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Everything posted by Bloomsie

  1. I grew up with the concept of always reading books that interest me, but to also keep a Dictionary around in case I stumble. Sometimes Dictionaries are extremely helpful in coherently understanding the book that you are reading. It can also help you develop your vocabulary as most people who speak English as their first language are considered "lazy" in developing themselves and just stick to what they know. So the concept of using a Dictionary when reading is actually decent and i think that schools should still promote that style of learning. I mean, think about it this way: you can always read another language that you're studying, but are you truly understanding what words mean or are you just reading it just to say that you've read it? In my opinion, the Dictionary adds depth and understanding to the words.
  2. It may be simple because you understand the different between present and past tense, but usually that is considered the most difficult in many languages. Even to this day, I have trouble remembering the different types of present-past tenses in Spanish and I've been studying in classes for 4 years. I think the best way to help with understanding past versus present tenses is to partner up each word with each other within a table and memorize from there. For example: [table] [tr] [td] PRESENT [/td] [td] PAST [/td] [/tr] [tr] [td] is [/td] [td] was [/td] [/tr] [tr] [td] take [/td] [td] took [/td] [/tr] [/table] People don't realize it but the reason why we understand the grammar and punctuation of English isn't just because we understand how it works, but it's also because we were drilled so much growing up that we typically memorized everything.
  3. I don't speak French, but my father does. I showed him your question to ensure that you had a distinct answer. The phrase "code à barres" is the correct saying for "barcode" however, it is considered too formal. Most of the time when talking about the barcode of an item, just mentioning "à barres" can make the point. It may not be grammatically correct, but once you know the language well, you begin to short-hand it- just like English. It is considered singular and not plural because you are referring to one barcode (even if multiple items have it).
  4. So one thing that I found to be helpful when studying languages either on my own or through the University was learning the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). The reason why I bring this up is that IPA is a universal alphabet that is often used to understand the sounds and phrases of each language. There are so many symbols that represent each language along with its rules that I think it would be a great addition to those who may want to study it to better understand languages as a whole. If you are in favor of this recommendation for the Forum, I would suggest either an IPA section within each language OR just an overall IPA section within "Study Other Languages". IPA is truly a useful technique to study languages efficiently!
  5. Languages and myself are not that great. I am always able to read and understand certain languages that I study, but when it comes to speaking, I am always messing up and it takes me forever to figure out what I to say. So yes, I have been in your place and have been shy before, especially when I'm trying to speak a foreign language. I have been studying Hebrew nearly my entire life. Hebrew is my past, present and future and is the language of who I truly am. I am able to read and understand Hebrew when my family or friends speak it to me, but I never speak back. More or less, I think that it is a confidence issue. You know that you have been working your brain off with this specific language but when you speak to others who are naturally gifted of knowing the language, you feel incompetent. That's how I feel most of the time, however, when I see others who are struggling to know the language, I am able to speak it to them because I know they are perhaps in the same boat as I am. Just believe in yourself and don't think too much of the person or people you're speaking to conversing in the language. Once you have that confidence, you'll be able to overcome your shyness in speaking to others. Granted, you'll still be "shy" because it's your personality, but you won't be uncomfortably shy (if that makes sense)!
  6. I have seen only a few Cici's Pizza restaurants around my area but I have never heard of this amazing deal! Granted, it is a bit too late to do it now, but if they end up doing this yearly, I think that it would be a wonderful outing. I have had quite a bit of influential teachers this year that I would definitely love to do something special for them. Usually I write them a lovely letter bought from papyrus thanking them for a wonderful semester. Thanks for letting me (and everyone else) know about this idea!
  7. I currently go to a State University in the United States and we are required to take an English Proficiency Exam to determine our acceptance for graduation. We call it the Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE) and it's typically given once a year and the entire student body who are Sophomore's and higher have to take it and pass the first time. If you don't pass, then you have to take a number of English classes and retake it again once you finish those English classes. What's worse is that we have a lot of ESL students who take this test and struggle. While Proficiency Exams are a wonderful census for University's, the amount of pressure it puts on students is unnecessary.
