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Learning a new Language

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posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 10:44 AM
reply to post by DustbowlDebutante

Thats a great idea. I was thinking of something similar. I just foresee scheduling complications. But who knows.

posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 12:53 PM
reply to post by MDDoxs

The most important thing is to have a go and not be afraid to fail. If you can add humour then there is never a reason for any native to chastise you because of your lack of their language.

I live in france and would admit that my grasp of french is still terrible. It doesn't matter, and if someone doesn't have the patience to help me learn then they are probably not worth knowing anyway.

Asking to speak "Franglais" always breaks the ice and the French often enjoy using their English too.

Speaking your own language even louder is pointless. Some seem to think it is the native speaker's fault if they don't understand. Very wrong.

Have fun.

posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 12:55 PM
reply to post by nerbot

Thanks for you insight!

France would be one fun place to try and learn

posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 01:49 PM
reply to post by MDDoxs

The answer depends upon the time in which you desire to do this and the amount of money you desire to spend.

On the free side (and in addition to any money you might spend on materials), do the following:

1) Listen everyday to at least 15 minutes of the native language on youtube (or elsewhere)...anything at all....any length...but do the same sample each day. DO NOT TRANSLATE IT. The object here is to train your ear to hear cadence, tone, phrases and words-- even if they mean nothing to you. Over time, through the other work you will eventually do, you may come to understand what you are listening to, but that is not the point of this exercise.

If you arrive at a point where you have memorized and can imitate successfully the sample, move on to the next sample. Again, you do not need to translate these. That is NOT necessary.

2) Find a short written piece (500 words or less) in the target language. Short is better. TRANSLATE THIS word for word and identify the part of speech a word relates to (noun, verb, adj, adverb...etc...) When you have done this, stick with the piece and begin to read it aloud until it sounds conversational to you. DO NOT MOVE ONTO THE NEXT SAMPLE until you have fully memorized this piece. It does not matter if you remember what everything means. The point of this exercise is to get your mouth moving in the target language. If you have selected a target language where pronunciation is very difficult for you, use Google Translates audio feature, if available, to help guide you.

3) Next, Google the "Top 1000 words in" your target language for a list. Here is an example in Italian. Translate these, say them out loud, categorize them by parts of speech, and memorize their meaning, starting with conjunctions...adjectives & adverbs...then pronouns & nouns...then root verbs.

At this point, you are not doing any grammar work at all. THAT IS OK. The point of these steps is to simultaneously improve comprehension and to get your mouth used to imitating the target language. THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT FIRST STEP, imo.

Most language teaching methodologies focus on grammar, and in my experience this is the fastest way to fail at learning a new language. Do the easy work in steps 1-3 first. On your free time, passively listen (like you would to background music) anything in the target language, using a similar resource to this one. (There are other options, but I just quickly googled the first one that came up.)

Again, it doesn't matter that you understand any of it. THE KEY is simply getting your brain used to the sounds and getting your mouth to move in the same way. IMITATE. IMITATE. IMITATE.

When you have reached a point where Steps 1-3 seem REALLY easy to you, then you can move on to the next steps. But note, you still do steps 1-3 in addition to the remaining steps...

4) Find a website that discusses the basic grammar of the target language. Review several until you find one that seems clean, well organized and doesn't list every exception to every rule. Once you have done this, begin to read through the material, but START with pronouns and verb conjugation in the present tense. Skip everything else for now. LEARN the verb and pronoun combinations in the present tense only. Make the verbs TO HAVE and TO BE first! Then work with the verb list you created in step 3 and conjugate the top twenty or so verbs according to the grammar rules of the target language. After you have mastered this, go back and do this for the SIMPLE PAST tense and then the future tense. There are many more tenses, but focus on these three first.

5) After you have accomplished Steps 1-4 and everything seems to be coming easily for you, you still wont be able to speak very much, but your comprehension will EXPLODE. Now go back to the material you selected in Step 2 and begin to make the connections between what you translated and the grammar rules you've been studying. Use these pieces as a guide to what you should read on in terms of grammar rules. Focus on the questions you have concerning the most frequent examples of something you see.

6) At this point, you will have a much better sense of how to proceed in terms of what works best for you. Read more grammar... Listen to more material... Move on to PAID resources.


Without a doubt, the two best and most available options are Michele Thomas and Pimsluer. They both have their strengths and weaknesses, but together, they rock!!!

Michele Thomas is the best grammar teaching method I've ever seen. It's mind blowing how elegant a method it is. I simply can not say enough good things about this approach!

Pimsluer is the best conversational phrase and pronunciation teaching method I've ever seen.

Together, these two paid resources alone will produce the fastest and most meaningful results for you!!!

There are other good materials out there, but those two are my favorites.

Finally, go to this website:

It has tons of good information for you on the subject of learning new languages. One of the best on the net, imo.

Finally, put yourself into as many situations where you are required to practice what you are learning. Frequently ask yourself how you would say something in your target language when it occurs to you. WRITE it down and keep your pown personal log of these words or phrases. USE THEM frequently.

Will all of this make you fluent? Probably not. Fluency is something that happens over years with tons of exposure. BUT you will be much further along than most teaching methods, imo.

But in six months with daily effort, you can get to be quite proficient and conversational.

The work will be really rewarding. Trust me.

Happy learning!

edit on 14-9-2012 by loam because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 02:16 PM
reply to post by loam

Dear Ioam,

Just wanted to thank you advance. Have not had time to read your post, but felt like i needed to thank you immediately for the time you have put in. I will read it as soon as possible.


posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 02:17 PM
reply to post by MDDoxs

No worries.

This happens to be one of my most favorite subjects.

If you want more advice after reading it, let me know.

posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 02:44 PM
if you have sat tv try tuning in to the country of your chosen language ,

i found that listening to the broadcasts and the repetitious commercials helps a great deal
it will help you learn the music of the language .

also never try to translate word for word , it does not work .

try to learn a new word each day and use it as often as possible .

posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 03:11 PM
reply to post by loam

Thanks again for the advice, I will definately impliment what you have suggested in conjuction with my "Rocket Language French" i am using.

The program is alright. Relatively basic thus far.

If interested, I will update this thread accordingly with any results i arrive at.

Funny enough i did visit that website, however i found them to be a bit stuck up
ATS is far more receptive to outreaches such as this.

I appreciate all the info. Once i am able to sit down and go over the methodology you have suggested i will inquire with you if i need any assistance.

edit on 14-9-2012 by MDDoxs because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 03:17 PM
heres a starter for your french

edit on 14-9-2012 by Maxatoria because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 14 2012 @ 03:53 PM
reply to post by MDDoxs

Originally posted by MDDoxs
Funny enough i did visit that website, however i found them to be a bit stuck up

Polyglots are a special breed. That is for sure.

But there are nice and helpful people in there too.

Lot's of great advice.

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