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Learning a new language


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#1 Roundthetwist

Posted 29 January 2020 - 10:56 AM

Hi All,

I’ve started learning a second language in the last 6 months. I did have a few basics of it that I retained from when I was in primary school (😲) and can’t believe I can still remember some it!!

I’m interested to know if you took on a second language and why and, if I can be cheeky and ask at what age? How did you/are you finding it? I’m finding it more challenging than I thought, probably due to my age and I took it on because I think it will be good for my memory (mine is pretty good anyway), but I think it would be beneficial. My DD is in an intense program at school where she learns her subjects in that language also. It was just coincidental that it was the same language I learnt in primary school.

Thanks!

#2 just roses

Posted 29 January 2020 - 11:28 AM

It helps if you can find reading material/television shows in that language.

I learned Norwegian by immersion when I lived there for a year at 17. 25 years later I am surprised by how much I still remember.

When I was in Norway, things that helped me included reading familiar books in Norwegian. For instance, I read Roald Dahl books. Back in Australia I’ve tried (with varying success) to connect with people I can converse with.

It is HARD to become conversational in a language unless you’re using it a lot. When you can chicken out and revert to English, you don’t learn as quickly.

Last time I went back to Norway, my host mother had lost a lot of her English and I had lost a lot of my Norwegian. It forced me to use the language. Our conversation was stilted, but my brain managed to find a lot of words I thought I’d forgotten. Whereas, when I was catching up with old friends whose English was perfect, it was just easier to converse in English.

#3 overlytired

Posted 29 January 2020 - 12:46 PM

Language is definitely one of those things you must "use it or lose it".

Growing up I learned 3 languages simultaneously (one at home, one with the other parent, and the 3rd on TV). At 17, I learned a 4th at school for 2 semesters so basic vocabulary but would never have been able to hold a deep conversation. As with PP, it still surprises me how much of it I've retained (greetings and very basic conversation).

Learning another language is never wasted effort, IMO.

#4 Caribou

Posted 29 January 2020 - 02:15 PM

I am! I’m loving it. In my mid-thirties. I’m doing it Cos we want to live in France for a few years. I do it via Duolingo which has been really good. How are you learning it?

#5 Kallie88

Posted 29 January 2020 - 03:09 PM

I've really only dabbled a little so far, but want to learn auslan properly. I'm thinking of forking out for a beginner's course but haven't made the move yet, so far just learning some single signs on an app.

#6 ytt

Posted 29 January 2020 - 04:08 PM

Auslan here as well. I've learnt key words and can sign songs and basic sentences.

I want to do a tafe course but it's not offered near me. I loved watching it over the fire season on tv

Edited by ytt, 29 January 2020 - 04:09 PM.


#7 Roundthetwist

Posted 29 January 2020 - 08:36 PM

View PostCaribou, on 29 January 2020 - 02:15 PM, said:

I am! I’m loving it. In my mid-thirties. I’m doing it Cos we want to live in France for a few years. I do it via Duolingo which has been really good. How are you learning it?

SNAP! Learning french via Dulingo too. I am loving it also, but it's definitely challenging. I have found Duo to be lacking in some general basics though (with just not enough info) and odd sentences and what it will accept and will not...I've even borrowed french for dummies from our library so I can just learn some basics and re-read.

#8 Roundthetwist

Posted 29 January 2020 - 08:42 PM

View Postoverlytired, on 29 January 2020 - 12:46 PM, said:

Language is definitely one of those things you must "use it or lose it".

Growing up I learned 3 languages simultaneously (one at home, one with the other parent, and the 3rd on TV). At 17, I learned a 4th at school for 2 semesters so basic vocabulary but would never have been able to hold a deep conversation. As with PP, it still surprises me how much of it I've retained (greetings and very basic conversation).

Learning another language is never wasted effort, IMO.

WOW! Just wow!! I agree, not a wasted effort. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to have a deep convo, but I'm certain the earlier you learn it, the easier it is.

#9 Roundthetwist

Posted 29 January 2020 - 08:46 PM

View Postjust roses, on 29 January 2020 - 11:28 AM, said:

It helps if you can find reading material/television shows in that language.

