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Language learning ??

hi i would like to know if someone lear a language i would like to learn spanish !

i would like to know if someone use method ( assimil/rosetta stone/pimpsleur etc...)

if you have any comments !
I'm Swiss and native german speaking. I was tought French and English in school. After having improved my English skills at an University in the States I'm now doing language school in France.
I'm staying with a host family and go to school for 4 weeks. I want to improve my French speaking skills, as I can almost understand everything, but have difficulties to use my knowledge in conversation.
I think this method of going to a language school is the most effective way to improve the knowledge, and if you can have a great time as well, it can be like vacation at the same time.
I also started to learn Spanish during my time in the States, but after one semester I could speak just about very basic stuff like my job, my familiy, about food and some locations in a city.. After returning to Switzerland I bought a course containing 4 CDs and a manual.... this kind of do it yourself language course that should teach you how to use a language just by listening and repeating spoken dialogues.
To be honest, the beginning was very easy for me, as I had already known French well and Spanish a little bit. So it was just very boring nd I never managed to REALLY do this course like it should be done. I simply stopped looking at it....
But if there is someone out there doing a course like this, I would be very interested how it worked and what experieces came with it.

You know, speaking different languages is very very important and a great possibility to really get to know people while traveling..
I'm working on learning french using a multi media cd, seems to be working fairly well though you need a lot more will power to keep consistently learning. I tend to go through spurts of learning heaps, then doing nothing for months on end.
Have you started on the spanish yet?
Good luck!
My original introduction to Spanish was through an attentive teacher who, when I was in the fourth grade, noticed that I had an interest, and recommended a book (Spanish for Beginners by Barnes & Noble). After that, I took Spanish in middle school and high school, but didn't really follow through much after that.

Fortunately, my "ear" and memory for it was pretty good and now, 26 years later, as a missionary in Honduras, I only needed a refresher in grammar from a tutor, then vocabulary building. Of course, since I am living in a place where I MUST speak Spanish every day, there is plenty of reinforcement.

In those intervening 26 years, I did do some occasional experimentation with some Spanish materials, but found that Pimsleur, Living Language, and the like, were mostly the same, and not as helpful as they could be.

Rosetta Stone, on the other hand, is an interesting approach in which there are certain things that you know you are learning, but there are also a number of things built into it that you don't realize you are learning. I'm not sure how it would be as the ONLY method used, but it should, at least, be included as a supplement.

One thing to remember (which a lot of people never even consider) is that (in the States, anyway) libraries often have a number of these resources. For example: they probably have at least one of the Pimsleur or Living Language type of product available for FREE checkout. In addition, many libraries have Internet services that allow you access to a number of other resources. In particular, for example, the Orlando, FL public library has a subscription to the online version of Rosetta Stone (all the same content as the CDs), to which Orlando Library cardholders have FREE access. That means it may well be possible for you to make use of Rosetta Stone and other language tools to learn a language without having to pay a cent for CDs, tapes, etc.

‘Buena suerte!
Hi, I guess living in the host family may be very helpful for improving your language skills. are you?

I am a Chinese and I will go to the U.S as a PhD student there, Till now I have not been abroad yet, so I think the language problems will be one of the major problems I will face at the beginning of my new semester, although I could write and read good, I am not sure I could speak without any nervous with other native english speakers. The department told me I will be a Teaching assistant next semester, and I still not have very good ideas for my speaking skills. maybe the host family is a very good choices for me.
yes it's real like for marioflory
the best method i think it's to go to the country and learn in a native school of the country !

yep traveller in france they are a library (Centre Georges Pompidou) who you can take a ticket for one hour and learn a lot of things Smile

i think i will try to take course with the city of paris the next year :] and if i have money go to travel in spain Smile
that is really cool!

I think the biggest obstacle of learning the foreign lanuage is the culture difference, once you deal with someone who have different living habit and culture background with you, it is not so easy to say "I can join them", are you?

So, I agree that living in the foreign country is the best way to let you get used to the culture enviroments to improve your language skills.
I'm from china
and people here would learn english as the most important second language
to learn a language is not so difficult, but to speak it in life is not so simple.

I think the best way to speak a language is to live in the native speaking environment. I can live with a spanish speaking family or you can try to find some spanish firends from IM (instant message) tool such as MSNmessenger or ICQ.

And feel free to make mistake.

