At the time of writing I have 2060 consecutive days on Duolingo. During that time I’ve appreciated Duo for the vocabulary but found it very difficult to learn grammar. I’ve got a couple of grammar books (that I don’t have the time to properly study) and I’ve tried several grammar apps (that are characteristically poorly written, poorly explained and generally very unhelpful). I’ve learned more Russian grammar from this app in three days than I have in the past five years. If you’re serious about understanding Russian, this is the best £25 you’ll spend.
In Korean, there are several common question words that are used to ask questions. The most common ones:
뭐 (mwo): What Example sentence: 뭐 먹을래? (mwo meogeullaeyo?) – What do you want to eat?
누구 (nugu): Who Example sentence: 누구세요? (nuguseyo?) – Who is it?
어디 (eodi): Where Example sentence: 어디에 가요? (eodie gayo?) – Where are you going?
언제 (eonje): When Example sentence: 언제 돌아와요? (eonje dorawayo?) – When will you come back?
어떻게 (eotteohke): How Example sentence: 어떻게 해요? (eotteohke haeyo?) – How do you do it?
왜 (wae): Why Example sentence: 왜 그래요? (wae geuraeyo?) – Why are you like that?
얼마나 (eolmana): How much/How many Example sentence: 얼마나 오래 걸려요? (eolmana olae geollyeoyo?) – How long does it take?
무엇 (mueot): What (thing) Example sentence: 무엇이든 물어보세요. (mueosideun mureoboseyo.) – Ask me anything.
In Korean, the concept of “which” is often expressed using the word “어느” (eoneu), which means “any” or “some” and can be used to indicate a choice between options. Here are some examples:
어느 것 (eoneu geot): Which one/which thing Example sentence: 어느 것이 좋아요? (eoneu geosi johayo?) – Which one do you like?
어느 쪽 (eoneu jjok): Which side/direction Example sentence: 어느 쪽으로 가야 해요? (eoneu jjogeuro gaya haeyo?) – Which way should I go?
어느 날 (eoneu nal): Which day Example sentence: 어느 날에 만날까요? (eoneu nale mannalkkayo?) – Which day should we meet?
Note that in Korean, the specific word “which” is not used as frequently as in English, and “어느” (eoneu) is often used to convey the meaning of “which” in a more general or ambiguous sense.
When asking questions in Korean, there are a few things to be mindful of:
Appropriate politeness level: Korean language has different levels of politeness, and the politeness level used in a question should be appropriate for the situation and the person you are addressing. For instance, using polite forms such as “-요” or “-세요” endings when addressing someone older, higher in rank, or in a formal setting, and using casual forms when speaking to someone of the same age,
Sentence structure: Korean sentence structure can be different from English, so be mindful of the word order when forming questions. In Korean, the basic sentence structure for questions is often Subject + Object + Verb, and question words usually come at the beginning of the sentence. For example: “뭐 먹었어?” (mwo meogeosseo?) – “What did you eat?”
Intonation: In Korean, intonation plays a crucial role in conveying meaning. Be aware of the rising intonation at the end of questions, which signals that it is a question. Practice the correct intonation patterns to sound natural when asking questions in Korean.
Politeness and cultural norms: Korean culture places a strong emphasis on politeness and respect. When asking questions, it’s important to be mindful of cultural norms and use appropriate polite language and manners, especially when addressing someone older or in a formal setting.
By being mindful of these aspects, you can effectively ask questions in Korean and communicate more accurately in various social situations. It’s always helpful to practice and seek feedback from native speakers to improve your question asking skills in Korean.
Using artificial intelligence (AI) to help you learn a language is certainly possible – just ask! Recent advances in AI have sparked interest in using technology to facilitate language learning. In this article, we explore the question: Can AI help you learn a language?
