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About 17emilyhalko

  • Rank
    Language Newbie


  • Currently studying
  • Native tongue
  • Fluent in
  1. I am currently learning Spanish, and there are so many words that are similar from Spanish to English! Here are some examples: anticipación = anticipation posible = possible conjugación = conjugation suprisa = suprise It's very important to be very careful with cognates though! Once you are very familiar with a language, you might start seeing patterns in the cognates. This might cause you to kind of create your own. Usually, when English students who are using Spanish create cognates, they are correct. However, sometimes they make very large mistakes. For example, a common error is that they use the Spanish word "realizar" for the English term "to realize," though this is a completely incorrect translation. "Realizar" has a translation closer to "to do," and therefore this is a rather large error for students to make. Be careful with cognates!
  2. Importance of a Teacher

    I definitely agree that a teacher is important, though a "teacher" is different to everyone. By "teacher," some people mean a man or women in a classroom who is paid to give you instructions on a language, though to some people, a teacher is a friend or a group of people who you submerse yourself into. For example, if someone is learning Spanish, and then travels to Spain, that person may consider the inhabitants there their teachers, depending on their style of learning. I think that an actual teacher or tutor is very important, however, because most are knowledgeable about certain subjects and can usually communicate with you in your own language, so that you understand the important things that they are saying. I think it's important for someone to be able to correct your mistakes and explain to you what you did wrong, even if this may not be the way that some people like to learn.
  3. Bing or Google

    Both translators are definitely not accurate, and they are only good if you translate single words (specifically nouns and adjectives). Sometimes translators are sketchy with their conjugations of verbs. Also, using a translator is like picking random words from a thesaurus. Just because two words have similar meanings does NOT mean that you can interchange the words, since words always have connotations. I would recommend using Google Translate, but only translating single words (nouns and adjectives) at a time and then conjugating the verbs yourself.
  4. How helpful is traveling to a foreign country to learn a language? I'm currently learning Spanish and am considering going to Spain during my Easter break. However, the trip obviously would be very expensive. I have never been out of the United States, but want to go. Do you all think that it would be worth it to travel to Spain, despite the cost? Does anybody have any experiences learning a language in a different country? Did you improve a lot?
  5. I agree with Julian that Spanish is a very big language. I believe I've heard that Spanish is the second most spoken language (though I can be wrong), therefore I see it as more advantageous to learn Spanish. Also, once you know Spanish, it is very easy to utilize it to relate it to similar languages, such as Italian and Catalan. Once you know Spanish, you can comprehend a lot of Italian and Catalan as well.
  6. I remember that during my Spanish class, all of the kids would try to look in the dictionary for bad words. Honestly, I think that one's gravitation towards curse words has a lot to do with their maturity and humor. Your husband probably only means fun out of using the curse words, and doesn't mean to be offensive. And you're absolutely correct; he doesn't know the strength of the words, because it's not his fluent tongue, and he cannot possibly know the connotations behind those words. If you don't like him using a certain phrase, I would try to explain to him possibly the connotations behind it, and politely ask him to lay off the word.
  7. I think that many people find it easier to learn from a non-native speakers. The reason for this, I think, is because a non-native speaker might be more sensitive and aware of your native language, so they may relate your language to the language that you're trying to learn and make comparisons. Also, non-native speakers might slow down the pace of the language, or use terms that are specifically closer to some words in your native tongue. For example, I once had a Spanish teacher who would use the word, "copa" for cup instead of "taza" simply because "copa" sounds more like "cup". Also, sometimes a non-native speaker can answer questions in your language to help you understand. Therefore, I don't think that it's necessarily unreasonable that you would feel that it's easier to learn from non-native speakers.
  8. One language for everyone?

    The idea of a universal language does initially seem possible, but when you delve into the idea, it's not all that plausible. It would take many, many years to ingrain a new language into the tongues of people who have been speaking their own language for centuries. English is almost becoming a standard around the world, but there always those few old men who refuse to speak anything but their native tongue... Besides, there would always be a dispute over which language should be standardized. While it might seem reasonable that English be standardized, that wouldn't make the German or Spanish speakers happy and there would undeniably be dispute over it. Besides, who would enforce a standardized language, and who would pay to educate those who didn't already know the language? Even if a standardized language would make us "unified" in that sense, nobody will ever be truly unified because of it; people would be no more unified than two parties in a civil war. Even if our language is unified, we'll always find something to separate ourselves from others of other countries.
  9. Sometimes when I don't know a word, I'll google it and define it. Afterwards, I like to study the word and see if I can dissect it and find a Latin root or find a root that is similar to a root in English. This technique usually works very well for me, although words don't necessarily always have familiar roots. The ones without familiar roots, I just have to memorize.
  10. Words with two meanings

    Sometimes these words are extremely confusing! It's also more confusing when you hear somebody speak one of those words and have to differentiate which meaning they are using. Unfortunately, it all comes down to memorization. I've gotten some of those words down in Spanish, and all of them down in English (because it's my native tongue) but I agree that it is extremely difficult when learning a foreign language!
  11. I do think that newspapers (especially ones that have been around for a long time) have a bigger vocabulary, because articles online, and even some novels construct the vocabulary in a way that most readers should be able to understand, like conversational text. I think that newspapers have harder vocabulary because they are, generally speaking, reputed sources and are not necessarily looking to write in a conversational style.
  12. For a Spanish course, I have to watch a short videos in Spanish and summarize them. What are some good sites with interesting Spanish videos that deal with entertainment, news, etc.? I would prefer the Spanish to be on the easier side, like conversational. Can anybody recommend any sites or Youtube channels?
  13. Television Shows and Movies for Immersion

    The answer will depend on how fluent you are. I don't really know of that many Spanish programs, but if you're newer to the language, I would suggest watching Destinos. Episodes of Destinos are free online on PBS I believe. Destinos teaches you vocabulary, and then exposes you to the Spanish language and culture. The Spanish gets harder as the episodes go along, so that your Spanish gradually improves as you learn.
  14. I think that the hardest thing about translating, like you said, is keeping the same essence of a sentence while translating. It is very difficult to keep the exact same mood of the sentence when different words in different languages might have the same diction, but not connotation. Also, idioms are very hard to translate! Idioms are a very touchy thing to translate, most definitely!
  15. I always think that translating things will cause some meaning to be lost. I suppose that a lot of it depends on the translator, but no translator could ever craft anything with exactly the same sentiment that the original writer did. After all, while the denotation of translated words might be the same, the connotation might not be. Besides, there are many words that can't exactly be translated from one language to another, so many times, I believe, that a meaning is lost.