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  1. #11
    Une Femme est une femme paperoceans's Avatar
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    LOL Japanese.
    Between that cigarillo and sticking my finger down my throat to see if I could DT, I feel like puking RN.

    Read my Blog.

  2. #12
    Pumpernickel
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    I learned all my languages by moving a lot as a kid. The only language I learned voluntarily was easy because I already spoke another language that was highly similar.

    What I think was responsible for me picking them up really quickly was pretty much having no choice lol.... being fully immersed in a world where you can't communicate any other way is probably the fastest way to learn. Also, getting laughed at for saying things wrong kind of helps too. I think what I'm getting at is that learning it slowly wouldn't work for me, I have to jump in and trial&error it.

  3. #13
    Writing... Tamske's Avatar
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    I'm from Flanders. I speak Dutch (Nederlands). Having a quite "small" language as first is a good motivation to learn other languages. Most Flemish can make themselves understandable in one or two foreign languages! (Yes, as a Flemish, I'm proud of that )

    Flanders is the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium. My crazy country contains a French-speaking part and a German-speaking part, too.

    I've had French from elementary school. At the end of my high school, I could speak it fluently. Now it's rusty, but I'm convinced I'll manage.

    I've had English in high school. I've studied physics and graduated, too. English is the common language for science communication.
    I love reading. I prefer to read in the original language if I can (Dutch, French, English). There are a lot of good books in English.

    I've had one year of German in high school. Nothing is left from that.

    I've studied a bit of Spanish too, because my sister went to Bolivia and I visited her for a few months. Nobody speaks anything but Spanish there AND they speak slowly, unlike the Spanish . After those months, I could make myself understandable in Spanish.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tamske View Post
    I'm from Flanders.


    (sry)

  5. #15
    Writing... Tamske's Avatar
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    ^lol!

  6. #16
    Senior Member Gerbah's Avatar
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    I'm a translator so I learned my languages through university and cultural immersion in the countries (Russian and French). Plus German because of my husband.

    A frequency dictionary is a very good tool for focused learning. It lists vocab according to how frequently that word is used, such as per million. A very good frequency dictionary will also show you phrases in which that word is used. Example: when learning a verb such as "sein", you should eventually learn all the forms for your knowledge, but for practical usage, "ist" (according to my German frequency dictionary) occurs 10,229/million, compared to "seid" which occurs 36 times/million. So you would work on getting comfortable using sentences that use "ist" before giving too much priority to mastering "seid". Google the word you're working on and see all the different sentences you get with that word in. This way, you will also get a good intuitive feel for the usage.

    One thing I also find, don't try to force things too much into your brain or feel bad that you can't soak in everything at once. Go with what your brain is naturally letting in. Let the stuff that doesn't sink in go because you will meet it again.

  7. #17
    Senior Member The Outsider's Avatar
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    I studied English is school.. And kindergarten. And of course from movies, video games, books and the internet.

    I also enjoyed reading dictionaries as a child.

  8. #18
    Twerking & Lurking ayoitsStepho's Avatar
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    Well, I'm pretty ok with spanish and alot more fluent in American Sign Language.
    I've taken so many classes for spanish and that didn't do me a lick of good. I didn't start picking up the spanish until I moved to the border of Mexico and Texas where everyone speaks spanish or crappy english sooooo after being made fun of all the time in spanish, I quickly picked it up. Best way to learn is to throw yourself into that enviroment. My dad and his family speak spanish and they never taught me or spoke to me in their native language so i had to learn.
    American Sign language required me to learn in a classroom first as well, but I picked it up because its very physical. The requirements for that class were to go to the ASL community get togethers every month to sign and communicate with the Deaf and Hearing Impaired. It was a bit frustrating at first, but it wasn't difficult for long.

    So all in all, just jump into the culture. You really aren't going to learn it all by studying and reading it. You have to interact with the people head on.
    Good luck! My sister plans on going to Japan next year to study abroad and she too has to learn Japanese.
    Quote Originally Posted by MacGuffin View Post
    ayoitsStepho is becoming someone else. Actually her true self, a rite of passage.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Lacey's Avatar
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    Wow, there are more responses than I thought...I'm a little overwhelmed. ha

    I started Japanese when I got into college, so 3 years of classes in America. And now I'm spending my last year here in Japan, so I've got the immersion thing going too.

