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Corrections/disagreements with profiles

 Language Learning Forum : Collaborative writing Post Reply
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124 posts - 215 votes 
Speaks: Serbo-Croatian, English*, Catalan, Spanish, Polish
Studies: Dutch, Portuguese, Italian, Occitan, Punjabi, Urdu, Arabic (Maghribi), French, Modern Hebrew, Ukrainian, Slovenian

 Message 1 of 1
18 April 2011 at 9:39am | IP Logged 
The heaviest variations from this "standard English" occur, as always, in
backward areas.

*Backward* areas? I think that's a somewhat offensive way to phrase it... I would say
"rural" or "less wealthy" areas.

Almost everybody claims to speak English

I'm not so sure about this. I highly doubt it, and I'm not sure about how it would be

The English language has one of the most extensive vocabulary around, with more
than than 460'000 different words in the Webster Dictionary alone.

Really? According to the Oxford dictionary

The OED wrote:
There is no single sensible answer to this question. It's impossible
to count the number of words in a language, because it's so hard to decide what
actually counts as a word.

Not immensely useful unless you want to visit the former Yugoslavia but a
fascinating and incredibly beautiful language.

I would reword this to something more similar to:

Learning the language is a must if you plan on living or spending a lot of time
in a Cantonese speaking area and want to gain more than a superficial understanding of
the culture.

In other words, the "usefulness" section should focus on the language's strengths
(i.e., it is useful in former Yugoslavia) rather than the negative (i.e., that it is
not useful outside of its native language sphere). It's pointless to write "this isn't
very useful except if you want to talk to people who speak it" on every language that's
not English, Spanish, German, Mandarin or French.

If you learn Spanish in Cuba, everytime you open your mouth in Spanish you will
come across as a Cuban. Try to choose a country with a neutral accent and no
grammatical variations. In my humble opinion, the clearest Spanish is to be heard in
Mexico, Colombia and the region of Castilla in Spain.

I don't think this is really sound advice. The kind of Spanish I speak is closer to
Mexican, but this is because I learned through practice with Mexicans, not
because I wanted to aim towards some nonsense goal of "neutrality". I would say that if
you want to be understood the fastest in the largest area possible then a more spoken
dialect would probably be useful to learn. But if you want to learn it due to a
connection with a particular country, then learn that dialect/to imitate that accent. I
don't agree with the conclusions even then though - I'd imagine that Spaniards
understand Argentine better than Mexican because they consume more Argentine than
Mexican media.

Speaking French will be very useful in many countries besides France, such as
North Africa, Québec, and in many "black" African countries.

What is the point of saying that people in Africa are 'black'? In fact, French is a
widely used second-language in Algeria, where people are generally seen as racially
more "Mediterranean/olive" than "black".

Edited by Saim on 18 April 2011 at 9:40am

4 persons have voted this message useful

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