Tips on Romance languages from the Transparent team

All was lost if the tape got stuck in the machine! Image from Pixabay

Images from Pixabay

announcer-316584_640Language learning aids have gone through interesting technological phases in my time: thankfully cassettes (Remember them? If not, then you must be so young, but the pictures will give you some idea) did not last long. They seemed like a great invention at the time, but if the spool of tape got stuck it would end up looking like reams of black spaghetti (the black spaghetti in the smaller picture is only a mild version, you should have seen the spaghetti when it was really twisted!). Cassettes soon gave way to audio CDs, then computer software became affordable too and added interest to the mix. I suppose apps are the way to go now.

The first computer language learning program I bought was Transparent Language’s Portuguese, and one could also subscribe to the company’s Portuguese Language Blog. The posts come in by email (you can subscribe on the top right-hand side of their website). It’s pretty comprehensive, its archives go back to June 2007.

Transparent Language has blogs on other languages too, of course, including French, Spanish and Italian, but not Romanian, and offers tips on language learning. I came across a post recently by Malachi Rempen entitled “How to Keep Multiple Languages Straight“. Rempen is a Swiss-born American film-maker who has lived in France, Morocco and Italy, and currently lives in Germany, so his brain has had to grapple with many languages. His post outlined how he tried to stop muddling one language with another.

What he had to say about Romance languages was encouraging.

“Learning romance languages is great because the grammar is basically the same across the board, with a few exceptions and oddities here and there. Plus, since they’re all based on Latin, a great number of words are the same. And the more complicated the word, the more likely it is to be the same in all the romance languages. If you’re reading this article you have a huge head start on Spanish and French, since you already know words like “complicated” and “exception” and “pronunciation” (watch out for false friends like “embarrassed”, though, or you’ll be telling everyone in Madrid you’re pregnant).”

To read the item in full, go here. Hope you are inspired! Cheers.



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