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SirTenenbaum

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About SirTenenbaum

  • Rank
    Slang Poet

Converted

  • Currently studying
    French
  • Native tongue
    English
  • Fluent in
    Spanish
  1. Con "variedad" simplemente quería decir "acento" o "dialecto" aunque la palabra "dialecto" tiene una connotción negativa. Sí hay diferencias entre el español de México y el de España. Hasta es incorrecto decir "el español de México" o "el español de España" porque dentro de estos países hay muchas diferencias. Por ejemplo, sé que acentos de Andalucía en España son muy diferentes de lo que se escucharía típicamente en Madrid. Cuando la gente piensa en "el español de España" normalmente se refieren a una versión madrileña, la que puede ser muy distinta a otras variedades del español. Además, ¡se hablan varios idiomas en España! Por ejemplo, si vas a Barcelona, mucha gente va a hablar en Catalán en lugar de español aunque hay mucha gente bilingüe. ¿Dónde vas en España?
  2. Well, learning a language and maintaining a high level of proficiency in a language are two different things. Anybody could learn as many languages as a lifetime allows I suppose. However, if you don't use a language regularly, you start forgetting it quite easily. To maintain a high level of proficiency in 10 languages, one would have to use those 10 languages on a very regular basis which seems fairly difficult.
  3. Well, historically and linguistically there's nothing that would support the Tower of Babel tale from the Bible. A civilization developed enough to construct a tower of such height could only have existed within the last several thousand years. Several thousand years ago, people were all over the entire planet speaking thousands of different languages (just like we do today). It is linguistically impossible that every homo sapiens in Africa, the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Oceania spoke the same language within the past several thousand years. Language naturally changes all the time, and there is nothing that can stop it. For example if you think back to just 1,000 years ago (around the year 1000), nobody spoke anything close to modern English. A mere 2,000 years ago, none of the romance languages (Spanish, French, Portuguese) existed at all because Latin (from which the romance languages developed) was still spoken throughout Europe along with probably hundreds of languages from "barbarian" European tribes. The Tower of Babel story can't be based on fact if you examine history and linguistics.
  4. I spoke with one man from India who had a very interesting story. In India, there are over a dozen languages spoken throughout the country. His parents were multilingual, but mostly spoke a certain language in the home and community until he was ten (this was his native language). When he was ten, his family moved to a very different area of India where nobody spoke his native language. In the home, his parents spoke a different language than the one before since they were multilingual and could switch to the dominant language of the area. My friend actually ended up forgetting his native language. I don't know how long it took (he's in his 30's now), but he told me he doesn't remember the language he spoke as a child.
  5. I watched my first French movie while studying abroad in Mexico (strange, right?). At a university showing, I watched "Un conte de Noël" with Spanish subtitles with some friends. It was kind of a weird movie, but it got me interested in French. It wasn't until a few years later, though, when I took a semester of French and then started studying the language on my own as a hobby. Anyway, I'm glad I saw that movie!
  6. Something that you definitely must incorporate into your learning if you want to achieve higher levels of proficiency is obtaining massive exposure to real use of the language (not just isolated textbook exercises). Acquiring a language is a slow process that takes thousands of hours of contact with the language through reading books, having conversations, reading news articles, watching TV programs, reading commercials, etc. Just doing textbook exercises doesn't cut it, since it's relatively little contact with the language. Textbook exercises can be helpful, but they are not nearly enough.
  7. Could you just download and listen to podcasts in the language you're interested in? It would probably be nice to listen to a native speaker as a model, and you would just download the podcast than having to record. An interesting podcast for Spanish is "News in Slow Spanish" if that's interesting for you.
  8. Foreign language anxiety can be a problem for people. Even though I'm almost finish with my master's degree in Spanish Linguistics, I still feel uncomfortable speaking Spanish in certain situations. Although, the problem might not be so much Spanish as it is general nervousness or feeling uncomfortable. I might just tend to blame it on my Spanish even though I would still feel at a loss for words in similar situations even if I were speaking English.
  9. Something that has caught my attention while studying Spanish are a few key differences from textbook Spanish that I've encountered. For example, I remember learning that the subjunctive should always follow the phrase Qué bueno que.... But in my experience in Mexico, I have heard mostly the indicative after this phrase. For example: Qué bueno que llegaron a tiempo. Has anybody else encountered such differences with aspects of the language?
  10. I was curious about other people's thoughts on using Romaji when studying Japanese. Is it something that helps beginners? Is it helpful at all levels? Should it be avoided entirely?
  11. I've heard from several different sources that "Arabic" is really a blanket term for what are about a dozen different languages. I actually know a girl from Morocco who mentioned that she and somebody from Syria would not be able to have a conversation although both of them would be speaking "Arabic." Somebody else also specified he was studying Egyptian Arabic (and only wanted to practice with people from Egypt) because Arabic in different countries were basically different.
  12. To put it bluntly, your in-laws are not highly informed about language acquisition. For whatever reason, second language acquisition happens much more smoothly before puberty. If you study a foreign language after hitting puberty, your chances of reaching a native-like ability (where a native-speaker would confuse you for a native-speaker) are basically zero. However, if you start learning a foreign language before puberty, your chances of reaching a native-like ability are much higher. There are populations all over the world where children are in bilingual settings and develop two (or more) languages at the same time and develop native competency in both. Your son will develop his English normally while he learns Spanish. Learning Spanish at a young age will have no lasting negative effect on his English. There is really no reason not to take advantage of an immersion program for children. Please try to keep your son in the immersion program if you can.
  13. This looks pretty cool since it's more than just flash cards. I've tried flash card software before, and I just can't stick with it since it's so boring. With Selingua do you have to input the words you want to learn or does it have preset lists?
  14. Really? I'm surprised. I check it just about every day in French, and it never gets boring for me. It's actually been fairly successful commercially; the sites have been up for several years. It just goes to show people have different tastes. For those who are interested, there are also versions in Spanish, Italian, and a couple other languages as well.
  15. Hey everybody. Have you heard of fmylife.com? Well, there's a version of it in French. The anecdotes are really fun to read. I still need to use a dictionary occasionally to check some words, but it's great to do. Here's the link: http://www.viedemerde.fr/ Tell me what you think!
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