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Calypso

Language Learning

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Have you successfully taught yourself a new language? :unsure:

My English is good. :whistle:

My Filipino is very good. :thumbs:

My Cebuano-Visayan is extremely good. :dance:

Now, I want to learn how to speak Spanish. :crying: Next in line are Nagari Hindi and French. (My husband was born in India but his family moved to NY when he was three years old. Just like most Indians who grow up in the U.S., he can speak Standard Hindi with an American accent. It would be great if the two of us could teach our children High Hindi :blush: .)

I will be 23 in June. I'm sure that's not too late to learn new languages. ^_^

If you were able to learn a different language on your own during adulthood, how long did that take you? What was your method of learning? :rolleyes:


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I'm curious about this too. I'd love to learn German, not for any reason other than I'd just like to know, it's my husband's first language. I think it's hard without being immersed in it though. When my husband came to the US he thought he could speak English-but not really so much. He knew a lot of the words but not so much the nuances.

I think he knows more words in English than I do now. ;)


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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Thailand
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You'll be fine, Calypso. I'm 24 and I'm just now having trouble picking up a new language. Every time I reach for a Mandarin word, my brain picks a random Thai word to throw into the mix.

I have four -- fish (in Thai) -- shirts.

Not good.

Learning Spanish: Took classes and used what I learned to speak with my Puerto Rican step-father and his family. The more I spoke, the more they spoke to me and corrected me.

Learning Thai: When I was with my ex, I was a housewife. I was home with his elderly grandmother who didn't speak English all day. The TV was in Thai. The books were in Thai. She asked me to get her things and make her food only in Thai. If it was wrong, I got a healthy slap on the thigh. So I started getting the basics down. I also started learning to read and write from the books, so that I could get the tones right. That marriage fell apart, but I still wanted to learn Thai. I found an online language exchange and current Husby. Husby wrote to me in Thai; I wrote to him in English. Verbal communication was all in Thai. Somewhere along the line, we dropped English altogether. So... immersion plus books plus online? Take your pick.

Mandarin: Playing around with a friend who's bilingual in Thai and Mandarin. She teaches me a few things, then speaks to me in Thai; I answer in Mandarin.


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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Ukraine
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My English is extremely good

My Russian is extremely good

My Ukrainian is very good

My Hebrew is ** awful

Spanish is on the list, but meh... gotta teach the wife English first


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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Ukraine
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Since the stupid-a$$ thingy won't let me edit, i'll just repost

My English is extremely good - started learning when I came here 10 years ago

My Russian is extremely good - my native

My Ukrainian is very good - my second language I grew up with

My Hebrew is ** awful - just been over so many times that I tried to learn it, but I still suck at it


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I am reading a book about bilingualism and the way I understand it, this it how it works:

Babies can learn up to 7 languages simultaneously, ANY language. The brain just takes everything in like a sponge. Later on, around 5 years old, the brain starts to specialize, meaning, it will focus on the languages it is most exposed to and start sorting and differentiating the languages.

Those languages will be the "mother tongues" that the child will learn to speak without an accent.

Usually, peopele that grow up bi- or multilingual will have a dominant language in wich it is more proficient, depending on how much exposure the child had to the language.

Usually the language spoken in school can become the dominant language.

Any language learned after early childhood is not considered a mother tongue anymore, just a second (or third, fourth,...) language and usually it is spoken with an accent.

You are never to old to learn a new language, it just takes more work.

People who start two or more languages at the same time (kids who speak one language with one parent and another with the other parent) often "mix" the languages, sometimes a word from the other language slips into a sentence. Tha's the brain being lazy! What happens is, the brain needs to constantly sort the words to keep them apart. Sometimes it's to slow and it "gives" you the word in any language, regardless of what language the rest of the conversation is spoken in.

Happens to me all the time I must say when I speak english with hubby and german with son. Or we have guests who speak english and german and I have to translate....ooops..LOL

Now I am teachig my son ASL, now that's really funny!

forgot to add: Hubby is using Rosetta Stone to learn german but I think by now he picks up more by listening to me speaking exclusively german to our son.

Like the programm though!

Edited by nane1104

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Filed: Country: England
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My English is Excellent.

My American isn't great.

I've forgotten most of my French.

I was never any good at German.

I can say "I don't understand Portuguese" in Portuguese.

I suck at languages. :blush:


Don't interrupt me when I'm talking to myself

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Isle of Man
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I'm a native English speaker and my English is OK

I speak Spanish at the 'conversational' level, learned through MANY years of school.

Try this site: http://livemocha.com (it's actually very good if you want to burn through the equivalent of 4 semesters of college in a few weeks)

:dance::thumbs::crying:

Edited by Lord Infamous

India, gun buyback and steamroll.

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Thailand
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I'm fluent in English/Hebrew from childhood. Growing up in Canada, my French was passable through high school but I haven't used it in 20+ years, so it's ####### now. Being married to a Brazilian, my Portuguese became passable but I wound up substituting words from the two Romance languages I "knew", so that rather than speaking either French or Portuguese, what comes out of my mouth now is some weird amalgam of Frortuguese that no one understands.

As to Thai, I can count to 10 and say "I speak a little Thai", and "I love you, honey".

My kids are fluent in English, Hebrew, Portuguese, and my son speaks passable Arabic too. I envy the young.

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Have you successfully taught yourself a new language? :unsure:

My English is good. :whistle:

My Filipino is very good. :thumbs:

My Cebuano-Visayan is extremely good. :dance:

Now, I want to learn how to speak Spanish. :crying: Next in line are Nagari Hindi and French. (My husband was born in India but his family moved to NY when he was three years old. Just like most Indians who grow up in the U.S., he can speak Standard Hindi with an American accent. It would be great if the two of us could teach our children High Hindi :blush: .)

I will be 23 in June. I'm sure that's not too late to learn new languages. ^_^

If you were able to learn a different language on your own during adulthood, how long did that take you? What was your method of learning? :rolleyes:

When I was still in the Philippines, I was teaching my self Hangul (Korean). Now that I am in california, I am teaching myself Spanish. Growing up, I was speaking Ilocano. Later in school, I learned Tagalog and English. Tagalog is easy, but the English is harder. But I didn't really get a good grasp of English until I went to college. Learning a new language comes natural to a Filipina especially when you are married to a westerner or any foreign nationality.


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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Philippines
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If you were able to learn a different language on your own during adulthood, how long did that take you? What was your method of learning? :rolleyes:

Took some Spanish in college can still speak enough of the language to get by as tourist.

Tried to learn German on my own but it helped to practice while drinking beer in the bars over there. A lot more relaxed and they appreciate your trying to speak German.

Studied Chinese more than the other languages and learned the least. The best thing was to buy a picture book with some basic stuff and with flash cards spelling out the words phoenetically. Traveled around China and gave me some confidence even if the Chinese got a few laughs and blank stares out of my crappy Chinese.


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