July 30th, 2011

twilight duel


Hello everyone!

People seemed to be doing introductory posts, so I thought I'd do the same.

I'm from the US so I speak English. I've always been interested in other languages, but for some reason, I don't really care that much about learning how to speak them. I'm more interested in the written and grammatical aspects (even though I hate grammar when it comes to English). I don't really know  how to explain it that well, but I think the closest way is to say that I 'm interested in learning languages for the sake of learning them rather than actually using them. But that's not quite right either.

Anyway, I was born in Arizona and ended up learning a little Spanish in preschool, but I don't remember any of that. In school, I took half a year of Spanish and six and a half years of French, but due to a bad substitute teacher I had for almost my entire last year of French, I actually forgot a fair portion of what I had learned.

In high school, one of my best friends was half Japanese and was fluent in the language. It is because of her that I became obsessed with almost everything Japanese, but especially the language. I wanted to take Japanese in college, but I haven't been able to fit it into my schedule so far and it isn't looking good for my last two years. 

Also, my dad is planning on moving to Ecuador in a few months (we're actually on a trip there right now), so I feel like I need to learn Spanish, though I'm not that interested in learning it. I know it makes more sense to learn a language like Spanish, but I just find Japanese more interesting because of the grammar, sound, and written form.

I just recently got the first few levels of Rosetta Stone for both Spanish and Japanese, so I am hopefully going to have time to learn some while I'm in school this year, but I'll probably have questions along the way.

Learn English. Some troubles with tenses.

Can anyone in this community explain to me by simple tongue - how to use tenses in eng. language?
I have been studying is since Oct. last year - when i had a lot of money, freedom and rage spirit in my mind. Also, i had learnt English it school, but u know... it was really difficult, because i had some troubles in communication with our great director, teachers, schoolboys and schoolgirls.
Boring( I have never been in London, Manchester, Los Angeles. But i want! So, we go away from theme...
And if someone will tell me about english tenses more - it could be good. Also if u need to improve your Russian - we can do some culturical exchange (especially i will glad to see girls).
So, my skype name: iwantsleeep, lj: this (it is not adress - i meant lj, what you are seeing now above this post), ICQ: 442-271-653
jai, profile, me, stupid little fat

(no subject)

Last semester, I took a socioling course at my Uni (low level, easy credits and GPA booster, as well as being my field of interest) and ended up doing a presentation on swearing. As a point of interest, and just for flavour, I'd done an informal online survey of as many people as I could find. One of the questions was "What's the worst swear word you've ever used?" I was wondering if that would give any idea of what everyone considered to be the worst swear word.

What I actually got, was some very creative swearing, which has since made me curious as to what the best/worst swear a given person has heard or used. I'm mainly interested in English, as it's my native language and I understand the connotations thereof much better, but any interesting compound swears would be wonderful! This is just for my own personal interest, really, though I may come back and ask it more seriously later~
Subway Tarot

Seny'a Yabat av lanv'e

(Moving the Ball Forward)

Sometimes I just don't know what people want.
Stirring trouble upon my arrival, recent comments have expressed an objection to something referred to as "calling a rabbit a smeerp", where a local/foreign term is substituted for a common noun in the text of a story. I'd used the technique on occasion as a teaching tool in my novels principally to impart local colour. Hey, I'd seen it used liberally in several books I'd read and I rather liked it; I had no idea that it was considered a Bad Thing. I'm writing about a culture where there are no Earth people around to translate for, and I've tried to avoid breaking the narrative to define non-contextual specifics until there was a legitimate lull where the definition wouldn't hurt, and would usually help. Oh, and I've got to tell a story, too? Cheez, man!

Once I substituted a boring paragraph of geographical exposition with a filk song people actually liked. {filk=parody in the fannish realm; there are frequent gatherings, conventions and a whole LJ forum about it.} An earlier draught featured a glossary and there were some beta readers objected to it and others liked it. Years ago in the APA Linguiça I wrote some facing paragraphs about mundane crap in both English and Yal Dawo, just to prove that I could. {I'm told this would not work in a novel until I became a lot more famous.} I could write entire historical treatises to explain the niche(s) in time in which the stories took place but then they wouldn't really be novels, would they? They'd be an RPG base, and I'm not a gamer.

As a writer I am willing to please the public but I will not write stories about extraterrestrials named Bob and Sue (unless they were deliberately dumbing themselves down for the Earthers) when the whole point was to open a database of words and history that made my whole project interesting to me in the first place. When individual words made themselves obvious to me I started writing them down (instead of muttering them to myself under my breath). When the words broke down into their bases and origins, I got bunches of cultural trivia and historical markers. My notes metastasized into an English/Yal Dawo dictionary called the Felo Jaossiness (n., lit. "List of Words") but without any stories for it to explain to anyone, that will probably just sit on my hard drive, growing slowly by the year.

