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killer_queen
08-30-2007, 09:48 AM
Since I'm kind of free this year I decided to learn a new different language. I want something enjoyable to learn. Something that would be a plus for me at the job interviews and something I can use in real life (which means I'm not thinking about ancient greek right now).

I have to say that I definitely don't want German. A lot of people know it, it wouldn't make me any different. And I kinda know a little german so self learning sets can help me about it.

The thing I have in my mind is Russian. It'd be really awesome to read russian classics in the original language but people say it's really difficult to learn.

So, anyway, what are your ideas?

Andy
08-30-2007, 09:52 AM
Personally, I would love to be able to speak Italian.

EDIT: That's also my idea for you.

Sunny
08-30-2007, 09:55 AM
do you think Russian will be useful to you in your career/travels? aside from reading the classics ;p

myself, i'm currently studying French and i quite like it so far. the tenses suck, but aside from that, it's not bad. i actually like German a bit better, but whatever. the good thing about it is that it's spoken all over the world, and would probably be really useful when you start working. so hm. ya. my two cents. =p

Great Mike
08-30-2007, 09:59 AM
While Chinese sucks and it's hard, it seems a good bet at business.

Andy
08-30-2007, 10:00 AM
Ooh, Japanese would be AWESOME to know.

Oromis
08-30-2007, 10:02 AM
I say go with Russian. I think it would be so awesome to speak Russian. When I hear Russian, it sounds like Polish pronounced weirdly. I'm too lazy to find somewhere to learn Russian. I'm taking two languages in school this year: Spanish and German.

0r4ng3
08-30-2007, 10:15 AM
Ooh, Japanese would be AWESOME to know.
I'm considering learning Japanese, for the sole purpose of confusing the hell out of people. It'll be fun.

wheelchairman
08-30-2007, 10:19 AM
French is one of the most useful...

because the French don't speak English. And to talk to people/get directions/order a hotel room you only need to speak in present-tense, which is all I remember how to do anymore.

Well that's not true, I can do passé composé.

Tizzalicious
08-30-2007, 10:27 AM
French would definitely be useful, or Spanish. But something completely different (like Russian) would be more interesting I think.

I studied both French and Spanish in school, but don't remember much of either, I wish I did. And I'm learning Danish, but I wouldn't suggest that to anyone, it's hell, even when you can read practically everything already because it looks like a combination of all the other languages you know.

Sunny
08-30-2007, 10:35 AM
because the French don't speak English.

i had that problem not only in France, but also French Switzerland and Canada. asshole bastards. i'm glad i'll finally be able to communicate... well somewhat!


there's a bunch of languages i'd like to study, including gaelic, dutch, japanese and tibetan (on a reading level), but i just can't be bothered because while interesting, they're just not that useful.

Tizzalicious
08-30-2007, 10:42 AM
Switzerland is a problem anyway, we were in the German part, and even though I do speak German, I didn't understand a word of what anyone said.

killer_queen
08-30-2007, 10:48 AM
Sunnnnnnnyy, I thought I was the only one who wanted to learn Tibetan. It would be really cool to know. And useful since I want to visit Tibet. Not just visit, I want to spend a couple of months, maybe even a year there. It looks like a great, beautiful country. <3

So, I guess it'll be French. That was also my father was thinking. I know that French people don't speak English and I know that it's pretty useful. They also say it's very easy to learn Spanish once you learn French. Besides, I'm still kinda young, I can learn Russian whenever I want. Right?

Iamstupid
08-30-2007, 11:53 AM
I don't know if learning french is pretty useful. Well, I don't know since I'm living in France, and I don't know what people think of the language and all that kind of stuff.
I'd have advised you to go with spanish if you haven't already made your mind.
And you have your whole life to learn another language if you want. But be aware that once you're dead, there's is some kind of stuff you can't do anymore.

BTW, how are you gonna learn french ?

mrconeman
08-30-2007, 11:56 AM
I've always had a tempting urge to actually learn the Irish language, I was good at it in school, but then dropped the subject for another. Not that that's of any use to you.

