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Beginner Mistakes of Advanced Learners

Sometimes, it seems no matter how much you have advanced within a language, you still have the ability make common errors beginners tend to make.

For me, in terms of French, I still have trouble understanding when to use "des" or "de", depending on the sentence context. Also, I sometimes use "dans" and "en" in the wrong situations. I suppose understanding the context of when to use certain words is my main issue with French. I'm sure there are more, but that's all I can think of. Surprisingly, genders are not really a huge issue with me. At least, not any more.

Edit: So, I do have another one. In French, I always get the definitions of "continuer" and "commencer". They mean exactly what they seem, but I've always remembered the word "commence" to mean "to start from where you left off", aka "to continue". But, "continuer" means "to continue" and "commencer" means "to start". It's a dumb mistake I tend to make.

With Japanese, I always get the kanji forms of "I" and "shi" mixed up because they are very similar (い/し). I even made a quizlet set with the entire Hiragana alphabet, and no matter how many times I study the them, I always get those two confused.

So, what are some beginner-like mistakes you make as an advanced learner (or intermediate, however you define that as) in another language(s) you're learning?

November 26, 2017



sometimes i accidentally switch languages halfway through a sentence, for example once i typed "ja, dw i eisiau anifail" with the first bit in german and the rest in welsh


I do that so much when it comes to Romanian and French!


In Circassian, when a word has a lot of uvular consonants followed by a sibilant of some sort, I tend to pronounce it as a retroflex sibilant. A prominant example of this is къэрэкъэш (rounded as in a ball), which normally sounds like /qaraqaʃ/, but I tend to pronounce it as /qaraqaʂ/. I also struggle with palato-alveolar sibilant switching, present in words such as пщэдджыжьышхэ (breakfast), which is pronounced as /pɕadd͡ʒəʑəʃxa/. More info on that here.


Ele in Portuguese is he but because of French I always write she=elle :/


It seems to be only when I translate back into English the word restaurant. EVERY time it turns into a phonetic mess. I aggravate myself so very much. Argh. With that said, I had a Japanese teacher in high school. She said how to remember i/い is to pretend they are your cheeks when you smile, and say cheese-ch-い-z. And for shi/し, it looks like a fish hook, or as she said, “fiし/fishy.” Maybe that helps. She was hilarious.


That is a wonderful way to remember shi and i. Thank you so much!

I wish I had Japanese at my high school, but the only Asian language that was offered was Chinese (Mandarin).


I've been studying Latin for six years. The other day in class, I accidentally mixed up Spanish in a Latin translation. My teacher stared at me.


In Welsh, if I'm not paying enough attention, I still think "hi" (she) means "he" (because of the way it sounds). I also still tend to mix up "mewn" (in - indefinite) and "yn" (in - definite).

...All words that should have been mastered within the first fortnight, lol.

And I've lost track of how many times I've had to look up the Polish alphabet and make pronunciation charts... I doubt I'll ever completely remember si, sz, ś, dzi, dź, ź, ż, rz, etc... :P


Still get эта это этот mixed up.

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