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  1. I actually wasn't aware that it was a practice to italicize quotes. It seems rather redundant given it's already in quotations. In general formal writing, I believe, the consensus is italicizing book names, foreign words, and for emphasize on a particular point (usually, simply a word). Though it should also be note, depending on what kind of publication it is, titles (as in book, novellas, etc) there are different official practices in mentioning them.
  2. While I think that the link are rather good, I feel like in actual practice the second link would be too broad. And that it will promote the overuse of hyphens. Of course there are many cases that you can use it, where it is grammatically fine, but the presentation would be rather "sloppy." For example, using your own example "cooking-oil," I think in a general good sentence, through context, it should be obvious which definition is intended.
  3. I'm glad it is only opinions that we are exchanging. I fully agree that poetry in particular is difficult to translate. There are so many layers, even besides rhythm, tone, and rhyme. I think the most important is trying to preserve the sentiment, the picture it is trying to paint. Even specific words, I do not think is particularly important because different culture treat words differently (like connotation). I think, instead of finding the correct words to simply translate the original text it should be finding the best words to translate the meaning/purpose to a different culture.
  4. I'm not sure we are all "on the same page" in terms of what we're referring to. I agree a point of interest when comparing different language is the emphasis they put on gender. For example, Spanish has specific endings when the subject is male and female. English is quite simple in just using pronouns. And then, some languages, like Chinese, it's rather ambiguous, especially when spoken. I think having a language structure that allows for more information is not a bad thing, it might be more confusing for learners but overcoming this difficulty, I think, they will appreciate it more. And in reply to the "one question," certainly you can simply ask to clarify anything. But if the information was there to begin with, it expedites the exchange.
  5. If you also think about it spatially, "to realize" implies reacting to something that has passed; whereas, "to notice" is a bit more present in this space. You notice something in the present, and that something is in the present (or not too long past). Whereas, it is often you "realize" something only after it passed.
  6. So I saw this a while back, and the user that created it before referred to an instance before his/hers, and I thought this would actually be a great practice. However contrary to last time, to make this experience more productive, I hope with each new addition to the story, that we look over the piece posted before ours and make any corrections or give any pointers as necessary. The purpose of this forum is to better our English but the writing in the last thread was still a bit lacking, I think. So for those who haven't "played" before, you simply build/add onto the story sentence by sentence, keeping in mind that your addition should be coherent to what came before you. There is an earlier example, as well, if you go back to the forum and scroll down. So shall we begin? It had been raining all day, but it isn't anymore.
  7. I'm not sure if this is really still relevant. But this might be better: [1] That said, despite the straightforward and detail-rich prose, I struggled a bit in imagining the battle scenes. They were clear at some point, but fuzzy and chaotic the next. (Given that the sentence started with "said," I feel like it implied some past tense. And you wouldn't really need the "one" as it would just be repetitive; with the comma, I think it is obvious what it is referring to.) [2]...beast-like guardians, some of which are dragons... (Notice I added a comma too as the following would be clarification to the original.)
  8. I think regardless of language, the ability to speak, that is, to accurately pronounce and relay what you want to say, is the most important. Yet, of course, it all depends on why you are interested in the language. Considering the cases: past, present, and future. To understand the past, depending on how extended the period, reading might be more necessary and that would be recognition that should be worked on. If it is the present, speaking is sufficient as it is immediate as compared to writing, which is primarily used to travel over time and space. If it is the future that you hope to influence, shouldn't it be writing? However, this would not be recognition and instead recall, which is much harder for a language such as Japanese which has kanji. I suppose, all in all, the important thing is to tailor the learning to what you want to accomplish. "I want to learn Japanese" is not specific enough, perhaps setting a goal of "Why do you want to learn Japanese?" This is just personal opinion, though the previous was as well, but I think with any language, immersion is the true, best method.
  9. I have actually tried this for my conversational English class a while back. I would remark that I found it a good idea and the outcome was better than expected. However, it really only works if the student is wiling to learn the language. I believe this is a good strategy when you are teaching students that are willing to make mistakes and learn from them, just as how children learn language. Making mistakes, recognizing them, and correcting them with a bold outlook is really the key to any success.
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