Wouli
08-30-2007, 11:58 AM
because the French don't speak English.


Hey !! That's not true for all the french :D

wheelchairman
08-30-2007, 11:59 AM
Hey !! That's not true for all the french :D
Yes it is. It's one of those rules that can clearly have no exception. ;)

killer_queen
08-30-2007, 12:19 PM
BTW, how are you gonna learn french ?
I'll take a course. It's the second best way to learn the language.

Iamstupid
08-30-2007, 12:19 PM
Yes it is. It's one of those rules that can clearly have no exception. ;)

Yes, is right zis guy. Pepol whitch liv on France no can speek england corect. :p ;)

EDIT :


I'll take a course. It's the second best way to learn the language.

Which one is the first ?

If you need any help or whatever, you can ask me, by the way. :)

Wouli
08-30-2007, 12:24 PM
Yes it is. It's one of those rules that can clearly have no exception. ;)
I'm sure there's exceptions but you don't want to admit it :rolleyes:


Yes, is right zis guy. Pepol whitch liv on France no can speek england corect. :p ;)
Great !! ^^

killer_queen
08-30-2007, 12:29 PM
Which one is the first ?

If you need any help or whatever, you can ask me, by the way. :)
Getting a French boyfriend, of course. A lot of people admit that it's the best way.

Thanks a lot for the offer. I'm sure I will need help. :)

Iamstupid
08-30-2007, 12:47 PM
Great !! ^^

I know, I know :D


Getting a French boyfriend, of course. A lot of people admit that it's the best way.

Thanks a lot for the offer. I'm sure I will need help. :)

Yeah, so if the best way to learn a language is to have a boyfriend who is a native speaker of the language learnt, well, I think that I need to think about learning 3 or 4 more languages.

Culture is important.

the_GoDdEsS
08-30-2007, 12:48 PM
I'll take a course. It's the second best way to learn the language.

That heavily depends on the teacher, your motivational level and your language learning ability (among other factors).

I wanted to say German but oh well :(

As for Russian, I'd just say that it's quite a complex Slavic language compared to the Germanic or Romance languages. But it's a challenge and also what I'd like to learn next.

the_GoDdEsS
08-30-2007, 12:49 PM
I've always had a tempting urge to actually learn the Irish language, I was good at it in school, but then dropped the subject for another. Not that that's of any use to you.

You should continue, seriously. Forgetting is evil.

Tired_Of_You
08-30-2007, 12:56 PM
i had that problem not only in France, but also French Switzerland and Canada. asshole bastards. i'm glad i'll finally be able to communicate... well somewhat!Surprising. I don't know many people who aren't able to communicate in English at all.

As for me, I'd like to learn Spanish. I already know French and English and it seems to be the most useful language to learn now. It was so difficult to communicate when I went in Costa Rica. I was able to understand at least 75% of what people said but I couldn't answer. Gaahh.

Edit : Good luck with the French language and its evil verb tenses!

HeadAroundU
08-30-2007, 02:47 PM
Slovak. I'll be your boyfriend.

I'd like to speak Spanish, German and Russian. Lol, I must be high right now. I can barely speak English. :p

killer_queen
08-30-2007, 02:57 PM
Surprising. I don't know many people who aren't able to communicate in English at all.
It's not about being able. A lot of French people I've seen just look at your face like they don't understand anythng even though they can speak English perfectly. And a friend of mine who had just spent two weeks in France says they do the same thing when you make a mistake while talking. It really must be annoying.

Tired_Of_You
08-30-2007, 03:01 PM
You're talking about France, I was talking about Quebec. There's a big difference I think.

I've hear a lot of people saying what you just said about France, though. Must be frustrating, indeed.

Llamas
08-30-2007, 03:05 PM
Switzerland is a problem anyway, we were in the German part, and even though I do speak German, I didn't understand a word of what anyone said.

