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foreiners learning english

for example, chinese learn english like this: they memorize phrases in a list such as

3. absence or mind(=being absent-minded) IJ
4. absorb(=take up the attention of)ע(̬):be absorbed in ȫעڡ:be engrossed in ; be lost in ; be rapt in ;be concentrated on ; be focused on ; be centered on
5. (be) abundant in(be rich in; be well supplied with) ,
6. access(to) () ܽӽ,,˽
7. by accident(=by chance, accidentally)żȻ,. Without accident(=safely) ȫ,
8. of ones own accord(=without being asked; willingly; freely)Ը ,
9. in accord with 롭һ . out of ones accord with ͬ.һ
10. with one accord (=with everybody agreeing)һµ
11. in accordance with (=in agreement with) ,
12. on ones own account
1) Ϊij˵Ե, ΪijԼ
2) (=at ones own risk) и
3) (=by oneself)Լon account ; on account of Ϊ; on no accountʲôԭҲ;of account С..Ҫ.
13. takeinto account(=consider)...ǽȥ

Do you think this is a legit, effective way or just a funny, absurd way which desobeys the regulation of learning a language?
When I was younger, I learned English by listening and trying to speak. I think that's the best way...
I think the best way to learn English is just to read a lot, when you read much, you will learn a lot of English words and you will understand the grammar automatically.
Watch a lot of English movies helps too, 1st with subtitles and after a while without the subtitles.
The main thing is to learn as much words as possible, even without any knowledge about how to make a sentence, you can make yourself clear .
When you just participate in communities etc you will learn how to phrase sentences etc.

Learning English by learning a dictionary is the wrong way to learn a lot of words, you have to learn the words within the right context. Of course you need to learn lists of words when you want to learn english, tho you have to know in which situations you have to use those words.
So the Chinese way is the wrong way I think.
It's got to be similar to learning any foreign language - your best bet is to immerse yourself as completely as possible. Speak it, hear it, read it whenever and wherever possible. The more practice you get with hands-on practical experience, the better you will be.
I moved to a English country, 5 years ago and only knew how to count up to ten in english.

School provided English Classes and I learnt a lot, not by just reading books.

I am a great speller as well, because in Serbian, Write as you speak and read as it is written. So it was easy to say for eg. Hi, I read it as written and so the other words. That helps me spell well.
Moved to the Languages and Translation forum.
In fact there are more ways for chinese to learn english. I think watching english cartoon is the best! It is really a good way. Use your heart to learn english, don't be learned english.
I agree if you don't have much oportunities to speak and listen to the language you want to learn, then the best way is to read books, lots of books, because that will explain a word better and gives you examples how the word is used.

The way you learn it perhaps can be the first step (there is always a first step Smile) but it's not the best by any mean because a single word can be have many meanings (especially English!!! Smile) It depends on the context in which you use the word, so as Chinese, so as any languages I suppose...

For example one of words in you list:
(be) abundant in(be rich in; be well supplied with) 富于,富有
In Chinese 富有 I believe you can use it to describe a person is rich/wealthy. But if you say someone is abundant, then that could be quite funny Smile
{name here}
Books are a good way to learn a language if the language shares common traits with yours. For example Russian shares the fact that it has an alphabet and cases with English. With little practice, you will easily be able to read the Cryllic alphabet and memorize when to use cases because the concepts that underly in the language are familiar to you. They are in the same indo-european language category.

It gets a little more complex when the languages are radically different. Chinese and English are based on two completely different concepts in language - Chinese uses logograms and tones, English uses an alphabet and compounding. Without oral and textual training, these languages would be very hard to learn. Without audio the Chinaman will have trouble with understanding the sounds and concept of the alphabet and the Englishman would have a hard time with the concept of tones and how to pronnounce words with the lack of a key in how to pronnounce words based on symbols, I'd imagine.
Shin wrote:
The way you learn it perhaps can be the first step (there is always a first step Smile) but it's not the best by any mean because a single word can be have many meanings (especially English!!! Smile)

