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- Tue, 15 Apr 2014 13:29:54 EST JWfHUhIZ No.11244
File: 1397582994531.png -(1110672B / 1.06MB, 780x1650) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. surrendermonkeyese
quick question about french

the "past historic" tense of a verb is considered for literary use only. but from what I understand, the tense is the same as the english "I ate, I slept, I walked"

why is that considered literary use only? it seems very basic to have a past tense like that.
Charles Dartstone - Tue, 15 Apr 2014 16:53:27 EST /sKGtROt No.11246 Reply
The passé simple does not translate as easily as you think it does. In english, the "I ate" past and the "I have eaten" past are still largely interchangeable and both occur frequently in speech (I forgot the name of those tenses). In french, the "je mangeai" past (passé simple) has simply disappeared from everyday use. You only ever hear the passé composé.

I could turn your question around. Quick question about english - the second person singular pronoun 'thou' is only every used in specialized literature. But from what I understand, it's the same as in the french 'tu' in contrast to 'vous'. Why has thou disappeared? It seems very basic to make a distinction between the singular and plural second person pronouns.

The passé composé appears frequently in written media because most forms of french literature are very conservative in their language. Take a intellectually mid-range magazine like National Geographic. In english the language used in NG would be pretty close to regular spoken english. In french the difference would be a lot more noticeable - writing in media tends to be a lot more convoluted, sophisticated and flowery in grammar and lexicon than everyday speech. It's quite an interesting phenomenon really. The end result is that written french has many elements that don't occur in spoken french, the passé simple being one of them.

When I speak french with frenchmen I sometimes like to throw in a passé simple form to see their reactions. They usually comment on it.
Jenny Sarringspear - Tue, 15 Apr 2014 17:35:36 EST NqJL1ymG No.11247 Reply
Mind you, languages other than English tend to have a lot more dialectical variation; enough that there's (or was until about 50 years ago) actually a gradient of "know this language, you can understand this language" between French, Portuguese, and Italian. This means that there's a great deal of interest in locking the rules down in stone so things aren't too different to figure out for everyone. French becoming the region's lingua franca (cough) doesn't help the whole "keep it constant so everyone can understand it" thing. Whence the spelling.

Another thing about translation is sometimes it isn't possible. The past historic doesn't actually translate into English; it just formed analogously to our simple past and makes for a better feeling translation than free translation, which is more difficult for teachers to measure because not all of the elements are being drawn the same. And since they're both past tense anyways (little information other than feeling is destroyed or pulled out of nowhere), that's the way it goes.

As a note of trivia, the same thing kinda happened in German; the more irregular past tense (where you have the remember that o becomes a in come/came (komme/kam)) is harder to memorize and less systematic with sound changes in weird dialects. The result is you only pretty much use it when you're telling an impersonal story, but a lot of media will just use the regular past (the hab ge+verb+en) anyways. It's actually probably an areal feature, like German and Dutch picking up the Parisian R.
Shit Worthingdale - Sun, 10 Aug 2014 12:53:51 EST uKLKdjDs No.11604 Reply
This post is very good.

As a native speaker, I'd say you have to consider first the fact that when you are using this tense you are talking/writing about something which is supposed to be 'cut' from the present time. And by that I mean not something you can count, as if there was a time limit, when you use this tense what you are talking about is almost from another dimension, you can't relate to It in any imaginable way.

You can see from the perspective "It is mostly use in those kind of text therefore...". But you should try to get closer to the meaning of this tense. I actually it's not one of the most difficult thing in french language

Learning Finnish

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- Wed, 15 Jan 2014 22:28:04 EST uWRxXpm/ No.10987
File: 1389842884758.gif -(2722B / 2.66KB, 422x260) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. Learning Finnish
I want to learn Finnish. I've never learned a second language. I speak English. Does anyone know of a good free resource for becoming fluent in Finnish. I'm thinking a website, a book or a set of books. Piracy is ok. I also welcome advice.
68 posts and 21 images omitted. Click View Thread to read.
Basil Smallgold - Tue, 29 Jul 2014 21:46:16 EST Q5R8DPz7 No.11574 Reply
1406684776523.jpg -(28013B / 27.36KB, 660x500) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size.
Fuck you, I for one welcome any migrants who come through 420chan.
Hugh Blytheham - Tue, 05 Aug 2014 02:11:59 EST zI1SXTVd No.11595 Reply
1407219119556.jpg -(975180B / 952.32KB, 3573x2756) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size.

