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  1. #11
    ... Tyrinth's Avatar
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    日本語. I'm attempting anyways (I'm currently wrapping up my first semester). I figure that based on the things I watch/listen to/read that I might as well try to learn. Actually, learning a foreign language is the most fun I've had learning anything in quite a while. I'm currently majoring in English Linguistics, and it's really interesting how much my Linguistics classes actually help me understand my Japanese classes, and vice-versa.
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  2. #12
    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphosis View Post
    I speak decent Russian, and I think Rosetta Stone is pretty much worthless for anything other than vocabulary building. My top pick is Michel Thomas Method for grammar and Pimsleur after that for vocabulary.
    I agree with this. I don't think the theory behind Rosetta Stone is sound. It's built on the premise that the natural way or best way to learn a language is the way that children learn it, by just listening and picking up things. The problem is that the reason children are so good at learning languages is that 1) their brains are still very fluid, and connections that are established in adults are still being forged and, perhaps even more importantly, 2) children lack the higher logical functions that we develop as we grow older. So children, basically, don't give a damn whether their grammar is correct or whatever, they just do whatever they can to communicate. And some adults may say that that's the case with them as well-- "I don't care if my grammar is perfect"-- but the fact is even if you don't care if it's perfect, your brain wants to put it into a logical system. So I really think adults need formal grammar lessons to really learn a language. Of course being immersed in a language (i.e. living in a place where you have to use it every day) is the best (and maybe only) way to perfect a new language, I think adults need a grammatical base to learn a language.

    To answer the question at hand... I am constantly learning new languages. I majored in French as an undergrad, lived in France for a semester, and a few years ago my French was awesome. I wouldn't say fluent, because fluency is a lot harder to achieve than most people think (and it's not binary, either... how does one really decide when one is fluent?), but I was close to native proficiency. Now, I've lost a lot of it because I don't use it on a daily basis. I minored in Russian and although my Russian was never near fluent, it was good enough for me to get around in Russia for a couple of weeks on my own. I've lost a lot of that, too. I speak a little Spanish, and have dabbled in Turkish as well. Right now, for purely my own interest (and possibly bragging rights), I am currently trying to learn Irish, and I can honestly say of all the languages I've ever studied, it is by far the most difficult.
    Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting.

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  3. #13
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    I'm trying to talk myself into learning French. I was in immersion for a few years so I should be able to relearn to that point without too much trouble, although vocabulary will be an issue.

    My problem is that it's a very useful (here) skill but extremely boring for me, so I haven't really started. I suppose it might be less awful than I'm imagining, once I actually start. But I hated it in school.
    -end of thread-

  4. #14
    Unlimited Dancemoves ® AgentF's Avatar
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    objective-C. because i like inheriting properties.
    I may be kindly, I am ordinarily gentle, but in my line of business I am obliged to will terribly what I will at all.
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  5. #15
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    I like the Pimsleur series in conjunction with an online flashcard system and a good grammar reference book. Also, having a buddy from a country that speaks the language helps a lot.
    Artes, Scientia, Veritasiness

  6. #16
    morose bourgeoisie
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    Been thinking about Sanskrit.

  7. #17
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquarelle View Post
    I agree with this. I don't think the theory behind Rosetta Stone is sound. It's built on the premise that the natural way or best way to learn a language is the way that children learn it, by just listening and picking up things...
    This is probably why I disliked my software so much. I for weary very quickly of just learning random words, I wanted sentences and structure that made the words make sense. What's the use in knowing 100 words that I cannot communicate? I'm not a child, so sentences are quite necessary.

    The online program I'm using right now sort of forces grammar on me right from the get-go, and I've already learned quite a bit from the reviews people have posted on my (clearly not very good ) written quiz. The vocabulary gave me "petit" for men, but I kept writing "petit" whether a man or a woman.. Not correct I quickly came to realize.

    Irish I could see being very hard.. how many people really speak it? If you don't even get practice with French I can only imagine Irish...
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  8. #18
    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post

    Irish I could see being very hard.. how many people really speak it? If you don't even get practice with French I can only imagine Irish...
    About 12 people speak it I think, so it really has no practical value. But it's fun.
    Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting.

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  9. #19
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    I'd like to be able to speak other languages, including gaelic (Irish) which I was deprived off at school (hated the irish teacher, who was an ass and came back as a head master and tortured my brother and was probably a fascist, I'm not kidding about that, think Franco or Peron, not Hitler or Mussolini).

    The other day I was at the gym and listening to an audiobook and a girl who was there heard that it was an audiobook and when I went to get some water they went too and said to me was I learning a language, I was a bit abscent minded because I was thinking about the audiobook, I'd finished CS Lewis' The Four Loves and moved on to Erich Fromm's To Have or To Be? which has some ruminations on love too in it, and said yes and when she said which one I said "love". Then I realised what I'd said as my water bottle was like full and thought shit, that was so corny, but when I looked up this girl was like love struck or something looking at me with these big eyes and I thought "oh, shit" and "ok bye now" (bye, meow) and went back to cross trainer I'd left.

  10. #20
    Retired Nicki's Avatar
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    I'm attempting to learn Spanish. I think it would be somewhat easier for me because I'm surrounded by many peers who speak Spanish.

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