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Everything posted by everybodyknows

  1. The above post pretty much sums up the differences between US and British English. In practice, there are not really any communication difficulties between British and American speakers of English, except for speakers with very strong accents and regional dialects (e.g. Scottish, Geordie), but people can usually moderate their accents to be understood. As a non-native speaker there are only a few vocabulary differences that can cause potential problems: Rubber in British English means an eraser as found on a pencil. In US English it means a condom. Bum in US English means a hobo. In British English it means what you sit on. Fanny in US English means what you sit on. In British English it means, er... something only females have. Fag in British English means cigarette. In US English it's a term of abuse. There are probably others if anyone else wants to chip in.
  2. There are times when it's more effective just to use the students' native language (if teaching a monolingual class), for example with difficult grammar points or abstract concepts that are hard to get across. However, the direct method is very efficient at getting students into thinking in the target language and creating a space where e.g. English only is used. Having been taught at school using the traditional bilingual approach and experiencing the direct method as an absolute beginner as part of a TEFL course, I can say that for me personally the direct method is not only more effective but also much more enjoyable. This obviously depends on how good your teacher is too
  3. Like linguetronix said in general I think of para=in order to and por=by. When translating English for it's usually "para" with some confusing exceptions Here's my go: Voy al supermercado para comprar una afeitadora Voy a mi casa por bus
  4. Duolingo is great. It's free, it uses algorithms that have been proved to aid memory and also is helping to translate the Internet too! Be sure to use it every day and add some other learning methods if you want to get the most from it
  5. Yes, this is a problem with Duolingo and other online language learning methods. Of course, the best way to learn a language will always be to have face to face contact with another human being who speaks the language fluently. I have found Duolingo has quite a good "Report Issue" functionality and they have accepted some of my suggestions when my translation has been marked as wrong. Having said all that, the most frustrating lesson on Duolingo (Spanish) was imperfect subjunctive where I got marked as wrong for missing out a comma!
  6. I have to disagree. If this were the case then people brought up in children of immigrants to other countries would have noticeable accents even if they are brought up speaking the language from birth. Surely the USA and other multi-ethnic countries prove this not to be the case? There are people descended from just about every nationality in the world living in the states with no discernible accent whatsoever, if there were physical differences in their mouths this would be noticeable in the way they spoke English.
  7. I've dipped my toe into lots of different languages over the years, being fascinated with their structure and the different ways humans find to communicate - this is probably why I never get fluent in any one particular language as I spread myself too thinly. It's strange how some seem to make sense and others never quite sit right in my brain. Favourites so far are: Hungarian, Russian and Swahili. To answer your question some languages I'd like to learn more about but haven't yet would be: Tibetan - something about the alphabet intrigues me Mongolian Vietnamese - so many vowel sounds
  8. I agree completely with the comments about immersing yourself in the language - radio, television, movies and books are a great way to give you the motivation to look up that word you don't recognise yet. Another cool way I've found is using Flash Card sites on the Internet like Quizlet which have lists of e.g. the top 1000 Spanish words and use a tried and trusted memorising method to increase your vocabulary.
  9. Baburra is correct - I was simply referring to the poor grammar in the description. "Should" is a modal verb and doesn't form questions with "does/do" but through inverting the subject/verb order. So it should read: [tt]How should language X be taught?[/tt] I'm not normally so pedantic but this is a language learning forum after all :wacky:
  10. Hello all, Maybe this is the wrong place to post this, if so I apologise. However, I find it slightly ironic that on a forum dedicated to language learning this sub-forum's description reads: [tt]How does language X should be taught? What are the best methods to teach language X? [/tt] :confused:
  11. Ha ha! I do this - even when I'm staying in regions of the UK I find myself mimicking the local accent. I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing though as it can actually help you to pick up the cadences and stresses of the language more quickly.
  12. I love the portuguese word "saudade" which refers to a feeling of nostalgia or melancholy but does not have a real direct translation in English. In Romanian however there is an equivalent word which is "dor" which refers to feelings of longing for a dear person or place which you've once known but they are no longer with you.
  13. An interesting and amusing case of false friends in Spanish is the case of the word "constipado" which means to have a slight flu or cold and having a blocked nose and not what constipated means in English, well worth knowing haha!
