I hope I am posting this in the right board; it seems befitting of /lit/ to have a discussion of language and it's study; be you a beginner or fluent- this is the place to talk if you are trying to or have succeeded in adopting a second language other than your native tongue. Please don't be shy to share any and all stories!
I'm a 23 y/o student and native of New Zealand, and I am only just starting out with French myself; my original intention being to use it in the efforts of hitting on my beautiful Parisian lecturer...but as I have come to understand at least the basic culture of speaking French, my appreciation for it has definitely widened; the structure of the sentences, the art of the liaison (which I still suck at)...the romance of it all has me completely seduced.
It's just me and a notebook and Rosetta Stone atm; she's alright but it's hard to retain what you have learnt. I try to watch French films and telly and generally immerse myself in it in all aspects when I'm not studying but was thinking of actually picking up some French books too...thinking the simple way Camus writes would be perfect so trying to find some french online retailers right now.
Anyway sorry if my writing seems self-important; I feel I need to bring my A-game to this board, which is good desu. How about you guys; studying english, or something else?
I'm thinking about learning Russian. My first step would be to take a twelve week class over the summer at my university.
It seems really fucking hard, but I feel like it would be worth it for all the literature alone (plus I bet there are a ton of government jobs for Russian speakers).
Italian, got a C2 level in English when I was 19. Learned it out of necessity, nothing I wanted to read or watch or play was translated. Now I read and write almost exclusively in English, and I've never been outed as an ESL speaker anywhere online so I'm at least decent I'd say. It's either that or anglophones are complete, utter idiots. I'm leaning for the former.
Advice to anybody wanting to master a language, go in a place where it's routinely spoken. You'll get better fast, I swear.
Pick up a grammar book. A lot of these language things like rosetta stone and duolingo don't teach you grammar, just words. Work at it daily. Once you get going pick up simple things, children's books, comics, or maybe jump into reading news articles. Also you may have started getting into french because of your dick but believe me your dick cannot motivate you for the length of time it takes to learn a language. Find your own motivation.
I estimate my reading ability to be B2 while my spoken comprehension is probably still A1. I don't see anyone to address this short of moving to France, so it's time to start saving, I guess.
The expression, as far as I know, is 'leaning toward the former', my Italian friend
I'm a native Dutch and French speaker and have been using English as well almost on a daily basis for well over a decade now, I'd say I'm decent enough. It's a mixed blessing though, because I've never actually 'learned' languages per se, instead immersing myself and just picking up things from reading or watching series.
I'm painfully aware of my limitations whenever I try to study Mandarin or Japanese seriously. The fact that it'll take countless hours to express myself as expressively in Japanese as in English, and even then not being nearly as fluent as a native is just frustrating.
Anyways, new zealand bro , I'd advise against Camus. You ought to manage l'étranger, but the prose in la peste could prove to be too difficult. In my opinion, you should first tackle some of the more popular contemporary works and get a good understanding of the language before sinking your teeth into proper literature.
Someone like Amélie Nothomb is interesting enough to read, without being challenging at all
As for french retailers, Amazon's your best bet, or just pirate them, popular french works are widely available.
I stuadied language at the alliance francaise and I learned french with the Alter Ego + books.
I think they are great for learning french because they give proper vocabulary and grammar.
I remember doing Russian as my elective option at intermediate school. The guy that ran it was a brit expat and my social studies teacher; awesome enough to attempt teaching Russian to 10 year old yuppie-kids. Needless to say I sucked, but good luck to you. And when overlord Putin creates his bench-pressed, tiger-blooded utopia from the ashes of the west- I'm going to be here trying to find you, so you can authenticate my papers.
Oh hell yeah man, what a fitting name for a program; Rosetta Stone; the whore that looks beautiful on your desktop but at the end of the day, leaves you broke and questioning what love really is. If I have to say "Au Revoir" to a smiling stock photo couple one more time...
Nicely done! Your writing is fine; it's actually very motivating to see. How long have you been speaking English now? can you jump easily between the two dialects? And I agree about moving...I need to get to France ASAP as there is little culture to be found down in little old N.Z...though Tahiti could serve me well.
Mate you have no idea how surreal it is for me to come to the realisation that it was my dick that has inspired a positive change of things. Usually it's just leading me into liaisons with the maddest women the world has to offer, but now the rose tinted glasses are off and I am surprised at my newfound interest...madness!
You are completely right my friend. Immersion is the only thing, were you raised speaking both Dutch and French? I know how frustrating it is too, but theres relief in knowing that if you want it bad enough, in time..you will achieve it. And thank you very much for the recommendations; looking into Nothomb now!
I was considering the Alliance Francaise! Their H.Q is about a 15 minute drive; how did you find the course? I was considering becoming a member to immerse myself in it all, so would appreciate a little insider knowledge!
Anyway it's great to see theres some interest here. Whatever your reasons may be for learning another tongue, I hope you all keep it up as it's enriching for everyone...even some twenty-something year old down at the ass end of the world!
I can never quite commit myself to learning any one language. Being British, I don't exactly have any foundations to go on (I did a French GCSE, but you're not expected to know that much, and even the people who got A*s were barely describable as intermediate), and it wasn't until the summer that I decided that I want to become bi-, if not tri-, lingual.
I spent a couple of months teaching myself French, and made a fair bit of progress, but since I have little interest in anything besides the literature of the language/country, I lapsed, and switched to Mandarin. I currently take classes, which are suprisingly fun, but make the most plodding, almost impeceptible progress imaginable. I'm taking my HSK1 exams in March, and since they're piss easy should be able to pass, but the tonal nature of the language means natives seldom understand me (I have a very inflexible accent that doesn't lend itself well to foreign pronuncian).
There's a part of me that would like to temporarily put the reading and writing on hold to fully immerse myself in language-learning so I can actually get somewhere, but I'm so fearful that by ceasing these activities I'll grow rusty at them. Anyone else have this dilemma?
Comrade, I am planning on doing something similar.
I'm signing up for an accelerated course so I'll be somewhat proficient in a year when I spend a semester in Moscow.
Native Spanish speaker here, have been in contact with English since I was 5 so I'd like to think I have a near-native level. Whenever I want my gf to know shit's serious, we'll argue in English. She's better at speaking though lol.
I've also been learning Mandarin and Japanese; the classes were cool but my contact with native speakers is rather limited.
I started using English regularly only after high school, so I'm nowhere near native level.
None of my friends or family speaks English though, so it's very hard to practice speaking. But I do read and write in English everyday.
Native Catalan and Spanish speaker here. Attained a C2 cert in English last year after spending two semesters in Glasgow. I've also been taking German classes for two years but it's proving to be a difficult feat. Getting a tandem partner has helped me loads, specially in terms of fluency and vocabulary (which are the hardest aspects to improve by simply taking classes IMO). I would recommend that to anyone trying to learn a new language. It's fun and rewarding, plus you get to know new people.
>Advice to anybody wanting to master a language, go in a place where it's routinely spoken. You'll get better fast, I swear.
Along these lines, anyone know any good places to hang out in Spanish? I've found hispachan, but it seems a bit too slow and doesn't have a dedicated literature board.
I actually ended up falling in love with my first language exchange partner. Both of us were in relationships aswell, and we ended up spilling our spaghetti at eachother. After that I've just done it with males, which is admittedly easier, but not as fun.
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>mfw I can only read and hear French but am utter shit when writing or speaking