AI has the potential to revolutionize language learning by offering personalized and adaptive solutions. For instance, AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can simulate real-life conversations and provide immediate feedback, which can enhance speaking and listening skills. Moreover, AI algorithms can analyze your learning patterns and suggest the best resources and exercises based on your level, goals, and preferences. Additionally, AI can offer gamified experiences and interactive content, which can make learning more engaging and fun.
The Pros and Cons of AI Language Learning
While AI language learning has its advantages, it also has some limitations and challenges. Here are some of the pros and cons:
Personalization: AI can adapt to your learning style and pace, providing a tailored experience.
Accessibility: AI can offer 24/7 support and access to resources, regardless of your location or schedule.
Feedback: AI can provide instant feedback and correction, allowing you to improve your skills faster.
Motivation: AI can offer gamification and incentives, which can increase your motivation and retention.
Efficiency: AI can save you time and money by reducing the need for traditional language classes and materials.
Accuracy: AI is not perfect, and it can make mistakes in pronunciation, grammar, or context.
Authenticity: AI cannot replicate the nuances and cultural aspects of real-life language interactions.
Dependency: AI can create a reliance on technology and reduce face-to-face communication skills.
Privacy: AI can collect and use your data, raising privacy and security concerns.
Limitations: AI cannot replace the human element of language learning, such as social interaction, empathy, and creativity.
Best Practices for AI Language Learning
To maximize the benefits of AI language learning and minimize the drawbacks, here are some best practices:
Use AI as a supplement, not a substitute, for human interaction and feedback.
Choose reputable and transparent AI language learning platforms and tools.
Set realistic goals and expectations, and track your progress.
Stay curious and open-minded, and explore different learning approaches.
Practice consistently and actively, and seek opportunities to use the language in real-life situations.
Testing AI-assisted language learning
The most famous AI language model ChatGPT claims to be “fluent” in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and “many more”.
We tested ChatGPT in French. See the conversion below. We had some success but it was not without its difficulties.
While happy to provide in-depth pointers to the grammar being used, ChatGPT seems to “forget” that we want to both chat and for it to correct us as we go.
My chat in French with ChatGPT
ME: Can we chat in French and you correct my French?
ChatGPT: Bien sûr! Nous pouvons parler en français et je serai heureux de vous aider à améliorer votre français. Alors, de quoi voulez-vous discuter ?
ME: le temps
ChatGPT: Parfait, parlons du temps. Comment est le temps chez vous aujourd’hui ? Est-ce qu’il fait chaud ou froid ? Est-ce qu’il y a du soleil ou de la pluie ?
N’hésitez pas à me poser des questions sur le vocabulaire ou la grammaire si vous en avez besoin.
ME: How do we say it is raining in French?
ChatGPT: Pour dire “il pleut” en français, on utilise l’expression “il pleut”. Par exemple : “Il pleut aujourd’hui” signifie “It is raining today” en anglais.
Notez que “pleuvoir” est un verbe qui est utilisé avec le pronom “il” pour exprimer qu’il y a de la pluie.
ME: il ne pleut pas aujourd’hui.
ChatGPT: Très bien, vous avez utilisé la négation “ne…pas” pour dire “il ne pleut pas aujourd’hui”. C’est une phrase correcte en français qui signifie “it’s not raining today” en anglais.
Bravo ! Si vous avez d’autres questions, n’hésitez pas à me les poser.
ME: Comment-on dit que il pleut tres fortement ?
ChatGPT: Pour dire “il pleut très fortement” en français, on peut utiliser plusieurs expressions, notamment :
“Il pleut des cordes” : cette expression signifie littéralement “it’s raining ropes” en anglais, mais elle est utilisée en français pour décrire une pluie très forte.
“Il pleut à verse” : cette expression signifie “it’s raining heavily” en anglais et elle est également utilisée pour décrire une pluie forte.
“Il pleut comme vache qui pisse” : cette expression est plus familière et un peu grossière, mais elle est souvent utilisée en français pour décrire une pluie très forte.