Where to look for career-specific vocabulary

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- Mon, 04 Aug 2014 20:52:51 EST LJXwQPLv No.11594
File: 1407199971415.png -(152857B / 149.27KB, 300x225) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. Where to look for career-specific vocabulary
I need a basic overview of French (Southern Quebec/Northern New England) construction vocab, words like hammer, plywood, scaffold, "to drive a nail", "on the clock" etc. Does anyone know where to look for things like this, it's basic but it's highly situational. All the library books focus on colors and foods and shit and also are European-oriented.


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- Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:11:39 EST i0gwflFu No.11558
File: 1406218299295.png -(47319B / 46.21KB, 693x1720) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. Books
Recommend me a good language (text)book that is nevertheless not easily available on the net or in libraries (i.e. relatively recent and on an obscure topic). I need to make a 17e purchase from amazon.de and something extra would help with the shipping costs.

Suicide note..

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- Thu, 10 Jul 2014 14:38:04 EST HmrDo+U8 No.11533
File: 1405017484642.jpg -(24052B / 23.49KB, 500x375) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. Suicide note..
Can someone who speaks french tell me exactly what this means, please? Someone I loved left this behind

>Certaines personnes qui comptaient à mon coeur me manque terriblement ... je vous aime et je vous embrasse fort au revoir

I don't speak French and google translate seems to mess it up a bit. Could someone please tell me exactly what he's was trying to express?

It's very important to me that I understand, please.
6 posts and 2 images omitted. Click View Thread to read.
Basil Neblingkedge - Sun, 20 Jul 2014 16:51:43 EST mPRdrUeT No.11550 Reply
note that the you (vous) is plural, if thats any help. the note is addressing more than one person throughout
Basil Neblingkedge - Sun, 20 Jul 2014 16:52:10 EST mPRdrUeT No.11551 Reply
well shit, someone already said that

Nell Nedgeworth - Sun, 20 Jul 2014 21:40:13 EST gPIGtUk4 No.11553 Reply
it wasn't your fault, or doesn't matter if it was.
read a book: Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin
it's about unrequited love with a frenchman, makes you think, you'd like it.

Language Learning on the Internet

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- Sun, 20 Jul 2014 06:30:58 EST dI81Dve+ No.11548
File: 1405852258163.jpg -(122298B / 119.43KB, 283x424) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. Language Learning on the Internet
Tell me, what is your favorite website for learning languages? Mine is duolingo.com. But if I had money, it would be busuu.com.
Nell Nedgeworth - Sun, 20 Jul 2014 21:35:05 EST gPIGtUk4 No.11552 Reply
I have friends all over the world who I chat with, sometimes using google translate, but increasingly I start to get the hang of the language and am able to communicate without a crutch.
Nigel Muzzleson - Mon, 21 Jul 2014 05:43:23 EST /B/BFMOS No.11554 Reply
Here's one you might not think of: Wikipedia. Articles on things you're interested in written by (probably) native speakers in any language you're likely to want to read.

On a side note, there's a galling lack of Busuu on Busuu. There was apparently a campaign to "save Busuu", except saving meant sharing a video with your friends and possibly learning enough Busuu to fill one side of an index card. I do hope the handful of Busuu speakers are getting something in exchange for this co-opting.


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- Fri, 18 Jul 2014 21:40:44 EST 9jHF7Nhs No.11546
File: 1405734044491.gif -(5550B / 5.42KB, 390x265) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. Japanese
Hi everyone thank you for your time... I went to Japan for a religious studies study abroad program and I absolutely fell in love. The only problem I had was the language barrier between the Japanese people and me.

