7 Work Ideas for Your Freedom Year

7 Legitimate Work-at-Home Jobs for 20-Somethings

By John Pacenti  |   Bankrate.com — Mon July 16, 2012
(Original Article on Yahoo.com here)

Work at home in your PJs?

One ad reads, “I will juggle three fire clubs with a firework on my head for $5.” Another offers a 45-minute Spanish lesson on Skype or professional advice on buying real estate. All are on Fiver.com where anybody can sell a service for $5, many through the Internet.

The website is indicative of how the work-at-home job scene has evolved in just the last few years.

“We are now seeing younger and younger people working from home,” says Michael Haaren, co-founder of RatRaceRebellion.com, which has tracked 17,000 telecommuting jobs since 2007.

“Three years ago, the person who typically worked at home was a mom who wanted to be there for her children. Now it’s skewing younger — and the young people, they are multitasking.”

Many young people have turned to telecommuting due to the lack of entry-level jobs in a struggling economy, Haaren says. These jobs can vary wildly and do not always pay well, but for the intrepid they can be pieced together to pay the bills.

[Related: High-Paying, Low-Stress Jobs]

From more lucrative positions to the usual telecommuting stalwarts, Bankrate took a look at seven industries where a computer in a spare bedroom could mean lots of spare change.

From old-school to new-school

Job: Teacher/Tutor
Pay: $10 to $14 per hour

Hiring for online instructors is robust, as for-profit universities, such as Kaplan and the University of Phoenix, grow, Haaren says.

And colleges aren’t the only schools looking for teachers. All the teachers at the Florida Virtual School, which enrolls children from grades 6 to 12, work from home.

Jennifer Kohn, spokeswoman for Tutor.com, says the company has about 2,500 teachers on contract and a waiting list of thousands. She says tutors teach students of all ages and levels. Recent graduates, and even those still in college, are a good tutoring fit as long as they pass the application process. It also offers those who are retired a great way to supplement their retirement income while giving those taking a break from the real classroom a way to still have income.

“The people who can really do calculus and chemistry get paid more,” she says.

One reason online tutoring is growing is that the students like the anonymity of the service. “It takes away any sort of biases,” Kohn says. “It’s just about the work.”

As for the tutors: “People like the flexibility,” Kohn says. “They can set their own schedule. They can change their hours weekly as they see fit. You can tutor at 9 o’clock at night if you want.”

Shop ’til you drop

Job: Mystery shopper
Pay: $5 and up per assignment

One of the more unusual trends for those working from home is employment as a mystery shopper. More than just liking a store and buying a sweater there, the motive behind it is to help a company’s workforce development, says Dan Denston, executive director of the Mystery Shopping Providers Association, or MSPA.

The workings behind a job are relatively simple, albeit detail-oriented. A mystery shopper works as an independent contractor reporting back to a company on various areas and experiences in the store. Depending on how difficult and time-consuming the job is, payment ranges from $5 to $160, Denston says. And with some assignments, shoppers don’t even need to leave home, making phone calls to businesses to examine their customer service.

While they won’t get rich, mystery shopping gives new graduates still looking for a traditional 9-to-5 job an opportunity to help pay the rent, Haaren says.

As the mystery-shopping industry grows — 7 percent from 2010 to 2011 — it’s important to be on the lookout for scams. It’s extremely important to use credible sites to find companies looking for undercover consumers. Denston says his company, MSPA, backs all the secret shopping companies they have as members because they know they are legitimate. “You should never have to pay for a list of mystery shopping jobs,” he says. “It’s a tell-tale sign of a scam.”
[Related: Flummoxed by Failure—or Focused?]

Peddle your goods online

Job: Crafter
Pay: Varies

Selling homemade goods online is a modern turn on old-fashioned small business. Leslie Truex, who runs WorkAtHomeSuccess.com, says these are true cottage industries.

