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Everything posted by wolfette

  1. Yes! I can usually understand what's going on in a movie even if I'm seeing it for the first time in a language I'm not very familiar with. I find I can often pick up a few words, sentences or phrases this way too when it's really obvious what's going on. I find it's a lot more difficult to do this with cartoon type movies personally than I find with more real life type movies. I find that with cartoon movies it can be a bit basic sometimes which for me makes it more difficult to understand and I can end up losing concentration. I find that the genre overall does make a difference to whether or not I'll be able to understand more or less of what's being said too. I'd rather watch a comedy movie or a historical movie than an action or adventure movie. That being said though I prefer these types of movies in English too.
  2. Do you find your handwriting changes depending on the language you're writing in? I tend to find that mine does change. In English I'm not so careful and my handwriting can become a bit sloppy but if I'm writing in other languages then I tend to write the letters a lot more carefully. This may be because when I'm writing I'm having to think a bit more about what I'm writing in other languages than I do in English so I naturally take more time.
  3. I think it's a shame when children aren't taught the languages of their parents. My neighbors children barely speak any words of their parents' native language (Tagalog). I find it sad that they won't know the language of their parents. I also hear their parents talking in their native language so that the children can't overhear or listen in to their conversation, and they're often on the phone to people back in the Philippines, but their children can't understand it or talk to them themselves. In my opinion it'd be an advantage to them to speak another language.
  4. I've used flashcards that I made myself to help with languages. I find they can be useful if used in the right way. You have to have different types of words on different cards in different piles. Then you can use those to make simple sentences like "The girl can draw" or "The ball is green". These can get more complex as you add in additional words you wish to learn, making longer sentences gradually such as "The tennis ball is green and white" or "The grey elephant can perform tricks". Initially you want to go for simpler words and sentences until you know them off by heart. Of course, most of those sentences I just used probably aren't the sorts of sentences you're most likely to need, but you can adapt them to what you're going to need wherever you're going for example. One thing I found them especially useful for, was directions. I could put an arrow for the direction I wanted on one side of the card and the word for it on the other side. Then I'd again make sentences including common places. For example, "Take the first left and the shop is next to the library." I learned places and directions pretty easily that way. Another alternative to this though is to cut up sections of a map and put them together like a puzzle. While not exactly the same as flashcards, it helped me to learn the place I'd be staying in so if I asked for directions, I could remember from those little flash card puzzle pieces approximately where things were.
  5. My experience was a little different to this, so I'll explain that first. I met a Spanish guy that knew absolutely no English at all and he was really struggling here in the UK. My mission was to help him to learn English so that he was able to communicate with people here. He's now a successful guy that's doing well for himself, and I've since learned he's actually fluent in many more languages (French, Italian and Polish, to name a few!). It was difficult to communicate with him initially as I spoke next to no Spanish and he spoke next to no English. However, I found that there was some brands he knew of from Spain that were also in the UK. Think things like McDonalds and Coca Cola, which are everywhere. He was able to recognise that those things meant food and drink for example. Then, there are words that are pretty similar in both languages which was another bonus, although it did take a bit of working out sometimes. We were also able to draw things sometimes to get across what we were talking about. It didn't take long before we were able to have some conversations, either I had picked up enough words in Spanish to talk to him or he'd picked up enough in English to talk to me. While his English is pretty good now (and I like to think that my Spanish is too) we still ask each other about words from time to time. He had never heard "fringe" in relation to the outskirts of somewhere until pretty recently, and had asked me what hair had to do with where he lived.
  6. I find that if I'm able to listen to music in that language then I'll be able to pick up words fairly easily. If I hear words in the song I don't understand I'll look it up to make sure I'm understanding it correctly. I may even take a look at the written lyrics until I understand and can sing along to the song. I'd recommend artists like Shakira, Pitbull and Enrique Iglesias for Spanish, for example, because they have songs that are the same song but sung in both English and Spanish. Those are useful because you know the gist of the song already from the English version and can therefore sort of fill in the gaps in Spanish. I know many Korean and Japanese artists also sing parts of songs in English so you're able to pick up some that way and can fill in the gaps more easily that way, or I find you can anyway.
  7. This is something we used to do in High School to help us to learn French, but I didn't find it helped me much personally. I'd rather listen to music than watch TV shows myself because I find that way I can concentrate more on the words than on the pictures. I guess I need the acoustics more than the visuals to learn? However I found that watching documentaries in other languages was beneficial to me. I watched a documentary about Mount Vesuvius (I have no idea why I picked that one!) and was able to learn some words from it. I suppose because it's factual though it interested me more than ordinary TV shows would have done. I prefer factual stuff even in English, my native language.
  8. For me it's learning words that sound similar to another language you already know. I can easily end up slipping into a language I know better midway through a sentence because that seems easier and the way my brain wants to take it. Especially if I'm trying to learn more than one language at the same time.
  9. I am English, yet my accent has been mocked before by others in my own country, and it has put me off the accent somewhat. I love the Italian accent when Italians speak English. I'm not sure what it is about that I like, I'm just drawn to it. I also love Scottish accents. Admittedly they can be very hard to understand sometimes, but I've got a few Scottish friends and I love all their accents.
