Past perfect continuous, or how to acquire a language.

So I was sitting in the Munich S-Bahn, on my way to meet my boyfriend for lunch at his place of work, when I overheard a man and a woman talk about something. I couldn’t really make up what exactly they were talking about but one thing I did hear very clearly: past prefect continuous. No idea what that was except it would have to do something with the grammar some language.

That made me think that even though I have no idea what past perfect continuous means I probably use it several times a day.

Also made me realise that most of my languages I have acquired more than that I have learned them. Because only when you learn, or study, a language would you know what these terms mean and I have absolutely NO idea what all these grammatical terms mean.

Not knowing these terms, even in my own language, does make it more challenging to learn a new language I guess. I am at the moment tentatively trying to improve my German in order to be able to pass a language exam at work so as to further my career perspective a bit. Unfortunately German grammar has always set me back ever since I had to take up the subject in high school as part of the mandatory curriculum.

There is a well know method for learning a new language, I won’t mention the name but it has ‘Stone’ in it, that claims to use a more natural way of learning a new language by means of acquiring it. The software shows you a picture of a scene, a sentence relating to what is depicted in the scene and a voice over pronouncing the sentence. I have tried it for fun with Swedish. I didn’t have an trouble pronouncing the words but most of the times I couldn’t figure out what they tried to convey in the image.

(image: Marienplatz S-Bahn station Munich, source and copyright info.)


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