G20 summit

Coffee Break: 10 Expressions About… the 2016 G20 Hangzhou Summit

Next week, leaders from the 20 most powerful countries in the world will gather in Hangzhou, China, to take part in the eleventh G20 summit. If you’re interested in politics, international affairs or just want to expand your vocabulary list, here are 10 words and expressions related to this international forum that may be useful to know:

1. policy (noun): course or principle of action adopted or proposed by a government, party, business or individual
Ex: For this year’s G20 Summit, there is great anticipation for policies that can support economic growth.

2. agenda (noun): a list of items to be discussed at a formal meeting
Ex: Themes such as innovation, sustainable development and anti-corruption policies are all on the official agenda of the G20 summit.

3. globalization (noun): the development of closer economic, cultural and political relations among all the countries of the world as a result of travel and communication becoming easy
Ex: Because of globalization, there’s an increased need for international cooperation among countries.

4. guidelines (plural noun): rules or instructions that show or tell how something should be done
Ex: At the end of the summit, new international economic guidelines should be put into place and followed by every participating country.

5. endorsement (noun): the act of making a public statement of your support for something or someone
Ex: Before being officially released, some international standards need to receive an endorsement from the G20 leaders.

6. to issue a statement (phrase): to publicly say something, especially formally and officially
Ex: The Chinese government issued a statement declaring that all Hangzhou markets will stay open during the two-day G20 summit.

7. framework (noun): the ideas, information and principles that form the structure of an organization or plan
Ex: The relationship between Russia and China is based on a framework of mutual cooperation that has proven to be effective for both countries.

8. green finance (noun): refers to finding a balance between environmental protection, investment and financing
Ex: Since the mayor decided to invest part of the budget in the protection of biodiversity and landscapes in the city, the counsel really started to embrace the concept of green finance.

9. sustainable development (noun): economic development that is conducted without depletion of natural resources
Ex: Solar energy, wind energy and crop rotation are all examples of sustainable development.

10. consensus (noun): general agreement
Ex: The G20 is large enough to capture a wide range of interests from all systemic economies, and small enough to forge a consensus on critical issues for the world economy.

The expressions and examples we chose to write about in this article are a bit harder than usual! Take your time and maybe even read the article two or three times to make sure you understand each word. Then, try using them in a sentence on your own. Good luck!

Buenos_Aires_Festival_y_Mundial_de_Tango copy

Coffee Break: 10 Expressions About… Tango Buenos Aires Festival

It's #TangoFestival time! Here are 10 #English expressions you can use to talk about it. Click To Tweet

From August 18 to August 31, the world capital of tango, Buenos Aires, is hosting the biggest tango festival in the world as well as the Tango World Cup. These two events, spread over two weeks, attract thousands of tango dancers and aficionados to Argentina every year. In light of the event’s popularity, we thought it’d be helpful for you to know some dance-related expressions:

1. dance routine (noun):  series of steps that are planned out to make the overall choreography
Ex: The couple was rehearsing their dance routine before their official performance.

2. to have two left feet (idiom): to move in a very awkward way when dancing
Ex: I’d love to learn how to tango, but I’m a terrible dancer, I have two left feet.

3. seasoned (adj.): experienced
Ex: Because of the festival’s prestige, only seasoned dancers perform there.

4. extravaganza (noun): an elaborate and spectacular entertainment or production
Ex: With its tango shows, recitals, classes, book signings and film screenings, Tango Buenos Aires Festival is definitely the world’s biggest tango extravaganza.

5. recital (noun): entertainment given usually by a single performer or by a performer and one or more accompanists
Ex: The tango world champions will give a recital in the streets of Buenos Aires on Wednesday.

6. wildcard (noun): an opportunity to enter a competition without having to take part in qualifying rounds
Ex: One of the couples that will dance in the finals first entered the championship as a wildcard.

7. venue (noun): the place where an event happens
Ex: Classes and performances will take place daily at venues across the city.

8. jaw-dropping (adj.): (inf.) amazing
Ex: I’ve seen some of the most jaw-dropping tango performances ever while I was in Argentina.

9. it takes two to tango (idiom): both parties involved in a situation or argument are responsible for it
Ex: As much as I’d like to see this merger go through, it takes two to tango so we need to wait for the other party’s response.

10. workshop (noun): a class or series of classes in which a small group of people learn the methods and skills used in doing something
Ex: Beginners, intermediate and advanced workshops are organized during the festival so people of all levels can improve their dancing skills.

11. Bonus: milonga (Spanish noun): social event or location for tango dancing
Ex: The first social of the festival, or milonga, will take place tonight at 10:30 PM; all levels are welcomed.

It takes two to tango, so try using one of these expressions the next time you’re having a conversation in English!

