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Everything posted by LivetoErr

  1. I've become disenchanted with Google Translate. It's been messing up basic translations for me. Sometimes, I like to put in a simple sentence that, say, Duolingo gives me and Google translate spits out something entirely different. I know the Google translation is wrong because I know what the sentence should be (following the basic rules and whatnot).
  2. Here (Mazatlan) sandwiches are called Tortas. This is funny, because all my Spanish lessons tell me sandwich is emparedado.
  3. I don't like the sound of Chinese. To me it sounds like nothing but a bunch of noise. Furthermore, it always seems so loud when it was spoken. I had Chinese friends growing up to I was always around it and never got used to hearing it. Here, there are a few Chinese people and listening to them is comical. Spanish with a Chinese accent is quite a different sound.
  4. For me, it's sentence building. I have a pretty extensive Spanish vocabulary but, I simply cannot put the words together (to form more than a basic sentence). I, also, have a very hard time hearing what native Spanish speakers are saying. Unless they speak VERY slowly, I'm lost a few words in. Thank god learning a language when you're a child didn't seem this hard. I'm sure a lot of us would give up!
  5. Yes! I don't take shortcuts when I email or text message and it annoys me when others write to me like that. I want to read an email, not have to decipher text speak. It also annoys me when people don't use, at least, basic grammar in their emails. My mother can't write in paragraphs or use proper capitalization to save her life. It gives me a headache trying to read her emails.
  6. It's a language as it is derived from Latin. It's not a dialect of Spanish at all. http://www.orbilat.com/Languages/Catalan/Catalan.html is a link to a pretty good read about the language of Catalan. Personally, I can see why they view themselves as Catalan rather than Spanish.
  7. Well, that is what I thought but duolingo marked me wrong and said that it should have been "reading." I felt it was an error on duolingo's part but I wanted to make sure. Thank god, as I'm confused enough as is. Thanks for your answer!
  8. I've used a grammar checker before but I don't rely on one. It would be good practice to type out whatever you're trying to say and then run it though the grammar checker to view your mistakes. You can't rely on them 100% as that won't help you learn. Spell check is a nice feature to have. If a word I've typed gets underlined I, normally, fix it myself. Sometimes, I have a complete brain fart and can't figure out what the correct spelling is so, I have to cheat. However, previous posters are right, spell checkers don't check if you're using the right word. They just make sure the word matches what's in the database. However, far too many students have become dependent on Spell check; which is unfortunate because, you don't always have one available (like on written exams).
  9. I'd love it if I knew of some games that could teach me Spanish, even if it was only vocabulary. However, I've never come across any that have kept my interest. I haven't looked THAT hard though because I just don't have the internet capabilities to play online games. If learning is fun, it's so much easier to retain the information. I'm doing alright with duolingo, however, I'm going to have to keep reviewing a lot of problem areas. I had a lot of trouble with Modifiers yesterday. Couldn't remember what some of the less common words meant for the life of me.
  10. It's walks. Even though, you use "the man" to determine which form of the verb to use, you wouldn't use walk with who either. Think about it, which sounds better (and is correct to say): "Who walk?" or "Who walks?" Then, to answer, you'd say: I walk, you walk, he walks, she walks, we walk, they walk etc.
  11. The TOESL course I took focused on making lesson plans that keep your students interested. To do that, they recommended short tasks that focused on the lesson and then a game or two that reiterated what was being taught. Your lesson plans had to keep everything as interactive as possible. It definitely worked when I started teaching actual students. For example, when the day's topic was numbers, I had my students play Bingo. It was fun for the students and helped them learn their numbers. Soon enough, I realized that Bingo never got boring, for them, and started to incorporate Bingo into other lesson plans; especially, ones that focused on vocabulary.
  12. I'm not sure how you teach them but there are many resources online that might help you. If you Google, 'teaching creative writing' you'll find lots of websites that provide worksheets, lesson plans, etc. I think creative writing is hard because you need to express thoughts and not information. Perhaps, you are asking your students to write about things they're not comfortable with? If they're just learning, have them write about things they know, like, perhaps, the city they live in or their families.
  13. I don't want to learn just words. I want to learn phrases. I'm learning the language to communicate. While, having the vocabulary helps you in a bind, it's much easier, and politer, to ask for what you want in a sentence. For example, today, I went to the grocery store for some marrow bones. I feed them to my dogs as treats and/or teeth cleaners. They had four packages but I wanted more. So I went to the butcher and said ¿Usted tiene mas? I could have said ¿Mas? but it wouldn't have been as polite. Sure, I would have gotten more by just saying the word but I want to learn the language properly. To do that, I need to use phrases.
  14. Interesting topic! I was taught that if I was going to use, 'however' in middle of a sentence it should be after a semi-colon. However, that could be because our grammar was so bad, our grade 6 teacher started us from the beginning. She followed the KISS method for us: keep it simple stupid. Anyways, I mostly use, 'however' in the beginning of a sentence or in the middle with a semi colon. How wrong or right is that? Something like, "I am Canadian; however, I live in Mexico".
