Ashley

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Well now youve all made me down duolingo... time to dust of my gcse spanish

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Grammar and most vocabulary, your Brazilian co-owrker could help you with that. Pronunciation, though, that's definitely quite different ("Falar", which we pronounce "Fuh-larr", becomes "Fálá" in Brazillian. "Portugau" and "Tchibetche" (Tibete) are other quirks they have, but we don't).

 

Sorry to say, you're going to need an European or an African portuguese-speaker to help you power through our difficult vowels.

 

One of my closest friends is from Lisbon so he'll be the one I'm pestering most, don't worry!

 

Just had to laugh as the Portuguese for "a potato" is "uma batata" which just made me think of Hakuna Matata.

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I'm getting back into Dutch and am throwing in some Spanish too as I was extremely rusty on that.

 

Dutch can just fuck off with the whole "het" and "de" thing, which just seems completely random at times. I find the whole concept of "this object is masculine, this is feminine and this is neuter" to be ridiculous anyway. /rant

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Yeah genders to an English speaker is such a mind fuck.

 

I learnt the Portuguese for "I don't understand" earlier is "não entendo" which kind of sounds like "Nintendo", which amused me.

 

It's as good as the Italian Sega wank.

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Dutch can just fuck off with the whole "het" and "de" thing, which just seems completely random at times. I find the whole concept of "this object is masculine, this is feminine and this is neuter" to be ridiculous anyway. /rant

 

"At times"? More like "all the time" :heh: It's based entirely on whether a word "feels" male or female, as decided by the society/culture of that language. So yeah, as good as random.

 

I learnt the Portuguese for "I don't understand" earlier is "não entendo" which kind of sounds like "Nintendo", which amused me.

 

It's as good as the Italian Sega wank.

 

Oh, so you already figured out that classic pun. Man, you're making fast progress.

 

I've seen Portuguese-speaking media use "Nuntintendo" as a parody name, too (I think you know which sentence is that supposed to sound like).

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"At times"? More like "all the time" :heh: It's based entirely on whether a word "feels" male or female, as decided by the society/culture of that language. So yeah, as good as random.

 

 

 

Oh, so you already figured out that classic pun. Man, you're making fast progress.

 

I've seen Portuguese-speaking media use "Nuntintendo" as a parody name, too (I think you know which sentence is that supposed to sound like).

What is it supposed to sound like? I want to chuckle knowingly at it.

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"At times"? More like "all the time" :heh: It's based entirely on whether a word "feels" male or female, as decided by the society/culture of that language. So yeah, as good as random.

 

 

It's a huge stumbling block for me in Dutch/Flemish and I'm struggling with it atm. I can't do "random", as I need things to make sense in some sort of way in my head. I've tried reading up on it to encounter that "aha!" moment where it all clicks, but all I've found is "yup, it's random, you just have to learn it!" virtually everywhere.

 

I feel like I understand most other things except that. I did some Duolingo the other day and had an excellent sentence all lined up with beautiful grammar and...I failed because I put de instead of het. Fuckkkkkk yoooooooouuuuuuu. I rage quit. I rage quit a language app. Who the fuck does that?!

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It's a huge stumbling block for me in Dutch/Flemish and I'm struggling with it atm. I can't do "random", as I need things to make sense in some sort of way in my head. I've tried reading up on it to encounter that "aha!" moment where it all clicks, but all I've found is "yup, it's random, you just have to learn it!" virtually everywhere.

 

I feel like I understand most other things except that. I did some Duolingo the other day and had an excellent sentence all lined up with beautiful grammar and...I failed because I put de instead of het. Fuckkkkkk yoooooooouuuuuuu. I rage quit. I rage quit a language app. Who the fuck does that?!

 

In French there are a number of rules that help figure out genders. very basically, if it ends "e" a good guess is that it is feminine, if not it's male. the other rules are to explain the many exceptions, but 90% of nouns are probably covered by that first rule. I guess the down side is the 10% that don't are also generally the 10% you'll come across very often.. but even so I'm sure there are rules out there. Dutch is more "niche" so finding good materials will be tougher though.

 

Another tip is to just learn the "de" and "het" as you learn the nouns. I haven't a clue with dutch so just englishing it up, "dechair" hetboat" "dewindow" "hetdoor".

Good luck anyway!

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In French there are a number of rules that help figure out genders. very basically, if it ends "e" a good guess is that it is feminine, if not it's male. the other rules are to explain the many exceptions, but 90% of nouns are probably covered by that first rule. I guess the down side is the 10% that don't are also generally the 10% you'll come across very often.. but even so I'm sure there are rules out there. Dutch is more "niche" so finding good materials will be tougher though.