  8. I have no idea what age I was when I was interested in learning new languages. I do know, however, that I was extremely surrounded by multiple languages growing up. My family would speak Hebrew, English, French, Spanish and my father was the special one who added his fifth language of Japanese. So languages have been a big part of my life. I think I've been more interested in singing and reading languages than actually knowing them since I was little. I am able to read Hebrew, French, and Spanish, but can only understand a handful of terms. So I think at my age right now, I hope to learn each language on its own and develop a better understanding and become fully literate.
  9. Learning new languages can be frustrating. You have to turn off one half of your brain to open another that is ready for all of this new and complicated information. As for the person who should be helping you, I think they are doing exactly what they should be doing. When learning a language, you need to really, really step up your game, and what better than to be pressured to do so? Think of it this way, if you were to be surrounded by people who only speak Dutch and you tried to speak in your currently state of knowing the language, would they be courteous of you? Probably not, right? They would most likely not talk to you as much because of the language barrier. And that should make you feel more uncomfortable than anything. So the person helping you is truly giving you that perspective to get you to work harder; especially if it is an extremely important exam that you are to take soon.
  10. While I believe that to be a remarkable ability, I find that to be cheating the system. I believe that if you're going to be learning a language, you should figure out how the language works in relation to its culture and the history of how this specific language came to be. Especially if the language does not derive from Latin roots. For those who are learning more than one language at a time, you're not getting the full experience of the language(s) that you're learning!
  11. There is a wonderful book that makes you realize the perspectives around you. It's called, 'The Secret'. I forgot whom it was written by, but it's basically about adding positive thoughts into your mind during any type of situation. You'll then realize that you're attracting that positive energy to you and good things can occur. It's pretty interesting and I think in later years was turned into a documentary. I would recommend this book and documentary for those who need a bit more positive mental influence in their lives. It's definitely a book that can inspire many -- even you!
  12. I know that most Aramaic languages are written and read from right to left. This includes Hebrew, Arabic and Farsi. Other languages that embed Hebrew are written and read the same way such as Ladino and Yiddish. But typically those two languages are often transliterated into English, so it's written and read left to right.
  13. The main part of learning another language that I dread the most is grammar. I find grammar to be annoying. I typically pay attention to detail, but when it comes to grammar, it's always the unknown for me. It's way too ambiguous. So when I'm learning another language, I often stumble on the grammar part because I can't handle it in my own language. Perhaps one day, I'll let go of the fear of grammar and learn another language with pure confidence, in hopes to actually get it right through and through.
  14. I do agree that it's best to learn a language when you're living in the country for a good amount of days. My father learned a hefty amount of Japanese when he spent 6 months in Japan. But as for me, I learn visually. So watching movies or listening to music that I already know in English and is switched to a different language with that language being written (sub-titles) on the screen helps me immensely. I'm currently trying to learn Hebrew and right now, I'm working on the song, "Do You Want to Build a Snowman" from Disney's Frozen. I know all of the words, but now singing the Hebrew phrases by heart, I can break all of that down and realize what each word means (vocabulary) and why certain words are in certain areas (structure).
  15. Now that I'm learning Hebrew more and more each day, I am the same way. When I hear certain songs, I can just understand a little bit each time of what they are saying. Especially being religious and conducting Friday Night Sabbath prayers, connecting a lot of the words together and figuring out how structures go is extremely helpful to pick up. It's great that you use the same method to keep studying Hebrew without meaning to study! It's definitely a really nice way to keep that spark alive if you ever wanted to come back to it; you already know that it wouldn't be difficult to remember certain phrases, words and sentence structures.
  16. A great way to learn Hebrew (or any language) is to be able to hear, visualize and speak the language as much as you can. I'm currently learning Hebrew, and I found that the best way to learn it, is by singing songs that I already know in English and connecting the words together. So far, I've been practicing two songs that are sung in Hebrew, but it contains the Hebrew, pronunciation and transliteration for those who are learning! Here are great examples of songs that can help you learn Hebrew! There are more examples out there, but these are just a couple that I'm personally working on. What songs are you working on to learn Hebrew? Or, what songs would you like to work on to learn Hebrew?
