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Jinx
03-26-2013, 10:42 PM
I swear this isn't one of those WHAT LANGUAGES CAN YOU SPEAK thread. Although it does sort of tie in.

I know a lot of people here are multilingual. I'm currently learning American Sign Language (which, admittedly, is a tad different, as you use your hands instead of talking) and I have two years experience with French.

My question is for, those of you who speak more than one language, what did you do to help learn it?

I'm having some trouble learning ASL (and if anyone else speaks it, let me know!) although, I did a 2.5 hour study session today, and made flash cards, and just kept going over and over what I've already learned. It helped me to remember quite a bit of different signs I'd forgotten.

Do you use flash cards? Music? Writing/repetition?

kotora
03-27-2013, 12:13 AM
Start with the basics. Buy some textbooks, get into the basic sentences, learn how the sentences are structured ands how the grammar works. Practice is the key. Using lots of different media is also helpful. Books, tv, films, music, whatever. You gotta put in lots of hours of being exposed to the language. Better yet, get to know some native speakers and practice with them.

Being skilled in a language in a certain language group (such as Latin or Slavic languages) definitely helps. You've got a headstart leaning Spanish or Portuguese because you already have some familiarity with french. The grammar is very similar, as well as a large part of the vocabularies.

Araciel
03-27-2013, 02:06 AM
The only thing that worked for me was living in a French only place.... I tried to relearn it but no dice. Watching movies in French kinda helped.

Shiny
03-27-2013, 02:23 AM
Different things work for different people, but I think for the most part, living in a country where their primary language is something other than you're unaccustomed to, is the best way to learn that language.

chionos
03-27-2013, 03:14 AM
Absolutely. Think about how we learn our first language as children. We don't have textbooks or dictionaries teaching us, we pick it up because we have to in order to communicate our needs. It's also easier this way because language is learned through a combination of sensory inputs, including clues from body language. When my two-yr-old son is trying to understand something new, he watches my lips closely, and my eyes, and my hands, and in this way he stores the new information in a more workable area of his memory. Fact-based rote memory learning is less efficient and more difficult.

The problem is, we can't all just up and live wherever we want just to be in proximity to naturally fluent speakers of a language we want to learn.

Therefore we have to resign ourselves to learning tools, in which case I've never experienced anything better than Rosetta. For me personally the best thing about it is having to keep up with spoken language, having to say words out loud and say them correctly. It's well worth the money.

Jinx
03-27-2013, 03:16 AM
I think sign language is especially hard, as you don't SAY anything. And the sentence structure is loony.

The Summoner of Leviathan
03-27-2013, 03:53 AM
1) Immersion.

That being said, I live in a French province and I rarely use my French and it is super-rusty. :p

2) Practice.

That's better.

Pumpkin
03-27-2013, 03:53 AM
I learned English by being exposed to it all day everyday. I was around people who could speak French but I told them to basically just act like they couldn't. They would gesture and point and such to help me understand. Also, watching television shows with subtitles on, etc.

Faris
03-27-2013, 04:12 AM
My parents forced me to be in the french immersion class up until high school. In high school I took the one mandatory french credit and that was it. No more french torture.

Today I sometimes have to use it at work because we get french customers. If I don't recall a specific word I tend to pick it up by listening in on another conversation or by attempting to interact with a customer in french. My french coworker was impressed and customers mostly appreciate my attempt but throw the "you should get more practice" at me. Sure, maybe if you pay for the classes lady, calisse.


1) Immersion.

That being said, I live in a French province and I rarely use my French and it is super-rusty. :p
wth dude, you have random bursts of french while chatting when I visit :colbert:

Jinx
03-27-2013, 04:19 AM
My parents forced me to be in the french immersion class up until high school. In high school I took the one mandatory french credit and that was it. No more french torture.

Today I sometimes have to use it at work because we get french customers. If I don't recall a specific word I tend to pick it up by listening in on another conversation or by attempting to interact with a customer in french. My french coworker was impressed and customers mostly appreciate my attempt but throw the "you should get more practice" at me. Sure, maybe if you pay for the classes lady, calisse.


1) Immersion.

That being said, I live in a French province and I rarely use my French and it is super-rusty. :p
wth dude, you have random bursts of french while chatting when I visit :colbert:

KHALISSEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Shorty
03-27-2013, 04:31 AM
I had learned an itty bitty tiny bit of Swedish before I went there. Even the small amount I had learned helped me, though. Being constantly exposed to the language itself helps so much. I was terrible at speaking it but I could understand enough to kindof understand what was happening or being said around me, in addition to Rantz and Mama Rantz's translations.

I swear by Pimsleur. Listen to the lessons over and over until you're confident enough to move on to the next one. Flash cards are nice, but reading a language is not the same thing as having to listen to understand it.

The Summoner of Leviathan
03-27-2013, 06:00 AM
My parents forced me to be in the french immersion class up until high school. In high school I took the one mandatory french credit and that was it. No more french torture.

Today I sometimes have to use it at work because we get french customers. If I don't recall a specific word I tend to pick it up by listening in on another conversation or by attempting to interact with a customer in french. My french coworker was impressed and customers mostly appreciate my attempt but throw the "you should get more practice" at me. Sure, maybe if you pay for the classes lady, calisse.


1) Immersion.

That being said, I live in a French province and I rarely use my French and it is super-rusty. :p
wth dude, you have random bursts of french while chatting when I visit :colbert:

That's because some words will always be French to me. Pamplemousse. Also, swearing is so much more fun in French.

kotora
03-27-2013, 09:35 AM
Different things work for different people, but I think for the most part, living in a country where their primary language is something other than you're unaccustomed to, is the best way to learn that language.

I lived for half a year in Portugal and learned fuck all Portuguese. Improved my Polish and German speaking skills, though :monster:

Huckleberry Quin
03-27-2013, 03:27 PM
Repitition is the god damn key of all keys to language learning. Repeat it until you're bored off your fucking nut of it. Only when you've repeated it to such an extent that you can transition from any language into that one word do you know you've mastered it.

I want to go leche-vitrine. It's san kuai. My lieblingsfach is English. Burned into my soul.

Shorty
03-27-2013, 05:46 PM
My step-dad told me that you know that you understand a language when you start dreaming in it.