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Flyaway4me

What is the best way to learn a new language?

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Flyaway4me

Hello,

I am learning French and Spanish at the moment :blush:

I am using an online teaching resource, listening to music and television in the languages and am talking to my aunt in the languages as practice!

What is your learning style when it comes to learning a new language?

Any advice for new learners?

Em ^_^

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Rising Sun

There is one radically effective method, but obviously not for everyone : dating a native speaker of the target language, being in love with the person seems to boost neurons ^_^

More seriously, the best way other than that is having many friends who are native speakers of the language and talking to them as much as you can on the phone or on Skype. And eventually regularly travelling when you're ready. Of course your environment should not speak your native language, otherwise your trip is useless.

It's a hard method but you'll learn much faster than anyone else that way, and you'll speak much more like a native speaker. I learned to speak English with all the 3 methods above combined. Of course I started learning at school before, but I was far from speaking fluently in the end.

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Vellys

If you haven't picked up Duo Lingo you could try it.

It's a lot like Rosetta Stone.

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Trava u doma

I think in the end we will all have different things that work for us. For example, for me, after I've attained a certain level, watching things in the target language is the most beneficial. I usually start with animated films I watched as a kid, because those are always very well dubbed. If you can put your hands on them, TV series are excellent as well, because the plot is always so slow and obvious and you will hear the same words spoken over and over again.

Travelling is of course excellent (know from experience); however, it is not always possible. If you cannot travel, I've heard of a website called italki where you can buy lessons with native speakers over skype, but I have not tried that yet.

Then there is vocabulary crunching - the most helpful method I've found is flashcards. Now i'm using the online version of flashcards called "Memrise". I find it very helpful. I believe duolingo is similar, but it doesn't have the languages I'm interested in, so I've never used it.

As for reading I've found it's helpful in two things - helping your remember vocabulary you've just learned through flashcards/memrise/duolingo (when I see something in print in the middle of a sentence I tend to remember it better) and expanding your vocabulary word structures once you speak communicatively. And of course it helps you be fluent in the language's script if it is different to your native one - but I do not think you have that problem with Spanish and French :)

But if you can already talk to your aunt then I'm guessing you are pretty good at it anyway :)

I've so far learned English and communicative German and Russian, although my German is VERY rusty. I don't really believe in all those wonder methods out there, but maybe I'm just thick ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

How long have you been learning French and Spanish that you can speak in them already? :)

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.,.

move to a place where they speak the language you wanna learn!

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Unlabeled

Hello,

I am learning French and Spanish at the moment :blush:

I am using an online teaching resource, listening to music and television in the languages and am talking to my aunt in the languages as practice!

What is your learning style when it comes to learning a new language?

Any advice for new learners?

Em ^_^

Younger ya are, the easier it is since you have less 'overhead' in your primary. Think as with math, you either have the neurological facility for languages or ya don't. Some are easier than others if English is your primary. LIke I found German easier than Spanish or French.

Think whatever's best depends a lot on the student.

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knout

I loved the platform LiveMocha it really offered a lot of languages and had a crazy large member counts always ready to help out each other, correcting exercises but also just messaging in the language etc... Sadly, it was bought by rosetta stone and became really lame - diminishing all social interactions and making everything pay-for.

I managed to pass all the exercises on one language and was starting a second one when it unfortunately got shut down

I tried duolinguo but they didn't have the language I wanted to learn, however if you want to go for French or Spanish you'll have no issue since they're the most commonly sought after languages :)

I am still looking for a site where I could help others, correct their exercises etc... If anyone knows of one let me know :)

oh well, I can help out with French if someone wants to practice :)

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Perissodactyla

I took a 6-week summer intensive language immersion course in German equivalent to 1 year of college German.

Most of the day you learn grammar, vocabulary, reading and comprehension in small and large groups with your class colleagues and the teachers.

Then you participate in the language lab with audio and video materials or you can do that at home.

It's pretty much all day everyday for 6 weeks and one just absorbs the language easily.

The following summer I did the same thing for Russian language. Both summers were a blast and totally fun and was a little like Neo learning Kung Fu in The Matrix. :)

I've studied a number of other languages using different methods, but the physical immersion approach was the by far the quickest, easier, most fun and effective.

But if you can live in the country itself of the language you want to learn, and take immersion courses there, that would be the quickest way of all, of course.

Also stop using your own native language as much as possible, although I know this is difficult to do, But it will accelerate your learning of the new language tremendously.

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scarletlatitude

Maybe check out your local community colleges or something along those lines to see if they have classes in the language you want to learn? Sometimes those places have courses for really cheep.

I would suggest technology products that emphasize actually listening to and speaking the language. I studied French for 5 years but my teachers did not focus on speaking. As a result I can read and write French well, but I have trouble listening and speaking in conversation.

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Viridzen

Writing is my method. I prefer writing and reading to speaking anyway, so it is beneficial to those skills. Speaking is out of the question with my target language, because all the native speakers are dead...

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Busrider

A classic good way to learn (horrible) French is to join the Foreign Legion.

There is one radically effective method, but obviously not for everyone : dating a native speaker of the target language, being in love with the person seems to boost neurons ^_^

More seriously, the best way other than that is having many friends who are native speakers of the language and talking to them as much as you can on the phone or on Skype. And eventually regularly travelling when you're ready. Of course your environment should not speak your native language, otherwise your trip is useless.

It's a hard method but you'll learn much faster than anyone else that way, and you'll speak much more like a native speaker. I learned to speak English with all the 3 methods above combined. Of course I started learning at school before, but I was far from speaking fluently in the end.

I disagree with Sun.

Native speakers don't get you far (in the beginning). They are most unlikely to teach you the 1st expansion pack for most basic survival pidgin. They become handy later, when you are able to worry about subtle style questions.

