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Language Overload


AFriendlyFace

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Well my first Latin test is tomorrow. I'm really rather concerned about it. Mostly because I don't think I'm that ready for it AND because now I feel like I'm going to disappoint my professor. :( But it'll work out, I'm going to study a little bit more before bed and hopefully it'll be enough. On the bright side he's allowing us to use our Latin dictionaries for the test. Which is awesome because, truth be told, I never bothered to learn my noun endings (something I should have done at the beginning of the FIRST course, this being the third). He also tends to emphasize verbs alot more than nouns. Also good because I'm much better with verbs. So anyway I'm just going to cross my fingers and hope for the best. Heck I should at least PASS this test, and I can worry about passing the remaining three after that, and when it comes down to it just getting through this class, graduating, and getting on with my life is really all I'm concerned about with regards to Latin.

 

In other news I've started yet another story (which I'm sure I won't finish). I was pretty excited about it, I was thinking I'd do it with one chapter from the one character's POV, then the next chapter covering pretty much the exact same stuff only from the other character's POV. But it really is unlikely that I'll actually finish it. I think of ideas and things I'd like to write about all the time, but I never seem to be able to sit down long enough to write them.

 

I've also, finally, begin reading "Eats, shoots and leaves" I can't believe it's been out so long and I only just got it and started reading it. It's quite good. I'm a pretty good "punctuator", but like everything else, I tend to filter my punctuation through a lens of creativity which suits my own personal taste and style. For me nothing's ever completely black and white, even comma usage. I mean if I want a comma "here", to better convey the way I personally want to speak, pause, and break up my sentance; well I'm just going to put one! But it's still a delightfully fun book to read, and I suppose if I were going to publish something I would follow the conventions (as I do when I turn papers and stuff in). I also had an enjoyable time writing this short paper for my Literature class. If they're short and opinionated -as was this one- (I thought I'd start playing with dashes in the spirit of ES&L :P ) I quite like papers.

 

To get to the crux of this post, I've also decided that I want to learn Spanish. No I've decided that I WILL learn Spanish. I've got my mind set on this one; I'm going to learn Spanish! So I bought this box course thing that had 12 cds and a work book with it, and I did a little bit of the first cd, but then I decided I didn't really like the way this course was presented and I ended up returning it. Unfortunately after I returned it and checked out the other course available at that store; I decided I might have been best off with the first one. So right now I don't have a course :( , but I did find a pretty good Spanish website. Anyway if anyone knows of a really good, very comprehensive Spanish book/website/cd/dvd whatever. Please let me know! I don't actually have time to take a course at my university since this is my last semester. Also I'd rather do it on my own, for myself, as fast or slow as I like and without any formal evaluation. So I'd much rather do it with one of those Spanish training courses you see on TV (at least I'm guessing they still advertise for them, to be honest I haven't watched TV for several months). Anyway I'm looking for something that would start me off at the most basic level but progress to a very high degree of proficiency -and ideally fluency- by the end. I'm not looking for anything for "travel" or "business"; nor do I want any of those "Learn Spanish in your car" or "Learn Spanish in 10 minutes a day". I want something indepth. So does anyone have any recommendations?

 

Anyway take care all and have an awesome day!

Kevin

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Hey Kevin!

 

I'm guessing from what you say about the Latin test that you don't just get translation exercises. They used to make us "construe" (explain grammatical points, label word endings etc) a lot but now it's almost entirely translation for tests - the grammar is expected to be automatic :blink: . Now, I prolly shouldn't mention this but, quite a few dictionaries give noun declension listings and verb morphology - Bantam New College for example.

 

As to a Spanish course, friends of mine who started Spanish from scratch used a course called Digame! which I think was produced by the BBC - it's supposed to be excellent but I can only say that they all started speaking pretty good Spanish very quickly. I don't know how easy it would be to get in the US. One thing you need to decide is how important it is to you to learn Latin American or European Spanish - though of course they are the same language in the end!

 

Good luck on your test.

