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babelle's Achievements


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  1. We can't learn a new language unless we find time to learn and practice that language. My day schedule is almost always full so I have to devote at least an hour in the evening. I also use the travel time to and from work to listen to the lessons in audio files. It's true that it will be a great help if you can find a learning buddy. In my case, my son is my learning buddy. He's learning along with me and I'm pressured to study in advance so I can answer his questions (and he just loves to fire questions).
  2. Mandarin is the most widely spoken language in the world but that is based on the number of people who speak it as a native language. English is the current lingua franca of the world and I don't think that would change in the coming decades. The ability to communicate well in English is a must if you want to open more career and business opportunities.
  3. I've never carried a dictionary around before the digital age and even more so now that there are a lot of good dictionary apps that you can use to learn pronunciation, too. Ever noticed how writing styles have also evolved and internet bloggers are using simpler words and shorter paragraphs in their blogs/articles to cater to internet readers? I hardly use the digital apps which are conveniently installed in my tablet/smartphone so I don't think I'd like to bring a dictionary, even pocket ones.
  4. The only way for you to sustain what you have learned is to use it on a daily basis and to continue to enrich your knowledge of the language. Basically, you have to live the language and you have to deliberately seek ways to use it. If you can't find a learning buddy or a native speaker to converse with, you can use the internet to join forums in your chosen language. You can also read short stories and books or listen to speeches in that language.
  5. Programming languages are called languages because humans use them to communicate with machines or computers. Like human languages, programming languages have syntax that governs how a program or statement should be written. Violation of syntax leads to confusion and error in both cases.
  6. Personally, I have not tried watching children's show for the purpose of learning a language because I find it really slow for my age given that there are many other options for learning. However, that style works for children and my little son got interested to learn Spanish because he used to watch Dora the Explorer.
  7. I've actually started learning Classical Latin, though not for fun. It was for a project that required me to collate Latin conversational phrases. I enjoyed the task and I started to study on my own. I was amazed at the many resources on the internet about Latin, and learning it is feasible so if there's an ancient language I'd like to be fluent at, this would be it.
  8. Learning the native accent is not as important as learning grammar and pronunciation, at least for most languages. Unless you're applying for a job that requires you to have a certain accent, it's better to focus on learning the fundamentals of the language than learning the accent at the same time. As it is, a lot of students are already complaining about complex grammar rules.
  9. Ahahaha, @Mary84 beat me to it but my favorite Spanish words are also Estrella (star) and sangre. These words are very special to me since Estrella is my mom's name and sangre is blood which could be romanticized as blood ties. My mother has Spanish-Chinese blood and she was a beautiful and regal lady unlike me LOL. I'll settle for les pierreries instead, which means the jewels, because I've come to associate the word with what my maternal grandmother has left me as my 'inheritance' - a box of pearls, stones, and jewels. They are inexpensive pieces, but they are priceless because my grandmother treasured them.
  10. That would actually differ from school to school and teacher to teacher so I can't speak for the others. My son attended a private preschool and the first sentences he 'learned' were about self-introductions and those were in English, not in the local language. The school emphasized pronunciation, reading, writing, shapes, vocabulary-building, and early math skills and these were again all in English. They also don't teach a particular sentence. Today's parents are under pressure to teach their children basic skills even before they enter school so I've taught my child some nursery rhymes early on.
  11. The definite article 'the' is also one of the challenges of learning German. It has different forms in the four cases - nominative, accusative, genitive, and dative case and each case has different forms for the singular masculine, feminine, neuter, and plural. If word order is not much of a problem in German, it's because you can easily identify who's doing what to whom because of the the cases and the articles associated with each case.
  12. I'll consider myself fluent in another language if I can converse confidently with a native speaker of that language in all areas of discussion that I would also be confident to talk about in my own native language. I am more or less fluent in English but I can only be confidently sure about it if I can understand without googling the idioms that native speakers use in their daily speech. Besides the accent, I believe that it's the use of idioms that separate a second language speaker from a native speaker.
  13. Each language has a unique way of naming numbers. If you can crack it, you will not have to memorize each number from 1 to 99 and beyond. In English, for instance, you only need to learn 1 to 19 and the tens digits starting from twenty if you want to learn to count up to a hundred. That is just 28 numbers but it will give you the power to count up to 100.
  14. It's a difficult question but this all boils down to your motivation or what you want to accomplish with language learning. Opportunity-wise, learning Arabic might open up a whole new horizon for you as there probably would be less English speakers who can speak Arabic and that could put you in a unique, favorable position. Arabic is not easy, of course. When you learn a language that doesn't use the Latin alphabet, that makes it doubly difficult. But that shouldn't discourage you if your mind is fixed on your goal. Just look at the pot at the end of the rainbow and if that is really worth it, then go for it.
  15. That is the effect of globalization. I suppose countries with weaker economies will tend to focus on strengthening their citizen's proficiency in learning international languages such as English. In my country, English is taught alongside our native language because we need to be globally competitive in order to sustain our economy. A language need not die if the country's leaders only know how to value their nation's heritage and self-identity.
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