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Is learning a foreign language important?

Is learning a foreign language important?

In today’s world, survival is equivocal to human connection. How well we connect with one another determines our ability to be productive. With thousands of languages in the world, one may question the importance of being able to communicate in a language other than their own. It is paramount to be able to do so.

How does speaking a foreign language affect the business world?

Being able to speak a foreign language satisfies a courtesy that can be exemplified in ambassadors. An ambassador often will be able to speak the language of the country they are sent to. Their knowledge of the language highlights respect between nations. When in the business world, or even when enjoying a friendly acquaintance, being able to speak a language other than a person’s native language displays a reach for connection. To take the time to learn another language is one of the most respectful actions a person can do for another. This can go a long way in business because it can easily display grace and manners. Speaking in another person’s language instead of your own creates a friendly atmosphere where ideas can flow. When negotiations take place, which they often do in business, being able to speak the same language creates a kinship between all parties involved. The buck doesn’t stop there either. There are certain ideas about learning another language that many people haven’t thought of.

A foreign language can open our eyes to another culture

Most people can see the differences between cultures. Each culture has its own artistry that shows beauty. It can be almost baffling as to how these cultures are so different. Learning a foreign language has a benefit that most people may not realize. Learning a language can offer an analysis of how a culture thinks. The way language is organized can show the feelings and perceptions of how someone from a foreign country thinks. The more people are able to understand each other the more this becomes one world instead of many countries. A foreign language can offer your own mind some new discoveries. An example of this is foreign poetry, which can speak volumes about the human condition. So long as the words can be read, they can touch a person’s heart. Knowing only one language can in fact limit how much a person can perceive about themselves. Stretching a person’s cognition can also benefit them in other ways.

An enjoyable hobby that keeps on giving

It can be fun to speak a foreign language. It adds a little bit of zest to interactions. The ability to meet someone and hear their accent and start speaking in their native tongue is enjoyable. Typically, it will immediately evoke some form of appreciation on the other person’s part, which makes the whole interaction so much more wholesome. Learning is also easier than people realize. Once a person knows enough so they can ask questions about basic things, their regular interactions will dramatically improve their knowledge base over time.

Bringing the world closer together

When knowledge breaks down and people cannot communicate it is very hard to connect. Humanity is stronger when it is united. Learning another language is like a hand reaching out to form a bond with the entire world. Connectivity is only getting stronger. With global communication occurring instantaneously due to technology, the need for foreign language is becoming more evident every day. So have some fun with it, look up a language that you would like to learn and put a little time into teaching yourself. It may be one of the most rewarding things that there is.

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Excerpt from “The Moral Obligation to Be Intelligent” by John Erskine

The Moral Obligation to Be Intelligent

If a wise man should ask. What are the modern virtues? and should answer his own question by a summary of the things we admire; if he should discard as irrelevant the ideals which by tradition we profess, but which are not found outside of the tradition or the profession — ideals like meekness, humility, the renunciation of this world; if he should include only those excellences to which our hearts are daily given, and by which our conduct is motived, — in such an inventory what virtues would he name?

This question is neither original nor very new. Our times await the reckoning up of our spiritual goods which is here suggested. We have at least this wisdom, that many of us are curious to know just what our virtues are. I wish I could offer myself as the wise man who brings the answer. But I raise this question merely to ask another — When the wise man brings his list of our genuine admirations, will intelligence be one of them? We might seem to be well within the old ideal of modesty if we claimed the virtue of intelligence. But before we claim the virtue, are we convinced that it is a virtue, not a peril?

Buy the book to keep reading:

The Moral Obligation to Be Intelligent and Other Essays by John Erskine (eBook)

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Before You Turn Your eBook Into Print—Read This First!

Before You Turn Your eBook Into Print—Read This First

Are you considering turning your eBook into a printed book with one of today’s convenient and cost-effective print-on-demand solutions? Before you do, you should consider some important aspects of your new venture, to make your print book the best it can be.

