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Elly

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Everything posted by Elly

  1. To my understanding, Sengoidelc is like... ancient Irish Gaelic, basically? Although, I consider myself somewhat of an etymology/philology fan, because networking the word origins rather than make it more to memorize actually help to memorize and recognize new words with possibly similar origins as other words because a mental network is catchy...but I haven't come across a dictionary that said so-and-so Irish Gaelic word originated in the Sengoidelc for... so, I might be wrong. Or using the wrong dictionary.
  2. Even a fluent English speaker can have poor grammar in the sense that conversational English is different from formal written English. For example, I use a lot of run-on sentences. I might be put off by sentence fragments, and if I weren't aware that I use run-on sentences and that it's wrong to do so, then I might call sentence fragments poor grammar. That would be hypocrisy, but that's my feeling. I just make sure not to go with it. I can also be inconsistent with capitalization. My favorite novelist, Terry Pratchett, uses capitalization to show that an otherwise normal noun or phrase is Very Important. I picked up on that habit, and have trouble sometimes with being consistent about capitalization. Consistency is really the thing. Here is an article that you might find helpful about an editor's struggles with consistent language. (I also think that the insult "douche bag" should be one word by now.)
  3. I think this is a great way to learn, too! It doesn't have to be a fictional story, either. I used to have a student that I'd just have keep a journal that I could read about how he spent his days. At first, I would just correct the grammar in the entry, but my own English literature teacher said that it might come off as overwhelming to see so many little things wrong on one page, so instead I just picked up on the most frequent type of mistake and then I would just tailor a written exercise so that my student could work on correcting that.
  4. I'd go with that, too--but only if it's really confusing. Like, pronouncing "desert" as "dessert" or "motif" like "motive". Those are different words that actually mean something, so mispronunciation can be confusing. If they pronounce the k in "knight" or the t in "mistletoe" though, I think that's up to the listener to adjust their understanding. It's like U.K. versus U.S. English with the stresses on different syllables for some words. Having an accent or different pronunciation isn't technically incorrect. So, in those cases, I would just pronounce the words in the conventional way where the speaker can hear it probably, and it's up to them to pick up on it or not.
  5. Just two nitpicks with the infographic: #7 advises to pick the one that "sounds" less silly. This would be very unhelpful to those for whom English is not their first language, or even for those who speak English fluently and are surrounded by people who speak English fluently but continue to use personal pronouns wrongly. For #8, contractions and possessives are not the only times that an apostrophe would be used. Sometimes they're used to indicate a date or a plural for an acronym: My grandmother grew up in the 1920's, not the 1920s; "automatic teller machines" become ATM's, not ATMs. This can make it very difficult to decide how to punctuate the phrase "do's and don't's" which I just did wrong, but "dos and don'ts" is also wrong. They can both be right and consistent: "do's and don'ts." Otherwise, thank you so much for the link! I had a lot of fun with dangling participles, before I learned from this what they're called.
  6. I hope they meant that J.D. Salinger is best known for one book. But such mistaken phrasing is common in a lot of things. From what I've read, though, actors still get more inaccurate rumors and lies about them than authors do.
  7. That's a good point. Although, I'm not sure that I entirely agree--it wasn't my choice to move to another country when I was a child, and I really didn't want to learn the language because that's why the mean girls at school would switch to when they wanted to bully me... So, I was definitely resistant, but in hindsight I'm glad that osmosis and school drills did get some of the basics in.
  8. It's not perfect because it's a robot--but it's better than Babelfish!
  9. A bad/stupid reason to learn a language would be one that doesn't take you as far. Learning a language is complex enough that, I think, any bad reasons would be steamrolled out of there by the process. Unless the one doing the learning is a mean, sleazy, evil genius. I think learning a new language only for the swear words, so that you can be verbally abusive to more people in the world... is a terrible reason! To ease the process of getting laid by learning basic conversation--that's a slightly better reason. Not the one I'd use, but not one that I'd judge quite so harshly either. That said, some sexual objectification can be just as hurtful as verbal abuse, so maybe I would judge "learning a new language just to understand porn" or "watching enough foreign porn to learn a new language" just as harshly. It depends on the attitude that the person seems to have.
  10. I think the connotation is "abet" is both something that is allowed passively, and something that is being made to pass on or be lessened. Enable is more active, and "positive" although not necessarily good as in enabling an addiction or substance abuse. While both of the above might refer to a progression of events, incite implies an active, positive genesis or point of beginning. Am I somewhat correct in all this? I haven't double-checked any dictionaries, this is just how I roughly remember the meanings depending on how I've heard the words used...
  11. Yes, I do this! But I forget the right away, so they must not be very good, if they're not memorable and easy to use all the time. I think that I read somewhere (forgot exactly where, sorry--) that if a person can find a word being used in five different places within three months of each other, then that word is worthy of being added to the dictionary. Usually, though, the word only gets notice like that when it's above the quota and used far more frequently.
  12. I use check for the symbol or marking, check for the verb as in "to look in on and monitor, to be sure of a fact", and cheque for anything to do with money (such as a restaurant bill or a bank cheque--I use the word "cheque" for both.)
  13. That is fascinating, thank you so much for weighing in On this point, however: Isn't it possible for a person to be unable to speak, to be mute, while having perfectly good hearing as well--and so still require communication by sign language? I didn't mean for it to be derogatory, I meant for the term to be inclusive.
  14. Elly