  17. I don't know who said this, but one of my favorite quotes that I often go by is: "Actions speaks louder than words" -- Anonymous It's a quote that stands true to individuals. Lying is too easy, but when you make the effort to do something for someone via sacrifice your time or life, then it's true. The quotes you listed are lovely!
  18. Although English is my first language, I am not confident in teaching the language. I may be decent at it, but I always remind myself that as an American, we were taught English 13 years of our life. From Kindergarten until 12th grade did we learn English from learning the alphabet to writing essays. 13 years and perhaps even more in college depending on our placement exams. My point is that there may be some individuals that can, but there are most that cannot. English is such a broken language that even people (such as myself) who are used to learning such a language for many years doesn't necessarily care as much to learn the details. When we're learning another language foreign to us, we tend to make sure every detail is right. But in English, grammar, punctuation and even spelling is often forgotten or hardly cared for.
  19. I agree with many others that freedom means to voice your own opinion, but I think of it a bit more than just that. To me, freedom truly means being yourself and allowing yourself to come alive for others to see. Whether they judge harshly or greatly for who you are is up to them. Just as long as you are truly yourself and can accomplish great, then that's freedom. Yes, voicing your opinion comes with it, but it's the whole value of what freedom can be for an individual.
  20. Realistically, I would most likely last the one week given. But depending on the country that I'm stuck in, being a female may have some of it's perks. Maybe I'd find my true love in the country that I'm working so hard in trying to learn it's language from and could live there for a lifetime! But again, realistically, only one week.
  21. As some have mentioned, I'm extremely proud of finishing ANY Shakespeare novel. He's such a brilliant writer, but he's too much 'old English' for me. If I complete the book without spark notes, it's most definitely a celebration for me.
  22. I've used an Audio Book once in my life. It was when I read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. It was a large book of the series (of the time) and I couldn't handle reading it on my own. The audio book helped me overcome my fear of large books. The only problem that I had with it, was that I didn't allow myself to understand the book at my pace. I was only 13 years old and was listening to the book while reading the book in front of me as if an adult. It allowed me to actually lose focus than anything. But this is my own experience with it. It's great to start out with, but never to rely on.
  23. Unfortunately, LOADS of languages will be lost within my family. On my father's side, my grandmother originated from Algeria (French), my grandfather's family from Poland. My grandmother knows French, Spanish and English. My grandfather knows Polish, Hebrew, French, Spanish, English and some Yiddish. My dad was the only one out of three in his family to know French, Spanish, English, Hebrew and he later taught himself Japanese. On my mother's side, my grandmother is from Morocco and my grandfather is from Egypt. My grandmother knows Arabic, Hebrew, English and Spanish. My grandfather knows Hebrew, English and Arabic. My mother along with the rest in her family (in a family of 6) knows Hebrew and some Arabic. My mom was fortunate enough to learn Canadian French while growing up in Canada before coming to America. With this said, my brother and I were born in a pile of languages. Unfortunately, him and I only know English. We can understand the languages, but we can't speak them. So they're considered lost. Luckily, my boyfriend and perhaps fiance-to-be knows Hebrew, and there can be a language that would still be alive and found!
  24. When I text, I write everything out. I can't stand shortcuts and other abbreviations. It's not the fact that it looks illiterate, it's just annoying to figure out. If everything is written out, then there's no confusion of trying to analyze a shortcut. I find communication to be important.
  25. BWL - I have yet to learn Arabic. My grandfather speaks it from time to time (born in Egypt), but I was never accustomed to it as I was to other languages. I remember hearing a lot of syllabic differences though in words that do sound the same. So I can understand the ambiguity when reading the words. Haha! Although I've seen Hebrew for most of my life, I have such a hard time reading it perfectly and quickly. But when it comes to French, Spanish and Italian, I can speed through the language like no ones business. I wouldn't necessarily completely understand it, but it would sound as if I knew the language. I unfortunately don't get that from Hebrew. I'm very curious... What was your first language that you learned?
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