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    Spanish, Japanese

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  1. Oh, haiku! I love Japanese poetry so this thread will definitely be interesting. I'm surprised though since I didn't know that holiday seasons can also be used as a subject for haiku. I thought it was always nature-themed and seasons would need to be nature-themed as well, rather than holiday-themed. Really interesting! I hope this thread (or sub-forum) incorporates the other forms of Waka soon. One of my favorites is Senryuu since it's reads like a haiku but they've always been funnier to me (although I've read a lot of humorous haiku too).
  2. 1. My native language - because, obviously, it's my first and I love it, haha! 2. English - since I already know it and currently, it is considered the universal language or something. 3. An East Asian Language - I'd like to learn a language that doesn't use the roman letters but still close to home. 4. A Romance Language - I'm cheating, haha, but I figured if I become fluent in a romance language, the learning of other romance languages will be easy. Also, if I learn Spanish or Portuguese, I figure it might be easier to learn a Latin American language since they share some words and/or sentence structures. 5. An African Language - just because I'd like to learn a language in each continent, haha! EXTRA: I want to learn a non-verbal language too. Sign language or braille or even a language of cryptography. More than thinking of the feasibility of me actually learning them, I just basically want to be able to communicate to a LOT of differing cultures, I guess.
  3. I think apps are useful as an introduction (especially those that don't use the roman alphabet) but after that, they're more supplementary and a teacher (and in my experience, classmates) are the way to properly learn languages. Apps are useful for memorization, but learning a language requires someone to teach you what you did wrong as well as immersion. A teacher is required for the former and a classroom with classmates help with the latter. Apps helped me a lot since I learned the really basic stuff like alphabet and phonetics when I started enrolling in lessons, but a month in a classroom taught me more than six months with an app did, so I can't say it was my primary tool for learning.
  4. Why would teaching Filipino in school not be important though? That's a completely different topic altogether. As for the thread, in theory, I agree that Tagalog and Filipino are not the same since the former is the language of the people hailing from Tagalog regions, whereas the latter is Tagalog + bits and pieces of words from other languages in the Philippines to create our national language. In practice though, the Filipino language is 90% Tagalog so I can understand why people don't bother differentiating the two. In schools, the subject isn't called Tagalog, it's called Filipino but outside, I would prefer it if people mention what the Filipino language being taught is because the Philippines has 127 living languages, and "Filipino" doesn't properly encompass them all. Here in Linguaholic for instance, if this subforum will be changed to "Study Filipino", then there should be sections for Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilokano, etc since those are some of the most common language in the country.
  5. Wait, English and Spanish are closely related? They're from two completely different language families though right? Romance and Germanic? I mean, English pretty much cannibalized a lot of languages to fill up their roster -- which is probably why English has SO MANY FRICKING RULES that hardly make sense or totally doesn't (contranyms!!) -- but I don't think they're similar at all. As for why J is pronounced as H, I have to agree with the others that it's simply their alphabet. It's like asking, "Why is A pronounced as A?" that kind of thing. Different alphabets are created to indicate the sounds that a language has the capacity to pronounce. It just so happened that with Spanish, they designated J as the H sound and H as an unvoiced alphabet.
  6. I've never met anyone who completely forgot their native language, but I know a lot whose skills in their own native language have deteriorated to the point where they can't speak it anymore. They can still understand it well, right? Especially with context. But since they are surrounded by people who don't speak it, the fact that they don't hear it nor have the reason to speak it means they've been conditioned to forego it for another language which is more important. I don't think this can happen today though, because communication is so much easier. But I know a lot of 50-80 year olds whose native language skills have deteriorated because there were none or to few people who speak it where they were and communication home was so much harder then. And they could only go home for years at a time. Is it really that common? I keep hearing people who say this about someone who knows someone who they know or heard about, but it's always an issue of hearsay, almost like an urban legend. I've never encountered anybody who "forgot" to speak Filipino after living in another country for a long time. I've never met anyone who knows someone who "forgot" directly either; it's always, "Someone I know knows someone who---" which makes me wonder if it's just "common" because it's unusual and tend to stick to people who hear about it. Lots of condescending people though, who suddenly think they're so much better because they've lived elsewhere. Like, why don't you stay there then, LOL.
  7. I'm using this right now and it's been so effective so far! The approach makes memorizing so much easier because there's some sort of "story" for every kanji revealed. I especially love the tags and side explanations regarding context, like the SARC tag because it makes a word stick even more to my memory. Oh, second day of being drunk is hangover, haha! I've downloaded the Anki deck so I can take it everywhere with me. Coupled with "Japanese Kanji and Kana", which uses the same pattern (easy-to-write kanji first, hard-to-write kanji later) and I've memorized more kanji in a week than I have in how many weeks/months before using other methods.
  8. "Japanese Kanji and Kana" by Wolfgang Hadamitzky and Mark Spahn has been proving to be really good to me, haha. It includes all 2,136 official Jouyou kanji and is arranged by the kanji's difficulty in writing it rather than any other category. This arrangement has been ESPECIALLY helpful to me because I suck at memorization. Learning the simpler kanji made it so much easier for me to remember simpler kanji, and guess at the meaning of more complicated ones. The kanji dictionary starts at page 68 and the pages before that are dedicated to explaining kanji, from the history, the positions, the radicals, etc. Highly recommended, definitely.
