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About Katerwaul

  • Rank
    Language Newbie


  • Currently studying
    Interest in studying Spanish, Greek, Japanese, and Kreyòl
  • Native tongue
  • Fluent in
  1. I don't know if you're still looking for opinions, but I also think that's a great idea! I'd actually be incredibly interested in a website like that myself. I don't know if you've decided to do it, or decided against it, but if you do, are going to check back in here and link us to your site?
  2. This seems like it could actually be really helpful... Sometimes I have trouble just taking courses on a language and trying to memorize vocabulary, and I've noticed I have a much easier time learning other things when I'm being more "hands on." Maybe just diving in and doing something "useful" while I'm learning, immersing myself in a book and keeping at it until I understand it, would be more useful. Trellum, I really like your idea of using a children's book; they're shorter, have more basic words and grammar and sentence structure, and someone could always do a bunch of children's books instead of one novel and then work their way up in difficulty. I might have to give this a try!
  3. Does anyone here know of any resources for learning either Haitian or Louisiana Creole? The two languages are actually quite different, but I'm not sure if there will be sources readily available for learning Haitian Creole, and I am interested in Louisiana Creole, so either would be fine. If possible, I'd much prefer online resources. I have a Linux-based system and can't download many computer programs. Books are also okay, if you can vouch for them; I'm worried about spending too much money (when I don't actually have much money) on a language learning book that turns out to not be very good. Also, I've been wondering: Might it be a good idea, if I'm not able to find resources for Kreyòl immediately, to concentrate on learning French instead? Both Haitian Creole and Louisiana Creole are French-based creole languages, and they actually have some notable similarities and a lot of words that are just slightly different to the French ones. What do you guys think - would that be a legitimate strategy for learning a creole language?
  4. Here are some of my favorites: Q. How many ears does Captain Kirk have? A. Three. The left ear, the right ear, and the final front ear. Q. Why did the cowboy buy a dachshund? A. Because he wanted to get a long little doggie. Q. Which American president is least guilty? A. Lincoln. He's in a cent. Q. What do you call an apology written in dots and dashes? A. Remorse code. Q. What are the strongest days of the week? A. Saturday and Sunday. The rest are weekdays. Q. What rock group consists solely of four men who don't sing? A. Mount Rushmore. A man walks into the zoo. The only animal in the entire zoo is a dog. It's a shih tzu. A programmer is going out for a stroll one evening. His wife asks him to swing by the store and pick up a gallon of milk, and if they had eggs, to get a dozen. He returned with twelve gallons of milk and said “They had eggs.” And finally... There’s a summer camp for comedians, and just like all summer camps, there’s a cafeteria. One day, three of the campgoers are in the cafeteria. The lunch lady asks them what they're in the cafeteria for. The first replies, “I'm here for the tacos!” The second replies, “I'm here for the chili dogs!” And the third replies, “I'm just here for the punch line.”
  5. I've actually been tempted to go by the name August more than once, and I did go by Thrift and Masque online for a while. I think that if I were to choose a noun name now, it'd be something like Rook, Peregrine, or Kestrel - I really love bird names - or Holiday, which I just find a beautiful word and think rolls right off the tongue.
  6. Actually, that's not exactly wrong, it's just dialect! It's a common mistake; AAVE, or African American Vernacular English, is usually mistaken for bad grammar or the user "just not speaking English very well," even by native English speakers who were born and raised in the U.S. But it really is its own dialect, complete with its own internal and consistent rules about how to use the language. It's not really any different from hearing Southerners say "ain't" or "y'all," or someone say "make like" when they mean "act like," or put "a-" before a verb. It's definitely good to know that it's a dialect and therefore if you're trying to learn to speak what's thought of as "proper" English, you should be using different grammar, but it's not just wrong grammar. (I'm mostly responding to you because I thought you might find it neat to know this stuff. I don't mean it as a lecture, I just find dialects really interesting!)
  7. I love this phenomenon, and I actually find it very useful! I can usually keep track of what's going on in a movie or TV show even if I don't understand the language, and even get the gist of a line of dialogue just given the context and the way it's delivered, the body language and reactions of people around the speaker and what the camera's showing, etc. But it gets even better when it's in a language that I'm in the early stages of learning, because then I find myself noticing specific words and getting excited about them. It's surprisingly fun to be watching a movie or show and suddenly hear a word you recognize, I always have this... "whoa, hey! I know that word! I know what they just said!" reaction. And I think that consuming a lot of media in the language that you're learning is a good way of "immersing" yourself in that language and helping your studies, so it's not just enjoyable, it's beneficial, too!
  8. Well, English is my native language, but I still have to say I absolutely would. It's not just that I'd want my children to know a specific language, but there are so many studies showing that there are strong benefits to children learning a second language at a young age, that it improves the way their brains work and even makes learning new languages much, much easier for them later in life. I feel like they'd just benefit so much from it that I couldn't bring myself to deny them the chance!
