Thursday, January 26, 2017

Un mensaje para todos los mexicanos

Apologies to to everyone who doesn't understand Spanish This is my post regarding "The 150 billion dollar Wall" Trump thinks Mexicans should pay for. I proposes some policies the Mexican government should consider changing with the United States, First, here are some facts about Mexican tourism and foreign currency spent in Mexico. The Mexican president cancelled his meeting with Trump after many of his cabinet members urged him to do so. Trump, not wanting to look like the one who was dumped, claimed that the meeting was "mutually" cancelled. 

25.8 million international tourists visited Mexico, increasing 9.7% from last year.
American passengers by air were confirmed as the main market. A total 6,855,624 visited the country in from January to October 2015, an increase of 16.1% from the same period in 2014.
The economic benefit generated by international visitors rose to $14.151 billion USD from January to October this year, which represents a growth of 8.2% over the same period in 2014.

In the first six months of 2015, 7,886.19 thousands of tourists entered the country by air, which represents a growth rate of 10%.
1130 thousands of tourists entered by land, which represents a 11.4% growth rate, compared with the same period of time in last year. I have no reason to think this is going to change. Foreign money will continue to flow in Mexico.
What Trump is actually proposing is that Mexican people pay for the wall - not the Mexican government. He cannot force a government to pay anything. Trump wants to use the patriot act to prevent Mexicans from sending money back to their families in Mexico. This includes Mexican Americans, or even myself, an American woman born and reared in Seattle Washington. All American's will not be able to send money to Mexico. It is absolutely wrong to say only certain people can't send money to Mexico while other's can't. It is only fair then, that Trump says no person can ever send money to their families in their home country. Do you really think that would work? It's a fantasy and will never work.  Nor will Trump be able to pass travel restrictions to Mexico, and prevent American's from spending their money on hotels, taxis and restaurants. 

The Truth About Mexican Trade
Trade: In 1993, before NAFTA took effect (which it did in January 1994), Mexico bought $41 billion in goods and services from the U.S. and sold $39 Billion worth to the United States. Total: $80 billion. In the first year of NAFTA, the $80 billion increased to $99 billion, a 25 percent increase.
Ten years after NAFTA started, total trade between the U.S. and Mexico was $145 billion — an increase of 55 percent. In 2003, almost twenty years after NAFTA began, total trade with Mexico was $506 billion — half a trillion dollars — which is 632 percent more than 1994.

My proposal to President Enrique Peña Nieto

Take into consideration that not all these proposals will work. Some will, some won't at all, some just a little. This is only my thoughts on the situation. Unlike Trump, I do have the humility to admit some proposals (particularly number 1. might be scrapped immediately.)

1. Levy a boarder tax against Americans products manufactured in the United States at a rate of 20%. Trump plans on doing this by renegotiating NAFTA. If it's okay for America then it should be okay for Mexico to do the same. NAFTA is an agreement signed by The United States, Mexico, and Canada to ensure low tariffs and free trade among those three countries. According to, 233.91 million Americans (note: American population is 320 million) purchase Mexican products in our grocery stores. Many fruits and vegetables that cannot grow in are climates must be imported. As NAFTA is a three country agreement, I would encourage Mexico to maintain open and free trade with Canada, ensuring Canadians can purchase Mexican goods without tariffs or penalties. 
2. Implement a tourism visa for all American's which is equal to that imposed by the United States. 
3. Terminate all eligibility for tax return to American citizens visiting Mexico by cruise or air. To be eligible for the tax refund, you must have spent at least 1200 pesos on Mexican goods.
4. All persons purchasing pesos in Mexico with American currency must pay 3 centados for every 1 peso they exchange in Mexico. 
5. Levy a small tax on American business doing business in Mexico, like fast food, Costco and so forth. Again - taxes on these American businesses should be relatively small to keep large American food imports to easily enter Mexico. 
6. Reduce Union control over Mexican businesses. I know the idea of unions are good, but Unions prevent Mexican business owners from terminating bad/unproductive employees. We need to encourage more self-employment in Mexico, current union control makes this more difficult for the average worker. Mexican's need to be more open minded about their businesses, try new things, and manufacture more of their own products. They need to focus on quality control. McDonalds for example, tried to use local chicken for their chicken nuggets but had to scrap the plan. They tried it, Mexican chicken farmers could not implement better quality control. Unfortunately, unions get in the way of all this. Who lost in this one? The local farmers lost.

