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John Snort

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Everything posted by John Snort

  1. My favorite would be Hannibal. I'm yet to watch the movie Silence of the Lambs but the eponymous villain of NBC's show "Hannibal" was really great — ruthless, intelligent, intriguing. It's always hard to find a villain you hate but sort of want to see more of. It's a shame they had to cancel the show.
  2. This joke has been told over and over but if you haven't seen it posted somewhere on the net, here goes: A man, a turkey in his arms, walks into a confession and says, "Forgive me Father for I have sinned. I stole this turkey to feed my family. Will you take it and forgive my sin?" "I'll not take it," the Priest answers, "you must return it to the one you stole it from." "I tried," the man says, "but he refused, what shall I do, Father." "If what you say is true," the Priest says, "then it is alright to keep if for your family." The man thanks the Priest and hurries off. When the Priest gets back home after the confession, he walks into the kitchen and finds out that someone stole his turkey!
  3. Lots of people actually get homophones wrong. A few more of the common ones that can be confusing: than - then, affect - effect, accept - except, bare - bear . . . and complement - compliment. Embarrassing thing is I once used thanks for the complement instead of thanks for the compliment in a work-related email and boy, did I feel dumb when I realized that I'd made a mistake (just after I'd hit send).
  4. There's this one and it is sort of hilarious come to think of it. I thought there was some pattern: Fly - Flew, Draw - Drew, Slay - Slew, throw-threw . . . and my mistake . . . Crow - Crew!
  5. I haven't yet started watching children's shows in the language I'm learning because getting hold of them is quite hard especially when you don't even know what you are looking for. But as @OP points out, kids can learn a lot from these shows and I've noticed that children whose first language is not English also get to learn how to pronounce words correctly the more they watch cartoons.
  6. The only way you can gauge you verbal skills is by speaking to native speakers and while traveling abroad and living with them might force you use the language more often, you could also start speaking with native Gaeilge speakers right away if you can find a language exchange partner online. Though of course you might feel a little intimidated initially just remember that once someone realizes you are trying to learn their language they will be more than willing to teach you how to pronounce the words you've learned, correctly.
  7. Immersion might b the answer to learning a language quickly because you learn by listening and speaking. Pretty much the way kids learn their mother tongue. However you may need to live abroad for about a year so before you leave for Spain try to find out if you can find a temp job because you might need it if you'll be staying there that long. If you can't my advice would be to find language exchange partners and chat with them via Skype.
  8. I read a lot so I hardly ever remember the exact moment I learned a new word. Occasionally though I'll find an unusual word and probably remember the exact moment I learned it. There is the word "Demagoguery' for example. I was reading an article about Donald Trump and the word was used to describe how sleazy a politician he is. It's the association with Trump that makes me remember the exact moment I learned that word.
  9. I like the RP English accent. The enunciation is perfect. Though not many people speak with a pure RP accent (not even in the UK, so I've heard) it certainly is the easiest to understand and easiest to learn too. So like others I believe that someone who is learning English as a second language should listen to BBC a lot. You can even record some audio clips and use them to learn (practically) how to speak better.
  10. There was a time when a part of Spain was under Islamic rule. And as many Muslims have to learn Arabic so they can read the Koran, we can make assumption that many of them spoke Arabic. I also assume that the Spaniards and Arabs had some trade relations. This is why some Arabic words ended up being used by Spaniards. According to a Wikipedia article, there are about 4000 Spanish words that are of Arabic origin. You'll find a list of some of the words here: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:Arabic_influence_on_Spanish
  11. English is spoken widely because of British colonization. The only way for Chinese to take English's place as the most spoken language in the world would be because China has a become an economic superpower . People who want to sell anything in China may need to learn Chinese.
  12. Apple Doesn't fall far from the tree — people invariably end up growing up to be just like their parents. Not give a fig — to be less than concerned about something. Like Two peas in a Pod — used when two things are so similar to each other it could be hard to tell one from the other. Small potatoes — something that is not that significant.
