Problems with English? Questions? Vocabulary, grammar... Post here :)
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I have 2 Robert dictionary in my shelf. But electronic, nope. I have lot of books ab. french, as it is obvious. Encarta and universalis are 2 very good cdroms, encyclopedia. I would recommand. Otherwise le bon usage... I can have a look.
Yes. "Le petit Robert" - very funny. 2 kilos and 9cm...
For or Since?
"Since recent years the food industry is facing lot of demands"
"For recent years the food industry is facing lot of demands"
What would be the solution?
I learned at school:
"For" marks a period of time, "since" is used for something like "from this point in time on".
"For three years I tried to install Linux."
"Since 2005 I tried to install Linux."
And I would write "Ever since <point in time or imporant event> the food industry faces ... " for precision.
"recent years" is a rather unspecified/open period of time.
For a couple of years now the food industry ....
For quite some time now the food industry ...
would be o.k.
But I can't give a grammatical explanation.
But you can say "For quite some time ..." while you shouldn't (but still can) say: "For recent years ..."
"In recent years the food industry ... " would still be better. I was trying an example with a correct use of "for".
- the problem here seems to be that you are a native speaker and notice such fine differences which go "against the grain(?)" while I don't have that much experience and found it o.k.
Is that so?
the thing that "inspired" me was this:
"We have had an eye on you for quite some time now, Mr.Anderson..."
(I hope this is nearly a quote)
One point I will make - my French and German are absolutely appalling and I wouldn't even attempt to post to a French or German language forum. LQ has members for whom English is a second, third or fourth language and I am constantly impressed how people who start a post with "please excuse my English...." actually write it better than many native English speakers. The little bits, like the for/since question above, come with usage and experience.
Largely, the technical forums are very forgiving. All we care about is that we can understand what you are asking and you can understand our answers. And that you don't use SMS speak.
Well, it's quite a dominate language after all, tought at school in most european countries as a mandatory subject over several years. In addition, smaller countries show TV series and movies untranslated in English with subtitles only - great way to learn.
And "Harry Potter" of course has recently brought thousands of children into written English - at least in Germany.
In many ways it's simply due to the fact that English is available through so many channels.
If I could get the same amount of movies, TV series or online dictionaries in French...
My French teacher always said that we could become fluent in French if we lived there for 6 months, rather than spend 5 years in school trying to pick up on it. At one time, the international language was French - diplomats had to understand it. Now, the dominant language is English. The predominant language on the internet is English, which means that if you want to have conversations internationally you have to at least understand some of it. This will hopefully mean that non-English speakers will massively improve their English comprehension, but does nothing for those of us with English as our main language
A lot of people, I mean English people, can't be bothered to make the effort to understand Shakespeare - they really don't know what they're missing. Ages ago (can't be more specific), I read several books about him and his works, then read most of the plays and poems - and the more I read, the more I understood. I suppose that was akin to learning a foreign language, but one separated by time rather than geography.
My French teacher always said that we could become fluent in French if we lived there for 6 months, rather than spend 5 years in school trying to pick up on it.
I believe I've learned serious part of my english kowledge by playing console/computer games (old titles like Fallout 2, Landstalker, Beyound Oasis, etc), although initial knowledge was acquired from books (which taught to think in foregin language instead of translating every sentence all the time).
It is a shame that many of game/video (re)publisher's are now cutting out original language from localized versions of foreign films/games. Basically, in my area finding non-pirated (and even pirated) version of something with available original language is difficult. That's bad, since today's gamers at least could learn foreign language while playing another cr@p with "good gfx".
Well, the good thing about learning foreign languages is the same thing like learning a programming language: After you've picked up one or two, the third, fourth or fifth isn't that difficult anymore.
And things like the roman language family or translating German grammar knowledge into Icelandic or having learned all the chinese characters for Japanese once come in handy, too, because they can easily transferred from one language to another.
Just like knowing what hashes are in Perl transforms nicely into learning PHP.