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Everything posted by Elienc

  1. I'm afraid that depends on your keyboard. My European Azerty-keyboard here has got the option, it's on the button on the second row, two left from Enter. I do Shift+umlaut-button, and then the letter I want to be umlauted (if that's even a word). Look for just 2 dots, a colon reversed really :-) If I don't put a letter afterwards, it looks like this: ¨ However, I suppose not all keyboards have got the option. You can always check for ALT-codes or, when in Word, insert symbols, but it is a slow way of working.
  2. For me, there is not much 'incentive' to learn a language if I can't do anything with it. I study or studied French, English, German, even Latin, to be able to read literature written in those languages. Which is why I would like to learn Italian and Spanish too. Esperanto has, as far as I know no real literature. Other reasons might be to get to know the culture, as you said, or to speak with people in their own language, which I believe is an act of kindness or respect. However, nobody has got Esperanto as a native language, and it's not associated with any specific cultures. That being said, I do am curious how it works, and if I can see a use, it might be added to my 'to learn' list :-)
  3. Yes! Very annoying as I don't seem to be able to think any further and find the proper word, expression or a way to describe it in the language I need at the moment. My mind goes 'but I told you what it is! Shutdown bzzzzzz'. Thank for doing that during oral exams German, Brain! I realize it while correcting friends' grammar/word choice. Or being overly entousiastic about an expression or fun fact in/about another language: 'did you know English hasn't got a word for... ' or 'in Finnish, there are x ways of saying this or that word!'
  4. I'm from Belgium too, Dutch-speaking as Jeroen is. I do recognize his story, got French at age 9 or 10, English at 13 or something and German for the three last years of high school. I think mainly in Dutch or in images actually, but indeed, when reading English course books or taking a class in English (I mean any subject, courses given in English) or talking to English people, I sometimes think in English, take notes in English etc. Same sort of applies to French, but that takes some more time: after working in a trilingual office during internship, my English and French were jumbling and tumbling around, over, under eacht other Having such a chance to practice is great though, my French-speaking colleague wanted to practice Dutch and I wanted to practice French, so we spoke each others language and corrected the other when necessary. Dutch is of course my favorite, as it is my mothertongue. I sometimes mix in some English if there's a nice way of expressing things, not present in Dutch.
  5. I never took any computational linguistics classes, but in Dutch Grammar, we had to analyse sentences in similar fashion, I think each language has it's own system for doing it. The Dutch system seems very different from Japanese as you describe here. £I think it helps a great deal in understanding the grammar system of a language. In Latin you have to do it all the time, only to simply understand it/translate it. We never did it context-free though.
  6. When in my early teens, after reading Lord of the Rings, I tried learning Elvish language, got the Silmarillion at the local library, but was put off by the dry style and sheer volume and rules of it. Years later, at university, my soon-to-be boyfriend was talking about it, he learned it and was searching and puzzling to translate my name in Elvish. Should've already noticed him being in love then I suppose However intriguing, I never seem to get around to learning it, as I had enough languages and grammar to study already. Now however, I'm thinking about it again. I might give it another try in the near future, will probably help that boyfriend knows it. I agree that these 'invented' languages have a pronounciation pattern very much like Western languages, making them sometimes unrealistic/not exotic enough. Then again, maybe less people would try to learn them if they were harder/less recognizable?
  7. Thanks for reminding me of that website, used to 'play' it a lot in the past, but somehow forgot it existed. Great to hear it's still online!
  8. It is indeed a blessing and a curse, thoug I'm normally quite aware of what is proper English or not :-) English and German are quite similar too, and as I'm less fluent in German, I'm afraid some Dutch and English might slip in there :shy: I continue my search and quest for a better pronounciation though!
  9. Hello everybody, I think this is a good place for a question/problem that's been bothering me for some time now. Though I'm pretty fluent in English, understand nearly all and can read, write and speak sufficiently well, I'm quite uncertain when talking to native speakers. I seem to forget all vocabulary I know, end up stammering some incoherent things with the grammar of a toddler and vocabulary that doesn't stretch beyond 'uhm the thingie over there that does this or that'. Oh yeah, the sink. One solution is talking more of course, yet I don't really know any native speakers. Watching movies and series does not seem to help, been doing that for years without subtitles now. So, does anyone know about some site, program, app, that can improve pronounciation and word finding? Thanks in advance, Elien
  10. My favourite is 'Changing the goalposts during the game', as it is such a visual one. Every time I hear someone using it, or use it myself, I giggle because I see it happening :-)
  11. Hello everybody, I'm Elien, from Belgium. For those from across the world who don't know where it is: in the center of Europe, in between France, Germany and the Netherlands. Although it's a tiny country, we have three official languages: Dutch (called 'Flemish' here) in the northern part, French in the southern part and a little number of German speakers in the east. I speak Dutch (mothertongue), French and English fluently, and a little bit of German, but not very fluently. I'm 24 years old, finishing my Master's degree in Management. Before, I did a bachelor in Literature and Linguistics (English and Dutch) and a Master in Corporate Communication. Hobbies are singing in the university choir, reading, playing volleyball and running. Languages I'd love to learn include Italian and Spanish, and work on my German. Looking forward to get to know you all!
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