When we communicate, the most important thing our words seem to convey is a meaning of some sort. It’s quite easy for us to intuitively understand what words such as dog 🐕 or cat 🐈 mean. But for a linguist, it’s a whole different story. (more…)
When it comes to learning a language on my own, I am a true expert. I studied Spanish entirely on my own and reached to such a high skill level that I was accepted to study the language in the University of Helsinki. How did I do it, when people having studied the language in proper courses given by professional teachers failed to get accepted? 😯
There isn’t really anything magical to learning a language. The key thing that is needed is that you as a language learner have to be active in learning. If you never touch a dictionary to figure out what new words mean, you are doomed to fail. Another crucial point is to have a good study book. This post, however, focuses more on other ways to practice the language than a study book. 📗 (more…)
After taking a course in lexicography, I found it astonishing that there was people who didn’t quite understand the difference between a dictionary and an encyclopaedia. Even more disturbing is that I have seen a great many scientific papers in which dictionaries have been used as though they had encyclopaedia like knowledge. 😥
Luckily, the distinction is quite easy.🙂 (more…)
The question that fascinates us all, at least at some point in life, is how we learn our native language. Who came up with the first language? Is it possible to fail in learning your native language? 🤔 Well, first of all, I am going to shed some light into the uniqueness of human language. (more…)
This week’s post for a thing I like continues with the same “language geek” theme I established on my last post.🤓 Again it’s about what a language, namely Swedish, sounds like. But I’m not discussing just any kind of Swedish on this post, but the Swedish native to Finland, aka finlandssvenska.
The very first entry in my blog of positive thoughts deals with the aspect of Spanish I myself like the most. As the title suggests, I’m going to talk about phonetics; fricatives in particular.
Before I dive any deeper into the fricatives, I should explain the basics of phonetics first. Phonetics studies speech sounds, i.e. vowels and consonants in a language. In case of Spanish, most people might think that most of the time one letter equals one speech sound. So the letter b is pronounced as [b], the letter g as [g] and the letter d as [d]. The reality, however is not as simple. (more…)