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About H_Bachman

  • Rank
    Slang Poet


  • Currently studying
    Spanish, Turkish, American Sign Language
  1. I love the word anomie too! I can see some uneducated parent (who didn't know about Durkheim's work on anomie or what it means) deciding to name their baby girl that. Anomie-- doesn't that sound like a girl's name?
  2. Here's a good method for learning the most important/useful vocabulary first: Write something every day-- maybe a paragraph or so. Every time you don't know a word and have to look it up in a dictionary, make a note of the word and translation. Put it on a list of words to study. Study those words. Make flash cards, memorize them. In time, you'll see that less and less often do you need to look up the words in the dictionary. You can see how useful this is if you've ever looked up a word you didn't know, put it in your composition and continued writing, only to find that the next day, y
  3. Mary = a woman's name; the mother of Jesus marry = to wed someone, become husband and wife merry = happy, joyous (mood) Interestingly, though, these are only homophones to some speakers of English (as they are for me-- I'm from the southwestern United States, not sure to what extent it's dialectal). Any speakers of other English dialects beg to differ about them being homophones?
  4. I think the main reason expensive courses work is because, when you've already sunk a lot of money into buying a program, you feel COMMITTED to seeing it through and actually studying. When you have a free course or a self-collected set of materials, it's easy to lose motivation because you didn't invest a lot into it. I advocate free language-learning sites above all else. While I don't have an opinion on which of the paid materials you mentioned is the most effective, I have heard a friend say that Rosetta Stone was VERY effective for her brother when he learned Spanish.
  5. I want to be just like him when I grow up! Er... wait, I'm already too old. >_<
  6. On my first try, I only got to 150! That's a bit embarrassing. I should wait to play until I haven't been drinking wine haha. I had a lot of trouble telling the difference between Samoan and Scottish Gaelic-- who would have thought? I think I was thrown off because the speaker said something about Galicia, I think, which made me think surely the speaker was European.
  7. The word "literally" when misused. Literally is the opposite of figuratively. What "literally" ACTUALLY means is "to do something according to the concrete, literal, non-abstract definition of the word". For example, if someone says, "Getting pulled over by the cops literally made me sick," what they mean is that they ACTUALLY were sick (threw up), not that it "made them sick" according to the figurative meaning (it made them angry, it made them nervous). But people misuse it by using it to intensify the statement-- i.e. "I was so nervous I was LITERALLY climbing the walls!" when the perso
  8. I don't think it would. As is right now, all the heads of state are able to talk to each other, whether through knowledge of a lingua franca (English, generally) or translators. Yet, there is no peace. We still have fighting. We still have prejudice. If EVERYONE-- even the members of the public who don't participate in policy, even members of tribes in Africa who live mostly off the grid-- could speak English, that doesn't mean they'd have a say. That doesn't mean they'd be more likely to communicate with people from other countries. I don't think it would be a bad thing, but I don't th
  9. This isn't a formal, fancy quote from a writer, but it's something my sister's (Slovakian) boyfriend said: "English sounds like those sounds you make with your mouth while you're chewing gum." I can totally see that! It's so flat sounding, so full of schwas.
  10. We say "ear", not "year". The correct article is "an" -- we say "an ear". We also say "an earring", not "a earring". There might be some informal dialects that use "a", but in "correct" standard English, "an" is the proper article.
  11. I definitely know what you're talking about! I live in the southwestern United States, where Spanish speakers are abundant. There are lots of people I could practice with, but I always hesitate. When I speak to friends, I *would* be comfortable using Spanish, but the fact is, they speak English way better than I speak Spanish. Trying to use only Spanish just gets in the way of communication. We end up speaking in English. When I speak to members of the public who legitimately don't speak English very well, I'm always a little worried I might offend them. Race/ethnicity relations can be
  12. I started to learn Spanish and Esperanto when I was in ninth grade (Spanish was part of school curriculum; Esperanto was my own endeavor). I wish I had started learning them earlier. Schools that teach foreign languages in elementary school really have the right idea. Think about it. How many of your peers who took two years of foreign language in high school (followed by two years of the same language in college) hardly speak a lick of it? It doesn't stay with them. Investing in language learning in early childhood would be so much more effective.
  13. The earlier the better. People used to think that children who were raised with several languages would get "confused" and would have delayed linguistic development, but this is not the case. They will not be slower to speak nor will they get confused. They may mix the two languages in sentences, but this is often a way to make up for the problem of not yet having learned a word. For example, a baby growing up learning Vietnamese and English might say a sentence only in English save for a few words, but only because they couldn't access that word in English but could access it in Vietnames
  14. I think the "secret" is just having the drive and desire to learn them. As someone who speaks English, Spanish, and Esperanto, and has dabbled in American Sign Language and Turkish, desire alone is the key. If you don't *want* to learn them, really bad, you won't get around to it. In some ways, learning a third language that has things in common with your other two is very helpful; the vocabulary will be similar and you'll remember it better. However, if the languages are too similar and you learn them at the same time, in my experience, you WILL get the vocabulary mixed up. I was studyin
  15. I think it depends on what you're planning to use your new language for. Do you want to learn it so you can travel and really communicate with the locals and make friends? Then grammar isn't so important. Being able to converse (which can be done well without being perfect at grammar) is the most important. But do you want to learn it so you can break into that field on a professional level? For example, are you from Latin America attending college in the United States and want to publish papers in academic journals? Then learning the grammar is going to be important.
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