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  1. Prompted from another post about the history of the English language. I got to thinking about what words used in English come from other languages perhaps because we were invaded, for example by the Romans, Vikings and later the Normans. Here is a link to old French words that are now used (modified) for English. quite interesting http://www.collinsdictionary.com/words-and-language/word-origins/words-from-french,9,HCB.html
  2. The English language as you say is heavily influenced by French.... Actually, that's wrong, we were invaded by the Norman's and not the French and so our language is influenced by the Norman language. We share many words that are similar, for example the English word 'Jail' comes from the word 'Gaol' ... 'Guard' from the word 'Garde' There are many more
  3. My wife is Spanish and although fluent she still makes mistakes with certain words and this is down to the way Spanish pronounce letters such as J, B, V For example we don't sleep in a bed ... It is a Beth and we dont eat bread it is now Breath.. The worrying think is that I now adopt these weird words when we are chatting :-)
  4. Don't count yourself out yet Kit. I know people who thought they would be hopeless and are going on fine. And many countries now are looking to improve the English of the nationals, China is a big one right now and there seems to be plenty of work there.
  5. Ha ha I get this point. In my dreams I am also fluent but like you have no idea if I am speaking well or just speaking rubbish. Or... maybe I am speaking fluent and my mind is just doing the job that my 'awake' mouth can't :-)
  6. Im sure many would agree that the best way to improve your new language skills is to be in the thick of it. Being surrounded by people who speak the language must push you to learn especially when the country you are in don't speak your own language.
  7. Mandarin Chinese. I would say that it would be valuable in terms of business indeed the Chinese are now learning to speak Mandarin as it is the way forward for them also. Also, I wonder if you would get better service in the local restaurant when you can chat away?
  8. Dreaming for me in another language is how I felt I was really getting to grips with Spanish. Apparently lots of people think that this is the turning point in your studies. I may have dreamed in Spanish, I can't say it was all good though :-)
  9. And so it seems that many people are now learning a new language because it may open doors to new opportunities and the chance to work around the world. One way of doing this is to teach you own language (for me English) to foreign nationals by joining companies that want you to be accredited by the likes of TEFOL. Has anyone been down this route and if so, what are your experiences?
  10. It seems that you know you are taking in the new language when you start dreaming in that language. This heppened to me a while back and when I woke up it was strange, but in a good way to know I had been speaking, and fluently, Spanish.... I can't speak fluently when awake !!
  11. I agree and when I was taking Mandarin lessons I was baffled at first about the tones, and each of the four tones can make a word meaning something different. for example, you may be saying the word for mother but by using the wrong tone you call her a horse :-)
  12. Google translate wont be the be all and end all but while learning or indeed trying to understand something written in another language it does indeed help.. well mostly. I have found myself scratching my head in confusion though :-)
  13. So, I was talking to some friends the other day and all of whom are learning a new language. The question arose of what language may be the easiest to learn and after a chat and some research the answer, perhaps strangely (it was to me) was Afrikaans. Do you guys have any thoughts on this?
  14. I caught this piece while reading. It seems after a scientific study that this is partly because the brain processes different languages in different ways and people learning Chinese use both sides of the brain rather than the one needed for English. Read more here http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/research/story/0,9865,987917,00.html
  15. In my case I always wanted to speak another language but now with a Spanish wife that kinda gave me the direction and push I needed to get on with it. So, how about you guys?
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