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About Alphonse

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    Language Newbie


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  1. The correct use of "if" all depends on the situation. Both examples you gave are correct in different contexts. Explaining each situation would be very long winded, but here's a link I found that explains it very well: http://www.edufind.com/english-grammar/conditional/ I hope it's helpful, and good luck with your studies.
  2. Japanese I'm learning entirely for entertainment purposes. I love anime and would also like to import certain games that only come out in Japan. French, on the other hand, I'm learning just in case I end up moving to Canada in the future. It's not a sure thing, but if I end up moving I'd like to be prepared.
  3. I want to learn it because I'd love to live in Canada once I'm done studying. I know French is probably only important in places like Quebec. I have a cousin who lives there though, and if I do end up moving to Canada it'll probably be there.
  4. Any type of media in the language you want to learn will help you out. The problem with music, and television for that matter, is that they do throw in a good amount of slang that might confuse you if you're just starting out. If you're using music to learn you should be very careful how you go about it.
  5. I try to get a base of vocabulary and grammar and then start immersing myself in the language. Reading books, watching tv shows and listening to music in that language. This technique has helped me out tremendously whenever I try to learn a new language.
  6. This is something I've been waiting for Duolingo to implement for a long time. I tried out the French program and I thought it was really great. At least we know Japanese is in development and will be out eventually.
  7. My main weakness in Spanish, even though it's my native tongue, is using "tildes" correctly. I just cannot figure out how to do it. A teacher once told me a trick to using them which works about 80% of the time, but I still have a hard time with that. I wish it was like English and it didn't have "tildes," it would make things a lot easier for me.
  8. I'm a huge reader, and my language learning revolves around that. What I did, at least with English, was learn how grammar worked and the pronunciation rules first. After that I start reading with a dictionary next to me, it's hard at first since I understand almost nothing, but as I learned more words it got easier and easier. Listening to music and watching tv without subtitles also helps to get the finer nuances of the language.
  9. It's interesting, but my biggest motivation is entertainment. I have always liked reading and watching movies in its original language and I will go to great lengths to understand them in said form. That's my main motivation for Japanese. as for French, I have plans that might end up with me living in a French speaking country, so it will be useful to know the language.
  10. It is definitely true that if you completely stop using a language for a while you start to lose proficiency in it, even if it is your native language. one way I have found to counter this is to read, watch tv and listen to music in that particular language. This will help you retain proficiency even if you're not actively speaking the language all the time.
  11. It really depends on how well I know the person. If it's a good friend I usually make a joke about so we can laugh about it and they usually ask what the correct way to say it is. I don't do it all the time either, if I find it amusing and there's a way I can turn it into a joke I will do it. Like one time a girl told me "bare with me" on a text. We had quite a laugh that day when I explained what she had actually said.
  12. If you like comedies anything by Eugenio Derbez is great. I just recently watched one called Instructions Not Included by him, I can't remember the name in Spanish. If you search it on US Netflix like that you will find it though. He has done a couple more movies, so if you enjoy Instructions Not Included you can look for them.
  13. My favorite latin artist of all time is by far Ricardo Arjona. I'm a big fan of any song with intricate and masterful use of lyrics, and he does just that in most of his songs. If you like using music to learn words you should definitely give his songs a listen. If you like it and listen to his discography you will expand your vocabulary a lot. One very good song by him is "El Problema."
  14. No, not at all, actually as far as I know there is no connotation of a personal relationship when you use "a". For example, you could go to a petting zoo and say "Voy a ver a la jirafa"(I'm going to see the giraffe) and it would in no way imply that this giraffe is somehow your pet or that you have interacted with it before. As for the initial question in this thread, Trellum is correct, the second option sounds natural and is commonly used.
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