Some of these businesses are even bringing assistants into their homes to help them produce their products, which can be clothing, jewelry or any number of assorted knickknacks. The crafters then advertise their products on popular websites like Etsy, Artfire and Craftsu.

Selling goods or crafts can be a good way for a student or recent graduate to make a few extra bucks if it’s something they enjoy doing, but they need to think about the time involved in their work and whether it will pay off.

“Most people will fail, but a few will be successful,” Truex says. “The key is the ability to market themselves.” You need to be able to know your market, and know where your potential clients can be found, she says.

James Dillehay, author of “How to Price Crafts and Things You Make to Sell,” lives near Santa Fe, N.M., and says it’s important to build up a customer base.

“Because there is so much competition, don’t put all your hopes and resources into developing an Etsy store while ignoring face-to-face markets,” he says.

Etsy reported $62.8 million in goods sold in March — or more than 3 million items sold. The site charges 20 cents to list an item and 3.5 percent of sales. But don’t think you must stick to just Etsy. Other craft sites out there are free, and some just charge a flat fee.

Take your business idea to the Web

Job: Internet entrepreneur
Pay: Potentially millions of dollars

The idea of the struggling artist has given way to that of the ambitious entrepreneur.

Marissa Feinberg says she sees a number of these dreamers at her business, Green Spaces, which provides them with an office setting when needed.

“Everyone is trying to be the next Facebook, the next Mark Zuckerberg, the next Instagram,” she says. “They are getting new funding and circulating their ideas.”

Haaren describes the Internet entrepreneur movement as a “tanker full of gasoline.”

He pointed to the website Kickstarter.com and Crowdfunding.com, where creators of innovative projects can seek money.

Haaren also says new legislation supported by President Barack Obama will allow entrepreneurs to hold “mini IPOs” to get their businesses off the ground. One startup, he says, raised $3 million to fund its idea of synching electronic devices to a watch-like gadget.

Success stories such as Omgpop are fueling the fire. The one-time struggling startup hit it big with the Pictionary-styled smartphone game “Draw Something.” The popularity of the game drew the attention of media game company Zynga, which purchased Omgpop earlier this year for almost $200 million.

The customer is always right

Job: Customer service agents
Pay: $8 to $15 per hour

The backbone of the work-at-home sector is customer service. And it’s attractive to the younger set still looking to enter the job market because all one needs is a telephone and time.

Haaren says the service can vary widely. “Generally it’s for inbound calls,” he says. “It could be ‘I need help ordering a pizza’ (or) helping people with their credit cards.” U-Haul, American Express, Apple and AAA are increasingly using home-based customer service agents, he says. Amazon is also looking to wade into the waters.

“That’s a big deal,” Haaren says. “Amazon is like the 500,000-pound gorilla.”

Allstayathome.com says customer service jobs are very plentiful, but unlike other jobs done from the residence, many companies require a set work schedule. The upside, though, is they may hire customer service agents as permanent employees rather than contractors. This means regular paychecks and benefits.

The downside to being a customer service agent is that companies often require a background check, for which that applicant may have to pay. And, of course, dealing with unhappy customers comes with the territory, so a high threshold for abuse is often a necessity.

‘How may I assist you?’

Job: “Virtual” assistants
Pay: Up to $44,000 per year

Young adults are flocking to virtual assistant jobs, Haaren says. Ads for this line of work vary. Some call for someone who can assist bank customers, others ask for a computer-savvy employee who knows Microsoft Word. Haaren says Internet research jobs such as these are some of the most abundant home-based jobs at the moment.

Another area for virtual assistants to explore is the integration of social media into businesses to get out their message on Facebook, Twitter and other bulletin board sites. “It’s a lot of work, and a lot of people would just rather pay someone to do it,” Truex says.

Indeed.com, a leading online job search site, says virtual assistants can earn as much as $44,000 per year, but there are young people offering their services as virtual assistants on the Internet for as little as $3 per hour.

