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Everything posted by Languagetat

  1. Some people speak of a "Mid-Atlantic" accent, which blends British and American accents, as it could be heard in some old Hollywood films by actors like Cary Grant. I really like that accent. A more recent example is geographer David Harvey who is British but has lived in the U.S. for a long time and now both accents are mixed. In general, I think I really like the Southern England accent as long as it doesn't sound too posh. However, I like to hear the "r"s pronounced, and this is something I really miss in Southern England accents. In that sense, I like the Boston pronunciation of "r"s.
  2. Some of the posts in this thread have been very fascinating. They make me think of the power of online databases to process linguistic information. I have also noticed that Google Translate has improved its algorithms for translating texts based on user input and all the books they have processed. If those algorithms keep improving we may get to a point where for quick translating tasks we may really rely on Google Translate to do the first translation, only to proofread it and make some finer adjustments ourselves. However, I also agree with all the posters that doubt that machine translation will replace the nuance and complexity of a human translation in the short to mid term future.
  3. I had a translator teacher that insisted that the translated text should be better than the original, in such a way that if you then translated the text back to its original language, it would be more understandable and of better quality. Unless the client is explicitly asking you for a very, very accurate translation including all the possible mistakes, then you can stick to the original as much as possible. But in my experience, most clients value translations as being more "accurate" when the translation is very easy to follow, when it flows well. Something that works for me when I have the time is to leave the translated document aside once it's finished, go to sleep, and to read it out loud the next morning. In this way I usually spot little things I can do to improve the translation that I would have otherwise missed.
  4. I've seen it also depends on the students and the teacher. Some students work much better one on one, and some require the input of a larger group. I've seen some teachers are more suited to one teaching style too. I personally like to have a bit of both. When it's one on one, I like I can ask more questions. When it's in a group, I like that others' questions and mistakes help me to notice about my own issues with the learning process.
  5. I think there is actually a term for this. They call it "transference" and it is often discussed in translation and second language learning research. The brain has a lot of plasticity and it can get used to really think in another language. I think this process is actually quite fascinating.
  6. First, I like to spend some time simply listening to the language, several hours a day. I imagine this is somewhat similar to visiting the country where that language is spoken and spending some days immersing myself in the language, getting used to the sounds and so on. Then, I start to learn some very basic phrases and I repeat them several times. Then, I learn some basic words. Then, I start learning the grammar of the language. I usually read several books on this. During the process I keep watching movies with subtitles and listening to songs. After I have some practice, I try to find a peer with whom I could practice speaking. Then, I read some basic newspaper, and continue learning vocabulary and the grammar. I continue this process until I feel I have a better command of the language.
  7. You can use this joke for someone you want to tease. Say, you want to tease your brother. He can then be the subject of the joke: My brother wasn't feeling too well, so he went to the doctor. After doing some tests, the doctor told my brother that his problem was very simple: The left side of his brain had nothing right. And the right side of his brain had nothing left!
  8. To me, wordreference.com is an invaluable source for learning how to use words adequately in context. The forums there are particularly useful, since most people replying to questions on a specific language are native speakers of that language. Whenever I have a doubt on how to use a phrase I go there and ask.
  9. To me, it is also the idea that by learning another language I get to see the world in new ways. Wittgenstein said that the limits of your language are the limits of your world. By expanding my language, I think I effectively expand my world!
  10. I can connect to some of the accounts shared in here. I remember when I was learning Norwegian I got to a point where I felt I was never going to be able to learn the language. It's grammar is not even that difficult, but I was learning pretty much on my own, reading books, and just with the help of a private tutor. However, around the same time I started learning French and I started doing pretty well learning it, so this helped me to regain some confidence.
  11. Something that has worked for me is to listen to the target accent many times, for example from a movie, and then to try to imitate the accent over and over. It helps to read the script. For example, I like Tom Wilkinson's accent in the movie Michael Clayton. I found a great Youtube video with his opening monologue, and I imitated it many times. I think this helped!
  12. Well, I think the best thing to do is to browse the web and search for websites that are only in the source language, and that you think that they have potential for being translated into your native language. Then contact the website administrator and propose them to translate their website. Show them how their marketshare could increase by having the website in another language. This would help you to build a more direct relationship with the client.
  13. When I took some French lessons I paid $15 per lesson. Each lesson consisted approximately of a one hour session. The teacher was good and experienced, although she didn't have any formal credentials. Apparently she charges up to $20 to some of her students.
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