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Everything posted by Honest_Abe

  1. I've always wanted to learn Latin, as it was the language of the Intellectuals in Europe long after it began to decline as a conversational language. I always wondered if studying Latin would make the other Romance languages (and English) make more sense, or if it would be better to study Latin after having mastered French and Spanish (both languages I have moderate understanding in).
  2. English is my native tongue. It's quite wonderfully adaptable and works well in many different settings. I've spoken English in almost every country I've entered, and was completely amazed. Although English is from German, it has more shared vocabulary with French. Which makes it a wonderfully universal tongue.
  3. Books are a great way to grow more familiar with a language in your mind, even if you're not fully understanding everything you absorb. This is especially true in languages that use a different alphabet than English (Latin). One must learn to read the language before they can understand. And the more the words bounce around in the mind, the more likely connections are to occur.
  4. Hey, Just wondering everybody's opinion regarding translation. Do you try to find a solid middle ground between literal, word-for-word translation and a more "meaning" oriented approach? Or do you favor one method over the other? When translating from French, it may be easier to associate words with common English phrases. But for other languages (except German), it may be a little trickier. Just an amateur linguist trying to gauge the community's approach.
  5. Has anybody here attempted to learn Arabic via Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan's website Bayyinah.tv? The site is connected with his college, Bayyinah Institute, a school dedicated to the study of the Arabic language. For a small monthly fee, he offers quite a lot of material. He has years of experience teaching Arabic in various institutions and seminars, and he presents his method to the world on his series: Learn Arabic with Husna. Husna is his daughter, and the series is recorded as he teaches his daughter using the same methods he perfected throughout his career. Each episode comes with notes and a small quiz to help the material hit home. He has a wonderful sense of humor and method of teaching. I tried the series up until Part 8, and I must say it was a wonderful experience. I plan on restarting my membership soon, so I figured I would ask the community here if they ever used it, or even heard of it.
  6. Arabic is a Semitic language, so it is different than Urdu and Farsi. It's cousin languages under the same tree are Hebrew and Aramaic and the different dialects under either. The script for the languages is the same due to the Muslim lands adapting the Arabic script. Urdu and Farsi are linked in some ways, but not totally. In fact, Urdu was invented as a language that could be spoken in the area and natives of multiple countries could understand. Urdu is a Turkish word meaning "army" or "army barracks" with the implication being soldiers and tradesmen could use Urdu on their travels through a certain part of the world. Urdu has words from Farsi, Turkish, and Hindi. But it has a 50% vocabulary share with Arabic. Since you speak Hindi, you will find Urdu easier to understand. If you learn the Arabic script, you would be able to read either language to some degree, and old Turkish (called Osmanli).
  7. I have been studying languages for quite a while, and I always reach a point where the studies take a decline. Even with good source material, teachers, and native speakers to practice with. I understand some languages when they are spoken, but I have never obtained fluency. I am asking for tips in order to stay focused on the journey of language. It interests me deeply, and I have the time and resources to apply any advice given. I can even keep a log of my progress for interested parties. Hope to see some life-changing responses.
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