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Everything posted by AureliaeLacrimae

  1. While I was using Duolingo on my tablet, I was very frustrated with the app because there were no grammatical explanations (so if you're a beginner, you have to learn things via trial-and-error method, which isn't really the best choice) and you had to type in a lot of things, which is a real bother on phones and tablets. I always make a lot of mistakes when I type on my phone simply because the "keys" are too close and sometimes the phone doesn't register every tap... anyway, Duolingo on either a tablet or a phone is a nightmare! Just recently, I saw my mum using Duolingo on computer an
  2. I am aware that a lot of people use Google translate simply because it is the most convenient translator found online and definitely the most known one: everyone knows about Google translate. Today, it is even available as an App. So, is Google translate good for Latin? Can it pass some basic checks? I say, yes. We all know that typing in the sentences will never get you the correct translation. It will always be a rudimentary translation in the Neanderthal-like speech. However, when it comes to translating words by themselves, Google translate is quick and efficient and fairly accur
  3. Well, some of you have noted that you would like to know some of the Latin sayings and I have chosen a few of my favourites. The translations I have provided for these sayings are not the official translations. If you want those, you can easily find them by typing in the proverb in Latin. The translations are accurate, though. I was careful to capture the essence of what had been said in the proverb. So, without any further ado: Dicta et sententiae 1. O tempora, o mores! Oh what times, oh what customs! (or Alas ...!
  4. Culture: The Cities of Ashes Part 3: Pompeii & Heculaneum - The Cities That Vanished It is August 24, 79 AD. People of Pompeii and Herculaneum are doing their usual routine. The rich are coming to Pompeii, this major resort city and port. It is busy and bustling, with traders from everywhere and people visiting the temples of Venus, Jupiter and Apollo, all of which are near the forum. The land is rich and the area is known for its grapes and olive trees. There were several smaller earth tremors in the previous few days, but nothing alarming. Just yesterday, the
  5. Culture: Mythology Themes - Gods in Ancient Rome Part 2: The Cult of Mithras When I was studying the history of Ancient Britain, I found it curious that there was a cult of Mithras which had been brought to Britain sometime in the late Pre-Christian era. The Romans were responsible for this new exotic cult. I say exotic because Mithras is a Persian deity and it is curious that he also appears in Roman mythology. Here are some interesting facts about it: Mithras as a Roman deity appeared somewhere in the Anno Domini era, from 1st century to 4th century, when it
  6. Culture: Mythology Themes - Gods in Ancient Rome Part 1: Basic Outline & Dii Consentes It is important to mention that Ancient Romans were polytheists, i.e. they believed in many gods. In the beginning, these Roman gods were considered as faceless and extremely powerful. It is only later on that they became anthropomorphised beings, i.e. Ancient Romans started imagining them as humans. These beliefs primarily came from Ancient Greece. This is also why many of Roman gods have their corresponding Greek counterpart. The entire collection of all these gods is called Pantheon.
