#1
Who has, under their own steam (ie not from birth, not seriously at school or whatever) simply taken it upon themselves to learn a language and been successful?

if so how did you find it, how long were you working at it, what support did you have, why did you want to do it etc?
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#2
I never but I had the potential to.... I've been told it would take a good 2-3 years to learn a language effectively.
#3
I haven't as of yet, but I'm currently learning Xhosa online. It's one of those cool african clicky languages.
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#4
It's funny that you should make this thread as just a few days a go i started learning Italian


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#5
Started learning Japanese a month or two ago. I lost my job and I'm not studying anything this year so I thought I should probably take something up.

Why Japanese? Just always thought it was a pretty badass language.
#6
Quote by CrimboJones
Started learning Japanese a month or two ago. I lost my job and I'm not studying anything this year so I thought I should probably take something up.

Why Japanese? Just always thought it was a pretty badass language.



How's it going?
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#7
I learned French and German while stationed in Belgium. I learned a little Norwegian, Swedish and Polish while in Europe. I became pretty fluent in Spanish when I was in Central America.
Foreign languages came pretty easy to me. Unfortunately I forget them almost as fast when I don't use them.
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#8
I started to learn Dutch by meself. Reason being, I was going to visit a friend in Belgium and I was bored one day. It's quite similar to German which I can speak, so I find it pretty straightforward and interesting. I bought 'Teach Yourself Dutch' books, some grammar books (I love grammar), and I used Dutch podcasts to help with pronunciation.
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#9
Quote by jallas
I started to learn Dutch by meself. Reason being, I was going to visit a friend in Belgium and I was bored one day. It's quite similar to German which I can speak, so I find it pretty straightforward and interesting. I bought 'Teach Yourself Dutch' books, some grammar books (I love grammar), and I used Dutch podcasts to help with pronunciation.



I know you're experienced with languages, how do you recommend going about learning one?
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#10
Quote by meh!
I know you're experienced with languages, how do you recommend going about learning one?

Watching French television helped.
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#11
Quote by Jackal58
Watching French television helped.



With subs or just... bam straight into watching foreign language tv?

I mean to learn gaelic... and scotland has gaelic radio and television so I can do that.
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#12
i know traditional chinese and laos
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#13
I learned some finnish a year ago. It's all gone. I'm planning on picking it up again.
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#14
Quote by meh!
With subs or just... bam straight into watching foreign language tv?

I mean to learn gaelic... and scotland has gaelic radio and television so I can do that.

No subtitles. Just bam. I was picking it up from living there so watching tv just helped me learn it a little quicker. It also helped a bit with slang and other things that a classical language course doesn't delve into.
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#15
Quote by Jackal58
No subtitles. Just bam. I was picking it up from living there so watching tv just helped me learn it a little quicker. It also helped a bit with slang and other things that a classical language course doesn't delve into.



Ok, only problem is I can't get that kind of immersion. Thanks though, i'll download some podcasts I think.
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#16
I always wanted to learn Russian, meh!

Or something like that. In fact, I might order Rosetta Stone, that computer speech program. It says on their commercials that the US Government uses it to train operatives for overseas work or something. I dunno, it might be good, I might see if there's a free trial or something.

http://www.rosettastone.com/

Damn, I really wanna try this now. 6 months, eh? I'm intrigued.

EDIT: It is expensive as ****, but damn, if I was to pay that much, I really think it might be a good program.
Last edited by XxGibsonSGxX at Feb 26, 2009,
#17
Quote by meh!
I know you're experienced with languages, how do you recommend going about learning one?

Well I learnt French and German in school from the age of 11 and while it was compulsory to take them at first, it was only really when I got to GCSEs that I realised I had a natural aptitude for these languages and they came quite easily. Still do, I'm now at university studying them.

So, it's stupid to say it now and not a load of help, but school is definitely one of the best ways to learn a language. Mainly because you're forced to, and rightly so, so you can't help but learn the basics. I always wanted to excel so I worked dead hard and did indeed do very well.

Which is the next way to learn a language: Self-discipline. You have to really want to learn it. A language is so complicated. You can get to a stage where you know a good fair bit of vocab, you know how to form sentences and you can generally understand what people are saying, get a good jist and all. But then there's like a brick wall between that and true mastery of the language, where you're as flexible in it as you are in your mother tongue.

Take me for example. I'm English, I'm near-fluent in French and German. When I learn Dutch, it's hard because I'm going back to basics and I can't say half the stuff I want to say. I can form nice complicated sentences and clauses in Deutsch but couldn't for a long time in Dutch. It is hard without a teacher.