7. Order all new infrastructure uses Mexican made steel, pipes and concrete. If the infrastructure is Mexican - all products in construction should also be Mexican. This encourages new business and more jobs for the Mexican worker. 
8. As Americans drive the Mexican drug wars, (Americans are the consumers of these drugs, ) American Visa/Tourist visa holders convicted of drug offenses should have to pay an additional $500 dollars for the privilege of entering Mexico.

9. Levy a small tax on Mexican agriculture products sent to the United States. Mexico has great agriculture, and in theory, does not need to rely on American food products. American's however, do rely on Mexico for off season items, especially those that grow only in Mexico.

Of course, all these policy changes won't work, but maybe some will. I hope Mexico makes it clear Americans will pay the 150 billion money pit, covering 2 thousand miles of mountains, rivers, villages, lakes. Lets not forget all the animals that migrate these lands, including our own beloved monarch
Monarch Butterfly Migration to
Mexico for hybernation
butterfly that can't exist without being able to fly over that damn wall.

Although I do not think Mexico will end up paying for Trumps money pit, if Mexico pays a little bit (which is probably what will happen), there are many ways to recuperate those loses by imposing small tariffs upon Americans. I see how Mexico can make money out of this.

Making common good Mexican people pay for something a few "bad hombres" do is extremely immoral. There would be arguments why every person should pay for crimes committed by certain members of the same ethnicity. It's illogical and just plain weird. It's clear to me, that morality and fairness are not Trumps attributes. 

Based on the number of people visiting Mexico from all over the world (a number increasing over the last few years) And the own economic growth I saw while living in Mexico, think these policies will not harm Mexican tourism in the slightest. Mexico will continue to get tourist dollars. The pyramids, Aztec ruins and all the culture in Mexico will still be a world wide attraction.

American's Spring Break In Mexico
I doubt this is going to change anytime soon

As Mexico knows, there is a negative immigration rate with the United States. More Mexicans willingly go home because the Mexican economy is stronger than the rest of Latin America. Most ethnic-anglo-centric Americans don't know this. But then, those types have no interest in learning about the world around them. The wall will for a period of time keep drugs out of the United States. But also, the wall will prevent smugglers from smuggling all those weapons into Mexico. The red-neck ethno - anglo centric American who knows nothing of the world has no idea that damn near all the guns used to murder thousands of Mexicans every year are manufactured, sold in The United States and smuggled into Mexico.

Mexico does not have a second amendment, they do not have gun stores, and only police/military are allowed weapons. (DUH) Those bad hombres use our second amendment rights to run their cartels.

If American's wanted to be smart about this, instead of spending money on a 150 billion dollar money pit, they would instead, legalizing, taxing, and regulating American drug use. If it wasn't for the American consumer - the Cartels would have nobody to sell to. Think about it. Who is really causing this problem?

All in all, I think Mexican focus should be about building a better, stronger Mexico. As Voltaire wrote in Candide, "tend to your own garden".  This does require a Mexican mentality change. Protect yourself from the 150 billion dollar money pit that will certainly fail - but also think about your own economic growth. Think about how you can improve your own infrastructure, reduce union control. Use your own manufactured products, or even lead the world in green energy. Mexicans are just as smart, and when given opportunities they can be just as creativity and resourcefulness as any other person. It all comes down to mentality change. I think the Mexican government should invest in solar panels and wind mills in the northern states, as close as we can get to the 'Great Wall of Trump". That way, when you sell your clean energy to the Americans (and yes, it eventually will happen) who will have to cut a big hole in that wall to channel the energy? That's right, you guessed it - American companies will because the wall will have to be on American soil.

With Trump, you have to fight fire with fire. Trump can sense weakness like a dog can sense fear. These economic changes will feel small, to American tourists who can afford to go there in the first place. But as we know, each peso adds up - and the Americans will end up paying for their own damn wall. 
Pity the next president who will have to abandon Trumps money pit wall. That person, whomever they are, will have one hell of a deficit and mess to clean up. Trump is clearly a mentally ill person who does not research facts. His election was white-lash, angry people who don't want to take responsibility for their own livelihood. If you want to man up - do it yourself, don't rely on the government to do it for you. If I tell the Mexicans to rely upon only themselves to solve their own problems, being an American woman I am saying the same exact thing to Americans. Get off your lazy asses, start your own businesses, and stop making excuses for your own failures.

Although many people, including myself, want to be hopeful and want to wish him success, it's hard to get past this blatant stupidity that will only hurt our economy.

- Naomi Parrish

Monday, January 23, 2017

Organizing the bookshelf

A few youtube videos I found about how other language learners organize their book shelves.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Teaching my little boy French with this website. Finding these sites is not an easy task. I am planning on using this site with my son.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Naomi's ice cream truck


I am trying to start a new business. Please check out my business concept below. Thanks!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

How much exposure?

