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>Your teacher misinformed you, then!  According to Webster's, the plural of
>"potato" is "potatoes" (and according to Dan Quayle, the singular has an E as
>well!).  The irregular ones are usually loan words e.g. "sopranos".
 
I suppose it is the other way around. I did not absorb the information of
my teacher correctly, as I think it is wrong to teach vocabulary in that
way.
 
What I mean is that one should not teach -os and oes-words at the same
time. This is very tempting when you already know the stuff. Because if you
are not 100 % concentrated some of the information will disappear from your
brain, and you will wonder "did purely English words have an o only in the
plural, or was it the other way around?"
 
Marteno Lavalea wrote:
>But first some steps are required.
>
>To possess the grammar is quite easy. To translate is the best: even if the
>translation is horrible, that doesn't matter. The Ido student learns new
>words, and the existence of Ido forum allows people to correct the
>creations.
 
This depends a little from what you want to use the language for. I used
the method for trying to get better in English. I was bad at spelling, and
I thought that my expressions were to Swedish, so I took some text from
Reader's Digest and tried to translate it into Swedish and then back again
after some days. That was horribly boring, and I don't know if I learnt
much from that _then_. But I think that my using the language made certain
kinds of material "set" in my brain for later, unconscient use.
 
The best thing is probably to take a paragraph and translate that. When I
started learning Finish some ten years ago I used a Linguaphone Course.
This course had a Swedish translation after every lesson that I translated
into Finnish. This was also very boring, but it helped making my language
more active.
 
I also used that method for learning Esperanto. The course had esperanto on
one line and the Swedish equivalent on the line underneath. I couvered the
esperanto part and tried to translate the Swedish back into Esperanto. That
worked. This is a good method only if you don't have an informant to talk
to and practice the language you are learning. I think it is fair to say
that after three months I could speak Esperanto fluently.
 
When I later on learnt Interlingua I already knew English (at the level I
am now, give or take some notches) and French (reading and imitating speach
- French speakers could understand me and I could understand them). And I
knew some Spanish (indicative mode, present and simple past + some verbs in
the perfective!). In the back of my head I had some Latin. In I think three
weeks I could speak interlingua fluently, meaning that I could carry on a
dialogue like this:
- Que es tu nomine?
- Mi nomine es Tchell, io lo scribe in svedese assi: Kjell.
- Aha. Esque tu ha visitate mi pais Polonia.
- Si, io ha habite in Polonia 3 annos. Multo agradabile pais...
- In qual citates ha tu vivite?
- Io cognosce ben Warsovia, Torunia e Gedania.
- Multo interessante. Io ipse habita in Cracovia.
 
By fluently I mean that I did not have to think about the words I needed.
They just came out when I needed them. I could also talk for some minutes
about the merits of Interlingua!
 
But there is a lot of psychology involved here. For some people it is
harder, even though have got the language background necessary not having
to learn every single word of Interlingua from scratch.
 
If you don't have a teacher or an informant you have to find practical ways
to exercise the language. Reading aloud and writing - whatever you want to
write, even copying texts from a text-book will do. Language is a practical
matter. You use your hands or fingers to forms the words in writing and you
use your speech organs to produce sounds, and you have to practise that as
well as if you learn to knit, you can not do that without some practice.
Same with language. Unfortunately there are no radio or tv-programmes in
Ido that I know of, but this has been a good way to learn languages, at
least for me. I used to be an avid listner to the BBC broadcasts to
Scandinavia, and when learning Polish I used to listen to Radio Free
Europe, which came in beautifully in Uppsala and Stockholm where I lived in
those years.
 
If learning an auxiliary language it is a good thing to trying to use the
language as much as possible. The fine thing is that your informant does
not have to be one ho is a native speaker! You may also be from the same
country. If your language background is different this can be still better,
provided that your informant is good at the language. If you are equal
beginners, you will nead a lot of _deliberations_ to get to the correct
form. You are then in the same position as a group of people from different
countries taking a cours in Swedish doing a group work (if that is the
English word) in the classroom.
 
Then you will use the grammars and dictionaries that you have to your
disposal to find out what is the correct word or grammatical form...
 
I must also state that these descriptions have been made according to my
temperament and my type of memory. Try to find out which method is good for
you. If you prefer to learn by attending classes, do that. Personally I
cannot learn language that way. I nead informants, a good grammar, a
dictionary and an interesting newspaper...
 
 
 
 
 
 
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