Oops! Here’s another of those comments over at EasyItalianNews.com, where three times a week the team publishes ‘easy’ Italian news stories – that’s to say simplified Italian texts with an accompanying Italian audio recording, all carefully put together by Italian native speakers.
“The English translations are Not good… Your translations don’t follow English syntax so they always sound very awkward.”
These invariably make me laugh, if the despairing, semi-hysterical moaning I emit can be so described.
Before starting on my ‘real’ job, I banged out a quick reply:
“We don’t DO English tranlsations, good or otherwise. That’s your web browser, which you probably have set to translate Italian content. Our news bulletins are IN ITALIAN with ITALIAN AUDIO for LEARNERS OF ITALIAN. Try using a differnt browser or device – one that you haven’t set to automatically translate content – read the Advice ( https://easyitaliannews.com/how-to-use-easyitaliannews-com/ ) and FAQ ( https://easyitaliannews.com/faq/ ) pages, at least. Those are supposed to be in English, by the way.”
And my syntax isn’t awkward, either. Well not so much.
Another person – I’ll mention no names as she’s very nice, and a customer – wrote to me at the club address to ask to be put back on the EasyItalianNews.com mailing list, not that she was ever removed from it.
People assume that if an email is sent, then it will be received, and usually that’s the case. Those who check their email accounts’ spam/junk folders regularly will notice things ending up there by accident, and be aware to look there first if they become aware of things going missing. That’s one of the many little tricks that modern life demands we learn.
What often happens, as covered in their FAQ ( https://easyitaliannews.com/faq/ ) is that the regular bulletins start going into spam/junk, and the student doesn’t notice.
Or that the student is using an old (‘legacy’) email account, the operators of which do spam filtering on the cheap to avoid expense, and so block any/all ‘bulk’ email, even when it’s something their client, the intended recipient, has specifically requested.
So people write to me (at the wrong address) to ask that their email address is put back on the list from which it was never removed. Which I obviously can’t do, and even if I could, it wouldn’t magic the emails out of the spam/junk folder and back into the person’s inbox.
I replied 1.) to please check the spam/junk, and if nothing, 2.) to write to the CORRECT EMAIL ADDRESS (so not me, please), which is the one on the EasyItalianNews.com website.
I’m trying to write myself out of the equation, so to speak, the idea being that EasyItalianNews.com emails are dealt with by a person delegated to do so, ditto with our ebooks store EasyReaders.org, ditto again with the online lessons business NativeSpeakerTeachers.com (more about which below…) All have dedicated email accounts, which can therefore be managed by people who aren’t me. This in anticipation of eventual future catastrophic health events, etc. Better to plan ahead, right? For the moment, I’m aiming to do the club, and just that.
How can you know which email address is the right one? (Please don’t try them all at the same time…) Well, paying a little attention is usually a good start!
All the websites have the correct email address for contacts published in the footer of each page, if you look. But easier than that, just reply to ‘bulk’ or ‘transactional’ emails from the specific site (i.e. the ebooks store, which sends a promo, so ‘bulk’, or a receipt, so ‘transactional’.) That way, your enquiry, request or complaint should end up at the door of whichever special person I have hand-picked and mentored for the role of helping you.
Anyway, said missing ‘easy news’ bulletin woman, did then write to the address on the EasyItalianNews.com website, but still didn’t specify that she had or hadn’t checked her spam for the missing bulletins. So we asked her again, and eventually she responded to say that of course she’d checked her spam (well why not say so the first time?) At which point, we explained in a third email what’s already in the FAQ ( https://easyitaliannews.com/faq/ ) – that the only solution is to GET A DECENT EMAIL ACCOUNT!
Talking of email, our online lessons business NativeSpeakerTeachers.com is running a coupon code promotion this week (it ends Saturday, don’t miss it, details below!)
Most of the work providing online language lessons is done by the teachers, of course, and the other essential element is marketing – what I’m doing now, basically.
But there’s a critical intermediate layer – the wonderful ladies who select the teachers, listen to students’ needs and preferences, match students with teachers, and deal with any questions or problems that may arise. For instance, when the student doesn’t get emails from the teacher because they’ve gone into the spam/junk folder and the student never thought to look there…
The ‘teaching admin’ team have their own dedicated email account, so they can handle the incoming work in shifts, so both teachers and students know how to contact them easily, and so I don’t have to do any of it.
