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2nd language - ever learned as an adult?

Ten_Fold

Member
Jan 18, 2017
2,459
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Learned some Spanish but I haven’t used it in like a year so I kinda forgot most of it, I wanna study it again.
 
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Mikey Jr.

Member
Dec 5, 2008
17,773
469
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Toronto
For someone wanting to learn a language, what is the best method?

Within reason of course. I'm not willing to move to another country even though that is best.

But I see a ton of apps, books, videos, programs, blah blah blah.

I'd love to learn Thai for my girlfriend. Being able to understand what she says and say it back is probably all I want.

But learning a language seems so daunting. How do I get to at least a basic conversational level?
 

Ar¢tos

Member
Oct 24, 2017
4,738
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Krynn
Learning a new language for me has been hell haha.

Been living in germany for the past 5 years and my german is trash lol. I would say my level is A2 at the moment. Lovely country, but what a hard language to learn, plus I work exclusively in english. (IT project management)

I’m hopefully that it clicks someday.🤞🏼
Probably because English is my second language and I learned it through grammar first, I find German to be very similar to English.
Try different learning techniques until you find one that works for you.
 

Cyberpunkd

Member
Dec 16, 2020
836
1,319
410
For someone wanting to learn a language, what is the best method?

Within reason of course. I'm not willing to move to another country even though that is best.

But I see a ton of apps, books, videos, programs, blah blah blah.

I'd love to learn Thai for my girlfriend. Being able to understand what she says and say it back is probably all I want.

But learning a language seems so daunting. How do I get to at least a basic conversational level?
Total immersion. Read and watch as much as possible in Thai. If you can tell your girlfriend to speak to you only in Thai, if not full-time than at least during a specific time slot. Make her CORRECT you, it is much easier to make small improvements this way instead of saying the thing wrongly 100 times - your neural pathways will make it difficult to unlearn.
Other than that get Thai language books - do not rely on the apps, they are based on bite-size pieces centered around gamification. It's supposed to make you feel good about making steady progress, but it is a waste of your time.

My experience - learned French in high school for 2 years, then dropped it for more than 10. Moved to France, worked in English. Switched all my videogames to French, started re-reading books in French, switched all the OS on my computer and phone to French, had my girlfriend/wife speak to me in French only, sat down each day (or every other day) to learn grammar.
 

Karmic Raze

Gold Member
Aug 16, 2018
985
1,110
695
I haven’t learned a second language yet, and I don’t know if I ever will, but I’ve always wanted to learn to speak and read Japanese. If I had the language down pat, and I had the finances, I wouldn’t think twice about moving to Japan and living there for the rest of my life. I feel like I belong there for some reason and it’s not just the anime connection. I am just obsessed with everything Japanese from the cars to the locales to the lifestyle. I would feel at peace living in Japan. That’s my dream at least.
 

eot

Banned
Apr 13, 2012
12,805
4,706
895
For someone wanting to learn a language, what is the best method?

Within reason of course. I'm not willing to move to another country even though that is best.

But I see a ton of apps, books, videos, programs, blah blah blah.

I'd love to learn Thai for my girlfriend. Being able to understand what she says and say it back is probably all I want.

But learning a language seems so daunting. How do I get to at least a basic conversational level?
The best way is to be consistent, which also means not overburdening yourself. It's very easy to burn out and end up not getting anywhere.

If your girlfriend speaks Thai then she can probably teach you in an organic way, just have her mix in some Thai phrases here and there and teach them to you to start.
 
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jufonuk

Member
Jan 1, 2009
11,645
3,549
1,325
Jim.
I'm 42 and learning English. Believe me it's a pain my assholes like Borat says.
As an English speaker learning French. I can appreciate some of the simplicity of the English language but then some of the insanity.

read read
Lead lead

which witch

rough cough

through though

is it a soft g or a hard g etc
 

Leyasu

Member
Apr 25, 2014
5,828
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720
I moved to France when I was 31. I now speak french with a strong English accent, and I still have things to learn.