    Regrets

    I think that the only reason I would regret learning a language is if it displaced learning another language that would have been useful. In that sense, I sort of regret learning English quite so much because it allowed me to live abroad without taking full advantage of the language immersion. I was naturally shy and painfully self-conscious, so I hated to have to talk to other people even in English, let alone a less familiar language. On the other hand, fluency in English is practically the only thing that gives me any edge where I am now, so I can't regret it. When this one school that I was enrolled in finally got foreign languages as an extracurricular, I was dead set on learning French. My sister wanted to learn Spanish, but thought that it would be better for us to practice with one another, so she switched to French too. She's blamed me since then whenever she's come across a Spanish-speaking client and would be unable to communicate. I have to say, that I've forgotten most of what I learned in French class too...except perhaps for how to learn a language, which was far more methodical than my Indonesian lessons. I regret being taught Bahasa Indonesia, too, although that wasn't a choice... It's just that, I'm sure that I would have been open to learning it eventually, but I ran into the mean girls in high school and they'd switch to Indonesian to gossip about me so it just wasn't a language I was interested in learning. If my teachers had taught me Javanese and Carakan, though, I would have pushed for fluency so hard and maybe would have re-gained enough confidence to work on my Bahasa.
  15. I'm very imaginative as well. I even seem to be tuning out while people are talking, but when I associate what they're saying with an image then what they say becomes much easier to comprehend and remember. Imagination is one of the best and probably most common ways to consolidate meaning to text. I'm sure that pure abstract thought, comprehension, and memory is a talent too... just not mine. If I'm not being imaginative, it's usually because my brain isn't functioning properly that day.
  16. I think German as a word/nationality carries with it some connotations of a relatively recent violent history. But the language itself sounds fine--beautiful, even. I consider Dutch more gutteral. The German I've heard tends more towards a susurrus.
  17. My mother language-- I don't only mean figuratively, I mean like the language of my mother that I grew up speaking-- is American English. This caused some trouble when I began to study at an Australian school, and my classmates and teachers would look at me as if I were very strange, just because I said "faucet" instead of "tap" or "trash can" instead of "rubbish bin"!
  18. Ambiguous construction. "She approached the black bearded gypsy" -- Wait, was the gypsy black or was he of a non-black race but had dark hair and therefore a black beard? "The wooden raft crew" -- Wait, the crew on the raft was wooden? "He says that he's a rogue werewolf hunter." -- What's a rogue werewolf? Oh, you mean he hunts werewolves and he's a rogue about it. I could easily figure out most of these from context, but for some reason I always think about it the other way.
  19. My mother spoke English at home, and I wasn't much of a social butterfly, but I lived in a country (or two, really) where English wasn't the only language spoken so these other languages were always around. I learned from osmosis since I was a child, but osmosis is evidently an unreliable teacher!
  20. Correct. The same applies to dreamt. It might make the language rather difficult to grapple with for someone learning it, because clearly even English speakers get confused, but I personally like that the '-t' instead of '-ed' adds some variety that's still correct and romantically archaic.
  21. This might be partially why I stopped learning Esperanto. I liked the idea, but it was a language created to function, and its springboard was what was most comfortable for its creator which was Polish and some Romance languages--with the "beauty" of the romance languages removed! So, Esperanto is a beautiful idea but I wouldn't say that it's a beautiful language. Beauty is probably one of the reasons I'm so drawn to Irish Gaelic, even though it's not exactly a "power language" for conducting international business like Mandarin or Japanese is, nor is it as widespread as French.
  22. My mother language is English, so that's what I usually speak, but sometimes there's going to be a word--though not a whole phrase--in a language that I grew up hearing and it just feels right. So, that's when I mix a word into an English sentence. But if I say a whole sentence in a language other than English, it's deliberate rather than natural. It's not like with the occasional word with no English equivalent or translation (or maybe there is, but I just don't feel like searching my mind for the English of a perfectly good word that's already there) where I just do that without thinking.
  23. Here are a couple of links that I hope can show audio books and other audio media in the best way: a dark retelling by Neil Gaiman of the folktale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Welcome To Night Vale episode 33, a radio show host who lives in a Twilight Zone type town makes a mundane discovery that turns out very very strange. Yes, the weather report is really always a musical guest star. Learning to listen is just as valuable in language learning and appreciation as the written form of the language
  24. I've actually gotten annoyed with this trend of first-person stories in young adult fantasy...but I think it works really, really well for Percy Jackson. I love his character voice, and how he's basically positioned to be the best storyteller, not necessarily the star or hero of the story. But right now, my favorite character is Tybalt from the October Daye series. It's strange because I don't usually like snarky bad boys, and he's not even entirely human, he's a fairy cat-person...but I think he plays off October really well. I'm only starting on the third one in the series, but I hope they get a proper date some time, even though Tybalt is so immature about it, like, "He likes you, that's why he wants to pull on your pigtails."
  25. You'll never know when you might meet someone whose perspective would better your life, but we can't access because of a language barrier. Or-- heavens forbid-- some day any of us might lose the privilege of a voice, and then sign language can prove to be faster than writing out what we mean to say. I wish sign language were as commonly taught in schools as reading and writing. Not only for the benefit of deaf-mutes, but so that in situations where silence must be observed then people could still communicate. I suppose we'd sooner be taught Morse code, though...
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