I'm obessed about learning languages

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seeahill
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by seeahill » Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:23 am

No, C'mon. A process. I'm asking you.
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by Fat Cat » Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:54 am

My experience is totally based on European languages with an Indo-European base; I have been in Turkey and Hungary, never Finland, but those are outside my knowledge base and they were much more opaque to me.

For Romance, Germanic, or Slavic bases, you have to know grammar. You need to know which words are feminine or masculine (or neuter), you need to know whether you are speaking in a nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, vocative, locative, or instrumental case. This is only hard for English speakers because we don't typically change our word forms, although we do have cases. But you don't have to be perfect, of course, and while you are learning you can simultaneously be building up a vocabulary of verbs, nouns, pronouns, and prepositions just by being interested in what is going on around you and asking questions.

Once you know that much, which isn't that hard, you are ready to rock. But learning a language takes consistent effort, and that's hard to sustain. Wherein, my two secrets come in handy: alcohol and girls. There is no more powerful incentive for communication than exotic women, and there is no better way to get over the petty frustrations and inhibitions related to communication than whiskey.

That's my system.

Having a bilingual friend can be huge. When I was going to school in France my partner in crime, literally, was a Argentinian Jew who grew up in Quebec, so ideal: fluent in French, Spanish, and English. He taught me language and I taught him how to sell meth to college kids.
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by seeahill » Thu Dec 20, 2018 3:03 am

Thanks. I am honored to take advice from those more accomplished.

As Bruce Lee said: take what is useful, discard what is useless, and maintain what is essentially yours.
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by Fat Cat » Thu Dec 20, 2018 3:31 am

Bruce Lee was a fraud.
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by seeahill » Thu Dec 20, 2018 3:42 am

I like what he said there.

In fact ---- ! plagiarism alert! --- I intend to use that in my writing seminars. Previously I had said: Take what you can use and disregard the rest. But Bruce Lee set the capstone: "but keep what is essentially yours."
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by seeahill » Thu Dec 27, 2018 4:44 am

Everyone learns differently. I believe language is "acquired" before you begin to learn it. I can talk about that later, if you want. Or just google Stephen Krashen.

So my process to learn French would be:

1. Pimsleur, pure audio and works well for pronunciation. You gotta have pronunciation. (Probably only one 30 lesson course. It'll cost maybe $90, but you'll come out of it with very few words and excellent pronunciation. It'll take you maybe 40 days.)

2. Duolingo. Maybe at the same time. It's a gamified system of learning words. Glorified flashcards. But you do learn some words. That's good. Problem is, you don't learn those words in context.

3. Begin to read. Soon. In Romance languages, you can find beginner books for adults easily on Kindle.

4. Begin to listen to podcasts in your chosen language. There are many Youtube podcasts in slow Spanish or French.

5. Take a course that actually teaches grammar. I've never done Rocket Language, but I think it may be good. For Spanish, I did "Spanish with Paul." Excellent course. Took me almost 9 months.
a. For me, Rosetta Stone sucks. Really sucks.

6. Sign on to Speechling (free), a site that runs flashcards in full sentences. Also, say hear a native speaker say the sentence, then record yourself, then immediately compare.

7. Glossika is another grammar-less course that simply gives you sentences. As you progress, you will see why sentences are a more effective learning tool than single word flashcards.

7, Assess your weakness. I took an online test that placed me as advanced intermediate, nearly fluent. It was a written test. Turns out I can read well, but can't hear at native speaker speed nor speak with proper cadence. Prosody. So I'm working on hearing and speaking. I listen to a podcast, get the transcription in Spanish, then work on that, speaking aloud.

That's what I mean by process.

