Studying Foreign Languages

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Ray, Dec 29, 2014.

  1. The topic is pretty broad in a sense. Share your experiences learning and studying foreign languages, share websites and videos that helped you learn, tell us what kind of languages you want to learn and study, etc.

    I hope to become fluent in Japanese, German, French, Korean, Swedish, Italian, and Gaelic. It's a lot, but there are people out there that can speak way more than what I have listed down as the languages I want to learn and speak. Over my two years in high school, I studied Japanese and found this website helpful. My Japanese teacher even approved of it!
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  2. Took four years of French in high school, left for college with little recollection of the language. Currently taking my second semester of Japanese!

    I've been wonderfully surprised to find Japanese is a pretty easy language to learn.
  3. Ah ha, finally a topic where I can brag!

    I'm pretty good at learning languages; I seem to 'get' them instinctively. I actually started off with three mother languages because my family is rather widespread - Czech, Slovak and Polish - and I'm also fluent in English, Russian, Spanish and now I'm studying Japanese. Well, 'studying' isn't the right word because I'm mostly neglecting my studies because of university and laziness, but still. I also know some bits of Magyar and I want to learn that language sometime, if only because it seems so wildly different/difficult and the sound of it amuses me. As for my methods, I always learn basics off some random website and then I move to books/movies in the language I'm currently studying. It's actually fairly entertaining that way! Though I almost died while reading The Crime and Punishment in Russian.
  4. japanese was the most useless language to learn

    everyone in japan knows enough english

    all the signs are in gibberish, but i just asked the people standing under the sign where to go

    plus side, i can play import games

    go me?
  5. I know a bit of Arabic, I want to become fluent.

    Thing is, with my Yooper accent, my Arabic sounds pretty funny to natural speakers of the language.
  6. In elementary school, in second grade to fifth, they made everyone take a 45 minute italian class every week. It was pretty shit learning, hated it. Even though I'm part Italian and would love to know the language, when I got to middle school I switched to Spanish (like many kids) due to the ingrown hatred of Italian. Didn't learn much Spanish in my three years in middle school, either, but some high school I continued it (was going to switch to French, decided not to) and now am on my sixth year of spanish. I took honors Freshman year but dropped to standard due to the stress from other classes. I do love the language and enjoy learning it with a good teacher, but considering that my other classes are more important, I'm dropping Spanish. If I had the time to just learn Spanish, I would take the opportunity, I suppose. It's a kind of "What if" thing.
  7. Learned French through school for 6 years, got an A* in my GCSE exam in it, and promptly forgot everything I ever learned... which I now regret. Would love to pick it up again, along with perhaps Mandarin or Japanese.
  8. I'm fluent in both English—evidently—and French. However, seeing as I am Canadian, neither is technically a foreign tongue.

    Basically, I was raised in English and schooled in French. Living in an entirely anglophone community, I don't think I ever would have been able to get good at French were it not for the fact that my school explicitly banned the usage of English—not that us students listened. I have encountered many who have passed through the anglophone schools' equivalent of "French Class", and to call them French speakers is just depressing. Neither the teachers nor the students knew what they were doing—a friend of mine who switched schools told me she was losing her French just by sitting in those classes, despite skipping to the highest level.

    I needed to live the language to learn it. And though that isn't necessary for everyone, our education system really does need to put more effort into finding actual French-speakers to teach our youth. I don't mind if my friends and family never properly learned French in our anglophone community, but if the class itself is going to be forced upon them, at least make it worthwhile.

    Another language I tried to learn a bit later was Spanish. I consider both English and French my "first language" or "mother tongue", so Spanish was really the add-on. I learned the basics, and can still speak simple sentences, but I was never able to keep up with fluent speakers, so it ends up being a one-sided conversation. I later dropped Spanish for gym class—which I later dropped for Calculus—and I doubt I'll ever try to pick it up again.
  9. I've studied Japanese for three years in high school (putting me roughly at JLPT N5), but now I haven't studied much the last two years, so I have forgotten quite a lot xb. Right now I'm trying to get better by reading texts from this side. I'm going for the N5 and N4 texts and I understand them fairly well with a bit of thinking and a bit of help with the kanji.