Exercise your writes

Job: Writer/editor
Pay: 10 cents to $2 per word

Jobs for writers and editors are out there in abundance. Blogging for newspapers that have gone online is one job that’s expanding. If you are more of an editor, that kind of work-at-home job is needed for manuscripts of all types, including textbooks. Recent college graduates and even those still in college can use these blogging and editing experiences to build up their resumes while bringing in some much-needed cash. For those more-experienced journalists and writers out there, this type of freelancing from home could be a profitable endeavor.

Susannah Nesmith, who worked at The Miami Herald for six years, got caught in the crunch of newspaper downsizing but has found freelancing to be highly lucrative. She writes stories for national magazines and newspapers.

While some publications want her skills at a discount, Nesmith won’t work for less than 50 cents a word, and some magazines offer a basic rate between $1 and $2 a word.

The best part about working from home now is the extra freedom she has. “One of the things I like about freelancing is I can fire my bosses. And I have,” Nesmith says.

(Original Article on Yahoo.com here)

Need a Freedom Year Savings Plan ? Use SmartyPig.com

SmartyPig     Simple. Smart. Savings.®

“Saving for World Cup 2014 in BRAZIL!!! 2% there and now accepting donations!!!”

—ANDRE H. (VIA FACEBOOK)Funds deposited with: BBVA Compass

What Is SmartyPig?

SmartyPig makes it easier than ever to experience the personal satisfaction and financial rewards that come from systematically saving for specific purchases. SmartyPig even enhances your savings with cash back savings that make your money go further! Best of all: it’s completely FREE. No fees. No catches. No “buying clubs.” It’s an FDIC-insured savings account — and so much more.

Open an account today and see for yourself how easy, fun and rewarding saving the SmartyPig way can be.

It’s Free

No fees to join. No fees to save. No fees to withdraw. In fact, you actually earn money when you save with SmartyPig!

Charged a high-interest rate by your credit card company after you buy something, why not be paid high interest and get cash back for simply saving up for it.

Savings accounts are securely held at BBVA Compass and are FDIC insured up to the maximum amount allowed by law.

SmartyPig creates online savings plan to reach a goal

By Adam Belz, Special for USA TODAY
(Original Article HERE)

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – A 2008 start-up called SmartyPig has combined social networking and banking to offer a new way to save, and in four years has helped people reach almost $3 billion in savings goals.

Think pig: Social Money President Scott McCormack promotes social-banking system SmartyPig.

  • Photos by Maxine Park,, USA TODAY

Think pig: Social Money President Scott McCormack promotes social-banking system SmartyPig.

The business was created by Des Moines natives Michael Ferrari and Jon Gaskell in 2008 as a high-tech way to encourage people to save for specific goals. Ferrari came up with the idea when his first son was born and he needed to save money for his son’s college education.

He wanted to save for other goals in a program similar to the college 529 plan, and SmartyPig was born.

The program creates an online savings account for goal-directed purchases that can range from travel to consumer goods to a down payment on a house. Money can be transferred automatically from account holders’ savings or checking account at their regular banks. Account holders can then use Facebook, Twitter and other social media to allow friends and family members to contribute to the goal. The deposits are FDIC insured.

Once the goal is reached, the saver can choose from a selection of merchant-provided discounts when making the purchase.

The idea caught on. By the end of 2009, it carried deposits of $212 million.

“They actually sort of jump-started the whole goal-based savings account thing,” said Stessa Cohen, a financial services analyst for Gartner in Philadelphia. “A lot of banks in the U.S. and Canada are looking at providing that.”

Social Money, the company behind SmartyPig, thinks banks are far enough behind, and eager enough to connect with customers on social media, that they’ll pay someone else to do it for them.

Every Monday for six weeks, USA TODAY will look at how fast-growing companies rely on innovation to thrive.

