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yong321 last won the day on September 6 2019

yong321 had the most liked content!


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  1. amateur lover (of something), enthusiast; amateur, non-professional. Note unlike in English, this word does not have the negative connotation of “being inexperienced”. After all, it’s from a Latin word from which French amour (“love”) and English amorous are derived. Examples, un amateur de musique (“a music lover”); un photographe amateur (“an amateur / non-professional photographer”). semelle sole (of shoe). Unknown etymology. Use a mnemonic such as “the sole of the shoe smells”.
  2. Language difficulty can be measured, as long as we set a few criteria. See my article at http://english-for-chinese.blogspot.com/2017/09/language-difficulty.html
  3. No, you cannot. Omitting "about" at the end makes the sentence ungrammatical. By the way, "ain't" is bad English.
  4. Never mind. The web site AsiHablamos.com already does a very good job at this. To go the other direction, i.e. given an English word, find the Spanish word in different Spanish speaking countries or regions, Wordreference.com more or less meets this need.
  5. The multilingual idioms project is quite successful. We should start some other projects which other language forums don't do. An interesting one I can think of is Spanish words in different regions of the world. As of today, to find regional differences of a Spanish word, we have to google for its meanings scattered in various forums. But it would be nice to have one single table that contains most such words. (Is there any way to remove the embedded page preview? It's distracting. But I want to reference that page, as a link only.)
  6. Yeah, I know. That's the problem of blindly trusting the Internet. Hopefully Google has some kind of algorithm to avoid this kind of mistake.
  7. Google Translate started to provide frequencies for translated words probably in late 2019. Given a single word, the translated words are given 1 to 3 bars of frequency, which "Indicates how often a translation appears in public documents". It's a great feature! If anybody knows another dictionary that ranks the frequency of translated words, please let me know. Here's my question. What does it mean if the translated word is not the most frequent and yet it's given as the default translation? For example, Source language: French. Target Language: English. French word: froisser. In the English textbox on the right, it shows crumple. But under this textbox are listed offend with 3 bars, crease 2 bars, crumple 2 bars, .... If offend more frequently appears as a translated word for froisser than crumple, why is crumple instead of offend the default translation? And, of the multiple words with 2 bars, why is crumple chosen instead of say crease? If this message is off-topic, I apologize. I posted it to the Google Translate forum (https://support.google.com/translate/thread/62053485?hl=en) but I get no answer there.
  8. Come on, you don't need to feel depressed on the limit of human language that our ancestors have used for thousands of years! Seriously though, there's no way to precisely express what you want. A natural language is not a computer language, which *can* be extended logically. In your case, you either just continue to use "had stolen" with one "had", and let the reader infer from the context, or break the sentence up.
  9. gaspiller to waste. Uncertain etymology. According to one theory, it is cognate with spill. Use a mnemonic such as “Look, gas (gasoline) spills. You’re wasting it.” or “Gas spillage is a waste.” béquille crutch; (bicycle or motorcycle) kickstand. From bec (“beak of a bird”). The crosspiece on top of the crutch resembles a bird’s beak. bourguignon Burgundian. From Latin Burgundionem, where the -ndi- group easily lost d. If we trace to Proto-Indo-European, the name Burgundy is cognate with burg and borough, which are part of the names of many US towns.
  10. '"economic" as a verb'? '... economic, is used as a noun'? The word economic is neither a verb nor a noun.
  11. It would be nice to allow visitors see what's in there without signing up. Otherwise people just leave without leaving a word.
  12. Not sure how to use it. Why not give clear instructions on the homepage? Spanish is fine. But without instructions, first-time users quietly turn away.
  13. It depends on the age of the learner. For young children, at an age generally considered younger than 7, assimilation is the way to go. For adults, you have to consciously learn a foreign language. Assimilation won't work. (Picking a few words and expressions doesn't count.) If there's a successful story about assimilation alone, I'd love to know.
  14. I agree. Both are correct. But (1) is more common. (2) is correct because the answer can be "Such and such are the major differences ..." English uses the same word, "what", to start the clause regardless whether it acts as the object or subject in the clause.
  15. Many people have suggested listening to native speakers and living in the country where the language is spoken. Note that as an adult, we have largely lost the innate capability of learning the native accent by listening. This loss is said to start around the age of 7 (but various researches say it differently). Being able to discern the difference in other people's pronunciation is always easier than being able to utter it yourself, even for a child. Although some adults have remarkable talent in mimicking unfamiliar sounds, many don't. For example, many Chinese Americans still pronounce "mug" as /mag/ (where /a/ is the the first part of the diphthong /aɪ/ in "high") instead of /mʌɡ/, even though they have listened to the native speakers for decades. They can tell the difference between the correct /mʌɡ/ and the wrong /mag/ when listening. But they have trouble in speech production. How can they improve? My suggestion is to carefully studying International Phonetic Alphabet, or at least the vowel graph of it, combined with focused listening and self-practice.
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