Creating a printed book is somewhat different from cranking out information products, because there are certain time-honored conventions to laying out and structuring a book. First of all, you’ll need to be cognizant of your page numbering and what pages your chapters begin on; you’ll need to pay attention to things like “widows” and “orphans” and consider how your pages flow within the context of your book.

The rules of the print world

For example, it’s customary to have all first pages of new chapters begin on the right-hand (odd-numbered) side of the book in all languages written left to right.

You’ll also need to include things called “front matter” and “back matter,” which you may not have much of (or even need) in an eBook.

Front matter appears in the front of your book, prior to the main content. It includes your title page, copyright notice, dedication, foreword, preface, acknowledgments, illustrations list, abbreviations, introduction and the table of contents. Blank pages are used as “filler” to take up space between front matter that needs to appear on the right-hand (odd-numbered) pages.

Back matter appears in the back of your book, after all the content. It includes endnotes, bibliography, glossary, index, information about the author, ordering info, forms and/or coupons.

The front matter and back matter are very important for a printed book. They also follow certain conventions for which page they appear on. Pick up your favorite book and take a closer look at the front and back matter. Chances are, you’ve never given it much thought, but you should start thinking about books a little more carefully, to fully appreciate how they’re put together.

How long is a rope?

Just keep in mind, not all eBooks or white papers or PDFs lend themselves well to book conversion. If your eBook PDF is only 20 pages in length with wide margins to begin with, you probably don’t want to go the printed book route. Shorter works won’t “translate” well into print form, as their page length doesn’t provide enough width in the spine to hold the glue evenly. A book of about 30 pages which is perfect bound (the pages glued together with the cover at the spine) can end up with lumpy glue and an uneven finish. Even the best printers can have difficulty making a thin volume look good in perfect binding. And a lumpy, clumpy binding on a thin book makes a lousy impression on reviewers and interviewers, not to mention your reading public. Of course, you could go for a saddle-stitch binding, but then you lose the spine altogether, and your book becomes more of a brochure, losing it’s spine title and getting lost between other volumes on a shelf.

Of course, you can always make your margins super-wide and your fonts super-large. Or, you can put in the extra work to expand on your content and fill it out for print readers. That may be a good exercise, in any case. But no matter what you decide to do, you definitely want to produce a book of a reasonable length—no less than 50 pages, with a minimum of 100 pages being ideal (in my opinion, that is). They don’t call it “book-length” for nothing!

Conventions matter

Now, structuring and formatting your content for print publication can be a very different story from putting it into digital format. First of all, there are the popular conventions of book layout which have been standardized over centuries of book publishing. And then there’s the basic physical fact of accommodating a certain paper size and setting font sizes and margin widths so that the book is readable. While you can type your content into a word processing document, add graphics, and export it to PDF—and voilà!—you have an eBook, creating a printed book takes a different kind of focus.

Whereas eBooks may be hastily constructed digital products which are put out for sale before they’re polished to a shiny gleam, a print book requires closer attention to certain details. A print version of a work may need to have a more “solid” tone, a more staid approach, than its electronic “sibling” eBook. White papers have certain conventions, such as using the passive voice to sound more professional, but that may make a book version sound stuffy, so that writing style may need to change as well. Think about how other books similar to yours do it—and copy their approach. “Talent copies, but genius steals,” says the adage. But in this day and age, when plagiarism is so strongly discouraged, you may be better off aiming for talent, than aspiring to genius. Bottom line is, other people have paved the way with book production—corporate people, rich people, highly literate and connected people. You can learn a lot from their examples, so study others who have written print books like your eBook or white paper, and make your edits accordingly.

Looking good in print

In addition to stylistic changes, you’ll need to make physical changes to the layout of your work. You’ll need to put in blank pages to make your different book elements be properly ordered. It’s a good idea to add “fluff” like dedications and acknowledgments and references, for the sake of looking more formal in print. Studying the books on my bookshelf, I’m always amazed at how much “stuff” they include in the front and the back of them. Tables of contents, dedications, testimonials… glossaries and bibliographies and auxiliary information, oh my! You, too, can load up your book with lots of extras that make it look like a big press put it out. Especially if you’ve got testimonials… you can load them up at the beginning of the book (just make sure they’re really yours, not automatically generated “testimonials” that some software programs will crank out. Remember, when it comes to print, credibility is everything. A little extra work, filling out your book with “extras” like the big book boys do, can go a long way towards making you look good in print.