Vocabulary is not a great problem for most non-novices.
To really learn a language you have to use it, otherwise it will just fade away. Knowing gramar and vocab is important, but in my opinion the most important thing is to practice it as often as possible. I'm a native lithuanian speaker, but live in US now. Have been tought english since first grade and can tell you that it helped a lot. Also took german and spanish in school, but can tell you that since I did not use them anywhere, they have almost faded away. So learn it, but remeber to use it. Wink
I'm polish and I learn english. That's very good and quite easy language so I like it. In my opinion you have to like the language you learn - if you don't, you can't speak that language very well... For example I hate deutch and I will never learn that, though I have deutch in school Wink I love english, I like to use this language and I know that I can learn it myself without learning in school
I'm working in UK, non-English native.
But I don't need to use English on my job so much, only on PC.
I'm thinking to start something to study, thinking how i can make a friend.
My personal experience of learning a language has been with Hindi.
Its been fascinating learning a new language but it can be quite hard. I found a great book called "Fast Easy way to learn a language" by Bill Handley. It has some great suggestions.
But no matter what book you find you ultimately still have to do the work. And i've found that its difficult to motivate yourself at times. I'm lucky in that my partner speaks hindi, thats definately an advantage (having a native speaker around), but then you still have to 'decide' each day to work on it.

A few tip for aspiring hindi speakers is to:

1. learn to read the language first, even if you don't understand what you're reading.

2. Only buy books that have the hindi script throughout, its no help reading the 'english' hindi.

3. Get your hands on cheap hindi school books (this is easier if you know someone from india as they're are very very cheap in india). You can also find them in some indian online stores and newspapers.

4. Talk in hindi as much as you can!

then how do you think about the culture differences, i always thought that after your foreign language skills improves to a certain level, you could not sharpen it very quickly without an deep understanding of the foreign culture. what you say?
I recommend u using this program:

PALTALK(search in google).

I use it for improving my english, u talk with other people, do exercises... (depending which room u enter, i am in one room that every day are doing exercises, and things like that, very cool hehe).
I am french and i speak english and spanish, but i'm actually working to learn russian, but as i was a student in psychology something which interest me in language learning is about how people, who travel or migrate change their "mind language",when they begin to dream in English, to think in english?(you know when you think you hear your voice in your head in your native language usually)
What happened during this cognitive transition?
How do people live that transition?
Hey, I am really evy you now:) you can speak three or four languages on this planet, and all of them are the most popular languages in the world.

Actually, I am very agree with you on your "mind language", and I like to call this one as the culture background, because I think learning a foreign language, and even you sink your self in foreign language enviroment, you will agree that if you want to improve your speaking or reading or writing skills more, you need to know better of the language backgrounds, the living habits, the culture backgrouds.

What you say?

Fabrice wrote:
I am french and i speak english and spanish, but i'm actually working to learn russian, but as i was a student in psychology something which interest me in language learning is about how people, who travel or migrate change their "mind language",when they begin to dream in English, to think in english?(you know when you think you hear your voice in your head in your native language usually)
What happened during this cognitive transition?
How do people live that transition?

Languages! That's indeed my favourite talk subject. So, following the trend, here's my context:

- I'm portuguese, and was sent to language school at an early age. In school I did French, though unfortunately only during 3 years. In university, I got into the exchange program and was sent to Germany, where I learnt the language. Well, not only german - I found out that with my native language I could also understand spanish and italian, and started reading in those languages. I can't really speak italian, though - it comes out 'spanished'..

Then I found a book on the russian space program. I was in love. In Germany, tandem websites are very common, and started learning russian right away with a woman from Uzbekistan.

And, the context being in place, my suggestion is that you find yourself a tandem partner: you teach him/her a language, and learn spanish. Of course, discipline is very important if you want to progress. My experience is, unless native tongue is very distant (like asian languages), you should have little or no problem with the pronounciation and comprehension. Then, if it is one the romance languages, you're halfway through. If it is not, try to do a crash course for six months, to set you on a solid base. Then go further with radio, newspapers and books. Of course, living for a while in a spanish-speaking country is the ideal - I learnt german from scratch in a year.

An interesting resource page is


Mind language?

I had a discussion with a greek colleague on the very same subject some time ago. He mantained that the mother tongue permeates all, and you never really think in a foreign language.

My opinion is the contrary. I'm not an english native speaker, but having learnt the language for over 11 years, I like to think I handle it at least as well as my mother portuguese. Indeed, it happens quite often that a friend asks me to review a text or such written in english. It's quite noticeable that most people tend to think in their native language and internally translate to the foreign one - and you recognise that in the constructions. Well, I was brought up in english school to think in english - and I do.