I learned Norwegian by immersion when I lived there for a year at 17. 25 years later I am surprised by how much I still remember.

When I was in Norway, things that helped me included reading familiar books in Norwegian. For instance, I read Roald Dahl books. Back in Australia I’ve tried (with varying success) to connect with people I can converse with.

It is HARD to become conversational in a language unless you’re using it a lot. When you can chicken out and revert to English, you don’t learn as quickly.

Last time I went back to Norway, my host mother had lost a lot of her English and I had lost a lot of my Norwegian. It forced me to use the language. Our conversation was stilted, but my brain managed to find a lot of words I thought I’d forgotten. Whereas, when I was catching up with old friends whose English was perfect, it was just easier to converse in English.

English really is just the universal default language isn't it? It would be great to be able to converse regularly as I don't want t lose it. This was also a reason I started learning, so my DD could speak more and we could practice together. We do quite a bit of broken french/english. Pretty funny really!!

#10 SeaPrincess

Posted 29 January 2020 - 09:21 PM

I learned Australian Signed English in my early 20s. It’s a bit different from Auslan because it is fully grammatically correct. The principal of the deaf school ran the classes, and the children were expected to use it at school because it helps with written language. I don’t remember much now, but my cousin and I were able to sign a bit when we were scuba diving and I did some signing with my children when they were babies.

I learned French at school, and before we went to France a few years ago, I tried to brush up using Duolingo, but I found it very limited. I ended up joining a conversation class, which got me back in the habit of speaking with other people of varying abilities. One of my children is starting to learn French this year, and I am looking forward to speaking to him in French - the other children learn Japanese. I find I can understand much more in French, both written and spoken, than I can form.

#11 bowietragic

Posted 29 January 2020 - 09:43 PM

I am learning french, I started at the age of 55 having never learnt a language before. I started because out of the blue my husband was offered a job in Paris.

It's been hard. When we arrived, 2 years ago, I understood nothing, now I am able to get by and have basic conversations with my neighbours, shop owners etc.

I enjoy it mostly but it has also been incredibly frustrating and a lot of work. Bottom line is, I'm glad to have this opportunity.

For those of you using duolingo for french I would suggest www.lawlessfrench.com as a compliment. The paid content is fantastic but the free content is very worthwhile too. There are some more free resources managed by Alliance Francaise that are also very good that I had no idea about when we lived in Australia. I'll come back with the link.

#12 bowietragic

Posted 29 January 2020 - 09:47 PM

https://www.fun-mooc...session01/about

If you can navigate through the french, this free site is good.

#13 Roundthetwist

Posted 30 January 2020 - 05:40 AM

View Postbowietragic, on 29 January 2020 - 09:43 PM, said:

I am learning french, I started at the age of 55 having never learnt a language before. I started because out of the blue my husband was offered a job in Paris.

It's been hard. When we arrived, 2 years ago, I understood nothing, now I am able to get by and have basic conversations with my neighbours, shop owners etc.

I enjoy it mostly but it has also been incredibly frustrating and a lot of work. Bottom line is, I'm glad to have this opportunity.

For those of you using duolingo for french I would suggest www.lawlessfrench.com as a compliment. The paid content is fantastic but the free content is very worthwhile too. There are some more free resources managed by Alliance Francaise that are also very good that I had no idea about when we lived in Australia. I'll come back with the link.

Thank you so much! What an amazing opportunity for you, but so scary! I could definitely get by with what I know, but I want to know/learn more. I will check out those sites.

#14 Roundthetwist

Posted 30 January 2020 - 05:46 AM

View PostSeaPrincess, on 29 January 2020 - 09:21 PM, said:

I learned Australian Signed English in my early 20s. It’s a bit different from Auslan because it is fully grammatically correct. The principal of the deaf school ran the classes, and the children were expected to use it at school because it helps with written language. I don’t remember much now, but my cousin and I were able to sign a bit when we were scuba diving and I did some signing with my children when they were babies.

