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How to learn a language

Travel Forums Off Topic How to learn a language

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1. Posted by Rraven (Travel Guru 5924 posts) 11y

I'm curious (okay nosey !) but if you can speak a language other then your native one how did you learn it ?

I studied French and German in a classroom and will be honest and say that I wouldn't say I could speak them even if I passed tests. I learned some basic Italian via work situations, bars , football matches (Lazio) and from friends. I'm a lot more comfortable trying Italian then any classroom learnt languages.

At the moment I'm trying to learn Dutch much to my boyfriends amusement (my pronunciation is killing it according to him ) I'm learning it via tv and radio programmes (taped when we were last in Epe) but I'm also trying to learn Spanish by talking to colleagues and listening to music...

What ways do you find the easiest or most comfortable ??

2. Posted by Pardus (Respected Member 2356 posts) 11y

I think you need a certain base of classroom lessons, so that you're able to understand the basics, but then go out and talk.
Don't be afraid if people laugh at you, just keep at it, keep talking and trying out things.

Spend as much time as you can in an environment that speaks the language you'd like to learn (if you're the only person speaking English there, that's the best way, so you can't take the easy way out).

3. Posted by Cupcake (Travel Guru 8468 posts) 11y

I am with Phil, I took 3 years of German in High School....and I don't think there is anything left but counting to 10 and the days of the week :( Unless you keep using it...and are able to somehow surround yourself with it...it won't stay with you long, at least that is what works for me.
(By the way, that is GREAT Nikki!! Keep with it!)

4. Posted by mtlgal (Full Member 1179 posts) 11y

To really learn a language you'd have to be totally immersed in it, and have no choice but to speak it. I learnt English when I moved to the States at 11. I obviously was not going to get far speaking only Chinese, so I learnt English very quickly. I was young too, so that helped. The younger you are the easier it is to learn a language; it has to do with brain wiring. When I moved to Quebec I learnt French. For quite a long time my French was functional, especially the oral comprehension skills, but not fluent like a native, because I live in Montreal and it was easy to get away with speaking English. My French improved dramatically when I started dating a French Canadian. His English was good, but his family from a small town didn't speak a word of English. So I had no choice but speak French to them. However, I speak French with an English accent because I started learning it when I was 17. After the age of 12 or 13 it's very very hard to learn a new language without accent. I love this topic. I'm a Speech Pathologist, so this is right up my ally.

5. Posted by cikusang (Respected Member 1361 posts) 11y

I'm a Speech Pathologist

Really, mtlgal?

Lee

6. Posted by mtlgal (Full Member 1179 posts) 11y

Quoting cikusang

I'm a Speech Pathologist

Really, mtlgal?

Lee

Oui, c'est vrai.

7. Posted by cikusang (Respected Member 1361 posts) 11y

I suggest maybe we should poll ; whether to have language rooms in future? But i think this would add more burdens on moderators.

8. Posted by cikusang (Respected Member 1361 posts) 11y

I'll share with you about Malay and Chinese if you do not mind...

9. Posted by salsachick (Inactive 77 posts) 11y

Language rooms would be great(I am learning italian).But as mentioned the moderators would have a tough time moderating!!!

10. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 11y

Quoting mtlgal

The younger you are the easier it is to learn a language; it has to do with brain wiring... After the age of 12 or 13 it's very very hard to learn a new language without accent.

Really? Wow. I thought it had to do with certin people just having a knack for languages. I picked up French here too - but we spoke it with my cousins when we were kids, so it came naturally very quickly from frequency of use. Plus we learned it in school, which is NOT the best way to learn, lemme tell you.

I have a friend who learned Italian in CEGEP (17? 18?), and can speak it fluently (aparently) when drunk. She practices with her boyfriend and his family, so she uses it often enough. I'd always liked to think that, if I moved to another country, I'd fit right in with enough time and practice...