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Hysteron Proteron [userpic]

This is directed to speakers of languages with more than one gender:
Just out of interest, how jarring is it to your ear if someone confuses the gender of a noun? 
If your language has more than two genders, is it less jarring if someone confuses one gender with one of the other two more than the other?

Ρόμπερτ [userpic]

Hello linguaphiles, especially those who don't speak English natively-

I've been teaching ESL for a short while now. I'm fluent in four languages, and am no stranger to the language-learning process. However, as English is my first language, I don't have the same intimate knowledge of problem areas, "a-ha!" moments and mnemonic devices that I do for say, French. Textbooks provide this sometimes, but they aren't always perfect: for example, it was only after I had already memorized and gotten used to which verbs in French take "être" in the passé composé that I realized these were generally verbs of motion.

Essentially, what I am asking is:
Non-native speakers of English: what little "tips and tricks" have you found especially useful in your English studies? What areas of English do you find particularly difficult? What have your instructors done that really helped you? What have your instructors done that have been generally useless or aggravating? What (preferably online and free or low-cost) resources have you used to supplement classroom instruction?*

For example: I tell my students to think of "could" as both the past tense of "can" and "would + can," something I reversed from my studies of Romance languages ("could" generally expressed by the conditional of "can") that I haven't yet seen in my admittedly short time perusing ESL textbooks.

Of course, advice from other language teachers and anything else you would like to add is welcome.

It would be appreciated if you could provide your native language, how long you've been studying English and what contexts you've studied it in (e.g., secondary school, language academies, self-study).

*On my students' last days of class, I steer them towards WordReference, Forvo, Urbandictionary and Livemocha - though I don't have much experience with the last one.

Thanks in advance!

too dope to cope [userpic]

I'm working on a zine about vegan cuisine from the Mid East/Maghreb & want to include a short section of phrases useful for folks traveling in the regions. If anyone would be able to help out with translations into the following languages (both in the relevant script & an approximate representation in Latin script would be fantastic), I'd be so, so grateful: (Modern Standard) Arabic, Turkish, Hebrew, Farsi, Amazigh, Kurdish (either Kurmanji or Sorani)

I'm vegan / vegetarian
I don't eat anything that comes from animals
Animals are my friends, and I don't want to eat my friends
If it's not a huge trouble, could I please have something without animal products?
I'm a big fan of vegetables
Thanks, that was really delicious!

I don't eat... cheese

Many thanks in advance!

klausnick/莫罗佐夫·尼科莱/профан [userpic]

What does this mean? Googling failed to give an answer. 

Back February 2nd, 2013 Forward