  14. The two spanish speaking films I can recommend that are worth watching apart from the ones mentioned above which are all good suggestions are: Y tu mama tambien, you've got a link to the trailer here http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0245574/ and Abre los ojos which is the version of the "gringo" Vanilla Sky link here http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0125659/ and it still features the amazing Penelope Cruz Hope you'll enjoy them.
  15. I've got one that is suitable for the upcoming Winter holidays: One snowman says to the other: "Can you smell carrots?" :santa:
  16. Since I arrived in Chile I realised that this is for me the hardest type of Spanish to understand. It is due to the speed of pronunciation and the dropped consonant like "s" and "d". As they themselves admit they are prone to using different idiomatic expressions like "po" which is used as an intensifier for any affirmation Ya po, No po, Nos vemos po...etc
  17. I gather that dreaming in another language is something quite common, yet it is extraordinary when it happens, I remember having my first dream in Spanish, when I woke up I was really surprised yet satisfied with myself because it's a clear sign of my mastering the language well enough and feeling immersed and comfortable with it.
  18. Did you ever wonder why a italian tourist is looking for his "Otel"? The story of the letter H is indeed a fascinatimg one as it changed role throughout the centuries and languages.In Romanic languages, the sound of the letter H became silent in Late Latin and was omitted in Old French and Italian, but it was restored in Middle English spelling in words borrowed from French, and often later in pronunciation, too. Thus Modern English has words ultimately from Latin with missing -h- (as in able, from Latin habile); with a silent -h- (as in heir, hour); with a formerly silent -h- now often vocalized (as in humble, humor, herb); and even a few with an excrescent -h- fitted in confusion to words that never had one (as in hostage, hermit). What are your experiences with this letter in language learning?
  19. I started learning Italian this year, it was more in a conversational manner as I have travelled with my girlfriend to meet her friends and family in Italy. As I know a bit of French, it wasn't too hard for me to pick it up and after a few days I was already familiar with the sound of it and I could distinguish words and comprehend the meaning of phrases. However, I feel there is a deeper level of study which I didn't quite reach but I'd be looking forward to pursuing it in the future.
  20. There is one that I can think of: "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" which is the equivalent of the spanish "Más vale pájaro en mano que ciento volando"in English literally means A bird in the hand is more valuable than 100 flying. Nu da vrabia din mână pe cioara de pe gard" in Romanian means: don't give away the bird in the hand for the crow on the fence. "Beter één vogel in de hand dan tien in de lucht." in Dutch ”un tien vaut mieux que deux tu l'auras”.French-they kept the meaning but got rid of the birds and so on... There is this interesting book to read too that might satisfy your curiosity http://www.amazon.com/European-Proverbs-Languages-Equivalents-Sanskrit/dp/1875943447
  21. Funny that you bring this up, I think a great example of this is with the famous actor Sean Connery, in French. In the French language "une connerie" = dumb act, bullshit. Hope someone else will come up with more. Sean has just become a "false friend"
  22. My favourite quote is the ending monologue of the film Blade Runner made by Roy Batty: "I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die…"
  23. It is inspiring to look at all the words of wisdom people have shared. There is a lot of truth within them and I believe it took their intelligence to distill them down to that phrase that encompasses their thoughts so gracefully. One of my all time favourites is: “For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.” by Carl Sagan and on a lighter note one from Woody Allen: "If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss bank."
  24. I've been to Romania this summer and I really enjoyed it. I learnt a few words like multumesc- thank you and La Revedere- Good Bye, but it was hard for me as an English speaker to catch more than a few words of a lengthy conversation. I kept on hearing many sounds like "sh" and "tz"- frankly it sounded to me more like a slavic language than a romantic one.
  25. If you want to teach I can highly recommend completing a course before you start as this will prepare you for what to expect and give you some real world experience. There are jobs available for native speakers without such a qualification but you'll be thrown right in the deep end Make sure the course you do is either the CELTA or Cert. TESOL as these are the two that are recognised in the industry. There are online courses which are not worth the money and won't help you get a job. CELTA or TESOL will give you 8 hours of teaching practice and all the grammar skills you need to start teaching.
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