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Everything posted by bonniea

  1. I wish I had this opportunity. I think it would be awesome to learn the language faster and also learn the culture. I find when I travel that people are generally wonderful. To learn another culture and better understand people through speaking with them would be amazing.
  2. I learn and retain much better when I am able to speak it, in addition to hearing and writing practice.
  3. The earlier the better. When they are infants they need to hear one language. Once they start speaking well then you can add the second language. The most effective way seems to be to speak the lesser heard language at home. Then when they are in school (or pre-school) they will hear and learn the primary language of the area. Then they become bi-lingual from a very young age.
  4. I think some languages are harder to separate than others. For example the love languages of Spanish and Italian can sound alike when you are just listening casually. If you listen closely you will hear the differences. Asian languages have their own sound as do the languages like German and Russian.
  5. I don't use it. I try to stay away from sarcasm when emailing or texting because it is so easy to misunderstand. Communication is harder when writing than speaking because you don't have the advantage of non-verbal clues.
  6. I think flower and flour. I think it's crazy that they are pronounced exactly the same but have such different spellings. One of the interesting things about the English language is the large number of combinations that are like that.
  7. I love the sound of Italian. Especially when they are native speakers. They talk fast and the words almost run together. It sounds like they are singing. There is a lot of fluctuation in the voice and is really rolls of the tongue nicely.
  8. My husband speaks fluent Spanish so for me it is yes. He has tons of friends who speak mostly Spanish and they have been very supportive in helping me practice my Spanish. I feel very very lucky to have so much opportunity for practicing what I am learning.
  9. Spend at least a year traveling through Central America and South America. Then maybe spend a month or two in Spain. I think I will be able to learn a lot more about these cultures if I speak the language, than if I go knowing very little.
  10. I think phrases are much more useful because it helps to put words in context. It also is better when you get around to creating sentences. While you need to build a solid vocabulary of nouns and verbs, phrases will help you advance in your language learning.
  11. practice, practice, practice. Even if it means watching a movie in the language. To maintain a language you have to have exposure to it. I know so many people who were once fluent and then never practiced. It takes so much work to learn a language. I cannot imagine not maintaining it.
  12. In our city we have groups that meet and practice different languages. There are groups of people trying to learn English, Spanish, and French that I know of. There may be others represented but these are the ones I have been to. Basically they meet once a week and speak in whatever language they are trying to learn. A non profit runs it and our tourism department recommends it. So check and see if that is available where you live. If not, see if the community college has something. Our's have classes called conversational...(insert whatever language you want to learn).
  13. We still play table top games when we have a get together with either friends and family. This is a great game. We have a ton of bilingual friends so this is right up our alley.
  14. What a great idea. That would really help forum members a lot. I think it would be widely used.
  15. This forum has been great for me. I have piddled with improving my Spanish for some time now. I love this forum. It helps me stay motivated and practice like I should. I am hoping to be able to take some long term trips to central and south america in the next year so mastering Spanish will be so helpful.
  16. I love workbooks. They help me put the sentences and paragraphs together correctly. This way when I am speaking I have practiced the order things go. I think they help out a lot. I think writing adds a lot to memorization. When I just listen and speak I do not retain the information nearly as well. When I write too, my retention goes way up.
  17. That depends on where you live. When I lived in Florida I used Spanish a lot more than I do now. I do keep my eye out for opportunities to practice. I have a lot of friends who speak Spanish so I get a chance to practice. But if I did not look for opportunities I would not find as many as I do.
  18. Like anything it depends on how much you put into it. If you go the route of immersion you will learn a lot faster than taking one lesson a day. If you spend 3 hours a day studying and practicing you will learn much faster than if you spend an hour a day. We did not learn our mother tongue in a few weeks, and another language is the same way. It takes time.
  19. I like that I have lots of opportunity to practice Spanish. I like that am lot of the words are close to English words so it is easier to learn than many languages. I also love the culture. Spanish people, in general are great. very kind and encouraging that I am trying to learn their language.
  20. Spanish as a language is a beautiful language. I like words like mannana. They have a sing song feel to them and I think they sound great.
  21. I think languages sound very different. For example we had two exchange students at the same time. One from Italy and one from Germany. When the Italian was talking to his parents it sounded like music. Soft flow, the words and sentences flowing together. Even when it was unhappy it sounded sweet. The other was German, which sounds much harsher. It could sound like she was mad, even when she wasn't. Each word is more abrupt and closed rather than flowing together. Russian is the same way. Where Spanish, French and Spanish all roll off the tongue really easy.
  22. pretty standard are momma and dada. Then no and baba (for bottle). Nouns and verbs are almost always first. Softer sounds like m and p are easier than sounds like f and g. Once children get started they really take off. It's all about tongue control for children around one. Once they figure out they can control their tongue to make certain sounds they begin practicing what they hear.
  23. I do spend a lot of time with self study, but the conversation piece is important when it comes to getting the pronunciation and sentence structure. Self study is best for building my vocabulary.
  24. When I dream in the language I am learning. I considered that a huge breakthrough. The first time I dreamed in Spanish I was so excited. I felt like I was thinking subconsciously in the language I was trying to learning instead of hearing, translating, then responding.
  25. My experience is that people who move to another country as an adult never lose their accents. I have friends from many countries that came as adults and they still have very thick accents from their native country. Kids who come, even as teenagers tend to lose their accent to a greater degree. They are also more likely to use proper sentence structure. Adults who come over will often arrange sentences like their mother tongue, rather than the new culture. Whereas children will pick up the sentence structure used in the new country.
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