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Guest Qn`ik

Only English :)

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Hello guys, how are you all today? What have you been up to?

I personally had a day off from work today so took advantage of the great weather and went out to grab a beer with friends. I also made some sushi for dinner ( vegetarian with tofu, peppers, cucumbers, avocado and guamacole sauce... damn good! ). Nothing special, I'm a lazy kind of guy.

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Woah, hello there! I have question for you, guys. Can someone point me web page or chat where I can talk in english with foreign people? It is like some kind of chat where I can learn english or try to recall everything I know? I used to talk and write a lot in high school, but from that point to the time where I am now - I just forgot a looooot of things that I want to improve.

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The first recommendation that came up to my mind is interpals. It's a great site which main goal is to match people who wish to learn languages through language exchange and so on. I used to be an active member of it...but c'mon. If you really want to learn certain language, just watch films with no subtitles, play video games, and read books. It helps...ouh, and I also like to speak to myself before I go to sleep XD. Kinda stupid, but who cares.

Edited by Glovis

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Hey, what's the story mate? From my own experience I can recommend to you two penpal sites: http://www.japan-guide.com/local/?aCAT=2 and friendsinjapan.com. In theory these are for people interested in Japanese culture but in fact you can meet people from all around the world there. It is email based communication but there is no problem with arranging chat or even videocalls with people you get to meet there if both of you agree. I used to use it a few years ago, met a number of really nice people coming from different countries, learnt a lot of new things about other cultures and improved my English while doing so.

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I will definitely try all this sites. And yes, @Glovis, in my early years of language education I used to watch every anime with english subtitiles, every movie and try to understand all tle lyrics from my favourite bands. That's how I mastered english in high school and that's how I pass the exams actually - both of them, basic and expanded. By the way I just want to talk with people from other countries, because in some day I want to travel, for example, to Japan.

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@Kunicki

Then the penpal sites are the way to go. I have been to the Far East five times already, three of these occasions thanks to the invitations from my penfriends to come and stay at their homes. I have got two more invites to Australia and New Zealand pending and gonna avail of these in the near future as well.

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I checked all this sites and I think that japan-guide.com have the most intuitive interface so I will hold on to this page. Thanks a lot for your initative ; )

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No problem at all mate. Enjoy and I do hope you will have a great time finding some nice panfriends from far away.

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Okey, I have a question about books. Only reason, that I don't write it in special topic is because there, we can't use english. So... Is there some special book in your life that change the way you see the world? I'm looking for that kind of books right now.

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"Genesis", definitely. By Anderson as far as I remember. It's best s.f. among books I have ever read. It's like a paper "Ex Machina" (which again is a great film that changed my opinion about syntetic life). I can recommend it to you with all my heart :3. Enjoy! XD

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In my case it was Discworld by Terry Pratchett. To be honest I started to read it in English to practice my language skills. Going through the first two or three was a bit hard as I wasn't used to read English books at that time. Soon after that I was reading one after another like there is no tomorrow, reaching a point where I was buying his books in English because there was no Polish version available yet. I love Pratchett's writing style, his witty sense of humor and on many occasions I was wondering how his English jokes were going to be translated into Polish to keep them funny.

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There is one thing in "english book style" that makes me mad - they are using apostrophy except hyphen in dialogues! For me it is disturbing...

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I have got used to it but then again, English has been my working language for over a decade now. Still seeing this as something strange would've been... strange. :P

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hi, can anyone recommend some books, comics and stuff like this, for person who want to increase his english "reading skills"? I'll be a liar if i say my english skills is height development, but i have no problem with watching movies( with english dialogue ofc)  without subtitles. I generaly have no problem with speaking in english, but when i need to write something, sometimes i have a little problem. Hope i clearly described what i mean and someone can help me.

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Dnia 22.07.2016 o 23:33, hahahahahaha napisał:

hi, can anyone recommend some books, comics and stuff like this, for person who want to increase his english "reading skills"? I'll be a liar if i say my english skills is height development, but i have no problem with watching movies( with english dialogue ofc)  without subtitles. I generaly have no problem with speaking in english, but when i need to write something, sometimes i have a little problem. Hope i clearly described what i mean and someone can help me.

Finish Fallout 2 couple of times :)

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@hahahahahaha

You may want to read one of the Discworld novels. The language there is not too complicated and it is a great read. In addition if you have read one of those in Polish already reading it again in English makes it even easier. 

