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Learning a new language





ankur.vatsa
I live in India. I was born and brought up in the capital city of India 'New Delhi'. My mother tongue is 'Hindi' and hence I had to learn English.

The methodology of learning the new language English was simple, introduce the alphabets to the child - then the grammar - then small scentences and then forming sentences and so on.

Now I want to learn a new language, most probably Japanese. I am 27 now - is the same methodology suitable or do we need to change the learning patterns at this age - specially for the language learning.
budiman
I am learning chinese language now. The first step is to practise your pronounciation. That is tough. I guess this will be a task in my whole life. The second step is to memorise the characters, tones, sound and grammar. that is it in fact.
Afaceinthematrix
budiman wrote:
I am learning chinese language now. The first step is to practise your pronounciation. That is tough. I guess this will be a task in my whole life. The second step is to memorise the characters, tones, sound and grammar. that is it in fact.


How do you learn Chinese? I really want to learn it but can't find classes on it... I found Mandarin or Kantanese learnign softwhare but am not sure how effective it is... how are you learning it?
Seiji
If you want to learn Japanese its not that hard. A few people end up learning how to speak decent Japanese in 3-4 months. My dad is Japanese so I can speak it good enough. My mother is Korean but I don't speak it as good and I can't read Hangul yet. With the right teacher and the right book learning a new language should be easy.
LovE-RicH
Elementary Japanese is easy to learn, but the problem is that it's very different when you speak to your friend or when you speak to an unknown or when you speak to a boss... And the new characters!
ankur.vatsa
I think I understated my purpose Very Happy or may be did not state at all. I want to learn a new language not only to be able to communicate in the language but also to be able to read and appreciate the literature written in the language. I am fond of reading and at times people suggest literature of foreign language. Although quite a few times I can find a translated text but I still feel that the translated text has no taste left. The actual feel and content can be had from the original writing only.

Hence, I want to learn the a language.
Insanity
I know English relatively well, and Cantonese to an extent. I agree that Chinese can be a bit tough to learn since there are all these different tones, but after a while of talking with it, it should get easier.

As for me, I started taking up American Sign Language. It's an interesting language to learn, since it has little to do with words and more with gestures and the like.
mathie
I live in Poland and i lrning English and Deutsh Wink
dayveday
I think for learning languages one thing you have to do is spend time interacting with other people.

Books, websites, and programs will only get you so far. You might learn reading and writing well this way, as well as some listening skills, but you need someone with a keen ear to correct your pronunciation. You'll learn much more quickly interacting with other people.

Where I live, the local council runs community classes, and my university also has 'open' courses which it runs at night (quite cheaply). Also, there's often groups of like-minded people also trying to learn / keep-up their language and meet socially regularly.

Another great resource is www.wordreference.com. Heaps of great people online there to help with any problems. Maybe you could ask them what the best way to learn is?
getgag
I'm learning japanese now...
linangan
I'm from the Philippines, and we are one of the largest English-speaking countries in the world, so I know my dialect Filipino, and English.

In truth, I'm actually also teaching English right now to Koreans. I think it's very difficult for them, or for anyone in their situation, to learn the language because there aren't too many people in their country they can practice speaking the language with. Also, there are some English language concepts that are not native to their own, like articles, prepositions, some phonetics, and gender specific pronouns.

I had 9 units of French in college, but just like my students, I still suck at it because I don't have a way to get exposed to the language. I have mostly forgotten everything save for the most basic sentences and sounds. Sigh.
bangala
dayveday wrote:
I think for learning languages one thing you have to do is spend time interacting with other people.

Books, websites, and programs will only get you so far. You might learn reading and writing well this way, as well as some listening skills, but you need someone with a keen ear to correct your pronunciation. You'll learn much more quickly interacting with other people.
?

I agree, I have learned French but I am almost losing it because I am not using it !
iNs@nE
I learnt french a few years ago back in college..it was pretty neat..dont remember most of it though..but i can alteast understand when those frenchies speak....

I was actually thinking of going for spanish now...and maybe italian...

i always wanted an italian wife...so i guess learn italian would come in handy if i have to go for her.. Very Happy
poly
Well there is no always successful way of learning a foreign language, because there are different kinds of people, who have different learning abilities. One, however, that will almost always work is to go to the country and just be forced to speak the language every day.
Aiz
I agree with dayveday and poly.

Books and other forms of instructional materials only teach people the rules and words, and for you to really become fluent in a language, and they are only useful to a certain extent.

For me personally, learning Japanese was all about the grammar (different particles, the different uses in different situations, when it's appropriate to use extended predicate and when not...*dies*). But once you figure out some of the more confusing rules, you can just form sentences with words you know, so you don't really need to be taught small sentences or the like. The most important thing is talking with native speakers of the language you are learning. (the instructors for Japanese at my univeristy are all native speakers and the 3 classes per week that we can only speak Japanese in really helped people digest what was taught from the textbook beforehand.

