January 24th, 2011


Some questions (Spanish, Indonesian and Japanese)

This is a wonderful community, which I often read, and today I was wondering if anyone could help me with some questions of my own :)

My first question is about Spanish. This year I will be doing a beginning level course and was wondering if there was anything similar online for Spanish, to the German courses on Deutsche Well -- particularly the online interative course, though something like an audio course with written materials would be fine as well. The key point for me, is that I am looking for something that is comprehensive on grammar and structured.

Also, any tips/pitfalls to avoid with beginning Spanish would also be appreciated!

Secondly, I wish to ask about Indonesian, though what I am asking about could also apply to language learning in general. I am slightly apprehensive about my Indonesian studies this year, as last year I was sadly unable to complete and therefore pass -- however I am determined to not fail this year! A large problem for me has been that I am studying via distance (ie. no face-to-face classes), which means only a little phone contact with my teacher, and there are no language groups around in my area either. I guess my question is -- are there any sorts of things I can do to improve/keep up my listening, and most importantly my speaking skills? I have some films in Indonesian, but I am unsure if they would be of any use -- my listening skills are not very good in the first place, unfortunately, and for my studies we are not supposed to use informal language/slang and I worry about forming bad habits.

Ah, I apologise, that was a bit of a ramble! In short: are there ways to practice listening and speaking skills without contact with a teacher/other speakers?

Lastly, I have a sort of similar question about Japanese. Due to some unfortunate circumstances, I will have no access a Japanese class at my level this year. (About end of JLPT3/N4 level, beginning N3) So it will be self study this year! I do not have a problem with this, as I can quite happily study by myself, but I have only ever done this before with a clear guideline/framework, such as a textbook.

I do not know of any textbooks available for this level of Japanese -- it would be about second-year university level Japanese, or post-highschool level. None of the universities here appear to use any textbooks for this level, they provide all their own notes. Is there a textbook suitable that exists?

And, if I may, another question I just thought of. Learning Japanese vocabulary and learning kanji. One of the current things I am doing, is going back through a list of JLPT4/N5 vocabulary and making flash cards of words that I only know in kana, and learning them with kanji. However I am noticing that I am remembering just how the kanji look to recall the word. This seems almost... counterproductive, to only learn the kanji in one context/one reading.

I feel like I am doing it wrong -- is it perhaps better to learn the kanji first, with it's readings and meanings, and then some relevant words?

  • Current Mood
    cheerful cheerful
  • dadi

Love thy neighbour

While trying to explain the (biblical) concept of Nächstenliebe in German to an American friend, and looking up all the various Wikipedia entries in different languages about this, I realized that there are several rather different acceptions of this virtue out there.
In German and Italian for example, you are asked to love the person next to you, "Nächster", or "prossimo". In English, your neighbour. The "original" hebrew word would be "reah", which could mean everything from a relative to a foreigner.
But.. when you search for the noun, in many languages there is no specific one. Generally, we have words derived from either caritas or agape, but no nouns I know of which in the language itself explain the selfless love for others.
So, how is it in your language?
  • Current Mood
    curious curious