Haha... swiss German... nobody can understand it. I'm convinced that they don't really understand each other. :P


As for a language that would be useful... different languages are more or less useful depending on the country you're in. In the US, Spanish is the most useful... but for you, it probably wouldn't do you as much good. I don't know what's really so useful where you live... however, if you're looking for something that would be easier to learn, I'd recommend Japanese or Korean, since they're in the same language family as Turkish. Usually having languages in the same family means they're somewhat similar. Plus, both languages are relatively widely spoken in the world.

But yeah, if you do French, Spanish and Italian will be easier to learn. Spanish and Italian are very similar, while French is a bit off the path (they did that on purpose, too... stuck up snobs :P), but being in the same family and all, you'll definitely find some ease in learning them next. :) Plus, it is often said that the romance languages are the easiest to learn.

Learning language in a course is one of the worst ways to learn IF you are above the age of like 8-10. As a child, learning in a course is pretty good (though still second best). As a teen or adult, courses are generally not so great. The best way to learn a language is submersion. Immersion can be good, depending, but it can be bad, too. Dating someone from the country of the target language is variable... it depends on how much the person likes to speak the language and is able to give you feedback. One person is definitely not going to be as good as an entire culture of people, of course.

the_GoDdEsS
08-30-2007, 03:13 PM
Learning language in a course is one of the worst ways to learn IF you are above the age of like 8-10.

How come? Personal experience? Some theory or something?

Sunny
08-30-2007, 03:17 PM
i think it's pretty obvious that submersion is the best way to learn a language, however, it's kind of impossible unless you're moving or planning to spend a significant amount of time in a given country.

total immersion courses might not be perfect, but i think they work decently well. especially if you're young and dedicated. i've seen older people get really confused and frustrated by them, though. aw. it was sad.

the_GoDdEsS
08-30-2007, 03:27 PM
You can easily do total immersion in your own country as well (i.e. a special course of 12 hours a day). The only downside is that you'd miss out on the real life social situations like going shopping. Personally I am undecided on the matter of effectivity of total immersion programs. It's good for certain people who are able to absorb a lot in a short time, but I would not really recommend it to beginners who've always struggled with language learning. That would be a waste of time.

Also, age is relative. Some people just use it as an excuse that they are "too old". They simply need a special learning style and good motivation. Sometimes that's enough to get them going.

Llamas
08-30-2007, 03:29 PM
How come? Personal experience? Some theory or something?

Well, personal experiences, the experiences of everyone I know, and tons of research. I've never read anything or heard anything from a linguist that said courses after a young age are a good way to learn a language. A primary reason for that is because you no longer have the time to devote. An hour a day five days a week in the target language... 163 hours a week in the native. Of course, submersion courses work differently than this and are much more beneficial, but a majority of adults and such don't have time for immersion courses.


i think it's pretty obvious that submersion is the best way to learn a language, however, it's kind of impossible unless you're moving or planning to spend a significant amount of time in a given country.
Yes, of course. It's very hard to do, and most people can't. I was just saying.


total immersion courses might not be perfect, but i think they work decently well. especially if you're young and dedicated. i've seen older people get really confused and frustrated by them, though. aw. it was sad.
Yeah... they really are a lot easier for younger people. Younger people are just often able to pick things up/ learn easier. They do work a hell of a lot better than normal courses, though, that's for sure.

wheelchairman
08-30-2007, 03:33 PM
Speaking of tons of research, this is kind of something Sim wrote her diplomarbeit in...

...in German.

the_GoDdEsS
08-30-2007, 03:34 PM
Well, personal experiences, the experiences of everyone I know, and tons of research. I've never read anything or heard anything from a linguist that said courses after a young age are a good way to learn a language. A primary reason for that is because you no longer have the time to devote. An hour a day five days a week in the target language... 163 hours a week in the native. Of course, submersion courses work differently than this and are much more beneficial, but a majority of adults and such don't have time for immersion courses.


