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View Poll Results: Do you plan to learn a foreign language or improve your foreign language skills in ER
Yes, it would be a stimulating hobby or activity 15 18.29%
Yes, I need the skills for living as an expat 2 2.44%
Yes, I want to enhance my foreign travel experiences 14 17.07%
Yes, if it will help me get a date 0 0%
Yes, for several of the reasons above 25 30.49%
No, the time investment is too great 4 4.88%
No, I anticipate too few opportunities for using the skill 9 10.98%
No, I already have enough skill for the anticipated opportunities 2 2.44%
No, I will avoid activities where a foreign language might be needed 0 0%
No, for several of the reasons above 11 13.41%
Voters: 82. You may not vote on this poll

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Poll: Learning a new language in ER
Old 02-22-2014, 11:30 AM   #1
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Poll: Learning a new language in ER

Learning a new language in ER is an occasional topic, but generally it is mentioned in the context of another subject (expat living or international travel, for example).

This article got me to thinking a bit about whether the time investment is something that I might consider when I ER.
https://www.mint.com/blog/how-to/10-...he-cheap-0214/

Myself, I know some Spanish from a few years of classes in high school and college, but my vocabulary and grammar skills have eroded significantly in 30 years. I wasn't a natural learner, being more of a math and science guy. For travel, I think I might spend some time refreshing my Spanish or learning phrases in a new language. I have no interest in learning a new language just for the fun of it.

So here's a poll on foreign language learning in ER. I've listed several reasons one might or might not find the time to improve foreign language skills.
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Old 02-22-2014, 11:48 AM   #2
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I'm not good with learning languages. I'd like to, but it just doesn't work well with me. Comes easily to my son, which I can't figure out. I'd be willing to bet he's one of the very few people who got a chem eng degree and...one in French! He's now learning Swahili where he works in Tanzania.
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Old 02-22-2014, 12:15 PM   #3
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Learning languages is one of my passions and one of the main pursuits I'm planning for ER. I love using the native language to communicate with locals when I travel, and language learning is a fun intellectual challenge in itself.

I've already done short stints of Spanish language study in Mexico and Argentina as my vacation time permitted, and plan to do long-term study in Guatemala, Mexico, Argentina, and possibly Spain once I am retired.

I'm also seriously looking into a several month immersion course in Chinese at the Chinese Language Institute in Guilin, followed by possibly teaching English or computer science at a Chinese university for a year or two.

Study in China | Learn Chinese in China | The Chinese Language Institute

If I start spending a lot of time in Thailand I'm also interested in learning Thai.
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:21 PM   #4
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I planned to learn Spanish in retirement. I would love to be fluent in (Mexican) Spanish! Languages come easily to me too, so it shouldn't be that hard. Besides, I was one of those pre-schoolers who picked up Spanish fluently while staying in Mexico, but then forgot every word of it later on after we left. So, maybe I would remember some of it once I got started.

I took French and Japanese in high school, but with all the math and science I just didn't have room in my schedule to fit in Spanish. Before retirement I was sure that this is something I would do with my spare time.

However, in reality I haven't actually tried to learn Spanish at all in retirement. I still might some day, but I suppose that the more time goes by, the less likely that is.
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Old 02-22-2014, 01:24 PM   #5
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I have recently purchased the Rosetta Stone program for Latin-American Spanish. I enjoy this kind of visual learning. My goal is to be able to have a simple conversation with local people when on vacation, nothing more.
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:53 PM   #6
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I speak French fluently and two other foreign languages much less well. I've been trying to improve my Spanish. Pre-ER but during periods of unemployment, I attended Spanish language schools in Costa Rica and Mexico, each time for 3 weeks. There were 10 years between those two language school experiences, and I could definitely see the difference between my 40+ year old brain and my 50+ year old brain in how much I was improving each time. I was able to learn much more Spanish when I was younger. Both schools were good and I had one-on-one instruction, 4 hours per day. I also lived with local families.

