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Everything posted by xTinx

  1. I had to learn a bit of latin for my law subjects back in college. Nowadays, learning Latin isn't so useful to me. My work, the environment I'm in and the people surrounding me are all for English. You catch a wift of latin once in a blue moon but such occasions are rare. Many of those who commented here mentioned the Catholic Church and how it's still using latin to hear masses. That's a point in contention, though, because majority of Catholic churches hear mass in both English and the native language or dialect. Latin is used by basilicas, the Vatican and traditional church organizations whenever they celebrate an important event in the liturgical year. But that's basically about it.
  2. That is true. If you're not a native English speaker, it's easy to confuse homophones/homonyms or words with similar sounds. Word to the wise: when in doubt, get a dictionary or thesaurus and double check the meaning of the word you intend to use before putting it in a sentence or paragraph.
  3. There's a great deal of language exchange between Japan and the Philippines. Besides a staunch trade relationship, the two countries are forging a strong cultural relationship. Many Japanese come to the Philippines to learn English while Japan regularly exports animes, Jdoramas and movies to our country. I guess that's where the ease of learning comes from. On one hand, I've seen a great number of otakus in various parts of the world and they're able to pick up Japanese words a lot faster than most Filipinos. It's not so much on where the person is located but more on personal preference.
  4. As long as the minority population can speak English, I don't think the U.S. suffers from any language barrier whatsoever. Everyone who migrates eventually learns the language. You can't ever survive in an area without learning its native tongue or at least English (after all it's the universal language).
  5. If you're still learning the ropes of speaking English, then homonyms/homophones might be a source of confusion. For instance, I don't know whether it's deliberate or not but people tend to mix up "their" and "there." The former connotes plural ownership while the latter points out a location. Common homonyms to watch out for (be careful not to interchange them when typing): to, too and twofair and farepoor and pouryour and you're
  6. That's why I try to avoid using "and" at all costs unless I intend to enumerate several ideas or items. A paragraph sounds too awkward with too many "ands." The use of a semicolon (;) helps add variety to your sentences too.
  7. I've noticed that British English uses an "s" instead of "z" for words trapped between two vowels. Letter Z is mostly used as the first letter of a word and not as a consonant sandwiched between vowels. I guess that must have been influenced by the Greek spelling rules mentioned above.
  8. What's interesting about this idiomatic expression is that although it might sound like it's cursing, it's actually not. There's also a great deal of intensity attached to it. It has a no-care tone, as if daring the world to turn the tides. And at the end of the day, you (the speaker who uses this idiom) will still persevere. For example: I will love him come hell or high.Come hell or high water, I will graduate with honors.This idiom simply means doing whatever it takes to reach a goal or make something possible.
  9. Accent-wise, I prefer British English. Spelling-wise, American English is by far easier. I grew up learning American English but there's something more classy with Britons' manner of speaking. For them, conversation is an art form and they're fond of throwing witty retorts and remarks - totally different from the way Americans speak or use the language.
  10. These are mostly social media terms and are applicable only in the context of online life. It's weird how these terms earn their spot in dictionaries. They're used rather informally but I guess the English language has to change with the changing times too and this is one way of dealing with the change.
  11. If you haven't heard about Lang Leav yet then it's about time you do. For those who've yet to know her, she's currently the most celebrated poet around. Her poetry collections Love and Misadventure and Lullabies are certified bestsellers and won her a large following. She specializes in free verse romantic poetries and many people love to read her simple, candid and passionate words. I highly recommend her! If you're a startup English learner, you'll easily understand the messages she tries to relay through her poems.
  12. A lot of the books I've read tugged my heart. I guess I'm just the type to get so invested in stories that even run-of-the-mill emotional scenes are enough to generate tears. The books that have made a deep impression on me, though, are those written by Haruki Murakami, John Green, Anne Rice and Victoria Holt. Since there are far too many titles to mention, here are my latest favorites from each author: Sputnik Sweetheart, The Fault in Our Stars, The Violin and The Silk Vendetta. These authors have the power to capture my suppressed thoughts and emotions in a nutshell. I feel like they're all looking through my soul.
  13. I grew up learning two other languages besides my own. Although I never questioned why I was learning them, now it has occurred to me that the educational system I was exposed to, though not the best in the world, has given me and many of my countrymen a language learning advantage. Here, English is a separate subject and taught from pre-school all the way to college. I hear in other countries (I live in the Philippines, by the way) this foreign language isn't mandatory and only those interested should learn it. However, little did other countries know, English has now become a very important language for diplomacy and globalizing businesses. It would be great if schools the world over would include English in their curricula. There are thousands of languages across the globe. We should at least have one language in common so that we can better understand each other despite our differences.
