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Everything posted by erronousRogue

  1. I never really needed anything besides a few online courses, and a healthy dose of Google Translate. Paying for dictionary or translation software is pretty pointless, but something like an app for flashcards or more "advanced" language learning techniques could come in handy. There are a lot of them if you have an iPhone or an Android device.
  2. My teacher made us do it all the time, but I never really saw the point back. Even back then, it seemed so mundane and useless. Trying to READ conversations written by other people, on the other hand..
  3. All the time. These days I mostly speak English, so if someone tries to have a conversation with my in my native language, I often find myself trying to translate sentences back from English. It gets pretty annoying sometimes.
  4. Luckily I've memorized the position of every single option in my phone, and most of them have little pictograms accompanying them. I've had that problem once when I had to use Google Translate because I accidentally set everything to Russian. Spending two hours trying to decipher Cyrillic wasn't the most fun thing in my life, let's just say.
  5. Maybe with slower/more poetic songs it could work, but I've found that music and "media" in general, be it TV shows or radio talkshows are a horrible idea if you're just starting out. There's way too much "advanced" slang and accented speech, which makes it all sound like gibberish, sometimes even to native speakers of the language. Heck, there are some English songs which I still don't know the lyrics of, because the singing is just too fast to comprehend unless you look it up.
  6. A good way to figure out which one to use instead of relying on letters, is to simply memorize the pronunciation of the word, and write down the word like so (for instance, "a younicorn", or "an aour"). I don't get it why so many people have trouble understanding basic concepts like a/an or plural forms. It's honestly all pretty simple.
  7. 4.62$, it's on Google Play. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.uclb.ige21&hl=en There's also a lite version available if you want to try it without paying. The Play Store reports it as compatible with all of my devices, and it only requires Android 2.1, so you can probably run it. Just download the APK and see if it runs regardless, sometimes Play messes up.
  8. Cultural diversity/history/not really having a word for that thing. One perfect example I can come up with is the word we use for "paper containing a brief history of your employment and skills", either Curriculum Vitae or résumé, borrowed from Latin and French respectively (and neither of which are ever pronounced correctly). It's strange since the names of most "modern" inventions typically end up being borrowed letter for letter in other languages, FROM English, and not the other way. Even if it's a foreign invention with a name from another language, we end up making it "more English", which then becomes the standard.
  9. I'm guilty of doing this every once in a while myself. If I'm perfectly honest, it's one of those words that should just be the same form since the pronunciation is identical. Unlike "read", being pronounced as "red" in the past tense. Some standards are just plain confusing.
  10. I have Swype on my phone, so using absurd abbreviations and random numbers in my texts wouldn't really make sense in terms of usefulness. Not that I'd be otherwise inclined to say "lol partay @ my house 2nite" either.
  11. There's a Twitter account, check the other sticky. It's over at https://twitter.com/linguaholic1, although there's not much on it thus far.
  12. I... ugh. Given that a "word of the year" award doesn't mean a thing, but still. Come on people. It's not even the most popular "Facebook slang", especially in 2013.
  13. Some of the especially obnoxious ones (cutesy words that are used in a short form for no reason) really annoy me. Although it's fine if a long technical term is shortened to save time and improve legibility in everyday conversations (e.g., "Last day I synchronised my cellular phone with the online service" sounds a bit more meaty than "synced my phone to the cloud", even if the latter is more annoying.)
  14. Just tried it, it isn't exactly the hardest quiz ever. Some of the answers are a bit weird though. For example, the phrase "_______ that the American Indian crossed a land bridge into North America from what is now Russia." It can be correctly completed with both past and present terms. The quiz says the correct answer is "It is thought", but the option "It was thought" is just as correct. The only thing that changes is the meaning of the sentence itself, and both are in fact grammatically correct. "it is thought" would imply that people still believe in the assumption and nothing has proven it wrong, whereas "it was thought" would mean that the theory is incorrect, as something has proven it otherwise since then.
  15. Scandinavian languages are similar in their vocabulary and grammar, but they're not exactly the same. You'd be able to comprehend certain words the same way you understand German from knowing English (lampen, apfel, zucker, etc.), but you wouldn't be able to flawlessly speak the language itself, especially if you start with Swedish. The languages are a bit more closely related than English/German though, and you would be able to understand around 80-90% of Swedish vocabulary and written language by speaking Norwegian. If you want to understand Danish or Swedish as well in addition to your new language, your best bet is probably to start learning Norwegian (Bokmål), as it shares the most in common with the other languages. And Finnish is just completely different.
  16. Using it as a personal attack (i.e "You made grammatical mistakes therefor you must be stupid and your opinion ranks lower than mine") is just a sign of incompetence, and having nothing to say yourself. People who point out grammatical errors in a sentence are typically doing so to stall time, or to make themselves appear more "refined" than the person they're trying to argue with, simply because they assume their language skills are better.
  17. I find that trying to worry about anything does nothing but decrease my chances of success. Especially in verbal exams, appearing with a a calm demeanour and an air of confidence about you increases your chances of being perceived as knowledgeable, despite the actual mistakes you might make during the test. Just keep your cool and you'll blaze through anything.
  18. I could NEVER get "occurrence" or "address" spelled right. I always tend leave out a letter. Dunno, two consonants next to each other, and TWICE in the same word just feels wrong to me.
  19. "Exacting revenge" is a pretty obscure usage of the word, and it's not generally used in day to day conversations so I can definitely see where you're coming from. One of my biggest pitfalls is the term "money making", or "making money". For some reason I always interpret it as "money, which is making something", e.g. "Shame about the lack of money making options in town".
  20. I grew up learning both, and my language borrowed from British vocabulary probably the most, so it wasn't much of an issue for me. People who are born and raised in the US though, especially children/young adults tend to have no idea what half of the words mean. I watch British TV and listen to podcasts quite often, and even I'm having trouble with some of the more obscure slang terms and expressions they use. Vocabulary not so much, but abbreviations and common expressions can be quite difficult (tenner, telly, snogging, knob-head, etc.)
  21. It depends a lot on how you go about learning it. When you think about it, your native language, be it English or otherwise, was "learned" by you when you were young without you even noticing it. If you spend a lot of time with people who speak that language, and practice it on a daily level, you can easily become fluent in something in a matter of years.
  22. I don't think there's a single language that would be suited best for love, there just isn't something that says "most romantic" to me. Stereotypically though, I find French to be pretty expressive when it comes to complimenting someone or describing how beautiful something is.
  23. The problem with these things is that they often depend on a set of logic that the creator(s) thought to be obvious and logical, but may not correspond to what most people, or indeed you would think in the same situation. I tried it myself, and a lot of times I just ended thinking "Wait, really?" instead of "Oh, why haven't I thought of that it's so obvious".
  24. There are a couple that work locally or require little to no bandwidth usage. The problem with most language apps is that resources like entire dictionaries or thesauri take up considerable amounts of space, especially on a mobile device. So most developers choose to stream it instead, making internet connectivity a requirement. Which is starting to become less of an issue these days, with carriers offering unlimited data plans and Wifi being widespread in most public places.
  25. Depends on what kind. Language learning "apps" are really just digitalized versions of already existing learning methods, made somewhat more convenient and accessible with modern technology. If something doesn't work for you in real life, downloading an app made for the same thing won't help you much. That said, things like flashcards or are universally positive methods that have pretty much no drawbacks, and can be used by everyone. And there are apps like Duolingo which introduce more "game-like" elements to language learning, which speeds up the process for people who easily get bored or find it motivating to have a goal in front of them every day.
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