 

Another tip is to just learn the "de" and "het" as you learn the nouns. I haven't a clue with dutch so just englishing it up, "dechair" hetboat" "dewindow" "hetdoor".

Good luck anyway!

 

There are rules there in French and Spanish, but not in Dutch. It is random, which is just a pain in the tits. I've been trying to learn it your way, but it can be quite tricky and is just an additional thing to remember.

 

I'll persevere. I'm doing better than this time last year, so I guess that's something.

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At least you only have to deal with two genders in French/Spanish/Dutch.

 

Who decided that a mouse was neither male, nor female, and they needed a neutral gender to describe it?!

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At least you only have to deal with two genders in French/Spanish/Dutch.

 

Who decided that a mouse was neither male, nor female, and they needed a neutral gender to describe it?!

 

Dutch has a neutral gender. :p

 

De is both male and female.

 

Het is neuter/neutral.

 

But you have no way of knowing which one to use.

 

De tafel = the table

Het boek = the book

 

To make it even more confusing...

 

Het tafelje = the small table

De boeken = the books

 

So, the diminutives are always het. Plurals are always de.

 

So...you can have:

 

Het boek = the book

Het boekje = the small book

De boeken = the books

 

and

 

De tafel = the table

Het tafeltje = the small table (oh yeah, some words also get a t added in for their diminutives)

De tafels = the tables (some words get the en ending for a plural, some simply get s)

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What is it supposed to sound like? I want to chuckle knowingly at it.

 

Well, I didn't mean to post that as an in-joke or anything, more like a small challenge for Ashley to figure out.

 

"Não te entendo" = "I don't understand you"

 

To be more precise, if you write it like that, it sounds like a brusque, grumpy, rude accent. A bit like "I don'get ya, mate."

 

 

It's a huge stumbling block for me in Dutch/Flemish and I'm struggling with it atm. I can't do "random", as I need things to make sense in some sort of way in my head. I've tried reading up on it to encounter that "aha!" moment where it all clicks, but all I've found is "yup, it's random, you just have to learn it!" virtually everywhere.

 

I feel like I understand most other things except that. I did some Duolingo the other day and had an excellent sentence all lined up with beautiful grammar and...I failed because I put de instead of het. Fuckkkkkk yoooooooouuuuuuu. I rage quit. I rage quit a language app. Who the fuck does that?!

 

Dutch has a neutral gender. :p

 

De is both male and female.

 

Het is neuter/neutral.

 

But you have no way of knowing which one to use.

 

De tafel = the table

Het boek = the book

 

To make it even more confusing...

 

Het tafelje = the small table

De boeken = the books

 

So, the diminutives are always het. Plurals are always de.

 

So...you can have:

 

Het boek = the book

Het boekje = the small book

De boeken = the books

 

and

 

De tafel = the table

Het tafeltje = the small table (oh yeah, some words also get a t added in for their diminutives)

De tafels = the tables (some words get the en ending for a plural, some simply get s)

 

The way you describe it, it sounds a lot like German. So I guess "soft rules" (diminutives are neutral, words ending with "e" are usually female but not always, etc.) are the most sense you'll get of it.

 

When learning German, putting the article before every noun I learned helped me a lot in memorizing each gender. It's going to be a slow crawl, but you'll get there.

 

(Fun fact: The "diminutives are neutral" thing is a rule that also exists in German. The German word for "girl" is a diminutive. Therefore, "girl" is a neutral word, not female. "Boy" is still male.)

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(Fun fact: The "diminutives are neutral" thing is a rule that also exists in German. The German word for "girl" is a diminutive. Therefore, "girl" is a neutral word, not female. "Boy" is still male.)

 

It's the same in Dutch, the word for girl is 'meisje', which is a diminutive as well so it's a neutral word.

 

I feel bad that there aren't any specific rules for this stuff in Dutch. For me it's something I just know as I grew up with these words, so it's really difficult to explain why it is the way it is to someone learning the language!

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There are rules there in French and Spanish, but not in Dutch. It is random, which is just a pain in the tits. I've been trying to learn it your way, but it can be quite tricky and is just an additional thing to remember.

 

I'll persevere. I'm doing better than this time last year, so I guess that's something.

 

http://learnpractice.com/rules-dutch-articles

 

some people disagree.... ;) hope that helps!!

 

even in French there are the odd nouns hear and there that make no sense on their gender, even applying all the rules I know of :( but having basic rules helps as a guide, on duolingo I would just take note of the instance you get it wrong and make a flashcard set of "crappy gender words". It would cut down the work a small amount at least, hopefully...

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This thread has taught me that all other European languages are stupid and it's a good job you guys learn English.