Now, making all sorts of amendments to your eBook for the sake of getting into print might seem a bit daunting. (Rewarding, but daunting.) But really, I think the hardest part of the process is figuring out what you need to do, and how you’ll need to do. Actually doing it is the easy part.

Yes, thanks to the internet and high technology in general, the tools you need to make your print publishing adventure not only exciting, but cost-effective, as well. Self-published authors have been creating their own books since the late 1980’s, and lots of research and exploration was done over the years about what it takes to get a book into print. From cutting and pasting typewritten pages onto hard-copy galleys and standing over the photocopy machine with paper towel to wipe off the leftover spots left by white-out… to typing up pages on oddly organized half-folded sheets of paper, and carefully collating the end result… to printing out pages on a dot-matrix printer (it was high-tech at the time!) and reducing them to fit on half-size pages down at the copy shop… to using Adobe PageMaker to layout and format and generate printer-ready proofs for commercial printers… to sneaking print jobs to the laser printer at the office to get a decent print quality without needing to hire a graphic designer or buy expensive equipment… to finally (at last!!!) finding Lulu and their totally self-sufficient print-on-demand solutions that really, truly are a dream come true for a fiercely independent culture creator.

In my own personal and professional experience, the process has come a long way, in the past 30 years, and print-on-demand technology now makes it easier and more affordable than ever to get your words into a printed book. In fact, with some of the most recent online services today, there’s literally no reason why any writer who has the creativity and determination to write a book, can’t publish it as well. I just find it so incredibly ironic that for all the work that goes into writing a book, publishing it (which is really the creatively simplest, albeit the most logistically complex, part of the book creation process) has been kept out of writers’ reach for so long.

I really think it’s a throwback to the days when the only people who could publish books were folks who were wealthy enough to be literate and rich and connected enough to own a printing press and materially comfortable enough (or trade-educated) to fritter away their days setting type and pressing sheets of printed material, one at a time.

Now that’s all different. Computers have changed everything. That’s a fact.

Brave new world

Now, the game is completely different. Writers of any ilk, if they can work a word processing program and follow simple instructions on the internet, have the means well within their grasp to turn their publishing dreams into reality. What’s more, as more and more people turn to writing as a way to not only express themselves, but start to earn a living through the creation and sale of information products, there’s an abundance of digitally published works “floating around online” which could easily become printed products, as well. And for less money than you probably think. Even if you don’t write a book yourself, there’s nothing to keep you from snagging a public domain work that’s downloaded from your favorite website (or given away by an infopreneur as an added bonus for folks who order their products), and turning it into a printed book you can sell, give as a gift, or speak about publicly. Just make sure you publish something you’re allowed to publish! The last thing you need is to have your reputation sullied as a “plagiarist.” The whole point of print publishing is to establish your reputation more firmly, not to undermine it!

So, as you’re considering transitioning your digital assets to print, keep in mind the differences between the new medium and the old. With forethought and planning, your digital assets can become high-quality printed products that not only expand your product line, but help establish your thought leadership position with a great look.

If you need help with your book

Boop Market has been through the thick and thin of self-publishing (the first book we ever published was typeset in a DOS environment, before Windows!) so we know a thing or two about books. Our main mission is to bring out-of-print books back to the readers. But we enjoy bringing new, unpublished books to the market as well.

If you need help getting your book published, whether as eBook, audiobook or a print book, and have it on sale worldwide at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google, Apple, etc., we can help. Contact us today with your questions, and perhaps we can get you published!

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Excerpt from “Only One Life” by Vera Kuschnir

Only One Life

In the pages following this introduction, we gladly accede to the requests repeatedly made by our friends and co‑workers in the Lord’s vineyard, namely, that we should write and publish the life story of the Founder of the American European Bethel Mission, Leon Rosenberg.

