I have just come across an excellent English site called Teflresearch.com. The more we understand HOW we acquire language, the better we can learn. Check-out the following article: The linguistic genius of babies: what does it mean for grown-ups? at Teflresearch.com and increase your understanding of how your brain learns language. The ‘Comments’ by language learners which follow the article are also very informative.
“In investigating the child’s brain, we may be able to help keep our own minds open to learning for our entire lives”
Chinese tones are baffling to non-native speakers. While westerners marvel at how a seemingly small pitch change is enough to differentiate between words like “mother” and “horse”, Chinese natives get the giggles when expats get all nostalgic about their horse’s cooking. Notoriously difficult to master, these differences are often incredibly subtle to non-native ears. Yet native Mandarin speakers differentiate tones with the same ease as English speakers perceive consonant contrasts in words like punk and monk. This contrast is what’s known by linguists as a minimal pair (and by barbers as what saves Sid Vicious wannabes from walking around with an unfortunate bald patch). But why is it that minimal pairs which are so obvious to native speakers can be so troublesome, and at times downright embarrassing in…
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