That might have something to do with neurolinguistics also. Definitely not courses at a normal school. I wouldn't underestimate it either, it probably depends on what the teaching style is. I still think teenagers would be able to learn a lot if you done the right activities with them. But yeah, I sort of see what you mean.

Sunny
08-30-2007, 03:40 PM
sims, by submersion i meant putting yourself in an environment where everyone else is a native speaker (like moving), not a student (which is the case with immersion courses).

learning languages has never been an issue for me, so i've never really had a problem with total immersion settings... but yeah, a lot of people just kinda shut down and withdraw because they can't absorb the amount of material thrown at them. i've seen it happen to three people over 35, which is hardly statistic-building material, but i've instantly associated their problems with their age. then again, wtf do i know :D

Llamas
08-30-2007, 03:45 PM
That might have something to do with neurolinguistics also. Definitely not courses at a normal school. I wouldn't underestimate it either, it probably depends on what the teaching style is. I still think teenagers would be able to learn a lot if you done the right activities with them. But yeah, I sort of see what you mean.

Oh, I'm certainly not saying that one can't learn much from courses. It's just not one of the best methods. There are of course worse methods (very few people seem to learn as much from learning from text, because it's really hard to get words in your head when you don't actually know how they sound), but it's generally not one of the best. And yeah, teaching styles and personal motivation play a huge factor, as well. I wasn't trying to say that nobody learns anything in a language course, haha.

the_GoDdEsS
08-30-2007, 03:45 PM
Yup, I know. It must have been interesting for you to watch it then :P

Haha, in my experience those 30+ are just damn lazy. My total immersion student was 58, beginner. She managed wonderfully and by the end of the course she was relatively fluent at the given level (after 5 days!). But my guess is, it's all individual. I know some people would never manage that.


Oh, I'm certainly not saying that one can't learn much from courses. It's just not one of the best methods. There are of course worse methods (very few people seem to learn as much from learning from text, because it's really hard to get words in your head when you don't actually know how they sound), but it's generally not one of the best. And yeah, teaching styles and personal motivation play a huge factor, as well. I wasn't trying to say that nobody learns anything in a language course, haha.

Yeah, it's probably not one of the best, but in my opinion it all depends on how it is organised. Oh well, with language learning there are just way too many factors. Lolz, text learning, so oldschool.

Sunny
08-30-2007, 03:50 PM
dude, it was really sad. one guy would get flustered every time he made a mistake and go like "fuck, i'm sorry. IM SORRY! IM AN IDIOT! I CANT BELIEVE I GOT THAT WRONG! fuck! aw! sorry! don't mind my language!"

wew...

and the other lady kinda threw fits when people addressed her and she was like NO. I DONT KNOW. I DONT UNDERSTAND WHAT YOURE SAYING. I DONT UNDERSTAND ANYTHING AT ALL. I CANT.

oooomg...

yeah, they might've just been lazy or gave up easily. lol. your 58 y/o lady sounds awesome!

Izie
08-30-2007, 03:51 PM
*shrug* an intensive beginner course in French worked like a charm for me. A slightly less intensive intermediate was slightly boring, I prefer to get a lot of information at once, otherwise I get bored very easily ;/

Good luck with the French, if you take it up, it's pretty fun! On the other hand, it can be plain weird (and sometimes creepy). Or maybe that's just me and my experiences ;(

the_GoDdEsS
08-30-2007, 03:52 PM
Omg, annoyiiiing. How silly can they get?

Sunny
08-30-2007, 03:57 PM
they were such drama queens. srsly.

iza, i think your experiences with french are just... unique! :D

Izie
08-30-2007, 03:59 PM
I'll make sure you experience my experiences :)

You can thank me later :)

wheelchairman
08-30-2007, 04:06 PM
How has the French gone for you Iz? If it's anything as your Dutch apparently was, it should be fluent.

Sin Studly
08-30-2007, 05:52 PM
Learn Russian, it's awesome, and super easy. I learned all my slavic language skills from a bottle of vodka.

