Just a quick one!
Hello everyone! Thanks for all your comments. This is (hopefully) going to be a quick blog in order to respond to everyone, as promised.
Guzin, it’s very nice to meet you. Your comments were a pleasure to read and I loved your use of “no pain, no gain” to explain the fact that we need rain to enjoy flowers! I’m sorry I haven’t visited your country (yet!), so I’d be delighted if you could tell me (and the others) more about it. May I just say that when you write, it might be an idea to put your thoughts into paragraphs to make it easier for people to follow. One idea per paragraph.
Beyza, I can’t believe you’re learning three languages all at the same time! It’s incredible! I wish you all the best – I’m having enough trouble with German right now! Thank you also for your valuable comments, especially about whether one should use to or for: you can use both!
Leila, it’s nice to meet you, too. Finland is another country I haven’t visited but would very much like to. What is the weather like up there right now? Do you get four seasons? I’m sorry I’m so ignorant: you’ll have to tell me more about life in Finland!
Ana Paula, good luck with the FCE exam later this year! I like the way you have tried to use “brush up” in a phrase, but don’t forget to use the prepositions “up” and “on”: “this blog area is an excellent way to brush up on my English and meet interesting people”.
Duke Lee, what an interesting name! Is Duke a nickname by any chance? It’s a small world really if someone from China knows about Portsmouth University! Are you a student or do you work?
Silwal, thank you for your warm welcome. I am surprised (but very pleased) that you have time to write despite working nights and with two young children, too! Keep up the good work but don’t tire yourself out!
Redouane, no your English isn’t catastrophic, far from it! (You should listen to my German, then you would know what catastrophic is!) Here are a few corrections: “I have lived in France for 2 years in Lille in the north”. You don’t live in Lille anymore, so you should use the past simple “I lived in France...”. Don’t make it more difficult, go with your instinct, it’s usually right! “My wife met difficulties to adaptate with the weather”. You can say “My wife had difficulties...” or “My wife met with difficulties...”. The former is what people usually say, the latter is less commonly used – probably only in written format. “Adapt” is probably the word you meant to spell and we use “to” with it: adapt to the weather, adapt to a new culture, etc. Hope that’s helpful!
Jurate, I had to laugh out loud at your comments – it is true that in France there are some people who simply refuse to speak English and can be quite petty about it. It might have something to do with national pride or the age-old rivalry between the UK and France. Nevertheless, in some ways, I kind of agree with the French – as a visitor we probably need to try to speak their language a bit; at least meet them half-way. If they see you are trying your best then they might soften up and respond in English to help you out. Good luck with your final school exams. When are they?
Manish, ich bin fein, vielen Dank. Aber ich bin ein bisschen müde! I’m not sure that phrase is 100% correct! Anyway, well done on getting your ZD certificate – is that a useful certificate to have for business? You are quite right: a language can be used as a tool to confound others! Just today in class my teacher was using Schwabian and Bayerlisch dialects and I was lost!
Natasha, thanks for your nice comments. Yes, it is a good experience for me to be a student again: it gives me a better insight into what it is like to be on the receiving end of a lesson and will help make me a better teacher and, dare I say it, a better and more humble person. Where are you from in Belarus and what do you do?
Sergio, thanks for your interest in my blog. Yes, you can say “Nice to meet you” even if it is online. You make a good point there, as this kind of communication is relatively new and there are no fixed guidelines (that I know of) on how to converse. In answer to your question, I want to be a teacher of French and German because although I love teaching English I would also like to add a couple of other languages to my bow.
Cris, it looks like you are an avid learner of languages. I admire your dedication! Which part of Buenos Aires are you from? I ask because I was there last year and fell in love with the country and the city. I also fell in love with the culture and the food and the wine and the fantastic welcome I received, despite being British!!!
Hello Paula and thank you for your kind comments. I look forward to reading more about you with a few newly learnt expressions thrown in – do you like challenges?