  14. Is it the accent? The pronunciation? The sentence structure? For me it's the pronunciation. It's not enough to learn the words or know the system of writing, I guess. You also need to speak the language in a way that native speakers can relate to or understand. There are certain words that will take on another meaning when pronounced differently. That's why pronunciation is very important. You might inadvertently offend native speakers if you mispronounce a word with both positive and negative connotations.
  15. Practice makes better! Learn how a particular word is being pronounced first whenever you're in doubt. See how it's use in a phrase and sentence. Pay attention to stresses and intonations. Watch English movies and dramas too. You'll soon find yourself able to speak words as they're spoken by native speakers.
  16. "Bread and butter" sounds mighty fine and appetizing to me. It also means a "source of income" for someone. I use cup of tea all the time but just using it won't induce any hunger since tea is obviously liquid. I've heard of "apple of one's eye" but I rarely use it. If you take it literally, it's as if you're comparing the person to an apple. It's funny in that sense.
  17. I do think the idioms "shot himself on the foot" or "get a taste of his own medicine" basically mean the same thing. Meaning, you did something that backfired and hurt no one but yourself. What makes idioms confusing is that you can say different things about the same thing and people don't always think they have the same meaning when they actually do.
  18. Here are some of my all-time favorite short stories: The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan PoeThe Story of an Hour by Kate ChopinThe Lottery by Shirley JacksonThe Rockinghorse Winner by D.H. LawrenceThe Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington IrvingI'm also fond of Haruki Murakami's short stories even though they're known to be open-ended and quite too symbolic and bizarre for analytical and practical minds. I own an anthology of his short stories collectively entitled Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman. My favorites so far are New York Mining Disaster and Man-Eating Cats.
  19. Well, I never went for the classics until I got to high school. When I was in elementary, I read nothing but Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys and Sweet Valley novels. Reading Nancy Drew gave me a good start. Looking back, the author knew just what words to use. I never had a hard time understanding words or phrases. Reading it was one heck of an adventure and the mystery always hooked me. I'd say the same for Hardy Boys and Sweet Valley, although there's less mystery and more middle school nonsense in the latter.
  20. I particularly love this English joke slash insult (allegedly an exchange between Sir Winston Churchill and Nancy Astor) because of the former's witty and eloquent response. Here goes: On one of the recent warm days a sour-visaged, fussy lady got on one of the smoking seats on an open car in the subway. Next to her sat a man who was smoking a cigar. More than that, the lady, sniffing, easily made out that the man had been eating onions. Still more than that, she had the strongest kind of suspicion that he had been drinking beer. The lady fussed and wriggled, and grew angrier, and looked at the man scornfully. Presently she could endure it no longer. She looked squarely at him and said: “If you were my husband, sir, I’d give you a dose of poison!” The man looked at her. “If I were your husband,” said he, “I’d take it!”
  21. Those are very helpful tips. I would like to add another one: read a lot English books that use basic and simple grammar. This will not only widen one's vocabulary but also help him/her understand implied grammar and sentence construction rules.
  22. Hands down, psychological thrillers are far scarier than horror movies with silly, disfigured monsters. What's scary about psychological thrillers is that psycho killers are twisted and they usually torture their victims first before going for the kill. Monster-filled horror stories, on one hand, are so easy to read. You already know what to expect from them. In most cases, they're open-ended and don't have a solid plot. Psycho thrillers offer more background story and even provide details about the psycho killer's past and why he turned out that way. The cat-and-mouse chase adds to the thrill.
  23. In a nutshell, "should" is more mandatory while "could" is more optional. In other words, something has to be done when you use "should" while it may or may not be done if you say "could."
  24. If you have the gift of tongue if not the passion to learn all five languages, then you have every reason to learn as many as languages as you want. Although if you feel like it's affecting your focus and learning ability, then it's better to just learn one language at a time.
  25. I would like to qualify: writing is important to learning a new language, but if the language comes with a particular writing and reading style (such as Chinese, Japanese, Hindi, Arabic and Russian characters), learning it presents a double burden. You have to be prepared and motivated so you can learn from start to finish. If you intend to learn a language that uses the alphabet like Spanish, German or French, I think it'll be much easier for you, writing-wise. Speaking it and getting the accent right are another story, though.
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