Actually, in comparison with languages like French, German... English has 10 times more words, so the English have a word for about everything. Very Happy
I think the best way to learn english is to have english movies with english audio and then swedish subtitle.. And in school you learn so much english
I'm chinese,start to study engulish several years sutudent in chinese environment, the engulish purely communication still will be big difficult,since we readed and recited a lot.
Whenever we try to translate a phrase or a saying from one language to another, the accuracy is usually lost either due to the lack of equivalent words or words that mean exactly the same. So this method of memorising is not advisable.
The best way to learn a new language, as most people agree, is immersion - being exposed to books, music, movies in that language and most importantly being able to converse with people.
After you are able to learn a few words and some basic grammar either from books or classes, you should try expressing your thoughts in that language without trying to translate it to your mother tongue subconsciously, and more importantly, without being afraid of making mistakes.
James007 wrote:
Actually, in comparison with languages like French, German... English has 10 times more words, so the English have a word for about everything. Very Happy

Yes, English has a lot more words than most other languages, but it also has the problem of being highly irregular - a lot of verbs, for example, don't follow the regular pattern. English is probably one of the least regular (and therefore difficult to learn) languages in the world...
I learned english by moving to an english speaking country and living there without much of a choice but to learn the language. Listening, repeating, trial and error, pretty much how i learned the language
qscomputing wrote:
...but it also has the problem of being highly irregular - a lot of verbs, for example, don't follow the regular pattern.

I guess this it pretty much true. But many people don't notice that, in addition to the regular "-ed" verbs, many of the so-called irregular verbs do follow some sort of pattern. You can sometimes group them according to the way they appear in their past tense form. For example:

medial i changes to o in

ride - rode
write - wrote
drive - drove

I know that many monolingual ESL/EFL textbooks don't bother teaching little "tricks" like this, but I can't say for sure about bilingual texts.

As far as learning vocabulary goes.... the translation list is great if we're preparing for a test where we have to translate lists of vocabulary (and my old high school French vocabulary tests used to be just that!) but, as was pointed out before, it doesn't help us really "acquire" it.

While immersion is the best way, most EFL (English as a Foreign Language) students don't have that option.

So, instead of the translation list, how about making vocabulary "profiles". As an English teacher and also a learner of Japanese I've seen that this can work in any lanaguage.

In a notebook, we take a page, or half a page, and assign a word to it. We'll call it the "headword". Under that headword add any, but preferably all, of the following:

1. a simple translation of the headword (in our native language)
2. a simple definition of the headword (in the same language as the headword; this could be from a monolingual dictionary, a learner's dictionary, or best, in our own words)
3. sample sentences that illustrate how the word is used (this is the most important part of the profile)
4. pronunciation notes (we should try not to use characters from our own alphabet or character system - assuming it's different than the roman alphabet - when doing this since it can cause us trouble later... for example, in Japanese (katakana) script "lord" and "road" are written exactly the same way)
5. diagrams or other symbols, if appropriate

and... maybe even

6. personal thoughts, feelings, problems, observations about the word

I know it's a lot to do for just one word but preparing the profile is a great way to study not only the word, but the grammar and other vocabulary connected to the word. Just making the profile alone is a great excercise... but we also have the added benefit of having a growing, personalized dictionary on hand whenever we need it.

A couple of other things that might be useful:

1. If they exist in our language (and I know they do in Japanese and English) we might try using a "Learner's Dictionary". Longman, Cambridge, and Oxford all make excellent (English) ones. Here's a link to the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary:

2. If we use a bilingual dictionary, book versions are better than electronic ones. I know electronic ones are faster but we can make notes in book type ones. A great way to use this to our advantage is to make a mark (dot, line, whatever) in the dictionary beside the word when we look it up. This way, if/when we forget it and need to look it up again we'll be reminded that this isn't the first time. Make another mark. If we keep making marks beside words we have a record of what words we forget easily but also tend to use/need a lot. These are words we need to spend more time on in our studies.

3. Graded readers are an excellent way to increase reading fluency in a second language. These are great because they can be matched to our level. No sense trying to read the newspaper if we're just beginning in the language. I don't know of any graded readers in other languages, but Enlgish has HUNDREDS. Cambridge, Oxofrd, Penguin, Macmillan all make great ones. Here's a link to the Oxford series:

and the Penguin series:

But I guess the bottom line is we learn to listen by listening, we learn to speak by speaking, we learn to read by reading, and we learn to write by writing. I know this sounds so simple that it's hardly worth mentioning, but you'd be surprised at how many people forget or ignore this idea.

Here's to broadening our minds with other languages... cool stuff.

Take care,
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