I learned French at school, and before we went to France a few years ago, I tried to brush up using Duolingo, but I found it very limited. I ended up joining a conversation class, which got me back in the habit of speaking with other people of varying abilities. One of my children is starting to learn French this year, and I am looking forward to speaking to him in French - the other children learn Japanese. I find I can understand much more in French, both written and spoken, than I can form.

I'm also finding Duo very limiting and frustrating. It's good mostly, but I need further learning material/options. I'll be looking for a convo class soon too I think. I tend to understand a whole lot more reading french than I can when I speak or have to translate verbal conversation. And they say Englsh is hard!!!

ETA I learnt Japanese in HS. With the 3 alphabets, kanji that not even 1 japanese person on the plant knows all the characters of this alphabet, it's no wonder people find it so challenging!! It's incredibly frustrating and I would rather learn French, just as you said because it's easier to form. My DS was learnng Japanese last year and liked it. He's learning Spanish this year though.

Edited by Roundthetwist, 30 January 2020 - 05:52 AM.


#15 Caribou

Posted 30 January 2020 - 06:09 AM

I’m sorry to PPs finding Duo frustrating and limiting. It hasn’t been my experience at all. Are you using desktop or mobile?
They run two very different styles of learning on both. Granted there are inconsistencies at times, but they’ve been working to amend them, and when we think there’s inconsistency it’s because we haven’t learnt the rule properly yet. It really does get easier as you progress.

#16 just roses

Posted 30 January 2020 - 06:26 AM

Thanks for the recommendation of Duolingo, Caribou. I’ve just had a play around with the app and have found it pretty good so far. I have a pretty reasonable basic knowledge, so it seems to be a good refresher.

#17 overlytired

Posted 30 January 2020 - 09:34 AM

View PostRoundthetwist, on 29 January 2020 - 08:42 PM, said:

WOW! Just wow!! I agree, not a wasted effort. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to have a deep convo, but I'm certain the earlier you learn it, the easier it is.

Absolutely. And if I may – a small tangent: Kids are sponges. Any parents who speak a language other than the local one (wherever you are): Speak that language to your kids, and keep it to one adult / one language.

#18 overlytired

Posted 30 January 2020 - 09:43 AM

View PostRoundthetwist, on 30 January 2020 - 05:46 AM, said:

I'm also finding Duo very limiting and frustrating. It's good mostly, but I need further learning material/options. I'll be looking for a convo class soon too I think. I tend to understand a whole lot more reading french than I can when I speak or have to translate verbal conversation. And they say Englsh is hard!!!

ETA I learnt Japanese in HS. With the 3 alphabets, kanji that not even 1 japanese person on the plant knows all the characters of this alphabet, it's no wonder people find it so challenging!! It's incredibly frustrating and I would rather learn French, just as you said because it's easier to form. My DS was learnng Japanese last year and liked it. He's learning Spanish this year though.

English is easy (it's my 3rd language – the one I learned watching TV as a kid).

The best way to learn is to immerse yourself, so if you take a conversation class, look for one where ALL the discussion is in your other language. Try not to translate in your head as you go along.

#19 AuntyJJJ

Posted 01 February 2020 - 11:41 AM

Such an interesting topic!

I’m always fascinated by both how people learn and also language learning. I teach Italian and French.

We did not language through school until university

I did a fabulous degree still at UTS where they pay for you to both learn a language then send you for a year OS at a local uni - by then end I was fluent in Italian but it was very very difficult for me.

It’s easy to learn 100 words of a language. It’s possible to pick up expressions and popular phrases and to improve your pronunciation and get better at grammar. But speaking it conversationally is difficult for most and also so is understanding everything when you hear a movie or news broastcast. I’ve lost that ability.

Right now I’m teaching myself Latin and some Au indigenous language basics to improve my understanding

Sometimes I use BBC and apps mentioned as they have great courses all free. Immersion is the way through. I still have over 500 words each of Thai, Persian, Hindi, Vietnamese, Japanese from living in those countries —... or having boyfriends speaking it to me (also very quick way to learn;)

I’m also speaking pretty good basic Spanish after watching all of Narcos and Power ;) ha ha

Edited by AuntyJJJ, 01 February 2020 - 11:46 AM.





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