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The importance of corporate language learning amid Brexit –

It is well known how learning a language is vital to our cognitive abilities, how it can benefit our mental health and improve our social skills as well as increase employability opportunities.

But did you know that learning a new language can boost your business too?

Not investing in a language training for your employees can actually impact negatively your business revenue.

Back in 2017 the UK was losing out on £4.8bn every year as a result of lack of language skills. This implies that investing in a language for your business would turn up to be a good choice in terms of financial return and opportunities.

The disinterest and lack of linguistic knowledge, raises concerns as to how the UK can fit in a multilingual world, particularly now that it will feel the Brexit effect.

Most of UK exporters rely on their mother tongue but in fact many trade partners have a low level of English which adds to concerns around UK’s capacity to boost business competitiveness on an international level. Now more than ever language skills are paramount to survive in a globalised context.

According to Eurobarometer, only 32 per cent of Britons aged 15-30 can read and write in more than one language. The EU average is 80 per cent. For any business an employee who knows another language is an asset to the organisation and it shows dedication and respect towards the business partners by not taking for granted their knowledge of English. The benefits for a business would be tremendous with regards to employability, skills and productivity of personnel, boost of trade and business links.

So which languages should you invest in for your business and for your personal or career development? German French and Spanish lead the way in a European context followed by Italian and Portuguese. In a wider international context Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Turkish and Japanese are your best choices.

It goes without saying that to improve the perspectives of language learning in the UK, lots of work needs to be done with regards to awareness and language education from early years throughout the different school stages, to recognise the importance of languages outside the education system and a higher-ranking position to community languages. The Scottish Government has taken steps to improve language skills from an early age, by combining 2 languages in schools in addition to English as a mother tongue. This is a decisive step forward to open up prospects for the future of the country.

In conclusion, UK is faced with a huge long-term challenge with regards to Brexit and its connection to language learning, but this also represents an opportunity to boost collaboration across different sectors and policy areas with a view to implementing a national strategy to preserve and enhance UK’s chances in an international context.

“You live a new life for every new language you speak. If you know only one language, you live only once”. Czech proverb


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A taste of ice cream: from ancient civilizations to modern times

The word “Ice cream” evokes the fluffy, velvety, refreshing multi-coloured dessert, but what are the origins of this extraordinary invention that is enjoyed in any season all over the world?

The origins of ice cream are quite uncertain and there are various interesting sources to explore before forming a vague idea in our minds.

According to some, ice cream-like foods originated in Persia as far back as 550 BCE. For some, Roman Emperor Nero invented the first sorbet drink mixing ice collected from the Appenine mountains, with honey and wine.

Prior to that, snow was used to cool drinks in Greece around 500 BC and Hippocrates is known to have criticized chilled drinks for causing "fluxes of the stomach". Seneca condemned the lavish expenses related to the production of iced desserts in an era where refrigeration was a fantasy.

Hints of iced drinks can be found in the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs showing ice mixed with fruit juice.

In 200 B.C. in China some kind of icy dessert was created to what resembles a sherbet today. It was a mixture of milk and rice packed into snow. It was born to satisfy noble palates but with the passing of centuries, it became a street food enjoyed by all.

But how did this heavenly smooth, tasty dessert reach Europe? The Italian duchess Catherine de' Medici is said to have introduced flavoured sorbet ices to France when she married the Duke of Orléans (Henry II of France) in 1533. One hundred years later, Charles I of England was so astonished by the "frozen snow" that he proposed a lifetime allowance to his own ice cream maker so that ice cream could be a privilege of royalty. It is also thought ice cream mapped its road to Venice, Italy, thanks to Marco Polo in the 13th century after his many years spent in China, over a thousand years later its invention. Unfortunately, there are no actual records to back these stories.

It was only in the 16th century that the recipe evolved into what we call ice cream today.

Only in 1660 it was made available to the public by the Sicilian Procopio in Paris in the homonymous Café’ Procope. It was made of milk, butter and eggs.

Truth is that the ice cream we know today, went through many changes and evolutions throughout historical times and geographical locations.

Born into aristocracy, this beautiful culinary specialty is now appreciated all over the world with tastes ranging from fruits to vegetables to nougat, pistachio, stracciatella, and literally thousands more!

Although this heavenly nutritious food does not seem to find an historical or geographical location, it has found its best version  in Italy where it is now an icon of the country.

Here, you can literally find an ice cream parlour at every corner and enjoy it as you wish. To give you an example, one of the many ice cream parlours in Rome sells 150 flavours. An ice cream fit for a king. Surely not to be missed!




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