I plan on going back in 6 months and while I know I won't be fluent by then, I'm wondering if anyone can extend to me some advice on how to learn Japanese and what programs/methods were effective for you. Thank you!
Ian Wemmlemane - Sun, 20 Jul 2014 12:42:16 EST DIxzy9/G No.11549 Reply
I personally learn best in a classroom setting, preferably five days a week. I studied Japanese in high school for two hours a day, and watching movies and reading (easy) books helped me cement what I already learned and to learn some new vocabulary. Since you're going in such a short time, have you looked to see if there are any tutors or anything teaching basic classes specifically for travelling? They make books and tapes for that sort of thing, too, but, like I said, the classroom worked for me.

I guess you could also see if your local community college offers Japanese and you could take a semester and at least learn some basic phrases and how to read a bit. Shouldn't be too terribly expensive for just one class.

Another thing I've used on and off is the Erin ga choosen! Nihongo dekimasu website. It's from a video series made in Japan to teach grammar and some cultural things. I like the website because it has different little quizzes/activities after the video clips.

You could also try getting a Japanese penpal and doing a language exchange or something. If you have a mic, you could do Skype or something so that you could get the pronunciations/inflections down. Plus, you could have a friend to meet up with once you get there.

If you get lost or something, I found people to be really nice and helpful...except for this guy at the train station that tried to help me and my friends find the right train even though we already knew what we were doing. Then he wanted us to pay him (we didn't, obviously, because wtf dude). Otherwise, everyone was really nice. I met a little old lady at an inn I stayed at and she was tickled pink that I spoke Japanese.

Anyway, good luck to you! The Japanese language and culture is really fun and interesting.


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!K1y.sEgsM2 - Tue, 31 Jul 2012 14:46:55 EST ec3of1ct No.7299
File: 1343760415383.png -(256851B / 250.83KB, 350x430) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. ONE /LANG/ FOR ONE /WORLD/
If everyone suddenly decided to have only one language universally spoken, what would it be?

Hard mode: Not your own language.
55 posts and 7 images omitted. Click View Thread to read.
Ernest Mublingson - Wed, 09 Jul 2014 16:34:34 EST 3xDq++i+ No.11529 Reply
Polish. Hearing Polish girls speak can bring my ears to orgasm.
Charles Shakeford - Thu, 10 Jul 2014 13:28:55 EST 5HKrwZq0 No.11532 Reply
anything that has a click during a sentence . like one of those african languages.


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- Wed, 25 Jun 2014 15:07:31 EST I27rhYpp No.11491
File: 1403723251940.png -(3352B / 3.27KB, 1000x600) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. German
Whats the best way to learn german? I know pimsleur is good, any textbook I should use with that or anything?
2 posts omitted. Click View Thread to read.
Basil Cuffingnork - Sun, 29 Jun 2014 22:14:47 EST LvYH0MTf No.11505 Reply
watch german movies with english subs,listen to german music.
Phoebe Honeyshit - Mon, 30 Jun 2014 17:02:50 EST 8oImHEQx No.11511 Reply
My friend was born in Germany and his German is impeccable. Maybe try that.
Barnaby Crarrychit - Wed, 09 Jul 2014 16:46:57 EST LvYH0MTf No.11530 Reply
1404938817183.jpg -(75711B / 73.94KB, 384x384) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size.
>Ich lerne Duetch auf meine Computer, Ich empfehle duolingo.com und empfehle sprecke mit mir in diesem Thread :-)
The sentence(s) should be
>Ich lerne Deutsch auf meinem Computer.
I see the english sentence but the rest doesn't make much sense. (at least the second part)
>und ich empfehle das ihr mit mir schreibt.
I think that would've been enough to get the point across. Maybe don't repeat the same word in that part,too (but that might be just a pet peeve of mine)


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- Tue, 01 Jul 2014 01:10:30 EST bajoLiRG No.11512
File: 1404191430337.jpg -(110055B / 107.48KB, 380x540) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. cum
is there a name for the "a" to "er" sound for words that end with an a? for example, idea becomes ideer, noriega becomes norieger, alaska becomes alasker. i've noticed it more in australian and british accents.
1 posts omitted. Click View Thread to read.
Cyril Trotfuck - Tue, 01 Jul 2014 08:00:40 EST NqJL1ymG No.11515 Reply
The process of turning the "a" to "er" is called the intrusive r, and it's a form of hypercorrection.

