Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Sora

  1. Hi.. I'm doing my major in literature in India. Part of my coursework requirement entails that I know different languages - so far I've managed to master three including my mother tongue ( ), Hindi, English and a little bit of French. I had come across this site earlier and had been a member as well, but somewhere between all the study work and job managing, I lost touch with the forum completely. I'm so happy to have found it again! This will definitely be a great place to share ideas and opinions about the various ways to learn a langage and the options available. I'm sure I'll get to know many of you well too! Have a good day
  2. I'm a literature student from India and last year I stumbled upon a book of poetry written in Urdu. I read the translated version online and then heard the original version through an audio clip. The difference in the recitations was palpable. Since then I've managed to pick up a little of the Urdu script, but it'll still take some time to fully be able to write and read words fuently. Meanwhile, I was wondering if I could find anyone here who might help me out. Do any of you speak Urdu?
  3. I'm not sure this method would bear much fruit for me. I tried this at the initial stages of my learning French, where I joined a chat group where all communication was done in this language alone. Despite hearing the way they spoke, the most I could decipher was the emotion behind their words, as in, whether someone was trying to flirt, or was irritated or was happy. And I learnt that Bonjour meant hello/ how do you do. Then again, I already knew this before joining the site. So when someone replied "cava", I gathered they must mean "I'm okay/fine/well". For the rest of my time there, I really didn't learnt much. I think for me, I would have to get down on my knees and legs and actually make the effort of learning a few phrases and words of the new language by rote. Thereafter, I might use them to converse with people and try and pick up the language from thereon. As I did, in fact, with French eventually.
  4. Human beings are capable of feeling more emotions than there ever can be words to describe them. While "Happiness" and "Sadness" are two very basic and all encompassing words that we often substitute and throw around with "thrill", "joy", "exhilaration", "gloom", "melancholy", "blue", etc to accommodate our feelings into verbal communication, sometimes, it seems like there are absolutely no words in the system of languages that can express exactly what we feel. While surfing the internet, I came across an interesting article on BuzzFeed where the author had put together a list of 23 words that might help to fill the hole in language trajectory. I tried to locate the etymological origins of the words which led me to this fantastic website that called itself The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. John Koenig, a graphic designer and editor by profession, has come up with a project where he tries to put a name to the varied kinds of emotions we feel. While on the one hand, it seems implausible that these words will ever enter mainstream language systems or be endorsed by popular, canonical dictionaries, I can't help but laud this man on his ingenious endeavor to make more expressible words available to express ourselves. I can only hope that more and more people come to know bout him and use his words. The emotions that describes are nuanced moments that all of us have felt at some point or the other. Following are the links to the BuzzFeed list and Koenig's site. BuzzFeed's list of 23 words John Koenig's Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows Do let me know what you think.
  5. It is true that today, one of the easier ways to appreciate literature and works of different cultures and geographical areas is to read translated works in the preferred language. In the earlier days, scholars knew multiple languages fluently, J R R Tolkien is reported to know over 20 languages! But for the ordinary folks, who do not have the means to learn too many languages or the time to indulge in the practice, translations are what we lean towards. My mother tongue is one of the many Indian languages and I've read most of its works in English translations. Later, after many years when I succeeded in reading the original versions, I realized how much I had missed on while apparently enjoying the English works. Not much difference when it comes to the story or the argument, but little things, certain meanings, subtle nuances that enrich the novel were completely lost in the translated versions. I realized also, how difficult it is to capture these small essences in translating and remain true to the text. There are certain words in Bengali, my mother tongue, that just does not have an equivalent in English. The only way to communicate the meaning of those words would be through suggestions and descriptive phrases. I'm sure this is the case with many languages that translators face while translating. Do you ever wish you knew a certain language because you feel the translated version might not have done justice to the original?
  6. I frequently use Google Translator but only for very basic phrases and sentences, mostly just words. Anything a little complicated and the translation comes out all wrong. The subtle nuances in a particular language can't be translated. A translator program will work according to strict grammatical and structural rules, which is hardly how we speak in reality. It's not the best way to pick up a language. Just that it comes handy at times.
  7. I think it's lack of will and desire that prevents people from learning a language well. The other reason could be lack of practice or opportunity to speak the tongue. I remember when I was trying to learn French, I had no one with whom I could converse in the language, and the bookish knowledge of grammar and sentence structure didn't help me in the long run. So my attempt didn't really succeed. There has to be will and opportunities for conversation for someone to master a language.
  8. The prominent differences that I can make out in accents are in the American, British, Scottish, Afro and Australian English. I think they make the language interesting. We get to learn a lot about the culture of the people speaking in a particular accent. British English is by far my favorite. There is something really irresistibly attractive and sexy in the way they pronounce their words! I could keep listening to them talk! In my tweens I tried hard to imitate them but it never quite sounded right. Lol.
  • Create New...