But of course, nothing beats going to the country and just live in that environment for a while, since books are only books, and teachers will only teach you what's "right" and not what's "common" (Like one of my instructors told a friend of mine that "ore" really should never be used, especially not at work. But we all knew that a lot of Japanese males use it at work anyway, even though it's not... the "right" thing to do.)

@Afaceinthematrix:
I think most community colleges offer a wide variety of foreign language courses that anyone can take. You might want to try one of those.
turbowolf
Aha, the best way to learn a foreign language is to live in their local community. Maybe you can find a japanese girlfriend or find some japanese friends. They can help you improve language skills quickly.
ankur.vatsa wrote:
I live in India. I was born and brought up in the capital city of India 'New Delhi'. My mother tongue is 'Hindi' and hence I had to learn English.

The methodology of learning the new language English was simple, introduce the alphabets to the child - then the grammar - then small scentences and then forming sentences and so on.

Now I want to learn a new language, most probably Japanese. I am 27 now - is the same methodology suitable or do we need to change the learning patterns at this age - specially for the language learning.
k10000s
In my opinion, language is life. What this means is that language has been developed from the nation's life in the history. Therefore I think that the best way to learn a other language is to live in their contry, if it is possible. At least, you should make a chance to use the language you want to learn everyday until you feel comportable to use it. The reason is that you can communicate with native speakers, although you know all words and grammers. They don't speak like the way in the learning book in their daily life.
vedtiwari
Im Learnign C# And asp.net these days
Shin
If you have friends who speak the language you want to learn that's the ideal case because you can have people to practise with. This is the quickest way to learn a language I think. I picked my Polish this way. However I agree there is not always possible to have people who guide you all along. In this case learn fron the tapes or mp3, repeat the sentence over and over again until you are comfortable with the pronounciate. You don't have to understand what he/she said. Just get familiar with the sounds. Later you will find it eaiser to learn the new word.
rsonic
I think the hardest part of learning a new langage mostly happens at the beginning, you need to memorize words, tense, spelling, etc. But there's a way to make things easier.. is to get a friend who speaks the language you want to learn.
mohdqaz
[quote="turbowolf"]Aha, the best way to learn a foreign language is to live in their local community. Maybe you can find a japanese girlfriend or find some japanese friends. They can help you improve language skills quickly.
quote]

I agree with you. The best way to learn foreign language is to live in their community. This is the best and the fastest way to learn the language. And if you live in the community it is best to minggle around. Mix with the local to improve your language. I have a friend who study in the US but was not improving her English because she never mix around
KellaDayne
i've thought about it too, being 20 years old and willing to learn Freinch in the university. i wondered, how would they teach us... but the methodic was just the same - we learned how to read letters, then special letters combinations (it's always soooo difficalt in french), grammar and words.... so, i guess it's always the same...
williamcameron
Being multi-lingual, or even just bi-lingual is what employers are looking for. OK qualifications and experience too, but if you can speak more than one language, employers seem to like that for some reason. Could be due to the fact that many businesses are expanding overseas and stuff, so having someone who can 'speak the lingo' helps I suppose.

Just my thoughts, I can unfortunately only speak English. Even that isn't all that perfect.
smartpandian
Quote:

Just my thoughts, I can unfortunately only speak English. Even that isn't all that perfect.



That's really funny.

I was from India.. The land known for its diversity of culture, languages. This is my personal opinion that Indian languages such as Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, malayalam, kannada, marathi.. etc were under rated compared to French, German, etc.. though they are spoken by very less people compared to Indian Languages.. This is due to westernisation of Indian Tradition.
hereme
Japanese is harder than Chinese,I think. Laughing
meet in rio
For Chinese, I would reccommend a handful of lessons with a native speaker before you try to branch out on your own. I did a semester of lessons in Mandarin and would have found the tones and even the pinyin (e.g. the differences between q, ch; j, zh; etc.) quite difficult to learn without this girl's help. Once you understand the pinyin and pick up a few tips for writing characters, you have the basic tools you need to push on on your own. In addition to these most basic of skills, I found it useful to learn a few sentences parrot-fashion in a singsong voice---it will really help your confidence.

Learning German as an adult (I've done about 100 hours of lessons), I followed pretty much the same course structure as I did as a young teenager, although the course material was obviously condensed. Surprisingly, though, there was a lot more emphasis on pronunciation and reading aloud than I remember doing for French and Spanish in school. I think this was because of something my teacher said about people assuming that you have a much better grasp of the language (and are more intelligent) if you have the correct intonation/pronunciation. The grammar was learned in a less casual manner, but essentially in the same order as I did in languages at school.

Oh, one more thing---we barely did any listening exercises In german, which I found strange, although I suppose it makes more sense as as you get older, you lose the ability to 'absorb' language aurally.
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