  9. I don't recall it being part of the required reading either, but it was definitely in the list for recommended reading, which is why I read it in the first place. The summary provided by the Professor intrigued me so I borrowed it from the library for future reading. I didn't read it right away though and then finished it in 2 days because I had to return the book by that time, haha! I remember that I enjoyed it and that I liked the themes it presented, even if it took me a while to love the prose itself. I've reread it a few times after that and I really appreciated the professor who recommended it because I don't think it would have been something I'd pick up on a normal setting. I tend to either REALLY like or REALLY dislike novels that have a Marcos regime timeline for some reason but this was one of those I really liked. I tend to love Filipino myths and folklores, like the story of Alitaptap, lanzones and the epic about the genderblender Babaylan (IIRC) who pretended to be a man to save the guy she loves. I also really loved this one short story that I can't remember the title or author anymore, about a boy who had a very domineering sister who tend to get everything she wanted because she had a weak heart. She had a very strong personality and he seemed to always be overwhelmed by it, but when he finally snapped and fought back, he realized just how fragile his sister was. It stayed with me because the mood was so atmospheric and I couldn't really recall what the ending was like. I don't know if his fighting back was a good thing or not; I don't know if his sister's vulnerability is supposed to show some sort of moral or just a means to flesh her out from his extremely narrow point of view. It really stuck with me though. I hope I can find it again.
  10. Studying ancient language sounds SO, so fascinating! But considering how hard learning Japanese is for me, probably not something I could do, haha! I try immersing myself in the Japanese language as much as possible and my retention is still rather poor. Imagine if retention is virtually impossible! Still, I've always wanted to learn an obsolete language. I just want to see how many current language took bits and pieces of these ancient languages to create the current ones.
  11. I don't know... I mean, extremely high emotions affect even the ability to speak someone's native language, so why wouldn't it affect someone who requires to speak in their second (or more) language? That's why sometimes, people just scream or cry because speaking just doesn't cut it. Speaking requires brain focus, and while others can speak without thinking about it and even without any filter on -- guilty as charged haha! -- it still requires the processing of the brain. In cases of really extreme emotions, that processing may break down, probably because your brain is thinking up so many thoughts and the mouth just can't keep up. It's not even really a matter of fluency. It's that being angry and upset can make someone divide their focus between what they're thinking of -- the emotions their experiencing that is -- and the need to voice those thoughts out.
  12. Well, considering a previous job entailed that I converse with others on the phone in a foreign language, I have indeed, haha! It is definitely nerve-wracking in formal situations especially because there's always the persistent thought that it's not your native tongue. I could often hear how different my accent was to the accent of the person I was talking to and it made me feel insecure about my fluency. Stressful situations are the worst because speaking continuously in a language that's not your native one requires a focus of thought, and high emotion can erode that. I do like to speak in a foreign language with friends though because it is very helpful to immerse yourself in a language so that you can improve and retain more things. I also like listening to them talk since it's practice both for hearing the natives speak, and a useful way for me to know the correct pronunciation of words I might have been mispronouncing.
  13. I'm going with the posters who've said it depends on your location. Where I'm from, the most widespread English Proficiency Test is TOEFL. I think TOEFL results is the most common requirement they check for jobs/etc. that would require English proficiency here, so I would assume that getting good results for TOEFL is the best one for a citizen in my country. A country that prioritizes a different proficiency test would be the best for a citizen of that country too. In an objective sense, however, I've never really sat down and compared any proficiency tests, English or otherwise, so I don't really know. In the first place, I wouldn't know how to classify which is the "better" test for proficiency. I mean, how would one qualify that?
  14. Mine would probably be A Clockwork Orange. If it's just a matter of it composed of too much purple prose, I can slog through that even if it might irritate me. Old English is no problem either since I can pretty much figure things out through context or by reading a modern version before reading the older one. And I love most of the doorstops I've read, so length is never a problem for me. But A Clockwork Orange relied too much on the slang created by the main character that it was hard to read at first. You figure out the context as you go along, of course, and that became part of the entertainment later on. But when I first read it (and the several rereads later, in case I missed stuff), it was suuuuch a pain. I love the book but it was definitely a hard read for me at first.
  15. I do feel the same way but the fear of making mistakes is precisely why it's harder to speak in an unfamiliar language than simply writing things down, I think. Because speaking is pretty requires spontaneity so the chances of being wrong are higher, and the chances of being embarrassed for the mistake is more pronounced. Speaking is instantaneous (unless you put fillers in between every other word) so you can't filter out your speech as much. There's also the fact that everyone has an accent that may or may not be understandable to native speakers. Contrast to that, when you write, you can think of what you want to say more carefully and when you end up with the wrong word, you can just cross it out or just delete it. Misspellings are easier to spot when rereading too, so there's an easier time to edit them out. Everyone has a fear of being wrong and speaking provides a higher chance of making mistakes. Usually, people feel an uneasiness for that which leads to them not trying at all.
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