The company is now starting to sell the SmartyPig concept to banks, with the idea of letting them brand it themselves. That product was rolled out this spring. More than 115 financial institutions have approached Social Money about its GoalSaver program, Gaskell said, and the bank has already signed on ICICI, the second-largest bank in India by assets.

Social Money expects to announce new bank customers throughout the year, Gaskell said.

“We’ve basically taken the heart and soul of what we’ve learned at SmartyPig and pointed it at the scale,” said Gaskell.

Gaskell won’t say what Social Money makes each year, but he said the company has been operating on its own revenue for three years. In April, Social Money announced it would hire 35 new employees, bringing its total workforce to 50.

SmartyPig was part of a shift toward savings and personal financial management during the recession, Cohen said. People were ready to save money, when they may not have been three years earlier.

Like Kiva, the online microfinance organization launched a couple of years earlier, SmartyPig also tracks your progress for all to see.

“You can see how far along you are,” said Nathan Robertson, 26, who’s saving for a three-month trip to South America later this year. “It’s a little bit more fun than just a regular bank account.”

By Maxine Park, USA TODAYSocial Money co-founders Mike Ferrari (left) and Jon Gaskell.

Robertson said it’s easier to save with SmartyPig because he doesn’t see the money. It’s automatically deducted, and unlike with a separate savings account at a bank, he doesn’t see it all the time and isn’t tempted to pull a couple of hundred dollars out. He also shares his progress with friends occasionally, though he doesn’t expect anyone to contribute.

“I’ll throw it on my Twitter page every now and then,” he said. “The idea is to share that with your family and friends, and keep up the social pressure to reach your goals.”

Banks might want their own version of it, Cohen said, because it gets them into social media, a world that’s been difficult for financial institutions.

Instead of just tweeting about their earnings or their latest charitable giving using Social Money, banks can get connected to consumers via Twitter and Facebook.

“They’re collecting a lot of information that I give voluntarily,” Cohen said. “I give a lot of information to Social Money about what I’m doing.”

Banks can track their customers better and offer financial products to them when it makes sense for the customer. They can also make deals with merchants based on what consumers are saving for, and tailor advertising to them.

“This attracts non-banks who want to partner with Social Money, who say ‘We want to know what people are saving for,’ ” Cohen said.

For more information about reprints & permissions, visit our FAQ’s. To report corrections and clarifications, contact Standards Editor Brent Jones. For publication consideration in the newspaper, send comments to letters@usatoday.com. Include name, phone number, city and state for verification. To view our corrections, go to corrections.usatoday.com.

(ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE)

Ahhhh…. Playa del Carmen, México

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A Woman’s Guide to Using Squat Toilets

A Woman’s Guide to Using Squat Toilets

by Brooke Schoenman on April 9, 2012
(Original article on gobackpacking.com – here)

squat toilet on Thai train

Squat toilet on Thai train (photo by villadavida)

Iremember the first time I encountered a squat toilet on my travels.

It was in a small bar in Verona, Italy where I studied abroad, and the first thing I did was stand there in disbelief for about 5 minutes before I could get to the realization that I had to squat to pee in this Western country’s bathroom.

I was still new at this overseas travel thing, and thought that only the bidet was a unique toilet experience I would have to encounter in Italy.

I learned a lot that semester — especially about the art (or the tragedy) of using squat toilets, and that knowledge has grown through months of travel in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

In my Woman’s Guide to Using Squat Toilets, I lay out some of the facts, questions and tips I’ve acquired concerning squat toilets and the female traveler.

squat toilet middle east

Squat toilet in the Middle East (photo by goldberg)

Where Squat Toilets Exist

Squat toilets are actually quite prevalent around the world.

They may be rare in North America, but travel to Asia, the Middle East, Africa, South America and parts of Europe, and you will quickly be introduced to an experience or two using a squatter.

Popular tourist destinations will tend to cater to the Western traveler with hotels and expat locations installing the sitting style toilets.