RBSG had good results from 7 years of studying French, among a few French speakers and then engaging in a bit of complete immersion. Good for him. I want to cut that process short. I don't think I can learn in 3 months (as some websites say), nor learn in my sleep. But I don't want to spend 7 years studying books. All my reading, all my podcasts have to be something I'm interested in. They should be compelling. Then it is not studying. It's getting the message. Which is what language is all about.
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by Grandpa's Spells » Thu Dec 27, 2018 5:09 pm

You travel for decent stretches for work and more or less set your own schedule. Is there a reason you can't head down to Mexico for a multi week stint, get out of a major tourist area, and just speak Spanish? You've clearly done enough book learning.
I don't think I can learn in 3 months (as some websites say)
JMO but a lot of non-American high school kids in other countries learned second languages by spending a summer or two in the target country. I've never heard of someone not speaking in a few months of immersion except for those who avoided speaking with locals (e.g., college kids who stayed with Americans/English speakers).

If you've studied that much, and you're obsessed, why not go South. Some of the exchange rates are bonkers right now.
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by seeahill » Fri Dec 28, 2018 12:07 am

Grandpa's Spells wrote:
Thu Dec 27, 2018 5:09 pm

If you've studied that much, and you're obsessed, why not go South. Some of the exchange rates are bonkers right now.
Excellent advice. My late wife had a degree in Spanish, and she basically learned to speak well in two summers in Spain. She had an aptitude and was more fluent in speech than her classmates. But didn't do well dissecting Spanish literature which she didn't give a rat's ass about.

The only language classes I ever took were in Latin. Two years in high school and it was all Greek to me.

I have been in Central and South America a lot in various one-month stints. I learned by listening and could always get around. Directions, ordering in restaurants, making small talk. I always came back from one of those trips a little better and wished I had time to really learn. But the next trip was coming up, say Indonesia, and so it was important to study up a little on Bahasa.

Now I'm semi-retired. I have time to study a bit of Spanish every day. I'm 75 and I've read that language study helps the aging brain. That's a good thing and I enjoy the work. I try to read, speak and write things that I find interesting.

With Internet sources, there are ways to be immersed. At home.

Spells, I've traveled for a living for 40 years. I'm enjoying staying at home and my experiment is: can I approach near-native fluency at home.

Oh, yeah, I'll be in Mexico in January for two weeks. I'm teaching (in English) but I have afternoons free. We'll see if I've gotten any better.
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by Grandpa's Spells » Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:18 am

my experiment is: can I approach near-native fluency at home.
Got it, if you mentioned that earlier I missed it. When I try to get back comfortable in a language I try to converse as much as I can. There are of course ways to do that now with Skype/etc. without packing a bag.
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by Polo Tomasi » Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:33 pm

Here's one tip that I don't think anyone mentioned: watch TV and/or movies in French. There is a special box that allows you access to many different channels in French (requires subscription). I find that just watching the news every day helps. Or you can simply watch French films and try to avoid the subtitles.
I don't recall the name of the box, but I can find out.

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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by seeahill » Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:39 pm

Netflix allows you to play French language films, with our without French subtitles. You can do English subtitles if you wish.

You can also play some American movies dubbed into French and use French subtitles. This is good if you know the movie and are not very far along in your studies because you already know what is happening and kinda what the actors are likely to be saying.

(Works in Spanish too. And though I haven't tried German, I'll bet that'd work too.)
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by Fat Cat » Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:42 pm

Polo Tomasi wrote:
Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:33 pm
Here's one tip that I don't think anyone mentioned: watch TV and/or movies in French. There is a special box that allows you access to many different channels in French (requires subscription). I find that just watching the news every day helps. Or you can simply watch French films and try to avoid the subtitles.
I don't recall the name of the box, but I can find out.
This is good advice for any language. Also, newspapers, magazines, etc.
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by Grandpa's Spells » Fri Dec 28, 2018 6:04 pm

I watched Seinfeld in Argentina, where I learned Spanish for a quickie is a "rapidito."
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by nafod » Sat Dec 29, 2018 2:36 pm

My daughter taught herself Korean (she has an aptitude for languages) and a key technique was Skyping with Korean speakers. They want to learn and practice English so easy to find people to talk to. Probably talked about BTS the whole time. She loves the band.