Notez que ces expressions sont toutes assez informelles, donc il vaut mieux les utiliser dans un contexte approprié. Si vous voulez être plus formel, vous pouvez simplement dire “il pleut très fort”.
1. French Subject Pronouns and ‘to be’ – the verb être 2. French Plural Personal Pronouns – nous, vous, ils & elles 3. Politeness in French – the pronouns vous and tu 4. Asking questions in French using inversion 5. It is, that is, they are – c’est & ce sont 6. French fenders and the definite articles – le & la 7. In and on – the prepositions dans & sur 8. Negation in French, not – ne pas 9. French adjectives and gender – masculine and feminine 10. Feminine adjectives in French – some rules
1. The verb ‘to be’ – 이에요/예요 2. The Topic marker – 은/는 3. The Subject marker 이/가 and Existence/Possession 있다 4. The Subject marker 이/가 and Absence 없다 5. Word order of Korean sentences: Subject – Object – Verb (SOV) 6. Personal pronouns – 저, 우리, 그 and 그녀 7. This and that: 이, 그, and 저 8. The verb ‘to not be’ – 아니다 9. The location of existence – the particle 에 10. Korean Verbs – The Infinitive
1. The verb ‘to be’ 2. Personal pronouns – я, он, она, оно, мы, вы, они 3. Это : this, that, it 4. Simple negation with не 5. Asking and answering questions with да and нет 6. Formality in Russian: вы and ты 7. Who and what – кто and что 8. Gender and adjectives in Russian 9. The conjunctions и, но and а 10. An introduction to Russian Plurals
Are you planning to visit France soon? Or do you have French friends or colleagues? Learning French greetings is essential to make a good impression and start your conversations on the right foot. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about saying “hi” and “bye” in French, from basic phrases to more advanced expressions.
French is a beautiful and rich language, with a wide range of greetings and expressions to use in different contexts. Whether you’re traveling to France, working with French-speaking colleagues, or simply want to expand your language skills, learning French greetings is a great way to start.
In this article, we’ll explore the most common French greetings and how to use them properly, including pronunciation tips, cultural insights, and helpful examples. So, whether you want to say “bonjour” to your new French neighbors or “au revoir” to your colleagues at the end of the day, read on to discover the secrets of French greetings.
It is important to remember that In France and with French people it’s considered impolite to skip the greeting and jump right into a conversation or when asking for something in the bistro, restaurant, or shop. So take a moment to say hello and introduce yourself.
Basic French Greetings
Let’s start with the most basic French greetings that you’ll hear and use every day. These phrases are simple and easy to remember, but they can make a big difference in how you’re perceived by French speakers.
Bonjour – Hello (used any time of the day)
Adding a title is very common in French and adds to the politeness, for example: Bonsoir Monsieur or Bonsoir Madame.
Salut – Hi/Bye (informal, used among friends or in casual settings)
Remember to always use “bonjour” when you meet someone for the first time, regardless of the time of day. It should also only be used with any one person just once a day – unlike ‘hello’ in English.
More Advanced French Greetings
Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can move on to more advanced French greetings that show your language skills and cultural awareness. These expressions may not be used as frequently, but they can make a big impact when used in the right context.
Comment allez-vous ? – How are you? (formal)
Je vais très bien, merci. – I am well, thank you.
Et vous – comment allez-vous – And you, how are you?
Ça va ? – How’s it going? (informal)
Oui, ça va. – Yes, I am good.
Et toi – ça va ? – And you (informal), how’s it going?
Enchanté – Pleased (enchanted) to meet you (used when meeting someone for the first time). Or Enchantée when a female is speaking though the pronunciation is the same as enchanté). This is an abbreviation of one of these more complete phrases:
Enchanté de vous rencontrer. – Enchanted to meet you.
Enchanté de faire votre connaissance. – Enchanted to make your acquaintance.
