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  1. I think that the stereotypical image of an obnoxious American considering themselves above learning other languages is overblown. There are those that are obnoxious and do have superiority complexes, but that's not most Americans in my opinion. I think that the stereotype heavily persists because: a) World travelers from the U.S. are more likely to have a comfortable amount of money at home. They resultingly exhibit a superiority complex when they go to represent us around the world. Americans are prone to hiding behind "don't want to learn" as a cover for "I feel incapable. Other people must just be special. Learning another language makes me feel painfully stupid, so I'll avoid it." Americans in general hold an admiration for people that speak multiple languages. Unless you're Hispanic. In which case, bigotry often overshadows admiration. However, in other cases, it's just sort of implied that people outside the U.S. must have a special affinity or special circumstances. Unconsciously, to the American mind multilingual people are geniuses. Of course, the real special sauce behind languages being "harder" for us to learn is that Americans are complacent. No active need or pressure is presented on a regular basis. I'm of the opinion that I have just as much ability to learn a language as people in the rest of the world. It just seems less attainable here because our cultural values glorify it, instead of presenting practical pressures.
  2. I use proper grammar with everybody. Except if I need to get something across quickly. In that situation, I feel no qualms typing as furiously and incorrectly as necessary to get the point across. On the subject of contractions... Well, I think in contractions. So I type in contractions too. I grew up in East Texas and cannot escape the fact that if I omitted contractions on principle, then a lot of things would sound cumbersome in my accent. It sounds wrong in my mind.
  3. The concept of a Southernism is, according to Merriam Webster, "an attitude or trait characteristic of the South or Southerners especially in the United States." Though highly polarized accents and dialects slowly fading in the U.S., you'll still often hear regional differences in the pronunciation and idioms used. Some of the words and phrases that come out of the South can even give native Americans pause. (Especially when animal similes start appearing lol) A few of them are just plain kooky, but most just have a fun "down-home" spirit if you ask me. Here are some of my favorites: "Crooked as a dog's hind legs" "Fixin' to go" (G's are often missing at the end of words in Southern accents) "Slow as molasses on a winter day" "Full as a tick" "Y'all come back, ya hear" (It's like "Come back soon," not a command, but an invitation for a later date) "Come sit a spell" Those are some of the ones that my family personally uses, but here's a pinboard that I found with several more http://www.pinterest.com/rondamorhaime/southernism-s/ You'll often come across them in humorous Country songs to. What are some regions in other parts of the world that are considered peculiar (in a good natured way) by the rest of their country? And why? Funny accents, odd ways, or something else?
  4. That sounds really interesting. What process did you use to memorize the history lessons? Was it just listening to the lessons over and over again, falling asleep with them playing, or something else? I'm thinking of using the webcam/microphone on my computer to record myself speaking in spanish. I'm hoping that if I keep making and watching these recordings, then I can fine tune my pronunciation and comfort with the language.
  5. Hola Uno de mís favoritos actividades es la escribir de español, pero no soy muy bueno en eso. Te pido que me perdones y corregir, según sea necesario. Leí mejor que escribir. Quiero practicar mi español por preguntando una cosa todos los días y leyendo las respuestas. Ayudarme, por favor? Bueno... Vamos a empezar! La primera pregunta: Sí debes elegir una dialecto de país para un estudiante, ¿cuál sería?
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