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Learning any foreign languages? (redux)
http://forum.hrwiki.org/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=12293
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Author:  furrykef [ Sat Aug 25, 2007 9:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Learning any foreign languages? (redux)

Apparently this thread got lost in the Great Purge, so here it is again.

Myself, I've studied Spanish for almost four years (three in high school a few years ago, and one year on my own since last year)... I've studied Japanese off-and-on for a long time, but I've yet to make any serious progress. Kanji is hard, man...

- Kef

Author:  Inverse Tiger [ Sat Aug 25, 2007 9:38 pm ]
Post subject: 

I didn't get very far with trying to refresh myself in Spanish. I should give up trying to use my old textbooks and go for more actual stuff like reading articles and books, listening to the news, trying to talk to the cooks at this restaurant I might end up working at, etc.

And they opened up a new section of Chinese, which I jumped right on and ditched the Arabic like yesterday's newspaper. I was becoming less and less excited about Arabic by the day. Chinese, though, is probably going to be really interesting.

Author:  furrykef [ Sun Sep 09, 2007 12:06 pm ]
Post subject: 

Aww, come on. Nobody here has anything to say about language learning?

When I started the original thread, I considered myself a beginner, near intermediate in Spanish. Now I consider myself intermediate, near advanced (as a student, that is). I'll consider myself "advanced" once I can start watching TV in Spanish and understand what they're saying -- by that point, my vocabulary and grammar will be more well-rounded as well.

Too bad I still hardly know a word of Japanese...

- Kef

Author:  this-guy [ Sun Sep 09, 2007 12:10 pm ]
Post subject: 

Un po d'italiano. Ma non molto.

I suck at that language.

Author:  Marshmallow Roast [ Sun Sep 09, 2007 12:12 pm ]
Post subject: 

I speak French. I'm in 9th grade and I've been learning it since 1st; I competed in a national French competition last year, taking 2nd place in my state and 5th place in the country.

So I'd say I'm fairly good.

Author:  Sherlockrunner [ Sun Sep 09, 2007 12:17 pm ]
Post subject: 

i can sorta speak/type Italian

Parlate Italiano?

Author:  Inverse Tiger [ Sun Sep 09, 2007 12:20 pm ]
Post subject: 

Still taking Spanish classes, now on my fifth semester. But thanks to not practicing outside of class and having a too-slack prof for 201 and 202, I'm not nearly as good at Spanish as I should be.

And my academic plans changed slightly, which made me have to drop Chinese for now. It was really fun while it lasted, though, and I want to pick it back up next semester and/or over the summer. I don't want to leave this university without getting through Chinese 202.

Author:  this-guy [ Sun Sep 09, 2007 12:51 pm ]
Post subject: 

Sherlockrunner wrote:
i can sorta speak/type Italian

Parlate Italiano?
WRONG CONJUGATION!

Sì, parlo italiano e inglese. E tu, Brute? Parli italiano?

Parli italiano?

Parli italiano?

Author:  Color Printer [ Sun Sep 09, 2007 1:24 pm ]
Post subject: 

Yo tengo clase de español.

Author:  The Noid [ Sun Sep 09, 2007 3:14 pm ]
Post subject: 

Uno dos tres quatro cino seis siete ocho nueve diez...

Oh hey I got that so far. Spanish.

Author:  furrykef [ Sun Sep 09, 2007 3:47 pm ]
Post subject: 

"Cuatro", not "quatro". The letter "q" is not used in Spanish except when followed by "ue" or "ui". :) (And you misspelled "cinco" as "cino".)

- Kef

Author:  Sherlockrunner [ Sun Sep 09, 2007 4:11 pm ]
Post subject: 

this-guy wrote:
Sherlockrunner wrote:
i can sorta speak/type Italian

Parlate Italiano?
WRONG CONJUGATION!

Sì, parlo italiano e inglese. E tu, Brute? Parli italiano?

Parli italiano?

Parli italiano?


look i said sorta

Author:  FireBird [ Sun Sep 09, 2007 5:52 pm ]
Post subject: 

I take Latin.

I'd say that it Latin, but I don't know how. :poop:

Author:  The Noid [ Sun Sep 09, 2007 6:27 pm ]
Post subject: 

furrykef wrote:
"Cuatro", not "quatro". The letter "q" is not used in Spanish except when followed by "ue" or "ui". :) (And you misspelled "cinco" as "cino".)

