April 8th, 2010


What does it mean to be Fluent?

This a question that someone posed on another language forum a while back, and it intrigued me.

What does it mean to be fluent in another language?

Or, what does it mean to be completely bilingual/trilingual/etc...?

I'm really curious to see peoples' opinions and answers on this (^^)

number of chinese characters to know / learn

hi all,

not sure if there's a consensus or agreed number for this...but to be able to read most signs, papers, books, newspapers etc in Chinese (preferably traditional, as I'm in Taiwan)

what is the least number of Chinese characters I should be expected to know and commit to memory?

I've heard around 2000-3000...is this correct to assume, or is there more/less that I can get away with knowing?

Perhaps the 2000 is just for the Japanese learners, and that applies to the number of Kanji they are expected to know...

In any case, I'd like to get a more tangible, definite estimate of how many characters I ought to know!

I think also, someone had posted a list online awhile back about the most frequent or important characters to know...If anyone wouldn't mind posting that link again, that would be great =) thanks!

French phrase English-translation?

I was translating some things from a French wikipedia page, and I came across a phrase that I wasn't really certain of the meaning...

"au caractère effacée"

Literally, it means something similar to "of an erased character", but that doesn't make sense...

I'm thinking it means like, an unimportant, or small/not-mentioned-a lot character?

The sentence complete: "Douce, calme et au caractère effacée, elle fait tout pour ressembler et plaire à son grand frère."

Thanks in advance!
  • joho07

Language and Alzheimer's disease

I was wondering if anyone knows, or if there is any information about speakers of various languages who have the Alzheimer's disease. I mean, how the disease affects the possibility of communicating in non-native languages that one has learned later on in life. Is there any information or studies regarding this? It would be interesting to me to find out if Alzheimer patients are able to communicate in all the languages that they once knew fluently or if the communication is solely reduced to the language that one learned as a mother-tounge.

Thanks for any information or thoughts regarding this.

lend me a hand?

Oh, Glory Be, I'm so glad there is a community like this on LJ. I am in need of some assistance for a short story I am writing:

Is there a legal phrase that is similar to "power of attorney" that, when translated literally, includes the word "hand"? As in, the authority to sign on someone's behalf, manage their estate, etc. etc.

I was almost certain there was such a phrase but I can't find it. The reason I ask is because I intended for the person who has the authority to sign for someone else to actually be possession of that person's dismembered hand - haha, but the pun only work if the phrase has the word "hand" in it.

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Raising Bilingual Children

This is just a question that I've been wondering about, as I've always felt kind of deprived since I was unable to learn a second language from infance where I live. So I was curious, for those who have raised bilingual/trilingual, etc... children, or who have studied on the matter, what do you believe is the best way to raise bi/trilingual children, as far as techniques, exposure, etc...

Thanks in advance!! (^^)

English Idiom...thing?

So, I won't even go into how much I fail at my own language, because I don't even know my own idioms.

Could someone explain the phrase "took on the trappings" to me? I came across it earlier tonight having no idea in the world what it meant, and my mom gave me an explanation, but I'm sort of confused, since I've never heard it used before. Is it a really common idiom? ;3;

So yeah, my English fail is no question anymore. |D Thanks in advance!
Ray and Lazarus

fluent in 2 or more dialects?

Hello language nerds ;]
I'm pretty comfortable with "standard" Japanese, and I'm thinking about returning to Japan to teach English, which means I'd be there for at least a year. Depending on where I go, of course, could mean learning a new dialect, which sounds like fun.

So now I'm curious - how many of you know 2 dialects of a language? Whether you learned another dialect of your native language, or learned 2 of a foreign one, I'm kind of interested in how your experiences. Why did you decide to do it, was it by accident, was it difficult, do you still confuse them sometimes, do you get to use both regularly? etc.

Hope to hear some stories! =)
  • djonma

Best Books...

I'm looking for good books for learning certain languages.

I have the Genki set, for Japanese, and I love the way it's done.
From what I've read around, Genki is one of the best books for learning Japanese.

So, what would be the best books / courses (to include audio) for the following languages:

Old and Modern Tibetan
Modern Greek

I can't go to language classes or get out and chat to people in the languages easily.
I can email my Dad and chat to him on the phone, and he speaks Thai fluently.
I can chat to a Norwegian friend on the net.
My parents live in Greece, but don't actually speak too much Greek.

Tibetan... well most of my Tibetan is in my prayers and the Sutras... so that's pretty archaic.

Mandarin, my Dad speaks a little, but that's it.

I can't get out of the house much to find people who speak these languages locally either.

I'm learning Japanese from Genki, and I really want to learn some Thai quickly so I can email my Dad in Thai, it would really please him.
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