Issues with Squat Toilets for Female Travelers

The main issue for females attempting to use squat toilets is the risk of getting urine on you and your clothing — especially a pant leg.

The risk is combined with the stress that comes from having to use new muscles in your legs just to use the restroom.

Unlike men, who only have to squat for half of their squat toilet encounters, women will have to squat for 100% of them.

It can make even the best of us shaky afterwards, and I’ve heard many a girl fear that they might fall over (or in!) a squat toilet because of it.

spare toilet roll

Spare toilet rolls always necessary (photo by jdm1979uk)

Before You Go

There are a few things I like to have with me before venturing into a squat toilet: toilet paper, a light backpack, hand sanitizer, and a Ziploc bag.

If you know you will be traveling in areas with squat toilets, it is best to have these items with you at all times.

1. Toilet Paper

Toilet paper is just not a necessity in some cultures. Instead, you might be given a hose or a bucket of water, or the toilet paper stock might not ever be… stocked. Toilet paper or a pack of tissues can save a girl a lot of trouble.

2. Backpack

A light backpack might seem like a bit much, but there are stuffable daypacks that can fit in your palm.

Throw one in your purse because when you get to a squat toilet with no coat hooks and a dirty floor, you’re going to want a place to hold the stuff on your body without getting in the way of “business”.

3. Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer is kind of a no-brainer. This is always in my bag — even when I’m not traveling.

4. Ziploc Bag

A Ziploc bag is for the times there is no trash can in your toilet, and you’re in a country where you can’t flush paper.

If you are a paper-all-the-time kind of gal, then pop in the Ziploc bag until you can find a proper trash.

japanese style squat toilet

How to use a Japanese squat toilet (photo by tamaiyuya)

Best Methods for Using Squat Toilets

The basic rules for using squatters are as follows:

  • Roll your pant legs up to your knees to minimize risk of splashback hitting the bottoms.
  • Place your feet on the foot grooves on the side of the toilet hole.
  • Pull your pants down as far as you can comfortably go (preferably to the knees), but this will vary with the type of clothing you are wearing.
  • Squat to the point where you can’t squat no more. Just like the limbo, you’ll want to go as low as you can go in order to get your stream as close to the bowl as possible.
  • Shoot for the hole as hitting anywhere else on the bowl has a higher chance of causing splashback.
  • Wipe or rinse according to what’s on-hand.

Optional:

Many women claim that they can only get by in a squat toilet if they remove their bottom half of clothing completely.

Unlike men, it is harder to control the stream, so a woman might occasionally shoot sideways or just get splash from the toilet on their pant legs.

If you do remove your clothing, you will need to find a hook or place to hang it to keep them off the often questionable ground.

This is where a daypack can save the day — giving you a place to keep your belongings off the ground while also staying out-of-the-way unlike a side sling purse or bag.

Trust me — been there, done that!

Wipe and Flush

All squat toilets are created differently, so in one location, you might have an actual flush toilet, and in another you might have to scoop buckets of water into the bowl to clean it out for the next user.

One location might use toilet paper and expect you to place the paper in the trash bin, while another might cause you to rely on a water hose to wash your backside down after use.

Just remember to do what you do in accordance to the local criteria.

asian squat

Other cultures are more accustomed to this position. Practice before you travel. (photo by gregwalters)

Extra Tips

  • Practice a squat before you travel to destinations where squat toilets reign supreme.
  • Do squat exercises to build up the leg muscles that will be in use.
  • A disposable female urine funnel can be very helpful for the traveler that just can’t seem to master squat toilets on a her own. These are fairly inexpensive and can be tossed in the bin after use.

Further Reading

About the Author:

is the author of 16 posts on Go Backpacking.

