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Learning a new language


Chief Rick

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Short of enrolling in a college, what would you recommend for an older person with ADD tendencies (get bored easily) to learn a new language? 

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One way ticket to a country that speaks the language you want to learn! 

 

In all seriousness though, the Rosetta stone series are about the best you can get. They are pricey, but the way the teaching process is designed keeps you involved and engaged. 

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Rosetta Stone is pricey but once you get on their emails list you will be offered discounts.  Don’t sign up for the subscription service until you find that you are using it.  You can buy just one chapter at a time, but the discounted price of all five is just a little more than the price of the first two.

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Hang around enough Guatemalans, Mexicans, Hondurans, El Salvadorans, etc.. like we have a lot of around here and you’ll be speaking Spanglish in no time.:D.

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Take a job at any hotel, as a housekeeper, in any US city. Depending on location,  all languages are available. Spanish, Korean, Romanian, Polish, Japanese, Armenian,..........   

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SIL used Rosetta Stone before/during their two-year tenure in Beijing, and he & Baby Girl got pretty good at it. 

And yeah, total immersion is good -- if scary;  that's what I got on our two trips over.  Just learned some words of politeness and basic commerce but I was surprised how much you can pick up if you are interested and pay attention  - ok, that's gonna be a problem with ADD.

It also makes a difference how interested the locals are:  the Chinese were extremely helpful and seemed delighted at our attempts to learn their language.

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The Marine Corps sent my son to Defense Languages school in Monterey, Ca. about 10 years or so ago to learn Mandarin Chinese. He graduated from there and they sent him to a university in Beijing, China to get his masters degree. During his days at Defense Languages it was full immersion during the classes and when he got to Beijing it was the same way. His wife learned quite a bit of Chinese and so did their young daughter. 

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A second language is something you must use often, or you will lose it quick.

The language taught in class is not what is spoken on the street.

I learned that for fact when I lived in Mexico City with my God Parents.

OLG

 

 

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Be sure that you pick up on the dialectal differences.  I went back to school to study French because my family was making frequent trips to Quebec province.  I had an instructor from Marseilles and when I told her I was taking the course because of my trips to Quebec she said, "Ah, the Quebecois, I cannot understand them."

'

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OP, you mentioned "ADD".
One trick for folks with this is "keep moving".

My eldest daughter is a Navy Commander, and she HAS to move to learn the huge amounts of required materials.
Walk and recite.

I do this to learn my Masonic ritual, and it works well for me.

See it, Say it, Hear it, Feel it (mouth), etc...
If Spanish, watch Spanish TV, Spanish Cartoons and movies.
Watch Telemundo where everything on the ladies is big, except their wardrobe... ;)

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2 hours ago, punxsutawneypete said:

Or wo ist das Badzimmer?

A common mistake for Americans.  The room with the bath frequently does not have a toilet. If you want a toilet, ask for a toilet.

 

i think a point to be made here is that learning the language is not enough, you must learn some of the culture.

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10 hours ago, punxsutawneypete said:

Be sure that you pick up on the dialectal differences.  I went back to school to study French because my family was making frequent trips to Quebec province.  I had an instructor from Marseilles and when I told her I was taking the course because of my trips to Quebec she said, "Ah, the Quebecois, I cannot understand them."

'

 

Yep the same is true of Spanish.  What is taught in most schools is Castilian Spanish or the King's Spanish.  Will get you through school but is just about worthless in Central and South America.

When I was in southern Spain you most commonly heard Andalusian Spanish.  Really messes with your learning from books and tapes which are Castilian.

On and I almost forgot Catalan, which is spoken in some parts of Spain and kinda sounds like a cross between French and Spanish but is actually its own language.

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18 hours ago, Yul Lose said:

Hang around enough Guatemalans, Mexicans, Hondurans, El Salvadorans, etc.. like we have a lot of around here and you’ll be speaking Spanglish in no time.:D.

Si.  Es verdad, homey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, punxsutawneypete said:

Be sure that you pick up on the dialectal differences.  I went back to school to study French because my family was making frequent trips to Quebec province.  I had an instructor from Marseilles and when I told her I was taking the course because of my trips to Quebec she said, "Ah, the Quebecois, I cannot understand them."

'

The language of The Québécois is closer to 18th century French than it is to the Parisian French of today, that is when Quebec became property of the British crown and stopped receiving French immigrants.

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I don't know what I sounded like when I was speaking French up in Quebec province, but the effort seemed to be appreciated by the local people.  I got to the point where I could read a lot of French, could speak a fair amount of it well enough to be understood, but trying to understand other people talking was a little tough for me because I couldn't process the speech fast enough.  But sometimes I could pick up enough to understand what was being said.  On one of our fishing trips my extended family and I went to dinner in a chain restaurant in Val D'Or, Quebec.  My uncles and cousins all ordered in English, and I ordered in French.  A little later I heard a couple of waitresses talking in French and I could swear one of them said, "Watch what you say around those guys, one of them speaks French."

 

And of course, it was fun to able to tease with the locals in their own language.  When we were in fishing camp, two of my uncles and I were sitting on a cabin porch when I saw a young lady who worked for the camp carrying a mop down to the lake.  When she got to the dock, she began dunking the mop in the lake.  I knew she spoke little  or no English, so I yelled down to her, "Hey, nous boisson cette eau (we drink that water)!"  She laughed, so I was pretty sure she understood me.

