Grammar

Grammar is a very interesting concept. It’s the structure that holds all the words together and if you’ve ever used the Facebook translate feature you will know that while it’s relatively easy to decipher the literal meaning of the words; it’s a lot more difficult for the software to put them in the right order and therefore figure out what the person writing the sentence(s) was trying to say. This is why human translators are still necessary as well as to figure out slang since languages are constantly evolving. The syntax and semantics are important in computer languages as well but here they need to be specific as otherwise the computer won’t have a clue. It has no intuition to figure out how close a person has got to what they were trying to achieve.

Grammar is not a thing the average english person thinks about a lot outside of school. It’s only when you are trying to learn a language other than your own that it rears it’s ugly head or if your teaching others yours. You come across words like accusative and nominative and think what on earth do these mean? The technical words for languages can be confusing especially as we don’t talk that much about nouns, verbs, clauses, adjectives etc outside of education. Only if you were a journalist or a teacher would probably frequently come across them. So this can be a barrier unto itself as well as the factor most languages have genders assigned to them, 2 maybe 3 depending on which one you are talking about so you have to make sure your using the correct one which is generally not a problem in English.

So we come to the problem that needs to be addressed. How does an english person adjust not only to the fact that words have genders, but to the fact they change depending on whom you are talking to and how many? This is further complicated if words can be arranged in various ways to make up complete and logical sentences depending on what part of the sentence needs to be emphasised. We are all familiar with how Yoda talks but unless your quoting him, nobody talks like that in real life. So there is a limited way in which things can be phrased in English. This inherent framework can make it difficult for foreigners especially as English doesn’t tend to stick to any of it’s rules unlike other languages. It also works the other way as the bias is present for the English learning languages and we all know that as lingua franca (universal language) we tend not to. If you need an example just look at the Alicante region in Spain. Full of Brits and not very Spanish at all. You don’t in fact need to speak a word to get by. It’s not very authentic at all. Also it doesn’t do anything for the brain or cultural appreciation.

I’m aware I’ve posed a query but not answered it as I currently do not know how to.

Edit: I surprisingly quickly came up with a way to learn genders, starts and endings but I didn’t realise it until later on when I was recapping what I had learnt in my mind. Learning about family members is good as its already gendered and it allows you to practice single and plural forms as well as neuter. As most gendered languages follow patterns unlike English you can quite easily replicate it through wherever it is needed. This helps quite a lot with reading as transliteration only gets you so far.

The second problem will perhaps be solved when I’m more advanced in my language studies and confident with writing and speaking.

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