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Linguaholic

Ersatz

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  1. The thing to remember about idioms in English (and I'm sure other languages) is that they're usually based in some kind of historical or cultural significance, which explains where in the world they came from. Yet most English speakers don't even know where these idioms came from in the first place -- they just repeat them. For example, the phrase "this is the last straw" means something like, "The situation is now unbearable because of this newest circumstance." It relates back to a story/parable about a camel that was loaded up with a lot of items for market. It was so overloaded that
  2. The usual phrase is, "There's plenty more fish in the sea." It's usually used to cheer up people who are having a hard time dating/have recently ended a relationship, so they're consoled. It means something like, "You found one person, you'll find another one -- there's lots of people out there to meet." Why, exactly, we describe romance in terms of fish is beyond me.
  3. I'm in the US, where obviously English lessons are a major part of education -- lots of focus on grammar etc. What's sad is that there's very little attention paid to second languages. It's not offered in my area at all until high school. We would be able to pick up a language so much faster if we started learning it when we were young and had many years to practice in school.
  4. A lot of language learners recommend learning by immersion as it's the more natural way of picking up the language. It is, after all, how we learned our native language! However, most of us still get our first taste of language learning from the classroom. I have several years of classroom experience, and it gets me through basic conversations OK. But classes spent a lot of time on verb conjugation and grammar instead of providing vocabulary. I really wish that hadn't been the case; I can get around conjugations in a lot of cases with creative phrasing, but I don't know nearly enough us
  5. It's definitely one of the most practical languages to learn. Even outside of the American continent, there are a ton of Spanish speakers worldwide. Spanish is also very helpful to know when learning other Romance languages. For example, I visited Paris and was able to read most of the signs even though I don't speak French; it's similar enough that I could piece together the meaning in most cases.
  6. Ersatz

    Hola

    I love your avatar Welcome aboard! I've always wanted to visit Australia; I have some friends there, and it just seems like such an awesome place. What got you interested in studying Spanish?
  7. Awesome! The new change is very welcome, and I appreciate your rapid response to the concern. Of course, if we'd just waited a few more posts, we could've figured it out on our own But the sad thing is, many people might have been scared away before getting there. Hopefully this will encourage the community to grow!
  8. You change the language on a favorite, frequently-visited website, just for fun.
  9. I've noticed that as well, and it's definitely a hindrance to easy communication. While I can appreciate wanting to discourage spammers, surely the membership process is enough to solve that? Typing in the verification for every post is really tedious and, as you say, probably discourages people from participating.
  10. So, hi. You can call me Ersatz I have a great interest in language, but never really pursued it until more recently. I took a few semesters of Spanish in high school and college and gained decent proficiency -- enough that I can get along OK in my mostly Spanish-speaking neighborhood, anyway -- but I'd really like to become more fluent. I'd also like to branch out and explore other languages, the biggest being Japanese. Prepare yourself for a cliche here: I got interested in Japanese after watching a lot of anime. But languages based on syllabries fascinate me, because they seem so muc
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