to the equipment involved and cost telecines are fairly uncommon. Quality is regular.

Worth to Download? NO

Source by Ricardo Wagner

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19 Jul 2018

How to Measure SEO Effectiveness For Your Online Business

Measuring the effectiveness of your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts is crucial in the success of your business. Only when you have the figures can you determine if your online marketing strategies are working or if there are some areas that need improvement and polishing.

However, finding out if your SEO decisions are effective is a little more complicated than you think, as it deals with a lot of tools and measurement strategies. But then again aiming for the top ranks on the major search engines such as Google will require you to master a wide array of tools and to be creative in your approach, including how you measure your performance.

There are four ways to measure success in SEO – indexation measurements, backlink measurements, rankings measurements, and traffic and revenue measurements. These four might be big words, but all of them are related and work in unison.

  • Indexation Measurements

Your indexation measurements will tell you if the search engines have properly identified all of the pages in your website. Of course, who would want to run a website that only has a single, recognizable page?

This is the first critical step at assessing your website’s natural search performance. You need to have all your web pages indexed by the search engines in order to rank.

  • Backlink Measurements

Backlink measurements will tell you the number of of internal and external links (coming from different websites all over the internet) that point to your website in general. The rule of thumb in search engine link building is this – the more external backlinks your website gets, the higher it will rank in all the natural search engine results.

  • Ranking Measurements

Your ranking measurements will show where in the natural search engine results your website pops up at a given key word or phrase. However, measuring a website’s ranking measurements can get a little tricky.

You can measure your website’s ranking measurement in two ways – targeted and aggregate. The former will ask you to choose a certain set of keywords that you will target based on keyword research; the latter will let you track the page on which a certain term or phrase ranks for every keyword that provides natural search to your website.

  • Traffic and Revenue Measurements

Your traffic and revenue measurements will tell you the specific keywords used by internet users to find your website. It will also tell you the revenue your website gets per keyword, as well as the percentage of visitors that buy your products within a certain period of time.

All these four will help you determine if you have been using the right search engine optimization techniques. But then again, keep in mind that there are no “right” or “wrong” values.

Source by Jason Nyback

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18 Jul 2018

How to Conjugate Spanish Verbs

In order to conjugate Spanish verbs correctly we need to understand what a verb is and what a conjugation is. My old teachers used to tell me that a verb is a doing word, and to be honest, it is the most straight-forward and accurate explanation of a verb I have ever heard, so I'm going to stick with it:

A conjugation, on the other hand, is a little bit more difficult to explain simply; but I'll give it a try. A conjugation is a variation of a verb that uses the stem of a verb and various different endings; each ending indicating the person or object performing the task and when the task is or was being performed (tense).

There are three groups of verbs in Spanish, and they are called the – ar , – er and – ir verbs, so-called because every verb in Spanish has one of those three endings. The – ar group of verbs is by far the largest; and therefore has the highest concentration of regular verbs, so we will show how to conjugate Spanish verbs of this group first:

Hablar (to speak)

  • habl -o I speak
  • habl -as you speak (singular, familiar)
  • habl -a he, she, it speaks or, you (singular, polite) speak
  • habl -amos we speak
  • habl -áis you speak, plural, familiar)
  • habl -an they, you (plural, polite) speak

You'll note as mentioned earlier, that to conjugate Spanish verbs we utilize the stem of the verb and a different ending that highlights the person (s) or object performing the task, in this case, ' habl ' is the stem. You will find that with all regular verbs, the stem will be the verb minus the ending. Also, we are only dealing with the present tense here; there will of course be different endings and variations on stem depending on which tense is being used.

Here's how to conjugate Spanish verbs ending with – er and – ir ;

We will use aprender (to learn) and escribir (to write) for examples of regular -er and -ir present tense conjugations.

