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AcademicGround >> Best Method To Learn Another Language


10/8/09 5:19 PM
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LukeCranson
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I want to learn another language and do not know how to go about learning another language. Most everyone I know is a native English speaker and like most people in North America and UK we do not speak other languages because we can get by anywhere on our English. I feel like I am at a competitive disadvantage because I only speak one language.

Has anyone here learned another language in their adult years outside of university? If so, how did you go about doing it?
10/9/09 10:58 AM
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LukeCranson
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No one here have ANY suggestions?
10/20/09 10:33 PM
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GrandInquisitor
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I don't want to sound mean, but if you go with something like Pimsleur or any of the other quick, "at home" learning books/tapes, you'll likely not only fail, but also waste a few hundred dollars.

In my experience (and I actually have a pretty good amount of experience from my time in school with Hindi, Kannada, German, Russian, and a semester of Sanskrit) there are two ways that legitimately work when it comes to learning a foreign language:

1) Take formal classes at your nearby University of Community College. Depending on what language you want to learn and what kind of Community College is near by, you may have a brilliant opportunity to learn your language of choice for 1/50th of what you would at a 4 year University or college.

2) This is definitely the hardest way (but also the most fun in the long run) - buy or download some language learning tapes and books and study up on as much of the basics as possible (learn script immediately, learn numbers, days, months, basic phrases and idioms) and get a minimal idea of the grammar and start saving up for your flight to the country you want to visit.

Being in-country and surrounded by the language is the ultimate language learning tool there is, and you will never have a better chance to learn from native speakers.

I don't know what kind of commitments you have back home, but if you are still without a wife, kids, or other major impediments, the best thing you can do for learning a language and gaining life experience is to spend a few months in a foreign country of your choice.
10/29/09 1:58 PM
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None So Blind
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Ditto on moving somewhere where that language is spoken.

Hunger will be quite the motivating factor ;-)
12/9/09 2:18 PM
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knocka
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People that I know that learned another language, learned it by immersing themselves in it.

I am going to try the rosetta stone approach. Trying to pick up arabic.
3/3/10 12:46 AM
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thesleeper
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I know somebody that got pretty good at Spanish by taking classes at a community college and working with immigrants in a restaurant.

One year of classes + one year in country (practicing not just drinking)= conversant.
3/3/10 9:15 AM
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judo man
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The only problem in speaking with immigrants is probably the academic level of their language. I've met people that have been in the U.S. and learnt english and they only thing spoke swear words and black lingo.
3/7/10 8:54 PM
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glassman
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As an adult unless you are immersed you will probably find it very difficult and a complete waste of time. (Exception being the small percentage of people that p/u languages very easily).

I completed university level language courses and have done a short 6 week immersion-end result is after being away from the immersion program for 20 years I cannot function what so ever in the language. I know some vocabulary but cannot remember any grammar (it was also the case just 6 months after the immersion) Unless you are using the language daily or learned the language as a child you will most likely not become conversant. If you like the culture and have a love of the langauge you will be motivated and use it, if you are being pragmatic and just want to learn another language you are doomed to fail.
3/27/10 11:07 AM
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Pato52
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I was able to get a hold of the Rosetta Stone dvd's and programs and it was great. I already spoke French when I got it so learning Spanish and Italian was pretty easy as they are so similar. German was pretty easy to learn plus I had the added benefit of having a German speaking girlfriend.

The test now will be to see if the Cantonese or Mandarin programs are any good.

4/4/10 5:22 PM
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m.g
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I've been formal educated in many languages and it took me awhile to figure out something that should have been common sense to me.

First off, I think you have to understand there is a distinction between learning and mastering (be able to speak in well in a conversation with a native speaker) a language.

Learning a language isn't all that hard but mastering it is very hard BECAUSE you have to let go of your own language and in many ways embrace another.

I think one of the probelms with learning a language is the mentality many people have from the start. Most people actually believe all they really need do to "speak" a foregin language is simply "learn" that foreign language. It doesn't work that work way. First you have to learn it (obviously) THEN you have to USE it. That is you have to speak it AND you have to speak it as much (and perhaps more) than you do your native language.

If you don't use it then of course you'll "forget" what you've spent so much time, energy and effort to learn.

