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Everything posted by 13vinylinfants

  1. I wouldn't trust any grammar checker as far as I could throw it. English grammar is so complicated that a sentence which looks incorrect read one way might actually be perfectly valid construed another way. I mean, I haven't actually used any of these apps, but I'd be really wary of it obfuscating what I was actually trying to say.
  2. The number of Spanish speakers is also increasing quickly, as is the economic influence of Latin America. I mean, there's no such thing as a "good language" or a "bad language" to learn, but obviously for doing business or traveling in some area it's indispensable, and I think it's likely to become more important for more people in the future
  3. In Japanese we say "w" instead of "lol". I think it's short for "warau" which means "to laugh." It's really, really easy to overuse. Sometimes when I'm texting my girlfriend I notice that we're both writing it after nearly every sentence. I want to reduce it, but every time I DON'T write it I feel like my tone is excessively serious...
  4. I always like "anthem." It's so solid and forceful. It sounds like what an actual anthem should sound like... anthematic.
  5. The phrase "begging the question." People almost never actually use it correctly...
  6. Chinese is 1. way too hard and 2. way too geographically limited to be a lingua franca. English didn't become the international language just because Britain was really strong. Britain spread it to a quarter of the globe, where it's mostly to this day the official language of commerce and government, and it became the sole native language in most of North America and Australia and New Zealand. China doesn't have anything close to that. Not to mention that there isn't even linguistic unity with China; Mandarin can't even conquer one country, let alone the world
  7. I'm from the West Coast of Canada so my English accent could pass as being from almost any urban area in North America. It's really really generic. But obviously to a Brit I sound American. In my second language, Japanese, I definitely have an accent! I think it's much better than most foreign Japanese speakers, but if I listen to a recording of myself I can totally tell... people say it's cute though, so there is that
  8. In a suburb of Victoria BC is Hatley Castle. It's over a hundred years old, built in the British style, and covered with vines. Some of you have probably seen it - it was the school for mutants in the first three X-Men movies with Patrick Stewart! Now it's a university. During World War II, the British government purchased it so the royal family could evacuate there in case the German invasion was successful.
  9. If your only goal is to be able to read it's probably doable. But reading is by far the hardest part of the Japanese language. It's still a years-long task. Can I ask why you only want to read it? Please don't tell me you're considering taking up this years-long endeavour just so you can read manga in the original.
  10. Hahaha. I wonder if all language learning communities are as quirky as Japanese is...
  11. Ignore every other post in this thread and go to guidetojapanese.org. It's an amazing resource, better than any print textbook or paid program I've ever used. It's not the easiest way to learn, necessarily, but it will give you the best overall understanding of the language and let you use it in practical situations
  12. Spanish would be cool. It looks way, way easier than the last language I learned, Japanese. I'm intuitively pretty good at its pronunciation, and I'm interested in traveling to Latin America. There are also quite a few Mexican and Latin American exchange students at my school so I could probably get some practice quite easily.
  13. The thing is, Japanese didn't just import the writing system from China. They also imported tons of words. Words of Chinese origin are called kango 漢語 and words of native Japanese origin are called wago 和語. Most wago are written with a single kanji, and most kango are written with two or more. Kanji is insanely helpful when remembering new words. For example, I know the wago "hitori" 独り、which means "one person" (with a nuance of loneliness, isolation, or independence, unlike 一人 which has the same meaning and pronunciation, but just means literally numerically one person). I know that when it's used in kango, it's pronounced as "doku." And I know the wago manabu 学ぶ, to learn, whose kango pronunciation is "gaku." So the first time I heard the word "dokugaku" 独学, I instantly knew what it meant without having to look it up in a dictionary - "self study." Kanji is a pain in the ass, sure, but once you pick up the common ones, you'll find it makes your language study much easier.
  14. Learning a new dialect isn't half as difficult as you'd think. I picked up Hakata-ben (Fukuoka dialect) in just a few weeks while studying in Fukuoka. The essentials of the language are all the same, and only casual speech changes. Now, Kansai-ben is probably more difficult because the pronunciation and intonation are more different from hyoujungo than hakata-ben is. But if you're going to be spending time in the Kansai region, I'd say you should absolutely give it a shot.
  15. On the other hand, newscasters speak very formally and usually on complex subjects, so it's pretty hard to understand. I'm probably past JLPT N2 level and I still have great difficulty understanding the news. You're also unlikely to pick up words or phrases that you'd actually use in real life.
  16. The image link is broken, any chance of re-upping it?
  17. These apps are available for streaming TV on an Android device: http://cn.appszoom.com/android_applications/japan+tv I find most of the stream are really unreliable and low-quality, though. This site: http://broadcast-live.com/japan.html Claims to have links to streaming Japanese TV, but I can't find a "stream" button on any of the websites.
  18. Assuming you have internet access, there is a Google Translate app for Android. I don't think there is anything that works offline. It would have to contain a complete dictionary and a complete grammar, plus the programming for using both of them, which I'm pretty sure is technologically unfeasible for your average smartphone/tablet.
  19. I think that's actually pretty common! A lot of people even find that they speak more fluently when slightly intoxicated. Once you've achieved a certain level of proficiency in a language, your first instincts are often correct, and second-guessing isn't always helpul.
  20. I started studying Japanese with Rosetta Stone. Honestly, I couldn't recommend it. It's supposed to teach you the target language the way you learned your first language, i.e. purely through exposure and immersion. I think Japanese grammar is complex enough that it really requires proper explanation. I learned very little using Rosetta Stone compared to what I learned with Tae Kim's guide (which is free online, by the way. Google it.)
  21. Yes, theoretically romaji could let someone speak basic Japanese faster. But the fastest way isn't always the best way. What's more, in the long run it'll only slow you down. Most Japanese textbooks begin by teaching stuff like how to say hello or order at a restaurant, but I think it's better to begin with kana, and then basic grammar. In the beginning progress will feel slower (and it won't be as fun) but I think ultimately it would expedite the learning process.
  22. If I were teaching somebody with zero ability Japanese, I wouldn't teach them romaji at all. It's really pretty useless and slows down comprehension. It also leads people to make pronunciation mistakes (like pronouncing ら as "ra", with an R). Instead I would teach kana phonetically, without reference to English.
  23. I definitely find Arabic pretty sexy. Which is weird, because it doesn't have that image at all! French is nice too, but I never really like the sound of Italian. My second language Japanese doesn't really have that romantic quality... I would say even English is much more of a "beautiful" language.
  24. My second language is Japanese. Japanese people have very different body language than English speakers, I feel. I've spent a lot of time with Japanese people so I start unconsciously using a lot of their gestures and postures when speaking Japanese. If one wanted to work in Japan, it would be really important to learn body language. During interviews, for example, a typical Westerner's body language would come across as disrespectful and cocky. Japanese make a lot less eye contact, bow a lot (obviously), and keep their hands crossed or flat on their legs when sitting down in a formal setting.
  25. In high school my best friend was a Japanese dude whose English was at about the same level as my Japanese (at that time, not very good). We pretty much always communicated through a Japanese-English pidgin that nobody who didn't speak both languages could understand. Somehow, I actually improved my Japanese my doing that.
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