Sunny
08-30-2007, 05:52 PM
I'll make sure you experience my experiences :)

You can thank me later :)

i can't wait, bb ;)

Betty
08-31-2007, 08:36 AM
Last I heard is that despite all the talk about children learning faster, adults can learn fast too, it's mostly an issue of having the time to spend on it, etc. Which makes sense.

Here's a question for those who know a number of languages? How do you stay fluent? Do you stay fluent? If you're never in a setting where you need to use the language, what do you do?

the_GoDdEsS
08-31-2007, 08:54 AM
Last I heard is that despite all the talk about children learning faster, adults can learn fast too, it's mostly an issue of having the time to spend on it, etc. Which makes sense.

Here's a question for those who know a number of languages? How do you stay fluent? Do you stay fluent? If you're never in a setting where you need to use the language, what do you do?

It's a common stereotype and it's only partly true. What's different is the learning style and the neurolinguistic variables (memory, left/right hemisphere use, attention span are only a few). With kids the short-term memory is brilliant, they'll remember a lot in the classroom but forget it soon. And they can't concentrate for longer than 20 minutes so you have to be super dynamic with them or the learning is useless. However, often when teenagers start learning a language much later than kids, they're able to catch up real fast. Longer concentration span, long-term memory, different thinking processes. And they understand rules, whereas kids don't really need rules, they learn more naturally.

Losing fluency is an evil thing. Read, write, watch movies, do anything just to stay in touch with the language.

Betty
08-31-2007, 08:59 AM
Every once in a while I feel inspired to attempt to learn a third language. Well, not really inspired, just mildly inspired, since I'm not planning on moving somewhere foreign or doing any intense traveling at the moment. However, the fact that I'm losing my fluency in French so quickly makes it a little more discouraging, since if I don't use it, there's really not that much point going through the effort of learning it. Perhaps the first step will be to brush up the French...

Sunny
08-31-2007, 09:19 AM
it's scary how my Polish seems to be getting a little rusty. not to an extent where its noticeable, but i do say "uhh..." a lot these days and sometimes hesitate before making a complex sentence, which is upsetting.

i talk to my parents every other day and read Polish news (when i can stomach them). but still. w-t-f.

i refreshed my German (4 years of hs) with a year in college and i don't wanna lose it again. so i turn to songs, youtube videos, news. wew. it's hard. :|

Gulsah - regarding the Tibet thing, i'm kinda torn on whether it would be a good idea to go or not. not that i can afford it right now anyway. =p here's an interesting read about being a tourist in Tibet... if a little depressing. ok, really depressing. lol.
http://www.savetibet.org/documents/pdfs/ParadoxLost.pdf

Izie
08-31-2007, 09:37 AM
My Serbian doesn't change, or at least not that I've noticed, but I e-mail a lot, and chat a lot, and talk on the phone with my parents and read books, so... Yeah, don't see why it should change,e specially since it's my mother tongue anyway.

The Dutch gets a little mixed up with the French I'm currently learning, but it's still pretty much as good as it was before, with a little loss in the slang department ;p I have books in Dutch, there are websites, whenever I catch a movie or a show in Dutch I'll actually watch it even if it's not really all that great (like this "horror" movie I saw back in Serbia, it was awesome XD).

And as far as the French goes Per, it's awesome given the amount of time I've invested in it (i.e. none since December 2006). Well, none in terms of classes, but I do read the newspaper a lot, and I try to watch French TV, and even talk sometimes! Omg! I obviously understand it much better than I speak it.

Vera
08-31-2007, 10:19 AM
It helps a lot to get into something, anything, in a language you don't want to lose. One of the only reasons I'm still in touch with Swedish - that I quit studying around early 2006 - is that I regularly listen to Swedish music (ahh Kent) and read a Swedish paper I love (something in Finland called Papper). Oh, and Beck movies - they are fucking brilliant. <3

So yeah, Sunny, if you can get into anything in German that isn't Unser Charlie (hideously awful Austrian TV show about an ape and ..well, mostly it's just about the motherfucking chimpanzee), it'll really help you out. And will make it less tedious, surfing all those youtube clips when you actually really want to - and aren't doing it just to maintain knowledge in some language.