  • aprend -o escrib -o I learn / write
  • aprend -es escrib -es you learn / write (singular, familiar)
  • aprend -e escrib -e he, she, it learns / writes or, you (singular, polite) learn / write
  • aprend -emos escrib -imos we learn / write
  • aprend -éis escrib -ís you learn / write (plural, familiar)
  • aprend -en escrib -en they, you (plural, polite) learn / write

Hopefully this will give you an incite into how to conjugate Spanish verbs, obviously there are a lot of different tensions that will all have different conjugations, not to mention the many irregular verbs that do not follow regular conjugational patterns and it would there be be wise to look into a verb conjugator to assist you in learning, wat is, the most difficult area of ​​learning Spanish.

There are a number of free Spanish conjugators available online if you search for them, but pretty much all of them are limited in their usefulness so it is much better to get an up to date verb training software program that will help you far better.

Source by Daniel Major

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18 Jul 2018

The Best Backpacking Europe Routes

An adventurous backpacking trip to Europe can be the international trip of a lifetime and one to add to your bucket list. I was on the fence when the idea was presented to me, but it didn’t take long to change my mind. I was promised by some experienced travelers that backpacking is the only way to go especially if you’re looking for gorgeous nature, a cultural melting pot, world famous sites and a whole world of adventure. There are few time restraints when you backpack and unparalleled when compared to other ways to travel. There is no right or wrong way to enjoy hiking in Europe, but here is a sample of our route that worked for us.

1. London

Our first stop was Heathrow Airport because it is connected to the public transportation that will safely get you to some very famous landmarks. Our first stop was Buckingham Palace and it was even better in person than any picture or video can relay. The home of the Royal family is as incredible on the outside as it is on the inside. We missed the iconic changing of the guards but I hear it’s spectacular. Make sure you add it to your “while in London list” as well as the Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. They, too have historical significance and are must-sees during your hike throughout the city.

2. Paris

Trust me on this. Paris, known as the City Of Love is awesome. Take the Eurostar, underground train from London to Paris. Just the thought of traveling underneath the English Channel is unbelievable. There is so, so much to experience here. How about the one and only Eiffel Tower. My wife and I enjoyed a leisurely picnic lunch (French staples cheese, wine, and bread) from the outside, but my travel partners paid for a ticket to get a bird’s eye view from the top. Either way, get a photo or two because seeing this iconic tower in person was to say the least, surreal. We could’ve stayed on the grass forever but when they came down from the top, we were off again to see the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Montemartre art district that features the Sacre Coeur Basilica. The architecture alone is amazing. Whether you appreciate art or not, these landmarks will impress you.

3. Rome

This is a truly the best place to backpack. It is full of ancient history and cultural sights that look just like postcard photos, only better. I have read about so many of the places this eternal city offers and the fact that we were personally experiencing it is was truly captivating. It takes a while to get there, but it’s well worth the train ride. Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day, so take your time and spend some extra time here, if your schedule allows. One of the must-sees (actually they are all must-sees) is the Colosseum. Walk around, experience the historical architecture and go back in time when the Romans sat and watched gladiators fight in that same arena. Then I recommend visiting the Pantheon, The Vatican, to say a prayer and take in Michelangelo’s masterpiece in the Sistine Chapel. If time permits go over to the Trevi Fountain and toss a few coins in for good luck. Tradition has it that one coin is for love and the other is to guarantee you will return to Rome again. I wish I had time to discuss the many different restaurants. Our policy was to eat where the locals do and live by the age-old rule, “When in Rome” do as the Romans do. We didn’t have one bad meal.

4. Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre translates into five tiny towns on the western Italian coast that look like a colorful boutique of buildings. The villages are Monterosso, Riomaggiore, Vernazza, Corniglia and Manarola and each one is an individual marvel. I can’t speak a word of Italian but it didn’t matter. My senses were able to drink in all of the culture and personality offered here. We were amazed by one of kind natural cliffs in their National Park that conveniently surround all five towns. It has to be one of Mother Nature’s best creations. It is perfect for backpackers who don’t always like to be in big city crowds. We boarded a train with a day pass that allowed us to ride between these picturesque towns as many times as we wanted. You need to purchase a pass to walk around too. Staying overnight will probably be a good idea. There is a variety of overnight accommodations that offer a comfortable and affordable good night’s rest. Cinque Terre is a place I will return to perhaps without my backpack the next time and stay a little longer.