Or another way is Je suis ravie de faire votre connaissance. – I am please to make your acquaintance.
Note that “enchanté” is used only by the person who is being introduced, not the one doing the introduction.
Just as there are different greetings for different times of day and occasions, there are also different farewells in French depending on the situation. Here are some common French farewells:
Au revoir – Goodbye (used in both formal and informal settings)
À bientôt – See you soon (used when you expect to see the person again soon)
À la prochaine fois – Until next time (used when you don’t know exactly when you’ll see the person again)
À tout à l’heure – See you soon (the term tout à l’heure means ‘just now’ or ‘in a moment’)
À demain – See you tomorrow (used when parting ways in the evening and you plan to see the person the next day)
By using the appropriate farewell, you show consideration for the other person and respect for French cultural norms. So, whether you’re saying “au revoir” in a formal setting or “à bientôt” to a friend, make sure you’re using the appropriate farewell for the occasion.
And farewells for different Times of Day
There are also common farewells that are specific to the time of day or other occasions:
Bonne journée – Have a good day (used when parting ways during the day)
Bon après-midi – Good afternoon (used from around noon until 6 pm)
Bonne soirée – Have a good evening (used when saying goodbye in the evening)
Bonne nuit – Goodnight (when going to bed)
Bon week-end – Have a good weekend (used on Fridays or when saying goodbye for the weekend)
Keep in mind that the specific times when these greetings are used may vary depending on the region and the context.
Careful with bonsoir. It is a greeting and it’s used during the evening hours while bonne soirée is the corresponding farewell.
French Greetings for Different Occasions
In addition to time-specific greetings, there are also specific French greetings for different occasions. Here are some of the most common ones:
Félicitations – Congratulations (used to congratulate someone on a special achievement)
Bonne chance – Good luck (used to wish someone good luck)
Joyeux Noël – Merry Christmas (used during the Christmas season)
Bonne année – Happy New Year (used during the New Year’s season)
Joyeuses Pâques – Happy Easter (used during the Easter season)
Joyeuse Saint-Valentin – Happy Valentine’s Day (used on Valentine’s Day)
Informal or Slang French Greetings and Farewells
Here’s a list of 20 common informal or slang greetings and farewells in French:
Salut – Hi / Bye (used in both greeting and farewell)
Coucou – Hey there (used in greeting). A bit cutey and used by girls.
Tchao or Ciao – Bye (used only as a farewell – unlike in Italian where it is used a both a greeting and farewell)
À plus – See you later (used in farewell)
Wesh – What’s up (used in greeting)
Quoi de neuf ? – What’s new? (used in greeting)
Bien ou quoi ? – Good or what? (used in greeting)
À toute – Catch you later (used in farewell)
Adios – Goodbye (used in farewell)
Bisous – Kisses (used in farewell)
À la prochaine – Until next time (used in farewell)
À plus tard – See you later (used in farewell)
Allez – Go (used in farewell)
À la revoyure – See you soon (used in farewell)
À la prochaine fois – Until next time (used in farewell)
C’est parti – Let’s go (used in greeting or farewell)
It’s important to note that these expressions are very informal or slang and should be used with discretion, as they may not be appropriate in all situations. It’s always best to be aware of the setting and the people you’re speaking to before using these informal or slang expressions.
Âllo (Hello) is only every used on the telephone.
Learning French greetings is an essential part of communicating effectively in French-speaking countries or with French-speaking individuals. By using the appropriate greeting for the occasion, you show cultural sensitivity and respect, and you can build stronger relationships with French speakers.
From basic phrases like “bonjour” to more advanced expressions like “enchanté(e),” we hope this guide has provided you with a comprehensive overview of French greetings. Remember to practice your pronunciation and use the appropriate greeting for the occasion, and you’ll be well on your way to mastering French greetings.