The life story of this man is most unusual, if not actually unique. It represents personal experiences of a rabbinical student, who eventually became a veteran missionary of the Cross of Christ. It documents experiences which took place in two different “worlds” — the rabbinical “world” into which Leon Rosenberg was born and in which he spent his early years, being very strictly reared until he reached a mature age of twenty, and the Christian “world” in which he lived after his spiritual regeneration.

The latter part of the early years, until Leon reached his twentieth birthday and graduated from a rabbinical seminary, were spent mostly in the gloom of uncertainty, deep longings and inner conflicts due to his burning thirst for knowledge and his quest for THE TRUTH.

The depth of such a spiritual conflict is known only to those who have experienced it. The gap between Rabbinical Judaism on the one hand, and Biblical Christianity (which we might call “Messianism”) on the other, seemed to be insurmountable. The power of THE LAW, the rigid demands of the sages and their precepts, had already deeply influenced his life, while the Light of the “sure word of prophecy,” as given in the prophetic books, was hidden and the study thereof forbidden.

It is indeed a miracle when one manages to find his way out of the confusing labyrinth of rabbinical “interpretations” and “explanations” of the Holy Writ as contained in the books of the Talmud.

On the other hand, the sometimes shallow and dogmatic way of presenting the claims of Jesus Christ, as the promised and expected Messiah of Israel on the part of those who represented Christianity, served only to deepen the inner conflict of the one whose life story we are venturing to publish.

It behooves the biographer to acquaint the reader with some of the early struggles of the hero of this biographical sketch in his search for proofs, substantiating the Messiahship of Jesus of Nazareth, and especially His deity as the Son of the Living God. The frequently heated arguments with those who presented those claims, will serve as an eye‑opener to many, and introduce them to a type or kind of Jews who are Jews not only because they were born such, but are Jews by deliberate choice. (Rom. 12:28,29)

Rabbinical Talmudic Judaism is an entirely different world from that of Christendom. So are some of the customs and rites, as well as the significance, which this cast of Jews attaches even to their observance of the Sabbath and other festivals in their mystical aspects. All these facts will be displayed before the eyes of the reader in this unusual life story, and he or she will find it very enlightening and profitable. The arguments, used by young Rosenberg to defend his faith, and how he eventually overcame the obstacles and stumbling‑blocks in his path to becoming a Christian, will be of assistance to many who are interested in the salvation of Israel as a nation, and of individual Jews.

The acceptance of Christ as his personal Savior was really a triumph of the grace of God in Leon Rosenberg’s life, and a real proof that “the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Rom. 1:16)

Although Leon Rosenberg’s struggle between “darkness” and “light” lasted for quite some time, praise God the final victory was the Lord’s, because Leon’s rabbinical zeal was reborn with him and was sanctified and yielded fully to “show forth the praises of Him Who had called him out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)

The two different “worlds,” mentioned earlier, had been packed with thrilling experiences which must be related in this biography as they are radically different from one another. The first “world” was the world of Leon’s early childhood and youth, which were spent in rabbinical training, in preparation to follow in the footsteps of his father.

The experiences of the second “world,” after Leon’s conversion, fall into several time spans, the first of which began in Czarist Russia, with its rigid laws prohibiting the spreading of the Gospel under Pobedonoszev, the Procurator of the Holy Synod of the official Russian Church, known as the Russian Orthodox Church.

The marvelous leading of the Lord of this missionary took him not only to glorious heights and outstanding blessings, but also into the depths of a Jewish “pogrom,” including banishment to Siberia.

The second time span of Leon’s Christian “world” was spent under the bloody Communist regime of Lenin with all of its horrors: starvation, imprisonment and even a death sentence.

The third time span was the time of Nazi cruelties, which cost the lives of Leon’s own daughter and her husband, along with many other relatives, of six assistants in his Mission, and of a great number of dear children of the “Bethel” Orphanage in Poland, who had to drink the bitter cup of affliction and death, together with millions of men, women and children of their kindred.

