I'm obessed about learning languages

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seeahill
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I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by seeahill » Wed Dec 19, 2018 2:32 am

Getting pretty good with my Spanish.

May start French soon.

Having failed with many systems, I know what works for me. What works for you may be different. Besides, I am semi-retired and have time. But if you want my opinions on this, I'll tell that Duo-lingo is a beginner's App. Pimsleur is better for beginner pronunciation and speaking.

I do not believe grammar study is important in the beginning. I believe in a concept called comprehensible input.

If you want to know more about my language journey, ask me. Fat Cat believes, moronically, that grammar comes first.
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by Polo Tomasi » Wed Dec 19, 2018 2:52 am

Here's my formula for learning French:
-Marry French woman.
-Have child.
-Spend ~20 yrs hearing her speak French to the kid.
-Spend ~20 yrs listening to her complain and tell you what an ass you are.
-Spend ~20 yrs going to functions w/ only French people.
-Spend ~20 yrs interacting w/ her family in French.
-Get French citizenship, just for shits & giggles.
-Get your own apartment.
-Stay married.
-Live alone, happy as a pig in shit.
-French skills pretty good.
Try it. It works.

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seeahill
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by seeahill » Wed Dec 19, 2018 3:03 am

Polo Tomasi wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 2:52 am
Here's my formula for learning French:
-Marry French woman.
-Have child.
-Spend ~20 yrs hearing her speak French to the kid.
-Spend ~20 yrs listening to her complain and tell you what an ass you are.
-Spend ~20 yrs going to functions w/ only French people.
-Spend ~20 yrs interacting w/ her family in French.
-Get French citizenship, just for shits & giggles.
-Get your own apartment.
-Stay married.
-Live alone, happy as a pig in shit.
-French skills pretty good.
Try it. It works.
I see exactly where you're coming from. I'll bet you're near native speaker level. But it won't work for me.

I'm 75. I don't have 20 more years. Besides, French women don't shave their legs. It's like making love to a cactus.
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by JimZipCode » Wed Dec 19, 2018 5:49 am

seeahill wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 2:32 am
if you want my opinions on this, I'll tell that Duo-lingo is a beginner's App. Pimsleur is better for beginner pronunciation and speaking.
So wait, are you saying that Duo-lingo is pretty good, and Pimsleur is better? Or that Duo-lino sucks and Pumsleur is decent?

Basically, "What works?" is what I'm asking.


seeahill wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 2:32 am
I do not believe grammar study is important in the beginning. I believe in a concept called comprehensible input.
... Fat Cat believes, moronically, that grammar comes first.
Well, that's retarded, obvsly.
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by Sangoma » Wed Dec 19, 2018 6:17 am

seeahill wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 2:32 am
Getting pretty good with my Spanish.

May start French soon.

Having failed with many systems, I know what works for me. What works for you may be different. Besides, I am semi-retired and have time. But if you want my opinions on this, I'll tell that Duo-lingo is a beginner's App. Pimsleur is better for beginner pronunciation and speaking.

I do not believe grammar study is important in the beginning. I believe in a concept called comprehensible input.

If you want to know more about my language journey, ask me. Fat Cat believes, moronically, that grammar comes first.
As much as I would like to insult Fat Cat this time I agree with him. Getting basic grammar first makes learning the language easier.
For me most important is practice. My brain works in strange way: I used to speak Latvian very well and Hebrew quite well, enough to maintain a conversation. After not using these languages for couple of years I forgot almost all vocabulary, but remember the grammar.
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by Fat Cat » Wed Dec 19, 2018 7:10 am

seeahill wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 2:32 am
I’m obessed about learning languages.
You have failed your native tongue.
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by Sangoma » Wed Dec 19, 2018 7:40 am

https://www.urbandictionary.com/define ... =Obessed
TOP DEFINITION
Obessed
an obsession that is so severe you can't even spell obsessed correctly
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by Fat Cat » Wed Dec 19, 2018 5:27 pm

How are you going to learn to use genitive, dative, or accusative word forms if you don't know what they are and when they are appropriately used? Try and see how far you get in German, Russian, Romanian, or Hungarian.
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by Grandpa's Spells » Wed Dec 19, 2018 5:44 pm

The polyglots outside of universities seem universally determined to start talking in conversations very early and often, ideally with some form of immersion. A lot of Japanese folks out there understand English grammar better than Americans, but culturally hate speaking badly, don't practice, and can't hold a conversation in English.
One of the downsides of the Internet is that it allows like-minded people to form communities, and sometimes those communities are stupid.

