Thursday, June 13, 2013

Using music to improve a language that you're not currently focusing on

The main thing that has always made me reluctant to add another language to those I've already started is that, with work, a brood of rambunctious offspring, etc., the amount of time I have to throw at language learning tends to be limited. Well, what with me getting all gung-ho on Korean lately…

I thought it was time that I came up with some kind of systematic way to continue growing my vocab in the languages that I'm not really focusing on at the moment. Given my time restrictions, the system would have to work with a minimum amount of time but pack the strongest punch possible in that time.

I know that Susanna Zaraysky would approve when I decided that music was the answer.

Friday, June 7, 2013

The value of oral translation into English

The following is one of a series of guest posts by Mike Shelby. Mike is a former ESL teacher who has been quietly (i.e., without his own blog) disseminating his thoughts on language learning around the internet for quite some time.

Have you noticed that interpreters have to possess the most thorough knowledge of a foreign language, especially of conversation, vocabulary and grammar? Perhaps foreign learners of English can achieve fluency in English also through oral translation from their native language into English. It is possible to check oneself this way when practicing speaking in English every sentence in ready-made materials with both native-language and English versions. I also believe that the value of oral translation from a native language into English with self-check is underestimated by English teaching specialists for self-study and self-practice of English conversation, vocabulary and grammar. Oral translation practice should cover English grammar, conversation, and vocabulary. Thematic dialogues, questions and answers on conversation topics, thematic texts (informative texts and narrative stories), grammatical usage sentences, and sentences with difficult vocabulary on various topics, especially with fixed phrases and idioms, can be used in practicing English through oral translation from one's native language into English.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

How to type in Korean on a Mac

Given how much digging I had to do to get to the bottom of how to type in Korean (i.e., in "hangul") on a Mac, I thought I'd make a quick summary of how to do it. This'll run you through the basics and a few slightly trickier questions:
  • How do you set up Korean typing?
  • How do you type Korean double letters?
  • When one syllable has no final consonant but the next syllable has an initial consonant, how do you prevent the initial consonant of the second syllable from being treated as the final consonant of the first syllable?
  • How do you turn Korean writing into the corresponding Chinese characters?