What’s supposed to happen is that when someone new signs up for lessons, I get the order confirmation, check the payment has been received, and forward the confirmed order to the ‘teaching admin’ team. They then send the new student a questionnaire – level, objectives, preferred days and times, and so on. But here we are again, back to email, and all it’s frailties!
A proportion of the time, they don’t get a response (even from people who might have just paid a substantial sum. Imagine…) and so at fixed times thereafter they’ll send a reminder, then another. After which, they give up, until – perhaps months later – the inevitable furiously-polite complaint email reaches me:
“I purchased some online lessons, but never heard anything back. Please sort this out immediately, or refund my payment in full!”
Love getting those. I immediately check with the ‘teaching admin’ team, who confirm that they wrote to the student (three times!) and got no response. I write to the student suggesting they check their spam/junk folder. Rarely do they reply to thank me but – magically – that seems to unblock the communication breakdown!
If you’re interested in finding out more about the excellent ‘teaching admin’ team, and how they make students dreams come true (much more politely than I ever could), then you might want to take a look at these articles I’ve published during the current promotion:
There’ll be another later today, if I get time to write and publish it.
P.S. Online Lessons January Sale; -20% Coupon Code
The NativeSpeakerTeachers.com 2024 January Sale began Wednesday and ends this coming Saturday, January 6th 2024.
Use coupon code 2024-January-Sale-20%-Off to save 20% on the Italian, French, German and Spanish lessons that will help you make progress with your chosen foreign language this coming year.
All you have to do to discount the price of lesson credits by 20% is to copy and paste
into the box in your shopping cart. Once pasted, press the ‘Apply coupon’ button and – this is important – SCROLL DOWN to check the CART TOTAL is reduced.
The prices of individual items don’t change, which can make you think that the coupon code hasn’t worked.
Have a go, just to see how it works:
- Select, for example, a pack of online Italian lessons with one of our teachers. Press the ‘Add to cart’ button below the product image to, well, add it to your cart. Or click on the image to read more, then look for the orange ‘Add to cart’ button on the product page.
- View the contents of your cart at any point by clicking on ‘Cart‘, or on the shopping basket icon at the top of the page.
- See your selection, ready to be bought? But at the full price… So, where’s that pesky coupon code? Ah! Here it is: 2024-January-Sale-20%-Off
- Control + C to copy it, Control + V to paste it into the box where it says ‘Apply coupon’ (on a Mac, use Command + C, Command + V, on a smartphone or tablet – I have no idea – ask a child…)
- Press the ‘Apply coupon’ button and scroll down to check the total has been discounted
- Magic! It worked. Now, were this a real purchase, rather than a practice run, you’d then press the ‘Proceed to checkout’ button and do the usual online shopping stuff.
- But as we’re just playing, have a go at removing your test purchase from the cart. There’s a little red X to the left of the product image (in the cart). Click it and whatever you no longer desire will be removed.
Beh, yes, I admit – it all sounds rather a palaver. Actually, though, it’s much easier and faster to DO than to describe in writing, I promise.
So, for real now – the coupon code ( 2024-January-Sale-20%-Off ) will work on anything/everything you see on the home page of the online lessons store.
- This promotion ends on January 6th 2024, after which the coupon code will no longer be valid
- The next offer won’t be until the April, so online students should stock up now…
- You can use the coupon code as often as you wish until the night of 6th January 2024
- Coupon code ( 2024-January-Sale-20%-Off ) won’t work with other coupon codes – choose one!
What, then, should you consider buying?
The ten-pack of online Italian lessons, now £200 for ten thirty-minute sessions, is a steal once discounted by 20%.
Use the coupon code on that one and you’ll be paying just £16.00 a lesson, that’s £32.00 an hour.
Go ask at a ‘proper’ language school how much an hour’s lesson would cost you (but beware, because at many places you pay for an hour but actually get just 45 minutes…)
Our regular online students wait for the offers and stock up with enough lesson credits to get them through until the next promotion, several months later.
That way they can take one or more lessons each week while never paying the full price.
Here’s that coupon code again:
Use it here.