Communication Blooper

When my boss announced that it was time for me to take a vacation I grabbed my things and raced home faster than I ever had before. I had been dying to take a trip out of the country for months and I was so happy that the time had finally come. I went home, packed my bags and rushed to my best friends house knowing that she would leap at the opportunity to leave town with me. “I know exactly where we should go Trish!” She exclaimed. “Guatemala! It is such an amazing place I swear! I remember seeing a brochure a couple of weeks ago and I know you will love it!” I smiled at her shrugging my shoulders. For some reason I couldn’t stop thinking about Paris but honestly I was up for anything. We drove for two days non stop switching seats every time we got tired.

When we finally entered the city limits, my mouth flew wide open. It was truly incredible! We dropped our things off at our hotel nearby and we walked across the town to do a little sightseeing. We ended up completely falling in love with the city, it’s people and their culture. The smell of food was so strong that it was literally around each corner we turned. All of the houses were basically stacked on one another so it was hard to determine exactly where the smell was coming from. That didn’t keep us away however. We let our noses guide us around the village until I almost tripped on a little boy running by with his friends. He paused, looked up at me and Shelby, and pointed a scrawny little tree branch close to our faces, as he rambled furiously. We both looked at each other and giggled. “We were just trying to figure out what that amazing smell is. Thats all!” Shelby tried to assure him. He didn’t understand however. Instead he started talking even quicker than he had before, flinging his arms all over the place. I looked at him and put out my hands, waving it in front of him to try to get him to listen.

“Food” I said, making one hand like a bowl and the other like i was holding a spoon, eating cereal. “Mmmmm” I said rubbing my stomach. He raised an eyebrow before going “Aahhh.. Keis..” I didn’t know what he was saying. He made a tight fist and Swung it in a circle. He bounced the fist off of his head and into his stomach. I nodded my head and rubbed my stomach again. His friends laughed and guided us to a house nearby. Shelby and I stood in front of the door not knowing what to expect. The door flew open and the boys started babbling to a man inside. He let us in and started trying to speak to us. We shook our heads and giggled. I repeated the boys actions, throwing my hand into a ball before bouncing it off of my head and stomach. The man laughed and walked away from us. He returned with a jar of frog legs floating in a concoction of green juice. Shelby looked at me out of the corner of her eye and I knew that it was time to leave.

Travel to Germany to Learn German

Being in Germany gives someone that is attempting to learn German, the best experience for various different reasons.

You are being fully submerged into the language. In Germany, you are sure to be surrounded around others that know the language. Therefore, when you are using technology or other resources to learn the language, you will also have other resources surrounding you. For example, if you want to learn how to read road signs, you will have live road signs right in front of you in Germany. You can turn off the resources, such as your phone application, and look at the signs yourself. If you are not able to get through the signs fully, you have other resources around you that you can talk to using the language.

There will be a surplus of programs around that are focused on the German language. Just like in the United States where our schools offer a program to students that want to learn our native language, Germany has the same. Instead of being limited to what is being offered in your home country, you will have plenty of programs to pick from. Some of the programs that are offered in Germany include DAAD which is the German Academic Exchange Service and Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange Program (CBYX) for Young Professionals. Regardless of your current experience with the German language, there is sure to be a program that will meet your needs and requirements to help you learn the language.

There is plenty of opportunity to practice what you learn. If you remain within your native area, you may be limited to those that you practice using the German language with. There may not be much opportunity to use the langue outside of your learning area. Like the saying says, if you don’t use it, you will lose it. Being in Germany, there will be plenty of individuals walking amongst the streets that will allow you to put your learning to practice. You will have plenty of opportunity to use it. Also, hearing others using the language allows you to hear where you may be making pronunciation errors. It also allows you to hear how those that natively use the language are pronouncing certain words.

Latin from Scratch – Where to Start

Learning Latin was once one of the cornerstones of a good education. Unfortunately, learning that language has fallen out of style in recent decades. If you do want to learn, the odds are that you’ll have to learn on your own. Fortunately, there is a fairly simple path towards greater Latin fluency.

Start Looking at Grammar

Before you pick up your first Latin textbook, you’ll want to spend some time studying your English grammar. Latin is actually a fairly structurally precise language, but you’ll need to remember all of your parts of speech if you hope to translate everything accurately. Building any kind of vocabulary will require you to spend some time knowing your various cases and declensions, something that’s hard to do if you don’t know them in your mother tongue. It’s not a bad idea to keep a traditional grammar book by your side as you go about learning Latin.

Find a Good Textbook

Once you have your grammar down, you’ll need to seek out a Latin textbook. As lovely as some of the computer programs out there are, the most reliable resources for Latin translation are still in print. If you’re looking for something tried and true, Wheelock’s Latin is still used in college courses across the English-speaking world. It’s a bit dry and relies a great deal on rote memorization, but it’s a great introductory text for those who want to familiarize themselves with the rules of Latin.

If you’re not too proud to start with something easier, high school students have been using Ecce Romani volumes one and two for decades. The book is definitely on the simple side, but it does help to introduce vocabulary with a number of memorable and easy-to-parse stories. It may not be up to snuff for many serious language learners, but it is nonetheless a delightful text that can really help novice readers to quickly build up their confidence.

Work on Vocabulary

Now that you’ve got a useful textbook, you’ll want to start building up your Latin vocabulary. One of the most wonderful things about Latin is that it’s formed the basis for some of the most widely-spoken languages in the world, many of which have loaned their words to English. If you already know a few Latin roots, you may be able to suss out the meanings of several words without much difficulty. You should, however, always consult your dictionary to make sure you are translating the words correctly – false cognates abound.

The downside to Latin is that Latin’s many endings often mean that several seemingly-identical words are actually wildly different words in different declensions, cases, or number. Because of this, you’ll need to know the context of a given word before you can adequately translate it.

Move towards Translations

Your final step should be to work with actual Latin translations. If you’re using Wheelock, for example, you should get a few bits and pieces of real Latin to translate during your exercises. Catullus is an incredibly popular choice for many new translators, as it uses a wide range of vocabulary but tends to be very grammatically consistent. Even that Latin Vulgate Bible can be a good project, especially if you are already familiar with other translations. The more real Latin you read, the more proficient you will become.

Latin can be an easy language to learn, but definitely one that’s difficult to master. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of others in online communities or to take a step back and try an easier project if you get frustrated. Once you gain a basic command of the language, you’ll notice that a wealth of new reading material will become available. Enjoy your journey towards greater fluency!
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