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Verbs of motion are used to describe movement from one place to another. In English ‘to go’ is the most common verb of motion. The verbs of motion in Russian are considerably more complicated. As with all Russian verbs there are imperfective and perfective forms. But additionally, they have have two imperfective forms, the unidirectional and multidirectional (or habitual), that indicate whether the journey is one-way or involves a return (or habitual – daily, every morning, weekly etc.) trip.
These are the imperfective forms of the verb ‘to go.
unidirectional one-way journey
идти To go on foot, in one direction.
* I am going to the library (by foot)
ехать To go by transport, in one direction.
* I am going to Moscow (by train)
multidirectional or habitual
ходить To go on foot, in more than one direction, or repetitively.
* I go to school (every morning – by foot).
ездить To go by transport, in more than one direction, or repetitively
* I go to school (every morning – by bus)
The perfective forms of the verb ‘to go are пойти and поехать. These do not have different unidirectional and multidirectional forms and are most frequently used for the past or future tense.
* я пошёл – I went (by foot) * я пойду – I will go (by foot)
* Я пое́хал – I went (by transport) * Я пое́ду – I will go (by transport)
The Russian verbs of motion conjugate irregularly:
Идти – To go on foot in one direction.
Он шёл (masc. sing)
Она шла (fem. sing)
Оно шло (neu. sing)
Они шли (plural)
Ходить – To go on foot, in more than one direction, or repetitively.
Он ходил (masc. sing)
Она ходила (fem. sing)
Оно ходило (neu. sing)
Они ходили (plural)
Ехать – To go by transport, in one direction.
Он ехал (masc. sing)
Она ехала (fem. sing)
Оно ехало (neu. sing)
Они ехали (plural)
Ездить – To go by transport, in one direction.
Он ездил (masc. sing)
Она ездила (fem. sing)
Оно ездило (neu. sing)
Они ездили (plural)
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Learning a new language is a challenging but rewarding experience that can open up new doors and opportunities in life. However, some languages are considered to be more difficult to learn than others, due to their complex grammar, pronunciation, and writing systems. In this article, we will take a look at the languages that are widely considered to be the hardest to learn and provide insight into the reasons behind their difficulty.
Factors That Influence Language Difficulty
Before diving into the list of the hardest languages to learn, it’s important to understand the factors that influence language difficulty. Some of the key factors include:
Grammar rules: Some languages have complex grammar rules that can be difficult to master, such as the cases in German or the verb conjugations in Arabic.
Vocabulary: The size and complexity of a language’s vocabulary can also make it challenging to learn. For example, Mandarin has thousands of characters, many of which have multiple meanings.
Pronunciation: The pronunciation of a language can also pose a challenge, particularly if it involves sounds that are not found in the learner’s native language.
Culture: The cultural differences between a learner’s native language and the target language can also make learning the language more challenging.
Russian: The Most Challenging Slavic Language
Russian is widely believed to be one of the hardest languages to learn, and for good reason. Its complex grammar, which includes six cases and a multitude of irregular verbs, can be difficult for English speakers to grasp. Additionally, the Cyrillic alphabet, which is used to write Russian, is not as intuitive as the Latin alphabet used in English, making it difficult for non-native speakers to read and write. Furthermore, the pronunciation of Russian can be difficult for English speakers, as it includes a number of unique sounds that are not found in the English language.
Arabic: A Unique Writing System and Grammar
Arabic is another language that is widely considered to be one of the hardest to learn. The Arabic alphabet, which is written from right to left, can be difficult for English speakers to get used to, and the grammar of the language is equally challenging. Arabic features a unique system of pluralization, in which the plural form of a word can be entirely different from its singular form. Additionally, the pronunciation of Arabic can be difficult for English speakers, as it includes a number of sounds that are not found in English.
Chinese: A Tonal Language with a Complex Writing System
Chinese, particularly Mandarin, is another language that is considered to be one of the hardest to learn. Mandarin is a tonal language, which means that the meaning of a word can change depending on the tone used to pronounce it. This can be a difficult concept for English speakers to grasp, as the English language does not have a tonal system. Additionally, the writing system of Chinese is complex, featuring thousands of characters that must be memorized in order to read and write the language fluently.
