Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-21-2012, 10:17 AM   #21
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,201
Underhållning is pronounced under hole ning and means entertainment. I pictured being in the desert and looking down some holes and seeing a Broadway play.

Lorrayne's books are good re memorizing.
__________________

__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 05-21-2012, 10:31 AM   #22
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,044
I have tried Pimsleur and didn't like it.

When I see a commercial on TV for Rosetta Stone with students showcasing their foreign language skills, I am less than impressed. As I have learned first hand, having a good vocabulary and grammar base is worthless if you can't master the pronunciation and make yourself understood. Their students' pronunciation is terrible IMO and I can't understand them very well.

I took English as a foreign language in school for 9 years. I read magazines, watched movies, listened to tapes, etc... My TOEFL score was pretty good too. But after 15 minutes in the US, I knew I was in big trouble. I had never really learned how to speak english. I could write it quite well, I had plenty of vocabulary, but no one could actually understand what I was saying. Nobody had ever bothered to teach me how to pronounce English properly. So there I was, back to pointing and smiling like I had never had one English lesson in my whole life!
__________________

__________________
FIREd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2012, 10:41 AM   #23
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,375
We did a Spanish for Travelers class at our community college last fall and it was rapid fire nuts-and-bolts stuff, from alphabet (because you may need to spell your name out when you check in to a hotel) to numbers (money, address, etc.) to restaurants etc. No book, no grammar beyond conjugating verbs, just conversation for two hours a week.

It was the hardest intellectual thing I've done in 20 years (and this was in a language I'd minored in back in the day)--every week I came home with a headache. But it worked.
__________________
“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2012, 10:52 AM   #24
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Nashville
Posts: 20
I have many friends who have used Rosetta Stone and been very successful. I did a trial with Japanese, and really enjoyed / learned a lot, but didn't havet the money to buy it then. Hoping to get it in the next couple of months. I've taken classes at a local community college, and had some success.

---
J. Sadler
youth group games
__________________
JSadler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2012, 02:32 PM   #25
Moderator
Sarah in SC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 13,457
We had a private tutor once a week for a year for Spanish. I think if we'd combined that with more of what Feever suggests, the group session with conversation, it would have been even more effective. As it was, we managed a month in Peru, but just barely.
__________________
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
Gerard Arthur Way

Sarah in SC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2012, 02:43 PM   #26
Full time employment: Posting here.
ShortInSeattle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Seattle
Posts: 517
Quote:
Originally Posted by haha
You can read novels, with a good dictionary beside you. You can read popular magazines. I recommend Cosmopolitan en Español. Learn something of "los orgasmos buenos". You can watch movies, and often learn a lot of vocabulary and grammar by context and listening. Some movies even have subtitles in the language spoken in the movie.

Ha
If there is a TV show that you know well, watch it again with dubbing. I've learned important Spanish words like "los vampiros" and "bacteria con carne" watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In the event of a vampire attack, I'll be ready to describe it.

SIS
__________________
ShortInSeattle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2012, 05:09 PM   #27
Moderator
rodi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 8,817
I've used pimsleur CDs in the car and I've done some Rosetta Stone... both done in spurts before trips to Italy. It was enough that I was able to pull enough words out to converse with my husband's 2nd cousins when their daughter (who speaks English) was not around. But it was definitely not proper Italian, nothing was conjugated properly. Still - we communicated, had a good time, etc.

Fortunately our Italian cugini are very forgiving of my lousy Italian.

