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Everything posted by justusforus

  1. I think dictionaries are very helpful not only for looking up a definition, but seeing alternate definitions and the origin of words. I think if you read the entries and think about these things you can reinforce your learning both in your native tongue as well as in a second language.
  2. Communication and cooperation is the key. If you take the time to explore commonalities, the differences will never seem that great. There is also the old saying "where there is a will, there is a way". I like your suggestion and short of learning a new language, there are times we are thrust in a situation with a person and you can really try to get concepts across and if both are open and willing, often a basic understanding can be had.
  3. I do not know of any particular study, but it seems familiarity will help in any learning context. I would compare it to watching a sport before taking formal lessons in that sport. You would be able to be a bystander and learn the general "lay of the land" before partaking. I can't imagine it could hurt and could see that it may make it easier to acquire a new language skill by immersion in it.
  4. I learned Latin at an early age and I believe it helped with expanding my vocabulary and has helped with not only my native tongue, English, but with learning a second language. Latin was also helpful in both my legal studies and when I took medical courses. I would hope this "uncommon" language never falls into disuse.
  5. I think many people are "visual" learners. I too grew up with an alphabet board and a chalk board and all of my siblings and I were early talkers and writers. If a picture helps you with the concept as opposed to just looking at the characters of the word, by all means use it. I believe people can learn from imprinting a visual especially in learning a complex system like a language.
  6. I have to agree with most. Between many dialects and regional variations, the speed with which many native speakers talk does make it difficult for me to hear the separation of words as well. It does get easier with more familiarity, but maybe many find this same issue when learning a new language.
  7. I enjoyed reading all the comments, but it seems to me that they all are "correct" and are a matter of preference and regional use. I would not be concerned with the usage since I think all the forms mentioned would convey the idea.
  8. If poetry is seen as its own art form, then it should not follow any rules but its own. That being said, I have read poetry that bends traditional grammar but when used as a vehicle for expression, I think it should not be "regulated". If you compare it to art, how fun would it be if everyone painted by numbers.
  9. It would probably be best if there was a way to have a "neutral" language so that it didn't imply and sort of superiority of one language over another. It also would keep politics out of the mix. I am not a trekkie, but I would rather see Klingon than any real language. With technology today, I am sure someone could write a program which could merge all languages into a sort of blend. How diplomatic would that be?
  10. I think this is not as much a sin of technology but of the erosion of discipline and respect in an academic setting. I think the schools should enforce policies for discipline since you are correct, a disruption affects the entire class.
  11. I always like to write and speak properly to friends and even folks I am just meeting. There is so much slang and short cuts these days and I think it leads to sloppiness and bad habits. Like the word "irregardless" is so often used, I think others pick up on this improper word since they hear it so much. I would never correct anyone in a way to hurt their feelings, but I think we all should strive to be, talk and by way of example do all we can to the best, not worst or simplest, of our abilities.
  12. I have taught at the graduate school level and speak professionally. I talk as the spirit moves me but I have been either accused of sounding too "high brow" and other times I have been told I sound like I am "dumbing down". I only care that if I am explaining something I am understood and if giving an opinion, I don't want to hurt feelings, so I hope not to be misunderstood.
  13. Sometimes (I do this before I realize I am doing it) I take on the inflection of the person speaking to me. I am a "yankee" (raised in the Northern United States) and when I am speaking with someone from Texas or the South, I can start picking up their "drawl" and have even picked up the "Valley girl" affect when talking to some from Los Angeles. I am not mimicking or teasing, it just is something that sort of happens. Sometimes the other party picks up I am doing it, but I usually hear it after the fact from a friend who overhears the conversation.
  14. My favorite quote is from "Thelma and Louise" where all the authorities are trying to track them down and one officer says to another that those gals "must be really smart or really lucky". The head investigator replies: "Well brains will only get you so far and luck always runs out".
  15. I find that even though circuitous logic sometimes, once you know the history, there is a little basis in fact or observations that lead to the phrase. Some are really hard to see so you really have to "squint" to get it. Others make no sense at all.
  16. I don't think the characterization is true, but I think you are right that this is a widely held belief. When I grew up in the US, a second language was mandatory in the public school system. I don't know if that has changed, but me and all my friends had a choice of Spanish, French or Latin...yes mandatory.
  17. Welcome and glad to see your initiative in learning both. This is a great place to learn, interact and meet some interesting people. Enjoy.
  18. Good for you for creating another informative site. I will be pleased to drop by there as a show of support.
  19. I love being a language "ambassador"...all the medals and badges make me feel like a real diplomat. Others have said it though, the forums and the discussions are quite unique and engaging.
  20. I think there are already ways for those unable to speak naturally to do so with technology. The simplest being a keyboard with a voice synthesizer. I guess the question may depend on what you mean by dumb or mute. Some speak through devices already who have damaged or loss of vocal chords through the "trach" hole and the device they hold up there and it sounds like a vibrato in the words.
  21. I am not sure I agree with the premise. If you follow that idea, then any classroom experience would curb learning. Having previously taught for many years, I find that the interaction and questions usually benefit all the students. The dynamics of group learning also adds to progress since some students may not be the type to voice and opinion or ask a question, but all students can benefit from the discussion which follows.
  22. Welcome jubvman. Hope you enjoy the forum. Glad to see your ambition and I am sure there are people that will have suggestions on the site.
  23. I always snicker a bit when I hear someone use "bamboozle" which means to trick or "hoodwink". The latter definition is another word that just sounds like it comes from another day and age. The first time I heard "twerk" regarding the Miley Cyrus performance, I thought it was quite odd sounding. It was here on linguaholic I learned it is actually a word with much more history than the recent music awards.
  24. I was watching the captions on an English show and in parenthesis it said "car turns over". I wonder about that phrase since it means the car engine started after turning of the ignition versus a vehicle flipping topsy turvy. Another one I find out is "blue in the face" although I realize it must refer to trying to the point of losing oxygen-hence turning blue. I still find it an odd turn of phrase or at least one I just do not like as it is sounded.
  25. Another response talked about "artists" which I believe poets fall within. If you are discussing art there are always "blurred lines" depending on the artist and the style of painting. In poetry, I don't think it is a question of whether breaking traditional rules is allowed, but rather does the work itself facilitate the message. Poetry itself has many different types and some may seem to "break the rules" from other poems. The question of success often depends on the way something is received, rather than the delivery.
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