Alot of people fail to reach the level of speaking a foreign language they desire all because they don't have the disciple to "immerse" themselves in that foreigh language DAILY and for a LONG TIME (years).
4/5/10 5:41 PM
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supersaiyan
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like most ppl said Luke i think the most flourishing way is being around the ppl that speak the language whether they are culturally or fluent in that language.

where work there is alot of spanish speaking ppl and i just ask them what is the spanish translation for "so n so " in enlish --they have no plm and actaully seem to enjoy being asked and having a foreigners interested. ::P


one guy actually wrote down a few things like colors. dayss of the week numbers n lil common speaking and i just us e it as an aid.

when iwas in nyc my bjj instructor did the same thing in portuguese LOL n it was all for "FREE" . as a joke yet with alot of logic and common sense -- i had has a brazilian training partner what is the best way to learn his language.. he replied

" get a brazilian girlfriend" LMAO!
4/21/10 2:00 PM
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Retard
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  NDFS
4/23/10 5:43 PM
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supersaiyan
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?^^^^ huh?
5/2/10 3:27 AM
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piratepirate
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 I've got some OEM copies of Rosetta stone, the 27 language DVD, all levels of every language.
If anybody needs a copy on the super cheap?
5/8/10 7:40 AM
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crazydave
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piratepirate -  I've got some OEM copies of Rosetta stone, the 27 language DVD, all levels of every language.
If anybody needs a copy on the super cheap?



I am learning their mandarin course at the moment - I would be really interested!
5/15/10 5:25 AM
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luchador1
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Edited: 05/15/10 5:35 AM
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Grind it out for the first year. I am going on 3 years of: speaking for 30 minutes a day, watching 1 hour of tv a day, writing a paragraph a day, reading an article a day, and studying one concept a day. After the first year it gets really easy. Livemocha.com is fun for extra practice. I liked pimselur for the first 3 months, just to get my ear trained. My library has them so they didn't cost me anything. I had a cousin lend me her rosetta stone program. I didn't care for it personally, but she loved it. Too many games for me. Not enough meat. I found almost as many basics on youtube. But that may just be personal preference. The internet makes it alot easier insofar as tv, movies, music, books, and media websites. I can't imagine trying to learn years ago without the resources the net provides. Some books will be in order 1)a good grammer book, 2)a good dictionary, 3)a good verbs book. These should be common sense, but when I network with people trying to learn languages, about all they ever have is dictionaries and not very good ones at that.
5/21/10 1:26 PM
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RobbieH
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chinese - http://www.pimsleur.com/



THIS!
8/11/10 6:19 AM
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Jesús X
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I learned portuguese by watching city of god and tropa de elite,I already knew spanish and that helped,learned italian the same way.
10/17/11 3:18 PM
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Jack Skellington
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 2 WORDS

1/20/12 5:22 PM
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groundfighter2000
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http://fsi-language-courses.org/Content.php
5/31/12 11:33 PM
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Tommy Gunnz
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I got Rosetta Stone
6/1/12 6:56 PM
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m.g
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luchador1 - Grind it out for the first year. I am going on 3 years of: speaking for 30 minutes a day, watching 1 hour of tv a day, writing a paragraph a day, reading an article a day, and studying one concept a day. After the first year it gets really easy..."



Great advice!
6/30/12 6:32 PM
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groundfighter2000
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groundfighter2000 - http://fsi-language-courses.org/Content.php


Forget Rosetta Stone and pimsleur. ^Work through the materials above^. They are dated for sure, and do not come with fancy bells and whistles. But its free open source programs that were developed by the government. Dilligently work through one of the programs. You won't become "fluent" (how do you define fluency, everyone has their own definition). But you will definitely be able to have a conversation with a native speaker, be understood by the native speaker, and understand waht the native speaker is saying.
9/18/12 10:19 PM
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YoMommasPantyTaco
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One thing I've always heard also is that it's VERY difficult to become fluent in a language unless your immersed in it or converse with native speakers for an extended amount of time.
1/15/14 12:22 AM
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The Adversary
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So, I'm moving to Korea in the very near future and have been looking at a ton of programs, apps, and methods to learning a language quickly and efficiently. I'll just share some of the newer tools I've come across.
 
1. Anki - Flash cards, essentially. Crowd-sourced and custom made flashcards for an array of subjects, not just language. There's a companion app, but it's like $25, so fuck that unless you really dig this stuff. The web-based stuff is free.
 
2. Memrise - Similar to Anki, but with a slicker website and no need to download any software. 
 
3. Duolingo - Excellent and free. Limited to European languages for now, but they are developing for Asian languages currently. If you're a bilingual Asian, I think they're looking for help. Anyway...
 
4. Rocket Languages - Supposed to be the new, just-as-good, software to compete with Pimsleur and Rosetta Stone. It's also a hell of a lot cheaper. There is a companion app to go with the online courses.
 
5. Fluent in 3 Months blog - Irish dude with some decent advice on how to accelerate your learning.
 
6. Tim Ferriss's tips - Two articles of his that may or may not help you learn more quickly.
 
I have a bunch more I could add in regards to Korean specifically if anyone is curious, but I'll save it for now.

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