I've promised myself that getting serious about learning Italian will happen as soon as I pull the cord and retire.
__________________
rodi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2012, 05:23 PM   #28
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 8,627
One of the hardest things I found was learning to not care about how you pronounced words and making mistakes at first. Sure, you want people to understand you, so you cannot ignore good pronunciation, but just get out there and talk! without fear or embarassment is a great technique as well. Go for constant, steady improvment rather than waking up as perfect native speaker.
__________________
LOL! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2012, 05:30 PM   #29
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Kentucky
Posts: 8,630
Quote:
Originally Posted by FIREd View Post
I took English as a foreign language in school for 9 years. I read magazines, watched movies, listened to tapes, etc... My TOEFL score was pretty good too. But after 15 minutes in the US, I knew I was in big trouble.
I can really relate to this.
I went through the six month total immersion course (Brazilian Portuguese) at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey when I was 37. I'm a native English speaker, and also fluent in French (4 years in high school and 3 in college).

At the end of the DLI course, I was easily the top of my class, and felt very comfortable since I could read Portuguese newspapers easily and the instructors said they were very pleased with my pronunciation.

Fast forward a few weeks. I've arrive in Rio and checked into a hotel. Turned on the TV and barely understood one word out of five. Disaster!

Needless to say, I spent as much time as possible actually talking with everyone I encountered, but it took many months before I honestly considered myself fluent. By the time I had been in Brazil for two years, I was routinely doing simultaneous interpretation at bilateral meetings (whispering in an American's ear while the other person was speaking Portuguese, or vice versa). That's very hard work but I really enjoyed it. It's especially tricky when you have to translate idioms on the fly.

But the other thing that made me crazy is that it seemed like for every Portuguese word I learned, the equivalent French word disappeared. It's like I have two boxes in my brain for each word; one is English, the other is "current foreign language".
__________________
Pas de lieu Rhône que nous.
braumeister is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2012, 05:50 PM   #30
Administrator
Gumby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,163
Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
But the other thing that made me crazy is that it seemed like for every Portuguese word I learned, the equivalent French word disappeared. It's like I have two boxes in my brain for each word; one is English, the other is "current foreign language".
After English, the first language I learned was French. Sometimes, if I cannot remember the Italian word for something, I think of the French one. It is usually a cognate.
__________________
Living an analog life in the Digital Age.
Gumby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2012, 01:05 AM   #31
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Hua Hin, Thailand
Posts: 523
For me the three keys were pronunciation, conversations with native speakers and getting over the fear & self consciousness of those conversations.

It's useless to know what a word means if the person listening to you doesn't recognized the word. I experience that almost daily among Thais and expats for whom English is a second, third or nth language. The other major benefit is as you learn pronunciation, words spoken in the language will 'pop' from the incomprehensible flow. You won't know what the word means but you will have isolated it and that's a start. Teaching yourself and not surrpounded by native speakers? I've read the International Phoentic Alphabet may help.

There are online language exchanges. Pair up with a native speaker of the language you're learning who is learning your native language. Uses skype. Some sites have suggested conversation topics for your learning level.

I believe in memorization of the most frequent words. Spaced repetition software uses your accuracy on flashcards to show you the words you're having trouble with most often while the words you stone cold know won't be shown again for years. I use Anki. Runs on Windoze, Mac and LInux, has some mobile versions, is free and under active development.

Some Spanish words have just stumped me because I get them mixed up with similar words. I'm trying something I read recently here How to learn a language without using translations. My new flash cards have a picture of the word, e.g. a pillow, and on the 'back' of the card the spanish word. No English. I'll see if it helps. Can't imagine it wouldn't, as rosetta and native learning work similar to this.

Rosetta stone drove my left brain nuts. I couldn't squash to need to look up the words I knew, according to Rosetta tests, to see if I actually knew them. It was long and slow process, but I wasn't doing it there way. But the words I did learn are cemented in my brain. I may give them another try on my next language.

I started reading comprehension by getting children's books from the library.

