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yong321

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About yong321

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  1. This article "This ancient mnemonic technique builds a palace of memory" (https://aeon.co/ideas/this-ancient-mnemonic-technique-builds-a-palace-of-memory) describes the remarkable memory capabilties of various aboriginal peoples. It's true that without a written language, they must develop extraordinary skills in memorizing things. But I'm still not sure how we can make use of the techniques or physical devices (gadgets) in learning foreign languages or anything for that matter. Aren't they just mnemonics after all? We all use them anyway. Why are they more efficient? Comments?
  2. terrible terrible (cognate), horrible; (informal) terrific (cognate), excellent, formidable (as in French, not English). Note the meaning in informal or colloquial usage. While all derived from the same Latin source, English separates the two opposite meanings into terrible and terrific but French keeps one form, taking different meanings according to context and tone of speaking voice. baiser kiss (n.); (vulgar) to fuck (v.). Cognate with an outdated English word buss (“kiss”). Use a mnemonic such as “He gave his girlfriend Beth a kiss.” Be very careful with the meaning of baiser used as a verb. It used to mean “to kiss”, which nowadays is embrasser in French. You can use the word as a noun (in spite of the -er ending) without such concern. Not to be confused with baisser (“to lower”).
  3. Simone de Beauvoir remarked that in French, “most abstract entities are feminine” (The Second Sex, trans. H.M. Parshley, 1978, p.179). This is probably true; e.g., French word critique means “criticism” as a feminine noun, but “critic” as a masculine noun. I'd like to know (1) if there's any statistics proving her claim, and (2) if others especially linguists have made the same or a similar statement. Thank you! Note: I'm not interested in finding out if there's any morphological and semantic justification for her observation because there's probably none. Nor am I interested in associating grammatical gender with human gender, as Ms. Beauvoir probably assumed.
  4. tromper to deceive; to cheat. Cognate with trumpet. According to A. Brachet, an etymologist, this word means "properly to play the horn, alluding to quacks and mountebanks, who attracted the public by blowing a horn, and then cheated them into buying; thence to cheat". écarter to separate, to remove. écart gap. From ex- (“to remove”) + carte. It originally meant “putting the cards aside” in card-playing. chauve bald. Cognate with callow (“immature”, “inexperienced”; previously “bald”). Chauvinism is named after “Nicolas Chauvin, a legendary and excessively patriotic soldier of the French First Republic” (Wiktionary). The surname Chauvin literally or originally means “bald man”. Alternatively, think of the common image of a group of right-wing chauvinists that are bald-headed. (They are sample headword entries from my Learning French Words Through Etymology and Mnemonics, which makes use of etymology to help you remember French words, and failing that, suggests a mnemonic.)
  5. I had this idea for some time and posted it on my blog. I think we can organize volunteers to do one thing that was never done before. Suppose we want to know the most popular opinion of the people in a specific country on a specific indident. We can visit the major news Web sites of that country and see what the popular comments are. The most like'd comments can be considered as the representative opinions. The reason I brought this idea up on this forum is that the comments are written in a specific language. To make them readable by other people (mostly English speaking people) requires translation. Unfortunately, casual writing with some spelling and grammatical errors poses a challenge to machine translation. Volunteers speaking different languages can do the work much better. I hope this idea can produce a free Web site. It fills a niche on the Internet, because it's something never done before. (My blog posting http://some-new-ideas.blogspot.com/2016/09/web-site-to-collect-dominant-opinions.html explains this idea in greater deatils.)
  6. http://yong321.freeshell.org/misc/mltr.php You enter in English, and get translations in multiple languages of your choice. You could use an existing translator such as Google Translate but you have to do that one language at a time. Mine does it all with one click. Any comments are welcome.