  7. I too believe that languages are important. They are the reflection of someone's psyche and worldview. This is why a lot of cultures have similar and yet different idioms - they look at the world in a slightly different way, even if they are on the same continent. Old languages are a true marvel. It is a shame that we cannot preserve them. Latin has had luck because it is full of grammar rules and everything is strictly determined. Besides, there were many grammarians and linguists in general who had written about Latin, which helps us greatly in reconstructing it. Not to mention that it
  8. We all know that grammar usually isn't the favourite topic and so far, I'd mostly written about grammar. This is why I am asking you this: if you were learning Latin, what would you like to learn about? Phrases and sentences? Vocabulary? Proverbs? Idioms? Customs? The origin of the words we now have (such as cease and import)? Books and literature? Prosody? I will be bringing this section back to life, slowly. It would be good if I knew what to write about. Latin has many interesting topics that could be touched upon. Sometimes it's really difficult to pick one. If I knew what you
  9. We all know that language uses finite means to get infinite number of sentences. We can create sentences almost freely. Sometimes they don't make sense, true, but they still remain a possibility. However, language in general also has the property of recursion. By its definition "recursion" is the repetition of something. In language, things can be repeated almost infinitely. Take for example the following sentence: I am very tired. If I feel extremely tired, I might (instead of using the adverb phrase extremely) put another very in front of very tired as a premodification
  10. Words have meaning and function. According to their semantic function in the sentence, they also get a grammatical / syntactic function as well. There is one theory which bases everything on the verbs. The verb determines the complements and whether the sentence will have two objects, an object and a complement, just one object or nothing. The verb also carries certain semantic properties, which not only determine the number of complements, but also their type, i.e. form (whether to have a noun phrase or something else). Take for example put. Verb put in English asks for a direct
  11. Well, I'd chosen linguistics for my BA thesis simply because linguistics is something you can prove and find evidence for. Literature has more speculation. I am not certain what can be discovered simply because the teacher will always have his or her own interpretation of it and can always say that your interpretation is wrong, because that is what literature is - interpretation. You can find some evidence of certain phenomena, for example, alliteration or things like that, but that is not really a research topic. I think literature could be connected to psychology, if nothing else, and maybe
  12. I definitely agree. Some things are simply lost in translation. That's because every language is unique and all languages try to apply the "Economy Principle." This is why words usually have more meanings and each of the meanings is language specific. A word "nice" in English can be easily translated into any other language, but that doesn't mean that all the connotations that the word "nice" has will be successfully transmitted into the target language. That's why the semantic fields are so complex. I have two good examples, one from Zootopia and one from The Jungle Book. Considerin
  13. This is true. I feel the same way. The app can reinforce, but it should be the primary way of learning. However, if I simply wanted to learn a few words or phrases, I wouldn't bother with an app, I'd make a vocabulary list (a table in either Word or Excel with four columns, word, translation, synonym, description) and learn it that way. This is how I usually prepare for my vocabulary exams and it works. People usually say that they forget the things they learn for the exam, but I still remember about 70% of my vocabulary list (which was eleven pages long last time) whereas I only remembe
  14. Yes, both can be correct - both are correct, but in different contexts!! You can't use nominative case for object and vice versa it just doesn't work like that. It's like saying Who did you see? when you really have to say Whom did you see? because whom is the correct form. It goes without saying that in colloquial speech both sentences are correct, but in formal English, you will always say whom. Maybe this isn't a good example because of its popularity in colloquial speech, but the analogy is still good. Me too / neither is a fixed expression. But if you wanted to begin the sentence wit
  15. I really thought it funny how English has so few cases and so I decided to give a brief explanation about this. The three cases in English are [NOM] or nominative, [GEN] or genitive and [ACC] or accusative. Generally, grammar books explain in great detail when to use them, but I found that it is easier with fewer rules. So, generative grammar helps here. Nominative is used for the subjects of finite clauses - I am here. We love biscuits. He spoke to me. Genitive is used for possessors - That's my hat. She's his mother. Accusative is the default case and is used everywh
  16. I know it's not Croatian/ Serbian/ Bosnian, considering that these three are similar. It is also not Slovenian. I don't know about other "Yugoslavia" countries. I had heard both Albanian and Macedonian being spoken and I didn't think the recording sounded like these two either, but I am not very familiar with either of them, so I can't really be sure. I hope this helps, at least in narrowing it down.