5. Berlin

Germany is fascinating and never fails to impress me. The sightseeing opportunities and landmarks are full of history, architecture marvels and even castles. This European country is like no other and the scenery is almost like walking back in time through an eclectic collection of modern buildings. For example, the famous Brandenburg Gate landmark, once a symbol of country’s division is not considered just the opposite, unification. The dark granite pillars create a walking tour maze and is the perfect spot for photos. The most disturbing, but emotional place we visited was the underground museum that showcases the plight of the Jews when the Nazi’s had control. Talk about a challenging time. But Berlin has a much lighter, modern side too. There are some hip neighborhoods to explore, really cool locals to meet and delicious food to taste. I ordered the vegan cuisine with Vietnamese noodles that was delicious. Then we took a walk on a closed airport runway that is now open to the public. There is so much to do and see, but the common denominator of Berlin is that no matter where you go, whether you backpack or not, the sky is the limit for awesome sights, sounds, tastes and experiences.

There is never enough time to explore everything Europe in one visit, so don’t expect to. But I recommend planning where you want to go and leaving enough room for some unexpected stops along the way. Europe is one of the most interesting continents in the world, and especially interesting when you take along your best friends and a backpack.

Source by Douglas Helal

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17 Jul 2018

Insurers Use a Variety of Key Tools When Assessing the Financial Stability of a Potential Account

For many small and medium sized businesses, most insurance underwriters will be able to determine the quality of risk by looking at a few key factors such as loss history, location, years in business, revenues, qualifications of management and accounting information if warranted. Yet for much larger and complex risks with revenues in the 10's of millions, ratio analysis has become mandatory. There are many types of ratios that can be derived from the accounting records. We will look at a few key ratios that assist insurers in identifying the following key objectives.

  • The overall financial strength of the company
  • The ability to pay premiums
  • Growth and future shortcomings

I will examine 4 of the more common types of ratios used by underwriters and actuaries.

Total Assets Turnover Ratio

Leverage Ratio

Liquidity Ratio

Profitability Ratio

Total Assets Ratio- numbers from both the balance sheet and the income statement are needed to determine this ratio. The total assets turnover ratio helps determine the financial strength of the company and its ability to use assets to generate sales. It is often used in back to back year comparisons

Total assets turnover ratio = ____Sales______

Average total assets

Ex: MYcompany = 1,500,000 / ($ 960,000 + $ 1,000,000)

= 1.3

A ratio amount of less than 3 is a good indicator that there may be an issue with one or more of the asset categories such as fixed assets, inventory or account receivables. The insurer would most likely look into this further to seek out if there could be a problem with inventory or if the firm's collection period is too long.

Leverage Ratio – this ratio looks at the company's ability to meet its financial obligations. The larger the debt may be, the greater the chance that the company will be unable to meet their debt payments.

The most commonly used Leverage ratio is total debt to total assets and can be calculated as follows

Total debt to total assets ratio = ___Total debt___

Total assets

EX: Mycompany = $ 650,000 / $ 1,400,000

= .46

For each dollar of the company's assets, creditors are financing 46 cents. This is very close to 50% or 50 cents and should be monitored closely with calculations done on previous years to see how the company is trending.

Liquidity Ratio – this really quick ratio allows one to determine the company's ability to pay short term debts. A low ratio will indicate the company may be struggling and unable to meet expenses as they come due. A ratio amount of less than 2 is usually an indication of poor performance.

