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About SmartPea85

  • Rank
    Slang Poet


  • Currently studying
  • Native tongue
  • Fluent in
    English, Spanish

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  1. If you are a beginner, I think the best novels are ones that are written for young adults. They are essentially in the same boat you are, language comprehension-wise, and the concepts/language will be simpler to understand. I have read this short novel called Sin Noticias de Gurb. It's about an alien who has landed in Barcelona, Spain, and trying to find his partner (Gurb) while exploring the city and its strange human inhabitants. It's funny, sweet and interesting. You will most likely have to look up a bunch of words, but you will pick up the gist of the book pretty easily, and learn some gr
  2. Embarazada: Pregnant I had to do a mini skit for one of my Spanish courses in college, and I had to learn that word for one of my lines. Maybe the way it rolls off the tongue, but for some reason that word has always stuck in my head.
  3. It's funny how words come and go with our time and place in history. I've read a good colonial insult would be to call someone a "jackanapes", which appears to refer to someone who's impertinent. Some Old English words we don't use anymore but used to be quite popular: anon (soon) beguile (cheat or trick) collier (coal-vendor) forsooth (certainly or truly)
  4. My favorite is the Greek frog sound: brececececs coacs coacs (brik-ka-ka'kee koo-ah koo-ah) And a bird singing: tsiu tsiu Both very melodic and happy-sounding
  5. At my old high school they offered Latin as a language study program. I think it's useful. Latin is really interesting not only as part of world history, but it is the root of a lot of different languages, so to have a firm grasp on Latin is probably beneficial in picking up other languages. You can tell how close Latin links to "sister" languages in words like: aquatique (french) aquarium (english) agua (spanish) acqua (italian)
  6. I didn't begin learning Spanish BECAUSE of my boyfriend, but my past two boyfriends have been of Hispanic descent, so it just works out pretty nicely that I can practice speaking and vocabulary learning with him now. I am especially grateful, however, because I can speak and understand a little of what his family is saying, especially his grandmother, who is so nice to me but doesn't speak English very well. The fact that we can still communicate is very important to me, and I'm glad that we aren't blocked from each other by a language barrier.
  7. Anyone have any tips or clever ideas to help your students remember the correct spelling and meanings of typically mixed-up homophones like there/their/they're and two/too/to?
  8. What are some examples you know of false cognates that are important to get straight? False cognates are words that sound like words in English but they do not mean the same thing. Some that always used to trip me up: costumbre (custom, not costume) personaje (character, not person) sopa (soup, not soap)
  9. Another great practice idea is to change your Google language setting to Spanish. Then type in a topic and google will automatically direct you to websites in Spanish. You can do a little research and practice reading and comprehending in Spanish. One of my professors made us do this for a research project. It can be a little frustrating, but it's great practice if you stick to it, and it can lead you to so many great informational websites that you might never find if you only searched in English!
  10. Sounds beautiful! It's very interesting to me how different languages have different forms of words/phrases depending on who is saying it, and who they are saying it to. When you say "honorific", does that mean you are speaking to someone out of respect/older/of higher status? I'm thinking this might be equivalent to the Spanish "usted". I like how some languages include this differentiation as part of their language structure and overall culture. It's a little sad that English is not one of those.
  11. "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost is a classic Winter & Snow poem: Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village though; He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with snow. My little horse must think it queer To stop without a farmhouse near Between the woods and frozen lake The darkest evening of the year. He gives his harness bells a shake To ask if there is some mistake. The only other sound’s the sweep Of easy wind and downy flake. The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promi
  12. Spell-check is one thing, I would be careful of a computer program that corrects grammar. You might find based on the context of the sentence you are trying to say, the program will tell you you are wrong when you are actually right, or give you suggestions that are incorrect. I know even as a native English speaker, sometimes my computer's word document will alert me to fix a sentence that is already correct. As a non-native speaker, it might be even more confusing for a computer to try to predict what you want to say and in the context you are trying to say it in. Better to have a professor
  13. It should be "happened" because you are still asking about an event that did or did not happen in the past, thus the "happen" should be in the past tense. If you are speculating about something in the future or present tense, you might say something like "What would happen if...?"
  14. I think it's important to figure out the literal translation of what you're saying in Spanish. This might help not only figure out what you want to say in the easiest way, but it could also alleviate that extra "es" or "el" in everyday conversation. The reason you don't say "Me llamo es ____" is because you're not literally saying "My name is" like in English. Me llamo means "I call myself" so you would just say "Me llamo Jane" ("I call myself Jane"), not "I call myself is Jane." When you start to understand the structure of the new language and how it's different from your original, it makes
  15. Teaching a child another language is best done AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE! I learned in my linguistics class that all infants have the ability to speak any language on earth, they only grow up learning whatever language they are surrounded by. I disagree that flashcards and 15-minute games are the way to go with a child. You have to make the language natural, constant, and fun for them to remember it and want to learn/speak it. Being immersed in the language is the most authentic way for anyone to learn a language. Children have to be taught that the same object can have several different names. If
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