  10. Do words with two meanings ever confuse you in the language you're trying to learn? For example in English, cricket can mean the sport or the insect, bark can be something a dog does or what you find on a tree trunk. In Spanish, tienda can mean shop or tent, and lengua means both tongue and language. Some I can see the link and can usually work out which it is, but other times I get completely confused. Do you know of any words like that? Do they confuse you too?
  11. I find that I'm not keen on love songs on the whole in English (although there's a few exceptions to that rule) but most of the love songs in French or Spanish that I've heard I like a lot more. I find that metal music in Scandinavian languages can often sound better than it does in English as well, although I don't really speak much of the languages to really understand what's being said anyway. I also quite like rap music in Finnish in particular. Although I have no idea what it is about Finnish rap music I like! I don't like it on the whole in English though. Do you find you like different genres in different languages?
  12. I think it's useful to learn them, and maybe easier to do so if you're somewhere they'll be used often. But I wouldn't say that I find them easy to learn exactly. Individual words, yes. But I think the phrases and correct ways to use them can be more difficult. I think it would depend on whether you use swear words often yourself or not too though. I don't swear much in English, my native language, either.
  13. I went to France when I was a child but it was only a short few days trip. It was nice in that it was winter when I went so there was snow around. We took a bus ride between Calais and Paris and from what I remember it was pleasant. We stopped off a few times but it was mostly just driving through really. I'd like to return one day and see more of it.
  14. I did use a textbook to help my friend to learn English. However the textbook I used was one to teach his native language. I understood the English, he understood the Spanish. So he had the answers and had to work out the questions while I had the questions and had to work out the answers. The teamwork worked well!
  15. While reading a book directly in the language you want to learn right off the bat could be useful, another technique I enjoy is taking a book I know already in one language and reading it in a new one. I already know roughly what happens that way so I'm able to sort of fill in the blanks and work out what words mean for myself that way. I find it a very useful technique for learning languages myself.
  16. Living in the country you intend to learn the language of can be an asset for sure. I think that if you know a little bit of the language beforehand though that's definitely a bonus so that you're able to understand the basics and have a basic conversation right from the start. If you can learn from the natives of a country you're more able to learn natural sayings too rather than trying to string things together for yourself. It helps to learn local slang too if you plan to stay somewhere for a long time. It makes translating things much easier.
  17. Languages can be beneficial to everyone. I think if your native language is one that isn't spoken by people in many countries aside from your own especially then you"d benefit from learning additional languages so that you'd be able to communicate with people if you left your own country. Similarly, if you're traveling somewhere generally it's beneficial to know phrases in that country's language.
  18. While in theory I like the idea of everyone having one shared language there would still be differences. Take countries that speak the same language for example. People in the UK and US spell the same words differently: Colour/color, favourite/favorite. They have different words for the same things: Boot/trunk, bonnet/hood. And regionally, words can mean something entirely different even within the same country. For example, where I used to live in England, to "knock you up" means to "get you pregnant". I was rather surprised to learn where I live now this means to "come to your house and pick you up". While in theory one language would be nice, in practice there would still be many differences.
  19. The j sounds like an h in Spanish, so they write it with a j. Jajaja is like hahaha in English, more of an ordinary laugh. Jejeje is more of a giggling laugh like hehehe. Jijiji can be the same although I've not seen that used as often personally.
  20. My favorite word in a language that isn't my native language is "zanahoria" which means "carrot" in Spanish. It's just such a unique word, especially in comparison with what it is in English, and I love the sound of it. What's your favourite word in a language that isn't your native language?
  21. When I was trying to learn French I had someone teaching me that had no patience at all and would mock my accent, tell me I was getting things wrong all the time but not providing me with the correct way to do things. She was even a professional French teacher so I don't know how people were really able to learn from her. She wouldn't let you write things down until you were speaking them properly, but that's the style I need to learn. I need it written. She was very impatient and it made the whole process very difficult to get my head around. Patience is definitely needed for teaching someone new to the language!
  22. Personally I learn best if I can have things written down in front of me, whether that's online or worksheets or however it's written. Only speaking it I find it really difficult to remember the words and phrases, and to know if I'm pronouncing them correctly. Conversation and speech is a necessary part of learning though of course. I just can't do it without anything written down myself. I did find speaking to someone that was a native was definitely a useful tool for learning though. I have a friend that's Spanish so conversation with him made me learn better than if I was learning from someone with Spanish as their second language.
  23. I don't tend to swear often in Spanish unless there's good reason to and I wouldn't do it for fun. I don't tend to swear a lot in English either, although I find in my native language it's easier to tell if people are being serious or just messing around. In a foreign language it's harder to tell that sometimes.
  24. I'm from England personally so there's quite a bit of rap here. I'm not much of a fan of it though, and I doubt I could even name a British rap artist! That being said though I've listened to Musta Barbaari, a Finnish hip hop artist, quite a bit. Somehow it sounds different in Finnish.
  25. I'm lucky in that when I was learning Spanish I could just talk to my friend in Spanish as it's his native language. Sometimes he'll talk to me in Spanish automatically too so I have to think about it quickly on the spot. I'd like to be able to do the same with Polish as I have some Polish friends. That way you're not expecting to need it and it can catch you off guard but can be a bit more like natural conversation. I suppose when I learned Spanish though it meant I could practice whenever I saw him, and he could practice English, which was useful.
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