I learnt it at work and with friends, but I haven’t made any effort at home. It is not easy, and I should read more. My partner is an English teacher and speaks English perfectly, and I speak only English with my kids so that they are bilingual. Still, I get by very well, but to learn quickly, it is important to read as well as practicing taking

Dreaming in French is pretty bizarre
 
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Kev Kev

Gold Member
Oct 25, 2012
3,768
6,964
1,050
I tried to learn french as an adult and boy was that an utter train wreck. I only did it because because my college had foreign language requirement.(4 semesters of torment.) Admittedly I didn't really appreciate how onerous that would become when I started it but by the end I truly despised those courses.(I did not do well.) I'd rather take far easier and more interesting courses like physics and organic chemistry. Turns out shoving this bilge down my figurative throat is not a particular good way to engender an appreciation for it. Of course it didn't help that the school would claim how important it was to gain fluency but then do everything to belie that assertion. (Let's see, you claim it's important but funny how the full blown professors don't teach these super import courses. Should I point out that they had so few sessions of the 4th semester that it was actually difficult to get into a class to complete the requirement?) Anyway I managed to complete the requirement only because they let us take a version where you only had to be able to read it.(That I could do, speaking it I was hopeless. The Stranger still sucks, Maigret mysteries were ok though.) Once I was done of course I did the most sensible thing and never have anything ever to do with it again to help it be full erased from my mind. I am happy to report I've forgotten everything from those complete wastes of time. Oh and of course I've made it a point in my life to never under any circumstance take another foreign language class.(Thank you scumbags at my school.) But hey other can learn from my mistakes, I make it a point to tell all my friends and family if you go to college avoid foreign languages and requirements at all costs, nothing good will come of it. I wish I still had the books from those classes so I could burn them.
This is the same experience I had with Spanish at community college when I was about 30 years old. It was only 2 semesters because it was “concentrated” and they try and teach you everything but the kitchen sink. The professors hated the book and the course because they knew how ridiculous it was and that none of us were going to remember all of those details. It would have been so much more enjoyable had they just Stu into the basic, practical things. Anyone who was interested furthering their knowledge or learning how to speak perfect Spanish could have gone out in their own from there. But nooooo they were going to force all of that in this 2 semester course and make us hate the language forever.

And that’s exactly what happened. I hate Spanish and have no desire to learn or even visit a Spanish speaking country as it reminds me too much of that awful experience. I barely remember any of it.
 
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Clarissa

Banned
May 15, 2019
1,224
2,371
645
Learnt a 3rd language (Japanese) thanks to Langrisser. There was no English translation so I signed up for a Japanese language course and go up to JLPT 2.

Chinese is my 2nd language.
 

Mistershine.

Member
Jan 20, 2018
1,938
3,185
490
Check out an app called Duolingo. It's pretty damn good. Free, but with ads.
DNS66 on android will take care of the ads for you.

I've been using Duolingo for nearly 3 years now to learn Spanish and I struggle to hear when it's spoken at full speed. Reading I can do pretty well, even if I don't know some of the words I can get the gist of what's going on. I've tried the cheesy tele novellas on Netflix and they help but they're so bad that I lose interest fairly quickly.
 

Paasei

Member
May 15, 2014
1,380
655
585
I learned German at school, but afterwards I never picked up again until years later because of work. Followed quite a few courses for it and the same goes to Swedish.
Was all funded by my company and an easy straight towards promotions (yet to come). Would've been stupid to not do it when the courses were offered.

Can't say I had much issues with them to be fair. Having a good foundation to start with, makes Germanic language a whole lot easier to learn.

So now I speak Dutch (my native language), English, German and Swedish.

The only thing I can say is that you need to keep using them as much as possible, and that can turn out to be more tricky than you'd assume. Keeping up with multiple languages is harder than learning one.
 
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Doczu

Member
Aug 17, 2012
3,157
1,638
830
Poland
I've learned basic russian (and the whole cyrylic alphabet) basically on my own a few years back. Sadly stopped a while later due to no more time for it. Was easier for me as i"m Polish and slavic languages have many similarities.
That said, knowing how to decipher cyrylic and some basic russian can help a lot when travelling through east europe, former Yugoslavia and the balkans.
 

Rockmaninoff

Neo Member
Jan 18, 2021
27
18
90
DNS66 on android will take care of the ads for you.

