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Everything posted by Ella

  1. Latin and ancient Greek are offered as a study program in almost all Secondary schools in Belgium. When I was in secondary school, it was considered a program for the 'smart' kids. Studying Latin was (probably still is) also considered a good way to practice studying for when you go to University. Just like University, there is a lot of material to take in over a short period of time. I've never studied Latin, I don't think it is very useful. I've studied Italian, Spanish and French, and even though they all have Latin as their proto-language, I can't see many similarities that would have been useful when studying the roman languages. My knowledge of French, however, did help me with Spanish and Italian.
  2. I studied a bit of Spanish 10 years ago, but I've almost forgotten all about it. I quickly took the Spanish test for level A1 just now at www.spanish-test.net/ and I managed to score 73%. I don't know if that means that the Spanish I studied 10 years ago is actually sitting dormant in my brain, or if it was just luck. In my opinion, I should have probably scored 10%
  3. Thank you for the long and in depth explanation of the passive tense. The difference between the passive and active tense has always confused me. Especially when I'm doing online spell and grammar checks, the results are always 'too many sentences in the passive tense'. Now I finally know what they mean
  4. I've used it a few times, but it was always for fun. I always ask a silly question, and have a 'conversation' with Siri I never really use it for what it was developed for.
  5. I rarely use a dictionary, but if I come across a word that I'm not 100% sure of, I look it up. I do look up many words for their spelling though
  6. I haven't written anything on my hands for a long time! I used to write a to do list on my hand when in secondary school. I was very forgetful, and I always forgot to check my notepad for upcoming tasks or tests. Writing everything on my hand made me remember all the important things. I was sometimes left with blue ink on my face after sleeping on my hand though
  7. I have a few words I keep misspelling. Necessary, definitely, miscellaneous, immediately... Luckily, I have Ginger installed as my spell checker
  8. I'm using Ginger as an add-on on Chrome and Firefox and I love it! Especially for spell and grammar checks when writing e-mails and forum posts. When I'm writing articles, I do use different spell and grammar checkers, but Ginger is definitely in my top 3 for casual checkers.
  9. I've been living in the UK now for over 5 years, and barely speak my native tongue. I started thinking in English after being here for 1 year, I even dream in English It happened gradually, I never 'forced' myself to think in English.
  10. In my native language, I don't think I have an accent, but people from other regions do say I have an accent. To people from other regions, you'll always have an accent. In English, I definitely have an accent no one can ever place my accent, since it's such a mixture of accents from places where I've lived. No one can tell I'm from Belgium, everyone says I sound a bit European but with a Scottish twist (I dated a Scotsman for 2,5 years and lived in Scotland for half a year). Now I'm dating a South African, I can already tell that the pronunciation of my vowels is changing.
  11. My all time favourite quote is one by Charles Augustus Lindbergh II " What kind of man would live where there is no daring? I don't believe in taking foolish chances, but nothing can be accomplished without taking any chance at all. "
  12. I'd like to learn Swedish and Russian. Swedish because I think it sounds very interesting. I have a few colleagues from Sweden, and every time they talk, it sounds like a mix between English and a fantasy language, I love it! I've been looking into travelling the Trans-Siberian route from St-Petersburg to Beijing. It approximately takes a month, and it would be handy to know a bit of Russian while there. It looks like a very tricky language to learn, but I like challenges
  13. I've recently started learning Spanish, and aside from watching Spanish series, I would like to read some Spanish novels. I have a basic understanding of Spanish (I did a Spanish evening course for a year, 10 years ago), but I'd like a challenge. Even if it means looking up every other word in the book Can anyone recommend novels, which are an easy read for beginners?
  14. I've always found it very hard to learn German. I'm a native Dutch speaker and I can understand a lot of German, but when actually trying to learn the language and speak it, I get stuck. I always find myself 'Germanising' Dutch words to make myself understood The grammar is the hardest part though. Especially the German cases are confusing. I always thought it was hard to learn German for Dutch speakers, as many things are similar, but actually aren't similar. So it gets very confusing. And I thought it was the same the other way around for German speakers trying to learn Dutch.
  15. Yes, most people in Belgium (especially the Flemish) speak English. However, the percentage of French speaking Belgians (Walloons) who speak English is lower than the Flemish. I think the main reason for this is because Flanders is exposed to English more frequently than the French part of our country. Many TV programs and movies are American or British, and all subtitled in Flanders, while almost everything is dubbed in the French part. As for our (non-) willingness to speak Dutch to a non-Dutch native, I think it's because we love speaking other languages, so when we have an opportunity to speak English, we switch But if you make it clear to us you want to speak Dutch, we would be more than happy to practice Dutch with you
  16. I'm planning to travel to South America. I'm very interested in its history and archaeological sites. (pre-settlers). My main reason however is family. My mum was born in Paraguay (moved to Europe when she was 9) and I still have family there. I'd love to meet them one day and speak in their native tongue. Unfortunately, my mum never spoke Spanish to me or my sisters, so I have to start from scratch. I still have a long way to go.
  17. I use Duolingo to learn Spanish. I think it's a great way to learn a language. I like the point system and leaderboards as well. I'm competitive by nature and this just makes me want to perform better. Now that they've introduced more languages, I will start using it to get to know some other ones.
  18. Welcome bluemoose! I'm a (Dutch speaking) Belgian native living in the UK. How are you finding Belgium and life in Brussels? It's always difficult to use Dutch in Brussels as most people speak French there. If you need any Dutch related advice, I'm happy to help
  19. I used to watch Sos Mi Vida (or Martín y Monita), an Argentinian romantic comedy series. I loved it. Most of the time it was cheesy, but funny. I don't think it's the best series to watch when you're just starting to learn Spanish. The conversations were very fast so I needed the subtitles all the time. The series was highly addictive, so I kept watching I did learn a few things, so it wasn't a waste of time.
  20. Learning languages is mandatory in my native country. We get taught Dutch, French, German and English. It wasn't always fun, but now I'm glad I can speak more than one language. I love travelling, so being able to talk to the locals is one reason to learn a language. I started learning Spanish and Italian after visiting Italy and Spain a few times. I loved it there! It's been almost 10 years since I started studying those languages. I want to brush up my Spanish again because I want to go travelling in South America.
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