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veldora

What's the best way to learn another language?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I've been really interested in learning other languages for most of my life but never knew really where to start. I know it's not an easy process, and there's one or two other languages I'd like to learn so the sooner I start the better. 

I would plan on actually using them, so like actually traveling there and talking in that language. So I mean an actual trainer would be ideal, but probably most expensive. And with college starting soon, that's not really an option lol. 

It would be nice to know how to write too. 

 

Tldr ; are there any website or programs that actually teach you languages well enough to converse in that languages native country? I know it'd probably take like a year or two to get basics down for speech anyway.. 


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You can search for podcasts that teach you, they are free. If you can find a local group that studies the same language, that would be great too because you can practice your skills IRL.

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There's a free app called Duolingo which is pretty good.  I like to use the voice to text feature on the translations.  It gives me more chances to practice speaking.

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I'm using Duolingo for Spanish right now.


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3 hours ago, veldora said:

I've been really interested in learning other languages for most of my life but never knew really where to start. I know it's not an easy process, and there's one or two other languages I'd like to learn so the sooner I start the better. 

I would plan on actually using them, so like actually traveling there and talking in that language. So I mean an actual trainer would be ideal, but probably most expensive. And with college starting soon, that's not really an option lol. 

It would be nice to know how to write too. 

 

Tldr ; are there any website or programs that actually teach you languages well enough to converse in that languages native country? I know it'd probably take like a year or two to get basics down for speech anyway.. 

If you're about to start College, I'd highly recommend you take an elective in a language course. Depending on the College, they might even offer the specific language or languages that you want to learn. Take those classes. You'll have an in person professor to ask questions, and you'll have an entire class to practice speaking with.

 

In terms of software, there are TONS of language learning applications. Rosetta Stone has been the big player for decades. There are newer apps and applications too now (especially on mobile) like DuoLingo, etc.


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I would check whether there is a pimsleur course. If so, you should download it, and get the pdf handout printed. 

 

With that, you are good to start. For vocabulary and memorizing expressions, ANKI cards are excellent (anki app) 

 

And a good book clearly explaining grammar is certainly a nice thing to have. 

 

I should really focus on getting intermediate lvl from German. And I do find it difficult. 

 

I guess every language is different, in terms of what method one should use... 

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What captain_to_fire said!

Moving abroad, while scary, can be an awesome experience and really help you immerse yourself in the culture. Language and culture are intertwined and it really helps to solidify real world language skills when experiencing both. Classroom instruction is often the best way to learn quickly, but taking a class in the environment of the language is even better.

 

 

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Massive exposure to the language with at minimum moderate intent to learn it, ideally in the real world.  But that said i know a good handful of weebs who somehow learned conversation japanese, can even read it, just by watching anime so really its just amount of time spent focused on it. 

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All well, until you would want to learn classical latin or ancient greek, sanskrit or similar language : )

 

I'm just writing this, because knowledge of ancient greek was formerly a dream of mine. I guess it'll wait a few decades? : )

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Threads a bit old but had a thought i'd like to ask.  Most of the people i know who atleast grew up knowing another language, on average, are better at being funny, memorizing lyrics to songs, etc.  I don't know how this transfers to people who sort-of know a second language, or vaguely can speak it, but people who can actually speak multiple have a serious verbal edge that pays off in a lot of ways i wouldn't expect (sense of humor, or atleast easily dishing out funny qoutes being one.)  Put simply their verbal, conversational memory seems much higher then average so coming up with something witty just seems to be much more second nature to them.  (This is all assuming said person would be bothered to be funny, in kind if they weren't i'd wonder if they find long-form academic writing easier)

This is ofc a hypothesis, but ive seen it very consistently in my lifetime.  Ive heard that speaking a second language "opens up different parts of the mind," but what and how that effects oneself in daily life is something i can only guess, in my case just noticing a much higher rate of socially vibrant, casually hilarious people. 

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Depending on the language you want to learn, there are a number of resources both free and paid you can invest in.

 

Pimsleur and Rosetta Stone are both popular paid programs for language learning.

 

One of my preferred resources is a Book/CD series known as 'Conversational ________' you can find on many retail websites. Gets right in to it and the included audio CD lets you follow along with what you're reading.