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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by Fat Cat » Wed Dec 19, 2018 5:49 pm

Grandpa's Spells wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 5:44 pm
The polyglots outside of universities seem universally determined to start talking in conversations very early and often, ideally with some form of immersion. A lot of Japanese folks out there understand English grammar better than Americans, but culturally hate speaking badly, don't practice, and can't hold a conversation in English.
It's not an either/or situation. You should study grammar and take every opportunity to engage in conversation. Remember what I said before, there are two secrets to learning to speak another language well: pretty girls and alcohol. The former gives you a reason, the latter removes your inhibition, and that's all you need to get started.
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by Grandpa's Spells » Wed Dec 19, 2018 6:39 pm

I can't really disagree with "You should study grammar," but it's clearly second most important as you can get by without it. People can't seem to get by without talking a lot. Complete immersion gets anybody conversationally comfortable in 3-6 months if they're talking.
One of the downsides of the Internet is that it allows like-minded people to form communities, and sometimes those communities are stupid.

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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by JimZipCode » Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:15 pm

Fat Cat wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 5:27 pm
How are you going to learn to use genitive, dative, or accusative word forms if you don't know what they are and when they are appropriately used? Try and see how far you get in German, Russian, Romanian, or Hungarian.
You've got a kid, right, about 9 or 10 yrs old? Did he/she start with grammar?

Mine didn't. Speaks & reads English pretty well anyway. Has some Spanish too (not very much). No German, Russian, Romanian, or Hungarian at all though.
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by Fat Cat » Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:33 pm

JimZipCode wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:15 pm
Fat Cat wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 5:27 pm
How are you going to learn to use genitive, dative, or accusative word forms if you don't know what they are and when they are appropriately used? Try and see how far you get in German, Russian, Romanian, or Hungarian.
You've got a kid, right, about 9 or 10 yrs old? Did he/she start with grammar?

Mine didn't. Speaks & reads English pretty well anyway. Has some Spanish too (not very much). No German, Russian, Romanian, or Hungarian at all though.
Children are functionally exposed to both conversational language and grammar simultaneously.

If you want to learn a smattering of a language to get by, by all means do it any way you like. If you actually want to be fluent in a language, you have to learn grammar, and my way means that you can become fluent in many languages very quickly, because the words are the plug-and-play aspect of language, grammar is the common operating system all humans need for functional communication.

Also, Spanish is one language which I don't think is representative because it's sentence structure and grammar are even easier than English, and its vocabulary is so rooted in Latin. In that case I can understand approaching it the other way, and because even most Spanish speakers are peasants and gutter people who speak it poorly.
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by Really Big Strong Guy » Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:40 pm

good topic. This is of interest to me as something has really clicked for me the past 8 years.

By way of background, took three years of French in high school, occasionally spoke with people from Quebec who compete in my sport and went to Paris for a trip senior year of high school. Then took four more semesters of French when I was in college. Again, rarely used it unless I was interacting with people from Quebec who compete in my sport. Sort of lost most of what I learned other than the basic conjugation, verb tenses, and a standard vocabulary.

Fast forward almost 30 years. I'm 12 years invested in travelling extensively throughout Europe at least two to three times a year. What I found is that the conjugation/verb tenses and many of the words are similar with all the Romance languages - French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Romanian. I found that I could pick up and become conversational in these five languages within about 3 days of arriving in one of these countries. I was no wordsmith, but I could understand what locals were saying and I could get my point across well enough to not need help. The longer I stayed, the more proficient I became.

Beyond that, I was able to and picked up some conversational German. However, I could not understand people as quickly as I could the other languages. Same goes for the Scandinavian languages - thank Christ most of them speak English anyway.

I could not sort out why I was able to do this. But it turns out that learning the grammar rules, conjugation, pronouns and crap I was taught in college actually had major carry over to learning the other languages rather quickly. Again, no wordsmith - a butcher a best, but conversational which was a necessity for the majority of the people I was dealing with as they knew very little English. And I was there in a competitive or coaching capacity; so I had to teach them techniques in my sport - and to do that, I had to learn how to be conversational.
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by Sangoma » Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:29 pm

There was a good reason why they taught seemingly irrelevant Greek and Latin in old fashioned schools.