I've been using Duolingo for nearly 3 years now to learn Spanish and I struggle to hear when it's spoken at full speed. Reading I can do pretty well, even if I don't know some of the words I can get the gist of what's going on. I've tried the cheesy tele novellas on Netflix and they help but they're so bad that I lose interest fairly quickly.
Me too. I'm pretty good with reading and writing, but it's still really difficult to understand someone speaking. I need a second to repeat the words to myself slower in my head, and by that time, the person I'm talking to thinks I don't understand at all.
 

John_Ryder

Neo Member
Jul 21, 2019
42
60
130
As an English speaker learning French. I can appreciate some of the simplicity of the English language but then some of the insanity.

read read
Lead lead

which witch

rough cough

through though

is it a soft g or a hard g etc
You're right. However I was a French student back in the day and when it comes to pronunciation in French let me tell you.
 

jufonuk

Member
Jan 1, 2009
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1,325
Jim.
You're right. However I was a French student back in the day and when it comes to pronunciation in French let me tell you.
Yeah I’m struggling with French pronunciation also with the way the written is different from the spoken

usually I find now in French I don’t really pronounce the whole word. I leave the last few letters out. I don’t get it sometimes I feel the French made the language as complex as possible even native French speakers have told me don’t worry about being completely right a lost of French speakers are not. Lol
 

Bo_Hazem

Gold Dealer
Feb 10, 2020
14,497
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Salalah, Oman
Would love to learn Spanish, Japanese, Italian, but life is short and it should be money-related to force me to learn anything extra.
 
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Wolvers

Member
Jan 13, 2015
977
97
450
Yeah I’m struggling with French pronunciation also with the way the written is different from the spoken

usually I find now in French I don’t really pronounce the whole word. I leave the last few letters out. I don’t get it sometimes I feel the French made the language as complex as possible even native French speakers have told me don’t worry about being completely right a lost of French speakers are not. Lol

Actually I learned French too. I found it way easier when I just learned through podcasts (Coffee Break French is 10/10) and videos rather than reading and writing.

Whereas with Korean the opposite holds true for me because 한글/Hanguel (the alphabet) is completely phonetic.
 
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jufonuk

Member
Jan 1, 2009
11,645
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Jim.
Actually I learned French too. I found it way easier when I just learned through podcasts (Coffee Break French is 10/10) and videos rather than reading and writing.

Whereas with Korean the opposite holds true for me because 한글/Hanguel (the alphabet) is completely phonetic.
Coffee break French is the one I listen to. But yeah must make it a habit to keep on it 😊
 

BadBurger

Gold Member
Nov 6, 2019
2,727
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Spanish for my fiance. I once knew French pretty well but it's amazing how quickly I forgot it when I no longer used it.
 
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Aug 27, 2015
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For someone wanting to learn a language, what is the best method?

Within reason of course. I'm not willing to move to another country even though that is best.

But I see a ton of apps, books, videos, programs, blah blah blah.

I'd love to learn Thai for my girlfriend. Being able to understand what she says and say it back is probably all I want.

But learning a language seems so daunting. How do I get to at least a basic conversational level?
I'm a language teacher.

There's no magic bullet. You just gotta do it. It's about the hours you put into it. Consistency is key. You have to teach your brain that this is important, because otherwise it won't retain the knowledge. Your brain is very efficient.

Immersion in native materials is very important. Learning basic grammar is also a useful shortcut. But to really learn the language you have to read and listen to it a lot. Another shortcut that might be good is using flashcards to memorize words (you should do them in context though, with native material). Anki is a very powerful flashcard application.

Learning languages is not "hard". In fact our brains are hardwired for recognizing patterns and learning languages. You just gotta put in the hours day in and day out. That's the real challenge. You gotta make the process interesting and enjoyable or you'll just quit sooner or later.
 

xrnzaaas

Member
Dec 9, 2013
11,922
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Would love to learn Spanish, Japanese, Italian, but life is short and it should be money-related to force me to learn anything extra.
Yeah I have the same approach. I thought about learning Japanese, but it would take an insane amount of time to learn. I wish I had a chance to pick the second language in high school. I was forced to learn German and I hated it, I haven't used it in my adult life so I've pretty much forgotten most of it.
 
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