ZairaI.Uranga's recent posts

level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

Valeria.Fontes wrote:
Considering Spanish as one of my target languages, I thought about "venga!". I understand it as a way to show agreement, but every time I hear it I ask myself "donde vamos?"


As a native Spanish speaker, I am aware that many slang terms are super weird. I never thought too much about "¡venga!" but yes, it sure it's kinda tricky. I also think about "¡aguas!" when saying "be careful!" as it literally means "water", or about how fancy is that we have so many bad words (that I won't list because I like to keep it family-friendly). 


I personally really love Spanish and it's very fun to find weird expressions in it, there are a lot!

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

Wow, that's so cool! I am sure that starting university knowing four languages is not something common and that it gave you many advantages. It must have also been great to be able to have job opportunities that young. I personally enjoy teaching a lot, so I am glad you got to have that kind of job so soon in your career. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! :)

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

Welcome to the forum Daira! 


I think a good place to start is taking notice of the vocabulary and language structures you should prioritize as a beginner. What will you use the most? What phrases are the most useful? Which topics resonate more with your personal life? This is a video that tackles this kind of problem very well, I am very fond of this guy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxAaBZNduQs&t=


Also, try building a schedule. In your case, you can start by learning a bit of vocabulary for 20 min for example, then reading 30 min, and then writing a short text. That's just an example, do what is best for you. I also made a post on "writing habits", feel free to check it out as it may be useful to you: https://languagetools.io/forum/pp/11862


Try having a look to "write and correct" and the "reading tool", I trust they will be very useful for your current objectives with reading and writing.


Lastly, I will share my personal experience with learning German. I started with high school classes. I do think a teacher can be very helpful when starting, but not essential. Since starting the B1 level, I also acquire a lot of knowledge with podcasts and videos (in a format that is strongly adapted to language learning, try looking up "easy languages" on youtube). I find flashcards to be useful, but I would advise learning vocabulary through context, it gives you way more information about the vocabulary you are learning. I would strongly recommend that you indeed immerse yourself as much as possible by watching cartoons or reading. However, make sure the content you are absorbing is appropriate to your level. Otherwise, you can get frustrated easily and will not learn as well as you could. 


Best of luck and have fun! 


Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

For me, thinking or complaining about these little details is a lot of fun, for example:


There's no word for "girlfriend/boyfriend" in German. They call them "friend" ("Freund"), and whether you are talking about one or another, is inferred through context. I think it is cute but also inconvenient. I had a lot of German people thinking my best friend was actually my boyfriend because we weren't that fluent and couldn't explain properly. 


I wouldn't joke about that issue so much if I wasn't talking about the same language that has the word Kraftfahrzeughaftpflichtversicherung. If they have a word that long for "automobile insurance", I want to be able to call my special other lol.


They also say "two coffee" instead of "two coffees" and that's also cute.


Does your target language have funny phrases or idioms?







Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

Recently I was talking to my family about why it is so great to know English in Mexico, and in my case also German.

As a bit of context, I recently left school and I was left only with my highschool degree but with still a lot of knowledge. Even tho I should have it hard, I have great job opportunities because I speak two and "a half" languages: I have found great jobs for bilinguals in my city, and even one that required no experience, only German, that paid enough for my rent.


This post is not meant to brag, I assume people on this forum are all in a very similar position, so I want to know. What kind of opportunities have languages given you?

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

I still make this mistake in German a lot when I am not careful. I say "Ich bin gut" instead of "Mir geht es gut". 


For a native Spanish speaker, the distinction between both phrases is not easily spotted. The second phrase means "I am well/ok.", but instead I end up saying "I am good" which means "I am good in bed". 


I am truly sorry to all the Germans who meet me, that is NOT the way I want to start a conversation. 

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

To be honest I have no idea of how a PhD compares to a Bachelor. I can still try, could you be more specific? In what area would you like them to be compared?


Also, in terms of experience, I do know a few individuals that go for it without a degree and still make a decent income because they commit very strongly to a path. That said, If you like studying as I do, go for it! It's about the journey, not the destination. 

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

Valeria.Fontes wrote:
Congrats! Communication is always relevant! Through this comment, for example, I've remembered an expression I was trying to use yesterday but couldn't find: pay off. "It worths it" keeps coming to my mind, but I've already learned somewhere in this forun that it's old fashioned.


Thanks! I actually hadn't heard of said expression. Anyway, glad my comments help you one way or another :)

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

Valeria.Fontes wrote:
That's it! The "passive role" you've mentioned is the most difficult one to overcome, because you get frustrated. If only people were patient with themselves and insisted on writing until it becomes "natural"! Because it gets better and better indeed, and what you learn from a written mistake belongs to you forever, it's consolidated. I guess I'll copy and paste this comment of yours and send to my students!


Hey thanks! I am really flattered you chose to show what I wrote to your students. I truly believe that making mistakes it's a very important part of the learning process. I am glad you encourage them to do that! 

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

I agree. I have come across this strategy before, and It helps some people. Sometimes taking time off can help the mind relax and make connections. It also happens to me with drumming for example. You come back with a new mindset and just a bit of work your brain did at the back of your head while you didn't notice. I think is called working memory, I will google it and maybe post about it.


So yes, taking a break definitely helps sometimes. 

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

leosmith wrote:
ZairaI.Uranga wrote:
I just got back my German test with a 5/5 writing score

Congratulations!


Thanks! :)

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

I was having a conversation with my classmates the other day because many felt frustrated with their progress.


I think we all have hit that wall. Sometimes I feel stuck or think I haven't made much progress. Some days in class I feel like I am not retaining information or understanding. But I also think that it is a very common issue, that's why I don't get discouraged.


To help me deal with this I try to remember something I used to struggle with in the past. Something like:


"Remember one year ago, when you had trouble with using the "perfekt" conjugation? You rarely fail at that now!"

"You used to not know so many connectors, you use them automatically now!"


What helps you deal with frustration? 

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

An update to this topic. Not really relevant to the forum, but I just got back my German test with a 5/5 writing score. I have been working a lot on it and I am very happy it paid off. If anyone is feeling lazy, take it as a reminder that practice does work :)

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

Valeria.Fontes wrote:

There's a literature expression for this sort of crying I just love in Portuguese, which is "olhos marejados". Don't know if it's possible to translate... it has to do with the sea... or maybe with tides (sea= mar, tide= maré).


I don´t think I can quite translate it, but I get it! It's interesting how can I get a grasp of it because Spanish and Portuguese are a bit similar. "Eyes like sea waves" I am guessing. Also very beautiful :)

Language shapes our view of the world.

Edited
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

Infinitiv mit "zu"

Folgende Verben verlangen den Infinitiv ohne zu:
  • Modalverben
  • Wahrnehmungsverben (perception verbs): sehen, hören...
  • Bewegungsverben
  • lassen
  • bleiben (in der Bedeutung von die Lage nicht verändern)
  • finden und haben (in Verbindung mit einer Ortsangabe)

Beispile:



Folgende Verben verlangen den Infinitiv mit zu:
Links:
https://deutsch.lingolia.com/de/grammatik/verben/infinitiv
https://deutsch.lingolia.com/de/grammatik/verben/infinitiv/uebungen


Language shapes our view of the world.

Edited
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

This is a log that I will be updating with the grammar topics that I have seen so far in my B1 German course. It will help me (and maybe others) to have a good idea of what I should know to finish the B1 course, and will also serve as a topic resume. 

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

This has been very interesting so far because I didn't expect people preferring Google Translate over dictionaries.


I guess it is just more convenient :)

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

Valeria.Fontes wrote:
Wow! Thank you so much! I'm going to check the dictionary entries you've sent me. Yes, it's annoying (and fun, at the same time) they don't agree! Yes, I had completely forgotten the other meaning of "tear".
I've loved your comments on Spanish! We have the verb "comover" in Portuguese as well. My choice is for "ojos vidriosos"! What a beautiful image! This one got stuck in my mind which means I've learnt new vocabulary indeed.


I am glad you liked it! "Ojos vidriosos" is an expression I see mostly in literature. It does sound beautiful, but for some reason, the picture in my head focuses more on a kind of "ugly crying". It doesn't make sense I know.


Anyway, I am glad I could help :)

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

Hey! I always use the Cambridge Dictionary and Google Translate for German-English/Spanish, but I know there are many more options out there. So I would like to know which one is your favourite and why do you use it. 


-- Is it because it is reliable?

-- Because it is straightforward? 

-- Because it is easy to use? 


Should I change to another one? What do you think?

(And I do know Google Translate is not really the most reliable option and neither a dictionary, but it is very convenient when it comes to translation)

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

I agree. I think it does help a lot because you have to think and construct things yourself, instead of just complying with a "passive" role, when listening for example. When I listen to someone talk I know I don't notice, but my brain is filling in the gaps of unknown words with context. You can't do that when writing. It's great and should indeed be less neglected. 

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

Valeria.Fontes wrote:
Thank you! I believe "to tear up" is the one. I've searched for "watery eyes" and found out it's a condition! Languages are really great!


I am very glad I was of help! I just need to be clear on the matter that "to tear up" is more often used with the meaning of "destroying something". After brief research, I concluded you can still use to mean "watery eyes", I would just be wary of the second meaning. I did some investigation because I wanted to make sure I was giving good advice. Here are the links I used, they are all dictionaries.


https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/tear-up This one retains the meaning of "watery eyes". I am confident you can indeed use it like that because I trust the Cambridge dictionary a lot.


https://www.macmillandictionary.com/us/dictionary/american/tear-up_1 Has both definitions with emphasis on the meaning of "destroying something"


https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tear%20up Has only the "destroying something" definition. 


I don't know why not all dictionaries totally agree. It is a curious phenomenon that kinda annoys me a bit. It happens to me all the time with German words. What I take out of it is that in reality, you can probably use a term with either of the two meanings or even more loosely, and can still be correct and understood. The more time it passes I realize languages are really messy and that linguists are sure having tons of fun getting a grasp of them.



Valeria.Fontes wrote:

Now I'm curious: how would you say that in Spanish? In a situation you get touched by something specially beautiful and tear up?


This is a very interesting question and also fun to answer. 


That something touched you is meant with the verb "conmover" which has the same meaning as "to get moved by". "Estoy muy conmovido" means "I am very moved." It's just basically when something had a very strong emotional impact on you, which can be meant in many ways, for example, when someone says something very beautiful to some other person, presencing a very outstanding act of kindness, but also with taking notice of a catastrophic event, or something that caused great surprise. 


We don't have something that means both things with a word, but "conmovido" is indeed frequently used with "llorar", "ojos llenos de lágrimas", "sollozar", "ojos vidriosos", "ojos llorosos" etc, especially in literature. I think those last to expressions are the closest in meaning with what you meant. "Lo conmovió mucho y sus ojos se pusieron vidriosos" literally means "He was very moved and his eyes became glassy". "Lo conmovió y empezó a sollozar" means "He was very moved and began to weep/sob silently". "Ojos llorosos" literally means "crying eyes" (with "crying" being used as an adjective) or "eyes full of tears".


I know I said a lot but I just really like exploring how my own language compares to others. There may even be a better expression that I can't think of right now. Anyways, it is very interesting. Thanks for asking  

Language shapes our view of the world.

Edited
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

So I was hearing my usual German podcast and I came across a very useful tip.


"If you are learning a language, write at least 100 words in said language a day. Then have someone correct it."


Things they mentioned it was great for, and that I also thought about:


-->It's a very easy task doable in like 10 min, so it's a habit that you can commit to easily.

-->Writing every day and correcting your text will give you great awareness of your mistakes and will help you improve a lot. Consistency > quantity

-->It is also not a huge commitment for anyone who is correcting and you can do it for free. It is fun and helpful to interact with a native speaker or a teacher in this kind of "active language ability", you will learn a lot of things.

-->Writing is great! It helps you reflect on many things and also yourself.


What I also find cool about this is that we have here a very handy tool for essay correction that beats that exact purpose. I am very active in the blog and can always help you correct your texts in Spanish :)




Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

What comes to mind are the verbs "to sob", "to tear up" and "to weep". Something like "she started to tear up" or "she started to weep silently". That's honestly the closer I can get to, I am not a native speaker and maybe you already pondered on those words, but trying to help doesn't hurt :).


I also based my suggestions on googling the words, maybe using the definitions could also help: 

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/weep

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/tearing


Also, it is interesting, we don't have such expression in Spanish either! 


Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

I recently got to know about that German custom too. I honestly don't understand it very well and it's kind of alien to me, but I am sure they have a good time :)


Here in Mexico is mostly the same as in the US. We have dinner on the 24th. However, our holiday extends to the 6th when we celebrate "Día de Reyes" ("Day of Kings"). The three kings that came with presents to Jesus when he was born come on the 5th's night to bring 3 presents to each child (similar to Santa). The same night we also have dinner with a special bread with little "baby Jesus" pieces inside. If you happen to stumble across one of them in your bread piece, you have to buy Tamales (mexican dish) on February 2nd, which is another festivity. It's quite fun because you never know who's going to pay for dinner!



Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

I want to hear some input regarding this topic. I have had neutral experiences with an app called "Babbel". Good, not great, for German learning. 


However, I have heard that apps like "Duolingo" are actually not the best choice when it comes to getting serious about the matter. Not throwing hate here, I bet is a good app, It's just not for my needs. 


What are your thoughts? Do you have any apps you can recommend or have they proven to be not "good enough"? For what reason?




Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

Valeria.Fontes wrote:
Students normally restart classes after Carnival, so I have 1 and a half months to work on my weaknesses as a teacher. I'm thinking about taking college time texts from their files, so I can remember language problematizations, as well as teaching issues. I want to give special attention to the didatics of listening exercises, because I feel that's the biggest problem for Brazilian students.
I also need to refresh my Italian because I intend to travel in April, so I'll start reading about the region I'm visiting and watching videos on Italian culture. It's hard for me because when I have to speak Italian my mind switches to Spanish mode!


I bet you are a great teacher, judging for your involvement with the class. I am glad!


Also, a funny thing I experienced with an Italian teacher: I took Italian lessons for a semester in a US high school. Our teacher was very kind, Portuguese was his first language and spoke other three: Spanish, Italian, and English. When he was teaching us the numbers in Italian he started writing them in Spanish, and I remember thinking "either he got confused or numbers in Italian will be actually pretty easy for me". When he realized we laughed it off. So I think confusing Italian and Spanish is actually a pretty common problem!  

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

leosmith wrote:
Good topic! I have specific plans for this year.
Jan, Feb - Keep re-learning Swahili while I'm here in Thailand and outside my room use Thai only
Mar - Use my Swahili all the time while I'm in Tanzania
Apr - Study Tagalog every day, using my textbook, and speak it all the time while I'm in the Philippines
May thru Oct - Continue studying Tagalog frequently while I update and publish my textbook.
Nov, Dec - Travel and practice my languages
All year - Maintain all my languages on a weekly or biweekly basis, depending on the language.


Thanks! I thought it was a relevant topic given many people celebrate New Year's around the same time :)


Also, I have never tried breaking stuff into months. To be honest, everything that has to do with organizing stuff is quite difficult for me. However, I think I could give this kind of thing a try :)

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

Hey! The year is over. I am not a huge fan of "new year's resolutions", but I am wondering if anyone has them for language learning. Maybe not really resolutions, but more like "I will do this during the year because it will improve my abilities in my target language".


I am going to focus on:

  • Getting more sleep.
  • A more consistent schedule for my German self-study. 
  • Listening to more podcasts.
  • Coming up with more techniques for learning vocab.

And so on. Does anyone have more "specific" habits that could help a language learner? What are you doing this year to get better? I'm honestly feeling a bit off track on would love to hear advice from fellow language learners.


Happy New Year!

Feliz año nuevo!

Frohe Neues Jahr!

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

I have posted a few times before about reading novels in a target language. I am recommending another group of books because they have helped me to stick to the habit better.


Hueber has this series of "Lesehefte" that contain short stories sorted by level difficulty.

https://shop.hueber.de/de/reihen-und-lehrwerke/lesehefte-deutsch-als-fremdsprache.html


What I like about them is that it is easier for me to stick to a complex reading in the format of a short story. They also have an appendix that clarifies difficult/rare words and a couple of exercises about the readings.


Right now I got lended "Das Wunschhaus" out of the library and it's also pretty comfortable to carry around. Give them a look if you are looking something like this :)


Also, I have many posts to related reading, so I may be doing a compilation about them on "logs". It may be more convinient. 


Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

Valeria.Fontes wrote:

I was a kid and tried singing along American songs (Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Madonna...), so my parents thought it would be good for their ears! As a teen, the dream of traveling around the world made me study hard, as well as teaching my schoolmates.


It is not common to find dedicated enough students that like teaching their peers. Cheers for that! Those kind of things do make a difference. 


It is also very cool that you learned through music. My English teachers in highschool were very interested and used to give us songs to sing. From those classes I started getting obsessed over David Bowie. I also got to know Arcade Fire, Echo and the Bunnymen, and a bunch of great movies that I still like to the date. 


Valeria.Fontes wrote:

Besides that, learning English was (and still is) a must have for middle/ top social classes in Brazil, it's an asset, it gives you social status, even though people make it up to be trivial. Seriously, in my experience as a teacher it becomes palpable: high class students learn smoothly, lower class ones frequently have difficulties, specially with pronunciation (and tend to give up).


And that is, sadly, also true in Mexico. Lower-class people tend to have more difficulties learning because of their context. It may be naive from me, but I hope that changes some day, because learning english is a very good tool, and the process of learning a foreign language is very enjoyable for people to be missing out. 


Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

It's been a while since I updated this. Glad someone liked it! Here's a couple more.


"unter alle Sau" 

E. g. "Die Organisation ist unter aller Sau"

Literally: "It is beneath all sow" (referring to a female pig)

Meaning: "very bad"

Meaning of example: "The organization is holding on very bad" (or so I think)


Synonym: "unter alle Kanone"

Literally: "beneath all canons"

Meaning: "very bad"




Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

Hi! I made a post earlier asking for recommendations of novels in German. I just want to share an editorial named "Genua : Cideb Editrice" that helped me solve the issue. They publish novels dedicated to German learners, with definitions for difficult words in the foot notes, an adapted redaction for easy reading, and also with questions per chapter. I have been reading and enjoying the biography of Einstein, and I recently started "Die Verwandlung" by Kafka. 


Here's a link for that last one on a database, so it is clear enough what I am talking about.  

https://www.worldcat.org/title/verwandlung/oclc/166703123


Tell me if you find it useful!


Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

Hey! I have been in my way of filling my weaknesses in German, so I started to look for diagnostic tests to see if they gave insightful feedback. What I am looking for are tests in the B1 level that tell me my weaknesses in specific topics of said level. For example, if I lack in subordinate clauses, adjective declension, connectors, Konjunktiv II, etc. I haven't tested these yet because I haven't had the time, but they seem promising. 


Alpadia Language School Test

Goethe Institut Test (I think this one gives more feedback on the level than mistakes in grammar)


I also found this page, also from Goethe, that has a very good compilation of sample tests for the official Goethe-Zertifikat B1. You can also find links to other level samples at the left of the page.

Sample Tests Goethe B1


I will leave this post as a resource for anyone who wants to try them. However, if anyone has any tests that think could help me, I would be very grateful. :)

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

JaeHong.S wrote:
As I am a proactive foreign language learner, I found it very interesting when I especially talk to foreigners in their languages. I love how they react when I speak their languages. This is one of the biggest facts I start learning foreign languages.


I agree! It is always nice to see people's faces light up when you speak their native language. This is a phenomenon that I experience only when I am for a while in a foreign country and I can't help missing my dear Spanish. I instantly get this feeling of familiarity and fraternity with another Spanish speaker. Languages are such a meaningful thing when it comes to identity.




JaeHong.S wrote:

Another reason would be that it is beneficial to me for better job qualification. If you are bilingual or more, you're highly considered as talent person and people will hire you on a high position with high annual salary.


And I also agree. Just because my English is good enough, I know that if things get bad, the worst salary I would be offered would be enough for me to sustain myself, and it is a huge weight off my shoulders. Again, I am very grateful. 

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

Yes, I get the same feeling. Anime got me into taking Japanese lessons for a while and I think it is a very cool language. Part of it's magic it's that is very foreign to me. I will also start dedicating more to English in the future out of curiosity too!

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

I can't believe I have been using "doubt" all this time! It must be a really common problem for native Spanish speakers because we are used to saying "I have a doubt" in Spanish when we raise our hand in class. Good to know!

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

I think learning a language and its grammar consciously sometimes makes me wonder about how my own language works. However, I never noticed an obvious improvement. Maybe it trains other types of skills like your ability to communicate your ideas in general or confidence. I would say that too actually improve in your mother tongue you have to put conscious effort into it. 

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

I am curious about why people get into languages beyond their own. I think on many occasions it is because of the necessity of course. However, I wonder about what gets that spark ignited when there's no need and just curiosity.


In my case, for example, I started learning English before I could even process the benefits of a foreign language. It was a very "accidental" matter, and I was also very privileged. I am very grateful to be able to grasp it to the level I am able today. With my German is different, I just love learning it and all the things it is teaching me about other cultures.


What about you? :)

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

Kosta.Cirkovic wrote:
By the way, when it comes to German, my best friend (a German learner for over a decade and now a proficient speaker) swears by Kafka as the best (native German) author to read if you're learning. His writing is apparently straightforward and easy to follow, and quite interesting as well. I've only read "The Process" in Serbian, so I can't really confirm if that's 100% true haha.


And this is beyond helpful. Children's stories are good, but nothing like adult material that is intelligible, and even better, written by a native speaker. And I have also read Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" before in Spanish. I can't remember much but that he is a very good author. I will definitely look into it. Thanks a lot!

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

Kosta.Cirkovic wrote:
Aside from those, I think the first few Harry Potter novels for example are a great choice, as the writing is beautiful but fairly simple. I also loved reading The Chronicles of Narnia in Russian (only the third book). It's not a very difficult book series, but it's really fun and also just lovely to read. In general, children's books are usually a great tool, especially ones you've read before and liked, since it'll be even easier to follow if you know the story already.


Those two series happen to be the ones that got me into reading when I was a kid! I read all Harry Potter and Narnia in about 4 years. I already suspected they were a good match for this kind of thing, but now that it is confirmed, I will definitely be ordering a couple of volumes of Amazon. 

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German


This isn't the best TED talk I have ever seen, but It places some very helpful principles on learning languages that I think everyone on this forum can get benefits from. This is a very rough resume.


  • Message: recognizing patterns and the building blocks in a language is essential. "When you understand the message, you acquire the language"
  • Importance: the brain holds better information that it regards as useful. The language that you are learning will be learned faster and better when you regard it as relevant in your life. 
  • Observation: immerse yourself in the language and observe people's speaking and tone. Learn by listening and speaking with natives. 
  • Comprehension: language is not about memory or vocabulary, but comprehending sentences and their structures. 

And mainly, have fun :)




Language shapes our view of the world.

Edited
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

I chose Japanese because I used to watch a lot of anime, and it got me interested in Japanese culture beyond their entretainment. :)

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

I come to ask for advice. During a month's stay in Berlin, I was placed at the B2 course, however, now that I am in Mexico again, they have placed me in an A2 course. I believe it was because I have some serious knowledge gaps that originated when I skipped a semester in high school. 


I am quite frustrated by this situation because I believe I can take in way more information and fill the gaps myself. However, I could be wrong.


Does anyone here has been in a similar situation? Do you find yourself performing best in demanding courses? or do you do better in courses below your level that still offer some knowledge?

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

I had a lot of trouble finding good resources that explained conjunctions in German, so I thought I should share my findings here. It was important for me to see the three types of connectors in a single layout because they all modify sentence structure differently, but most pages included only two.  


Just for clarity, the three types are:

  1. "Koordiniere Konjunktionen" meaning "coordinate conjunctions"
  2. "Subjunktionen" meaning "subordinating conjunctions"
  3. "Konjunktional Adverbien" meaning "conjunctive adverbs"

Or at least those are the ones I know about, please correct me if I am wrong. Many sites only cover the first two in one topic and the second as another one.


This site does a good summary of the three types of connectors and their following sentence structures. It is in German.  


Here are some other sites that I stumbled across. They do a pretty good job at explaining the first two types of connectors, and they are in English:


"Conjunctions in German"

"German Conjunctions (Konjunktionen): A Complete Guide"


May you use the one that is more useful to you  



Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

I wanted to share a site I recently came across with. I have been struggling to find complete and straightforward explanations/exercises for prepositions and their cases in German. In this one, you can find explanations/exercises for local, temporal, and their declension in the four German cases. 


The site is much larger and covers much more than just prepositions. However, I have only been able to look into those exercises. Fell free to tell me if you found the rest of the site useful.


Hope you enjoy it!



Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

That's amazing! I do love to listen to music in other languages too. I listen to pop/rock music in German, but I also get to listen to lots of music from the US because of my jazz appreciation class. In the same class, we once also listened to some pretty bizarre and also beautiful music from eastern Europe that doesn't have a pulse! It blew my mind when I first heard it because the concept is very foreign to me. 


I just recently started with the piano, so I am as confused with that notation of "B equals H flat" as the Serbian kids. It probably changes the structure of the whole system a lot: scales, chords, etc. However, it is also very fascinating because people are probably able to create so many different things that in western culture would require more effort. Maybe when I know much more about music I will try to learn it!


Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

Asides from learning German, I love playing music. In my opinion, it is deeply related to language. As a drummer, I cannot count bars if it's not in Spanish or in an Indian system called "konokol".


Also, I learned something very interesting recently while learning the piano that got me thinking about this. I already knew the US has a different note system than many Spanish-speaking countries. They read notes as "C D E F G A B", while in Mexico we use "Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Si". 


What I learned has to do with the Germans. My teacher told me that they, additionally from using "C D E...", say "D sharp" as "dis" and "D flat" as "des", and the same with the rest of the notes. I researched a bit and you can find the rest of the notes here. It probably has to do with their phonetics. It is amazing as well as problematic because there are just too many ways of doing the same thing. 


I just wanted to share, I also wonder what other people's experiences with music and languages are. Because I am not a linguist, I have no idea of how deeply connected they are. I would love if someone told me more about their relationship :) 


Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

Yo misma, siendo hispanohablante, no sabía el detalle del adjetivo entre el artículo y el sustantivo, ¡el español es bien complicado y bien bonito!

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

My all-time favorite series is called "Dark". It would have been good for learning, had it not be because the timeline, plot, and basically everything on it is amazingly confusing (that's part of its magic). However, the dialogs show at a good pace and the subtitles are also good.


Another German show I watched is "How to sell drugs online". The show is quite good in my opinion, but I wouldn't recommend it for learning because the dialog is too fast, and the last time I checked it didn't have any subtitles.


What are your favorite German shows? Also, if you have used any non-german shows with translations to learn, I am interested in hearing your experiences with them. I remember learning the word "verrückt" from the dubbing of Bojack Horseman.  

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

That is very interesting. It surprises me the amount of time you can go without speaking Mandarin, and still being able to use it. I agree with the fact that it is probably because you learned it at a very young age. If I go without speaking German for a while, It gets blurry, because I started learning it as a teen. Becoming bilingual at such a young age is probably like learning to ride a bike: you learn it and it sticks. I am glad to hear you have been able to keep it with you all your life, I hope it goes on!


I also had noticed many Japanese people had trouble with English, but I never pondered why that happened. The reason being that the languages have very different grammar structures and pronunciation makes perfect sense. Reading your comment makes me marvel at how people around the world are so different, and how limited is my view on so many things. 

Just be patient with English! I admire your effort, and I am sure it will come through. The human capacity for learning is impressive if we put effort into it. 


Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

Hi! I am curious about how much time do you think it takes (or has taken you) to be where you are today. 


Of course, the process is very messy. We may study every day for a year, or 3 hours on weekends, or every now and then, or maybe even stop for months. Some may study very hard in their home country, while others may experience full immersion in a foreign land. There's a whole variety of ways people manage their time with language learning, and that results in varied experiences with the process. 


I am interested in hearing your experiences --how long has it taken you to be where you are? Do you think that one can accurately estimate how much time does it take to be fluent (C1 for example), or do you think it just fluctuates way too much?


As for me, I have been exposed to English my whole life, and it was fairly easy to learn because it is everywhere, so I wouldn't be able to put a number of hours on how much time it took me. 

As for my German, I studied 1 hour a day, 5 days a week, during 5 semesters in high school. Then I left it for a couple of years and took it up again one year ago. I would say that getting me to B2 took me about 3.5 years of fairly constant effort.


How about you? :)

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

Hello! 

I was just wondering if people here happen to read books (like novels) to learn a foreign language. I used to read a short series of german stories that were A2 and helped me to get back on track after not practicing the language for a couple of years. These were intended for learners --I find it hard to find actual novels that are convenient for someone who is not yet fluent. My best bet so far are children's books, so I am probably going to try Harry Potter.


Do you have any stories that got you learning while having fun? Were they intended for learners, or for the general public?

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

"Jain!"

Meaning: yes and no.

This is not metaphorical, but hell I like it. It remembers me of Schrödinger in a funny way. However, it has nothing to do with physics and a cat being both dead and alive. It has to do with situations being in a grey area. Like:

+"do you drink soda" 

-"Jain! Only at parties"

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

I agree: words without context are far from useful because you can't make connections between them. And I also agree with the fact that remembering vocabulary by heart isn't really necessary. However, when talking about an auxiliary study method, I believe some methods may be more effective than others while studying just vocabulary.


 I was curious about this because I had been told people retain more when writing down on paper than when writing on a computer. I find it surprising that people are more at ease with e-flashcards! In this case, it's probably quicker and easier to have them all together in an online database, rather than trying to organize a notebook or buying paper cards. 


And after having used the reading tool I can also recommend it. It's great for texts above your current level and gives instant context input. I believe the more people on this site starts using it, the more useful it will be, so give it a try!

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

I didn't have the chance to get close to podcasts when I was a beginner and I didn't suspect they would be useful when starting, but finding out they are good tools is a nice surprise! Language intonation is something I often foresee because I am already used to it in german, but I am sure it plays a huge role in processing information. 


I am glad everyone has the opportunity to learn from them, especially because they are so accessible, and cover a huge variety of topics. I am still having a great time with the one I am listening, I hope you guys too :)

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

Hey! This is the second part of a previous post. Now you can vote on what method do you think is the most effective to learn new words. Feel free to comment on your answer, I am interested!

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

Hey! This is a two posts series. In this one, you can vote for which method/methods you use for learning new words. The next one is going to be about effectiveness (more on that later). 

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

My favorite language learning site/community just launched a podcast, and I am hooked!


I always like to talk about positives when I am excited about stuff. The cool thing about listening to a podcast dedicated to language learning is that I get to learn a lot about the country and culture. For example, this week they talked about how Berlin's bicycle-dedicated infrastructure should be renewed. They even talked about how people die in bicycle accidents. As someone that lives in a very chaotic city (Mexico City), the fact that people die in Berlin product of bicycle accidents sounds like a really, really weird statement (and also as something that should be resolved of course).


Back to the podcast discussion: I also wonder about many possible difficulties for people trying to learn from them. The most obvious is that it can be hard to understand what is going on at all if you don't have enough knowledge of the language.


Does anyone here have experience in learning with podcasts? How is it turning out for you? Do you find it more rewarding as a beginner, intermediate, or advanced learner?


Have you learned interesting stuff as well as me? 


Or maybe you don't listen to podcasts at all and prefer other media?


Grüsse!

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

"das/es läppert sich"

Meaning: It accumulates.

I honestly couldn't find an English translation for this one, but it means something like: "all these little bits that were once manageable just added up". I am still researching it, so feel free to comment on its meaning and example!

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

Hi everyone. I am looking for German grammar book recommendations. Mainly, material that can give me the following:

  • Structure.
  • Detailed feedback.
  • Units on topics (if possible).

I have been a self-thought German learner for a while now. Even tho I love it (because, well, it's free and I get to have fun while studying things I like) spending a lot of time searching for useful and focused exercises is quite tiring, and I still lack the structure and the feedback.


Recently I accidentally stumbled across this one on the web, that deals with German cases. It may solve some issues, but I am sure there are better options out there. If someone knows about good (downloadable) books, please let me know!


In case it helps someone, this is the shop where I found the book and has many other options. I haven't bought anything, so be careful and make sure it is legit in case you are going to buy something. If I do purchase anything, I'll update this post saying it's safe.


Thanks to anyone interested!

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

Hello! I find germans have quite interesting and funny metaphorical phrases, and I wanted to share a log on that. Right now I only have a couple, but I will be expanding.


"Ich bin blau." "Du bist blau."

Literally: "I am blue." "You are blue"

Meaning: "I am drunk." "You are drunk"

(I just find really funny that a color is related to that kind of situation).


"Ich glaub ich spinne."

Literally: "I think I spider."

Meaning: "I think I am going crazy."

(Imagine calling yourself a spider when you are stressed out).





Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

Hello! I don't know if this has been posted yet, but I wanted to share a group of channels that I consider great for language learners.


This is "Easy German". I got across it some months ago, and It has been great at giving me input. I trace its succes from the fact that they use subtitles in both the target language and English, so you can always be aware of what's happening without having to fight with translations yourself (if you speak English of course).


I also love that you can become really aware of the language's culture because their videos are filmed on the street with the locals, and on many topics. They also have grammar, vocabulary and tips videos, and a Patreon in which they offer a LOT of exercises on many topics. I have been loving it so far as an intermediate level learner, but it may also be worth it for beginners to try it and see how it goes. 


Finally, Easy Languages are channels that teach about many different languages! It' was amazing to find out that the Spanish channel films where I live. I definitively advise to check them out.


Have a lovely evening everyone.