The fourth time span, and the most wonderful of all, was the one spent in the USA after the rebirth of the Bethel Mission there, and the establishment of the Jewish State in the land of Palestine. It was the best part of Leon’s Christian “world” with all the glorious experiences in the ministry of soul winning among many Jews in the USA and Israel. He repeatedly stated that the greatest lesson which God allowed him to learn through it all was that nothing in the world can separate us from the love of Christ. (Rom. 8:35)

Leon Rosenberg’s life was lived largely under the shadow of the Cross, and in many ways it can be likened unto that of the Apostle Paul, concerning whom the Lord said, “I will show him how much he must endure for My name’s sake.” Like Paul, Leon, too, learned to say, “We rejoice inasmuch as we are partakers of Christ’s suffering,” and that all sufferings for the sake of Christ “are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:18). He “banked” upon the promises “Who shall separate us from the life of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:35f.)

We are writing these pages with deep gratitude to God for His matchless Grace which has so gloriously enriched the life of this outstanding servant of His, and our prayer is that this story may be a blessing and a source of encouragement to all who read it.

Only One Life: A Story of Missionary Resilience (eBook)

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Excerpt from “Maroussia: A Maid of Ukraine” by Marko Vovchok

Maroussia: A Maid of Ukraine

I am about to relate what took place a long time ago in Ukraine, in an unknown but fresh and charming part of that country.

I like little-known lands. Travelers do not visit them. Left to themselves, they keep to themselves their retreats and their secrets, their flowers and their feelings, their hardships and their simple pleasures. Their history is not known to everyone. The customs of their people are their own; if they are proud of all this, it is without suspecting it. One finds there what one does not find anywhere else; people and scenes are new. These countries, without the world’s knowing it, oftentimes have their heroes, real heroes.

I admire also these heroes, especially if they are real heroes, upright and sincere.

When they do great things, they do not shout in a loud voice: “Behold! Behold! It is I who have done this! Come and reward me!” Being what they are, they cannot help being heroic.

But enough of philosophy, as my teacher used to say when he saw that we were not of his opinion. Let me relate the story.

In the little corner of Ukraine of which I am going to tell you, there was once a house, built like all houses in the country; and in this house lived a Cossack, Danilo Tchabane, and his family.

Do not, I beg of you, confound the Cossacks of Ukraine with those of Don, those bearded creatures with terrible round eyes, coarse speech, and impudent manners; they do not resemble each other at all.

The Ukrainians do not wear a beard until they are fifty years old. It follows that in this country you find either gray beards or no beards. The young men wear a mustache like the Poles. The Ukrainians are tall, strong, and slender; they have, mostly, regular features, clearly marked eyebrows, large almond-shaped eyes, a calm, noble expression, a little severe, which may sometimes appear sad.

Do you wish to know what the word Cossack means? Cossack is a Turkish word, and means “ warrior on horseback.”

During the time when Ukraine was a republic, and made war upon the Turks, the latter described the unknown heroes with whom they fought by the name of Cossacks. I will not relate all the wars of this republic; it would take too long a time. Suffice it to say, that for long years it was between two fires, as we say, great Russia and Poland. We might even say between four fires, if we should count the Turks and the Tartars. At last, not being able to agree with Poland, this republic had accepted the “fraternal” propositions of Russia.

“We are too weak to contend any longer with our neighbors. We have maintained the fight gloriously until now, it is true; but we will end by being crushed. Russia proposes an alliance with us, let us accept it.”

Thus thought and spoke the old Chief, Bogdan Khmielnitski, and the people agreed with him.

In the beginning everything was pleasant. Equality, fraternity, liberty, the Russians respected all; but, little by little, things changed.

In less than a year the people had a thousand reasons for asking their Chief Bogdan: “What have we done?”

The old chief, on hearing this, wept inconsolably.

“Let us try to remedy it,” he said, but he did not succeed, and died of grief.

After his death Ukraine had to undergo many trials. She was divided into two parties; one was for Russia, the other for Poland.

A third party was formed; this one was for the complete independence of Ukraine. Unfortunately, it was not very large. It is just at this time that our story begins.

Maroussia: A Maid of Ukraine by Marko Vovchok (Paperback)