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­Maybe you've traveled to Mexico or Canada, and exchanged your American dollars for pesos or Canadian dollars. Or, perhaps you've traveled from England to Japan and exchanged your English pounds for yen. If so, you have experienced exchange rates in action. But, do you understand how they work?

You've probably heard the financial reporter on the nightly news say something like, "The dollar fell against the yen today." But, do you know what that means?

In this article, we'll tell you what exchange rates are and explain some of the factors that can affect the value of currency in countries around the world.