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Posts posted by gabriela

  1. The importance of the need for grammar perfection when learning a foreign language largely depends on the urgency and available time needed to master or adapt a new language. If I were given only a few days or weeks to learn a language due to an upcoming trip, I will not have to force myself to master its syntax or achieve an impeccable level of speaking and writing. I will just have to learn the basic conversational skills needed.

    When the learning is required for academic purposes, of course, I will have to aim for the highest level of grammar skill that I can learn. Formal training is in order. 

  2. From order of priority, these are the top 5 languages I'd like to learn.

    1. French - I am fascinated by it and I'm very challenged by its difficulty.

    2. Nihongo - Because of my love for anime and my fascination for the Japanese culture in general

    3. Italian

    4. Spanish

    5. Portuguese - I think it is a very beautiful language both when sung and spoken. I love bossa nova music and would really wish to understand the culture and language behind these songs.

  3. OK, here's my contribution to the list. I think the word "kita" particularly when used in the phrases such as  "mahal kita" or "Hindi kita iiwan" does not have a literal translation.

    "Kita" is also a translation of the English word "seen" but the above paragraph using the same word spelling is totally unrelated to "seen."

    It pertains to a reference to a second person as spoken from a first person point of view. Therefore the word "kita" on the first paragraph has no literal and equivalent translation. Rather, it stems from a more cultural usage adopted by Filipinos.

  4. When riding a public transportation vehicle particularly the jeepney or a bus these are the words you must learn:

    para - word used when you ask the driver to stop (shortcut for "on the side")

    baba sa  _____  - will alight/ go down at ______ (e.g. baba sa Cubao =go down at Cubao)-

    bayad po - means payment

    ilan? - how many? . This is asked by the driver or bus conductor to ask you for how many people you're paying the fare for

  5. I can only intensively learn one language at a time. However it is possible to brush up on different languages especially when you're required to use it, such as in classical singing, for instance. Musicians involved in choral singing, operas, and other vocal art forms are required to at least understand the language they are using in songs as well as pronounce the words perfectly as required by the language.

    In the conversational level, most of us non-English individuals can handle two comfortably and use interchangeably during casual conversationa: our native language and a secondary one (usually English).

  6. Among the three language skills you mentioned, I consider Speaking as the most difficult. The skill of speaking a language involves physical effort as well as learning the proper intonation, accents, pronunciation (including the unfamiliar uses of the various parts of the mouth). For example, the letter "R" is pronounced differently by Spanish as compared to the Americans and the French.

    A slight raise in pitch can change the meaning of a word. The same is true with identically spelled words with differing accents on various syllables.

    These variations are also present depending on the region and dialect.

  7. Music is a very effective learning tool. Even language can be effectively learned through music. Back in pre-school, this was how our teachers taught us our basic alphabet. We learned a lot of vocabulary words through songs. The patterns in music help our brain respond to stimulus caused by new language elements introduced. Singing songs in foreign languages gives us auditory and oral experiences that also enhance learning.

  8. I'd like to relearn French and master it to a conversational level. I hope to migrate to Quebec because I've heard a lot of great things about that area of Canada. I took up basic French classes back in college but never really got to practice it after that particular semester. I regret not taking it seriously as I was just fulfilling a curriculum requirement. Now I wish I had practiced it more. 

  9. Mabuhay! I'm another Filipino jumping on board here. Many of you here may have met a Filipino, or two, or a bunch of us wherever part of the world you are in. Right now, I'm a Filipino still stuck in the Philippines. I wish to learn more about other languages just like most of you who came here because someday soon I will be in another land. For now, let's enjoy each other's company :)

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