learning a new language

montage

God Almighty
Location
Bethlehem
Ok, I am getting pretty bored post operation, even though I am up and walking a bit now, and I also feel like I am wasting away a lot of time. A mate suggested as a joke learning a language....not the worst idea in the world! I did spanish gcse and hated it, but out of the classroom things may be different. If people were to learn a new language what would they learn? I'm thinking of doing some spanish....because spanish chicks are generally pretty good looking B) haha. So what is easy, what is to avoid? What is the most useful? (I would say arabic here, but that is far too hard for me!)

Or any other ideas how to pass time productively?
 

Jerry Atrik

Veteran
Location
South Devon
Go to the BBC Language website . Full of good stuff and free .
 
I would like to learn to speak French .. my 14 year old son says that Spanish is the easier of the 2 to learn ?

There are some good "free" podcast's on i-tunes for learning new languages as well

Simon
 

Black knight

Active Member
I've taken up Spanish a few months ago. Having private lessons which is great...but expensive. If you can afford the outlay the results are worth it.

Off to Barcelona in September to get some practical experience.....dos cerveca por favour!
 

Hacienda71

Mancunian in self imposed exile in leafy Cheshire
Hey Hacienda. My knowledge of Portuguese is abit poor right now but I'm gonna start learning it next year. Do you know of any good resources I could use. Busuu is quite good http://www.busuu.com but it's annoying having to learn in Brazilian Portuguese.
Are you learning Portuguese to speak to Brazilians or Portuguese people? I had teachers from both countries, although she who must be obeyed is from Brazil so my practical knowledge is more that way orientated. Can certainly point you in the right direction on some essential texts if you want.
The difference between the two forms is pretty minor a bit like US and UK English, so don't stress too much on the differences it will all help.
 

Yellow Fang

Legendary Member
Location
Reading
Italian is pretty good. It's nicer sounding than German or Spanish. The grammar and spelling are reasonably consistent. Also the pronunciation is fairly clear, unlike French. In French, words tend to get run into each other, and the last letter tends not to get pronounced, which makes it difficult to follow. Of the languages I've had a go at, German has been my favourite. The grammar is quite hard, but once you've mastered it, it's consistent. A lot of people say it sounds harsh and ugly, but I quite like the way it sounds.
 

hotmetal

Senior Member
Location
Near Windsor
Well, I did French at school and was OK at it (o level) but have forgotten it all since. In my experience a little bit of French is just about enough to invite derision from the locals when you go there.

Like Yellow Fang above, I also found German to be much more appealing – for one thing the pronunciation is largely consistent and clear, and although the grammar is complex, it does sort of make sense (apart from the randomness of whether something is masculine feminine or neuter). I found that the biggest problem with German (quite the opposite of French) was that as soon as they twig that you're English, they're only too keen to show off their English so actually getting practice can be hard.

I am about to have another go at learning Spanish – my other half is Spanish and I've been meaning to get to grips with it for ages. I shall shortly be signing up with the local college for Spanish lessons (again). I've heard that it is supposed to be a lot easier to learn than French or German, and having got relatively fluent in German I thought it would be a doddle but I suppose I just forgot quite how long it took for my German to get where it is now.

A big factor in what language to learn is whether it appeals to you, and whether you're likely to go there regularly. I loved the 'logical' nature of German and the amusing sound of the words, and then found that skiing trips helped me practice. Eventually I got a job there for a year and now have many friends there, visit regularly, am on German bike forums and even make a little money on the side doing translations into English for a German hifi manufacturer. My French is all but forgotten. So, try to pick a language that you think you like the idea of, and where you have someone who you can practice on, or if it's somewhere you're likely to go on holiday. That way, you're more likely to do better, and it could really open up unexpected doors for you like it did for me.
 

kyuss

Veteran
Location
Edinburgh
Like most people I did a bit of French at school (forgotten almost all of it since then). I'm currently trying to learn Italian. My brother did a bit at school and reckons that it's not the easiest of the European languages to pick up, but since I have family in Rome I'm much more likely to make use of it.

I've subscribed to loads of free podcasts but there are so many that it's hard to figure out which ones are good and which are just helping pick up bad habits. I always struggle with the translation way of learning as well. The Rosetta Stone stuff however is really good (if a bit expensive). Only spent about an hour with it so far, but it does look like a really natural and fun way to learn. I just need to get hold of a usb microphone to make full use of it. I think it might take a while before I'm comfortable constructing sentences, but in the long run I might actually learn the language instead of just learning how to ask for a couple of beers/way to the nearest toilet/counting to ten etc.
 

mark barker

New Member
Location
Swindon, Wilts
How about Polish? If your area is anything like it is here there will be plenty of Poles that you could chat to so your skills would improve, and the Polish women aren't bad either!
 
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