For the summer of 2015, my three year old son will be taking some private French lessons with a charming young girl. His teacher is only about fifteen years old, but she is a native French speaker and very enthusiastic about teaching children French. 
This leads me to the question, how much time should a toddler spend on foreign languages? Should there be a certain daily allotment to foreign language learning? The amount of daily exposure depends on your goal. My goal is simple, I want my son to naturally absorb syntax (natural arrangement of words) and phonological awareness (basic sound units). A systematic exposure to language is more important than huge amounts of time surrounded by the language because the toddler  brain works on QUALITY more than quantity. Therefor, regular systematic exposure with stable speakers will help a child reach my goals.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Where to buy French Books in the United States

365 histoires pour le soir Tome 2 (1 livre + 1 CD)

I've been having a hard time finding French books for my children. Recently, I found a website French Books Online, and placed an order. I bought 365 stories for bedtime. The stories are all one page in length, and not exactly what I was hoping for. I wanted something with more age appropriate text and better , the illustrations. 

Over all website offers a lot of great selections and I would recommend purchasing French books from this site. LINK Would you like to order French language posters and exercise books? LINK

Friday, July 18, 2014

King County Library - World Language Storytime for babies and toddlers

Hello All,

If you live in the King County Area, you can bring your toddler to any of the free world language story times! I have been taking my son's to Spanish storytime, tomorrow we will be doing French at the Redmond library, and Chinese at either Bothell or Redmond.

Need more information?  LINK

Enjoy the following videos regarding how children learn foreign language.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Bilingualism makes you more intelligent

Originally Published in the New York Times
SPEAKING two languages rather than just one has obvious practical benefits in an increasingly globalized world. But in recent years, scientists have begun to show that the advantages of bilingualism are even more fundamental than being able to converse with a wider range of people. Being bilingual, it turns out, makes you smarter. It can have a profound effect on your brain, improving cognitive skills not related to language and even shielding against dementia in old age.

Choosing Your Child's L3

My husband and I have two son's, aged 2 and 3. We discussed on more than one occasion what third language (L3) our boys should learn.

Our boys have both Spanish and English because the spend time in Mexico and the United States. Their Mexican family do not speak to them in English, and they will be spending many summers in Mexico. Spanish fluency is an inevitability. My beautiful daughter, aged sixteen, speaks French and English fluently. (French was actually her first language)

Some experts would say we should start our children on their third language now, while others would suggest waiting until they master English and Spanish. I think we will wait a little before starting L3, just after we know our son's competently communicate with us in English and with the family in Spanish.

We want L3 instruction to start certainly in their elementary years, when learning will be very easy. I think that L3 instruction should begin by their fifth and eighth birthdays.

The big question is - What should the third language be? As parents, we get to make this decision for the boys. I do not think there is any 'bad' or 'wrong' L3, only languages that are more useful than others. I suggested L3 should be Chinese, my husband suggested Japanese.

Many blogs report that Chinese, Arabic and even Portuguese are more useful business language to learn. LINK  Having a working knowledge of Japanese is a must of one wants to work in Asia's cutting-edge gaming and robotics scene. Japan certainly has innovative electronics. But their population is shrinking, true they are more innovating than the Chinese, but I think Chinese will eventually trump the Japanese even in electronics. I think Japanese was the language to know in the 80's and 90s, but can we say what was true then will be true in 20 years from now?

If we really think about it, the usefulness of L3 (language three) will be defined by our son's chosen occupation. Will they work in real estate, medicine, manufacturing, or politics? According to Wikepedia, the most spoken European languages after English are German and French and South America, the most spoken language after Spanish is Portuguese. If we base our decision about L3 based on business in Europe, the answer is German (because the boys already speak English), and if we base our decision on South America, it should be Portuguese (because the boys already have Spanish.)

In all practicality: our best choices should come from the following list: Chinese, German, Portuguese.

One thing I have always said, is that a value of a language is defined more than just how much money it will bring, but how it improves your life.  We do not know how L3 will improve our sons lives, nor do we know what occupation they will enter. We do not know what world they will be living in. Working with these variables, I still think L3 should be Mandarin Chinese. But then again, I speak French, my daughter speaks French, so why shouldn't L3 be French?