  17. As I have already mentioned in another thread, I had experienced some obstacles while learning via Duolingo. Firstly, sometimes the speaking exercises aren't acknowledged, even if you pronounce the sentence exactly like they did. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. This "gamble" made me skip these exercises whenever they appeared. Secondly, the sentences are random. Sometimes, Duolingo repeats a sentence I know and doesn't repeat the one I am struggling with. I know it's a random selection, but I really don't want to write the same thing seven times. On computer, it's alright, but when you're u
  18. Well, I must say that this is a fairly vast topic. I haven't read books in French, but I did read the translations of many classics and I will list a few of my favourites here. Considering how you mentioned that you don't mind hard books, I don't feel the pressure. I'll start from the Middle Ages. Well, considering that French was more or less "Old French" then, I don't know how much you'll enjoy these, but there are probably fairly good modern French adaptations. The two books I'd really like to mention here are Tristan et Iseult and Roman de la Rose. I'd read them in English, naturally
  19. I have no experience with SpanishDict, but I have used Duolingo and when it comes to it, my opinion is divided. In general, I liked the concept of Duolingo and the sentences they chose were fairy good. However, it's not a perfect app. I remember being frustrated with the speaking part. I was learning on my tablet and whenever I said something, the app marked it as incorrect and took points and then I had to stay longer on one lesson - it was pointless. My mum was learning Spanish via Duolingo too and she experienced the same problem. She too stopped after awhile. The second problem I
  20. Did he or did he not exist, that is the question. Well, considering that it was the 400th anniversary this April, I'd done some reading about Shakespeare and some of the articles really intrigued me. I'd read an interesting one at The Guardian where it was mentioned that people usually didn't describe him. One of the few descriptions is from Ben Jonson. Then there are those missing years... Can it be that one man had written so much but had completely disappeared from the scene for a time? Anything is possible. What I really found interesting is that a lot of his plays have that "Pla
  21. You're quite right about this. One of my professors said that Shakespeare may have coined about ten thousand words. He is also rumoured to have used about fifteen thousand words, which is quite remarkable. I don't think I know that many even in my native tongue. People, in average, usually use about five thousand maximum. His style is a little difficult to follow, as was mentioned before. But when it comes to Shakespeare, sometimes you really have to read the original. It's really sad that our education doesn't include older variants of English, though, because a lot of puns and rhymes no
  22. Hello from Sarajevo, I used to be very active around here and then I had to finish my BA thesis and I started my MA course, so I didn't really have enough time. Now, though, I think I might be back. I am not really sure yet. At the moment, I am busy with the exams, but they should be over by 10th of June. Then I have to help organise a language conference. Anyway, I hope to stay. The first thing I am going to do after this "introduction" or rather re-introduction is my beloved Latin section. I can't wait to see whether someone had started learning it. I'd left a lot of grammar there, so h
  23. RELATIVE CLAUSES We use relative clauses to postmodify a noun - to make clear which person or thing we are talking about. In these clauses we can have the relative pronoun who, which, whose or that: Isn’t that the woman who lives across the road from you? The relative pronoun is the subject of the clause. REDUCED RELATIVE CLAUSES Non-finite clauses functon as reduced relative clauses: The firemen battled an inferno fuelled by toxic chemicals. ZERO RELATIVE ZERO relative clause is a clause where relative pronoun is omitted: The book I am reading is great. COMPARED TO: Reduced relative
  24. I too have read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Edgar Allan Poe and I do recommend them. Poe is the master of short stories, they say. They´re his perfection. Many critics agree that they´re far better than his poems (and his poems are also excellent, it has to be admitted - Raven, anyone? Annabel Lee? Sonnet to Science? Bells? To Helen?). I was reading some modernist works lately and I also liked Winesburg, Ohio collection by Sherwood Anderson. They´re very short stories and sometimes nothing happens, but they´re interesting to read. You´ll probably enjoy them. I recommend the Hands, Paper Pills,
  25. I also love reading and I have always considered it a hobby. Ever since I was young, I was constantly reading. I´d read almost everything that was in our local library by the end of my primary school. Sometimes I brought home even four books. Now when I think about it... I haven´t read a single BOOK book (paperback) in years. Ever since my secondary school, I have been reading ebooks. It´s not that I hate paperback novels, I simply like ebooks more. I don´t see very well and I have to wear glasses all the time, so the letters in paperback editions are too small for me. I get headache after h
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