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Everything posted by Caffajake

  1. My French teachers always told us to watch the news in French, listen to French songs, put French subtitles on and watch an English movie (or vice versa)... constant exposure is the way to go!
  2. If you're correcting someone's grammar to try and win an argument, then you've already lost the argument. (having said that, incorrect grammar is a complete pet peeve for me. I don't think I'd correct someone when speaking, as that's impolite, but I always go AAAAARRRRGHHHH at rogue apostrophes (etc) on signs.)
  3. Forget using it in writing, I have friends who say 'lol' in real life, completely unironically! I'm not such a fan of that but I think it has entered the language as a common phrase. To be honest I don't really use it in writing either though, it feels a little dated and I just use 'haha' instead. (Or like fluffyducky said, HAHAHAHAHHAHA if I actually laugh xD)
  4. Google Translate is really handy if you need to quickly work out how to say something, or work out a short phrase, or can't be bothered to look it up in a dictionary. It isn't great for longer phrases though, or for translating between languages that are very different to each other e.g. Japanese and English or Chinese (any dialect) and English. It's good for when I'm trying to word something in French and feeling lazy though
  5. A few I can think of offhand: 'Blog' from 'web log'. 'Vlog' from 'video log' or 'video blog'. 'Mockumentary' from 'mock documentary'. 'Chuggers' are 'charity muggers'. (A personal favourite - so apt!) And another one from Lewis Carroll - 'chortle', which is apparently a combination of 'chuckle + snort'!
  6. I find 'squirrel' really funny. Not so much because of how it sounds in English, but how it sounds when non-native English speakers try to pronounce it! See this video:
  7. 'Right-hand man' - second-in-command, most trusted friend 'To bite the hand that feeds you' - to harm someone who does good things for you 'To gain the upper hand' - to gain the superior/most advantageous position There are also lots of idioms to do with fingers, arms, legs... more or less every body part there is!
  8. Yes. It meets all of Hockett's features of human language (can be found here http://people.exeter.ac.uk/bosthaus/Lecture/hockett1.htm - the vocal-auditory channel appears in earlier versions but was removed as it became clear that sign language is a language in its own right). The grammar and sentence structure is also completely different from English. There are also different variants of sign language - users of ASL/BSL will not understand each other (I believe).
  9. This is actually a really good idea! I reckon you'd need a certain level of competence in the target language first, or you'd be lost - but for those that can more or less hold a conversation, it'd be great to expand knowledge of idioms and phrases, and to see how speakers of other languages go about thinking about certain topics. And it would definitely be memorable.
  10. Definitely constant practice! You could find a language buddy who wants to learn your language and take turns practising with them - or for something easier, you could just watch news or TV or read foreign media. Constant exposure is really important in my opinion.
  11. There was a French club at my school when I was six, but I was never formally taught any language until the age of eleven, when we started German lessons. It would have been really good to have had some foreign language teaching in between those ages, when children are most receptive to learning new languages.
  12. Speaking is definitely the hardest for me. I'm not very good at improvising on the spot - I can express myself much better in writing, where I have time to think about what I want to say, the best way to say it, what words and grammar I should use and I can change it if I get it wrong. In speaking I find it hard to think of the words I want to use and I can't look anything up. I also find listening to a conversation quite hard, especially when the native speaker talks quite fast.
  13. Hey all, I'm trying to learn French again. I took 6 years of lessons in school but haven't studied it for 3 years now so I'm quite rusty. Bonjour tout le monde, je suis en train d'apprendre le français à nouveau. Je l'ai étudié pour 6 années, mais je ne l'ai pas étudié pour 3 années, donc j'ai oublié beaucoup. Est-ce-que mon français correct? À bientôt!
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