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    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jul 2013
    • Posts: 4
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    A Journey Towards the Better Me.

    Hello everyone,

    My name is Nick and I have decided to embark on a journey to learn as many languages as I can before my brain rots away anymore than it already has. With the prior being said, I believe to fully comprehend the rules and nuances of a new language I should first understand my native language to a higher degree. This website's well organized vault of English grammar is just what I needed to take my first step into the unknown.

    That being said I will now disclose a bit of personal information about myself. I am a young man with a high school education and unfortunately nothing more. Being from a inner city background and growing up the way I did, I can't help but want more then what I have. I'm going to be inquiring quite a bit on this forum if all goes well.

    Now... Where should I start? I believe I should start from the beginning, but would anyone like to give advice on where a good place to start would be?

    Thank you,
    Nick.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 03-Aug-2013 at 20:13. Reason: Typo correction (than/then)!

  1. FreeToyInside's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: May 2012
    • Posts: 222
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: A Journey Towards the Better Me.

    Hi Nick,
    I think some good advice is that if you're interested in foreign languages, go ahead and get into them! I say that for two reasons: firstly, you seem to have a good command of English anyhow, so if you want to start a new language - there's no time like the present! Secondly, and speaking from personal experience, learning a second language greatly strengthens your command of your native language. For example, I had years of grammar lessons in junior high, but it wasn't until I went to Slovakia in my senior year of HS that I actually understood what direct and indirect objects were. I'll never forget them now because in order to learn Slovak, you have to make that distinction, because every single noun changes its ending based on knowing what direct/indirect objects are. My English grammar has never been stronger thanks to studying Slovak, Spanish, German and Mandarin. As you learn the way thoughts are formed into sentences in other languages, it forces you to reflect on the way you use your own language. That is true of all aspects: verb tenses, clauses, word order, right down to simply choosing which word is most appropriate in context.

    You'll also develop interest and excitement in your own language. As you learn Romance languages, you'll see just how many related words exist in English thanks to the influence of the Norman French. As you learn a Germanic language, you'll appreciate English from the another viewpoint, recognizing the similarities between the Anglo-Saxon words in English and the words and formations from German, Dutch, etc. As you learn Asian languages, your eyes will open to new ways of expressing the same thought, but in a way you never really thought about, and be surprised by the similarities that all languages have between them.

    So go ahead and jump right in! Learning a new language and using it to communicate with speakers of that language is one of the most rewarding learning experiences you can have. Have fun! And by the way, I'm not at all trying to be snarky here, but do you know the difference between 'then' and 'than?' It could have been a typo in your text, but it's a mistake I see very often online. If you don't - start with that one! Either way, the difference between those words and many more becomes obvious when you learn a foreign language :)

    Take care,
    Brock
    Last edited by FreeToyInside; 28-Jul-2013 at 03:50.

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jul 2013
    • Posts: 4
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: A Journey Towards the Better Me.

    Ah yes... The old then/than mix up. It's actually quite a persistent mistake for me, thanks for pointing it out! I am actually taking advantage of a few tools to work on my Spanish. Duolingo is a great progressive app for keeping me in touch with what I have learned so far. It's a great tool when combined with other forms of study.

    My newly revived intrigue into the English language is due to how little I absorbed in public school and how adept I'd like to be in it. I've adopted the task of copying the Grammar Glossary by hand into my notebook to both have a physical reference and to imprint as much knowledge into my mind as I can while completing it. I can't say I love to analyze things piece by piece to understand them, but it happens to be my brain's preference of knowledge intake haha. I believe in my own way of studying because feels like it creates a foundation in which I can draw out information easier through the imprint I made through tasks I've given myself and ones I've already completed.

    Thanks for the tips Brock!

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