Behind the Scenes: Meet Askar

This month we had Askar, another one of our fantastic providers, sending us material for the July Country of the Month. Since 2007 Askar has done work for SCOLA, including Russian and Uzbek Insta-Class lessons, On The Street Videos, and various promAskarotional videos. Askar takes his work with SCOLA seriously, as you can see by the time and work he puts into the material he sends.

Askar lives in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. He started studying English the last two years in secondary school. In 1994, he enrolled to the Uzbek State World Languages University, where he majored in English translation.

After his graduation Askar worked as a translator in major construction projects translating for English speakers from the USA, New Zealand, Australia, Germany and France.

Askar then worked at BBC Monitoring Central Asian Unit from 2003 to 2006, where he improved his English writing skills. In 2006, Askar began freelancing for translation agencies from Kazakhstan, Russia and Uzbekistan.

Askar likes sports, and soccer is his favorite. He also enjoys music and attended a musical school for five years where he learned to play accordion.

Askar’s other interests include green energy development. Since 2006, Askar has been helping a friend promote his scientific invention and a highly-efficient method for deriving energy based on his discovery. Askar helps the inventor translate his work into English. If you’re interested in green energy, Askar asks that you visit their site and familiarize yourself with the inventor, German Treshchalov, and his invention: or

Visit our social media pages to view the information Askar has shared with us for the Country of the Month:

Google-Plus-Logo linkedin-in-logo logo-twitter pinterest_badge_red social-facebook-box-blue-icon youtube-logo

Travel the World. Discover its People. Explore New Lifestyles.

Whether it’s meeting new people, tasting different foods, or visiting famous landmarks, everyone has a favorite part about visiting a foreign country. However, some people don’t have the time or money to travel around the world, which is why SCOLA is excited to introduce you to our new service, Savoir-Vivre (Coming Soon!). Savoir-Vivre is a global adventure in culture. Travel the world, discover its people, and explore new lifestyles. No passport needed!

Savoir-VivreSavoir-Vivre is unlike any other service. You won’t just read about new countries and cultures, you will experience them!  Have you ever wondered how to make traditional Uzbek plov? Or what the dating rules in Nepal are? Escape on a global adventure from the comfort of your own living room. Explore real cities and streets from around the world and discover everything you need to know about life in another country.

You won’t need a passport for this journey, but you will need a subscription to SCOLA. Contact Us today to get started!

Do you have a cultural topic or country you would like to see featured on Savoir-Vivre? Let us know!

Preparing for International Visitors

We are excitedly planning SCOLA’s annual training course for the United States Telecommunications Training Institute (USTTI). On August 12, we will welcome visitors from Botswana, Nigeria, Nepal, Tanzania and the Philippines. We will have the opportunity to provide hands-on training courses and show hospitable American culture to international guests for two weeks.

For the past 20 years, USTTI courses at SCOLA have provided great opportunities for exchanging cultures and improving international communication. This year’s training courses will take place each weekday during the two week period at the SCOLA campus in McClelland, Iowa. The training will include hands-on sessions in video transmission, satellite fundamentals, and SCOLA services.

The video transmission training will include sessions in video camera basics, sound and lighting, editing and more. Each session will be taught by various SCOLA staff.

The satellite fundamentals will include information on basic satellite functions, dish pointing, and more. These sessions will also be taught by various SCOLA staff.

The USTTI participants will also attend hands-on sessions for the various language services SCOLA offers. The guests will be taught how to use each service and also gain some experience in sending SCOLA the best possible material for each service. Each session will be ran by the SCOLA employee that manages the service.

The USTTI participants will be taught a lot each day on the SCOLA campus, which is why evenings and weekends will present a more laidback atmosphere. When they are not in their training courses the guests will be enjoying various activities in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Omaha, Nebraska.

The variety of training courses, hands-on sessions, and activities are sure to teach the USTTI participants a lot, while also impressing and interesting them. We look forward to making this the best year yet as we continue preparing for the arrival of our international guests.

The Cleveland Hungarian Cultural Garden

The Cleveland Cultural gardens were established in 1925 as a place where the diverse ethnic communities of Cleveland can present “cultural tributes to their poets, educators, philosophers, scientists and musicians as well as religious and political leaders”.  The intent was to promote good will and fellowship among men and women, to weld harmony among Clevelanders of diverse origins and to foster good citizenship.

CHCG Listz Concert 071412

The Cleveland Hungarian Cultural Garden

To show pride in their Hungarian roots, culture and heritage, the Cleveland Hungarian community developed a beautiful upper and lower level garden honoring the more than 100 years that a distinct and vibrant Hungarian community has existed in Cleveland.  The Cleveland Hungarian Cultural Garden celebrates that at one time Cleveland had the second largest Hungarian population outside of Hungary.  Today there are more than 113,000 individuals of Hungarian birth or descent in the Cleveland area.