The most common liquidity ratio is the Current ratio calculation

Current ratio = __Current assets___

Current liabilities

EX: Mycompany = $ 130.00 / $ 48,000

= $ 2.7

Mycompany has $ 2.7 of Current Assets to meet $ 1.00 of its Current Liability. This is a good ratio.

Profitability Ratio – this ratio measures the overall performance of a company. The Net profit margin is the most easy and commonly used ratio. It quickly indicates how much of each dollar shows up as net income after all expenses have been paid. For example, if the net profit margin is 5% that means that 5 cents of every dollar is profit. A ratio amount of 5% or greater is a good indication.

Net Profit Margin = Net Income

Net Sales

EX: Mycompany = $ 45,000 / $ 560,000

= $ .084 or 8.4%

Thus Mycompany realized an 8.4% net profit after taxes.

Once a few or all of the above scenarios are run by the insurer, they can then determine if the risk presented fits their guidelines guidelines and what premiums and coverage's will be applied. If the risk is unfavorable, the insurer will most likely decline the risk and keep a record on file indicating this risk was presented and declined usually for a 3-5 year period. In addition to insurance companies, many banks have also run these formulas to help determine the efficiency of operations and credit worthiness of loan applications. These simple and quick calculations can provide instant information about a company's performance and can trigger alarming numbers that may need to be reviewed more closely. Small and medium sized business owners can do these calculations on their own or seek out an accountant to see how their business is trending before the year end income statement and balance sheet are produced.

It must be pointed out that different industries have different ratio benchmarks. Many insurance companies have gathered this information from many years of data from a number of different industries. An excellent place to obtain key business ratios is Dun and Bradsweet. Feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions or looking for other key ratio indicators.

Source by Max Ali

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17 Jul 2018

How to Learn Spanish Online Quickly

There are a lot of ways on how to learn Spanish online. The only thing is how do they guarantee your quick learning? As learning is relative to every learner, learning providers devise a lot of ways in offering different methods of teaching so every student can have the most efficient way of acquiring the language. There are a lot of websites offering courses in Spanish, paid or free, so you can never run out of choices when it comes to picking the service you would want to subscribe to.

However, choosing which method may be the hardest part for you, especially if you are learning a new language for the first time. But, do not fret; for there are simple ways you can determine which is the best way on how to learn Spanish online for you. This article will give you some tips in choosing a service that would truly benefit you.

Get acquainted with the different methods

As mentioned earlier, techniques in learning Spanish, or any other foreign language for that matter, are quite abundant nowadays. With the great help of the internet, you now have almost endless possibilities of learning to speak a new language fluently.

With this, you should always start with researching about the different techniques a certain website and tutoring company offers. They may come in downloadable modules, some are for free, and some are paid which are usually more detailed. These modules may be conversation examples or technical manuals that take academic methods in teaching you the language. Modules with conversation samples usually use sentence patterns as a main technique, while technical modules discuss every part of speech that you will use in the language.

However, there are those learners who prefer to speak the language right away, after learning just the basics of the language, like vocabulary and simple grammar. This could also be effective, depending again on the language skills of the person. If you are one of these people, you can always head on to chat rooms with people willing to teach others Spanish for free. Here, you can practice your conversational skills with native speakers.

If these mentioned options are still not appealing to you, and you are still wondering what could be the other ways to learn Spanish online, there are still other ways you can do it. You can also opt for more fun ways like games and activities that focus on building your language proficiency. Usually, this technique comes in word plays, which is fun to answer and very instructional.

And, lastly, if you are more of an audio learner, there are a number of sites providing audio books, if not real live tutors, to help you with pronunciation, diction, and even conversations.

Time to decide

Now that you know your options on learning the Spanish language, you can now decide whether to get free lessons, or subscribe to a paid program. Since both promise wondrous results, the paid programs still hold more credibility. However, another point that you can consider is that you can always start with the free programs, then you can assess if you still need to subscribe to paid lessons. Either way, you are always guaranteed of getting the best whichever method you choose on how to learn Spanish online.

