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Learning another language

I'm learning the basics of written and spoken Spanish at the moment. It was challenging at 1st (I'm 29 and I didn't care about foreign languages when I was at school) 

Just something I quite enjoy doing...in my free time.

I find it quite therapuatic and it is also now rather addictive.

I have a book....which also includes the spoken pronounciations. 

My motivation to buy this book...
Was originally just due to the fact that it was crossed down from £8.99, to £2.50. Little bargain.

The 2 main well known languages must be English and Spanish? 

Spanish covers a huge chunk of the Americas,  plus Spain itself. Percentage wise, globally....it must be pretty high up there....so makes it more worthwhile in my personal opinion.

I, perhaps, stupidly assume that Italian and Portuguese pretty much branch closely off from Spanish.

"Catalan" is all just rather closely connected?

Question is. Are there any Lifers that are particularly fluent in any other language? (Apart from English obviously)

I don't want any Roland, "huh" joke responses....and I don't want someone to say... 

"There's already a thread on this mate" where they then copy and paste a thread from 2011.

Any fluent German, French, Spanish speakers etc?

Even rare pointless ones like "Danish" would be interesting to hear about.

I'm enjoying it.

Cheers 👍
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Comments

  • I'm not great with languages but when I was trying to pick up some Spanish I tried the Duolongo app for iPads and iPhones and found that quite useful as a teaching tool.
  • I'm not great with languages but when I was trying to pick up some Spanish I tried the Duolongo app for iPads and iPhones and found that quite useful as a teaching tool.
    Duolingo!
  • I'm not great with languages but when I was trying to pick up some Spanish I tried the Duolongo app for iPads and iPhones and found that quite useful as a teaching tool.
    Duolingo!
    Installing 👍
  • edited July 1
    Lived in Spain for coming up to seven years. Not sure I could say I am completely 'fluent' as there are always some expressions I don't know and sometimes I can't always find exactly the right word when I am speaking, but I reckon I'm about 90% there. A lot of my work is done in Spanish and I speak to most of my colleagues in the language so I feel like I'm always using it. 

    Learning it has also meant that I could pick up a bit of basic Italian for a visit there, and get by on at least a basic level after doing Duolingo in Italian for a few months prior to going. Grammatically they are pretty much the same and there's lots of shared vocabulary. Romanian is surprisingly very similar to Spanish and Italian as well.

    I absolutely love speaking a different language and still continuing to improve in it and I reckon everyone should have a go at learning a language as it really opens a lot of doors as well as giving a greater appreciation of the intricacies of the English language as well. Good luck with your learning mate - if you can, get a native speaker to practise with as that's the best way to learn.
  • There’s at least one person on here who appears fluent in English as a foreign language: @JessieAddick. Do you speak anything else?

    i can get by in France and Germany but I’m far from fluent. 
  • I'd say my Chinese is pretty damn good, especially with listening/speaking although like Madrid I wouldn't say 'fluent' I still struggle with the local dialect and speaking to poorly educated people.

    I was really trying to progress my reading and writing but having a kid has really slowed that down.
  • I’m conversational in French and can get by in Spanish. We are looking to buy a place in Spain so we intend to do some evening classes from this September.

    Spanish is a good language to learn - not as difficult as some, but it does help if you’ve studied a modern language at school to help with grammar.
  • On 314 days straight on Duolingo,  this time Danish...    I like languages, got French and Spanish O-level but seldom used it past an occasional package holiday.

    Chose Danish because I fancied the bird in that Borgen series,  feck me it is a strange language for pronunciation.  It does keep the grey matter ticking over though which is important when you are 56 years old.
  • At various points I've learnt a bit of Spanish and Norwegian - hardly ever get to use either now. Portuguese is similar to Spanish written, but nothing like it spoken. I can get the gist of it (and Italian) from the Spanish I know but find it hard to hear.  Catalan is very different - hard to hear and not obvious when written. A mate teaches it in Barna but will admit it is a long way from Spanish and has much more complex grammar.
     
