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Everything posted by melaniephenderson

  1. Watching French television and movies with subtitles would definitely help with getting more used to the language and becoming more familiar with it. Something to consider could be perhaps making a French friend online to practice your French with in return for perhaps helping them with their English? I can't think of any better way to learn French than to practice speaking/reading/writing it. Also communicating with a fluent French speaker would really help with your pronunciation as well as your grammar and overall fluency. An online class could definitely really help you as well particularly in grammar and vocabulary, you seem quite motivated to learn French so I'm sure with a bit of effort you'll improve your French in no time!
  2. There are some aspects of it that are difficult and some that are easier to pick up just like any other language. For me I found writing and memorising characters one of the most difficult things to learn in Chinese. However there are some things about the language that make it easier to learn such as similarities and patterns between many of the words. Another thing that I found made Chinese a little easier to pick up was the lack of any real tense words. In French for example verbs have multiple different endings depending on the tense, however in Chinese sentences are still essentially the same, so there is no real memorising to do.
  3. 3 years of classes should definitely prepare you quite well for living overseas, especially since you already know the basics. I personall Moving to China will definitely improve your Chinese significantly and I'm sure once moving there you will help you improve even more! I do think that being able to read Chinese characters is an important part of the language, it would be like just learning how to speak English without being able to write. I don't think it's true that a large percentage of the Chinese population can't read characters, through school and through reading and the internet it would definitely be something that the majority of the population could do. I'm sure that living in China though and being surrounded by the language at all times, you'll definitely be able to pick it up quickly.
  4. No, I don't think that there will ever be just one language in the world spoken. Everybody around the world is proud of their own language and culture and rightfully should be. I don't see why everybody should have to give up part of their national identity to fit into some 'ideal' one language oriented world. I do think that English is already extremely globalised and that it is the main language used to communicate already on an international basis. In almost every country in the world it is compulsory to study English, so if there is already such a huge widespread use of English I don't think that there's a huge need to make everybody primarily speak English. I think that everybody around the world should take the opportunity to learn more than one language rather than rely on people to know their own.
  5. I love looking at quotes and I love TheStoryteller1's idea to write them all down in a book, that is an absolutely lovely idea. One of mine would be: "When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us." ~ Alexander Graham Bell
  6. I always use proper english when talking to everyone, even when texting or sending emails. I personally despise text language so I avoid using it at all costs. I have made quite a few foreign speaking friends recently and have been helping them improve their English grammar and pronunciation which is probably something that has led me to be inclined to use proper grammar.
  7. I think it definitely depends on how well you knew the language as well as how long you haven't used it. Both my parents are Chinese so as a child I did speak a lot of Chinese to family. However when I was young, we moved to an English speaking country where I only ever spoke English as my parents spoke English to me as well. As a result of speaking only English for years I did forget basically all the Chinese I knew. However as I was learning the language I found that I was not completely relearning it. I tended to pick up the language faster than my peers as I did still have some basic knowledge in the back of my mind. I think if you were completely fluent or close to fluent in Spanish and it hasn't been too long since you've used it I do think it is probably lying dormant in your mind. However it would be a great idea to try speak some Spanish once in awhile to practice it as well as refresh your memory.
  8. I don't have children myself but when I do I would definitely look towards teaching them another language whilst they were young. I think that at a young age children are much better at picking up and learning a language and that is definitely something which would assist them later in life. Learning languages early I also think does help children pick up languages later in life as a lot of languages do have some similarities. I do think that quite a lot of children already do get exposed to a second language from either their parents, school and peers. Even children's television like Dora the Explorer aims to expose young children to another language. It gives children so many more options when they grow up too if they would like to visit or move to other countries, they would have a much easier time there with knowledge of the language.
  9. Similar to you I have Chinese parents as well but am unable to read or write Chinese. Sadly though even my spoken Chinese leaves a lot to be desired. I moved to an English speaking country when I was younger and my parents always spoke in English to me so I eventually forgot all the Chinese I knew. So I've been learning Chinese in an effort to hopefully become fluent again in a few years!
  10. Firstly I disagree with what you've said about the Chinese not bothering to learn English. English is taught in all Chinese schools and I do think that a lot of Chinese do try to learn English because at this moment in time English is the most globalised language. I do think that there will be significant growth of use of the Chinese language in the years to come but I don't quite see it becoming the most spoken language in the world so soon. Although technically Chinese is the most spoken language in the world already due to the large Chinese population, English is still the most widespread second language by far. English is the preferred language option not because of any limitations of Chinese but only because of the previous power that the English and Americans had over the world which caused them to be the powerhouses of the world and thus their languages to be more widespread. Since now China is definitely an up and coming country, I do think many more people will go out of their way to learn Chinese since economically it is becoming so strong and there is going to be a lot of opportunities presented in China. However everything global like the internet tends to prefer English and I don't think that is going to change anytime soon due to the face that the common language between two people from anywhere in the world is most likely to be English.
  11. Google translate is great for translating a couple of words or a short phrase, but for anything longer than a sentence the whole meaning becomes completely jumbled. Languages are extremely complex and they don't have a direct translation to another language or sometimes there just isn't a word that means the same thing. For a free tool I think it's not too bad, however I wouldn't use it for anything for than a quick check of a couple of words.
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