As to what that German thing might be, I haven't got the slightest. I wish I myself could get into something German but German music + me = no-go (my friend has tried to get me into Rammstein and Oomph! with no success) and German films/TV aren't too fascinating to me, either.

I hate Finnish classes in senior high for turning me off writing much in Finnish. I used to write fiction in Finnish but nowadays I've lost touch with that form of expression - I can try but it turns out all awkward and flows less a dried stream.

Bazza
08-31-2007, 10:53 AM
Learn Russian!! It's a cool language and people are always impressed because it's something different. Once you get over the hump of learning a new alphabet it's only a matter of learning a few basic grammer rules and some vocab then you can hold a half-decent conversation.

KyleW
08-31-2007, 04:06 PM
I think russian would be a great language to learn but it may require a lot of time, im not sure how hard it is to learn.

ive done 3 years of german and i have a C GCSE and after this fourth year im hoping for an A* GCSE so if your looking for a challenge dont learn german, but you have already stated that you dnt wnt to so thats good :)

Iamstupid
08-31-2007, 04:13 PM
I love ppl who try and speak french. They sound cute. Best of all when they're greek, russian or english. It's just amazing. I'm like "say that again? what's that? ooooooooh, so pretty!" but I always frown on teaching the dirty stuff. Some wackos I know have taught all the obscenities & profanities in the language to the foreign students over here in lieu of more appropriate genteelities. N'est-ce pas sarah qu'il faut être poli avec les étrangers? ;)

What d'you mean ? Who is a whacko ? I am polite ! :p

Btw, what I love hearing is american speaking...their own language ;) . Fucking good sound when they speak it, you know, with their typical american accent. I love it. I also love hearing american speaking french, moreover if they still have their american accent while speaking it.

Rocky-girl
09-09-2007, 02:39 PM
I'll help you if you want to learn Russian! But you have to be very patient to learn it) because it's much harder to learn Russian for reading our classic literature!

they say that Chinese language'll be very popular! try to learn it!=)

killer_queen
09-09-2007, 04:32 PM
Thank you! But I made my decision. Russian will wait for a while.

Speaking Chinese would be really cool but it would take years.

darea
09-10-2007, 12:29 AM
I think the languages that would be usefull, is like everyone has said : French, Italian, Spanish. Chinese and Japanese would be pretty good, but would definitely take a hell of a long time to learn properly. Russian might be usefull I guess, if you wanna go visit the biggest country in the world, it would be usefull. I know I'm not helping much here, but that's just too bad.

I also love Americans speaking french (or trying) it's kinda sweet.

Mota Boy
09-10-2007, 02:08 AM
Speaking Chinese would be really cool but it would take years.Indeed. It's not something to be taken casually, and at the very least you need to spend several hours each week with a native teacher in order to get the sounds right.

As far as other languages go, I'm also intrigued by Russian. And though French is a very useful language, you have to get it pretty damn good before the French will accept it. Be sure to spend an inordinate amount of time on pronunciation.

Regarding Tibet, I'm currently living a mere two-hours flight from Lhasa (or a mere forty-eight hours by train!). I'm planning on checking it out next spring or summer, though I may get antsy and stupid and see it a bit this fall. I know a guy who stayed at Everest base camp. He summed it up with "It was the most miserable night of my life... but now I can say I stayed at Everest base camp." For some reason, that works for me.

the_GoDdEsS
09-10-2007, 02:42 AM
For me it's incredible to see how English has become so popular here and barely anybody wants to or feels the need to learn German any more. I'm guessing it's the same elsewhere.

Paint_It_Black
09-10-2007, 03:01 AM
ive done 3 years of german and i have a C GCSE and after this fourth year im hoping for an A* GCSE so if your looking for a challenge dont learn german

How fascinating. And how long have you been learning English?