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Everything posted by wolfette

  1. Spanish is useful to me in every day life because I have a friend whos first language is Spanish. Sometimes he might not understand the English for something so I help him in Spanish to understand. I also find it useful when listening to songs that have Spanish lyrics because I'm able to understand the majority of these songs. I find this helpful as it adds to my enjoyment of the song.
  2. I find songs are a great way to learn new songs in a language that you already know some of. I find that I can usually work out what some of the words are at least if I already know what some other words are. I've also translated the lyrics of songs in other languages to learn some new words and phrases as well. I find this is particularly effective if I like the song because I'll therefore remember the words and the meaning of them.
  3. I tried to take it seriously but it was difficult because I didn't get on with my teacher's style of teaching in French in particular. I did take learning Spanish much more seriously though because I have a Spanish friend and helped him to learn English through what I knew about Spanish, so I had more of a motivation for learning Spanish than I did for learning French at the time. I think if given the chance to go back to school to do languages though I would do so. I think now I'm older I'd appreciate the opportunity more than I did then.
  4. I don't know that this is really a tool, but I'll often look at the ingredients list on products in different languages so that I'm able to pick up a few words that way. Sometimes tourist information centers also have information in multiple different languages. I'll also read books in the language I'm learning too. Alongside the English version if possible. That way I'm able to get a feel for what it should say and then I can read it in English and make sure I understood it correctly. If you're willing to use the computer to look up movies or TV shows in your chosen language you could sit and watch that on somewhere like Youtube too.
  5. I tend to do this in my head. I'll think in a different language and make myself think that way. I'll try to think about what I'm going to do that day and plan it out in my chosen language, or plan what I'm going to cook. If I go to the grocery store I've been known to have a list in a different language too. And I can draw little pictures as guidance if I feel like I'm going to need it. That way I'm encouraging myself to talk in that language even without there being someone else there to practice the conversational elements with.
  6. I was like this with French. I just couldn't concentrate on learning it from the teacher I had originally so I decided to quit and focus on something else instead. Now I feel like if I was to go back to French though I might be better able to understand it and what's being said. I think I'd probably pick it up faster now too. And one day I may go back to it. But as I'm unlikely to go to France any time soon I'd rather focus on the languages that I'm more likely to use more often.
  7. I would if it was a country I wanted to live in and felt I could be at home in. For example, I wouldn't learn a language like Greek just for a job, because Greece isn't somewhere I'd particularly like to go. But Italian or French I would be willing to consider learning for a job. First and foremost though I'd learn because I want to learn the language and would actually get to use the language regardless of whether I went there or not.
  8. I really struggled with learning French but I put that down more to my teacher than anything else because she was so set in me learning the language HER way that I wasn't able to learn the way I needed to learn to understand. I ended up struggling even with basic conversation when I was learning it from her. Since though when I've looked into learning more of the language it's been a lot easier for me to pick up and understand. So while I did struggle a lot with French, it did get a lot easier being able to learn it how I learn better instead.
  9. That's a great way of learning more words. I think reading recipes in their native language or at least finding recipes that are authentic can definitely be useful when it comes to learning languages as well as about the culture of a place. I'm thinking about getting a few recipe books in different languages myself, actually. I'll definitely have to try it out and see how much I can understand.
  10. I like the idea of using names that aren't English, personally. I actually have a dog called Carlos, for example. I'm not Spanish, but speak it, and he knows commands in English and Spanish too. I also call him Charlie sometimes, so I suppose he sort of has two names. An English and a Spanish one. As for names for people, I love the name Francesca, and I'd definitely use that for a girl, even though it's not an English name. I don't think anyone would have any real issues pronouncing it. I probably wouldn't go for a really rare name in another language though unless the meaning was exactly right and I thought it would be very easy to pronounce.
  11. 1. English. (I live in England, so this one would be necessary to live here, I think.) 2. Spanish. (My friend is Spanish so it makes communicating with him much easier. I also love Spain and hope to go soon!) 3. Italian. (I just love the language!) 4. Korean. (Again, I love the language!) 5. Polish. (I have several Polish friends and feel it could be useful to speak Polish, although they're all completely fluent in English so I've never picked up many Polish words from them)
  12. I would say it's possible to learn the basics at least of a language in just 90 days. If you're speaking it all the time, listening to it all the time, writing it and reading it throughout those 90 days then you're much more likely to pick up more than you would if you just looked at it briefly a few times a day or a few times a week. The more practice you get with the language the more likely you are to learn more of it in a shorter period of time. I highly doubt you'd be completely fluent in that time, though.
  13. Accents in languages have always made learning them difficult for me. Even within my own country accents can be very diverse and I find this also has an impact on how much I understand, even in my own language. I have friends with many different accents and this has helped somewhat. I'm getting better at understanding different accents now than I ever used to be. But certain accents I find really hard to understand still especially when people are speaking fast and it makes picking out the words, especially in a language I'm not very familiar with, much harder.