Chrome browser has a tool that translates occasional words from English into your learning language. Haven't tried it. Language Immersion for Chrome Teaches You a New Language While You Browse the Web

Quote:
Originally Posted by timeasterday View Post
She'll hear something on a lesson and say "nobody says that, we say this...."
If they understand you, it doesn't matter (except maybe in France, if the stereotype holds true). Once you're routinely speaking with native speakers you'll pick up the slang, regional terms & accent, etc. Think about it. If you were approached by someone who pointed to your wrist and said 'Please, the watch say?' You'd tell them the time. (In some countries you'd also be likely to repeat the question in what you think is the correct form, with some form of attitude ranging from helpful to disdain.)
__________________
ER Oct 2008 at age 54. An expat mostly settled in Thailand.
ItDontMeanAThing is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2012, 01:38 AM   #32
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,949
There is nothing better than spending all day, most days, with somebody who only speaks the desired language and who doesn't care if you make mistakes at first, IMO. I think this is why young children pick up languages so easily, especially if they have a playmate who speaks the language. You may not be grammatically perfect but the ability to communicate skyrockets in such a setup, IME.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2012, 05:06 AM   #33
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: France
Posts: 1,195
Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
I think this is why young children pick up languages so easily, especially if they have a playmate who speaks the language.
Young children, up to the age of 8, have great neuroplasticity in the parts of the brain associated with language. They can also learn foreign languages very well in a classroom setting at this age. In particular, if they are taught by native speakers at ages 5-8, they will acquire near-perfect accents, which will often be retained even if they don't study a lot of vocabulary for the rest of elementary school.

Having a playmate who speaks the other language is great, but our experience is that the pair will quickly choose one language and use that almost exclusively. So while you may be happy that your kid is learning Spanish, her friend's Mom might be frustrated that her daughter isn't getting any English practice.
__________________
Age 56, retired July 1, 2012; DW is 60 and working for 2 more years. Current portfolio is 2000K split 50 stocks/20 bonds/30 cash. Renting house, no debts.
BigNick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2012, 06:58 AM   #34
Recycles dryer sheets
timeasterday's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: GA
Posts: 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by FIREd View Post
When I see a commercial on TV for Rosetta Stone with students showcasing their foreign language skills, I am less than impressed. As I have learned first hand, having a good vocabulary and grammar base is worthless if you can't master the pronunciation and make yourself understood. Their students' pronunciation is terrible IMO and I can't understand them very well.
But have you ever tried Rosetta Stone? Don't just judge by a TV ad. Pronunciation is a big part of the lessons on RS and if you don't get it just right they are pretty good at dinging you every time. I am quite impressed with the speech recognition. Some words I always have trouble with even though I think I am saying it exactly like them. But my wife takes the mic and it shows correct. So it really picks up the nuances, especially in a tonal language like Mandarin.
__________________
timeasterday is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2012, 11:07 AM   #35
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,949
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigNick View Post
Young children, up to the age of 8, have great neuroplasticity in the parts of the brain associated with language. They can also learn foreign languages very well in a classroom setting at this age. In particular, if they are taught by native speakers at ages 5-8, they will acquire near-perfect accents, which will often be retained even if they don't study a lot of vocabulary for the rest of elementary school.

Having a playmate who speaks the other language is great, but our experience is that the pair will quickly choose one language and use that almost exclusively. So while you may be happy that your kid is learning Spanish, her friend's Mom might be frustrated that her daughter isn't getting any English practice.
I have never had any problem coming to some quick agreement about which language to speak. When I was a kid, I picked up nearly perfect Spanish very quickly from playmates. Their mother was great - - she didn't happen to care whether we spoke Spanish or English, and I picked up Spanish faster than they picked up English, so Spanish it was. When we first started to play together she would help us if we had trouble translating a particular word, even though her English wasn't great. After a few days we no longer needed her help. When not playing with my friends I was using my new-found Spanish to help translate for my parents occasionally as well. However, as soon as we left that country I began to lose my Spanish and I don't speak it at all any more. Maybe if I took lessons it might come back to me but I haven't tried that.

