Friday, June 14, 2013

Update June 14, 2013

Hola mundo! He estado aprendiendo muchas cosas recientemente y tengo una muy, muy buena noticia––mi esposa está embarazada! Gracias a Dios por este regalo tan especial, estamos emocionados.

Y con esta noticia tan buena yo tengo que pensar en qué voy a hacer para proveer por mi familia si mi esposa es madre y tenemos un(a) bebé en nuestro hogar. Tengo que buscar algo con que puedo ganar el dinero suficiente para pagar nuestras deudas y proveer nuestras necesidades.

Intentando con todo esto no ha sido fácil, pero sigo orando al Señor pidiendo su ayuda y sabiduría.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Language Studies Update

When I began writing this blog, I was monolingual. I could understand, speak and write only in English.

After meeting hundreds of people through evangelism on the streets of Philadelphia, as well as other cities, I began to ask foreigners how to say simple phrases in their languages, like: "Hello. How are you? I am fine. Thank you".

One African man I met at a church in Lancaster, PA, told me I was a linguist. I did not understand anything about linguistics at that time.

Today I speak Spanish fluently, by God's grace, and I also read the Greek New Testament. In addition to these blessings, I consider myself a beginning student of linguistics.

I enjoy listening to linguistics courses on iTunes. I don't have time to list them all. In addition to this, I am learning Mandarin Chinese on audio CD in my car.

Other languages that I am a student of include Latin, Hebrew, Italian, French, German, Modern Greek, and Haitian Creole.

I'm almost out of time, so I will make a quick turn from writing here on my tongues blog to studying translation.

Arrivederci per ora.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

English Grammar Lesson #1: Nouns

This post is the first in a series of studies of English grammar and writing. I would have loved to write a summary of the history of English before posting these notes, but because of time constrictions, I will only post my notes. These notes form the first of my study of the Principles of English Grammar, which will look at the English noun.

Principles of English Grammar
“This is the sort of English up with which I will not put.” - Winston Churchill

The eight parts of speech are:
1. noun
2. pronoun
3. verb
4. adjective
5. adverb
6. preposition
7. conjunction
8. interjection


1. noun = name; persons, creatures, animals, places, objects, activities, concepts (these are all named and so they are all nouns)

Examples: man, men, women, child, people, doctor, friend, Johnny, Sally, Bill, president = persons; ants, insect, snake, bear, eagle, bird, butterfly, dog, bacteria = creatures/animals; country, state, park, home, restaurant, street = places; tree, pencil, phone, light, wood = objects; run, ski, jump, helping, giving, speech, reading = activities; honesty, truth, good, bad, minute, year = concepts.

Nouns function in sentences as subject, object, adjective or adverb:
Subject:  the lead actor of a sentence.
Direct object:  the recipient of an action.
Indirect object:  the object to or for which an action is performed, taking a preposition such as to or for.
Object of a preposition:  shows the relationship that a noun or pronoun has with another word in the sentence by placing a preposition before it. (More info under Prepositions)
Adjective:  modifies or clarifies another noun.
Adverb:  modifies a verb. (More info under Adverbs)

Common nouns are non-specific:  dog, cat, house, man, woman, child, etc.

Proper nouns are specific names, beginning with a capital letter:  Adam, Park Avenue, Margarite, Kindle Fire, Hershey Chocolate Factory, etc.

Collective nouns refer to groups in a singular word, but they do not refer to individuals: family, company, collection, group, choir, session, assembly, troop, herd, flock, set, etc.
Collective nouns may be used as plural nouns when referring to the diversity of a collective group: The committee have different opinions regarding their plan.

Plural nouns refer to more than one. Most plural nouns end with s or es, although there are many exceptions: children, women, men, geese, mice, feet, teeth, alumni, media, data, crises are all plural nouns (child, woman, man, goose, mouse, foot, tooth, alumnus, medium, datum, crisis are their singular cases).
Other nouns do not change their form when plural: deer, hose, moose, sheep, species, coal.
Some nouns have more than one plural form: brothers/brethren, appendixes/appendices, focuses/foci.
The collective noun can also be plural in case and form when it refers to several collective groups: families, companies, collections, groups, choirs, sessions, assemblies, troops, herds, flocks, sets.
Possessive nouns denote possession or ownership and can be written with an apostrophe ‘s or with the preposition of: the man’s wife, the woman’s children, the wife of the man, the children of the woman, etc.

Plural possessive nouns can be written with an apostrophe after the s’ rather than in front: the boys’ toys, the girls’ dolls (the boy’s toys and the girl’s dolls are singular).