The following website is completely free and has been useful for finding language partners for doing language exchanges via Skype:

The Mixxer - a free educational website for language exchanges via Skype | The Mixxer
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Old 02-22-2014, 03:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anethum View Post
Pre-ER but during periods of unemployment, I attended Spanish language schools in Costa Rica and Mexico, each time for 3 weeks. There were 10 years between those two language school experiences, and I could definitely see the difference between my 40+ year old brain and my 50+ year old brain in how much I was improving each time. I was able to learn much more Spanish when I was younger.
Good point and a reminder to me not to delay too long in my language learning plans.

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The following website is completely free and has been useful for finding language partners for doing language exchanges via Skype:

The Mixxer - a free educational website for language exchanges via Skype | The Mixxer
Thanks, I've made a note to check out this idea once I'm in ER next year!
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Old 02-22-2014, 04:00 PM   #8
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I am fluent in French and have a good handle on German. I have contemplated learning Italian or Spanish during my ER. But I also know from experience that, when it comes to languages, you either use it or lose it. I practice my French often and my German occasionally when talking to family members. But I have no real need for, or opportunity to practice Italian or Spanish.
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:34 PM   #9
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Nothing but English fluently... some say, not even that...

French - 3 years study
German - 2 years study
Tourist Japanese
Latin- English based semantics
Spanish... some Spanglish
Hello goodbye and minimal Arabic (new Tunisian friend)
Esperanto - Army training

Big Noam Chomsky linguistics fan.

Too old to begin learning anything else.
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Old 02-22-2014, 09:57 PM   #10
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In the last few years DH and I have spent 100s of hours watching Spanish language television - mostly Mexican. Our comprehension has improved dramatically. We occasionally use the language here in the Valley in restaurants, etc. One of these days we'll start going to immersion classes as part of our travel.
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:12 PM   #11
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Personally, I have a high regard for anyone willing to learn a foreign language during their ER years. However, I am not willing to put the effort into such endeavor. That is why I will never leave the US territory boundaries as I do not want to be at a disadvantage linguistically speaking wherever I travel.
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Old 02-22-2014, 10:53 PM   #12
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Yes. Can't wait to get started. I bought a few Spanish tapes but have not listened yet. I'm told that the internet is good learning source also.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:21 AM   #13
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Yes, I have long harbored the desire to become reasonably fluent in conversational Spanish. I studied Spanish for 3 years in college (in the 70's) and also took small group lessons for about a year (1990) in the home of an Argentinian lady when I lived in CA. I might start out ( yet again) with a course at the nearby community college when I retire this summer. I have also given some thought to a several weeks immersion course either here in the States or abroad.
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:40 AM   #14
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Fluent in two other languages besides English, but only minimal ability (restaurant level) in another. Recently bought Rosetta Stone software to attempt to remedy that, since it's a country I like to visit. Going pretty well so far.
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:41 AM   #15
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Esperanto - Army training
Wow! Must have been a long time since we fought the Esperants.
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:50 AM   #16
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I majored in Latin and Greek undergrad, then switched fields. Also studied a lot of French and a little German. So once I was completely free from w*rk, I decided to get back into them. Our local uni allows over-55s to audit classes, so I took that route. Gives me some social interaction as well as motivation to hit the books. Unfortunately, I find I still lack the discipline/motivation to study languages much on my own. Still working on that one.
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:54 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
I planned to learn Spanish in retirement. I would love to be fluent in (Mexican) Spanish! Languages come easily to me too, so it shouldn't be that hard. Besides, I was one of those pre-schoolers who picked up Spanish fluently while staying in Mexico, but then forgot every word of it later on after we left. So, maybe I would remember some of it once I got started.

Way down here you need a reason to move.
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Old 02-23-2014, 02:51 PM   #18
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My DW decided to learn German after we visited there.

She's using

http://www.duolingo.com

and is enjoying their "gamification" approach to teaching languages. They offer a number of languages and the price is right - free (I like that ;-) )

We're going to Germany and Austria this spring so she can put her new found language skills to work.
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Old 02-24-2014, 06:57 PM   #19
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I want to improve my Spanish for the fun of it. Learning to pronounce French word is in my bucket list.
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:39 PM   #20
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Living near the border, I'm working on Canadian.
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