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Disinterested Cow

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Everything posted by Disinterested Cow

  1. Having people proofread your work usually costs money. I made another thread about joining content mills as a way to get free, professional critique of your work but you usually need a decent level of ability to be accepted in the first place. Textbroker used to be excellent for it but there's not as much work now, especially for more obscure languages. Somewhere that provides free feedback on written work would be very useful indeed, if anyone knows of such a site.
  2. Sat would be the past tense. "He sat in the corner" Also keep in mind at/in/on change depending on the location, some crossover is acceptable but often using the wrong will sound unnatural. Examples: He sat in the corner of the room. He sat at the corner of the table. He sat on the corner of the street.
  3. I've started a language and then given up after a couple of months. Sometimes life just gets busier. It shows the importance of having genuine enthusiasm or motivation for learning a particular language, so you stay with it even when changes to your life/free time inevitably happen that make it difficult or inconvenient.
  4. You can also use it with a comma or nothing at all, it just depends on the message you want to convey. For example: We sometimes make typos in our posts on linguaholic; however, we try hard to avoid doing so. We sometimes make typos in our posts on linguaholic however hard we try to avoid doing so. Or with a comma to show a contradiction to the previous point: I always assumed people resented having to learn English as a second language. The posts on linguaholic, however, show that this isn't true at all.
  5. Is there anybody who's learned language has taken over their native in proficiency and now thinks using the new language almost exclusively? Most here seem to have their native as their most proficient. It's interesting to me that people who are fluent in multiple languages will also think in multiple languages depending on the situation, that's something few can relate with.
  6. Yeah, I think they can be useful for helping you along when in the process of learning, makes catching the phonetic pronunciations easier.
  7. You must have spent a huge amount of time on that site if it was equivalent to a full/part-time job. One thing I like about that site is the range of different levels of difficulty it has, the highest being really quite obscure.
  8. A lot of small errors in grammar are common because they just don't matter as much anymore. Using the context it's easy to see what the writer means, and our increased ability to communicate means most writing now is of casual unimportance. It used to be if you were writing out a letter it had a direct purpose and any errors could reflect badly on you, possibly with dire consequences. Now it's everyday Facebook status updates or random forum posts, comments quickly made and forgotten.
  9. I'll type things out before I write them down. I try to avoid writing as much as possible, it's much slower (for me) and I'm used to being able to instantly correct little things.
  10. LASER is probably the best example that I know of, though MODEM is up there.
  11. iWriter is the lowest-tier content mill and I'd be hesitant to recommend it to anybody, it also lacks a proper feedback system making it comparatively useless for improving your written ability.
  12. He doesn't have to, if he doesn't want to. Assuming he actually understands the benefits of improving his English but chooses not to, he's allowed to make an informed decision.
  13. It's a common mistake because it's an uncommon exception to the rule. Rather than have billions of different characters to remember, we gave some characters multiple purposes. The apostrophe, for example, can be used to indicate possession or to replace letters in a contraction. Example contractions They'd - They had/they would Isn't - Is not You've - You have Who'll - Who will/who shall Example possessives Car's radio Jennifer's handbag Boat's anchor Cat's tail The problem is it needs both, 's to indicate possession and 's to replace is or has, so one of them has to give way. The possessive form lost and becomes the exception to the common rule. It's is always a contraction, so if you aren't saying it is or it has then don't use the apostrophe.
  14. Yeah, there are different language/location requirements for different content mills. Textbroker has different sites for different locations but many are more international and judge only on your written ability. Again, it depends on the mill. Textbroker for example has a lot of flexibility due to its rating system, it's very easy to get in at 2* and I imagine many here would be rated at 3*. Four stars a harder as it requires a more thorough understanding of grammar that isn't generally developed naturally (IE native speakers). Keep in mind with your comment regarding native speakers, most don't actually take any further education in their native language beyond what's compulsory. They often make little grammatical errors that will immediately stand out to an editor, even if they sound very natural and otherwise communicate well. It's not that uncommon for foreign learners to overtake them on strict adherence to the rules. I know of someone who moved to Germany and joined the German Textbroker as a way to improve their writing. They were initially graded at 2* but slowly climbed up and ended up earning a nice income on the side, in addition to becoming proficient in written German. Due to Google recently upgrading its algorithms 2* level articles are a bit less desirable than they used to be, though.
  15. Yeah, i think it'd actually be quite difficult to learn a language and not gain a greater understanding of its culture in the process. I grew a fondness for French cinema, amongst other things.
  16. Is it too cliche to recommend the Song of Ice and Fire series (Game of thrones TV show)?. G.R.R.M has a pretty likeable writing style and the books are OK.
  17. I think it's more a problem of flowery language (IE unnecessary words) rather than big words. Language ultimately is built on convenience in communicating a message, so the more common 'necessary' words are small and concise. If a big word gains common usage it is often abbreviated or replaced in some way with a smaller alternative. The example quoted in the OP has far too many unnecessary words, they've also gone out of their way to use more obscure synonyms in a sentence that obviously didn't need it. Using a thesaurus to swap in weird words can benefit your writing as long as the rest of the sentence is simple and easy to understand. Anymore funny examples?
  18. Henceforth still gets used but it's slightly dramatic, and not commonly used in day to day conversation. Beseech has fully fallen into the realm of ironic/mocking use only. I would offer 'figuratively', seeing as it's apparently now been fully replaced by 'literally'.
  19. The short, absolute answer is no. People can obviously achieve success in their native country using only their own language. Having said that, if you're from a non-English background then learning English isn't a bad idea, and for most professions will provide an advantage of some sort. If your native language is English and your goal is to make money then the time and effort spent learning a second language would be better spent elsewhere.
  20. There aren't any strict rules on whether they need to be used or not, except perhaps that their use should be consistent within any one article. Anecdotally it would seem to me that the 'dots' are becoming less common in usage. The rules on capitalisation are also becoming a little flexible as acronyms settle down into our lexicon.
  21. I notice many people here have quite impressive written English despite it being a second language, and are looking to improve it further. Have you considered joining content mill sites such as Textbroker et al? Content mills are websites where you're paid a few dollars to submit short articles that site owners can purchase and use on their blogs. It's fairly low-level ghost writing and as such is accessible to people without perfect English. The key thing is that you'll be getting feedback on your articles from Copy Editors who are very strict about Grammar and such, and the fact that you're getting paid provides excellent motivation for improvement. It's not just for English of course, but that's a particularly common language with lots of content mill sites based around it.
  22. Welcome to the boards! Your reason for learning a new language is actually more functional/practical than is typical...which is great as you'll have an ongoing motivation to keep up with it. Good luck.
  23. Yeah, there's so many resources on the 'net, learning languages is a lot easier now. Having said that, Livemocha got bought out by its main competitor last year and isn't as free as it used to be. Regarding studying, i have a preference for doing it alone but learning to communicate with a new language is a pretty clear example of when you benefit from the input of others.
  24. Body language can 'lie' though it's easier to slip up, it's typical for modern politicians who appear often in public to receive a great deal of training for deliberate manipulation of their body language. It was the introduction of the television and the resulting disparity in approval between televised/radio versions of a debate between politicians that made people realise body language is very influential. There's a lot of over-analysis that relies on reverse referrals and justification though.
  25. If they could do the same so thoroughly with Aluminium I don't see some passing idiom being an issue to threat over. Evolution of language or something.
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