August 26th, 2008

spanish questions.

there are a few things i've been slightly confused on; any help would be greatly appreciated!

1. in order to say i've just finished something, do i use the present form of the verb 'acabar' and then the infinitive? so 'yo acabo de comer' is i've just finished eating?

2. what is the difference between 'tener ganas de' and 'me gusta, me gustaria' and 'querar' don't they all mean: i want or i desire, have desire?

3. if i want to say 'we'll see each other later' can i say 'nos podemos vernos' or is it just podemos vernos?

4. does 'he estado' roughly translate to 'have been'?

5. what is the difference between 'hacer falta' and 'me hacia mucha falta' is the latter just more intense/expressing more urgency?

6. what does 'me he dado cuenta' mean?

muchas gracias queridos :)

Spanish subjunctivo ?

Does the construction of "si es que ..." take the subjunctive in the verb?

1. Si es que te guste, Si es que me llames
2. Si es que te gusta, Si es que me llamas

Which and why?

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Multilingual children

Dear linguaphiles,

Does anyone have any experience in raising multilingual children? Could you share your experience?

I have a child, a boy, he's 1 year old now. My wife speaks only Ukrainian to him and I speak Russian and English (one week I speak only Russian, next week - only English, and so on).

The main problem is that I'm not a native English speaker and my English knowledge is only theoretical. I've never lived in any English-speaking country. Moreover, I've never been to any English-speaking country, though I feel pretty confident speaking and writing in English. How do you think - is it all right to teach my son English as "native" under such circumstances?

I'm also a bilingual child, my father always spoke Ukrainian to me and my mother always spoke Russian. Now I try to raise a trilingual child, I'm not sure whether it could be successful.

I find this site very helpful:

I'd appreciate your links, opinions. I'd be grateful for sharing your experience if any.
Imai Kira - Twinkle Mermaid

Italian Programs for Learners - A Question

Thanks to everyone who responded to my last post! My grandmother is very excited to start relearning Italian. I am also going to try and learn it with her.

Now I have another question: What programs are good for "teaching yourself" a language, in this case, Italian?

There are Italian classes at the community college in our town, but neither my grandmother nor I have time for a formal class yet. I was thinking of getting a Rosetta Stone for us to learn Italian but I've heard mixed reviews about it. I have also used Living Language for French and Japanese and I think it is beneficial, but more geared for intermediate to advanced learners.

Are there any audio programs, books, activities or any other methods to learn Italian by oneself? Any information is appreciated!

Thank you!
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Birthday greetings in Russian

Today is my friend's birthday. She's a fellow language geek, and I want to sign her card in in all the languages we cumulatively speak. The only one I'm missing is Russian (I'm obviousy not the Russian speaker, heh), but I obviously don't want to ask her, because that'd be pretty obvious. I'm sure a lot of you out can help, so it'd be much appreciated. Spasiba!
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Information and/or Advice on Bilingual Toddlers?

I'm a little worried about my niece who turned two a couple of months ago. She's being raised with English and Polish as her two "first" languages. My main concern is that the way I understand it, bilingual kids are not supposed to have trouble keeping the two languages separate. Currently, my niece still only says individual words at a time, but she can count a little bit and knows some letters of the alphabet. I'm concerned that when she counts or spells things out, she mixes numbers (or letters) from both languages. For instance, she'll say one number in English and the next one in Polish. And sometimes she'll say something that sounds kind of intermediate.

My sister, the niece's mother, is mostly concerned about the child's delay in producing speech in either language. The kid definitely understands pretty much everything that is said to her in Polish or in English, but she still only speaks in single words. I'm mostly concerned about the apparent mixing of languages.

Please, tell me that I'm over-reacting and, please, also give me some way to assuage my sister's fears. There isn't as much advice on raising multilingual kids out on the Internet as I would've expected.

P.S. My niece hears English all day at daycare (~3-4 days a week) as well as on television (including stuff like Sesame Street; hence, the counting and alphabet). Her parents speak to her in Polish. (And, yes, my sister's been teaching her to count and read/spell some words in Polish.)

EDIT: Thank you, everyone! I feel much better now.