With spanish it's a different thing. I never had a formal formation in the language, and since it's so similar to my own, I also think in portuguese first. But it depends a lot on the context - take german: after a few hours speaking german, I start thinking in german as well. What happens is that sometimes I can't express a certain thought - because the concept doesn't exist in german 'module', and the portuguese 'module' is offline..

And if I happen to have to speak several languages in the same day - a common thing where I work - my internal dictionaries get mixed: I automatically get the word that suits my discourse better, and I mix portuguese, german and spanish words in my english sentence. Indeed, some words are almost untranslatable - precisely due to the cultural background they entail.


I keep learning many languages: English, German, Esperanto, Italian, Russian, Japanese (it's beautiful Smile), Slovakian. I wish I had spoken Danish, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Swahili ... :/
Ah, you're polish! From my experience, you're probably one of the best suited peoples to learn foreign languages - polish has practically every sound in indo-european languages, your grammar is very broad, which allows you to understand the structure of romance and slavic languages, and with such a mixed/migrant population, there's a high probability you'll be bilingual.

Honestly, I wish I were bilingual - romance/slavic - it would open so many doors!

Ay, a nice and friendly way to learn Spanish is to immerse yourself in Spanish-speaking environment. I have many Spanish-speaking co-workers, and they talk to me in simple Spanish, which is getting more and more complex every day. Since I realized that I enjoy learning Spanish this way, I also got a Level 1 book of Spanish. This is for improving other language skills besides the conversational one.

Also, when I was little, my mother used to watch telenovelas while I did the homework, and in this way I had some knowledge of Spanish even before finding employment in my present company Laughing
Mrs Lycos
I love languages, and Spanish being my mother tongue, i started learning English when i was 11. Although I'm not in an English environment, I really enjoyed learning, so I was constantly listening to music and reading (I hated simplified language books, so I started with Agatha Christie's, it was painful at the beginning)), I liked it so much I became an English teacher Wink
The thing is all in all learning a language always helps when you learn another one. You can relate similar words (roots), or verbs, etc. European languages have some things in common.
That is something that I can't apply to non-european languages like japanese or arabic. Different alphabet, different sounds, I'm at a loss here. I'm slowly starting some Japanese though. Hopefully in 20 years I will be able to say "hello" Razz

in our place, spanish is mixed with the local dialect. So it is easier to master.

When it comes to programs or tools, Rosetta is quite good for spanish and other european languages but doesn't fare very well with chinese and japanese and arabic(but is a good supplement). Other languages are easier since they are based on basically the same alphabet or system. So it would be easier to learn the other one since they are similar.
Flash cards are excellent for learning characters. Search the web for guides, most of these are free on the net. Never use simplified books (as what Mrs Lycos said). The best tool is a pda where u may study it anywhere.

Learning languages is great since along with it, we understand the root(?) of human communication and thinking. Like seeing that English is a wierd language compared to other world languages.

I am working on nippongo since it is in the curriculum.
Learning languages is wonderful. One of my favorite feelings is being able to walk into different countries and actually not have a language barrier present and generally always be accepted more by any local population.

I grew up bilingual in German and Swedish and when I was 12 I moved to the states and learnt English. With 14 we moved to France and during the next 4 years I learnt French whilest going to English schools. I was forced into a gap year and took 3 months out to learn Spanish in Cuba, which I do speak relatively fluent now. On Monday I am leaving for China for at least 3 months and a hopeful maximum of 9 so that I can learn a healthy basic level of the language. So at the moment I'm trilingual and I speak and write two other languages fluently.

It's addictive.
I was born a cantonese speaker. But as an Australian- I soon realised English was my world when I started pre-school. After starting high school, I started to learn French, Mandarin Chinese and German. However, classroom based language learning is a defiance of human nature and thus not very effective.

Nowadays, I am 18 years old. I strive to learn and improve in French, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Spanish, German, Brazilian Portugese, Italian, Indonesian-Malay. Sounds ridiculous- but this is a lifelong process. So ill tell you how I went when i'm on my deathbed.
Lots of language speakers here, thats good.

I was encouraged to take a spanish through school, because a language is required if you want to go to college. I took spanish for 4 years and became semi able to communicate what I am trying to say.

Languages has been my worst subject ever.
discountcontacts wrote:

Nowadays, I am 18 years old. I strive to learn and improve in French, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Spanish, German, Brazilian Portugese, Italian, Indonesian-Malay. Sounds ridiculous- but this is a lifelong process. So ill tell you how I went when i'm on my deathbed.

I can comprehend to the fullest what you are doing. Learn one and you want to learn them all.... healthy attitude =)
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