 

sumbloke

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Guest Rob Hawes

Posted

Hi Kevin,

 

My sympathies on the Latin course - did it years ago now and managed to struggle through, but it wasn't my favourite language to learn. With regards to learning Spanish, I did evening classes to learn it, but I'm currently learning to speak Russian and Mandarin via a Pimsleur course I downloaded and they're pretty good. They also do a Spanish course in three stages that might help you. Try looking them up. They're not cheap (unless you happen to know someone who already has the material) but they're worth the money and offer a full refund if you don't learn the language in 30 days. Enough of sounding like a walking advert for them though - good luck in the test.

 

Rob

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Hey Kevin!

 

I'm guessing from what you say about the Latin test that you don't just get translation exercises. They used to make us "construe" (explain grammatical points, label word endings etc) a lot but now it's almost entirely translation for tests - the grammar is expected to be automatic :blink: . Now, I prolly shouldn't mention this but, quite a few dictionaries give noun declension listings and verb morphology - Bantam New College for example.

 

As to a Spanish course, friends of mine who started Spanish from scratch used a course called Digame! which I think was produced by the BBC - it's supposed to be excellent but I can only say that they all started speaking pretty good Spanish very quickly. I don't know how easy it would be to get in the US. One thing you need to decide is how important it is to you to learn Latin American or European Spanish - though of course they are the same language in the end!

 

Good luck on your test.

 

sumbloke

Hey Sumbloke! :D

 

Actually my Latin course does consist almost exclusively of translations, at least the graded aspect of it. In class however, he throws out random other questions, usually about grammar, they don't count for anything though. Thanks for the tip about the dictionaries having the noun declensions and verb conjugations; actually mine DID have it and I was as pleased as punch when I realized it (I knew it had the noun endings but for some reason assumed it would not have the verb endings).

 

I'm primarily interested in learning Latin American Spanish, since that's likely what I'll come into contact with the most, but I suppose you're right that they are the "same language in the end". It is amazing to note the differences though even just among the dialects spoken in the Americas. For example two of my co-workers are completely bilingual. One comes from Mexico, the other was born in the USA but her family was from central America. Anyway they had several different words that they used various things which they said was unique to their region, and also each encouraged me to pronounce certain words a different way.

 

Anyway thanks for the advice, and while I'm currently just digesting Spanish material available at the Library (and through my friends), I'll be sure to check into the Digame course as well. Anyway take care and have an awesome day!

 

Kevin

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Hi Kevin,

 

My sympathies on the Latin course - did it years ago now and managed to struggle through, but it wasn't my favourite language to learn. With regards to learning Spanish, I did evening classes to learn it, but I'm currently learning to speak Russian and Mandarin via a Pimsleur course I downloaded and they're pretty good. They also do a Spanish course in three stages that might help you. Try looking them up. They're not cheap (unless you happen to know someone who already has the material) but they're worth the money and offer a full refund if you don't learn the language in 30 days. Enough of sounding like a walking advert for them though - good luck in the test.

 

Rob

 

Hey Rob,

 

Wow! That's so cool that you're learning Russian and Mandarin; Ideally I'd like to learn those eventually too. However, my first and current goal is Spanish. Then I intend to "revisit" French (I know a very modest amount from High school, as well as from the heavily influenced area in which I grew up). Next German, and THEN I'd like to try to tackle Russian or Mandarin (Though Italian is also pretty appealing and having done Spanish and French it might be easier). So yeah as of right now I have alot of "language aspirations", but I realize it won't be easy and will require a good bit of disciplene.

 

Anyway I did look into the Pimsleur course you metioned. It was quite expensive. I checked out the sample material they had available and while it was good I didn't really like that there wasn't a "textbook". So I ultimately ended up checking out SEVERAL books at the Library, as well as a few small audio courses. I did however manage to download part of the first Pimsleur course from the internet. I haven't listened to it yet though.

 

Anyway thank you very much for the information, and depending on how much I like what I hear, I may end up going that route. Take care and have a fantastic day!

 

Kevin

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Hi Kevin!

 

Good luck for the Latin test tomorrow, I'm sure you'll ace it! :2thumbs:

 

Take Care,

 

Julia :D

Thanks Julia! I didn't "ace it" but I did end up with an 89.5, which is literally as close as I could come to making an A without actually doing it :P . So I was pleased. Anyway thanks and take care!

Kevin

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