Nouns have gender? Yes they do, at least that’s how we sometimes describe them. Gender classifies nouns as either masculine, feminine or neuter. Neuter nouns do not distinguish between masculine and feminine, can include both or refer to neither: bird, family, parent, friend, rock, house, car. Noun gender rarely means that a noun is male or female, except when it actually refers to males or females: boy, girl, grandmother, father, ewe, ram, bull, cow, hen. Many of the world’s languages use different forms of the articles (like the, they) which change depending on the noun’s gender. Thankfully English no longer does that!

Gerund is a verb ending that denotes continuous action, but it can also get attached to nouns: running is good for you, googling usually helps when I want to find an answer, let’s go skiing, hiking, biking, or riding (these are mostly verbs that get used as nouns).

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Upcoming Lessons

I'm currently working on writing some New Testament Greek beginner's lessons, much like I did with Spanish on this blog in the past. My purpose in this is to grapple with the grammar and vocabulary of the language and begin to gain mastery over it. I found this approach helpful to my language learning in the past. It is quite a challenge, though, but we shall see how it proceeds.
Χάρις και ειρήνη.

Estoy preparando unas lecciones de griego del Nuevo Testamento para principiantes, tal cual hice con el español anteriormente en este blog. Mi propósito en todo esto es para luchar con la grammática y el vocabulario del idioma, y por consiguiente empezar a dominarlo. He encontrado este método muy útil para aprender otro idioma. Es muy difícil, no obstante veremos como procede.
Χάρις και ειρήνη.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Update on Greek, Hebrew and Thoughts on Pronunciation

Right now, I'm focusing a little more on reading my UBS Greek New Testament Reader's Edition. Along with that, I have been listening to John H. Dobson's CD that accompanies his book Learn Biblical Hebrew. His method of teaching is different from other language resources and I find it quite helpful.

I am also considering developing my own New Testament Greek lessons in order to spur my growth in this language. I found that my ability to understand and speak Spanish increased drastically when I began making up my own lessons for that a few years ago.

I find the study of pronunciation to be just as important in language learning as is the study of grammar. I'm thinking about this for two reasons, 1) scholars and seminarians pronounce New Testament Greek in the Erasmian style, which sounds strange and artificial to anyone familiar with native Greek. There really should be no controversy over this, but as with all minor points, there is; and 2) in order to hear what people are saying in Spanish, I have to listen very hard to the way they pronounce the words in sentences, because they often do not sound the same when different native speakers talk than when they are learned in the classroom. For that reason, pronunciation learning is an exercise not to be neglected.

My two cents.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Learning Italian, Greek, Chinese, and more

Bene, ho imparato molto dall'ultima volte che ho scritto qualcosa qui sul questo blog. Sto imparando l'italiano, greco moderno, cinese, e un po' di altri linguaggi, soprattutto attraverso i podcasts. Mia moglie bella mi ha dato un libro che mi aiuta con l'italiano, come potete vedere. Ora abbiamo l'intenzione di fare un programma per insegnare l'inglese nella città nostra. Che il Signore sia contento di usare tutto ciò che ho imparato per la gloria del Suo Figlio, Gesù Cristo!

Well, I learned a lot since the last time I wrote something here on this blog. I am learning Italian, Modern Greek, Chinese, and a bit 'of other languages, especially through podcasts. My lovely wife gave me a book that helps me with Italian, as you can see. Right now we are planning a program to teach English in our city. May the Lord be pleased to use all that I've learned for the glory of His Son, Jesus Christ!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Languages Update

In the past year, I have successfully been able to communicate very well in Spanish. I still need to interact more in Spanish in order to improve my ability to speak the language. But I can at least now say that I'm bilingual. So... Yay! Praise God for answering my prayer and granting me this ability!

I have also taken up the study of New Testament Greek grammar. This has been a slow process, since Koine Greek is pretty complex. Yet it is exciting to learn and be able to read small parts of the New Testament in its original language.

I put Old Testament Hebrew on hold this year.

I also began learning Italian. I found to be a great resource for learning and practicing the Italian language. At Live Mocha, you can review people's English and receive reviews from native speakers in the language you are learning. It is great.

I also am learning German grammar with a little pocket guide for grasping Deutsch im schnellgang! (German in a hurry). I also found some good podcasts on Itunes for learning German as well.

All this language learning, you might think, would make one's head spin! But it's the opposite. I find it motivating and exciting to learn the languages of other people, especially in order to communicate the greatest news I've ever heard, which is the gospel of Jesus Christ, my Lord. I hope and pray He will give me opportunities through this to bless others.