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Learning to speak another language


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#1 NewMarketSean

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 12:37 PM

I took Spanish in middle and high school...cared little for it then so I didn't take it seriously and forgot about 75% of what I did learn. One of the biggest regrets of my life.

 

Years later, I received the Rosetta Stone programs on CD Rom. They were expensive, and I used it for a few weeks, learned some stuff, then stopped. Another big regret and it continues to collect dust somewhere in my house.

 

But with the advent of apps and smartphones, it's easier now than ever to learn a new language. So, at age 37 I am starting to try to finally learn Spanish. Currently using Duolingo for about an hour a day, when I can, and so far, I am liking it. Very similar to Rosetta Stone...immersive, so you learn things by a trial and error process. I'm pretty good with learning words, but when you start to get into possessives, singular and plural phrases, etc that's where it gets tricky for me, and thats how it was when I was taking Spanish in school.

 

So is anyone else here bilingual? Learning a new language? Does anyone want to be bilingual? Any advice?

 

 


I never had friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?

#2 glenn__davis

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 01:06 PM

I have always loved foreign languages and was pretty good at picking them up.

 

I spoke and understood Spanish quite well through college, but I've lost much of it since then.  Even today though I'll still put on some CNNenEspanol in the car just to try to keep the skills sharp.  I did an independent study on French to pick up some credits my senior year and felt confident that I could communicate in a bind if a I really needed to, but that is pretty much all gone now.

 

For the romantic languages - spanish, french, italian, portuguese, romanian - verb memorization really is the key.  Once you get those down you're halfway there.  Other than, just as much immersion into the language as possible.  Read it, listen to it, and most importantly try to speak it, even if just to yourself.   You'll pick the other vocab words up as you go, but you have to know the verbs and their conjugations.



#3 DuffMan

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 01:16 PM

Was talking to a coworker at an office Christmas party last week,  her daughter is a 1st grader (at an ES in Silver Spring) and she enrolled her in the school's French Immersion program. It starts when they are in K and runs through 5th grade.  The kids get plopped into a class and the teachers don't speak any english at all!  Making the switch to K is a big enough change for kids, I can't imagine having to learn an entire new language on top of that!



#4 Dupin

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 01:28 PM

I've been trying to teach myself German, but I should probably take some classes.



#5 BSLMikeRandall

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 01:44 PM

I learned a decent amount of Spanish when I was in the coast guard. Mostly simple questions, name, birthday, numbers. Learned more food type words in Spanish when I was in restaurants. I know enough to go to foreign places where it's spoken and get by. But not enough to carry on conversations.

I'm not really worried about learning more though. Beacause if you don't use it you lose it. I don't use it enough anymore.
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#6 Chris B

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 02:17 PM

I was fortunate enough to have a great Spanish teacher throughout high school, and I ended up getting a minor in Spanish in college because I only needed a few classes because I placed out of the standard ones. I more so wanted to just continue to keep at it (because a minor is basically meaningless). 

 

It's hard to keep up with it though if you're not speaking it on a daily basis. I can read and write pretty fluently but speaking or understanding someone else speaking has become really really rusty for me. Luckily in my job I still have to read/write Spanish occasionally which helps out.

 

No one really has the time to do this, but immersion is really the best way to learn a second language. My friend has been in Ecuador for the last two years with the Peace Corps and he is now fluent in Spanish (obviously speaks it regularly). He went in to his experience with knowing little to no Spanish.

 

Another idea for you might be possibly volunteering at a predominately-Spanish-speaking location where you'd have to immerse yourself? Although it might only be a few hours here and there, it would put you in a real-world setting over any sort of online education course.



#7 NewMarketSean

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 02:20 PM

Was talking to a coworker at an office Christmas party last week,  her daughter is a 1st grader (at an ES in Silver Spring) and she enrolled her in the school's French Immersion program. It starts when they are in K and runs through 5th grade.  The kids get plopped into a class and the teachers don't speak any english at all!  Making the switch to K is a big enough change for kids, I can't imagine having to learn an entire new language on top of that!

 

That's how you do it though. Start them when they are young and their brains are sponges.


I never had friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?

#8 NewMarketSean

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 02:22 PM

I've thought about taking a Spanish class at the local community college. Another form of learning, and speaking more often, would definitely help.

 

Good thought about CNN espanol...I need to start watching more stuff in Spanish.


I never had friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?

#9 RShack

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 04:38 PM

Was talking to a coworker at an office Christmas party last week,  her daughter is a 1st grader (at an ES in Silver Spring) and she enrolled her in the school's French Immersion program. It starts when they are in K and runs through 5th grade.  The kids get plopped into a class and the teachers don't speak any english at all!  Making the switch to K is a big enough change for kids, I can't imagine having to learn an entire new language on top of that!

 

When kids are young, school hasn't ruined them yet... they're still the world's most efficient learning machines... until school gets ahold of them anyway and makes them sit quietly at desks... so, whoever's behind that scheme has the right idea... the kids don't realize it's hard yet, so they just do it...


 "You say you've lost your faith, but that's not where its at.

  You have no faith to lose, and ya know it" - Bob Dylan


#10 DJ MC

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 05:30 PM

I've thought about taking a Spanish class at the local community college. Another form of learning, and speaking more often, would definitely help.

Good thought about CNN espanol...I need to start watching more stuff in Spanish.


ESPN Deportes.
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#11 BSLMikeLowe

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 05:42 PM

I use Duolingo, and it's pretty nice. But if you want to be conversational in another language, nothing will ever be better than trying to actually have a conversation. I've heard a lot of good things about italki, and I signed up a couple years ago, but haven't yet connected with anyone, either an instructor or other members.



#12 SportsGuy

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 05:55 PM

I've been trying to teach myself German, but I should probably take some classes.

In high school, I took German and Spanish at the same time.  That was a pain when I was in Spanish and I am speaking german to the teacher.  lol 

 

German was a good language to learn though.



#13 glenn__davis

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 07:26 AM

In high school, I took German and Spanish at the same time.  That was a pain when I was in Spanish and I am speaking german to the teacher.  lol 

 

German was a good language to learn though.

 

German is probably the closest thing to English in terms of grammar, sentence structure, etc, so aside from their annoying habit of putting 5-6 words together into one it's probably one of the easier languages for us to pick up.

 

English is, of course, an incredibly stupid language.  I pity anyone that needs to pick it up as their non-primary language.



#14 NewMarketSean

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 09:04 AM

German is probably the closest thing to English in terms of grammar, sentence structure, etc, so aside from their annoying habit of putting 5-6 words together into one it's probably one of the easier languages for us to pick up.

 

English is, of course, an incredibly stupid language.  I pity anyone that needs to pick it up as their non-primary language.

So many people do, though, and do it well. When I was in Amsterdam they were speaking English better than Americans do.

 

And most of the major media around the world is in English. Several people I know who are EASL say they pick up a lot of it just by watching TV shows and movies in English and thats before they even start to learn it in school.


I never had friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?




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