  • 29 is the right age .. the older you get, the more difficult it becomes
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  • Cool and motivating responses.

    Due to being a beginner....it took me a while to not be confused and twisted with the basic likes of Tengo/Tu/su/Tienes/estra etc

    Plus, the plural....formal/informal....Masculine/feminine side of stuff.

    The way I see it is.

    Language....is a huge chunk of a part of what seperates us from the animals. It defines the human race....amongst many other things...

    So it's worthwhile and respectful...to know more then one language.  
  • I'm trying to learn Japanese. Bit concerned that I'm learning Textbook Jap and not the stuff they actually use though. :/
  • I speak Danish (which is not pointless when you live in Denmark) 
  • I am a dedicated student of Cantonese which I started learning in my 50s.  Only six tones to master and some words like "gau" have several meanings including dog, nine and cock. 
  • Dave2l said:
    Cool and motivating responses.

    Due to being a beginner....it took me a while to not be confused and twisted with the basic likes of Tengo/Tu/su/Tienes/estra etc

    Plus, the plural....formal/informal....Masculine/feminine side of stuff.

    The way I see it is.

    Language....is a huge chunk of a part of what seperates us from the animals. It defines the human race....amongst many other things...

    So it's worthwhile and respectful...to know more then one language.  
    One of the reasons it's hard to learn another language as a native English speaker is that these differences are barely noticeable in English. Apart from "to be" most of our verbs use the same form for 1st and 2nd person singular and all plurals. And our nouns generally have gender that you can know by logic (i.e. girl is feminine, boy is masculine, table is neuter) rather than needing to be remembered (table is feminine in Spanish).  Obviously there are exceptions but grammatically English is quite simple. 

     
  • I am a dedicated student of Cantonese which I started learning in my 50s.  Only six tones to master and some words like "gau" have several meanings including dog, nine and cock. 
    I am a dedicated student of Cantonese which I started learning in my 50s.  Only six tones to master and some words like "gau" have several meanings including dog, nine and cock. 
    Learning traditional hanzi must be a serious ballache too!
  • Always had a smattering of Danish, German, Spanish ..... and even Cornish! (My a yll kewsel kamm Kernewek) :smile:

    But French is the one I need, as GF is back in Marseille to be near her 97 year old Mum.
    It's not so difficult to write, and eventually I got a handle more or less on the basic grammar.

    When I'm out there I just pitch in best I can, and invariably I can make myself understood by most. But's it's the listening bit which I find truly a sod ..... it's not fully pronounced as it's written, nobody seems to speaks the polite forms that you find in language instruction courses - it's full of vernacular and slang. And to top it all off, you can barely penetrate the local accent lol

    Marseille French just doesn't sound the same as Parisian French, anymore than a London accent sounds like dense machine-gun Glaswegian.  I need a course like, "Teach yourself Marseillaise" or whatever. 

    But you'll ask, doesn't your French bird help you?
    Not a chance ..... she only wants to practise her English. And in any case, as an English school teacher, speaks English better than I do!


  • I'm trying to learn Japanese. Bit concerned that I'm learning Textbook Jap and not the stuff they actually use though. :/
    I've been learning Japanese for a few years and in truth, they do teach it a little bit backwards.  The 'polite' conjugations are a lot simpler though so you can make yourself understood quicker.  Plain and casual forms are what people use every day, but the conjugations and grammar sort of make my head spin a bit so now that I'm learning those I can see why they teach the way they do.
  • I’m learning German using Duolingo and a book “Living German”. Duolingo keeps me going by undertaking at least one lesson a day. Living German explains the grammatical side of the language and I think goes hand in hand with the book. I have also contemplated learning Spanish as I seem to keep travelling there than Germany. I would suggest that you consider the book “Living Spanish”. 
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  • I'm a translator - German and Spanish to English (though mostly German, so my spoken German is quite a bit better than my Spanish). Did them both at school and uni and now work from home freelance. Most of my work is for a company based in Austria and I'm in regular contact with the project managers there, so the German I now speak is definitely a bit more Austrian than it was before!