Source by Bill W. Allen

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16 Jul 2018

Environmental Impact Assessment – Effective Cost Management

The cost of carrying out an environmental impact assessment can be a significant part of the planning and design cost of a development project. Notoriously, the EIA costs are difficult to predict at the outside of the project. This uncertainty is primarily due to an initial lack of knowledge of the environmental baseline conditions on the development site. As the project progresses, site knowledge increases periodically and new costs may emerge while some risks may reduce. Particularly in the current economic climate, there is a need to have a clear understanding of the costs and the risks of the environmental impact assessment at an early stage in the project.

The first step to effective cost management of an environmental impact assessment is to carry out a thorough EIA scoping study. The outcome of the EIA scoping study should be a clear understanding of the basic site characteristics and the likely environmental risks and sensitivities. It should also provide a clear program on how to address the issues that have been identified in the further environmental impact assessment.

Following a carefully undertaken EIA scoping study, uncertainties remain. These uncertainties are however much more manageable. For instance, during the EIA scoping study it was identified that no important archaeological features have been recorded in the wider area around a site. The following step that is proposed is to carry out a geophysical site survey. Depending on the outcome of the survey there may be a requirement to carry out an intrusive investigation in the form of an excavation.

There are three uncertainties that will determine the final cost for archaeological work as part of the environmental impact assessment. Firstly there is the uncertainty about the exact cost to carry out the geophysical survey. The error margin on this should be reliably small as it is a fairly defined activity. The second uncertainty relates to whether or not the results of the survey indicate the need of further work. This is a yes or no issue, where the uncertainty relates to the chance that further work is required. Finally, the third piece of uncertainty relates to the cost of the intrusive investigation should this be required.

A system that is based on the Monte Carlo cost forecasting system is ideally suited to deal with these kind of uncertainties. The output of the Monte Carlo cost forecasting system is typically a series of potential project costs together with the probability that each of these costs will not be exceeded. Thus, employing a combination of a rigorous EIA scoping study and the use of the Monte Carlo cost forecasting methodology are essential tools in the effective cost management of environmental impact assessments.

Source by Paul Giesberg

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16 Jul 2018

The Many Types Of Sign Language

Sign language has always been troubling to legislators, but has finally become recognized as a language by the governments of many countries. While many people believe that sign language is universal, each language or country has its own version. Here we address some of the most popular forms of sign language and signing systems.

British Sign Language

British Sign Language, or BSL, is the most prevalent language among the British deaf community. It uses shaping of the hands, facial expressions, body language and movement to communicate. It is a complete language which includes its own grammar. BSL was recognized by the British government in 2003 as a language, and used to communicate anything in the English language. Although some signs are universal, each language (including American English) has its own form of sign language.

Finger Spelling

Finger Spelling is a signaling system generally used along sign language. It is used to spell out names, places, and anything else there is not a sign for. Many times new words take longer to spell out into BSL so must be spelled before a sign is adopted.

Paget Gorman Signed Speech

Paget Gorman Signed Speech is also a signaling system used with speech to help those with language difficulties. There are 37 basic signs which when combined can make over 4000 more complex ones.

Signed English

Signed English, or SE, is a signaling system as well. It has one sign to represent each word in the English language, but is not a language like BSL. It is intended to be used to help with reading and writing, and has important signs to teach grammar.

Sign Supported English

Sign Supported English, or SSE, is many times the preferred signaling system for hearing people to communicate with the deaf. It uses the same signals as BSL, but unlike SE, you do not have to sign every word. It also does not have its own grammar system like BSL, so hearing people do not have to worry about learning a whole new grammatic structure. This can be picked up fairly quickly to expedite communication.

Pidgin Signed English

Pidgin Signed English, or PSE, is a very crude signaling system. It combines elements of BSL and spoken English to allow communication between hearing people and deaf who only know the strict confines of sign language. It is not recommended but can be used when needed.

Source by Marie Wilson

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