  14. I taught a guy English when he didn't speak any English, and I spoke only very basic Spanish (his native language). We were able to communicate through drawings. He'd write and say his word for an item and I'd write and say my word for an item and we were able to communicate that way and his English and my Spanish gradually got better to the point where we can both communicate with each other, and others, in both languages now. It may not work for everyone and was quite time consuming. Some words such as tenses was difficult to get across but that only came when we both knew more of both languages anyway. Items like calendars and clocks can be great for learning numbers and time too. You'll probably need a few basic words or phrases in their language to make it work well though. For example, needing to know the word for both languages, in both languages. And, depending on the language, you may need to know certain symbols or the alphabet and numbers in their language too.
  15. Do you find it easier to learn a language from someone that has an accent that matches the language you're trying to learn? For example, if you're learning English do you prefer the person you're learning from to have an English accent? Or would it not make much difference to you? I didn't think it would matter, and when I first began to learn Spanish I was learning from an English person. My accent in Spanish was then difficult to understand to native Spanish speakers. However, when I learned more Spanish from my friend that is Spanish I found my accent became better in Spanish too and therefore it was easier for me to be understood. I also found it easier to understand when Spanish people are talking to me (rather than English people speaking Spanish).
  16. I've read several stories in other languages. Typically ones that I also have an English copy of. This way I already know the general plot and I can use the English copy to help me to fill in any words I really don't understand. I find this works better for me than attempting to read something off the bat in another language. I've got a couple of my favorite books in 2-3 different languages despite not really being particularly fluent in some of the languages I have books in.
  17. I'd say I'm fluent in Spanish as well as English because I'm able too hold conversations in both languages, able to speak at length about many topics in both languages, and have even dreamt or thought in Spanish rather than my native language. I'm easily able to follow TV in Spanish too and understand the jokes which I think is a good sign of knowing the language. I would also say that busy social settings or places with multiple people talking to you at once can be a good sign of whether you are fluent or not.
  18. I've dreamed in Spanish before. My first language is English. I find that the more I use Spanish the more likely I am to end up dreaming in Spanish too. It's not a definite that I will though. Sometimes I can be speaking in English all day and still end up dreaming in Spanish. Similarly I can speak Spanish all day and end up dreaming in English. I'll occasionally find myself thinking in Spanish too but that's not very often. Again, it seems to be more often the more I use the language. I've never found myself dreaming or thinking in French though. I'm not very fluent at all in French so that's likely the reason behind it.
  19. I'm in the UK and the most common names that I tend to hear are: Boys: James, Michael, John/Jonathan, Jacob, Jack, Kevin, Paul, Harry, Liam, David and Benjamin. Girls: Sarah, Nicole, Emma/Emmie/Emily, Lucy, Maisie, Amelia, Christine/Kirsten/Kristen, Mary, Samantha, Kate/Katie, Lily.
  20. I learned Spanish to help out a friend who's first language was Spanish. Through learning Spanish I was able to help him to learn English, so we helped each other out with the languages really. Learning languages that are useful to me to be able to communicate with people I know or in countries I'm likely to go to is more important to me than whether the language is widely spoken.
  21. I speak English and Spanish fluently, but most of the time I only actually use English. I do speak Spanish to a friend who's first language is Spanish on a fairly regular basis though. I don't tend to speak to many other people in Spanish though. I also speak a little French and a few words in other languages.
  22. I have a friend that can do that and it always fascinates me how he can do that as well. His native language is Spanish, but his mother is French and his father Italian. He was mostly brought up in England, so also knows English and one of his closest friends is Polish. He speaks all of those languages and switches between them whenever he feels like it! Admittedly if he's really tired though he'll switch words sometimes. He was counting if he had enough of something the other day and he started counting in English, out loud, and finished counting in Spanish. It was sort of comical really. He's a really clever guy I think. I wish I could speak that many languages!
  23. I did take an exam in Spanish because I took it in school but I haven't considered taking any other language exams. If I was going to be looking for a job in translation or another field that requires extensive knowledge in multiple languages then I'd definitely consider it because it would certainly help me to get that sort of job. I think if it wasn't that sort of a job that would require knowledge in languages then I probably wouldn't bother with an exam.
  24. I like to listen to music in a lot of different languages. I'm listening to music on Spotify right now as I'm typing this and I'm listening to Miss Decibel by Medina. It's a really catchy song that's sung in Swedish. While I really don't know a lot of Swedish at all, I love the song! I think if the song is catchy or has a good beat and tune to it then it can definitely help us to learn more words in different languages.
  25. I can speak British Sign Language as I had a friend in high school that was deaf so I learned it to be able to communicate with him. I've noticed that there tends to be some similarities between different languages with sign language, such as American and British do share some similarities. I suppose it's just like any other language though. Terms for things are different in different places. I'd love to learn sign language in more languages but for the time being I'm going to stick to what I know in British Sign Language and developing my knowledge there.
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