Industry Words

10 Words for… Basic Business

Working in the business world varies widely from culture to culture and it can be really challenging to bridge the language gap at work, but learning a set of basic business-related terms is a great place to start. That’s where we come in! This blog series will explore the top 10 useful words for specific industries, so you can learn the English you can actually use in the real world. This week, we’re looking at some basic business concepts and vocabulary words.

1. revenue (noun): income of a company or organization
Ex: The company’s revenue increased by 1.4% this quarter.

2. expense (noun): money spent or cost incurred to generate company revenue
Ex: The accounting department congratulated the sales team on their expense management.

3. profit (noun): financial gain from amount earned and amount spent
Ex: In 2016, Qatar Airways’ full-year profit more than quadrupled.

4. budget (noun): an estimate of income and expenses for a set period of time
Ex: Pampers is the brand that spends the most on advertising globally, with a budget of $8.3 billion.

5. deadline (noun): the latest time or date a task should be completed by
Ex: The deadline for the final report is next Monday.

6. competitor (noun): a rival company that offers the same product or service
Ex: In the aircraft industry, Airbus is Boeing’s main competitor.

7. brand (noun): a unique image that identifies a product and distinguishes it from its competitors
Ex: Apple and Google are two of the most valuable brands in the world.

8. to sell (verb): to make something available to be bought in exchange for money
Ex: Amazon sells a wide range of products online.

9. to advertise (verb): to promote a product or service through public communication or news mediums
Ex: A lot of companies use humor as a mean to advertise their products.

10. to invest (verb): to spend money with the expectation it will bring potential profit, interest, or income
Ex: Startups are always looking for people to invest in their companies.

For additional practice with industry-specific terms in English, check out the Unit Catalog in your Voxy course for more work-related materials!

thanksgiving blog post

Seven Thanksgiving Related Words and Phrases

Happy Thanksgiving holiday Voxy users, friends, and fans! It’s the last Thursday of November recognizable by its long grocery store lines, family reunions, preparation for shopping extravaganzas, as well as the appearance of certain words, phrases, and expressions.

Let’s take a look at seven useful words and phrases that you might’ve come across during this holiday season or that are in some shape or form related to the symbols of the holiday.

(1) To gobble up

a) an idiomatic expression that means to eat something completely and rapidly
b) an idiomatic expression that means to use up, buy up, or occupy all of something
Sample sentences:
a) The wolf wanted to gobble up the little pig.
b) The shoppers gobbled all the sale merchandise up in a few hours.
Thanksgiving relevance: The delicious food served on Thanksgiving day is often gobbled up, and the sound turkeys make is known as a “gobble.” In addition, shoppers also gobble up stores on the day after Thanksgiving (see below).

(2) Cornucopia

Meaning: A goat’s horn overflowing with fruit, flowers, and grain, signifying prosperity. Also known as a “horn of plenty.” It can be used to mean abundance.
Sample sentence: I was presented with a cornucopia of employment opportunities.
Thanksgiving relevance: It is a symbol in Western art and is especially associated with the Thanksgiving holiday in North America.

(3) Tofurkey

Meaning: It is a blend of the words “tofu” and “turkey.” A faux turkey meat substitute usually made of tofu or seitan.
Sample sentence: My non-vegetarian friends couldn’t believe my tofurkey wasn’t made out of real meat!
Thanksgiving relevance: In order to not miss out on traditional Thanksgiving festivities, vegetarians and vegans often eat Tofurkey instead. It is prepared so as to mimic the way turkeys are prepared for the Thanksgiving meal, with stuffing inside made from grains and/or bread and flavored with broth, herbs, and spices.

(4) Food coma

Meaning: A colloquial term for postprandial somnolence which is a state of drowsiness after a meal has been consumed.
Sample sentence: I fell into a deep food coma after gobbling up that Thanksgiving meal.

(5) Black Friday

Meaning: The Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, often regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. In recent years, most major retailers have opened extremely early and offered promotional sales to kick off the holiday shopping season.
Sample sentence: I plan to finish all of my Christmas shopping on Black Friday!

(6) Cold turkey

Meaning: an idiomatic expression meaning immediately; without tapering off or cutting down gradually
Sample sentence: Tom stopped smoking cold turkey.

(7) Turkey Trot

Meaning: A fun run or footrace, usually of the long-distance variety, that is held on or around Thanksgiving Day in the United States.
Sample sentence: Runners take off for the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving in San Jose.

Militza Petranovic
Militza is a Pedagogy and Research intern at Voxy. She is currently finishing up her master’s degree in Applied Linguistics at Columbia University’s Teachers College and received her bachelor’s degree in Theoretical Linguistics from the University of California – Santa Cruz in 2012. Militza is interested in researching all aspects of how web technology can help facilitate learning, particularly language learning.

Like what you read? Follow me on Twitter and Facebook: