Reflections on learning a language

What did you say? And what did you mean by it?

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Dalek Prime
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Re: Reflections on learning a language

Post by Dalek Prime » Tue Jul 12, 2016 4:09 am

Impenitent wrote:1001100101110010
1001111010101011
0101101010110101
1011010101001101
1010101100111100

-Imp
Without an encoding, it's meaningless. Just saying.

Impenitent
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Re: Reflections on learning a language

Post by Impenitent » Tue Jul 12, 2016 4:22 am

Dalek Prime wrote:
Impenitent wrote:1001100101110010
1001111010101011
0101101010110101
1011010101001101
1010101100111100

-Imp
Without an encoding, it's meaningless. Just saying.
so it goes for any semiotic system - just saying

-Imp

Dalek Prime
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Re: Reflections on learning a language

Post by Dalek Prime » Tue Jul 12, 2016 4:29 am

Impenitent wrote:
Dalek Prime wrote:
Impenitent wrote:1001100101110010
1001111010101011
0101101010110101
1011010101001101
1010101100111100

-Imp
Without an encoding, it's meaningless. Just saying.
so it goes for any semiotic system - just saying

-Imp
That's what I just basically said.

Skip
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Re: Reflections on learning a language

Post by Skip » Tue Jul 12, 2016 4:36 am

I gather Impenitent wants to contribute without actually discussing linguistics, communication or language acquisition.
He's just saying - without saying anything.

Dalek Prime
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Re: Reflections on learning a language

Post by Dalek Prime » Tue Jul 12, 2016 4:40 am

Skip wrote:I gather Impenitent wants to contribute without actually discussing linguistics, communication or language acquisition.
He's just saying - without saying anything.
He says that a lot.

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: Reflections on learning a language

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:34 pm

I think you guys need a context.

duszek
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Re: Reflections on learning a language

Post by duszek » Mon Jul 18, 2016 8:44 pm

Skip wrote: I used them to illustrate relative size of vocabulary. Students would be daunted by the sheer volume of language to be learned. I wanted to demonstrate that it's okay to cultivate a small patch; that nobody owns the whole thing, and nobody needs all of it.
Actually, if I were to redraw it by subsets, Shakespeare's patch would overlap maybe half of mine, with a vast area of difference in time and culture.
The Sun's would fit almost entirely inside mine, and so would the student's, with a 90% or more overlap of the last two.
The student will have started with the most basic, indispensable core vocabulary and build outward in predictable, utilitarian directions, which is the same language employed by a newspaper aimed at lowbrow segment of Toronto readers.
I would, by then, have branched off into the specialty areas of my work, my hobbies and my taste in literature. In due course, once he's mastered a working knowledge, the student will do the same.
Yes, I agree.
I heard that many American writers use dictionaries to use unusual words and to sound sophisticated that way.

Is it good or bad to use rare words that actually do exist in a language ?
It makes people enlargen their vocabulary but it also slows down the processing of the text because people think about or check the words in a dictionary.

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: Reflections on learning a language

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:21 pm

duszek wrote:
Skip wrote: I used them to illustrate relative size of vocabulary. Students would be daunted by the sheer volume of language to be learned. I wanted to demonstrate that it's okay to cultivate a small patch; that nobody owns the whole thing, and nobody needs all of it.
Actually, if I were to redraw it by subsets, Shakespeare's patch would overlap maybe half of mine, with a vast area of difference in time and culture.
The Sun's would fit almost entirely inside mine, and so would the student's, with a 90% or more overlap of the last two.
The student will have started with the most basic, indispensable core vocabulary and build outward in predictable, utilitarian directions, which is the same language employed by a newspaper aimed at lowbrow segment of Toronto readers.
I would, by then, have branched off into the specialty areas of my work, my hobbies and my taste in literature. In due course, once he's mastered a working knowledge, the student will do the same.
Yes, I agree.
I heard that many American writers use dictionaries to use unusual words and to sound sophisticated that way.

Is it good or bad to use rare words that actually do exist in a language ?
It makes people enlargen their vocabulary but it also slows down the processing of the text because people think about or check the words in a dictionary.
But that is called learning. Nothing wrong in that. Reading can be a beautiful experience.

"Some of these rambles led me to great distances; for an opium-eater is too happy to observe the motions of time. And sometimes in my attempts to steer homewards, upon nautical principles, by fixing my eye on the pole-star, and seeking ambitiously for a north-west passage, instead of circumnavigating all the capes and headlands I had doubled in my outward voyage, I came suddenly upon such knotty problems of alleys, such enigmatical entries, and such sphinx's riddles of streets without thoroughfares, as must, I conceive, baffle the audacity of porters, and confound the intellects of hackney-coachmen" Confessions of an English Opium-Eater

Here's the opening to Frankenstein:

"You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied
the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded
with such evil forebodings. I arrived here yesterday, and
my first task is to assure my dear sister of my welfare and
increasing confidence in the success of my undertaking."

OR - for the hard of reading...

You be happy to know its alright. Your fears were no needed. I got here yesterday and told my sister I'm okay and things are going to turn out fine.

Take your pick!

duszek
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Re: Reflections on learning a language

Post by duszek » Wed Jul 20, 2016 2:22 pm

My American friend (a native speaker) was irritated when I used the word "perspicacious" for the first time. He accused me of having taken it from the dictionary (to show off ?).

The word is easy for me to remember because if I am not mistaken it is almost the same in French.

If he were an Englishman of Anglo-Saxon descent then he might have been reminded of the Norman conquest but he is a full-fledged American.

The word "shrewd" or "cunning" has some unpleasant connotations of some not quite decent business practices. The word perspicacious is free of them and can be used when you play chess for example.

So it is a good and useful one.
A fancy expression like "hawk-eyed" does not have quite the same focus because it is the inner eye or the intellectual eye that is at stake here.

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: Reflections on learning a language

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Wed Jul 20, 2016 3:49 pm

duszek wrote:My American friend (a native speaker) was irritated when I used the word "perspicacious" for the first time. He accused me of having taken it from the dictionary (to show off ?).

The word is easy for me to remember because if I am not mistaken it is almost the same in French.

If he were an Englishman of Anglo-Saxon descent then he might have been reminded of the Norman conquest but he is a full-fledged American.

The word "shrewd" or "cunning" has some unpleasant connotations of some not quite decent business practices. The word perspicacious is free of them and can be used when you play chess for example.

So it is a good and useful one.
A fancy expression like "hawk-eyed" does not have quite the same focus because it is the inner eye or the intellectual eye that is at stake here.
Though perspicacious literally means exactly that = sharp sighted. It's from the Latin, to French and English but not as far back as the Normans actually.

sthitapragya
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Re: Reflections on learning a language

Post by sthitapragya » Fri Jul 22, 2016 5:12 am

Hobbes' Choice wrote: Here's the opening to Frankenstein:

"You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied
the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded
with such evil forebodings. I arrived here yesterday, and
my first task is to assure my dear sister of my welfare and
increasing confidence in the success of my undertaking."

OR - for the hard of reading...

You be happy to know its alright. Your fears were no needed. I got here yesterday and told my sister I'm okay and things are going to turn out fine.

Take your pick!
I wish I could word things the first way. I have studied in English all my life but I suppose living in a country where your mother tongue is different from your language of learning might be a handicap. Or I am just making excuses because my english is not that good. :D . I think Immanuel Can has that flourish in his language. I might disagree with a lot of things he says, but that guy has a way with words too.

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: Reflections on learning a language

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Fri Jul 22, 2016 8:52 am

sthitapragya wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote: Here's the opening to Frankenstein:

"You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied
the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded
with such evil forebodings. I arrived here yesterday, and
my first task is to assure my dear sister of my welfare and
increasing confidence in the success of my undertaking."

OR - for the hard of reading...

You be happy to know its alright. Your fears were not needed. I got here yesterday and told my sister I'm okay and things are going to turn out fine.

Take your pick!
I wish I could word things the first way. I have studied in English all my life but I suppose living in a country where your mother tongue is different from your language of learning might be a handicap. Or I am just making excuses because my english is not that good. :D . I think Immanuel Can has that flourish in his language. I might disagree with a lot of things he says, but that guy has a way with words too.
Your English is perfect. I rarely see an error that any English person might well have made themselves.
If you want more flourish, then keep reading the Classics; you'll absorb the flow and timbre.

How are you on Shakespeare? Most natives find it difficult.

sthitapragya
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Re: Reflections on learning a language

Post by sthitapragya » Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:38 am

Hobbes' Choice wrote: Your English is perfect. I rarely see an error that any English person might well have made themselves.
If you want more flourish, then keep reading the Classics; you'll absorb the flow and timbre.

How are you on Shakespeare? Most natives find it difficult.
Oh man, I get a headache reading Shakespeare. :D

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Hobbes' Choice
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Re: Reflections on learning a language

Post by Hobbes' Choice » Fri Jul 22, 2016 7:37 pm

sthitapragya wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote: Your English is perfect. I rarely see an error that any English person might well have made themselves.
If you want more flourish, then keep reading the Classics; you'll absorb the flow and timbre.

How are you on Shakespeare? Most natives find it difficult.
Oh man, I get a headache reading Shakespeare. :D

Ah, there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.

duszek
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Re: Reflections on learning a language

Post by duszek » Mon Jul 25, 2016 5:36 pm

I imagine that it must be a terrible nuisance when a native speaker listens to all the mistakes a non-native speaker makes when trying to say something in his language.

Perhaps a wearable could listen to the speech of a struggling foreigner and suggest corrections on the way.
I mean something comparable to the programme that suggests correct spelling when one is typing.

A wearable coach, a robot doing an ugly job without getting irritated or impatient.

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