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Posts posted by Meerkat

  1. Well, the most awkward thing I ever did to study a language was actually when I first got to China. There, when going out, I always took my translator with me. And then, in the Bars & Discos, I translated everything from English to Chinese and showed them the output on my translator. Then, after reading my message, they wrote down their answer (with a special pen) directly on the screen of my little translator and I translated it back to English  :grin: This was the only way I could communicate with Chinese people when I first visited China about 10 years ago:=) I do speak Chinese now and this definitely makes things much easier, hehe :=)

    Oh my! But how the wonders of technology do help the world. What if one day, we have Star Trek Universal translators soon?! We will be obsolete!

  2. Has anyone ever used an absurd method of remembering a phrase or word in your chosen language? I don't mean mnemonics, I mean really daft.

    For example, to learn the phrase "don't worry" (ne valnuytes), I walked around for 15 minutes translating the chorus from the song "dont worry be happy". Quite memorable.

    Sure the neighbors must have enjoyed the chorus of "dont worry be happy" in Russian whilst I was putting the washing out!!!

    Anyone else acted like this :wacky:

  3. I am really interested in the preservation of Native American languages. I am a hopi indian and some of the dialects are dying out. The only problem is that I do not live near a lot of other hop indians so it is hard to try to preserve a language when the only speakers are two states away.

    Oh my goodness... language of the hopi indians! I would love to learn a little. Feel free to pm... :shy:

  4. I have so many bad ones in spanish.  First off,  my first week in central america I was working with a female doctor..and she kept referring to herself as ´doctora´...  not knowing about the f/m thing, I also started referring to myself as ´doctora´ despite being a male.  The other one was something in regards to my ´novio´ back in the USA... something like ´ yes, I have a novio back in the USA´..

    My funniest one was when I confused the word for onion with the word for horse.  I went to a very small store because I had forgetten to buy onions at the supermarket.  At the store I said  ´I want to buy a horse´.. and the woman said ´a horse?´  and I said ´ yes, I need to buy a horse, I am making soup´..


  5. To my point of view the most difficult thing in learning Russian language is declension.

    We have six cases : 

    Nominative - Именительный - imenitel´nyj x

    Accusative – Винительный - vinitel´nyj

    Genitive – Родительный - roditel´nyj

    Dative – Дательный - datel´nyj

    Prepositional – Предложный – predložnyj

    Instrumental – Творительный - tvoritel´nyj

    So we add certain inflexions to main word. To speak good, you will need at least to learn basic rules of Russian grammar.

    But this post will be not about grammar rules, because I want to tell you how to pronounce Russian words correctly.

    Relax! Russian pronunciation has no many exceptions, comparing with English. The point is, every letter has its own sound. And you do not need to make combinations from several letters.  If you understand this basic rule of pronunciation and learn the alphabet with sounds, so your chances to speak properly are very high.

    Have ever heard a speech of Russian native speaker? Did you like it? The main advantage of Russian language is its soft pronunciation. We achieve this thanks to vowels. So it is can be compared like with singing a song. That is why when learning Russian sounds, make sure you pronounce vowels without mistakes. Try to lengthen any vowel in a word. Also, I have already wrote in my previous posts about crucial role of stress in Russian words. So this is extremely important.

    Some Russian consonant sounds are called sibilants. For example,  Ж - zh, Ч -ts, Ш - sh, and Щ - sh'.

    You need to pronounce them making hissing sounds.

    Sometimes we have combination from 3 or 4 consonant letters in one word. Let us take for an example, Russian greeting word  Здравствуйте - Zdravstvujte - Hello . We see that two difficult consonant combinations (zdr and vstv) present in this word.

    One more example: взгляд - glance - vzglyad . Difficult combination from 4 letters here is vzgl.

    But it is actually the most complicated thing to pronounce in Russian language. If you can do it – no problems at all!

    To conclude everything above mentioned I should say that Russian language is very easy when it comes about pronunciation. Surely you can learn by heart several standard phrases like Привет Пока Как дела. But if you want say and build any phrase or sentence, so you have to understand grammar and pronunciation rules! 


    I would definitely say the same. Once you realise that it definitely is not English, it is easy as pie to pronounce. Yes, grammar is a bit different. But any language is like this!

    Alright, Hungarian is an exception.

