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Old January 1 2013, 11:42 AM   #1
Collingwood Nick
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Parles vous Francois? Sprache de Deutche?

As you can see I am not any good at either.

I have been speaking Greek and English (and BASIC and C) for as long as I can remember and I've decided that it might be jolly fun to expand the repartoire and pick up a couple of new languages. French and German .. as an English speaker I'm halfway there already.

Has anyone here ever learned a new language before? As a 'mature ager' I mean. How did you find the experience? What is a good way - or a not so good way - of going about it? I am thinking of using podcasts, at least until I find some native speakers to spar with. Not really able to afford proper lessons at this point.

I seem to recall reading that we have a polyglot on this forum somewhere, but I can't remember who it was ....
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Old January 1 2013, 12:02 PM   #2
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Re: Parles vous Francois? Sprache de Deutche?

Why not learn Italian instead, at least there are tons of people you can talk to, newspapers you can buy.. unlike French and German which are rarely heard here.
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Old January 1 2013, 03:17 PM   #3
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Re: Parles vous Francois? Sprache de Deutche?

Collingwood Nick wrote: View Post
Has anyone here ever learned a new language before? As a 'mature ager' I mean. How did you find the experience? What is a good way - or a not so good way - of going about it?
I have no answers to your questions -apart from the obvious: move to a place where they only talk that language- but am going to subscribe to this thread as I NEED to pick up Spanish this spring
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Old January 1 2013, 04:18 PM   #4
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Re: Parles vous Francois? Sprache de Deutche?

My native language is Dutch, Nederlands dus and my english is good, has to be since my Master studies in Medical Biology is in English. My classes, tests, books, everything is in english. Also, I read my books (for fun) mostly in english, somehow it seems that most books I'm interested in are originally written in english.
I did have a boyfriend in england for a while.. that's very good for learning to speak another language. First time there was weird, but after a while you don't have to think about turning your own words into another language. After a week or so you think in english.

I can understand german pretty well, but speaking it, hell no. French.. had that for six years in highschool and now I don't speak more than a few words anymore.
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Old January 1 2013, 06:09 PM   #5
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Re: Parles vous Francois? Sprache de Deutche?

trekkiedane wrote: View Post
I have no answers to your questions -apart from the obvious: move to a place where they only talk that language- but am going to subscribe to this thread as I NEED to pick up Spanish this spring
Some people can pick up a new language just by immersing themselves in a culture where that language is spoken. Others do better with formal instruction. As for Spanish, it's one of the easiest languages to learn. I had two years of Spanish in high school but, in spite of living in L.A., I haven't used it that much. I can converse in Spanish with two people if their names happen to be Pablo and Luisa and if one of them has a cold.
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Old January 1 2013, 06:47 PM   #6
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Re: Parles vous Francois? Sprache de Deutche?

What worked for me was to find something I'm interested in on the internet (for motivation) and then to read a lot.
The next step was was to find a place where I could communicate in English. That's why I'm here
Everything is a question of pratice, regular practice, and motivation.
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Old January 1 2013, 11:54 PM   #7
Collingwood Nick
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Re: Parles vous Francois? Sprache de Deutche?

I don't have the luxury of moving to another country at this stage ... but finding an internet forum where they speak in that language might be the next best thing! Thank you internet!
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Old January 2 2013, 12:26 AM   #8
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Re: Parles vous Francois? Sprache de Deutche?

I used to know a fair whack of the German language but I don't remember a lot of it now.

Right now I'm like Korben Dallas in The Fifth Element - I only speak two languages, English and bad English.
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Old January 2 2013, 01:41 AM   #9
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Re: Parles vous Francois? Sprache de Deutche?

My native language is English (American South, Virginia/Mid-Atlantic region) but I took three years' worth of German courses in high school and a year of Spanish before any of that.

My German is a little rusty because I didn't study it again when I was in college and I haven't had that many opportunities to use the language over the years, but if I had to lay claim to a second language it'd be German.

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Old January 2 2013, 01:52 AM   #10
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Re: Parles vous Francois? Sprache de Deutche?

My native language is Polish. I speak English, Russian and Ukrainian, although haven't used the latter two for years, so I'm rusty when speaking. I still understand and read them fluently. I also speak and read some Chinese (Cantonese). Ukrainian and Cantonese are languages I learnt as an adult, not a kid. I started learning Russian when I was 12, but really learnt it when I was in early twenties (I studied it). English - when I was 14.

I was also learning French, German, Czech and Latin, but can't say I know those languages.
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Old January 2 2013, 11:46 AM   #11
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Re: Parles vous Francois? Sprache de Deutche?

I speak German natively and through work I'm fluent in English. We have a lot of cooperation with French and Swiss-French people, so I tried learning French earlier this year, but failed. However, a colleague from work introduced me to the concept of conversation groups. I realised a lot of people had no problem to learn German within months (mostly Spanish who came to Germany to find work). This made me start transforming my school-learned Latin into Spanish almost with ease, I understand it, but can only produce very simple sentences. So if you happen to be able to join such conversation groups, do it, it is great for learning languages and also brings you down thinking about your own language when after two times repeating a sentence nobody understands you. You have to try hard simplifying your mother tongue, which is a real brain teaser.
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Old January 2 2013, 12:49 PM   #12
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Re: Parles vous Francois? Sprache de Deutche?

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Right now I'm like Korben Dallas in The Fifth Element - I only speak two languages, English and bad English.
This pretty much sums it up for me.

I've only been in non-English speaking places a few times, but mainly in touristy places where the locals knew enough basic English to have a simple conversation.

Trying to chat with the innkeeper in the middle of nowhere in Iceland was not as easy. The no man's land halfway between the Canadian border with Vermont and Quebec City was no fun either.
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Old January 2 2013, 02:16 PM   #13
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Re: Parles vous Francois? Sprache de Deutche?

Was the title deliberately ungrammatical? If so, well done that man.
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Old January 2 2013, 03:16 PM   #14
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Re: Parles vous Francois? Sprache de Deutche?

I speak Italian decently (not great) because I studied it for four years in College. I can read a bit of French because of the large number of overlap between it and Italian and English. However, it's a complicated language, to say the least. I don't think it's possible to learn it without formally being taught.

In my opinion, the most important thing is dedication. You have to be willing to study and practice several times a week. Immersion can be helpful, but only after you've already mastered the basics of the language.
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Old January 2 2013, 04:42 PM   #15
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Re: Parles vous Francois? Sprache de Deutche?

I speak two langauges....Scottish and Glaswegian.
Example.

Scottish
I was running after the bus the other day and i managed to catch it by the handle.

Glaswegian.
I wis running fur the bus thi other day and managed to catch it by the honnal.

lol
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