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Linguaholic

Online or offline?


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In my opinion, it's a matter of timing. If I have a good Internet connection, I will look for youtube videos, resources, everything that allows me to learn this new language. I have been learning some French through this method and it works wonders. On the other hand, I also own a book for those times when I'm not home and I want to study. It's a matter of being able to learn in whatever way you want, the way you feel comfortable.

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I personally love the online approach, I learnt English online when I was 15-16 years old.  I did it all on my own online, if it wasn't for the internet I am sure i'd not be speaking English right now.   I have no idea how that happened, I wasn't even planing to learn English, I just had a genuine desire to communicate with English speakers and be able to understand what I read online.  I never got too far with languages offline, I wanted to learn German when I was younger (11 or 12), but didn't despite I had the books to do so.  Mostly because learning things offline is not as immersing as learning things online ;)  I love  all the resources we have online!  Are you using Memrise very often?

 

 Also, since you are a native dutch speaker... can you tell me what does the word 'smeer'' exactly means?  Google Translates doesn't help that much.  What about ''laten prikken''?   I really appreciate the help!  Some dutch words are so confusing! o_O 

I actually started using Memrise since Monday again.
I used it many months earlier, but the vocab I was learning was so hard that I gave up.
Now I'm learning grammar on Memrise instead, and now I like it much better that way.

"Smeer" can have different meanings.
The verb "smeren" means "to spread". Just think like spreading Nutella over your sandwich.
The noun "smeer" is more like the yellow things here (warning: don't watch if you just ate): 
http://www.kno.nl/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Oor-uitspuiten-400x349.png

"Laten prikken" literally means "to let them sting you" (verb), might be a (medical) injection or a bee sting, but seeing you used "laten" (to let (it happen)), I doubt it's the bee sting one.

Edit:
"Smeer" can also be used as a slang word: "SMEER JE WEG", which means "GET THE FUCK AWAY".
But you shouldn't take too much attention on that one. :P

Edited by Blaveloper
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Of course the internet helps you with a lot of coursebooks and videos and it is easier for people who can't access language learning things any other way. But don't forget about the good old on "throwing myself into a situation where i can't speak my native language and rapidly had to learn another" situation. Once again of course there are two sides but just stepping out my comfort zone and going to the chinese quarter three times a week (if you want to learn chinese) can also help!

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I actually started using Memrise since Monday again.I used it many months earlier, but the vocab I was learning was so hard that I gave up.
Now I'm learning grammar on Memrise instead, and now I like it much better that way.

"Smeer" can have different meanings.
The verb "smeren" means "to spread". Just think like spreading Nutella over your sandwich.
The noun "smeer" is more like the yellow things here (warning: don't watch if you just ate): 
http://www.kno.nl/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Oor-uitspuiten-400x349.png

"Laten prikken" literally means "to let them sting you" (verb), might be a (medical) injection or a bee sting, but seeing you used "laten" (to let (it happen)), I doubt it's the bee sting one.

Edit:
"Smeer" can also be used as a slang word: "SMEER JE WEG", which means "GET THE FUCK AWAY".
But you shouldn't take too much attention on that one. :P

Oh I see, I was a bit confused about ''smeer'' because my fiance's explanation wasn't as satisfactory as yours (his English is not so good, sadly).  Thanks, the laten prikken thing I saw it in my course was something medical, something about getting blood drawn, but I can't help to think in English :(   Oh by the way, the pharse with ''smeer'' was like this: smeer zalf op je gezicht''. It sounded so odd to me! Is that normal dutch?    Thanks a lot for the help ^_^  You clarified a lot things, and ugh, I had no idea smeer could also mean that ear wax, lol. Context! I have noticed how important context is in dutch :o :smile:

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Oh by the way, the pharse with ''smeer'' was like this: smeer zalf op je gezicht''. It sounded so odd to me! Is that normal dutch?

Yes it is.

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Both! The online aspect really helps you build the initial confidence to go in and immerse yourself in the new language. Sometimes learning vocabulary and grammar (and mastery of the two of course) is best done on your own. The offline aspect involves a more social experience of learning which in real life will be very beneficial. Obviously, to retain all that knowledge you will have to keep using the language and communicating with others. The two just go hand in hand.

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I would say language classes are the best way to learn a new language. Sometimes it might not be possible to attend these classes due to work or studding. In a class room you are surrounded by other people that have the same objective. It can be a great advantage because very often one of your colleagues might have a question that you might not have thought of making and have someone there that can answer it immediately . If on the other hand you had to learn the language online, you won't have this asset.

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Lingua Franca, there is a language school with the very same name in my city ;)   I think language classes are definitely not for everyone, they were never my thing, but then again learning online is not for everyone either. I think everyone is different, and we must all find what works best for us specially when it comes to learning languages.

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I prefer to learn offline so I can learn while in bed or in a park. I love to learn outdoors or when I am on the subway. I utilize my downtime learning new languages. If I have to be on the computer I get distracted too easily.

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Lingua Franca, there is a language school with the very same name in my city ;)

Then I assume you live in Leiden.

1. I prefer to learn offline so I can learn while in bed or in a park. I love to learn outdoors or when I am on the subway. I utilize my downtime learning new languages.
2. If I have to be on the computer I get distracted too easily.

I have subdivided your quote into points, so it'll make my response clearer:

1. I also learn most outdoors, but on my mobile phone. Both online and offline apps work well and I can even learn in a standing position (like when I stand in a queue in a supermarket for example), which is not possible if you have a book, pen and paper.
2. This is what I even learnt on one of my formal universities: put Skype to "busy", so nobody can interrupt you. Make a separate Google Chrome user just for learning, so you won't sneakily go to social media in the mean time. Email clients OFF! etc.