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http://learnpractice.com/rules-dutch-articles

 

some people disagree.... ;) hope that helps!!

 

even in French there are the odd nouns hear and there that make no sense on their gender, even applying all the rules I know of :( but having basic rules helps as a guide, on duolingo I would just take note of the instance you get it wrong and make a flashcard set of "crappy gender words". It would cut down the work a small amount at least, hopefully...

 

That's a really useful link, cheers for that.

 

Fucking hell, that's a lot to remember!

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That's a really useful link, cheers for that.

 

Fucking hell, that's a lot to remember!

 

Completely ignore the fact that I sent you a link to those rules as well. :(

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How's everyone doing with their language learning?

 

I'm getting there slowly. I think my vocabulary is getting better and I'm starting to get the word order a bit more. It's still tough going, though.

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About two weeks ago I finally got over two big 'humps'.

 

My Duolingo had gotten really behind with being busy and being in Cuba. My friend had logged in every day to buy a daily freeze so as not to lose the streak, but most of the categories had dipped quite a bit and with Duolingo's inconsistent strength meter it was a slog. Finally got all categories back up to full strength though.

 

Also managed to finally complete the third Memrise Italian course which was ridiculously long. The first is 206 words (/phrases), the second is 371 and the third is 637. There was just something about it taking so long that was mentally exhausting/offputting.

 

Slowed things down a bit as I was becoming overwhelmed but back on with the next Italian course and making decent progress with Portuguese (252 in the second course, although as its the same as Italian I know the next one is killer). Friend was helping me with pronunciation the other day which I'm least confident on (and most self-conscious about). Going home for a few days as of tomorrow and going to take a grammar book to try and get to grips with that a bit more. I'm learning some Italian grammar through repetition, but need to make more of a conscious effort.

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I've been learning/relearning Spanish and am making good progress with it on Duolingo. What does everyone think about Memrise? What are the positives of it?

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I use it and I find myself preferring it to Duolingo.

 

Reasons I like/prefer it:

 

  • The review (/checking your knowledge) is mixed up from all the things you've learnt, which I find better (and more challenging) than Duolingo's subject-based recap
  • The 'strength' of your knowledge of a particular word/phrase is much clearer than Duolingo
  • It's words and phrases (e.g. 'Clean the House') rather than just example sentences
  • Includes videos of locals saying the words/phrases
  • It keeps track of the words you fail at and there's a separate 'difficult words' section
  • Good range of lessons for the bigger languages with a mixture between curated and user-generated ones
  • The lessons themselves contain 'levels' (basically themes)
  • You can see what's coming up and I believe jump directly to a 'level' if you want

 

It has some negatives (the curated languages are split into courses but they vary in length quite radically sometimes, the mobile app holds your hand more than the desktop version

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I use it and I find myself preferring it to Duolingo.

 

Reasons I like/prefer it:

 

  • The review (/checking your knowledge) is mixed up from all the things you've learnt, which I find better (and more challenging) than Duolingo's subject-based recap
  • The 'strength' of your knowledge of a particular word/phrase is much clearer than Duolingo
  • It's words and phrases (e.g. 'Clean the House') rather than just example sentences
  • Includes videos of locals saying the words/phrases
  • It keeps track of the words you fail at and there's a separate 'difficult words' section
  • Good range of lessons for the bigger languages with a mixture between curated and user-generated ones
  • The lessons themselves contain 'levels' (basically themes)
  • You can see what's coming up and I believe jump directly to a 'level' if you want

 

It has some negatives (the curated languages are split into courses but they vary in length quite radically sometimes, the mobile app holds your hand more than the desktop version

 

What's it like in terms of learning sentence structures and grammar? It's not vocabulary as such that I'm after, but how to put the information into sentences. Connectives/conjunctions and subordinate clauses and all that.

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Oh yeah it doesn't really do that. I've yet to find any service that really does offer that, most are vocab focused. What I tend to do is get a whiff of it from a vocab app and then do self-study.

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Oh yeah it doesn't really do that. I've yet to find any service that really does offer that, most are vocab focused. What I tend to do is get a whiff of it from a vocab app and then do self-study.

 

Yeah, it's really tricky trying to find something that does that. I guess Duolingo does do that since you're mostly learning the words in a sentence or context, which helps. But, it doesn't really teach you how sentences are put together. It shows you examples and you learn through making mistakes and repetition.

 

Maybe we should make an app that does this and earn millions of pounds!

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I remember there was a good site once, basically a bit like duolingo but with user generated content, and native speakers would give feedback. It was far from perfect, but I enjoyed using it... until Rosetta Stone bought it up, stripped out most of the good stuff and started pushing their language courses super hard. Not a clue what it was called, or if it still exists.

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