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Everything posted by SmartPea85

  1. I agree figurative language is excellent for poetry and songwriting, but we are so used to adding it into our everyday language, we usually don't even notice when we're not being literal. I don't think it would "easier" to understand each other if we only spoke literally. I think it would be boring. William Shakespeare used figurative language non-stop in his sonnets and plays. In one of the first scenes of Twelfth Night he uses maybe 10 different metaphors and puns that pertain to sex! Puns, play on words, idioms and figurative language all have to do with the time and culture of the people speaking. That's what makes some of his work so hard for people to understand today. The people of Elizabethan England loved his plays because they understood the figurative language that was being presented to them, and found it enjoyable, funny, relateable or beautiful. This makes me wonder if a thousand years from now people will find it incredibly difficult to decipher what we consider "regular conversation" that's sprinkled with 21st century figurative language?
  2. It's "thousandS of documents" because the statement is saying there are literally more than 1 thousand documents. Could be two thousand, could be ten thousand. But more than one thousand would need the plural S. Anything that is ____ of something is a plural. (Millions of years, skeins of yarn, miles of road) Anything that is A ___ of something is singular (A flock of sheep, A handful of flowers)
  3. I really like how a lot of sayings seem to have universal themes throughout the world, like "biting off more than you can chew", keeping your mouth shut if you don't know what you're talking about, and being a "Jack of all trades" (knowing a little about a lot). Some of these idioms seem confusing out of context though, and I can't seem to guess what some of them mean in relation to life-lessons. Can anyone help explain what these sayings mean? "Who has ever seen a peacock dance in the woods?" "What does the monkey know of the taste of ginger?" They are very intriguing, but I don't understand them. Thanks for sharing these!
  4. I am a little upset that in high school Spanish courses my teachers informed us we didn't "really have to" learn vosotros because it wasn't used that much, or as much as the others, but now as an adult I see it keep popping up with some regularity,and it's never at the front of my conjugating brain. I can see how it's formality would be linked to the old English words like "thee" and "thou", which we never use either, so I can understand why some teachers might not find it absolutely necessary to focus on. But if people are still using it today in Spanish-speaking countries around the world it should be learned and taught along with all the other conjugations. Is it strictly used in formal settings, or with important people you don't know? How is is different from Usted?
  5. I feel like luego and después and even entonces can be interchangeable in certain situations, just as the English words then, after or later might be used in the same sentence and still make sense, or be used in temporal situations, like instructions on how to do something (First, Then, Next...) Voy a ir a un viaje después los examenes finales. (I'm going on vacation after finals.) Primero levantarse de la cama, entonces cepillarse los dientes. (First get out of bed, then brush your teeth.) Luego tengo que trabajar. (I have to go to work later.)
  6. I find Google translator is a good app to get the basics of the translation, and you can tweak the results as needed. Google doesn't know the context of the words, so it can "mess up" and confuse you with some of its results. I've had this app give me strange translations in a similar situation. However, in this case I agree that both phrases are interchangeable: I want to kiss you and I want to give you a kiss. I don't know why an exclamation mark would make the difference for the app, but wouldn't both phrases be acceptable to mean the same thing? Now you know two ways to say it instead of one!
  7. When I took a trip to Spain, I learned from my native-born professor to say "permiso" when walking by someone without bumping into them. We used it non-stop as we navigated crowds in the museums and the busy streets and sidewalks of Barcelona. Because of this experience, it's ingrained in me that these are two different sayings. Saying "permiso" is the translation of "excuse me" when you want to get by, but "disculpe" would be more like, "Pardon the interruption." Don't know if anyone else has had a similar learning experience with these two phrases.
