Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited


  • Currently studying
    spanish, Italian
  • Native tongue
  • Fluent in

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

petesede's Achievements


Newbie (1/14)



  1. I found it funny of the difference in english. In spanish, the word for hug is based off of the word for arm. So basically wrapping arms around them. But in english, if you make a verb from arm, ´ I am arming my son´.. it means to give them a weapon.
  2. That is why the Lone Ranger is so funny, for those who don´t know, his side kick was an indian named Tonto. Many people believe that it was a bit of hidden racism from the writer. The funniest ones for me are the gordo/a and gordito/a.. But basically you can take any part of their appearance, add ´ito´ and it can be used that what, weight, hair color, including skin color which really can be a shock. Being from the hyper-politically correct USA, it still makes me feel uncomfortable when someone says ´mi negrita´. but when they say ´my heaven´ or ´my life´ is sounds much more authentic than if we tried to say it in english. Just curious, does anyone know if ´miel´ works? I may try it just to see what reaction I get ..
  3. That really is the very nature of idioms and why we call them idioms, because they have a meaning beyond the literal translation. In this case, the poster above is very accurate, if you say ´ money saved is twice earned´ they know exactly what you mean,
  4. I am the same way, I am only able to isolate a few words enough to learn what they mean, and then I get back home and find out they are mostly slang or local words anyway. But here is a challenge, just to shock yourself. When you are home and the next time you have a conversation with someone in your native language, listen to how much of what you and they are saying that is either slang, or proper nouns. It is very high usually. We do not speak in proper sentences nearly as much as you would expect.
  5. A lot of people just learn better alone, with their own material. You can put yourself in an environment that is comfortable for you, you can take breaks when you feel you need them. In your case, it could also just be that some people are uncomfortable learning in a small classroom. I am like that, I preferred either the huge halls with over 30 students, or studying alone. I had a few college classes where there were only a handful of other students, and the dynamic just made it uncomfortable. I think it mainly comes down to discipline. Many people do not have the discipline to study on their own, so need a scheduled class-time with a teacher to make sure they spend X amount of hours per week. Other people have the discipline to study alone and would prefer to relax in bed with a cup of tea and their books. WIth languages, at least the early stages where you are just building vocabulary with memorization, I prefer to be alone. When I am ready to add conversations, then you need help.
  6. I saw a similar semi-documentary where someone was able to learn a language just from watching the Harry Potter series. He said a big part of it was just the fact that he had the movies basically memorized in english, so every sentence he was able to translate while the movie was still going on. For books and movies, that is probably very important.. if you already are very familiar with the books or movies, it makes translating faster and easier.
  7. Watch movies and TV shows that you already have see in english. That is probably my biggest help right now. I am addicted to Game of Thrones, so will usually watch an episode Sunday Night, and then again on Monday.. so I see it twice in English... then later in the week, i watch it again in spanish. If you already know the plot, and know most of the dialog, you don´t get ´lost´ when you fail to recognize a word. The other, probably more advanced is soap operas and Telenovelas ( in spanish). The actors and actresses generally are trained to have very neutral dialects because it is mean for many different countries. They also speak slowly and use precise syllables. And finally, the camera usually has a close-up of their face, which many times seeing someone´s mouth can help you understand the sound they are making. I know for me, my listening skills for Spanish are much worse over the phone when I cannot see the mouth of the other person.
  8. I read the title and I thought someone was paying people to learn a new language!! Wouldn´t that be cool. There probably is some truth to your statement, but there are also many, and better ( in my opinion) reasons to do it for free. The biggest for me is just flexible scheduling. If I want to have a 4 hour marathon study session in the middle of the night, duolingo is always there, I am not sure a spanish teacher would appreciate me calling them.
  9. Acting Like a Child and Leaving your comfort zone I cannot agree more with these two. Two of the biggest problems adults have when learning a new language is a fear of making mistakes and looking silly. I sometimes criticize my fellow americans for causing this, because we really are the only culture ( that I know of ) that openly mocks people from other countries who misprounounce words and do it in a derogatory manner. I think this makes us Americans more hesitant to try other languages, because we think ´they´ will laugh at us also. Every time I hear a movie or tv show mock oriental people for messing up Rs and Ls, I can imagine there are many people who will never try to speak a foreign language. I have spent a lot of time overseas, and I have never, in an other place but the USA seen that type of mocking.
