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About whatupswags

  • Rank
    Slang Poet


  • Currently studying
    French, Spanish
  • Native tongue
  • Fluent in
    English, French (conversational)
  1. When someone tells me straight up that English is not important, I usually just give them the most incredulous face I can make and laugh out loud. I'm not laughing at them, but at the preposterous nature of what they have just stated. Most typically, the people who make this statement are ignorant about more things than just language issues, and it's best to just not have those kind of people around you all of the time.
  2. English speakers can usually tell I'm from California because I say the word "like" a lot. When I speak French, all the French people know I'm not "from around here." Between English speakers, I can usually understand the differences between us because I have quite a few Canadian and British friends. The Australian and Welsh accents are more difficult for me to pick out, but typically they are the ones I just don't recognize as the others! American regional accents are really easy to sift through, too. When I meet someone new, I try to let them tell me where they are from, though, instead of g
  3. I find listening the most difficult! And no, this is not a problem for me in my native language. My auditory skills in language learning are very weak, and as hard as I try, I literally miss words and search to just grab hold of the main vocabulary. Yes, of course, this is a stage in the language learning process, but I've been living in France for almost 3 years now, so clearly, my level of comprehension should be a little bit higher. Reading and writing have definitely been the easiest for me because I can always re-read or re-write a mistake. Once something is said, it can't be taken back!
  4. I love Duolingo! My cousin showed it to me a few weeks ago, and I've really been enjoying it AND learning a ton! I took Spanish in high school, and have begun learning French since moving to France in 2011. Since learning more French, my Spanish has suffered, so I'm doing both of these languages on the app. Very easy to use, and let's you decide when and where you have time to learn. I love it!
  5. Happy that you got to come to Paris! The French get a bad reputation for being rude and unhelpful, but they are actually one of the most sincerely hospitable and generous cultures out there. They just don't have any interest in helping rude and ungrateful people! So, kudos to you, you were "worthy" of their services. What it really means what that you are polite, and they respect you for that! The French definitely are reactionary when it comes to "treat others as you would like to be treated!"
  6. When I first started living in France, I was right outside of Paris - so most of my friends and coworkers had the Parisian accent. However, I did have one coworker from Toulouse, and I actually found her the easiest to understand with my limited knowledge of French! I think her sounds were stronger as compared to the Parisian slur between words. The French-Africans I have met have always been very difficult for me to understand; I think it is because they speak very rapidly, but with a strong accent. I have never talked to a French-Canadian, but I lived in Belgium for a few months. The Belgian
  7. I tried out for a European volleyball league, and got placed first in Belgium, then in France. I'd always wanted to study French anyway, but never went to a school that offered it. Learning French is a huge challenge, but it is one that I will always be grateful for in my life because of the new paths I have been encouraged to take with learning and understanding another culture.
  8. If you're looking for a great language learning app, DuoLingo is awesome! I have just started using it, based on the recommendation by my cousin. It also has the option of becoming one of their contributors, as it is still a developing program. Right now it offers several languages learned from an English perspective, and vice versa. I'm really hoping that eventually, we will be able to learn Spanish from French, for example. The app involves reading, writing, speaking, and listening in a great functional manner. And...it's FREE. Language learners should all check it out!
  9. Google Translate has done a great job translating WORDS as individual entities for me with French. As far as phrases and concepts go, that's been another story! It's not too bad when translating French paragraphs (from work emails) to English; I understand the flaws and haven't had anything go haywire. But when I type something up in English and try to translate it to French - it's out of control! One of the main differences between French and English is in sentence structure (adjectives placement in regards to nouns, etc.), and it gets lost in GT. I tend to use it only for word-to-word transl
  10. I can't think of any negatives or drawbacks to learning more languages! I have a Czech friend who says that the more languages we speak, the more people we know. Language learning enhances cultural communication and understanding like nothing else in the entire world. Only knowing one language is so limiting, both from a personal and social perspective. I encourage everyone to tap into their mental capacity and start learning!
  11. I did it, and it all worked out! I actually went on a job tryout (sports) in Europe, and had no idea ahead of time if I would get a job, let alone where it would be! It was very stressful, and because of the huge unknowns involved, I could not even prepare to learn a language in advance. Athletes were placed anywhere from Finland to Spain, Montenegro to Germany - all over the place! I ended up thankfully getting a job in French half of Belgium, where I started learning French immediately. So many people speak English around the world now that there is always someone who is going to be able to
  12. My college tried to give us more well-rounded cultural learning opportunities by requiring 6 units (2 classes) of cross-cultural credits. In theory, this is a great idea. In practice, however, my college was a very small school (1200 students), and the diversity of our faculty and course offerings was obviously limited. I was able to slide through these credits on "California History" and "Ethnic America." These were both just niche history classes taught by two of the history department professors. My friend took "Beginners Italian," offered by one of the English department professors who hap
  13. I'm a writing fanatic, so the grammar is VERY important to me. However, surviving in another country relies entirely upon being understood conversationally, so my French lessons in France have been tailored to that need first. We have been adding grammar slowly, but surely, and as much as I appreciate it, it also frustrates me that I am learning I have said certain phrases incorrectly for two years now! I wish I could have had more grammar at the beginning mixed in with the necessary phrases, then I would feel like my language would have advanced at a more normal rate.
  14. Great question! Yes, it's definitely "an hour," not "a hour." This website has the rules and is easy to read and understand. http://editingandwritingservices.com/a-or-an-before-words-beginning-with-h/
  15. I have run into an opposite sort of problem. Learning French, I have learned one phrase in particular that I'd like to use in English, but just sounds ridiculous when translated! In French, the phrase is, "morale dans ses chaussettes." This translates to, "morale in their socks," and it just means everyone is sad. I've started saying it to my American friends just to be funny, and that works for a joke, but I wish it actually made more sense in the context!
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