English accents are split between rhotic and non-rhotic, this happening I think in the late 1700s to the early 1800s. Non rhotic accents, pronouncing *all* er sounds as a spread whereever the English were dominant and populous barring areas with large Celtic populations; so most British territories of the time and later, as well as Boston, and barring places like the US, the Gaeltacht, or Canada. But as speakers where the er sound is always a came into contact with rhotic speakers on a frequent basis - e.g. the British dealing with multiple accents, Austrailians getting American tv shows imported, Bostonians with anyone else in America - they added it back in, but because the brain has them stored as allophones (since they merged) it applies to a sounds that weren't er sounds before. Wiki will probably tell you better.

Generally the sounds you're talking about are the open back vowel, which in the IPA looks like the open a in handwriting (as opposed to the a with the hook on the top), or the mid central vowel (looking like an upside down e) alternating with the mid central rhoticised vowel or the front open-mid rhoticized vowel ( appear each as the upside down e or a small, capital cursive e (or backwards round 3) with tiny hooks coming off the sides looking like the not stick part of a lowercase r, respectively).

I can't keyboard right now because arch keeps destroying my custom keyboard layouts when I update and I'm too tired and salty to not be lazy.
Ernest Grimstock - Wed, 02 Jul 2014 14:25:01 EST qizTVHik No.11516 Reply

I found this interesting, but just wanted to say I anticipated a smiley face in your post but I guess I just saw the '3)' in the corner of my eye.
John Nicklefield - Tue, 26 Aug 2014 08:22:10 EST mPRdrUeT No.11632 Reply
its hypercorrection if the /r/ is actually being pronounced, sure. Though I get the impression from OPs post that he's just on about unstressed vowel sounds

but maybe I'm wrong

Learning Norwegian

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- Sun, 29 Jun 2014 13:53:18 EST slZc18Ic No.11504
File: 1404064398908.jpg -(86366B / 84.34KB, 544x400) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. Learning Norwegian
What are some good resources/textbooks for learning Norwegian? I know the basics, and would like to learn more about the grammar, as well as some basic vocabulary.

independend language-learning methods thread

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- Sun, 15 Jun 2014 22:28:33 EST Q1OHbBLY No.11473
File: 1402885713286.jpg -(73575B / 71.85KB, 480x360) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. independend language-learning methods thread

I'm a Brazilian who taught himself how to speak Finnish in a little under 3 years. I'm not fluent, but I am fluent enough to communicate and be understood. I made this thread on 4ch0ng's /int/ (aka /b/ with flags), but no one got interested.

I'd like to make this thread for those who are learning a language by themselves and maybe need a little help. Ask whatever you want and I'll see if I can help.

For those who are specifically interested in Finnish, I'll leave here some of the material and method I used to learn Finnish. However, I make it clear already that what fueled my motivation was an obsession I had with the language. Something almost enthusiastic. So don't ask me where I get my motivation from because I can't help with that.


Handy consultation grammar book:

More grammar:

Content for beginners:

WordReference's (language-learning forum) finnish language's sub-forum.

Write shit and get it corrected by natives:

Quick translator (I don't know if this is the exact same extension I used 2 years ago):
https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/word-translator/mdgdbmohcdjfbglkepkiaabaieenhhhc (inb4 hurr botnet)

And other links which I don't have.

