Learning New Languages

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Boomstick, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. Boomstick

    Boomstick Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I've been living in Milan for the last year and have picked up quite a bit of Italian just through immersion. Soon(ish) though I'm going to be moving to Sweden, I'm going to try and learn some basics before heading out there. I moved to Italy on a whim and it took a hell of a lot of acclimatising, so I thought learning some Swedish in preparation would ease that process this time.

    So I was wondering what resources you guys use when you're trying to learn a foreign language?
    I checked out a bit of the rosetta stone Italian course, and while it wasn't bad for picking up some nouns, I really don't think I gleaned any of the rules for conjugating verbs, or any of the grammar for that matter.
     
  2. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I would suggest first concentrating on learning a vocabulary of at least 3,000 words and worry about verb conjugation later. This is how children learn a language - they know nothing about syntax and grammar. A language is not much use if you don't know enough words to express yourself.

    Here is a list of the 3,000 most commonly used English words for which you could look up the equivalent words in your target language:

    https://www.ef.co.uk/english-resources/english-vocabulary/top-3000-words/

    You could first experiment with learning equivalents for the 100 most commonly used words, although this is not nearly enough to communicate intelligibly in a language.

    https://www.ef.co.uk/english-resources/english-vocabulary/top-100-words/

    Of course, separate words for possessive pronouns such as "his" and "her" do not exist in many languages (or the word changes according to the gender of the possessed object rather than the gender of the possessor), nor do some languages distinguish between "a/an" and "one" or even have indefinite and definite articles. Such nuances of grammar are also considerations that you can put to one side as a beginner.

    By the way, most Swedes that I've met speak good English.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
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  3. Janeway’s Girl

    Janeway’s Girl Commodore Commodore

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    A few years ago I took a Spanish class for 6 months. On top of that I used a language app called MindSnacks. It has a lot of fun games and quizzes. It offers Spanish, Japanese, German, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, and French. Unfortunately no Swedish.
     
  4. Asbo Zaprudder

    Asbo Zaprudder Vice Admiral Admiral

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  5. Draculasaurus

    Draculasaurus Commander Red Shirt

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    I've been using Duolingo to learn Spanish.
    https://www.duolingo.com/
    It's free and seems pretty well put together.
    They also have Klingon!
     
  6. Tora Ziyal

    Tora Ziyal Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2010
    I’ve used duolingo a bit, too, and mostly liked it. The quality seems to vary from language to language.

    A friend who has used Pimsleur for several languages highly recommends it. I’m currently using it for Hebrew, and I really like it. It’s similar to Rosetta Stone but, at least as of a few years ago, gets better reviews.

    I’m also working with a tutor. I prefer the intensity of working one-on-one to being in a group class. Maybe you could find a Swedish-speaking tutor where you live now.
     
  7. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    I tried out DuoLingo to brush up on some German that I learned years ago. I was quickly able to get to a high intermediate level on DuoLingo. Yet I can't actually speak the language worth beans.

    YMMV.

    Kor
     
  8. EmoBorg

    EmoBorg Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Maybe learning the very ancient proto indo-european language would be interesting.

     
  9. rhubarbodendron

    rhubarbodendron Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    make cotact with a native speaker (for example a student at the local uni) and ask him/her to teach you the basics. Or take evening classes.
    Learning a language completely on one's own is very difficult, particularly if the language contains sounds that are unknown in your native one.
    Since upon moving to Sweden you might have to spell your name quite a lot to the local authorities, employers, landlords etc., I'd recommend you'd also learn the Swedish alphabet.
     
  10. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Birmingham, AL
    Memrise and Duolingo. You can study from your phone or desktop. I've found both to be quite beneficial.
     
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  11. Kor

    Kor Admiral Admiral

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    Personally, I like the language study materials from the US State Department's Foreign Service Institute. While perhaps a little dated now, they are available online for free.

    Kor
     
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