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    French (semi-fluent)

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  1. I always use full and proper sentences, regardless of who I'm speaking to, or any text limit. If there is a limit, I will break my message into more than one part. I think proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation are important in every facet so I go out of my way to ensure I'm a good role model in such situations. The down side of this is that, when I run into friends who type like that, I have a very hard time tolerating it and often can't take them seriously!
  2. Heart idioms! Great idea. ...to have a "bleeding heart" generally means you are very emotional. ...to have your "heart in your mouth" means someone is nervous. ...to be "after my own heart" which means they have very common interests with me. ...the "way to a man's heart is through his stomach" which means that if you feed a man, he will be more likely to love you I look forward to seeing more of these!
  3. I try to watch French TV sometimes (which is easy since I'm in Canada) -- things like the news, and, if I'm lucky, the Simpsons. I find that they speak so incredibly fast that I can only pick up on numbers, dates, and other basic toddler level information. It makes me feel like an idiot, but, it is a good way to see how well you'd fit into an all foreign-language environment. It's a great test. The other thing to remember is that in a true to life situation, most people will be sensitive to the fact that you do not speak their language natively, and will slow down to help you out.
  4. True to meaning is the way to go. If you look at the Marketing Mistakes Abroad thread within Linguaholic, you'll see some absolutely fantastic examples of what happens when we just directly translate words across. Even at times we will just translate phrases within phrases; an example of this is like I just posted about Pepsi. Pepsi's slogan at a time was "Come alive with Pepsi!" but in China, they translated it to "Pepsi bring your ancestors back from the dead!" I think we can all agree if we speak English, that "Come alive!" in the original slogan was not meant to insinuate that it could raise the dead. It was just an English way of saying "Wake up and be refreshed!" or "Be vitalized!" or what have you.
  5. Hahaha, that's great, @ollie ! I'd love to see a photo of that. Apparently in Mexico, there is a bit of an issue with the translation of "Got Milk?" -- it comes across to them as, "Are you lactating?" which likely does not inspire the thirst the marketer's expected. One that I've always found hilarious is from a while back - maybe some older folks remember this slogan -- "Come alive with Pepsi!" Well, in Chinese, this translated to: "Pepsi bring your ancestors back from the dead!" FALSE ADVERTISING!
  6. I think it's only a matter of time before Google has an app where you use Google translate, hook in some earbuds, and as another person speaks to you, it translates it into your language -- right into your ear! Maybe even also providing you with a text version, in case you mishear. Also consider how great of a learning tool it would be if you heard the, say, English version in your ear - but your phone showed you the origin language properly on the phone! I think we'd learn languages so much quicker with a tool like this. And, knowing Google, it's probably already in the works.
  7. Awesome idea for a thread, @linguaholic ! I can't wait to check back on this one Japanese! I see someone did most of them up above.. Here are some others: Buta - Pig - Buu! Buu! Hitsuji - Sheep - Mee! Mee! Nezumi - Mouse - Chuu! Chuu! (Awwww.) :love: Karasu - Crow - Kaa! Kaa! Polish! Dog - Pies - Hau! Hau! Cat - Kot - Miau! Miau! Frog - Zaba - Recho! Pig - Swinia - Chrum! Chrum! Chicken - Kura - Gdak! Gdak! (aahahaha ) Cow - Krowa - Mu! Goat - Koza - Mee!
  8. So this is a bit off-topic - it's a misused phrase: "for all intents and purposes." Generally, if you listen closely, you'll hear people say "for all intensive purposes." I think even native English speakers don't figure this one out entirely until they're 21 or 22. The other word that people tend to use incorrectly is "Inconceivable!"
  9. What a great idea! I had never considered doing this before. Now I'm wondering if there is a Chinese version of my favourite cooking book, "How To Cook Everything". There just may be... And hey, if I misunderstand, I'll wind up with some really crazy dishes maybe? Heheh.
  10. ...you wake up from a really scary dream and swear in a language that isn't your own!
  11. Ah, awesome, you're on Facebook! Facebook can be a pain in the butt, but honestly, I tend to receive a company or community much better when they're easily found in social media sites. I think it's because I can see the people that are linked to them, and get a feel for the atmosphere that it might present. Is there a twitter account, too? It might be cool to tweet a little lesson per day! Or to copy and paste one post from here that fits within 140 characters that might be interesting on it's own. For example, I just found out that English is considered to be the easiest to learn by this forum ... If I were trying to learn English, and found that, I would definitely stick around here. Keep up the great work with the site. Let me know if you need any help!
  12. Oh wow, I'm actually very surprised that English seems to rank top of the list for easiest language! With all of our slang and weird terminology, I thought for sure it would be considered more difficult -- but I guess that is just mastering it. It's funny how many people with English as a second or third language I know that speak it so much better than many of my native English speaking friends. We've just had longer to develop bad habits! Well, thank you for the replies - though I was honestly hoping someone would say Chinese, since I'd love to learn that! Someone said Indonesian, though, and I will be going to Jakarta within the next year.. so maybe that will be next
  13. Oh, definitely English with a Canadian accent, eh? The more Canadian slang involved, the better! Take off, hoser! :love:
  14. I've always wanted to learn a third language. I'm a native English speaker, with some French ability. (By some, I mean that I can ask where the bathroom is located, and tell someone I don't understand -- the most important phrases in any language!) What I'm curious about is this: for those of you who have become fluent in several languages, which did you find the easiest to learn, and why? Thank you for any input! :wacky:
  15. That TOEFL Grammar Quiz is interesting. I started to take it, and then got one wrong - and I'm a native English speaker! Looks like I need to get back to my roots and read up on English grammar. (For the curious: I incorrectly chose "none of the students (have) a car". The correct answer was apparently "has" - which sounds so unbelievably awkward to me!)
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