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JohnSword

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  • Content Count

    63
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About JohnSword

  • Rank
    Ghostwriter

Converted

  • Currently studying
    Spanish
  • Native tongue
    English
  • Fluent in
    English, Chinese
  1. For me, it depends on the context. If I'm chatting casually with friends and family then I would definitely use smileys. I do think smileys add another dimension to a conversation, since you can only convey so much on a device. At the same time, for more serious conversations it would be wise not to indulge in too many smileys.
  2. I live in Singapore, which is multiracial country. While there are many languages spoken, English is definitely the most useful language here, followed by Chinese. The main language of instruction in Singapore is English. Also, understanding English is definitely essential to succeed in the business environment here.
  3. I still think that having a physical dictionary around is useful. While you can easily access online dictionaries nowadays, there are times when your internet connection fails (like mine). Personally I prefer the page-flipping experience. Of course, those physical dictionaries are really a pain to bring around. I remember back in school, I used to learn Chinese and English. As such, I have to lug around 2 dictionaries. Definitely not for the faint-hearted.
  4. I used to learn with other students. I find that I'm able to pick up a language better if I have like-minded people to study and practice with. At the same time, some people learn better when he/she learns alone. It's really up to personal preferences.
  5. I haven't done it before since the girlfriends I had before all speak the same language as me. However, if I really do encounter such a situation I would definitely try to learn her language. After all, communication is a big part of a relationship. If you can't convey your feelings properly to your other half, it might result in misunderstandings. Also, letting your partner teach you his/her language sounds pretty fun and a good way to strengthen a relationship.
  6. I can definitely say that it works, given that I was actually able to pick up the Hokkien dialect by listening to my parents speak it when I was young. Even now that I'm older, I would say that listening to a language for a long time is still pretty effective. I've been exposed to Korean for about a year, which has enabled me to pick up a few sentences here and there.
  7. While I'm interested in uncommon languages, I probably go the extra mile to learn them. Every language requires plenty of motivation to ensure success but uncommon languages require a significantly higher level of dedication. You tend to spend lots of time reading and listening but meeting people to practice with is often a rare luxury and this can have a severe impact on your motivation to continue. Also, unless there’s a demand for specialist translators or interpreters somewhere then there’s never going to be a financial incentive for learning the language.
  8. Pictures definitely help when it comes to learning a new language. I'm recently learning Spanish on Duolingo, which provides you with an image for every new word. It's much less boring this way. Of course, different people prefer different teaching methods, and it doesn't really matter which one you choose as long as you work hard.
  9. Music certainly crosses all boundaries. There are many songs I enjoy that are in a language I don't understand. At the same time, I do think that one is unable to truly enjoy a song without understanding the lyrics. I guess it's one of the reasons people learn a language.
  10. You can try reading some children's book to begin with, then moving up to regular novels. You might have problems finding foreign language materials at your library, but most bookstores have at least a few children's books in different languages. If you're looking for an online resource, Project Gutenberg contains thousands of books (in several languages) online that you can download for free.
  11. Language influences culture, so learning a second language helps me to understand how other people think. It also helps me to get a general understanding of our world and the many people and cultures that inhabit it. Also, learning a second language has helped me to understand my own language and culture better through the relationship between the second language and my mother tongue. For instance, studying Spanish has taught me more English as well, because the two languages are quite similar.
  12. I can't imagine learning a language like Elvish or Klingon or Na'vi. I'm just not interested enough in any of those franchises to do that. You'd have to be a real die-hard fan, though I suppose you could learn the basics just for kicks. Are these languages developed enough to actually be used?
  13. I never really wrote anything on my hands before, due to the fact that I have sweaty hands. Nowadays, with people are carrying around their mobile phones all the time, I think writing on one's hands has become quite a thing of the past.
  14. The argument seems fallacious to me. "Failure" suggests an unsuccessful attempt. But we have been suggesting other reasons why some languages might not show an internet presence. Some of these factors (having relatively small numbers of speakers, living in remote parts of poor countries) might themselves be correlated with language endangerment; but the internet itself has nothing to do with it. The bottom line is that there is nothing intrinsic to the internet that prevents anyone from using any language they want on it.
  15. I'm aiming to learn 4 languages in my lifetime. I'm bilingual in English and Mandarin. At the moment, I'm learning Spanish. Once I mastered that language I'll move on to Japanese. 4 is just right for now, since I would probably not be handle any more.
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