So as far as such things go, what do you like to see? What technique (or standard) works for you?

Short - hopefully - introduction

Hey! I'm Alice, from Italy. I'm 18. I'm very interested in languages, even if I can't really say I'm keen on the Romantic ones, I like to go for something different from my own language. I'm very fluent in Italian and I want to acquire fluency in English, too. I also speak(ish?) French. I've been studying it for years (like, 11) but I kind of gave up. I still study it at school, but I'm no longer interested right now since we only study literature and history, and what's more with these two subjects I don't learn any new words that could be really useful to travel or live in a francophone country, and I'm more of a grammar&conversation type of girl. I'll see in the future, if I ever need French. BTW, I'm supposed to go to Sweden next year and stay there for 5 years for university. I'll study in English but I'm also willing to learn Swedish which seems such a wonderful language to me. I've started doing something on my own, with Swedish-only books, which, I have to admit, is actually easier than working with Swedish-Italian or Swedish-English books, perhaps because I have to figure things out thus I remember them better. Well, if someone ever needs to have a chat in Italian, or has to clear some doubts, I'm here. And I hope someone Swedish will be able to help me, too! Bye ♥
misc; feel the music

Two languages in one head? No one can live at that speed!

To anyone bilingual (or more!) who self-taught themselves their second language well after school, back when it supposedly would have been "easy", I have a question:

How exactly do you separate your native language from the language you're learning? I've heard over and over again over the years that when learning a new language (Deutsch, in my case, as penance for being born in Stuttgart and living in the country for six years without ever learning a single word), it's better to learn that "the name of the thing (the animal itself) is hund. Hund is not a translation for 'dog'. It is dog."

Which arguably makes sense, as once you get deeper into a language it's going to start getting silly to have to translate from your native language into the target language before you can start expressing yourself (especially in the case of situations such as English -> German, where the sentence structure itself comes together so much differently).

To reiterate: When learning a new language, what strategies do you use? How do you approach this challenge without falling back on translating word-by-word in your native tongue? Is there any good guideline to measure progress, or do you simply keep at it until it clicks? Am I ever going to understand the rules behind die/der/das, or will I forever be looked at strangely for crying about how many words for 'the' there are?

Thanks for any/all words of advice!
  • paavon


I'm Paavo, 25, Finnish and a third year student as an English major in Uni. During my stay there I've tried a bit Russian, Italian and Spanish, but I haven't really grasped any of those entirely. Being Finnish, I'm sort of fluent in English and (still) quite good in Swedish, although I haven't really used it since high school. I've also studied French for quite a few years, but I've been stuck for a while. I joined just to stalk you guys, but if anyone has something to ask about Finnish or wants to help me with the Romantic languages (which I should minor in, hmm), feel free to do so. Yea!

Meet and greet

There have been a lot of new members joining the comm lately and posting their intros. That's great--it's nice to know who the new blood is--but does make for a lot of posts to read through. A number of posters have suggested we consolidate things a bit by creating a thread just for new member introductions. So if you agree that's a good idea, here is your thread!

(Note that people tend to feel differently about questions to the comm which happen to come with intros attachedl; those probably merit posts of their own, if for no other reason than to make tagging useful.)

This is also an opportunity for you longstanding members to come forward and tell everyone a bit about who you are and why you're here (and how you found out about linguaphiles in the dark days before LJ shone the spotlight on us). And, most importantly, is your name is Ben?
Doctor Who -- Any Other Day

Need Help with Technical Terms in Spanish

Are there are any technical types out there who are native Spanish speakers who could help me out with this question? What verb would you use to express pairing a device with something else using Bluetooth. Would you use vincular? And also, am I correct in assuming that la batería is the term for car batteries and la pila is for phone batteries?

Thanks for your help!

Italian accent // English

Here's a little question for you native English speakers. How do you perceive the accent of an Italian person speaking English? Not the stereotypical accent with kinda awful pronounciation somebody has (people saying de instead of the, or fings instead of things, and other horrors), I mean the accent a person with a good grasp of the correct English pronounciation should have. Does it sound bad, nice, difficult to understand? What are the main mistakes you have heard from Italian people? I want to perfect my pronounciation as much as I can and I need some help. Also, can you tell me where you are from? I'd be curious to see if there are any differences in perceiving our accent depending on which zone the native speakers come from. Thanks!