Do you like cabbage?
Do you like lettuce?
Why are the leafy ones singular? You can say "I like tomatoes" but you have to use the singular for "I like eggplant."
In other European languages they use "the" a lot more. If we were speaking French we would say something like "I'll go to the bed now" whereas in English we'd just say "I'll go to bed." This makes it obvious that there's no real rule sometimes for a, an, and the ...a lot of it is just what is common. How is it commonly said...not what rule do I use. How is it thought of in that language. It's really quite arbitrary, I suppose.
Japanese is a highly regular language. Hell there's only two irregular verbs and the rest is pretty easy. This is what makes Japanese different, not difficult. The grammar is really difficult at first but after you get used to that different system...that system is extremely regular...not with all of English's grammatical madness.
|[Jul. 5th, 2008|08:29 pm]|
|I found out about a great site.|
Discussion ABOUT language, no matter how detailed, erudite or numerical, is not, cannot and will never be language itself.
The typical student of Latin today probably knows more about Latin than most Roman citizens ever did; I can just see Roman kids all: “hey, Quintus, what’s the ablative singular on that, bro?”
B-star came to Japan aged 27, 7 years ago. Not a word of Japanese. He’s now completely fluent. We talked to each other in Japanese, he told me:“When I first came to Japan, I went to a Japanese school and looked at the books, but it just kind of sucked, you know? So I was like…this isn’t going to work; I’m not going to learn this way; I just have to go out there and figure it out. Pretty soon I was speaking, and people asked me ‘how did you learn?’, I said: ‘I don’t know! Not even I know!’”.
"will have had"
Japanese is an aspect language. English is a tense and aspect language. From what I can tell, this means that there are certain grammatical constructions that involve referencing to time in strange ways. Whenever you say "had been" like "He had been playing the guitar for twelve years." This means there are two points of time in question. The first is a starting point in the past...when he started playing guitar...and an ending point...(this is still kind of questionable but just for example sake) ...when he stopped playing guitar. I think most languages are like Japanese where there is just aspect...but languages like English and Russian are tense and aspect. When you talk about the past tense in Japanese, there is usually only one point in time in question.
If you look at "will have had"...man...what a doozy. That's definitely something that's really Englishy. You're referencing the future like it's the past. You're combining the future and the past with a hypothetical experience. When you think about these grammatical concepts and how complicated they really are...it's easy to see how it might not carry into other languages, especially those with completely separate evolutions.
"I will have had three ice creams by then."
"I translate the ideas, their forms, or as one might say, their shapes; however, I translate them into a language that is in tune with our conventions of usage (verbis ad nostram consuetudinem aptis). Therefore, I did not have to make a word-for-word translation but rather a translation that reflects the general stylistic features (genus) and the meaning (vis) of the foreign words." (De optimo genere oratorum) - Cicero, talking about his translation of Demosthenes
It is said that if you are artistic, homosexual, or left-handed you can learn languages easily. Also, women are usually naturally better than men. "Feeling a language" is better than "thinking a language." Women are usually more right-brain oriented and if you haven't noticed, homosexuality, being artistic or just irrational, and left-handed are all signs of being right-brain oriented.
"People good at learning languages usually have "a high coincidence of left-handedness, homosexuality, auto-immune disorders, learning disorders and talents in art, mathematics and, possibly, languages." -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperpoly
Is there a direct connection between the right side of the brain and language acquisition? For "feeling the language" ...the most important part of language learning...the right-brain might be the key for a more complete if not full acquisition of language.
As I continue to learn Japanese, it has become apparent to me that "fluent" is a very broad term. People that don't study other languages do not know about this but it's really true. You don't just find the cut-off point some day and you're "fluent."
"There is no clear definition of what it means to "speak a language." A tourist who can handle a simple conversation with a waiter may be completely lost when it comes to discussing current affairs or even using multiple tenses. A diplomat or businessman who can handle complicated negotiations in a foreign language may not be able to write a simple letter correctly. A four-year-old French child usually must be said to "speak French fluently", but it is possible that he cannot handle the grammar as well as even some mediocre foreign students of the language do and will surely have a very limited vocabulary despite having perfect pronunciation." -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperpolyg
You know, there are apparently different classifications for bilinguals as well.
"a) Coordinate Bilingualism: In this type, the person learns the languages in separate environments, and words of the two languages are kept separate with each word having its own specific meaning. An instance of this is seen in a Cameroonian child learning English at school. This may also be referred to as subtractive bilingualism.
b) Compound Bilingualism: Here, the person learns the two languages in the same context where they are used concurrently, so that there is a fused representation of the languages in the brain. This is the case when a child is brought up by bilingual parents, or those from two different linguistic backgrounds. This is additive in nature.
It is worthy of note that the above classification has given rise to several models of bilingual education programmes. Larsen and Long (1994) distinguish two main types:
i. The model devised to help students continue to grow in their first language while acquiring a second language, and
ii. The immersion programme permitting native speakers to receive all of their initial education in a second language. After early grades, more and more content courses are taught in the target language." - http://www.translationdirectory.com/art
" ▪ For compound bilinguals, words and phrases in different languages are the same concepts. That means, a 'chien' and a 'dog' are two words for the same concept for a French-English speaker of this type. These speakers are usually fluent in both languages.
▪ For coordinate bilinguals, words and phrases in the speaker's mind are all related to their own unique concepts. That means, a bilingual speaker of this type has different associations for chien and for 'dog'. In these individuals, one language, usually the first language, is more dominant than the other, and the first language may be used to think through the second language. These speakers are known to use very different intonation and pronunciation features, and sometimes assert the feeling of having different personalities attached to each of their languages."http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multilingu
“Traduttore traditore” (The translator is a traitor). Italian epigram