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Comment Re:Obvious answer.. (Score 1) 514

You may lack grammatical skills but the idea would come across with some consistency.

Let's eat people! Let's eat, people!

Admittedly a smaller risk in a spoken language, but spoken proficiency alone doesn't cut it.

You're right, but context usually mitigates all but the worst grammatical errors. For example, unless your friend was wearing a bloody butcher's apron and carrying a cleaver you'd likely assume he meant the latter rather than the former. ;)

Comment Re:Obvious answer.. (Score 3, Interesting) 514

Fluency is defined as being able to express yourself easily and articulately. A vocabulary of 1,000 words allows you to understand at least half of what's going on around you. Some studies go as high as 75-80%, such as this one for Spanish (pg. 109), but I aimed low for my example. A vocabulary of about 10,000 words and a general understanding of how to assemble them into a sentence is enough to be considered fluent in almost any situation.

If you learn 30 words per day you would be able to express yourself at least half the time in a little over a month. You may lack grammatical skills but the idea would come across with some consistency. Continuing on that track, it would take just under a year to be able to express yourself with a high degree of fluency. Mind you, I am assuming you started focusing on grammar at some point during that year. For Spanish, I found it took about six weeks until my grammar limited me more than my vocabulary. I’m only a few months into learning but I can already communicate well with native speakers.

If you make flashcards using some kind of spaced repetition system like Anki or Mnemosyne it will automatically handle the review of words you’ve already learned so you just need to focus on daily study and let the program handle the rest. The greatest difficulties you’ll face during this process are making the flashcards, which is an important step in building recognition, and the odd word that simply will not stick.

When you’re not studying your flashcards you need to immerse yourself in the language. Listen to music you enjoy, try to watch shows that interest you and parrot everything you hear. In the beginning, the point of this exercise isn’t to understand anything but rather to recognize it. Eventually you’ll start to pick out words you’ve learned and infer the meaning of others based on context and the language starts to snowball in your head.

If learning a new language is not fun you’re doing it wrong. If learning a new language is difficult, you’re probably using Rosetta Stone. ;)

Comment Re:Is this really a positive thing? (Score 1) 217

The first step of good brainstorming is writing down every idea that comes to mind, no matter how bad, because sometimes a terrible idea can inspire a good one you wouldn't have had otherwise. This project does seem to be fueled by desperation but I still think it has potential, if only as a thought exercise.

Comment Re:First (Score 3, Insightful) 119

Just out of curiosity (no pun intended), wouldn't it be fairly easy to identify false positives? For example, if the concentration of methane appears to increase the longer the rover is stationary the more likely it is that it's coming from the rover rather than the atmosphere, assuming no wind anyway. And if there was wind any methane produced by the rover would be carried away and become a non-issue as well, right?

Comment Re:Ah yes... Non-featured features... (Score 1) 189

To answer your first question, yes. To answer your second question, it depends.

Whether you enjoyed the game up to that point or not, having your progress reset sucks. If you know it's coming, like in any roguelike, you just restart a little wiser. If you don't know it's coming the fun quickly stops.

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