  15. I had a friend forward me the snippet she had to translate, into English, for a job interview. I am 99% sure she used Google translate and, I had to tell her that her translation, wasn't right at all. It was a real estate listing and Google did not pick up on that, at all. It was funny because her conversational English isn't that bad but, trying to describe a house in English doesn't translate over properly. She never got the job so I guess her level of English wasn't what they were looking for.
  16. I didn't find learning the Spanish alphabet hard at all as, it's very similar to English. It has probably been the easiest thing for me to remember. I think it helps that I often have to spell out my last name as it's not one Spanish people understand. Half the time, native English speakers need it spelled out to so, for Spanish speakers it's especially hard.
  17. To be proficient, I think it takes, on average, 5 years. You need to be able to practice speaking the language often to become proficient in it. Some people have more access to speakers of the new language, than others. However, some people have a harder time grasping a new language, than others; even though they practice speaking a lot.
  18. When I was teaching the local kids some Spanish I was able to learn some of the words that are used locally. It's totally different living in a poor village. The average education level is grade 6 so, their vocabulary isn't as advanced as it is, in the city, 15 km away. Also, we are picking up some words here and there from our neighbor; for example, yesterday, we learned that they don't call snakes serpientes, like we had thought. Another funny this is, we have to go get our electricity bill at one of the corner stores. We went and asked for the "cuenta por de electricidad" They had no idea what we were talking about. During a broken Spanish conversation we learned they call them "recibo de luz" I think you can learn by teaching children because you have to learn, at least a bit of, what you're teaching, in case they have any questions. Also, student's seem to want to learn literal translations so you have to be prepared for that. Heh, MyNameIsNotDenzel, I've lived in Mexico for 3 years and can't grasp conversational Spanish one bit. It's depressing how bad I am at it.
  19. No I don't speak Castilian. My understanding of Castilian is, that it is the more formal Spanish which uses vosotros/vosotras. My school text book teaches that variation but I skip over the vostoros/as conjugations because it's not used here in Mexico. The chances of me going to Spain are slim, to none, so I see no, real, need to learn it.
  20. I love to make Spanish rice, ceviche, guacamole, salsas, nopales con chorizo, carne asada, etc. We've really embraced the Mexican culture food wise. I have a Mexican cook book that I go through and make whatever looks and/or sounds good. I make it a bit more Mexican because the cookbook uses a lot of pre-made items (like salsa) and I prefer to make mine from scratch. Also, we tend to eat a lot of tacos, traditional ones that is, not the Old El Paso ones.
  21. No need to think about being dumb when you know you are. I used to think I was quite intelligent, until I tried to learn a second language. I have no idea why some people can grasp a new language without any trouble and I'm struggling more and more every day. It's not for a lack of trying either.
  22. I can't say that I feel like a different person. I just feel like I'm an idiot because I don't know why I have such a hard time grasping everything. I have to ask people to repeat themselves because I don't hear exactly what they're saying. Except, they think I don't understand them so they try and say it a different way.
  23. Oooh, "culero" is a word I'll have to remember. I'm often muttering A-hole under my breath when driving. If I remember the Spanish version of the word I can say it a little louder and not get in trouble. Thank you, MyDigitalpoint for the link. I think that will become very useful. Are there any other words one should learn? One of our newscasters said "Chingo de madre" on TV once. Was he actually saying something offensive?
  24. I find almost everything about Spanish frustrating. It's such a fast spoken language and some of the words mean so many different things. How are you supposed to know the meaning of "como" when you can't really understand what the rest of the sentence is? I hear everything in Spanish sounds like one word. Even when I use Duolingo, which doesn't speak as fast as native speakers, I have to repeat the sound bite two or three times before I'm catching every word. I try and close my eyes while listening to her speak so, I can learn to hear better. It's slowly starting to work. I just find it extremely frustrating how a lot of their words mean so many different things. Sometimes, when you look up a word in the dictionary, you find 15, completely different, uses for the word. My dad likes to say, they threw a bunch of words in the air and whatever one came down first means whatever they were trying to define. Sometimes, it really feels like that's how it is and that is frustrating.
  25. I'm annoyed by short hand in text. Thankfully, no one I text uses text short cuts. I suppose I can understand when children do it, but adults should be able to text normally. We are after all, more mature. I just don't understand the value of short cuts. Is it really that hard to type "yo" in front of "u"? I don't see how it really saves that much time. It's not like it's complicated to type a few extra letters. With teenagers, I think it's considered cool to talk in all the abbreviations. I suppose they think their non-tech-savvy parents have no idea what is being said. However, there are very few of the abbreviations my niece uses that I don't understand. My boyfriend's mother texts short hand. Both my boyfriend and I cringe when we read her texts. Not only is it annoying, it's just weird reading a text from a 65 year old that says "Chk da mail plz".
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