Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hi everybody! This is a great video featuring yours truly, me. The video is on the difference between voiced and unvoiced consonants--for example the difference between /g/ as in gut and /k/ as in cut. Check it out!

If you'd like to further discuss this, or to schedule a free, no obligation trial lesson and get your free phone consult, give me a call at (732) 618-4135 or shoot me an e-mail at

Also, feel free to check out my twitter page: David Berlin's American Idiom of the Day and David Berlin's ESL and Accent Reduction Training Facebook Page. Become a fan on Facebook by clicking on the "Like" button to the right of the page title at the top!

And remember: I also give lessons via Skype--my Skype ID is It's a great option for those who don't want to travel or who live in a country other than the United States of America. Contact me today!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Some links you may not have seen:

My Website: David Berlin's ESL and Accent Reduction Training

My Podcasts: David Berlin's Accent Reduction Podcasts

Take a look! And as always, call me at (732) 618-4135 to get your free, no obligation phone consult and to schedule a time for your free trial lesson. Call today!

Spring in America!

Hi everybody! Well, Spring is sprung, at least here on the East Coast. People are going to eat in restaurants more, in a month or two they'll be heading to the beach or the lakeside. Things slow down in the US in the summer, although nightclubs and many retailers do a brisk business. Spring is a good time for entrepreneurs to start certain kinds of summer-related businesses (for instance, hot dog carts, shoe shine stands, coffeeshops, and so on) because of the cash boost they'll get.

People take vacations in the summer--they go all over--we travel via train and plane and automobile. Some of us like to go fishing--to "go fishing" is to get a fishing rod and reel--usually obtainable for low, low cost, bait the hook with a nightcrawler, and go to a lake, stream, or river to catch fish. Some people eat the fish they catch; some throw them back.

In many states, the state "stocks" the lake for fishermen--this means the state raises fish and puts them in the lakes and ponds for fishermen to catch them. Bear in mind that you often need a license to go fishing and usually a trout stamp to fish for trout. This can be expensive (it's $24 per license w/stamp in NJ) but it's good for the entire season. Usually, very young children are not expected to buy licenses.

Licenses, rods, reels, and fishing locations (called, "fishing holes") as well as tackle can be gotten by looking in your local yellow pages or searching online in your location for "fishing gear". If you and your children enjoy fishing, it's good to make friends with one local store and give them your business; in return they will give you news on where, when and with what to fish. The information locals give you is invaluable to catching fish and you'll make friends too.

If you are lucky enough to live near saltwater--the ocean--you can go out on a party boat or fish off a jetty. A jetty is a long wavebreak made out of rocks that people head out to the end and sides of to fish for saltwater fish like flatties and blues (bluefish). In fact a common expression among fishermen at the Jersey Shore, where I live, is "the blues are running". Doctors have been known to leave the hospital and head for the shore if they hear that the blues are running. Lawyers close up shop early for the day. When the blues are running, it's a serious business because you have to catch 'em before the school is gone, and you don't know how long they'll be there.

By the way, the sound /ʃ/ represented by the letters "sh" at the end of fish or the letters "ti" as in the "tion" word ending (pronounced ʃɘn or "shun" as in situation) is a *different* sound from the sound /ʒ/ as in the end of the word switch or the beginning of the word chair. (Which can be contrasted by the following minimal pair):

share chair


fish fitch


sheet cheat


shill chill

And so on. A podcast with that info is coming, as is a video on voiced vs voiceless consonants. Stay tuned!