    I've also found a site where you can read the bible on in Japanese (not the funniest book to read, but since I know what a lot of the sentences means in English and Swedish, at least in half of genesis as I've never gotten further, I can figure out kind of which words means what. And I can copy past the kanji into google translate if I'm not sure what they mean or how they're read, and learn them. Do not use google translate for longer sentences though. It's good if you only want the meaning of one kanji or two kanjis put together, but one word is what it can handle before it becomes weeeird xD I also take help from my little handy, Japanese-English, English-Japanese dictionary which I bought some years ago :3)

    I also own the books 'Japanese for young people' which were the books we had in school.

    My experience with English is... I sucked at it and almost failed all my English classes until ninth grade. Then when I started high school I got C in English A and B in English B xD And it was all thanks to anime. (Not kidding. I mainly learned because I loved anime and watched a ton of it with English subs.)
  10. I've studied English since third grade (though I've learned more by playing video games, reading, watching TV and movies that by traditional education when it comes to this), I studied German four years as well as French one year during secondary school, and Japanese for three years during High School. I wanted to keep studying Japanese in college, but I decided to go with Pharmacology instead, since it's easier to get a job on. I can always take classes later and brush it up.
  11. I'm currently studying Spanish in school, and am nearly fluent. Though I've never been formally taught, I can understand most German (but have found speaking it to be much harder) due to having a few distant German relatives that occasionally speak it in my presence. I'm generally able to roughly translate phrases in French, Italian, and a few other languages based on the roots of words, and also know a few phrases in Manderin, but have no real knowledge of the language.

    A few months back, some friends and I actually decided we were all going to learn a fictional language, so chose Sindarin (a form of Elvish from Lord of the Rings), which I can understand and speak a bit of now. Though its not a real language, I figured it'd be worth mentioning.
  12. Actually, most Japanese natives cannot speak English. The primary schools in Japan are just starting to include some english in their courses... and the 20+ year olds in Japan at the moment hadn't gotten any "true" exposure to English (besides Tokyo natives).

    Most of the smaller cities and towns outside of Tokyo introduce English as more of an after school club, and that's only if they have the resources. Japanese citizens are very much preoccupied with learning advanced kanji, as they still have Japanese classes all throughout high school, where as in the US English classes tend to consist more of essays and the history of literature versus vocabulary enrichment. Learning English is considered one of the more prestigious things to do, so the amount of non-government people who can fluently speak English would be about the same amount of people who get accepted into the Ivy League schools for academics, scaled of course.

    The Japs do borrow quite a few English words, because that's the trendy thing to do in Southeast Asia nowadays. But just because I know "oppai" and "sushi" doesn't mean I can fluently speak Japanese :P If anything, Japan is way far behind in teaching their homies English compared to, say, South Korea.

    BUT NEVERTHELESS, Japanese is highly impractical unless you are too impatient to wait for subs on anime, or you're planning on a trip to Japan. I suppose you could impress your friends, too, but as an Asian... learning an Asian language tends to just increase the amount of slurs and fortune cookies being thrown at me >.> (I shit you not, people used to throw fortune cookies at me)

    So I decided to learn Norwegian instead. I'm also semi-fluent in Spanish, and I can listen and understand some Korean although my mum never taught me to speak it so... butts.

  13. i would argue having been to japan multiple times that i find their english to work just fine, actually

    i never had trouble communicating while there
  14. Which parts have you been to? I'm only familiar with Fukushima and some of the smaller towns along that part of the coast. I lot of the Japanese people in college always told me how they wanted to learn English, but they were never given the opportunity.
  15. nagasaki mainly

    its where the airport i use to connect to the Philippines is located, and i just spend a couple days doing a little sightseeing, taking up culture, and eating a shit ton of food

    the stuff i usually do when i travel

    never needed foreign language lessons to eat tasty things :D
  16. You picked Norwegian, instead of the language of its far superior sister to the east, Sweden?... ;-;

    It's alright, I forgive you. At least you picked a Masterrace, I mean, Scandinavian language, which is better than anything else :)

  17. wat
  18. wat
  19. WAT
  20. WAT, I CAN'T HEAR YOU! *cranks up volume on my hearing-aid*