Beatriz, thanks for response. I am glad to have a blogger from Uruguay as I would love to learn more about your country. I was there last year on a day trip from Argentina – I went to Colonia, which was so beautiful and peaceful. Is the rest of Uruguay like that? By the way, I hope you are no longer confused about the first blog I wrote in response to an inexistent posting by Lukasz.
Mauricio, hello! Thank you for your response. I think there was some confusion because the first day my blog was published Anne’s photo was still up. Anyway, it’s nice to meet a fellow teacher, even if it is in a different discipline. What is it like in “small portion”? And why is it so named? Do you get small portions to eat? (Joke!)
Hello Habooba. Thanks for writing in. I’ve never met anyone with a name like yours; does it have a meaning? My middle name is Jameela and maybe you know what it means...
Hello Naweed. No, I’ve never been to Afghanistan, but I do know it’s quite mountainous. Is it hot during the day and cold at night? Here are a few corrections for you: “have you travel to Afghanistan” should be “have you travelled” or better still, “have you ever been to Afghanistan?”. “I have graduated” is perfect but “intermedait” is written “intermediate” and “callege” is “college”. Keep up the good work!
Hola Merce, thanks for your warm welcome. I agree, this is a very cool website with so many people from so many backgrounds. In answer to your questions, no, I never used my degree to work in Politics and IR. In fact I think many British graduates end up in completely different jobs! This isn’t to say that I didn’t like Politics and IR, in fact I loved the course: it was very interesting. I don’t know much about Portsmouth but I am learning and will update you as much as possible.
Kuldeep, your response was by far the most fascinating: you have managed to use all the expressions from my blog! Well done! I also agree with your ideas about learning paying big dividends and reflecting a positive outlook on life. Education and skills are things no-one can ever take away from you. By the way, you say “I upped my sticks” but actually you should say “I upped sticks”. No need to add “my”. Thank you for your compliments about my hair – it is all natural! My father is from Simla, which probably explains my colouring!
Janestory, thanks for your response, too. It looks like you have been everywhere in China, which is no mean feat given its size! I like the way you used “brush up on” (well done!) and gave a very comprehensive first entry. Now I don’t know what to ask you!
Pary, I was most certainly NOT bored reading your entry. Thank you for an informative insight into your life. How cheeky is your cheeky monkey? Ardebil sounds beautiful with mountains, volcanoes, lakes and hot springs – wow! Can you upload pictures on the site?
James, nice to meet you too. There’s no need to be so formal, just call me Sophie. What do you do and where in China do you live?
Antonio, thanks for your entry. Yes, I am sorry it was so confusing. Perhaps Lukasz will add his previous errors so that you can make sense of my corrections. How come your next entry will be from Belgium? Are you on holiday or on business?
Marianna, nice to meet you. I like the expression of sitting on two chairs at the same time. Is that a typical Slovakian expression?
Mahjabeen, thank you for writing in. Did you write in twice or are there two people called Mahjabeen from Pakistan?
Manuela, it’s nice to meet you, too. I’m jealous of your level of German – you must be pretty good if you’re studying for a degree in interpretation and translation! “Resume studying” is perfect - no-one gets back to studying. What do you do on Republic day in Italy? Is it a national holiday? Over here, we celebrate the Queen’s birthday; in fact, she celebrates it twice (well, she is the Queen!): one is an official birthday (on the first, second, or third Saturday in June, celebrated in London by Trooping the Colour, which is also known as the Queen's Birthday Parade), the other is her real birthday (April 21st).
Ernesto, it’s nice to meet you. I speak a little Japanese, but now I’m getting confused with German! I have to think twice before I answer a question in class, in case I use Japanese!
Vladimir, thank you for your warm welcome. I found Russian incredibly difficult to master, but that was before I tried Arabic and Japanese! Is Ukranian very different from Russian? I’ve never been to Ukraine and I regret not visiting the country whilst I was living in Russia. But maybe one day...
