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BabelGoldFish

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Posts posted by BabelGoldFish

  1. Professional translator here :) there are several things at play

    Publishing houses are gonna want to publish proven titles: best sellers guaranteed to make a lot of money, not just because they've been tested on the American/UK market already but also because of the Internet and social media buzz they will have already.

    This means quality isn't measured, popularity is...after all, publishing is a business, and a business's prime directive is making money, not publishing obscure but Nobel prize worthy books.

    Where I live very little national authors ever make it, since it's so much safer to translate best sellers than to invest in a new talent that may or may not sell. This means a lot of potentially great books never see the light of day. :/ 

  2. I took the Cambridge CPE myself, which is IELTS. Some friends had to take TOEFL due to very specific university demands in other countries, but apparently those are only valid for 2 years. That really blew my mind, since IELTS last forever, which makes a lot more sense for me.

    For one thing, proficiency exams test native level proficiency, which I have found is the sort of level you're not likely to forget - it feels embedded in your brain like your mother tongue lol, you guys know what I mean? For another, taking an expensive exam every two years just to prove you know a language seems kind of ridiculous. Even driver's licenses last longer, and it's not like you can kill someone by making a grammar mistake!

  3. This is called "shadowing" by some people. I remember reading about it  on Tofugu (site about Japanese culture and Japanese learning). Here's the link to the article about shadowing as a learning tool (in this case, using japanese series).

    Duolingo uses this also. I think it's pretty good for developing listening and vocabulary without the pressure of an actual conversation. Plus, by making mistakes while transcribing you inevitably learn some orthography.

    I never really liked it in classes, though. I mean, if you do it at home you can use material you actually enjoy, and if you have the privilege of having a teacher during a couple of hours I think that time is better used on other types of learning. If you disagree with this view, I'd be really interested to hear your reasoning. I'm no teacher myself :)

  4. I would have to agree. Non-natives can explain better (since they had to learn), and if their actual level is that of a native, then you have the best of both worlds.

    Also, non natives know "the struggle", so to speak. Some native teachers aren't language learners themselves at all, so they can't pass on all the helpful techniques, methods, apps, etc that most of us use to improve our learning.

    Even if you really want to make sure you get the full native experience, I'd generally try to get a non-native teacher, but get speaking practice with natives. The later isn't so hard to find these days anyway :) 

    As a side note...anyone else get shocked at how badly some natives actually talk? And you'd just look like a moron if you tried to correct them xD

  5. Just as many of us have learned languages without ever setting foot in the country in question, it's amazing the number of people I met who, on the reverse side of the situation, have lived in a foreign country for months or even years without assimilating more than the typical "where is the bathroom" sentences. All it takes is for you not to care, or not to care enough.

    Learning something almost always requires some effort on your part - even if that effort is not conscious. Being in the science lab at school didn't teach you any science unless you actually paid attention. I've found that people who actually make an effort get way better results with very little resources than some people that have the best conditions.

    I lived in Italy for a year, but I only really became good at Italian when I finally made an effort. I started reading in Italian, forced myself to speak to people instead of letting others do it for me, and last but not least, had to do my exams in Italian -nothing like last minute panic to get you learning! lol

     

     

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