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Everything posted by kshaw81

  1. I swear in English a lot, in German occasionally. I used to hate swearing, but I don't anymore; sometimes a swear better captures a thought or feeling than anything else I can think of. I think swearing in another language is decent practice, in that if you were fluent and living in your language's culture, you would probably be swearing here and there. But, I wouldn't go throwing around a foreign curse word to people who wouldn't understand or fluent speakers who might be offended. Do what you like, but don't offend anyone, essentially.
  2. I don't think there is a bad reason for wanting to learn a language. Unless, of course, it would somehow hurt someone else, but I can't really imagine how that would work! I would agree, though, that any student "forced" to learn a language (by the school system or whatever) isn't going to benefit in the same way someone who truly enjoys the language would. Learning a language opens you up to a new culture and widens your opportunities for interpersonal connection. Any reason that would lead one to something so beneficial is a great reason, in my opinion!
  3. I see a slight personality change with German, too. I'm a really shy and awkward person, but speaking in German makes me a bit more confident and assertive. Perhaps it is because of how powerful the language is? That is one of the reasons I love German so much; you really have to own what you're saying!
  4. Although apps can be a great tool for learning a language, I don't think they should be the primary tool, simply because they cannot simulate the experience of speaking a language in real life. I've used apps, mostly Duolingo, to supplement college German courses and to keep me practicing when I am not able to take a live class. I admit I have learned a lot this way, but what I'm really looking forward to is to study German in Austria soon,and really immerse myself in it. However, apps allow people who might not have the opportunity to travel or take classes to study a language, which is wonderful.
  5. Shakespeare is really hard, even for native speakers. The older the book, the more difficult the English. Geoffrey Chaucer, for example, was writing in the 14th century using Middle English, and most native speakers cannot understand it (I sure didn't!). Still, these books can be very beneficial to learning English, and everyone who finishes them should be very proud!
  6. Hallo! I love German too, although I'm not majoring in it. I am preparing to study abroad in Austria, and I'm hoping to become fluent, or at least close! Good luck learning French, that's next on my list
  7. I can't speak for Asian languages specifically, but there is Linguee, which is sort of a translator and dictionary combined. It can translate words, but also bring up examples of documents in which a word or phrase is found, and the document's translation. I am not doing a good job of explaining the site, but I do recommend it! I use Linguee a lot for German, and it is way more reliable than anything else I've found.
  8. This is a very interesting idea. My first thought was 'yeah, I could recognize any English word,' but I come across words all the time that are completely new to me. It's only after your learn a word that it becomes recognizable, even if it is in your native language.
  9. I've completed the German course on Duolingo. It taught me a lot, definitely, but I am by no means fluent. There is quite a bit more vocabulary I could learn, as well as grammar. I think what will help with that is immersion, such as translating, reading, and writing German, or whatever language you are learning. Still, I practice on Duolingo almost every day to keep up with what I've learned, and I really do like the site.
  10. I actually kind of like the strange things Duolingo makes you write. It makes the learning process a little bit more fun, and I do find that those sentences help make the words and grammar stick! They may be silly, but if the sentences are correct, I see no problem.
  11. I think another reason Duolingo is so popular is that it is free for everyone, unlike Busuu or Mango, for example. Greater accessibility means more people will be using it. I've been using Duolingo for my German for about a year now, and I like how it motivates you to practice every day. Plus, the Immersion option is really helpful for getting more hands-on with your language and seeing it in the way it is used outside of lessons. I don't know if other websites have a similar thing, but it definitely keeps me coming back to Duolingo.
  12. Now that I have been studying German every day, I find myself dreaming in German more. Most of the time it is only a few sentences, but once I had a whole dream in German! It was really funny to realize I was dreaming in another language when I woke up. I think it was all correct, too .
  13. This is very helpful! I've been looking for different ways to practice my German other than translating articles and stories. I am going to check these out. Danke!
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