- Kef


Ah, well, I've only been in Spanish for three days. I forget some things.

Author:  furrykef [ Mon Sep 10, 2007 7:20 pm ]
Post subject: 

One thing I'd like to talk about here, which I did somewhat in the original thread, is that it's something of a myth that Spanish is easy. Sure, it's probably the easiest language for an English speaker to learn -- although some people do disagree! -- but "easiest" doesn't necessarily mean "easy". (This post is targeted toward people who haven't completely learned a second language yet. If you're a native English speaker and you've already become fluent in second language, then of course Spanish will be a piece of cake to you.)

First off, there's a difference between getting the gist of something and truly understanding it. The meaning of a sentence in Spanish can change entirely depending on a mere monosyllabic preposition -- just as in English. So it's really important to understand every word as much as possible, or a sentence could very well mean the opposite of what you thought it meant, or something completely different altogether.

Another is that speaking Spanish correctly is a lot more difficult than understanding it. Listen to any foreigner struggling to speak English, and that's probably how you'll sound coming out of Spanish III, at least if you don't learn any Spanish outside of class. You might be tempted to translate "The window broke" as "La ventana rompió", but it must be "Se rompió la ventana" (or "la ventana se rompió", but the first is usually better).

The problem is that there are just so many things you have to learn. And when you learn something in a language, you need it to be reinforced from time to time so you don't forget. It's often not hard to get that reinforcement, but you still need to do it, and that takes time. You also need to try to think in the foreign language instead of your own. I still often think in English when I type in Spanish, but I'm gradually relying less and less on it.

There are lots and lots of little things... in Spanish, you don't say "The men took off their hats"; you say "The men took off the hat". Every single word, every single grammatical construction, everything must be relearned at least a little bit because so much is different, even when it looks similar.

Spanish also makes some difficult distinctions. When talking about something in the past, I still often don't know whether to use the preterite or the imperfect. Spanish's subjunctive mood is also infamous, though I actually think it's easier than most people make it out to be. You have to say "Es bueno que seas feliz" rather than "Es bueno que eres feliz".

Staying with the language until you achieve fluency is a challenge in itself. I have days where I simply don't want to touch Spanish, no matter how simple the material is. Thankfully, I'm having them less often, but they're still there.

The good news is that learning a language like Spanish isn't really hard -- at least, after you start to "get it" -- it just takes time. But learning it well does take time, and lots and lots of it. It just takes less than other languages.

- Kef

Author:  Dewy [ Tue Sep 11, 2007 1:15 am ]
Post subject: 

furrykef wrote:
Some ridiculously long rant about stuff nobody cares about


TOO LONG KEF, TOO LONG.


I'm in my first year of Japanese. Its a shame, because like 20 of the kids in there are already fluent in it, and another 20 are "OLOOLO BLEACH OLOLOL ICHIGO OLOLO SAUSKE LOLOL NARUTO OLOO".

Author:  furrykef [ Tue Sep 11, 2007 1:24 am ]
Post subject: 

Dewy wrote:
furrykef wrote:
Some ridiculously long rant about stuff nobody cares about


TOO LONG KEF, TOO LONG.


Yeah, well, お前は馬鹿だよ。 :P

EDIT: Also, if you think that was long, you should see some of my old posts on R&P.

Author:  Capt. Ido Nos [ Tue Sep 11, 2007 1:41 am ]
Post subject: 

C++ and MatLab.

Three woots for engineering!

Author:  Duecex2 [ Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:16 am ]
Post subject: 

Dewy wrote:
furrykef wrote:
Some ridiculously long rant about stuff nobody cares about


TOO LONG KEF, TOO LONG.


I'm in my first year of Japanese. Its a shame, because like 20 of the kids in there are already fluent in it, and another 20 are "OLOOLO BLEACH OLOLOL ICHIGO OLOLO SAUSKE LOLOL NARUTO OLOO".


Oh, that totally sucks. Weaboo's need to GTFO Japanese class.

Author:  IantheGecko [ Tue Sep 11, 2007 2:25 am ]
Post subject: 

Marshmallow Roast wrote:
I speak French. I'm in 9th grade and I've been learning it since 1st; I competed in a national French competition last year, taking 2nd place in my state and 5th place in the country.

So I'd say I'm fairly good.
Prendez Français AP! J'ai reçu un 3!