  8. As everyone knows, Shakira sometimes sings the same song in both English and Spanish. Personally, I prefer her songs and her voice when she sings in Spanish. Sometimes it seems the English translation is a little forced. In the first lines of her song "Lo hecho está hecho" she sings: "En la suite 16 Lo que empieza no termina Del mini bar al edén Y en muy mala compana" I translate this to: "In suite 16 that which has started isn't finished in the mini bar of [The Garden of] Eden and in very bad company." Yet in the English version of the same song, this first set of lyrics goes: "First Floor, Room 16 Smells like danger, even better Set your goals, bless our souls I'm in trouble but it feels like heaven." Very different, right? I love the way the Spanish words make the setting of the song feel dangerous, menacing and dark. I think it sets the stage for a very interesting turn of events/feelings that are expressed in the song. Yet the English version doesn't express any of that to me. Even the translated title "Did It Again" seems to intone something might lighter and fluffier than "Lo Hecho está hecho" (What's done is done).
  9. When I was first learning Spanish I practiced by speaking to my Salvadorian boyfriend at the time. One of my terms of endearment in English was to call him "silly." When I looked this up in the Spanish-English dictionary, the translatilon it gave me was "tonto", so I texted him something and ended it by calling him "tonto". He wrote back a little incredulously, "You just called me stupid!" haha whoops. So that was the day I learned the two languages don't always translate exactly, especially when it comes to terms of endearment
  10. Even if your nephew is older, I think jumping into a Harry Potter book or Don Quixote might be a bit complex for a first-time learner. I think reading children's picture books is a great way to dive into the language in a natural and fun way, just like little kids learning their native language do. When I first started learning Spanish, I read "Make Way for Ducklings", "Are You My Mother?" and "Cat in the Hat" translated into Spanish. It was nice because the stories are short, simple, have picture clues, and in many cases included both Spanish and English on the same page so I could really see how the words and phrases translate. It's a good way to practice, learn new vocabulary and feel successful when beginning the long journey of learning a new language.
  11. I know it's not technically an idiom, but someone recently asked me why we say "Ok" to mean "It's all good." I've heard this expression came from American President Martin Van Buren, who was in an elite club called the Old Kinderhooks. When he would introduce new people from the club around, he'd say, "He's an O.K, he's a good guy" kind of thing. Is there any truth to this story? Because I know speakers of many different languages besides American English now use Ok or Okay now, so it would be interesting how this word has circulated the world since then.
  12. I don't believe humans could exist the way we do without language. There's no way we could have evolved to the point we are at today without language to share, perfect and create the advances we enjoy today in interpersonal relationships, technology and philosophy. Even animals in the wild have some form of "language" communication between one another and other animals to warn them of danger, show affection, and share food sources. If anything, even if we didn't have communication through sounds and vocal language as we know it now, we might speak to each other through sign or body language, but we wouldn't be where we are today; we'd most likely still be primitive beings living in solitude in caves.
  13. I agree speaking is the hardest for me. As a non-native speaker, you have to be on your toes to make sure your pronunciation, subject-verb agreement and tense are all correct in a natural way and with the speed of normal talking/conversation. I find reading and writing much easier for language learners because you can take your time comprehending, decoding words, and thinking of (or even looking up) the right word. I find this is interesting because you learn to talk and understand others in your native tongue as a toddler before you learn to read and write in school. Exposure and immersion in the language is the real key to fluid speaking, writing and reading skills.
  14. Both the who and whom questions were answered very clearly. I was also a little confused about proper use of "whom". I was taught when in doubt of which "whose" or "who's" is which, always remember to separate the conjunction and see if the two words still work in the sentence. If it does, then you're good to go. Example: Who's shoes are those? = Who is shoes are those? (Doesn't work) Who's coming to the party? = Who is coming to the party? (This works! Thus you are using the correct "Who's)
  15. I agree that the you're/your mix up is frustrating to say the least, especially coming from people whose first language is English. I teach second grade, and I am constantly reminding the students of the difference. Since they are still learning their spelling, they also often mix up "there" and "their", yet I find English-speaking adults rarely make this mistake, and I'm wondering why this is. Why is it more socially acceptable to pass "your" for "you're"? As I teacher I really strive to clear up the confusion and reasoning behind the different spellings of these two words so that it will stick with these kids when they grow up.
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