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@hahahahahaha Try reading something, what is unavailable with polish translation. Doing so, you will 'kill two birds with one stone'. Personally, years ago, I have read one of Harry Potter's books ("Half-blood Prince"), as I was too impatient to wait for the translation. At the moment I am reading Gears of War novels, as I like the universe and only first two are translated (while there are 5 of them). Same goes for some StarCraft novels. Also, if you don't have anything against e-books, you might want to check "Book Bundles" tab on site humblebundle.com, as they're often selling nice packages of books in english (sometimes even audiobooks) and comics. For example at the moment, for a mere dollar (ONE) you can buy 15 comic books, all in english. I have quite some books from this site, as usually they sell nice packets in really good prices.

About reading english books itself - I have similar problem as @Kunicki - style of writing often makes me uncomfortable, especially when it goes for dialogues, which are not 'separated' from normal, descriptive text, like in polish books. But like I wrote a bit higher, I get books in english only when they're unavailable in polish (mainly because books in english are simply 2-3 times more expensive than the ones released in polish).

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Reading something that is not available (or not readily available) in Polish translation is generally a very good idea, eg. Vicious by Victoria Schwab is a pretty decent read. Discworld series is, I'd say, a read that is easy learn, however hard to master, as is actually Harry Porter. I'd also advise you to read some classics, maybe short stories by Mark Twain, or Francis Scott Fitzgerald. I have been having a lot of fun, reading books by Joe Abercrombie, Scott Lynch and Patrick Rothfuss, though to truly appreciate the latter two, a proficient knowledge of language is recommended. Original Dune series might be also recommended for those more partial to sci-fi settings, but it gets progressively harder to read, handling rather complex themes.

If your comprehension skills are relatively good, and writing skills are lacking, you can only improve by practicing the writing, and while your vocabulary will probably benefit incredibly from reading the books, this alone may not help you much. To be honest, I found the old boring newspaper articles or essays, much more helpful in that regard, even if the advent of Internet somewhat bastardized the contact (stories from broadsheets like Guardian, Independent, Daily Telegraph, New York Times, Washington Post, Sydney Morning Herald).

Remember, practice makes perfect - try to put your thoughts regarding some news (or issue) to paper. Make sure to make your point clear in 100-150 words. The next step is writing formal letters/e-mails - everybody hates doing that, but it's probably the quickest way of learning how to communicate effectively.

If you want to improve your skills even further, do watch daily British or American programming, not the popular series, but the news and talk shows, so you may get a grip on the actual flow on the language, and the difference between being simply understood and an ability to feel any awkwardness in your language.

@Kunicki

I could give you a list of books, I have read in English that changed my perception of life, or literature, though many of the titles might be found boring (much) by most of you:

Wuthering Heights - it's funny that in most cases, when you read books in Polish, you rarely find a book in which a certain dialect (or dialects) are actually used (with Konopielka and Zły, being notable exceptions) and or the difference the language is spoken in different parts of the country, and the way it affects the people, who are native speakers of a dialect; you can call Emily Bronte's novel - an archetypical melodrama, but for me, the most interesting point of the book was the stark between the language of a narrator (who is a Londoner) of book and the storyteller (who is a Northerner).

The Tropic of Capricorn - Henry Miller's semi-autobiographical novel was considered highly subversive and obscene at the time, while also being a very accurate observation of New York society in 1920's and deep introspective thoughts of a man going through a mid-life crisis, at the same time maturing to the point of rejecting some of the societal decora.

Winterlong - Elizabeth Hand's novel is probably the most harrowing tale of post-Apocalypic world gone awry, where gene-manipulation turned the world upside down, and very much for the worse. Although Hothouse by Brian W. Aldiss is probably a much better known (and deservedly so) book with the similar theme - here the narration is a bit softer and toned down.

The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress - Heinlein's novel is most famous for TANSTAAFL acronym and is often controversially quoted by less-sound minded people of a libertarian persuasion. Though it explores a revolution against tyranny, both social and political one, it also explores society that has very much different social values due to issues such as gender disparity.

The Luminaries - If you like complicated murder mysteries with a touch of supernatural taking place in a frontier town, with a very unique type of narration, Eleanor Catton's Booker-prize winning book might be for you. It is probably the best western-style with complex narration, with a gritty narration, not dissimilar to Manuscrit trouvé à Saragosse.

 

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