In college I had a Parisian roommate, and I spoke French pretty easily but she preferred to speak English in order to improve her English. That was OK with me, and she seemed to pick up English pretty quickly that way. She almost never reverted to French except when she had had a hard day. She would ask me about slang usages and so on, and I would tell her when her English sounded weird.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2012, 11:37 AM   #36
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northern Kentucky
Posts: 8,630
The most remarkable thing I ever saw in this regard was when I lived in Brazil. In that country, all schools are required by law to provide instruction only in Portuguese. So when my fellow gringos brought their families with them, the kids were forced to go to school where they spoke only another language. It was kind of like throwing a non-swimmer into the deep end of the pool without a rope.

All the children I knew did just fine, and were speaking accentless Portuguese very quickly. I believe that if you can learn another language before puberty, you can achieve flawless pronunciation, but after that point you almost never will. Anecdotally, I can point to Henry Kissinger, one of the smartest men around, who still has a noticeable German accent. He immigrated when he was about 15 years old.
__________________
Pas de lieu Rhône que nous.
braumeister is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2012, 11:44 AM   #37
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,152
Keep in mind that the optimal approach for a particular person will depend on their language learning goals and their particular learning style. I always opted for diversification of learning methods. If your goal is fluency, you can't do that without a foundation in grammar whereas that is not so important to someone whose goal is simply to communicate at a tourist level.

My own sense is that most people simply don't stress memorization enough.

I remember when I was taking a Thai language class, it started on a Friday. I had learned a handful of words before coming to Thailand, but knew very little but I had learned an English Mnemonic system for Thai script (not too hard really). After the first day of class, I could see I was behind the other 2 students who had taken the course before. I knew I would get lots of pronunciation help in class and I couldn't really learn that on my own anyway.

So between Friday's first day of class and Monday's second day of class I created my own flash cards and memorized the better part of 300 words. My teacher was astonished on Monday and it definitely helped me do well in the one month long course.

Maybe someone learning from a computer program would have the opposite problem. They need to shoot for diversification.

When I was an intermediate Spanish speaker, I found that memorizing phrases helped me a lot. I used books that focused on intermediate learners (e.g., Breaking out of beginner's spanish -- I memorized just about every tidbit in that book). Memorizing phrases helped me even more in Thai which has a more alien sentence structure.

If you can send your readings to your Kindle, there are decent Spanish-English and French-English dictionaries that you can buy that allow in-line translation (just put the cursor next to the word and the definition will appear). Hopefully, someday this will be there for more languages.
__________________
kramer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2012, 01:39 PM   #38
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Gotadimple's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,764
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShortInSeattle View Post
If there is a TV show that you know well, watch it again with dubbing. I've learned important Spanish words like "los vampiros" and "bacteria con carne" watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In the event of a vampire attack, I'll be ready to describe it.

SIS
Could be worse!

Yo quiero Taco Bell!
__________________
Only got A dimple, would have preferred 2!
Gotadimple is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2012, 08:59 PM   #39
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 135
Chuckanut -- what language are you trying to learn? There may be specific recommendations, depending on the language.

I learned French by living in France for a year in high school, but keep it up by watching movies on DVD in French when that's an option, reading books in French, and my massage therapist happens to be French, so I get at least an hour's practice every month.

Language Learning Forum this forum might also have some helpful tips for the specific language. Right before I found about my ex's infidelity, I was starting to learn Turkish, using resources I found here that had been recommended. I will get back to it once life settles down a bit!
__________________
Marathoner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2012, 01:13 PM   #40
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,201
Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
It's like I have two boxes in my brain for each word; one is English, the other is "current foreign language".
This effect is very strong for me also. If I start a sentence in French (old
language), it ends up in Swedish (new language).

Quote:
But after 15 minutes in the US, I knew I was in big trouble.
The first thing I did when I first went to Sweden was buy an ice cream cone. I thought I had the numbers down cold, but I had no clue what the vendor said. I had to do the foreigner thing of put some currency down (I probably put down $7,000), and hope for the correct change.
__________________

__________________
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
foreign language


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:59 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.