 

 

You can also check the government website for that language's nation as they sometimes have resources for immigrants and your local library will likely have something you can check out.

 

 


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The best way to learn a language is to have an use for the language... people you can talk to with it on daily basis and alike.


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There is no 100% correct answer as learning can be different for everyone. 1 person might be awesome just reading a book to learn something while others like to sit in a classroom and have an instructor teach them. Usually the best way for language learning is to have been taught it while you are as young as possible. It has been shown that young kids have a much better grasp of learning languages and retaining the information faster then someone over 20+. Since this is not really an option the way I keep up with my 2nd and 3rd language is to take classes or converse with people who speak the language daily. There are usually university/collage classes that allow you to take the language courses to learn the language. I am a big classroom learner and learn way better then being on my own trying to memorize a book/course.

 

Good Luck with however you choose to learn, Language is a great tool and learning it is fun. 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
3 hours ago, GodSeph said:

There is no 100% correct answer as learning can be different for everyone. 1 person might be awesome just reading a book to learn something while others like to sit in a classroom and have an instructor teach them. Usually the best way for language learning is to have been taught it while you are as young as possible. It has been shown that young kids have a much better grasp of learning languages and retaining the information faster then someone over 20+. Since this is not really an option the way I keep up with my 2nd and 3rd language is to take classes or converse with people who speak the language daily. There are usually university/collage classes that allow you to take the language courses to learn the language. I am a big classroom learner and learn way better then being on my own trying to memorize a book/course.

 

Good Luck with however you choose to learn, Language is a great tool and learning it is fun. 

When I do sign up for my courses for college, I will look to see if the language is there to learn, the medium used for learning isn't really an issue as most of my learning has been from books, but that's just because I read a lot outside of school classes.


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1 minute ago, veldora said:

When I do sign up for my courses, I will look to see if the language is there to learn, the medium used for learning isn't really an issue as most of my learning has been from books, but that's just because I read a lot outside of school classes.

Signing up all depends where you are going. My local university allowed anyone to sign up for language classes as they are not something like high level physics used for doctoral candidates. I would assume going to their website and seeing if they have courses for the languages you wish to learn. note that like any schooling this could be costly. There are also online places that teach language but I cannot verify how these work or the results. I can only speak about my own experience since I was going to school anyways I needed some courses so I filled it with languages I already knew and could brush up on. 

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Let's say you want to learn Spanish. Go for a year to drink tequila in Tijuana. For studying Russian for a year of vodka drinks in Moscow ..... etc ..... it may be a good idea to make an appointment for a liver transplant in advance.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
52 minutes ago, D.U.F.F. said:

Let's say you want to learn Spanish. Go for a year to drink tequila in Tijuana. For studying Russian for a year of vodka drinks in Moscow ..... etc ..... it may be a good idea to make an appointment for a liver transplant in advance.

It'd be awesome to learn this way, I'd go fishing in the bay and drifting at night in Japan, and I'd be enjoying lunch meats in Germany with some beer.


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Yeah you should have somebody with whom you can talk to on a daily basis. Also use Quizlet as a learning Platform. I for example learn English through talking to you guys and we also use Quizlet in school.

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Duolingo was my first start point with learning Spanish. If apps and websites aren't effective in teaching, a game I used to play is manually translating news and web articles from english to the language you want to learn and vice versa using google translate. Start off with short articles in your area of interest - games, sport, new tech news etc and translate them word by word using google translate. This is extremely useful for learning what the english word for something is in another language, but at the expense of grammar and diction. After you get more familiar in the language, try watching movies / tv shows / news / sports commentary in that language to pick up speaking mannerisms. Good luck.

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1 hour ago, Pascal... said:

Yeah you should have somebody with whom you can talk to on a daily basis. Also use Quizlet as a learning Platform. I for example learn English through talking to you guys and we also use Quizlet in school.

And there is always an option for "exchanging". Let's suppose I want to learn German (what I should). I can ask someone, who has a good command of that tongue to discuss some stuff. In exchange, I can provide assistance either with English, or whatever.

 

I think YT is also a great resource, though most native Germans speak a bit fast for a beginner. Or at least I think so.

 

I always struggle with vocabulary, and that hinders progress quite significantly :( 

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