Based on Spells’ exchange rate comment, Spanish phone sex or even Skype sex might give you great bang for the buck. So to speak.
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by seeahill » Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:08 pm

nafod wrote:
Sat Dec 29, 2018 2:36 pm
My daughter taught herself Korean (she has an aptitude for languages) and a key technique was Skyping with Korean speakers. They want to learn and practice English so easy to find people to talk to. Probably talked about BTS the whole time. She loves the band.

Based on Spells’ exchange rate comment, Spanish phone sex or even Skype sex might give you great bang for the buck. So to speak.
Yeah, those may come next. As for now, I've recruited a local native speaker to beer and conversation this afternoon. If I don't bore him too much and buy the beer ---- and if he has patience, a decent accent and interesting things to talk about --- we might make this a weekly thing.

As for Skype, I've been thinking about it for 6 months. I keep telling myself that I'm not quite ready, but if I l examine the situation, I'm afraid of making mistakes and freezing up and sounding stupid. (Which is why I should try it: I know). Truth be told, when I'm not reporting, teaching or speaking it turns out that I"m a bit of an introvert.
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by seeahill » Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:08 am

I'm off to Mexico for a week of teaching. (En igles, por supesto). And then I'll have a week on my own. I still can't hear/understand native speakers on the street, but if they want to help, I can say, "treat me like I'me five years old."Report at the end of January.
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by Fat Cat » Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:37 am

seeahill wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 12:08 am
I'm off to Mexico for a week of teaching. (En igles, por supesto). And then I'll have a week on my own. I still can't hear/understand native speakers on the street, but if they want to help, I can say, "treat me like I'me five years old."Report at the end of January.
That's a strange choice for learning French. No wonder you're having such a hard time.
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by Turdacious » Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:37 am

Didn't the people you were 'helping' all kill themselves immediately prior to your visit the last time you went to that part of the world? Hasn't Mexico suffered enough?
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by Fat Cat » Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:38 pm

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Terd has a point. The last time timmah headed south of the border a lot of people died. Why do you hate them? We need answers.
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by seeahill » Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:46 am

Sorry. I wasn't clear. I'm getting close to, oh,80% fluency I Spanish. It will still take time,but I can feel it coming. And I liked the process of learning. And will feel a hole when I reach my desired level of Spanish. So I'm thinking about French next.
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by Turdacious » Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:46 am

Hola Gavin. Me gusta como te frotas la vaselina en los pezones. Acabo de caminar cinco millas sin ahogarme. Te gustaría chupar mi pinga?
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by seeahill » Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:42 am

That's a strange choice for learning French. No wonder you're having such a hard time.
[/quote]

Sorry. I wasn't clear. My Spanish is coming along well. So well, that I think that in about a year, I'll be at the level of fluency I desire. (I'm not going for complete mastery. Just fluency at about 85-90%).

But that will leave a big a hole in my life. I probably spend an hour or two a day on Spanish. I really enjoy it.

So I thought maybe French would be next. Learn to honk through my nose, all that.

Sorry for the confusion. I'm still working on English.
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by seeahill » Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:53 am

Turdacious wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:46 am
Hola Gavin. Me gusta como te frotas la vaselina en los pezones. Acabo de caminar cinco millas sin ahogarme. Te gustaría chupar mi pinga?

Come mierditas.

I mean, you do call yourself "Turd," pinche cabron.
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by Turdacious » Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:10 am

Bonjour Gavin. J'aime comment vous frottez Vaseline sur vos mamelons. Je viens de marcher cinq miles sans se noyer. Voulez-vous sucer ma bite?
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Re: I'm obessed about learning languages

Post by Turdacious » Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:13 am

So was the thing with Gav a May-December romance or something cheaper? NTTAWWT.
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