The Cleveland Hungarian Cultural Garden (CHCG) is a legacy gift from every Hungarian in the Cleveland area to future generations, who will celebrate the pride of being Hungarian and the Hungarian culture.  The CHCG is one of the largest gardens (more than 4 acres) and is alive and bustling with activity.  Every week the CHCG hosts weddings, anniversary celebrations, concerts, recitals, family get-togethers and church events.  While the CHCG is beautiful, it is not just a place to look at, it is a place of celebration of the Hungarian heritage.

The Cleveland Hungarian Cultural Garden is a not for profit 501(c)3 organization.  In addition to donations, the CHCG has several events to raise funds for maintaining and improving the upper and lower gardens.  These events include the annual Wine Tasting, Gulyas Cook-Off and Golf Outing.

On Saturday, July 20th, 2013, the CHCG will celebrate it’s 75th anniversary. The event will be free and open to the public. Guests will be welcomed to the party by the Regos Dancers from the Hungarian Scout Organization and music from a  traditional Hungarian Bohak cimbalom played by Endre Cseh. The event will include light refreshments and entertainment.

CHCG New Legacy Wall - Lower Garden

New Legacy Wall

The highlight of the event will be the dedication of the new Legacy Wall and restoration of the Lower Garden. The Legacy Wall is a 25 foot curved stone wall with a granite top. The granite top will be inscribed with depictions of Hungarian history and culture, and renowned Hungarian scientists, musicians, composers, artists, and poets.  Bar codes on the Wall will enable smart phone users to access inscribed material on the web. The Legacy Wall dedication & ribbon cutting ceremony will begin with opening remarks from Carolyn Balogh, President of Cleveland Hungarian Cultural Garden and the singing of the Hungarian National Anthem, Star Spangled Banner and America the BeautIful by the Kis Magyar Korus of the West Side Hungarian Evangelical Lutheran Church and Ted Horvath.

Guests will also enjoy music from Vera Holczer and her musicians, poetry readings by Istvan Hargitai, and traditional Hungarian dancing by the St. Elizabeth Dance Group. The original St. Elizabeth Dance Group performed at the opening of the Garden in 1938.

rianCulturalGardenofCleveland75thAnniversaryLogo12-11-12The following is a brief History of the Cleveland Hungarian Cultural Garden:

1925 – The Cleveland Cultural Gardens were created.

March 30, 1934 – Authorization was granted to create a Hungarian Cultural Garden

March 30, 1934 – The Cleveland Hungarian Cultural Garden was established

September 24, 1934 – The Cultural Garden Committee of the United Hungarian Societies of Cleveland was formed

October 21, 1934 – The Cleveland Hungarian Cultural Garden was dedicated on the 123rd anniversary of the birth of composer Ferenc Liszt; a plaque of the composer was installed in the Garden

July 10, 1938 – The Cleveland Hungarian Cultural Garden was formally dedicated with a parade of more than 22,000 led by a parade of 5,000 Hungarians

Cleveland Hungarian Cultural Garden - Upper level

Cleveland Hungarian Cultural Garden: Upper level

September 7,1941 – A flagpole and American flag were added to the Garden

July 23, 1950 – The Cleveland Hungarian Cultural Garden celebrates it’s 25th Anniversary; a bronze statue of the philosophical dramatist and author, Imre Madach, was added to the Garden

May 23, 1954 – A statue of the poet, Endre Ady, was added to the Garden

August 24, 2008 – The Cleveland Hungarian Cultural Garden celebrates it’s 70th Anniversary

July 20, 2013 – The Cleveland Hungarian Cultural Garden celebrates it’s 75th Anniversary; a new 25′ semi-circle Legacy wall is being added to the Lower Garden

For more information on the Cleveland Hungarian Cultural Garden or their 75th Anniversary, visit their website at

“Incense” in Amharic?

Most language services teach common vocabulary, which is helpful for everyday conversation.  But what if you want a more diverse vocabulary, with words you would only hear if you were visiting that country?

Comprised of content from over 30 native languages, Specialized Word Video Search is an expansive collection of terms and idioms you’re not likely to see anywhere else. With this service you will learn medical and political terminology, slang, and other parlance from a variety of  fields.

This specialized vocabulary is not the only aspect that makes Specialized Word Video Search unique. With this service, you won’t have to worry if words are hard to pronounce. The service offers useful tools for helping with correct pronunciation. Play an authentic video clip and watch as each vocabulary word is highlighted as the word is spoken or search the 6,000 videos by vocabulary word, language, country, or broadcast type. Choose the clip that best matches your needs and scroll through the vocabulary listed below to find a downloadable pronunciation of the word or phrase you are interested in. Here you will also find the position of the word in the video, allowing you to hear the word in native context. In this list, you will also find an audible pronunciation of the word and a link to download the clip for future use.

Learning a new language can be a challenge, and where else are you going to learn how to say “spiritual cleansing” in Urdu or “incense” in Amharic? Log on and explore Specialized Word Video Search today!