  13. How easy a language will be to learn depends on what your native tongue is. Native English speakers for example won't find German that hard to know because they [English and German] have the same roots. Same applies to other language families. According to an article I read a while back, English, Spanish. French, Chinese and Italian are the most studied languages in the world but in the U.S Spanish takes the #1 spot.
  14. The ancient language I would like to learn is probably Akkadian. It's one of the earliest Semitic languages so I suppose if you know it, learning other Semitic languages might be easier. It's just an assumption I'm making but I'm a history buff so there's much I could learn about Mesopotamia if I could read the language the spoke back then.
  15. When learning a language should you make speaking that language with a genuine accent one of your primary objectives? It's relatively easy to pick up an accent if you are living amongst people who speak only the language you are learning but can be a lot harder if you aren't. What do you think? Is a "foreign accent" fine as long you can fluently speak the language?
  16. There are a number of authors who I'd say are my favorites. That's because I have no favorite genres. A few of my favorites: Humor: P.G Wodehose, Robert E. Howard Horror: Stephen King, Sheridan Le Fanu Others: Erle Stanley Gardner, Willard Price, Lewis Caroll and Enid Blyton. To be honest I hardly ever read books that were written after 2002 so I don't know too many contemporary authors.
  17. I prefer to use "they" when referring to either men or women, boys or girls. Way I look at is "they" is more like a reference to people in general. They can be either male or female. Another gender neutral pronoun which can be used in place of "they" is s/he.
  18. Whether you need a teacher or not, I believe should also depend on why you are learning the language. Someone who spends a lot of time with children (who speak a language s/he wants to learn) for example. can learn the language from them. S/he'll after a while, be able to speak it well and use it in everyday verbal communication but if the language's script is different . . .that's when they'll need a teacher. For most people however, since it might be nigh impossible to learn any language entirely from native speakers (who might be you neighbors or workmates) I suppose that's another reason why we'll all need language teachers. It's the only way to learn syntax, pronunciation, etc.
  19. I lived abroad for a number of years and what I noticed was that regardless of one's IQ, the people who learned new languages are those who had an interest in learning the local language. If you had little interest in a language then you wouldn't learn it as fast as someone who was actively seeking to learn more from the native speakers of the language. That I believe is what does make a difference. p.s If kids can learn any language pretty fast, then anyone can learn any language whether they are intelligent or not. Writing however would be a whole different beast.
  20. In the age of digital books is it even necessary to take a dictionary with you everywhere you go? The purpose for having a dictionary with you is looking up news words as and when you come across them. Since dictionaries can be bulky wouldn't a digital version of your preferred dictionary work just as well as a physical one? Or do you think you are more likely to use the latter more often because it's weight at all times reminds you why you have it with you in the first place?
  21. Slang isn't used only by the illiterate. Almost everyone in certain age groups uses slang or at some point in their lives used slang and since it's usage continues even older people may be forced to learn some new words so they'll know what younger people are saying. Slang originally was created by and used mostly by criminals and other unsavory characters so no one could understand what they said. Call it a secret language of sorts which didn't call for the creation of an entirely new language.
  22. I've also read that theory about the plays being written by nobleman who wanted to keep his identity secret because the political reform he sought could probably land him in hot soup. Since we may never know whether the Shakespeare the actor actually was the Playwright we could just make the assumption that he was.
  23. I've heard it said that if you want to remember something you have to write it down. That means that if you regularly do some writing in the language you are learning, you'll remember the words better than someone who doesn't. The more you do it, the better you'll get to be. As for reading, well . . . it's one way to see how those who know the language better use it and you unconsciously soak it up too.
  24. Any time I'm learning a new language I often put in a lot of time into it. About six hours each day or more. The first hour would be for the language lesson. Second hour will be used to learn new words. Third hour will be for reading some text aloud and the rest I'll watch some videos. It's quite an intense schedule but I always give it my all. If I had more free time, I'd probably allocate even more time to learning in order to speed up the language acquisition (process).
  25. I believe that there was a time everyone in the world spoke one language and since history often does repeat itself, eventually again, everyone in the world will be speaking one language. I don't believe though that it will be English. I believe that "Textese" will be the new global language. Would it be better if we all spoke just one language? To be honest I don't think so.
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