June 23rd, 2009


Hello everyone!
I'm trying to learn norwegian, and unfortunately there are not many learning resources online. I would love anyones help with learning! Or if you know of any good CD's or online resources that would be greatly appreciated too!

Thank you to everyone in advance! :)
huh? | shortandcranky

English oddities

I'm spending some time today working up a list of oddities about English, those things that mean that a language easy to approximate is hard to master for the new speaker (well, actually, some of them make it pretty hard on native speakers too!). The object of this exercise is to provide myself with blogging topics for my translation business' website - I'm trying to make a little pile of topics, so I've got some backup for those periods where I can't think of something.

So, things like, for instance, apposite nouns. English is odd in this, in that few of the world's more widely-used languages use this grammatical strategy: put two nouns beside each other, and one of them assumes the function of an adjective. "Peach pie", "road rage", "sand pit", and so on. And it can be maddening for new speakers of English, because there can be different meanings expressed by the ordering of these nouns. For instance, a "school night" is a very different thing from a "night school". Learning the nuances of various combinations of apposite nouns can be a real minefield.

What other aspects of English are difficult for non-native speakers? I don't necessarily need lengthy examples (being a native speaker myself), but I'd be interested in hearing from those who have learned English as a second or foreign language: what concepts did you find most difficult to master? Verb-particle constructs (e.g., "to put up with")? Orthography? Expressions of time? Plurals? Ablaut in irregular verbs (sing, sang, sung)?

As examples of such difficulties, consider Russian verbs of motion, or the Finnish noun declensions, or the honorifics of Korean and Japanese. I'm looking for the factors that mark the differences between the casual learner and the expert.
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<3 nami

Looking for some inspiration?

Hi Linguaphiles!

I'm working on a TESOL master's degree, and I'm having trouble coming up with a good topic for my thesis.  My second language is Japanese, so I want to involve that in some way, and I'm trying to avoid using human subjects because the human subjects review committee at my school takes forever to approve things. 

I'm just wondering if any of you have any ideas...things you've thought "it would be neat if someone looked into that" or something.  Good places to look for inspiration would be great, too!  Feel free to post any random ideas, as in a brainstorming exercise.  I'm just looking for something to spark new ideas!

I also wanted to add that I've been watching this community for a few months now, and I have really enjoyed reading about all the topics that come up here.  This is my first post, though I've commented here and there.  Thanks for all the interesting posts and discussions!

Attention: etymologists and logophiles!

"Bussing" or "Busing", a transitive verb meaning to transport by bus. In this application it refers to school children being transported for an event. What is the correct form of this word and why?

I know how I feel, but I would like to hear how -you- feel.

I am in the midst of an argument about how to spell this word in promotional materials.

*Edit: I should add that I am in the USA.(and frequently have to try not to type "colour" or "favourite"... bleh)
gen || friends

learning solo.

Since I'm currently only partially employed and will probably attempt to find a dangerous hobby if I don't challenge myself with something soon, I'm trying to teach myself some languages. I'm fluent in English and conversational to fluent in German, I've been attempting to teach myself Welsh for quite a while (by use of the BBC's Catchphrase programme and Teach Yourself Living Welsh by TJ Rhys Jones) and know bits and pieces of Latin. I'm interested in bettering all of those, as well as learning Old English/Anglo-Saxon, at least the beginnings of Arabic, and possibly some Hungarian.

...thanks for mentioning it, yes, I am aware I'm possibly waaay overambitious and also, perhaps, completely nutters. Now that we've got that out of the way, let's move on to learning tips and tricks.

My problem mainly is that I don't have anyone to really practise with, since I don't have frequent contact with people interested in languages, including their own; this means that the correcting and evaluating influence of someone else is not helping me along, and I do know how important that is. In the lack of that, what do you suggest for learning? What materials or habits? Most of all, in the eight dull hours a day I spend filing medical charts, what mental language-building exercises can I try to keep my mind active and learning in this slow time so I don't start shrieking that the walls are closing in?

Or rate the possible efficacy of ideas I've come up with on my own-

-listening to BBC Radio Cymru
-finding a Welsh copy of the Mabinogion to read
-reading side-by-side Latin/English versions of the classics
-reading Old English texts in the original, such as Beowulf (I'm in the middle of reading Canturbury Tales to point my mind that direction)

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