My method basially consists of using the language actively. I'd read finnish websites (like www.stara.fi which, compared to others, seems to me to be the one that avoids the use of a more complicated finnish), mess around in randomi.fi (Finland's 0megle), watch stuff at Yle's (Finland's largest news-broadcast company) video-streaming thing called Areena (http://areena.yle.fi/tv/kaikki?tekstitys=fin&ulkomaat=1 unfortunately most content is for Finns. This link has stuff you can watch from outside Finland and that contain finnish subs), read stuff at www.northpole.fi or yllilauta.fi (Northpole hardly use any slangs while Yllilauta's users use it like crazy), watch known movies like Titanic, X-men and Spiderman (the more known the movie is, the more likely you are to find a finnish subtitle for its release somewhere in the internet) with finnish subtitles, write stuff in Lang-8 to see where I'm making mistakes (this thing is great for those who enjoy writing) and some other stuff which I don't remember.

For those who are wondering, yes, I am that guy from Yllilauta.
Fanny Tootstone - Mon, 16 Jun 2014 04:44:07 EST PEXXoxBv No.11474 Reply
Yeah, well, thing is, motivation is the single most important factor in language learning. Finding actual means and methods is the easiest part, no matter how hard the language is — well, provided that it's not a totally obscure/ancient/dying language.

And in order to maintain motivation one must always seek out interesting content to work with, and not limit onself to textbooks (that almost always have very boring content).
Now, Lingq.com has a lot of flaws, but I definitely like its core concept that consists in merely assisting you in text absorption, by providing you with quick vocabulary/flashcards and word highlighting tool. Another great way to use this website is to get the LingQ Firefox extension — that way you can, say, open an interesting wikipedia article and then export it to LingQ, while staying on the original page. Only works if you have the paid account, otherwise your vocabulary size will be severely limited, which pretty much makes the entire service useless. It's $10 per month.
Martha Niggerdock - Tue, 17 Jun 2014 19:18:54 EST 6Y0p17FR No.11480 Reply
What resources do you guys use? I'd like to learn Thai for various reasons. I'm a native English speaker and don't know any other languages. I've taken Spanish and French classes but I didn't do so hot.
Charlotte Budgespear - Sat, 21 Jun 2014 06:46:32 EST bairN3wR No.11488 Reply
i'm trying to learn german thru duolingo.com


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- Thu, 05 Jun 2014 23:40:28 EST qizTVHik No.11444
File: 1402026028223.png -(44566B / 43.52KB, 600x323) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. occitan
Anyone fluent? Partially speak? I just want some resources. I only really know English, with some partial understanding of other languages, mostly Spanish. Anyway, seems interesting, though I'm drunk. Doubt I could learn a language drunk, but sober or stoned, maybe.

Why do you or don't you speak this language?
Hannah Tillingshaw - Mon, 09 Jun 2014 11:36:09 EST v8HtwEYi No.11459 Reply
yes you could learn a language drunk, but you have to get drunk with people who don't speak english, and you'll naturally learn to communicate.
Rebecca Hungerham - Wed, 11 Jun 2014 17:26:22 EST jKyKVCoU No.11468 Reply
I speak portuguese and I heard it's pretty similar. You'd be better off learning spanish or portuguese and THEN going for these more hipster romance languages.
Hamilton Dandlefad - Thu, 19 Jun 2014 05:13:02 EST HJKlShZi No.11486 Reply
Agreed, there are a gazillion free resources for learning Spanish, you can learn it in no time. Once you are good at another latin language the very few resources available to learn Occitan will be enough, but they aren't enough to start from scratch.

Unknown Kanji?

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- Mon, 09 Jun 2014 22:52:53 EST 6c3cfOwS No.11461
File: 1402368773800.jpg -(22182B / 21.66KB, 116x89) Thumbnail displayed, click image for full size. Unknown Kanji?
Hello, I was wondering if anyone knew what this character means for I cannot find it in my book.
Polly Hinderlock - Tue, 10 Jun 2014 04:14:23 EST 4pGXVZso No.11462 Reply
I might be a lopsided 海 (sea in chinese and probably japanese too). It doesn't follow the usual structure so it's certainly a variant character. Try looking it up in a specialised dictionary (or just asking a chinese/japanese person)

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