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1 minute ago, punxsutawneypete said:

I don't know what I sounded like when I was speaking French up in Quebec province, but the effort seemed to be appreciated by the local people.  I got to the point where I could read a lot of French, could speak a fair amount of it well enough to be understood, but trying to understand other people talking was a little tough for me because I couldn't process the speech fast enough.  But sometimes I could pick up enough to understand what was being said.  On one of our fishing trips my extended family and I went to dinner in a chain restaurant in Val D'Or, Quebec.  My uncles and cousins all ordered in English, and I ordered in French.  A little later I heard a couple of waitresses talking in French and I could swear one of them said, "Watch what you say around those guys, one of them speaks French."

 

And of course, it was fun to able to tease with the locals in their own language.  When we were in fishing camp, two of my uncles and I were sitting on a cabin porch when I saw a young lady who worked for the camp carrying a mop down to the lake.  When she got to the dock, she began dunking the mop in the lake.  I knew she spoke little  or no English, so I yelled down to her, "Hey, nous boisson cette eau (we drink that water)!"  She laughed, so I was pretty sure she understood me.

 

When I was stationed in Spain if you tried to speak Spanish the locals would bend over backwards for you. Didn't matter how badly you butchered it. What they wanted was an effort.  Most spoke pretty good English but wouldn't utter a word of it unless you tried to converse in Spanish.

 

Most locals talked way too fast for me but most times I caught enough to get the general idea.

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16 minutes ago, punxsutawneypete said:

I don't know what I sounded like when I was speaking Spanish on house calls, but the effort seemed to be appreciated by the local people.  I got to the point where I could read a lot of Spanish, could speak a fair amount of it well enough to be understood, but trying to understand other people talking was a little tough for me because I couldn't process the speech fast enough.  But sometimes I could pick up enough to understand what was being said.  ...

I do remember a client and his wife saying I was nicer than their last Eligibility Worker. :o

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At Winthrop (when it was a College instead of a University and before it accepted men as students) we were taught languages by exchange students.  I had a French teacher who told me I sounded like an illiterate native.

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Once upon a time I was in Paris with Linda before we were married.  She was always “I learned French from the nuns at PMA” She was quite proud that her French was way better than mine. My French was many years distant, while I did well (AAAAAAAA) I would say I studied French but I didn’t learn French.

 

When we needed something I was able to get out a question to the locals while she was thinking and she would later ask me how I knew that.

 

recently I decided that it was the method with which she was taught. Remember that I said her teachers were nuns.  She was attempting to formulate a perfect sentence, as one would in a Catholic High School for the nuns. Me, I would just blurt it out from a stream of consciousness, and use my hands.

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22 minutes ago, MizPete said:

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand the French don't care.

In my most recent visit I found that they were far more friendly and accommodating, but I also thought that these friendly and accommodating people were immigrants, not native French.

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It is easy to learn affirmative responses “yes” in any foreign language, you can say yes almost automatically, I even say да now in many situations. No is harder to say intuitively, without extra thought.

 

sooo, exiting airport, approached by numerous taxi drivers “taxi?” Mumble “no”. They persist. Must raise voice, be assertive, «нет» , make them leave you alone. Sometimes you actually need a ride, then you must know how to deal with the problem, but they are truly a den of thieves. I must add that they are not all dishonest. There are a few drivers that I call upon sometimes, not when i am going just from one place to another, but when I want him to wait and go to other places.  His name is Igor.

 

and then there is Andrew, friend of a friend, he bought a shotgun, I brought to him the very best Peltor hearing protection.....

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I didn't have to say much up in Quebec for the local people to realize that French/Quebecois was not my first language.  But I think the effort was appreciated and I remember that one person complimented me.

 

There was also a very practical application for my learning French when we started going to Quebec.  One year the Fish and Game Department didn't send any English language fishing regulations to our camp.  I was the only one in my family who could understand the fishing regulations in French, so I had the responsibility of keeping them out of trouble.

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On 6/11/2019 at 10:34 PM, punxsutawneypete said:

Be sure that you pick up on the dialectal differences.  I went back to school to study French because my family was making frequent trips to Quebec province.  I had an instructor from Marseilles and when I told her I was taking the course because of my trips to Quebec she said, "Ah, the Quebecois, I cannot understand them."

'

Also know the difference between Spanish and Mexican.

An Air Force sergeant learned this the hard way.

He thought he had a cake class and the instructor asked for a show of hands ... how many already speak Spanish?

The sergeant elevated his paw and the instructor whipped something on him that earned a most un-knowledgeable "Huh?"
"Sergeant," the instructor said, "you speak Mexican. You do not speak Spanish. And by the way, if the Spanish police pull you over, you get out of your vehicle, go sit down on the side of the road, do not move, do not protest, they carry machine guns and they can use them very well.  Just let them do their job.  They'll go through your car and even remove the door panels, but when they reassemble them, if there was a screw missing, there won't be when they're done."

The instructor then went on to explain that Mexican and Spanish have drifted steadily apart, much like British and American, illustrating General George S Patton's observation that we are a people separated by a common language!

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