  10. With the coming of cheap tablets and smartphones, actual physical flashcards have much less use for me. It is just too easy to use apps that basically provide the same functionality, but without a cost or hassle of making them. It is also easier to build your vocabulary. For me personally, I hated making flashcards and trying to think of what words to include on them. ´Ok, I want 100 with this batch´.... meh.. I just use websites now that do all the auxiliary work.
  11. Yeah, I was going to say the same thing. It sounds like a good way to learn, but really if you are going to devote that amount of time to it, almost any form of learning a language is going to work. That is a really huge amount of time. Just take a book and time yourself writing out one page from a novel, then multiply it by how many pages are in the novel, then add another 50% because you will be writing in a different language and looking up some words. My guess that method would take over 1000 hours of actual work.... where most ´students´ of a language are lucky to put in 300 hours of study time per year of hardcore studying.
  12. It is very hard to learn food from books because so much of it is local. Fish is absolutely insane in central america, basically every country has a different name for every type of fish (aside from salmon and tuna). I can go from Nicaragua to Hondorus and half the food would be the same, but with a different name.
  13. Overall I agree, but you have to pick a sweet spot and not go too young or you risk running into the Dr. Suess problem. Can you imagine trying to learn english using Dr. Suess Books? yeah, stuff like one fish, two fish, red fish blue fish might help, but so many of the books have fake words, which is often the case with books and shows for very young children. I found that books in the 8-12 age area are great for learning, stuff like Judy Blume ( any excuse to read Superfudge again!!)... or the pippi longstalking books. But I really would not go much younger than that.
  14. Probably doesn´t count, but where I live we get Game of Thrones about 6 hours before it is available in the USA or internet. But it is dubbed into spanish, and also subtittlled into spanish. So you don´t hear the actors real voice, but you can read along in spanish because sometimes it is very hard to understand what they are saying. I stopped watching it though because the translations were done so poorly, they took all nuance out of the dialog. Characters like Tyrion have completely different personalities because his sarcasm and satire are not translated, so you think he is just depressed. Although the same is true of comedies. 2 1/2 men, Simpsons and Big Bang Theory are all on tv here in spanish, but the ´funny parts´ are different. Some of the funniest scenes just do not translate at all. They laugh more at the obvious, slapstick type humor.
  15. I have had two experiences living overseas. The first is living in South Korea for a year. A few weeks before getting there, I bought a book and learned the alphabet and pronunciation of the different letters and how words and syllables were formed. I also learned a few basic words and phrases, but not much. The actual reaction from the people was amazing. I was in the military, and so few soldiers that go over there for a year bother to learn any of the language besides a couple of words. I studied pretty hard and by the end of my year was about to understand a lot. As far as being able to communicate... this is a lesson you will learn anywhere in the world... a decent chunk of people everywhere will know english. I had a core group of friends, maybe 5-8 people, and there was always one or two around who spoke decent english. Besides living overseas twice, I have also traveled a lot to other places, and this is almost always true, especially in tourist areas.. you will almost always find people who can speak english. My second experience living overseas is ongoing, I have now been in central america for a few years. As funny as it seems, I had a bigger headstart on korean than I did with spanish. I came here only knowing a few basic words. It is also a bit different. When I was in Korea I spent most of my free time with university students, people around my same age. Because of this they were well educated and even the ones who didn´t speak english, did have a few years of it in HS. Here, I work mainly with very poor people, so nobody really knows english. This really forced my spanish a little faster.. there was no crutch. Overall, it really depends on the purpose of the conversations. I can get everything done and understand everything when the conversations are purposeful. But when people are debating ideas or abstract stuff, sometimes I still get lost. But probably my most honest feeling is that no matter where you are, if you are trying to speak their language, the people appreciate the effort. You may still get giggles when you mess stuff up, but in korea especially, people were always so impressed that I was learning korean. I hate to say it, but in the USA, we are the opposite. For the most part we ridicule people who are learning english and not getting it right, in other countries they are much more impressed with just the effort.
  • Create New...