As far as children and languages are concerned - their learning is not directly relevant to adults. Ten year old kid speaks like... ten year old kid. Whereas an adult can get to advanced levels in three years. As FC said, it's not either or situation. Immersion is very important, and sooner or later you will pick up a language if you do nothing else. However, it will be faster and easier if you also actively learn grammar and words. It's like watching a new game: you will figure it out, but it's way easier if someone explains basic rules to you.

Slightly off topic. These days memorization is a seriously underrated part of learning. Few years ago I had a go at one of my kid's teachers. I asked why kids don't memorize poetry and prose, something we did a lot in my school days. She was adamant that they teach kids to be creative, while mechanically memorizing things is not so. Which is complete crap. How can you be creative if you don't know anything? To become a good runner you have to... err, run a lot. Surely it's not creative, but it's called building a base. It's the same with any subject: you build a base and then develop your own take on it. Not to mention that memorization is the only way to develop memory.
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by seeahill » Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:00 pm

After wasting a lot of time with every dumbass Spanish program that came down the pike --- Spanish in ten minutes a day. Spanish while you sleep, Spanish Funneled into Hour Ear by Elves --- I spent some time researching Linguistics, seeing what the polyglots on Utube had to say.

Many, perhaps most, of the polyglots subscribe to a learning method called "comprehensible input." The is an accepted but often disputed concept, first proposed by Dr. Stephen Krashen, that there are two aspects two language learning: acquisition and learning. Of these, Krashen acquisition is key.

Listen to target language, watch videos in it, check out youtube channels. Just make sure that the material you are trlying to absorb is "comprehensible." You should understand 80%of it. Futhermore, the material should be interesting and, ideally, compelling.

Output (speaking) is not necessary at this stage. The idea is that your brain is absorbing sentence structure. It starts to know when things "sound wrong."

Output comes a few months later. The learner makes errors, is corrected. He/She begins reading at a higher level, listening at a higher level. The rhythm and flow---- the prosody ---- begin to dictate the words.

Which is when it is time to go to grammar. Study it for nuanced and literate output.

Let me give you an example of doing it the other way around. I study Spanish grammar and I find there are two similar words used certain nearly similar situations. "Para" and "Por." In my grammar notes, I have 9 specific situations where Para would be used and 11 for Por.

Now, you and I are having a chat in Spanish, and because I studied grammar. I have to spend a great deal of time, sorting through those 20 items to see which one applies. Such grammatical obstructions make conversation impossible.

And let me address this question: "How are you going to learn to use genitive, dative, or accusative word forms if you don't know what they are and when they are appropriately used?"

I didn't know what those forms were --- head to look them up --- but it turns out, we all use them in English all the time. So: A sentence using both genetive and accusitive word forms. "John's hat fell off his head when the dog ate our turkey."
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by Fat Cat » Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:04 pm

When I suggested that you drink heavily, it didn't mean that you should post while doing so.
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by Fat Cat » Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:18 pm

Anyway, to the point:

"John's hat fell off his head when the dog ate our turkey."

In Bosnian, "Džonov šešir je pao s njegove glave kada je pas pojeo našu ćurku"

"John's hat" is genitive form, "Džon" (John) must be modified into the genitive form "Džonov". If you don't, and simply say "Džon šešir" you're saying something like "John the hat".

Thus, unless you know in advance which case you are using, you won't be able to use the correct form of the word and will be completely misunderstood.
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by seeahill » Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:23 pm

FC: what languages are you familiar with, and in which ones do you feel you approach fluency. And are you completely fluent in any language aside from English?
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by Fat Cat » Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:06 am

Why do you ask?
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by seeahill » Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:28 am

Anyone who speaks a second language fluently has a lot to teach me.
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by Fat Cat » Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:44 am

Anyone has a lot to teach you.

For the sake of discussion, Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian dialects I am fluent in. I have many years of German and French as well, but also many years of neglect. If I had a few weeks I could be fluent again, but not at the drop of a hat. I can also get along comprehensibly in Portuguese and, less so, Spanish.
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by seeahill » Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:02 am

What is your process to acquire a language? And what is your advice in that direction?
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by Fat Cat » Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:13 am

Girls and booze, brah.
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by seeahill » Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:21 am

Grammar texts as aphrodisiacs. Who'd a thunk it.
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