    I've just known so many people who have gone to Japan and then come back with basically no improvement. :/ I think it's pretty easy to get stuck in an English bubble. I'm trying my best to do whatever I'm doing in Japanese.

    I guess I'm starting to get to the point where I'm understanding A LOT more than I used to...but I just can't spit it back out. So frustrating. But normal, hopefully?

    I have more things I want to say but I actually have to get ready to go to Japanese class. Woo

    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    Find something you enjoy and then get it in Japanese, like a hobby. Something you'll use daily, or at least, weekly, without it becoming a chore. Best way, ime.
    Yeah, I was kind of under that impression too. Glad I'm not crazy. I've run into people who kind of frown on that...you know, having fun. Acting like if you're having fun learning, you must not be doing it right. haha But hey...when I'm actually reading or watching/listening to something I find fun, I keep at it for a lot longer and remember it better.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blank View Post
    DON'T, under NO CIRCUMSTANCES look at a page that has every kanji ever listed.
    Too late. You don't scare me, kanji.
    Quote Originally Posted by Requeim View Post
    Lol i also want to learn japanese actually, can you recommend it?
    Sure, why not? I think it's great.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shimmy View Post
    Dutch and English, and I'm fairly good in speaking, listening and reading German as well (I'm not too good in the grammar and therefore the writing part). I got there because in Holland we are not snobbish about our language and understand that it is a hugh benefit if you speak multiple languages, so we get to learn that in school. We are a very international country anyway, we've always been a foreign trade country rather then one of large industries, on tv we have subtitles instead of over-dubbing, and it's easy to travel throughout the EU (or more precisely all the countries that signed the Shengen-pact).
    I'm so jealous of stuff like this. I grew up in a small town in middle-of-nowhere America.
    Quote Originally Posted by teslashock View Post
    Additionally, I had to read a LOT of articles and books in portuguese (I was studying there), and that helped with certain lingo and grammar. It helped me learn how to say things like "Beyond that", "In addition to", "It's important to note", etc. Lots of things you don't even think about that will enhance your speaking capabilities.
    Yeah, I think it would help A LOT if I could read more. However, kanji is sometimes a barrier to that. Yeah, I can get things with furigana, but that's not always possible. So I'm trying really hard to get this kanji thing under control, with this book called "Remembering the Kanji" by James Heisig. I've found rote memorization and drilling them hasn't really been working out too well, so we'll see how this goes...so far it's been great.
    Pronunciation is the last thing you should work on, and you should only start working on this if you want to sound 100% flawless when speaking. I spent the first 3 months trying to perfect my pronunciation only to learn that it was a pretty futile effort. The native speakers are going to be able to identify foreigners in almost all cases; you can't hear your accent, but they can.
    Yeah, there's not much I can do to hide my foreign-ness anyway. The blonde hair and blue eyes kind of give it away. hahaha
    Anyway, I hope that helps. If you take only one thing from that, let it be the ethnic lover. Having an ethnic lover is a surefire way to learn a language. Your lover is a second person, in addition to you, that *wants* you to learn the language, so it's a really beneficial tool.
    I'm sitting here LOLing at the number of people that suggested getting a Japanese boyfriend. I would if I could, man.
    Quote Originally Posted by ayoitsStepho View Post
    So all in all, just jump into the culture. You really aren't going to learn it all by studying and reading it. You have to interact with the people head on.
    That, in all honesty, is my biggest weakness. I'm a shy mofo. I need to get over that.

  10. #20
    Senor Membrane
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    Yeah, I learned English by being pretty good in it when I was in school, I hanged around English forums since fifteen or something, and almost all tv shows are in English here. Plus I was an exchange student (not in English speaking country, but English was the language between the exchange students). Nowadays I learn most by reading (they don't seem to translate any of the interesting books to Finnish). It's amazing how difficult language they use in philosophy to describe simple things.

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