Author:  furrykef [ Fri Sep 28, 2007 5:01 pm ]
Post subject: 

This topic dead again? Geez, you guys... some of you guys are even taking classes, but you never have anything to say!

Anyway, I had something of a milestone today. I have a Puerto Rican neighbor, and I managed to ask her in Spanish to spell her name. At first she responded by spelling it (correctly, I think) in English, and I actually got confused and had to ask her to spell it again in Spanish! (Her name is Celita.) So this is the first time I interacted with somebody in the "real world" with Spanish. It was only a simple question, but hey, it's something!

- Kef

Author:  Capt. Ido Nos [ Fri Sep 28, 2007 5:12 pm ]
Post subject: 

Aún me encanta hablar espanol, es divertido. Ahora, yo estoy muy cansado, y no puedo concitrar a mi profesora, 'el es aburrido, y nesesito dormir, mucho mucho mas.

Cuantos otros espanohablantes tengamos en este pais? Tigre? Kef? Mas?

Author:  IantheGecko [ Fri Sep 28, 2007 5:19 pm ]
Post subject: 

I should refresh my French; thinking about minoring in it in college. Or at least taking a few classes.

Author:  Shippinator Mandy [ Fri Sep 28, 2007 5:21 pm ]
Post subject: 

Latinam.

If you can't figure that out, you fail.

Also, Myrrh, I STILL hold that it's EXTREMELY weird that your school just put y'all in French instead of giving you a choice, while the year before got Spanish. That is totally nonsensical and retarded. Mom agrees.

Also also, Myrrh, STFU about me learning a useless language. My self-esteem is terrible enough already. -_-

Author:  furrykef [ Fri Sep 28, 2007 5:26 pm ]
Post subject: 

Capt. Ido Nos wrote:
Aún me encanta hablar español, es divertido. Ahora, yo estoy muy cansado, y no puedo concentrarme en mi profesor[s]a[/s], él es aburrido, y necesito dormir, mucho mucho más.

¿Cuántos otros hispanohablantes tenemos en este país? ¿Tigre? ¿Kef? ¿Más?


See me after class. ;) (Just kidding.) Actually, I'm not sure whether or not you can "concentrarse en" a person, but I'm thinking it's probably OK. And if your profesor is indeed a profesora, then it would be "ella es aburrida".

- Kef

Author:  Capt. Ido Nos [ Fri Sep 28, 2007 5:31 pm ]
Post subject: 

furrykef wrote:
Capt. Ido Nos wrote:
Aún me encanta hablar español, es divertido. Ahora, yo estoy muy cansado, y no puedo concentrarme en mi profesor[s]a[/s], él es aburrido, y necesito dormir, mucho mucho más.

¿Cuántos otros hispanohablantes tenemos en este país? ¿Tigre? ¿Kef? ¿Más?


See me after class. ;) (Just kidding.) Actually, I'm not sure whether or not you can "concentrarse en" a person, but I'm thinking it's probably OK. And if your profesor is indeed a profesora, then it would be "ella es aburrida".

- Kef

*laugh* Thanks sir, no ban plz :p

But seriously, when I type spanish por la red I get too lazy to try and figure out how to put the accents and tildes where they belong. (It's actually one of the reasons why I lorve my Mac better than my Lappy, it's got built in and easy shortcuts to put those in.) As for the other grammatical errors, I shall just say oops, not studying for a year and having < 4 hours of sleep is a fun day. :p

Author:  furrykef [ Fri Sep 28, 2007 5:41 pm ]
Post subject: 

'No te preocupes. I'm sure I have lapses that are almost as bad sometimes, and I don't have the "not studying for a year" excuse. It's almost a wonder I can manage conversations in Spanish. Sometimes people insist my Spanish isn't that bad, but I'm just making all my mistakes while they're not looking...

- Kef

Author:  Capt. Ido Nos [ Fri Sep 28, 2007 5:45 pm ]
Post subject: 

What helps to think is that how many of us ever got straight A's in english classes? We make mistakes all the time, but people don't always notice.

Incidentally, I feel much more comfortable speaking to someone else who's learning spanish than a native/fluent speaker. And I definitely prefer trying to listen or read it than produce it myself.

Author:  Marshmallow Roast [ Fri Sep 28, 2007 9:39 pm ]
Post subject: 

ack! triplepost! please delete?

Author:  Marshmallow Roast [ Fri Sep 28, 2007 9:45 pm ]
Post subject: 

ack! triplepost! please delete?

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