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Everything posted by dostava

  1. I'm sure everyone here has written a poem or a story at least once in their lives. Not necessarily an artistic masterpiece, but an emotional poem, or a little funny ditty to pass time in class, or maybe a story, etc. I want to know if people write in their native tongue or in foreign languages, and if the latter, in which? I find that people in Slovenia often write in English. Some find it more artistic, some just find it easier to write in. I myself write (both poetry and prose) in my mother tongue, Slovene.
  2. I think English is easy to learn, but a bit more difficult to master. A student will probably quickly pick up basic sentence patterns and vocabulary, but it is harder for him/her to know all the possible combinations, what with the abundance of tenses and their secondary usage. German is in my opinion the other way around: difficult to pick up, but easier to get really god at once one masters the basic grammar.
  3. A hostel night watchman in Prague didn't speak a word of any other language besides Czech. No matter how hard we tried, there wasn't any way for us to communicate: he knew neither English nor German, Serbian, Italian, nothing the 3 people present could speak. We ended up sleeping outside since he wouldn't hear us out when we tried to explain we had a reservation.
  4. At a certain point, I noticed how much of my study material was written by french authors. It seemed as if all the best social scientists are French and I felt a sudden desire to learn a bit of French. For Serbian, I'm not even sure. It felt right at the beginning since I live close to the land of native speakers, but I don't believe there is any strictly rational reason involved. My learning Serbian is likely purely sentimental.
  5. I feel like I should choose a favorite song for all the languages I understand... But since I have to pick out one, I pick "leteli oblaka" (the clouds flew) by a Russian band named "DDT" (both the title and the artists are originally spelled out in cyrillic, naturally). It's quite ironic since I barely speak a word of Russian, but this one really speaks to me. It is (probably) a stream of consciousness by a man lying on the grass watching clouds and thinking "what could've been if". Give it a try if you like!
  6. No such luck here. My primary school offered foreign language classes for beginners, but really it was semi-competent teacher marveling at older students being able to produce translations into, say, German for common nouns and sometimes adjectives. I hopefully attended this nonsense for half a year and got nothing from it.
  7. Well, naturally you lose a skill you've once obtained if you don't exercise it. If you haven't brushed up your Spanish skills in a while, you won't be able to recall the memorized words and patterns either as easily as you were before or, unfortunately, at all. I am also rapidly losing all my acquired knowledge of German, which I had been taking for 4 years. I suggest you find a job or volunteer in Spain. If you don't recall it right now, it doesn't mean it's LOST forever. Once there, you'll immerse yourself in Spanish and bits and words you forgot even existed will start coming back. Plus it'll be fun to do something different for a month or so!
  8. Cursive writing is still taught to every school kid here in Slovenia, but it turns out later on in their lives that it is a rather pointless skill to have. It's not just the fact that sooner or later every kid learns hot to type and proceeds to write out most of their assignments with the assist of a keyboard, even in situations when one is forced to write by hand, people here often resort to normal handwriting. I never use cursive because my handwriting is almost illegible, even if use normal handwriting. I can't read after myself when I use cursive, so I've dropped it completely.
  9. You're right, translating a poem inevitably results in losing some if it's key features. The rhythm is relatively easy to preserve, compared to e.g. rhyme of imagery. I find it that when a poem is translated and the translation has preserved the original metre as well as the rhyme scheme, the message usually gets butchered in the process. So far, a translation of an English poem into my language that I've seen and was completely successful happened exactly once. For all these reasons, one should not attempt to translate poetry but rather learn its language
  10. My University offers language courses that cost 400 EUR for those enrolled and 650 for the outsiders and last 1 semester. I've been hearing they were really good, work-intensive and so on, but there's about 5 people in each of those, which honestly does not surprise me given the price! Why on Earth would anyone be prepared to spend this much on a language course?! Honestly, free lessons found on the internet seem like a much better option.
  11. I think it's a great way to get to know the basic of a language. Once you reach a level above the beginner stage, it becomes much less helpful. But since you know the basics by that time, you might as well go to your local library and rent a book on that language and start improving on your education. i would recommend it to anyone who wants to learn a language but has a hard time getting started. It's a shame it only offers 5 languages, though.
  12. An unpopular opinion: I dislike Cockney but I love Scottish. Southern British accents all sound to me as is the speakers were secretly making a mockery of their audiences while Scottish appears raw, untempered and completely honest (yes, I'm aware of the regional dialects that exist in Scotland as well, but here I'm only comparing the North in general to the South in general). I even like Scouse, despite the fact I barely understand it when it's spoken...
  13. I don't think that's weird at all! If you know more languages than one, than you surely know more names that label the same thing or more utterance patterns that express the same event. it's only natural for your brain to find one option or the other in they both lead to the same meaning! Especially if you live in an environment, which is bombarded with English (or any other language) on advertisements, TV shows, newspapers and so on.
  14. Surely you must specify what you consider to be a "rare language" before you start such a thread? A maximum number of speakers would suffice... See, I speak Slovene, which has just about 2 million active users. Not too much compared to past, present and future "linguas franca", and yet, there's 2 people (myself included) who've already mentioned Slovene as the rare language they speak. Furthermore, eve with its measly 2 million users, Slovene still falls into the category of 30 most frequently used languages of the world. So no, I don't think I speak a rare language. But if you think I do, well then good for you...
  15. Where I come from (Slovenia), children first attend school after having learned to form basic sentences. They can all state their names and say where they live before even entering school for the first time... I remember me and the whole class repeating "perica reže raci rep" ("the washer is cutting the duck's tail") in school because it's a great exercise to learn r's and it's also a palindrome and therefore sticks in children's ears.
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