    German is definitely tricky to learn, not least with three genders and four cases! But then if you can learn it Germans always appreciate it enormously - though almost invariably they then speak better English than I do German.
  • Close to fluent in Spanish and reasonable French.....
  • edited July 1
    rananegra said:
    Dave2l said:
    Cool and motivating responses.

    Due to being a beginner....it took me a while to not be confused and twisted with the basic likes of Tengo/Tu/su/Tienes/estra etc

    Plus, the plural....formal/informal....Masculine/feminine side of stuff.

    The way I see it is.

    Language....is a huge chunk of a part of what seperates us from the animals. It defines the human race....amongst many other things...

    So it's worthwhile and respectful...to know more then one language.  
    One of the reasons it's hard to learn another language as a native English speaker is that these differences are barely noticeable in English. Apart from "to be" most of our verbs use the same form for 1st and 2nd person singular and all plurals. And our nouns generally have gender that you can know by logic (i.e. girl is feminine, boy is masculine, table is neuter) rather than needing to be remembered (table is feminine in Spanish).  Obviously there are exceptions but grammatically English is quite simple. 

     
    It is for most of us as it is mother tongue. Vocabulary is a major difference and many non- English speaker would say that English is a hard language to learn - fluently at least.
  • Just a plug for Duolingo as it has got a mention elsewhere.

    I do three lessons a day on the phone app, never more than 15-20 minutes tops. Great way to learn a language's structure I find, however I believe that you have to live amongst a population of native speakers to become fluent in any language.
  • bobmunro said:
    rananegra said:
    Dave2l said:
    Cool and motivating responses.

    Due to being a beginner....it took me a while to not be confused and twisted with the basic likes of Tengo/Tu/su/Tienes/estra etc

    Plus, the plural....formal/informal....Masculine/feminine side of stuff.

    The way I see it is.

    Language....is a huge chunk of a part of what seperates us from the animals. It defines the human race....amongst many other things...

    So it's worthwhile and respectful...to know more then one language.  
    One of the reasons it's hard to learn another language as a native English speaker is that these differences are barely noticeable in English. Apart from "to be" most of our verbs use the same form for 1st and 2nd person singular and all plurals. And our nouns generally have gender that you can know by logic (i.e. girl is feminine, boy is masculine, table is neuter) rather than needing to be remembered (table is feminine in Spanish).  Obviously there are exceptions but grammatically English is quite simple. 

     
    It is for most of us as it is mother tongue. Vocabulary is a major difference and many non- English speaker would say that English is a hard language to learn - fluently at least.
    Is it right that English has more words than any other language? Sure I read that there somewhere !
  • Mrs Plum has published 5 language learning books (with the appropriate online extras) in the last 13 years. There is another on the way, and publishers have approached her for two more.
    Language learning is in a way the cleanest and purist form of learning there is. 
    The words a young child or baby uses for 'mama' and 'papa' is more or less the same for all the 6912* languages in the world.

    *Courtesy of Alexa.
  • I can read French fluently -- novels, history books etc -- but, when I'm in France, if anyone speaks to me unexpectedly it flies straight over my head.  For hearing / speaking I cope better in Italian.
  • I found the best way to learn was to suffer a life threatening illness in the chosen Country, picked it up in no time. I learnt numbers too from dosages and also calibre for rifles etc. It's amazing how you pick it up
  • I'm another fan of Duolingo for Spanish and have a set of Rosetta Stone CDs somewhere, though I didn't get far with them.  I also did a couple of years at evening school in Sidcup which I found to be very useful - just one evening a week.  My sister and brother-in-law have bought a house near Valencia and are taking early retirement next year to move there permanently so I'll get plenty of practise visiting them.
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