Silvana, how nice to read all about you. It was strange to read that you live 1500 kms away from the beach but then I realised you’re from Brazil! I like the way you used the phrase to describe how your skills have lain dormant, but I have to say they don’t seem that dormant to me!
Anna, nice to meet you. Yes, we do have a lot of cliffs and pebbly beaches in the UK, but there are some sandy beaches too. I really like living by the sea and I now realise what I have been missing all my life! It’s going to be difficult to leave Portsmouth at the end of August. Don’t worry about making mistakes; in fact, the sillier, the better – that way you’ll remember not to make them in the future!
Bonjour Concetta! How do you say bonjour in Piemontese? Well done on passing PET – how did you find Newcastle?
Chico – you are another prolific writer, well done! But then you are already an English teacher, so it’s not surprising! Which chat shows do you like? Do you know Parkinson? He’s a well-known British talk-show host and has had many famous people on his show over the years.
Thao, thanks for your warm welcome. In answer to your questions, yes, I like warm climates, but I think I prefer temperate ones. I don’t have any children and my hobbies are photography, cycling, sightseeing, dabbling in writing travel articles and having a good tie with my friends (if that can be called a hobby!). What about you? Apart from soaking in the sea and lounging around in the sun? LOL!
Farha, it’s nice to meet you. Yes, it must be difficult to teach a language well when it isn’t your first language. There’s a lot of pressure on teachers to speak it fluently and with the correct accent. I’m concerned that my German won’t quite be up to scratch when I start teaching but I reckon that the best we can do when we live far away from any native speakers is to watch videos/dvds or listen to the radio, if possible.
Hello Bluefish – interesting nickname. Why do you have such a name?
Joaquina, welcome to you too! What do you do? Which exam are you taking in two days’ time? Please don’t panic! The examiners aren’t there to make you fail. In fact they probably want you to pass. I will cross my fingers and think of you. Take a deep breath and do your best, that’s all you can do. Best of luck!
Hello Mariusz and thanks for your welcome. I can’t imagine anyone being frightened of rain. Are you sure that was what you felt? It must have rained a lot while you were in Ireland! I sometimes feel homesick, too. At the moment I miss my husband (who is currently in Japan).
Vijay, it’s nice to meet you too. What do you do?
Hello Madhav, nice to meet you. I’ve never met anyone from Kathmandu before. What do you like to do in your spare time? You say “it cent percent not for me” and I think you mean “it is not one hundred percent for me”. Why not? What do you want to do and where would you like to go?
Hello Manish! I think it is a very good start coming to this website and writing in. There are many things you can do here: games and activities to help improve your English skills in many different areas. Have a look around the site and try out some of the exercises whenever you have time to log on, but above all, have fun!
Hello Le from Shanghai – it’s nice to meet you. What do you do?
Hello Christy. Life in Japan is good – the country is highly developed in terms of industry and there are more convenience stores and coffee shops than you can throw a stick at! However, the culture can take some getting used to and the language is particularly tricky (well, it was for me, anyway!). The courtesy that you speak of and that most people think of when they think of Japan, is connected to the culture. What passes for common courtesy over here doesn’t apply over there. For example, holding a door open for someone in the UK is common courtesy, whereas in Japan it doesn’t happen very often! So you might think the Japanese are quite rude when they’re not, they just have different social rules.
Nice to meet you, Ryou. Do you live in Korea? You wrote “I lived in korea” which means you did live there but not anymore. Perhaps you mean “I live in Korea”? Also, “I want improving English” should be “I want TO improve MY English”. “I is feeling that english is very difficulty” = “I feel that English is very difficult”. Yes, English is quite difficult. Are you taking lessons anywhere?
It’s lovely to meet you all but that’s all for now. I must go to bed – it is now past midnight! I will try to add some photos and content next time. Bye!
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