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About Sarah676

  • Birthday 08/23/1991


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  1. The absolute best way to build vocabulary, I've found, is to spend a lot of time around people who speak the language you're learning. There is nothing that compares to this; if you spend a lot of time interacting with native Spanish speakers, you will get a real idea of which words are the most commonly used and, being in a situation where you're forced to learn so you can make heads and tails of the conversation, your vocabulary will improve very fast. I'm currently studying Japanese and I found that when I spent time in Japan, my vocabulary imprved ten times faster than it does when I'm studying by myself. So yes, my advice is to try and find opportunities to converse with native Spanish-speakers, and try not to be embarrased if at first you have a hard time understanding what they're saying. With constant exposure to the language, you'll be amazed by how quickly you improve.
  2. I don't see why you wouldn't be able to use "hoax" in a formal/official text. I can't think of any words with the exact same meaning as "hoax"; it's a very specific word and I don't think there are any other words that convey its meaning more effectively. So if I were you, I'd go ahead and use it!
  3. You are correct that in this case, both "get on to" and "get through to" mean "to contact, as by telephone". The only difference between the two dentences is that the first sentence is asking "Are you able to contact the suppliers (in the present)?", whereas the second sentence is asking "Were you able to contact the suppliers (in the past)?"
  4. Over the course of my schooling, I've had the opportunity to take Japanese classes from a variety of different teachers, and I've notived an interesting trend where I find it a lot easier to learn from non-native Japanese speakers. I think this is because with native speakers, since they never had to consciously learn the rules of their language (they mostly learned them intuitively as they were growing up), they are not able to explain the rules as clearly as somebody who's had to consciously learn the language when they were older. I imagine this is true not just for learning Japanese, but for learning any language. I currently work as an ESL tutor, and I've noticed that sometimes I really struggle to explain certain aspects of the English language because I've never really had to think about them - I've always just known English without ever havign to consciously learn it. What do you guys think? Has anyone else found this to be the case?
  5. I too think calligraphy is very beautiful, but it's also very difficult to do well! When I was attending a Japanese high school on exchange a few years ago, we got to take a calligraphy class and I discovered just how undoordinated I am! Some of the students who had been studying calligraphy for a long time were able to do the most beautiful artwork and it was very intimindating. I'd love to get better at it though!
  6. Hey, thanks for your reply! I think the main thing for me to remember is that things that would be fairly easy for a native speaker - such as writing a 1000-word paper - are a lot harder for non-native speakers because of all the extra work they have to put into using the language correctly. So I'll definitely keep that in mind! Your English is really good by the way!
  7. Does anybody else get confused about when they should use "which" vs when they should use "that"? For example, look at the following sentences: "I'm wearing the dress that I love." "I'm wearing the dress which I love." I personally prefer the first sentence because it feels more correct, but I can't really explain why it's more correct using English grammar rules. So does anybody have a simple explanation of the rules when it comes to using "which" vs "that"?
  8. The word that I often see used as an example of how un-intuitive English spelling is is "Colonel". It looks literally nothing like how it's pronounced, which is of course "kernel".
  9. I hate it when people refer to the toilet as the "potty". I recently moved from Australia to the US and I've noticed that this is a very American thing. My theater director at college today kept saying we were taking a "potty break" whenever we stopped for a break during rehearsals and it was driving me crazy! Actually, there are a lot of Americanisms like that that I find annoying simply because they're not what I'm used to. Another example is the word "restroom". In Australia most people would say "bathroom", so I'll probably always prefer "bathroom" over "restroom" simply because it's what I grew up with.
  10. This is one of those things that I remember being told never to do when I was learning to write as a child, but as I got older I realised teachers just tell you that so you won't get lazy and overdo it. So yes, it's perfectly acceptable to begin sentences with "and" or "but"; however, I'd recommend avoiding doing so if you're not comfortable with writing in English because it can become a bad habit if overused.
  11. My primary motivation was simply that I find the language very beautiful, and when I started learning I found that it "clicked" with me more than other languages have. Now that I'm in the process of learning, what motivates me to keep going is the awesome feeling I get when I reach a new level of understanding. Learning anything is fun if you're interested in the subject matter!
  12. This happened to me with Chinese (specifically Mandarin) as well. I've been studying Japanese for a while now and really enjoy it, so I figured I'd give Mandarin a go as well. Sadly, I found it to be a lot harder than Japanese. The hardest thing for me to learn was the tones - I just couldn't get my pronunciation right and I got discouraged. I hope to take it up again though, when I have more time to devote to it.
  13. I started studying Japanese for two reasons: Because I really like the way the language sounds, and because I have an interest in Japanese culture. I visited Japan for a month and really enjoyed it, and I would love to live there someday. Surprisingly, I'm not a big Manga or Anime fan; I say "surprisingly" because most other Japanese-learners I've met were at least partially motivated by their love of Manga/Anime.
  14. I imagine if your friend stays in your country for an extended period of time, he probably will improve at the language without even trying, simply by virtue of being surrounded by people who speak it all the time. I found that when I visited Japan for a month, my Japanese improved a lot with minimal effort on my part.
  15. I think that when you're studying a language, it's important to have someone you can go to for feedback on your pronunciation, correct use of vocabulary, etc. A new language is not something you can learn 100% by yourself. Obviously a classroom-type setting is good for getting feedback because it provides you with a teacher, along with fellow students you can practice conversation with. That said, you can succeed in teaching yourself a language if you make sure to regularly seek out situations where you can practice conversation and listening skills with others who speak or are learning the language. That's what I'm doing right now with teaching myself Japanese and it's going quite well.
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