Brooke lives a thrifty lifestyle so that she can travel the world at every possible opportunity. She shares her travel tales, including everything from sleeping in a yurt in Kyrgyzstan to becoming an expat in Australia, on her personal travel blog, Brooke vs. the World. Female travelers might enjoy the stories and tips of her monthly Female Travel Underground newsletter. Join her on Facebook and follow her onTwitter.

12 of the World’s Sexiest Accents

World’s sexiest accents

(Original Article – CNNGo.com here)

Because a foreign language can be the best aphrodisiac, we traveled the world in search of the 12 hottest accents

By Jordan Burchette 18 August, 2011

In the unending pursuit of love, or its less eternal surrogate, the right accent can be as attractive as bright eyes, a beaming smile and a parabolic backside.

For world travelers, a far-flung tongue promises the unknown, confirms the known and dispels the thought-we-knew.

But no accent is sexy when it’s strong enough to crush a beer can. Which means not all accents are created equal.

It’s estimated that there are nearly 7,000 languages on earth. That’s nearly 7,000 different ways to traipse clumsily through the English language — or to sex it up like a Justin Timberlake song wrapped in chocolate cleavage.

Which begs our list of the world’s sexiest brogues. Some of you may have a legitimate case for inclusion in the top twelve. Others — we’re looking at you, Vietgermans — do not.

Also on CNNGo: 7 sexy skinny dips

Our also-rans included Putonghua (especially when Taiwanese women speak it in gentle tones), Australian (as appealing as warm Foster’s to some, tantalizingly exotic to others) and Japanese (the language of repressed salarymen is also strangely designed for pillow talk).

Feel free to state your objections and/or rain your accolades in the comments section below or on our Sexiest Accents Facebook Poll.

Because when it comes to accents, there are no absolutes. Except that Bronx English is absolutely horrible.

12. Argentine

argentine

The bad news: she finds your bad breath and dirty elbows repulsive. The good news: it sounded totally hot when she told you.

Famous tongues: Fernando Lamas, Gabriela Sabatini

A historical refuge for Spaniards, Italians and Germans, the hyper-libidinous South Ameripean melting pot of Argentina has cultivated a proud, pouty tone. With its own pronunciation of Spanish letters (“ll” sounds like “shh”) and its own words (“you” is “vos”), this is a dialect that’s hard to get. (Or at least plays that way.)

Sounds like: A tightly tuned guitar of G-strings strummed by a lamb shank

11. Thai

Muay thai

He not only floats like a butterfly, he speaks like one, too.


Famous tongues: Tony Jaa, Tata Young
With five tones comprising their native speech, the traffickers of this often fragile accent turn any language into a song of seduction. Thai is largely monosyllabic, so multi-beat foreign words get extra emphases right up until the last letter, which is often left off, leaving the listener wanting more. (Or at least asking “Huh?” lustfully.)

Sounds like: R-rated karaoke

10. Trinidadian

Trinidad

If their accents don’t seduce you, their mon boobs will.

Famous tongues: Nikki Minaj, Billy OceanFor fetishists of oddball sexuality, the Caribbean island of Trinidad offers an undulating, melodic gumbo of pan-African, French, Spanish, Creole and Hindi dialects that, when adapted for English, is sex on a pogo stick.

Sounds like: A rubber life raft bobbing on a sea of steel drums

Also on CNNGo: Asia’s top 5 celeb sex scandals

9. Brazilian Portuguese

Brazilian

She screams, she scores!


Famous tongues:
Alice Braga, Anderson SilvaPerhaps owing to its freedom from French influence, the Brazilian Portuguese accent has a more colorful, puerile flair than its coarser European counterpart. The resulting yowl of drawn-out vowels reveals a flirty freedom of spirit that sounds like a permanent vacation.

Sounds like: The near, then far, then near again hum of a low-wattage vacuum cleaner that runs on dance sweat

8. U.S. Southern

cowgirl

Y’all, we love it when y’all call us y’all. Especially when y’all are wearing orange chaps.