  9. Just a single language user, unfortunately, though I'm working to change that. Well, I assume we all are; that's why we're here, right? Honestly, I agree with prettylittleliar; if and when I have a kid, I think I'm going to make sure they have the resources to learn a second language incredibly early on, because there are so many benefits to children learning second languages, and to being bilingual (or multilingual) when one is an adult. I wish I'd had that opportunity, and I wouldn't want to deny it to my child.
  10. There are two different questions being asked here, and I think they are tied together, but not fully. "Which language should I learn?" is only partially impacted by "What is the easiest one?" Easy, too, is a difficult label to slap on a language, and just because one language is easier for one person doesn't mean that a different one won't be easier for someone else. If I was deciding what language to learn, I'd ask myself the following questions: 1. What language(s) and culture(s) do you love? I agree with everyone else saying that love is a big part of what will make a language both "easier" and more worthwhile to a new learner. If you're interested, you're going to want to learn, you're going to have an easier time motivating yourself, and you're likely to seek out more opportunities to use the language and keep those particular muscles stretched. And hold that thought, because that relates to question #3. But first... 2. What language(s) are you going to need soon? What would most benefit you? Obviously, if you find yourself about to move to a new country, and they speak a different language, it would benefit you to learn that language. But sometimes a language isn't vital, but would still be incredibly useful. If you live in an area with a lot of Spanish speakers, it might be easier to get a job if you also speak Spanish, or the pay rate at a particular job might be more, so learning Spanish could actively benefit you even if it's not, strictly-speaking, necessary. If you're a teacher in an area with a fair number of Russian-speaking families, you might want to learn Russian. Do you have family that lives in France that you don't actually have to visit, but might want to someday? That's a reason to at least consider learning French. Most sources say that if you want to practice Vodou, you need to show respect to the lwa by speaking Kreyòl to them, not English, so learning Kreyòl would have religious purposes. And so on. 3. What language(s) are you going to have a lot of opportunities to use? If you need or would benefit from a language, as above, you're probably going to have a lot of opportunities to use it. But sometimes you don't really need a specific language and there are none that would really benefit you, or maybe there are a few that might be a good idea to learn but you just have absolutely no interest in them. All right. Sometimes, if you love a language or a culture, you're still going to have a lot of opportunities to use it, because you'll seek those opportunities out. Do you have friends who are bilingual whose languages interest you? Would you eventually like to live in a specific country (and is this more than a pipe dream)? Do you know of a guaranteed way you can get practice in? Do you watch a lot of Brazilian soap operas, or French films, or K-dramas, or anime? 4. (Optional) What language(s) would be "easiest" in that they are closest to your own? There is something behind the idea that similar languages are easier for learners to wrap their brains around. Maybe you don't care about this step, and that's perfectly valid. But some people are uncertain about their ability to motivate themselves through learning a language with, say, a completely different writing system, or would feel more comfortable starting out learning a Romance language if their native language is English (or another Romance language), due to the similarities - kind of like dipping one's toes in the pool. Maybe you're not sure you could handle learning Chinese right off the bat, or maybe it's a hard choice between Russian or Italian if you're a native English speaker and you decide that Russian might just be a more difficult to motivate yourself through, just different enough that it would get too frustrating. That's perfectly valid. Now, for example, I absolutely love Japanese, German, and Kreyòl. But I live in Florida, and there are a lot of benefits to knowing Spanish around here; some jobs hire looking for that specifically, and a place I used to work paid at least fifty cents extra to employees who could speak both Spanish and English. Kreyòl is less immediately important to me because I don't live near a Vodou community, but I have a slightly more mild interest in Greece and Greek and I'm a practicing Hellenist, so learning Greek might be interesting and even beneficial. And finally, I would have the easiest time stretching my language muscles when it comes to Spanish and Japanese, since there is such a large Spanish-speaking community where I live and I watch and listen to a lot of things that are in Japanese; Greek is a solid third prospect, because while I'd be using it privately, I'd still be using it consistently. And if I'm unsure about completely different writing systems, Spanish is my safest bet by far, just to ease myself into language learning. Because of going through all those questions, I've learned that while I love German and Kreyòl, it might not be reasonable to expect to learn them right now, or at least not without difficulty, and they wouldn't be useful to me at all right now; I've also realized that Spanish might be the most useful language for me to learn, even if it's not one of my favorites. At that point, I'd just have to weigh my own personal options and preferences. Do I prioritize usefulness, or do I prioritize love? Do I brace myself and decide I'm going to give a language with a totally alternate writing system a try, or do I feel that I'd be too confused by it and might not be able to keep myself from giving up? If I do decide to give Japanese or Greek a try, do I prioritize something that would let me understand more media, or something that might be useful for my religion, neither of which are vital? I hope using these questions helps somebody else out there out. Good luck with making your decisions, and good luck with learning the language you decide!
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