I don't have any social media apps installed on any device, but I still get lots of emails on my phone.
In Android 5.0, it was a matter of turning off notifications using the volume buttons.
But in Android 6.0, they removed that feature for some vague reason, it really was very beneficial back on 5.0.

I'm not trying to make you switch, I only wanted to show you the available options.

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All of the above.  Taking any opportunity to learn can help greatly.  Personally, it doesn't matter if it's online or offline, I just need someone to correct any language mistakes I have.  I can mostly learn on my own, but it is very helpful to have someone I can trust answer any questions I have and check my work.

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I'm moving to the Netherlands in 3-4 months, are you from Leiden?

No, Breda.
Breda is located really nicely:
- It's a big city.
- It's close to Rotterdam (second biggest Dutch city) at north.
- It's close to Antwerp (second biggest Belgian city) at south,
- Access to other big cities at east.
- Access to a holiday province at west.

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No, Breda.
Breda is located really nicely:
- It's a big city.
- It's close to Rotterdam (second biggest Dutch city) at north.
- It's close to Antwerp (second biggest Belgian city) at south,
- Access to other big cities at east.
- Access to a holiday province at west.

That is quite nice, do you go to Antwerp often?  Everything seems so close in the Netherlands, my fiance took me by car to Luxembourg (he said it was just a normal holiday) but it turned out to be the place where he asked me to marry him just last year :)   I must for me it's so odd to feel like I can vacation anywhere in Europe, because everything seems to be so close D: 

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That is quite nice, do you go to Antwerp often?  Everything seems so close in the Netherlands, my fiance took me by car to Luxembourg (he said it was just a normal holiday) but it turned out to be the place where he asked me to marry him just last year :)   I must for me it's so odd to feel like I can vacation anywhere in Europe, because everything seems to be so close D: 

I used to visit Antwerp quite often, but between 2011 and 2012 I only drove through Antwerp by bus, since I lived in a different province and required me to go through Belgium in order to go to school. :P

Reading it, I see you're from Latin America? I thought you were from Spain.
But I remember going from my hometown to Germany by train, which took me about 3 hours to arrive.
Going back was a different story, since the Germans still use paper train tickets, while we use smart cards for all public transportation systems, so I ended up buying wrong tickets 3 times in a row (and being kicked out of their trains 3 times in a row).

But showing them my OV-chipkaart (the smart card I was talking about) did make them look confused, so that was the fun part of the story. :D
But that's because our public transport systems is so much easier: check in before department, check out on arrival. Direction doesn't matter.
While in Germany, it literally took me 40 minutes, 1 foreign student from Africa and 1 German who didn't speak English to figure out how to buy a train ticket at the ticket machine. Ridiculous!

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I used to visit Antwerp quite often, but between 2011 and 2012 I only drove through Antwerp by bus, since I lived in a different province and required me to go through Belgium in order to go to school. :P

Reading it, I see you're from Latin America? I thought you were from Spain.
But I remember going from my hometown to Germany by train, which took me about 3 hours to arrive.
Going back was a different story, since the Germans still use paper train tickets, while we use smart cards for all public transportation systems, so I ended up buying wrong tickets 3 times in a row (and being kicked out of their trains 3 times in a row).

But showing them my OV-chipkaart (the smart card I was talking about) did make them look confused, so that was the fun part of the story. :D
But that's because our public transport systems is so much easier: check in before department, check out on arrival. Direction doesn't matter.
While in Germany, it literally took me 40 minutes, 1 foreign student from Africa and 1 German who didn't speak English to figure out how to buy a train ticket at the ticket machine. Ridiculous!

Yes, I am form Latin america :)  Mexico to be more exact ;)   Born and raised there, but spent a while in Europe (working) and now I am going back.   Have you ever been to Norway?  I love that place and let me tell you I had never seen in my entire life such an efficient public transport system. I was very impressed.  I love that place, wish I felt the same way about the Netherlands, lol.  It's no secret I love Norway :wub:

Isn't it easier to do that by car?    I also have that OV-chipkaart ^_^  I'm so glad I didn't lose it (my fiance would kill me, lol).  But seriously... don't you think the it's so expensive?  I still need to get my driver's licence, so meanwhile I might have to get to places using a bike :'(    I know the Netherlands is tiny, but gosh... it feels so huge without a car D:!!!!  It's desperation!   I'll not lie to you... not excited about this one bit!   First months will be so interesting... I hope I don't break something while learning to ride a bike *blush* 

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I haven't been to Norway, no.
Cars are only easier in smaller towns and villages here.
If you live in a bigger city or need to visit a bigger city, it's better to use public transportation.
Because parking your car in a big city can be a pain and it's very expensive too, let alone to driving in a big city at all.
Especially Amsterdam is a nightmare for car owners, since bicycles clearly rule the traffic there and will never let you drive a metre further.

But don't worry about bicycles or bikes, the Netherlands is a really flat place.
There are no mountains (with an exception being in the province Limburg, but the tallest mountain there is still much smaller than you may be used to in Mexico or Norway).

As for OV-chipkaart being expensive: no.
Especially if you use it in buses and trams, it's a whole lot cheaper.
The costs of travelling by trains pretty much equals the average costs of patrol, but keep in mind that cars here cost much more than just patrol (road tax, KM-tax, etc.).

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