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

I will probably look into more specialized academic texts that go beyond my career. I have been into Physics and IT a bit too long and cannot get much more vocabulary out of it. 

Thanks, I kinda needed someone to ground me on the topic. And it's good to know vocabulary.com is already good enough for most people. 

Language shapes our view of the world.

Edited
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

I would say I acquired my English mainly from US influence, and I have been able to communicate effectively in rather interesting places. I spoke with Iceland natives pretty good without a hassle. While in Berlin my roommate and I spoke English, and I am sure that she learned it in Germany and not England or the US. Similar experiences in Canada.


I find it pretty interesting. I think England is pretty famous for having colonized a great part of the world, and the US played its role by influencing so much globalized media in the last century. I wouldn't say all English regions talk the same, but I am lead to believe the language is pretty homogeneous, mainly in developed countries, given that is used so much by so many people in similar manners.


If you are interested, do some research on Belize. They have a dialect that is a mixture of English and Spanish (I think) and also a heavy accent. That's pretty neat! 

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

Hello! Aside from learning my usual German vocabulary, I have also started to review rare English words --the kind of words that native speakers can be aware of, but are tricky to bilinguals. And I came along a problem: I do not have the resources for contextual input.

What are effective ways to learn vocabulary? Can someone advise a website that does the job like Quizlet?


I usually use Quizlet.com for my German vocabulary and is good enough. It emphasizes words that I have trouble with (which is important to me), asks me to type, along with other functions. 


First, what I call contextual input is, for example, a unit in a book, a video, or a text that goes through a topic, in which words are repeated because of a specific context. I have a book with a unit on "inmigration" in German, for example, that helps me learn related vocabulary by using it frequently during the unit: in passages, grammar exercises, and others. I also use flashcards to aid me in the process.


But I learn English in a more passive manner. I lack the resources for advanced English vocabulary (like book units for example). Jamming words into my head using only Quizlet.com is not an option for rare words. I turned to this other website called Vocabulary.com, that has an array of flashcard sets ready for the go, and somewhat also provides context, which is cool. However, is not enough for me to have "some context", and I would like to have more contextual input without much hassle.


So I was wondering if anyone had a good experience with advanced English that would like to give me some advice on how to learn, or any tips. Or maybe I am being too demanding on my language learning experience and should do more research? Who knows.


Also, how do you guys learn vocabulary? Does your process look similar to mine? 

What do you think about this concept of contextual input? I took it from a Youtube video and applied it to vocabulary.  


 I do advise taking a look at the websites I mentioned because they are actually pretty neat. 


Greetings!




Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

I completely agree Marcos. I will be doing my best to teach in a structured way so they can make the most of it. My learning process will probably come from both preparing the lessons and realizing how much I know when teaching. I have known these friends for almost a year and they are amazing at giving me feedback and at being interested in stuff, so the sessions are probably going to be very fun and beneficial for all of us. If they turn out good enough, I will probably be posting my experience/findings through the process.


Also, as you said, I am not charging anything because it would be unfair. I am not an expert, they are aware of that as I clarified it, I also often tell them how my studies are going. It would probably be more accurate to call it a “study session” --or something along those lines-- in which I take a guiding role. 


Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

Initial clarification: I am talking about a very informal teaching style. Teaching in a formal environment without qualification would be irresponsible.


A bit of context. I offered free German lessons to two close friends of mine because of two reasons: to practice my teaching skills and to deepen my knowledge of the language. It is said, that when you can teach a subject, you have to previously understand it well enough. And when that is not completely the case, teaching is very helpful in solidifying knowledge. As an intermediate German learner, I find experimenting with this idea quite attractive. 


I just wanted to know your opinions. Will teaching with my current knowledge be effective? How much does one need to know about something to start teaching it at the basic level? I have this theory, that for example, to teach how to add, you don't need to know calculus: you just need to know how to add.


Let me know how you think it will turn out!


Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

Hi Marcos! We may not be able to teach each other that well, but I am sure we can still exchange a lot of knowledge. I am looking forward to chat.


¡Saludos desde México!

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

It's ok! The reading tool will come handy as I have problems searching for adequate texts in German for me to practice. I will try later writing in Write and Correct as my German grammar also needs a lot of help. Thanks!

Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
level
6
Posts71Likes52Joined17/9/2019LocationMexico City / MX
Native
Spanish
Learning English, German

 Hi! My name is Zaira. I am a language enthusiast interested in the language-learning process, primarily concerning my German studies. I want to study Physics in Germany but refuse to pay German lessons here in Mexico because I like going at my own peace without spending much money. And also because it is quite interesting to come with methods yourself.


I think languages come in a more diverse way than we think and are also important structures concerning expression and meaning. I am a musician and fond of maths, whose symbols and interpretations can be further discussed a lot too.


Anyway, I am happy to be here in the forums, it is an ideal place for me to discuss language-learning in general even if I am not taking lessons or teaching. I can learn a lot from people and will be glad to meet anyone who wants the same.


Viel spass!


Language shapes our view of the world.

Posted
Feedback