  7. Some people prefer repeated drills. It works great especially for young people. Some others like to analyze a new word. It works better if he has some knowledge of etymology and phonology. But if etymology fails to help, this "word analysis" may still help with creating a hint as a mnemonic. I use this method extensively (and even wrote a little book about it). To see examples, visit http://yong321.freeshell.org/lsw/sample3.html http://yong321.freeshell.org/lsw/sample6.html where almost every entry is like a mini-blog. Any critique is welcome.
  8. The Spanish translation "ir al grano" for "cut the cheese" seems to be for "cut to the chase" instead.
  9. ILoveOrangeSoda, Thanks a lot. The RAE Web page you showed is exactly what I want. So, the year after which Spanish dictionaries are supposed to sort words like Chávez and then Cruz instead of Cruz before Chávez is 1994. Good to know.
  10. Spanish or traditional Spanish treats ch as a single character, which is sorted after c. Is this still widespread practice? Do most Spanish dictionaries still do that nowadays? In a discussion forum on Oracle database, I was told "Hace años que la RAE eliminó la "CH" como letra" (See discussion "Ordenar C y CH" at http://www.forosdelweb.com/f100/ordenar-c-ch-1154750/ ). So I'm guessing the trend is to not sorting ch after c. Also, I'm interested in finding the "official" announcement from RAE that they stop treating ch as a single letter.
  11. For those that like to learn the vocabulary through some word analysis instead of by rote memory or simple repetition, etymology combined with mnemonics is a good method. Here's an example: tromper: to deceive; to cheat. Cognate with trumpet. According to A. Brachet, an etymologist, this word means "properly to play the horn, alluding to quacks and mountebanks, who attracted the public by blowing a horn, and then cheated them into buying; thence to cheat". If it's not easy to make this semantic connection, you may (or imagine some others) use Donald Trump as a mnemonic. This of course does not mean repetition is not needed.
  12. Regarding confusion when studying multiple languages at the same time: I learn three Romance languages at the same time. My experience is that they help more than confuse each other. So I think it's worth it. But if your experience is opposite (i.e., confusion is more than mutual help), focus on one first, at least postpone the second language until you're far better at the first one than the second. Chinese and Japanese are not that similar. So I expect help more than confusion; the latter, if any at all, may arise in reading hanzi / kanji. But even in that case, you're unlikely to get confused because one has tone and the other does not.
  13. Hi Shawncfer, > 1st, has anyone else had this issue? And if so, what have you done to go around it? Definitely. Trying to remember and forgetting the words is something everyone has experienced. But just as impossible to remember all, it's impossible to forget all. > 2nd, does anyone else have any other methods for going about learning vocabulary in text? There are two groups of people: (A) those who prefer rote memory and (B) those who prefer word analysis. Group A like to use flash cards, write new words on sticky paper and paste them around the house, read or listen to the same material repeatedly, etc. Group B like to check the etymology of the new word and/or think of a mnemonic to help remember the word. No doubt many people are between the two extremes. I personally prefer the second method. (See http://yong321.freeshell.org/lsw/) When I see the word, for example, derrotar ("to defeat"), I look up its etymology and realize its root is cognate with rout (as in "rout the enemy"). That helps a lot. But some words definitely can't rely on their origin to help, especially those from Arabic (unless you know Arabic). Then I spend some time thinking of a mnemonic for it. If you have some specific words, maybe we can discuss how to memorize them.
  14. Learning Spanish Words Through Etymology and Mnemonics http://yong321.freeshell.org/lsw/ Learning Spanish Words Through Etymology and Mnemonics makes use of etymology to help you remember Spanish words, and failing that, suggests a mnemonic. Combination of these two approaches in one book separates it from other books on the market. The amount and depth of etymology is carefully chosen to be practical and not overwhelm an average reader. The suggested mnemonics aim to help an educated English-speaking person. An adult or young adult who likes learning vocabulary with some word analysis instead of rote memory will find this book to be helpful and a joy to read. With about 3000 words selected from 15000 in the Real Academia Española corpus sorted in frequency order, this booklet can be used either as a dictionary or for leisure reading.