#1
Since there seems to be a lot of interest in language learning on UG, here's a thread for it.

Links
How to learn languages- While many of the language Wikibooks are subpar, this is a useful, informative guide for beginners. Suggested Wikibooks: French, German, Japanese.
Indo-European Languages- A great site with information on most of the major European languages.
BBC Languages- Lively and entertaining courses in Spanish, French, Italian, German, Mandarin and Portuguese.
Omniglot- A language lovers paradise, this site features information on choosing which languages you'd like to learn.
How To Learn Any Language- The forum of this site is a great place to practice your languages and get advice on learning.

The book How To Learn Any Language by Barry Farber is highly recommended. For courses, I suggest Living Language and Teach Yourself.
#4
Quite nice finds. I might do a little brushup on my french.
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#9
Thanks, this is kinda cool. Also, from anybody's experience, how are the rosetta stone programs?
WATCH THIS

Quote by GabeT347
does anybody have a sitar?
Quote by highway62
you have to buy them from george harrison. He owns all of them
#11
Quote by UMadeMeRealise
My friend Gabby uses it for Italian and says it's pretty good. Rather expensive though.


Ok well I, uhhhh, don't have to worry about the cost, so I was just wondering.
WATCH THIS

Quote by GabeT347
does anybody have a sitar?
Quote by highway62
you have to buy them from george harrison. He owns all of them
#13
I have the ones for Chinese and Russian and all summer free so far.
WATCH THIS

Quote by GabeT347
does anybody have a sitar?
Quote by highway62
you have to buy them from george harrison. He owns all of them
#14
According to my language-oriented sister and a friend, the Rosetta Stone programs are great. I've never seen them though.

I'm working on French, gonna practice with the sister some. My pronunciation is awful. I'm trying to perfect my Arabic too, I have some down- enough to get around anyway- but my grammar and sentence structure are extremely poor. I can't even just start from the beginning because it's hard to "un-know" what I already know, if that makes sense. Am I cursed with slang Arabic forever?
#15
My Arabic is dreadful. I can have a basic conversation, but I can't read or write, let alone form sentences. It's just so different from anything I've done before. Even Hebrew doesn't help much.
#16
How did you guys learn Arabic? and how long did it take you to somewhat pick it up. I want to learn at least 1 character/whatever based language.
WATCH THIS

Quote by GabeT347
does anybody have a sitar?
Quote by highway62
you have to buy them from george harrison. He owns all of them
#17
I know it sounds dumb to say this, but since the characters in Arabic are completely different, the "reading and writing" part comes as a skill completely separate from "understanding the reading and writing". I can read and write with ease, I can understand what I'm reading with some time, but I can't write coherent sentences to save the life of me. My pronunciation is so crap too

Basic conversation for the win!

^ I learned Arabic because I lived in Jordan for a few years and I'm half Arab. For all the time I spent there I should be fluent, but I wasn't exactly able to go out and interact very often for certain reasons. It's completely my fault for not taking advantage of it though...Now I'm a little older, and trying to go towards broadcast journalism, and it would be so fabulous to speak another language to make me more attractive to news networks, but I didn't think about all that when I was in middle school

Start with the alphabet, it's pretty simple. There are a few letters that are completely different than ours and the pronunciation is pretty difficult for those, but most of them are the same. But with a language that's so different from English, I would say that the best way to start learning it is to get with somebody who does know it. It's not really easy to learn it out of books, if that makes sense...
Last edited by blu_flame34 at Jul 5, 2007,
#18
I bought one of those cassette/phrasebook things, a book on the alphabet and the Living Language course. If you practise it daily, you can have a basic conversation in a month. But keep in mind, I had studied Hebrew before. But beyond pleasantries, Arabic is VERY difficult. Hideous grammar. Odd pronounciation. Nearly 80 letters and variations of letters to learn. I'd say only Chinese is harder.
#19
Hmm ok. Maybe I'll just dabble for a bit in Russian or Chinese and try to take Arabic in a year or two at school to start out.
WATCH THIS

Quote by GabeT347
does anybody have a sitar?
Quote by highway62
you have to buy them from george harrison. He owns all of them
#20
80 letters? Are we talking about the same Arabic 27 in the alphabet...unless you mean connection letters when writing or whatever...
#21
Quote by blu_flame34
80 letters? Are we talking about the same Arabic 27 in the alphabet...unless you mean connection letters when writing or whatever...


Yeah, I was talking about the connection letters.
#22
Yuh, I guess that's true. Plus natives tend to write the letters in a way that I can't recognize them, y'know? Like the letters start to get on top of each other. And they write a "seen" without teeth, so it's just a flat line. Confuses me like a mother.

Whereabouts in Texas are you?
#23
that site is pretty cool, I want to learn Cantonese and Spanish eventually, and also i guess relearn my french. When learning a new language does it make it easier if you have already learnt a second language? I was born into an English speaking family but i was put through a french immersion school for 7 years until i transfered to an english school. I can still read french for the most part but i can't speak or write it (if that makes sense). I will get around to going to classes when i move out of the house in a month:P
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#24
Quote by blu_flame34
Yuh, I guess that's true. Plus natives tend to write the letters in a way that I can't recognize them, y'know? Like the letters start to get on top of each other. And they write a "seen" without teeth, so it's just a flat line. Confuses me like a mother.

Whereabouts in Texas are you?


Oh I know what you mean. Printed Arabic is hard enough, but I despise handwritten Arabic. Eurghh. And I live in Red Oak, about 20 minutes south of Dallas.
#25
Got a finnish language course on my computer I'm about to learn it someday=D Amazing language.
#26
I speak English. I can also speak some Spanish and some Portuguese, both of which I'm still learning. I can also introduce myself in Norwegian.

Português do Brasil é o melhor língua do mundo!
#27
Eu estudo o português demasiado. Eu fiz exame d acima após encontrar para fora de como próximo é ao espanhol. Entretanto, é difícil encontrar povos para praticar com.
#30
Colloquial Arabic isn't too bad (unless its Moroccan). Classical Arabic is the real killer. Fuck the fucking case system!

I would write something in Arabic but the language feature isn't set up on this computer and I absolutely despise transliteration. No seriously, transliteration is a huge pain, la sama7 allah!


Quote by d. b. cooper
Hmm ok. Maybe I'll just dabble for a bit in Russian or Chinese and try to take Arabic in a year or two at school to start out.


According to the FSI (I think it was by them) estimates, you need around 2200 contact hours of instruction/practice to get to a level 3 proficiency in Arabic, Chinese, Korean, or Japanese. These are the hardest languages possible for English speakers to learn.

If you want to consider Chinese or Arabic, you need to start out as early as you can, and an immersion program is essential, as considering how many contact hours you get with a single college course per term (generally all you can take besides Arabic speaking countries) it will take you many years to get to even a level 3 proficiency. Not to mention you will have no colloquial skills, even if your MSA and classical skills are up to par. Talking to people on the street with MSA is like speaking Shakespeare English to people in the US pretty much.
Last edited by bajeda at Jul 5, 2007,
#31
Quote by UMadeMeRealise
Eu sei. Pessoalmente, eu prefiro-o completamente ao espanhol. Eu amaria ir a Brasil e usá-lo realmente um dia.


Estou de acordo. Português é muito melhor que espanhol.
Eu amaria ir também. Brasil parece muito bonita e divertido. Eu conhecia um homem que era do Brasil. Ele era tão divertido e relaxado.
#34
...turning japanise....?????


lol, nevermind..
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