Korean: A Language with a Unique Writing System and Grammar
Korean is another language that is considered to be difficult to learn, especially for English speakers. The Korean writing system, called Hangul, is unique and can be difficult to understand and memorize, especially for those who are used to the Latin alphabet used in English. Additionally, the grammar of Korean is complex, featuring a unique system of verb conjugation and a large number of irregular verbs.
Furthermore, Korean pronunciation can also be challenging for English speakers, as it includes a number of unique sounds that are not found in the English language. This can make it difficult for non-native speakers to understand spoken Korean and to be understood when speaking the language themselves.
Despite these challenges, however, many people still choose to learn Korean, drawn by its rich culture, vibrant economy, and fascinating history. Whether you are looking to expand your job prospects, experience Korean culture, or simply broaden your linguistic abilities, learning Korean can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience.
Japanese: A Complex Writing System and Pronunciation
Japanese is another language that is considered to be difficult to learn, particularly due to its writing system. The Japanese writing system uses a combination of three scripts: hiragana, katakana, and kanji. Hiragana and katakana are syllabic scripts, while kanji are logographic characters borrowed from the Chinese writing system. This combination of scripts can be difficult for English speakers to understand and memorize, especially since kanji characters can have multiple pronunciations and meanings.
Additionally, Japanese pronunciation can also be challenging for English speakers. The Japanese language includes a number of unique sounds and pronunciation rules that can be difficult to master, making it challenging for non-native speakers to understand spoken Japanese and to be understood when speaking the language themselves.
Despite these difficulties, many people still choose to learn Japanese for a variety of reasons. Whether you are looking to expand your job prospects, experience Japanese culture, or simply broaden your linguistic abilities, learning Japanese can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. With dedicated study and practice, you can master the complexities of the Japanese writing system and pronunciation, and become proficient in speaking and understanding this fascinating language.
Hungarian: An Isolating Language with Complex Grammar
Hungarian is another language that is widely considered to be one of the hardest to learn. Hungarian is an isolating language, meaning that words are not inflected to show tense, case, or number. This can be a difficult concept for English speakers to grasp, as the English language is a highly inflected language. Additionally, the grammar of Hungarian is complex, featuring a unique system of vowel harmony and numerous irregular verbs.
Finnish: A Uralic Language with Complex Grammar
Finnish is a Uralic language that is spoken in Finland and is widely considered to be one of the hardest languages to learn. Finnish has a complex grammar that includes 15 cases, making it one of the most heavily inflected languages in the world. Additionally, the pronunciation of Finnish can be difficult for English speakers, as it includes a number of unique sounds that are not found in the English language.
Concluding Thoughts on the Difficulty of Learning Russian, Arabic, Hungarian, Finnish, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean
In conclusion, Russian, Arabic, Hungarian, Finnish, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean are considered to be challenging languages to learn, particularly for English speakers. Each of these languages presents its own unique difficulties, whether it be the complex grammar of Russian or Hungarian, the unique writing systems of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, or the pronunciation challenges posed by Arabic and Finnish.
However, despite these difficulties, many people still choose to learn these languages, drawn by their rich cultures, fascinating histories, and potential career opportunities. Whether you are looking to expand your job prospects, experience the vibrant cultures of Russia, the Middle East, Hungary, Finland, China, Japan, and Korea, or simply broaden your linguistic abilities, learning these languages can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience.
With dedicated study and practice, you can overcome the challenges posed by the grammar, writing systems, and pronunciation of these languages, and become proficient in speaking and understanding Russian, Arabic, Hungarian, Finnish, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Whether you choose to focus on one language or all seven, the linguistic and cultural rewards of learning these fascinating languages are numerous.