Famous tongues:
Matthew McConaughy, Britney SpearsThere’s nothing sexy about being in a hurry, and you could clock the growth rate of grass with the honeyed drawl — less Tea Party, more “True Blood” — of a Southern beau or belle.

Sounds like: Molasses taking a smoking break

Also on CNNGo: 15 unusual places to spend a night

7. Oxford British

posh english

“Down to your last pair of socks then, what?”

Famous tongues: Hugh Laurie, Sienna Miller

Authoritative. Upright. Erudite. Scholarly. Few accents promise the upward nobility of the Queen’s English. It’s a take on the language that sets hearts devoted to James Bond and Hermione Granger aflutter. And, should the speaker fail to slake your most wanton desires, eh, at least you’ll learn something.

Sounds like: A crisply ironed shirt playing a harp

6. Irish

Irish

Just lay off the leprechaun jokes and you’ll be fine.


Famous tongues:
Colin Farrell, Andrea Corr

Valued slightly more in men than in women, the Irish brogue is a lilting, lyrical articulation that’s charming, if not exotic. Fluid and uplifting, it can swing from vulnerable to threatening over the course of a sentence, restoring your faith in the world again … right before it stabs you with a broken bottle top.

Sounds like: A marauding pixie

Also on CNNGo: 10 epic train journeys

5. Nigerian

Nigerian

Some Nigerians are actually worth giving your bank account information to.

Famous tongues: King Sunny Adé, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde

Dignified, with just a hint of willful naiveté, the deep, rich “oh’s” and “eh’s” of Naija bend the English language without breaking it, arousing tremors in places other languages can’t reach. Kinda makes the occasional phone scam worth the swindle.

Sounds like: The THX intro with teeth

4. Czech

Czech

Smoky eyes? Czech. Intrguing history? Czech. Meat-flavored accent? Czech.


Famous tongues:
Petra Nemcova, Jaromír Jágr

Like Russian, without the nettlesome history of brutal, iron-fisted despotism, Czech is a smoky, full-bodied vocal style that goes well with most meats. Murky and mysterious, the Bohemian tone is equal parts carnal desire and carnival roustabout.

Sounds like: Count Dracula, secret agent

3. Spanish

spanish

“¿Número tres? ¿Qué clase de idiota eres?” Ah, no one rejects us so hotly.

Famous tongues: Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz

Sensual and beckoning, but with the passion to unleash hell kept just barely restrained, Castilian is like a dialectic Hoover Dam. But then there’s the lisp. Tender, vulnerable and cute as a baby’s hangnail — no one owns the “th” sound formed by tongue and teeth like those who speak the language of Cervantes.

Sounds Like: An outboard motor on Lake Paella

Best of CNNGo: World’s coolest nationalities

2. French

French

Even when they pout it sounds good.

Famous tongues: Sophie Marceau, Jean Reno

The demotion of this perennial prizewinner of global brogues to second place may illustrate the declining sexuality of Old World petulance. Still, the come-hither condescension and fiery disinterest of the French tongue remains paradoxically erotic.

Sounds like: A 30-year-old teenager

1. Italian

Italian

Even when bathing in a fountain, a romance language is a romance language.


Famous tongues:
Monica Bellucci, Alessandro Del Piero

Raw, unfiltered and as grabby to ears as its president is to rears, the Italian accent is a vowelgasm that reflects the spectrum of Italic experience: the fire of its bellicose beginnings … the romance of the Renaissance … the dysfunction of anything resembling a government since Caesar. Insatiable, predatory and possessive, this is sex as a second language.

Sounds like: A Ferrari saxophone

Which is your favorite accent? Vote here on our Facebook poll.

Long before embarking on a life of leisure and recreational crime fighting, Jordan devoted himself to the written, spoken and, during the occasional shower, harmonized word. He is currently based in the U.S. following stints in Hong Kong and Florida, which he refuses to recognize as U.S. territory.

Read more about Jordan Burchette