China Sprout
Language Schools and Playgroups


South King County Lango Summer Camp
Seattle Eastside Lango
Seattle Summer Camps Villa Venture
Zoom Spanish Playschool

 Campbell, R. and Sais, E. (1995), Accelerated metalinguistic (phonological) awareness in bilingual children. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 13: 61–68. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-835X.1995.tb00664

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Duolingo - Where users translate Wikipedia into foreign languages

I learned about this foreign language website from a TED talk. When using duolingo, not only are you learning another language but you are also translating the web.

With duolingo, people are learning with real Wikipedia content. More surprisingly, translations they get are as accurate as professional language translations. They combine the translation of multiple users, and the site translates very fast.

Users translated phrase after phrase, eventually translating all of Wikipedia into other languages!

The cost? Nothing. You pay with your time. Unlike Rosetta Stone, this program is not discriminating against the poor.

Check out the Duolingo courses -->LINK

On another note, my husband and I decided that we want our son's to learn Japanese. They boys already speak English. Every summer they go to Mexico and will be fluent in Spanish. Their Mexican relatives do not speak to them in English.

Below is a link to my son's first Japanese lesson. We will work on this all week.

Monday, February 17, 2014


Navajo Word Set English (Français) Navajo words One (Un) Łáá'íí Two (Deux) Naaki Three (Trois) Táá' Four (Quatre) Dįį'
Five (Cinq) Ashdla'
Man (Homme) Hastiin
Woman (Femme) Asdzání
Dog (Chien) Łééchąą'í
Sun (Soleil) Shá
Moon (Lune) Tł'éhonaa'éí
Water (Eau) Tó
White (Blanc) Łigaii
Yellow (Jaune) Łitsooí
Red (Rouge) Łichíí'
Black (Noir) Łizhiní
Eat (Manger) Yiyą
See (Voir) Yoo'į
Hear (Entendre) Yidiists'a'
Sing (Chanter) Hashtaał
Leave (Partir) Diiyá

Monday, November 11, 2013

Where have I been?

Dear Readers, 

Thanks for your continuing support. This blog reached more people than I thought possible. As many of you know, I have two little boys at home and cannot devote much time to blogging. For now, I am completely out of ideas for the polyglot blog. If I do get an idea, I will surely write about it. 

Last week I set up my Etsy Store  Bauble and Bain   I have been busy making new items to sell, chasing the boys around, taking care of the house and getting at least three workouts in at L.A. Fitness. 

Perhaps I should add some foreign language flashcards to my store? What do you think?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Chinese Alphabet - How to use Chinese Keyboards

The most common Chinese keyboard are Hanyu pinyin-based, representing the pronunciation of characters using Latin letters. First, decide whether you are going to input your information phonetically or using root shapes (characters).

However, keyboards with labels for alternative structural input methods such as Wubi method can also be found, although those are usually very old products and are extremely rare to this day.

Lets start with the Wubi method. Note that the Wubi method tends to be found on older computers and is extremely rare these days. None the less, it is worth noting because it helps us understand the development of Chinese information inputting. 

What is a Unicode ? - Latin Extended A

If you have ever taken a language class, you will be required to submit written compositions in the target language. Homework can be difficult if you do not know how to type in certain letters or accents. If you are writing a French essay, it helps to have a French keyboard. We all cannot afford that luxury because, afford is the key word here, many language do not have keyboards. 

How To Use The Unicode Values in Microsoft Word?

This method works regardless of any of your language settings, but is the most cumbersome to type.
  1. Press and hold down the Alt key.
  2. Press the + (plus) key on the numeric keypad.
  3. Type the hexidecimal unicode value.
  4. Release the Alt key.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Live Mocha and Rosetta Stone are Merging! $8.5 Million Price Tag

I am not liking the idea of these two companies merging. I received this email from Live Mocha stating that they would "merge" with Rosetta Stone. Then, I found information about the acquisition on the from page of Yahoo News, in short, Rosetta Stone bought live Mocha for $8.5 Million dollars.

Live Mocha is  a social network, whereas Rosetta Stone is a cash cow. Do not get me wrong, I like Rosetta Stone. I sincerely do. However, live mocha is more personal, more granola, and is available to people for FREE.

If Live Mocha starts turning into a cash cow, it is time for people to look elsewhere. This acquisition leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Learning languages is so expensive and time consuming that most people cannot possibly do it. If Rosetta Stone made this purchase because they want to reach more of the global, online language learning community I am fine with that. Lets be real for a second - when it comes to business it is about the bottom line.

I have helped many students from around the globe learn English on live mocha. These are people who cannot possibly afford Rosetta stone prices.The Rosetta Stone demographics and the more granola Live Mocha demographics are different.