  6. Hey guys. I'm very happy to be joining this forum. I've recently began studying Egyptian dialect of Arabic and have completed the foundation and advanced courses of Michel Thomas. I'd like to continue my studies, but not sure what the best approach would be to build off of my base. I was recently memorizing words out of a dictionary but I have come to the conclusion that's not necessarily the best approach to take. I've been thinking about watching movies in Egyptian Arabic and translate certain words I keep hearing into English so that I can put some context to it. My only problem is that I am unable to find most of the words I come across in my dictionary or online due to it being hard to find transliteration. Any solutions for this? Thanks guys. Happy language learning.

    As I am an afficianado of Michel Thomas and also had the same problem, I'm going to chip in.

    First of all, find some good books. Teach yourself is a fairly good company, but whatever floats your boat.

    Second, get some online resources. Many sites will teach you arabic.

    Next, if you are fairly advanced, obtain some Arabic literature.This will assisst you vastly.

    Work on from then.

  7. здравствуте!

    I am the Meerkat, and I am looking for a MALE(important!) language partner, as you can see in the title, I have only basic Russian, and am looking for a native Russian to practice with.

    I am only Thirteen, but my passion for language is more serious than War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy.

    PM For details.

    NOTE; I cannot do skype. And I have to have audio, no e-mail. :ninja:

  8. I believe that there is no limit. You should simply work, 2-3 hours per day on any language you have chosen, and when it is complete, move on.

    My list of languages, not including extras, now numbers in 28 languages. Will I learn them all? Probably not!

    However, I have made an amusing abbreviated goal for myself. RAPID.

    It stands for Russian, Arabic, Polish, Italian, and Dutch. Some of the most interesting languages(to me) in the world.

    So, I'd say about 5, or more!

  9. Well, this is someone after my own heart.

    Why not add Old English on the list? It was used until about 1066, when the Norman Conquest brought French influence and the Middle English era began. It is still preserved in old manuscripts of Beowulf and the elegies (The Wanderer, The Seafarer...). It would be wonderful if the section about this language was started. I would be interested in it.

    Very true! Why not pile on Old Church Slavonic, too?

  10. Well, I like to cheat a little. And there was a story of a man who learned  an entire lingala dictionary over 10 weeks (22 hours 17 minutes!) using Memrise.

    Has inspired me to upload my AA Phrasebook onboard :P



    Very interesting read! Lets be polyglots, shall we?


  11. Simple : practice practice practice. What I did when I was trying to learn japanese, is I learned the sentence, then I would repeat it in my head at random times. Then I'd look up the video I learned the sentence from, and see if I got it correctly. If I did not, I made myself repeat the sentence until I got it memorized. Worked pretty well .

    Very true! I would say practice and immersion are 2 major keys to becoming truly proficient in a language. 1-3 hours work at least per day are essential.

  12. Yes, it does depend on devotion. Most people who say it took 3-5 years mean about 2-3 times a week. If you want real progress FAST, work everyday. One tip suggested online is get labels and a dictionary. Label certain things in the language you want them in, and whenever you interact with one of them, say its name.

    Did you know? If you know the 1000 most common words in any language, you will be able to read 70% of texts in that language!

  13. I do have a favorite "phrase". :D

    I really like this two words phrase because of its meaning and because it is in a song of one of my favorite animated movie. It is "Hakuna Matata" it is a Swahili phrase which means no worries or no problem/trouble.

    Ah is that what language it is! I've been puzzling over that since I most recently watched that film again :D

    I am now satisfied. Put it this way; if I can use Hakuna Matata in actual phrase, then I'm going to learn Swahili.

    P.S. Doesn't Lion King remind you of Hamlet?

  14. Hey everyone, I wanted to join the forum because I have always had a passion to learn new languages. I currently only know french and English but I am very interested in learning Spanish. I am hoping to find other people who share the same interests with me!


    I have always admired the accent and environment of Canada, and hope you settle in well. I'm sure you will enjoy the Spanish Language. It is absolutely beautiful.

    Welcome! :smile:

  15. That's interesting, I did not know that about Namaste. Yes, so like you learn Sanskrit, knowing Latin is like having a key to unlock the "mysteries" of other words, which is always going to be useful.

    Exactly my point! it is curious when you find a hidden meaning in a language. For example, I will be studying Icelandic AND Old Norse, so I can trace the origins of various words.

    That kind of gives me a buzz. Knowing that I'm saluting someone everytime I say "hello" feels nice. Like the mandarin "nee hau" means "you good". While that isn't really word origin, I love to find hidden meanings.

    So, yes, definitly learning Latin. Then Greek...

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