Another good way, but not always possible, is just to go and live in the country. A friend of mine moved to Switzerland a few years ago with his job, and has picked up German very well just through living there. The downside of this is you don't learn grammar very well. And for me, grammar is a big part of a language.

I'm rambling. It just takes perseverence, I guess. Personally, I learn best from books, both study books and actual literature. I have 'Teach Yourself Dutch', 'Teach Yourself Dutch Grammar', and a Dutch-English dictionary. And also Podcasts to help with pronunciation. I try to do a chapter of the book a week, there's exercise and answers to help, then I'll listen to a few podcasts and learn some new things too.

Some people find it hard to learn like this, from a book. Depends on you, really.

Hope I helped a bit...
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#18
Rosetta Stone seems good, but seriously, £379???? ****ing expensive...
#19
I have tried several times, and failed. Last year I started learning Swedish, and failed because I couldn't find many free courses. Before that it was Dutch, dunno what happened there. And before that I started to learn Hungarian, bought some books and everything, but I stopped for a while and forgot everything I had learnt.

I learnt to speak Spanish pretty much like a native, but that doesn't count because I was in a Spanish school and I had no choice but to learn .
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Last edited by entity0009 at Feb 26, 2009,
#20
Quote by jallas
Well I learnt French and German in school from the age of 11 and while it was compulsory to take them at first, it was only really when I got to GCSEs that I realised I had a natural aptitude for these languages and they came quite easily. Still do, I'm now at university studying them.

So, it's stupid to say it now and not a load of help, but school is definitely one of the best ways to learn a language. Mainly because you're forced to, and rightly so, so you can't help but learn the basics. I always wanted to excel so I worked dead hard and did indeed do very well.

Which is the next way to learn a language: Self-discipline. You have to really want to learn it. A language is so complicated. You can get to a stage where you know a good fair bit of vocab, you know how to form sentences and you can generally understand what people are saying, get a good jist and all. But then there's like a brick wall between that and true mastery of the language, where you're as flexible in it as you are in your mother tongue.

Take me for example. I'm English, I'm near-fluent in French and German. When I learn Dutch, it's hard because I'm going back to basics and I can't say half the stuff I want to say. I can form nice complicated sentences and clauses in Deutsch but couldn't for a long time in Dutch. It is hard without a teacher.

Another good way, but not always possible, is just to go and live in the country. A friend of mine moved to Switzerland a few years ago with his job, and has picked up German very well just through living there. The downside of this is you don't learn grammar very well. And for me, grammar is a big part of a language.

I'm rambling. It just takes perseverence, I guess. Personally, I learn best from books, both study books and actual literature. I have 'Teach Yourself Dutch', 'Teach Yourself Dutch Grammar', and a Dutch-English dictionary. And also Podcasts to help with pronunciation. I try to do a chapter of the book a week, there's exercise and answers to help, then I'll listen to a few podcasts and learn some new things too.

Some people find it hard to learn like this, from a book. Depends on you, really.

Hope I helped a bit...


Thanks a bunch
.
I definitely want to be aware of grammar and such like, A big part of me wanting to do this is to be able to read gaelic literature so... grammar is going to be a big part of this.

I think i'll get some beginner books, and start listening to the radio.
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#21
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Rosetta Stone seems good, but seriously, £379???? ****ing expensive...


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#22
Learning german and french, both are good but not quite there yet. I plan to do a degree in both so i end up pwning in them.
#23
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Learning german and french, both are good but not quite there yet. I plan to do a degree in both so i end up pwning in them.

ooh, do you have any unis in mind?
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#24
i gave learning icelandic a shot, but i didn't have the resources to actually learn anything. i tried the using whatever i could on the internet, but as great as the internet is, it tends to be very inflexible when it comes to learning a language. so, i ended up giving that dream up (for now) after a month.

i'm currently taking japanese at college and it going well, but what helps more than class is being around native speakers of the language. having someone that knows exactly what they are doing to correct your mistakes is super helpful because there only seems to be so much that you can learn just from books and audio files and whatnot.
#25
Considering that I've never really paid attention to my teachers, I might say that I learned myself the English.
#26
Been Learning Japanese for 2 weeks now
Already know quite alot considering the time
I'm dedicted to learning it till I'm fluent
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#29
i started learning spanish a few weeks ago. im not sure why, i just kinda got the urge to learn a new language and spanish is one of the most popular languages in the world so i figured i may be able to use it one day.
im starting to get the hang of it but if anyone has any suggestions on how to learn faster or retain more id really appreciate it.
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