How does Rosetta Stone expect to recoup that $8.5 million investment? They will try to get it from Live Mocha users. If they try milking these people, particularly people from third world countries with bad internet connection - I will do what I can to encourage people to find another online language learning social network.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Somali Language

Somali (af Soomaali / اَف صَومالي˜)

Somali is a member of the East Cushtic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. It has 10-16 million native speakers and perhaps half a million second language speakers mainly in Somali, where it is an official language, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya. There are also significant numbers of Somali speakers in Europe, North America and Yemen.
Somalia have a significant presence in Seattle Washington. For language practice, or if you are interested in being up to date with news from Somalia, visit their website Som Tv. The are the second largest minority in Tukwila, Kent, and Rainer Valley areas. The language is a useful one to know in South Seattle.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

لشِعْر العَرَبي The Quran is a Book of Poetry

Sample of Arabic Poetry
Pre-Islamic men of the Arabian Peninsula dictated epic tales, heart-rending poetry, and eloquent prose. Oral poetry predates 6th century BC. Arabic poetry (Arabic: الشِعْر العَرَبي ) is the earliest form of Arabic literature. The ancient Arabs placed a great value on being able to tell an eloquent, palpitating tale with a delicate stanza.

The Quran, like all other forms of poetry at that time, was designed to inspire. Muhammad was a poet. Aided by what appeared to be temporal lobe epilepsy, he became one of the greatest poets during that time period. As he was mostly illiterate, he simply did what all the other poets of that time did - Muhammad narrated them, and recited them. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Writing Systems: Alphabet Abjad Logographic

World writing systems are classified by common distinguishing features. The useful name of the writing system is given first: alphabetic script, abjad script, or logographic script are the three writing systems discussed today.  Each writing system has distinguishing features.

ALPHABETIC : An alphabetic writing system uses letters, (basic sound units), to  represent sounds only without any reference to meaning.  Languages that fall under the alphabetic writing system have alphabets, which are the letters of a language, arranged in the order fixed by custom. The letters represent a phoneme. The alphabets are a system of characters or symbols representing sounds or things. String together letters (phonemes/sounds) and you make words. Words represent concepts and thoughts.

LOGOGRAPHIC: This writing system uses visual symbols to represent words, rather than phonemes to make up the word.

ABJAD: A writing system where symbols represent consonants, leaving the reader to supply the appropriate vowel. The Abjad writing system is very similar to syllabary (syllabary: sets of syllables have values), in which there is one glyph (symbol or letter) for each consonant or consonant sound unit. Some languages that use abjads are Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Urdu. Abjad writing systems have alphabets where vowels are not indicated at all. The vowels are shown by diacritics (marks or symbols above each letter). All Abjad languages (except one) belong to the Semetic Language Family.

What is the difference between alphabetic and logographic writing system? A word such as cat, is represented by three letters C.A.T, each of these letters represents a sound. The sounds come together to make a word. The logographic writing system does not have a letter for every phoneme. When you think about my previous posts (Chinese alphabet, Japanese alphabet, Korean alphabet), technically speaking, these are not alphabets. Logographic writing systems have visual representations of words rather than phonemic representation of words. When you are looking at a Chinese word, keep in mind that you are looking at an image – you are not looking at sounds. When we learn English as children, one of the first things we are told in elementary school is that if we do not know a word, ‘sound it out.’ This is not the case in logographic writing systems, because the writing is pictures, not sounds. Therefore, in logographic writing, little children cannot ‘sound it out.’

What is the difference between abjad and logographic writing systems? Abjad languages are alphabetic. The markings represent sounds. This is different from logographic writing systems where the words are symbols and not a collection of sounds.

What is the difference between alphabetic writing and abjad writing? For one, alphabetic writing represents vowels in the form of letters. Each letter represents a sound. Abjad alphabets are consonants only. The vowels do not have their own letters, rather, the vowels are represented in markings above the letter. 

Learning Pinyin - 拼音

Listened to more Chinese lessons today. I am starting to understand more, but it is really going very slowly. Chinese is so different to any other language that I have known or studied. I am still taking teeny, tiny baby steps.

I did have a bump in the road. When I synced up my I-pod, all of my language content vanished. I am now going through the tedious process of getting all the content again, and re-installing it on my device again.

In the meantime, I decided to get my listen in with some basic YouTube videos. NinHaoChina produces many Chinese tutorial videos. Unfortunately  it appears they are not uploading any new Chinese language material. (understandable, languages change at a glacial pace) Embedded below is a video I watched this morning. The video is about Pinyin, a very basic system to learn the four Chinese tones.

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