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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Arabic
      • Home Country:
      • Algeria
      • Current Location:
      • Algeria

    • Join Date: Feb 2011
    • Posts: 1
    #1

    Post Seeking Advice:

    In tests and compositions, we're always asked to write a paragraph. The problem is that I can't make a good one without mistakes. I alwyas try to translate arabic sentences into english and that's a big mistake because it won't give me the same meaning.
    what shoul I do?

  1. nyota's Avatar
    Senior Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2009
    • Posts: 615
    #2

    Re: Seeking Advice:

    Reading in English actually helps a lot (books, magazines) or watching some shows, getting their scripts and then working with them. It also comes in handy if you pay attention to how words collocate, this way you'll calque your mother tongue structures a bit less.

  2. Khosro's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Persian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • Iran

    • Join Date: Jan 2011
    • Posts: 530
    #3

    Re: Seeking Advice:

    as nyota said:
    1- Read in English. Read a lot. Reading/writing/listening/ speaking they all improve together. Each of them helps the others.
    2- Pay attention to collocation. See how words are used together. We say:"pay attention to this", we dont say:"do attention to this". When you look up a word in your dictionary, see how it is used with other words.
    -----------------------------

    three other points:
    1- read something that you enjoy.
    2- write everyday and post it here so others could comment on it.
    3- Imagine you are an actor. Don't see yourself as a scientist, as a translator. Imagine you are an actor who plays the role of an Englishman. Don't analyse the sentences! Just say what you read in the books and you heard in the movies. A pirate has no language, that's why she learns any language.
    Last edited by Khosro; 22-Feb-2011 at 01:51.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,833
    #4

    Re: Seeking Advice:

    Post an example of something you have written for one of these tests for people to look at.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 24,453
    #5

    Re: Seeking Advice:

    A pirate has no language, that's why she learns any language.
    Could you please explain that thought to us in a bit more detail, Khosro?

    Rover

  3. Khosro's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Persian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • Iran

    • Join Date: Jan 2011
    • Posts: 530
    #6

    Re: Seeking Advice:

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    Could you please explain that thought to us in a bit more detail, Khosro?

    Rover
    I am afraid I can't. That was a joke ofcourse. Anybody knows that speaking a language requires thinking. But do we need to know a language in order to learn another language? No, when a child learns her mother language she knows no other language yet.

    What I meant is that there are different levels of thinking. a seven-year-old child might also use "possible" in her daily conversations but the meaning of "possible" for her is not as broad as it is for us but she uses it anyhow.

    Ofcourse imposing your mother language on the second language you are learning is disatvantageous. In my opinion we can avoid it if we imagine ourselves an actor, some English speaking actor, and be absorbed by our role. it does not contradict the fact that we communicate using language. An actor is also communicating with other actors in a play. If a pirate has no wish to communicate she could never utter any words or sentences.

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