I don't really speak English. - I'm just an ex-bookworm (after the usual crap @ school. - I encountered speech heavy foreign English users who do rather creative spelling...

My suggestion Stop buying books in your native tongue(s)! - Trust me, they most likely lost a lot during translation. They are also a horrible waste of money since you 'd read them faster than the foreign originals. (and charming people like us should be able to borrow the national bestsellers.)

An addition: if you can't meet the natives in person: Try socializing online. - Fora? - Second Life?

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Rising Sun

Native speakers don't get you far (in the beginning). They are most unlikely to teach you the 1st expansion pack for most basic survival pidgin. They become handy later, when you are able to worry about subtle style questions.

In the beginning yes, but in the beginning, there is pretty much only school that can teach the language right. And after buying books and watching TV clearly help. But after the 3, 4 or 5 first years... If you want to become really bilingual, or at least fluent, it's impossible without talking a lot with native speakers. I'm not just about writing the language and reading books. I mean knowing the language in depth, and learning ways to speak that are impossible to teach other than this way. I would never have become 99% bilingual otherwise. I know a lot of people who have learned at school, with books and TV, and very short trips, for as many years as me, and they learned faster than me in the beginning, but as they don't talk all day long with native speakers, they're still very far from being bilingual.

After it's just my experience, but in mine, talking with native speakers has been much more than an extra contribution (I'd even say I've learned more with them than with all other methods together).

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scarletlatitude

Yes. There is a lot of slang and other words that you won't learn in official language books.

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sara89

I have been refreshing my English for the last two years.

In terms of vocabularies (which can be boring to learn) I used "Anki". It's an app for the mobile phone

so that you can easily use it anywhere, e.g. in trains.

I also had an English learning partner. He is German, too. But right from the first day we only spoke English with each other.

Listening to audio books, watching films and reading in English was also much fun and very helpful.

Moreober I communicated with some English Aven-people.

There seem to be a lot of fun ways to learn and keep practising a new language =).

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toprakkokusu

I listen songs, join Facebook groups of the language and try to read children books.

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Robin L

Never blindly memorize vocabulary. Try to think in the language.

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Flyaway4me

There is one radically effective method, but obviously not for everyone : dating a native speaker of the target language, being in love with the person seems to boost neurons ^_^

More seriously, the best way other than that is having many friends who are native speakers of the language and talking to them as much as you can on the phone or on Skype. And eventually regularly travelling when you're ready. Of course your environment should not speak your native language, otherwise your trip is useless.

It's a hard method but you'll learn much faster than anyone else that way, and you'll speak much more like a native speaker. I learned to speak English with all the 3 methods above combined. Of course I started learning at school before, but I was far from speaking fluently in the end.

This is a coincidental quirky update, but charmingly I am now in a relationship with a person who speaks fluent French :blush:

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Vixrotre

Talking to people is way more effective than learning grammar. I know it from my own experience- being a lonely kid I found a lot of friends from all over the world and when at home I communicate using English more than I use Polish. I've studied English since I was 6 years old, because it's a neccesity in school, but all the other kids who studied with me can barely speak English. They can write but when it comes to talking they'll read words just like they'd in Polish (so for example Juice when they read it is Yuyce instead of "juise") because in school you basically have no opportunities to speak the language. If you're too shy to talk to other people in a language you don't know too well, get interested with their culture- listen to songs in their language and try to learn them along with their meaning in English or watch Spanish/French movies and TV series with subtitles and original voicing. That way you learn words, their meanings and their prononciation at the same time but also have fun. :D

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Moderne Jazzhanden

This may not be terribly helpful but when I first lived in Poland back in 1993 almost no-one spoke English. And I didn't speak any German or Russian either. When you have to, you learn.

'Exposure to language in use' with a perceived need to communicate and understand meaning seems to me to stimulate language learning more than anything else.

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InsomniacAnna

You can make friends with people from these countries or native speakers or something. Practicing it either by writing or speaking if you feel brave enough. I know that speaking a language you are learning is the most difficult thing, I know it from experience, but it gets easier.

Doing boring excercises is important too, just because we usually learn by repetition; repeating the same estructure again and again, and then we will remember it and know that's correct. Once you have a decent level of vocabulary you can watch movies, listen to music if some songs appeal to you, watch youtube videos or tv series in that language, first with subtitles if there are any or without, and you will slowly start to understand more and more.

You will end up thinking in that language, which is a good thing even though in the beginning is weird xD.

I've been learning English since I was three years old, but the level here in Spain is very low, so I have been attending an English academy for 12 years, and now the teacher here is like my second mother xD. I'm learning Russian too, this is the first year. And I knew beforehand Spanish and Catalan, which are my mother tongues. It's said that it's easier for a bilingual person to learn another language.

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Velvet Cheesecake

I failed my DELF exam for 8 points 2 weeks ago and I've been feeling miserable lately. The reason is that my writing/speaking are totally unsatisfactory. So I will try again in a few months. The thing is I learn languages mainly through listening, reading, or watching TV , so my writing skills are not solid enough. And I have no problems speaking in Engish because I've spent some time abroad, but French is a different story - I feel so nervous that I admit having taken a sip of whisky before the oral part of the examination :D Anyway, I wont give up - sooner or later I will defeat the challenge, hopefully.

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SithEmpress

For me, formal education is proving to be the best way. As in attending classes designed to teach you that language. I've tried teaching myself Japanese but couldn't get much more than random words and phrases. I tried teaching myself Swedish with Duolingo but would forget to practice daily and couldn't figure out the language rules fast enough for it.

Of course speaking with a fluent speaker or fellow learner is important. Traveling can allow you to find native/fluent speakers though you will probably need to remind them to help you practice their language if they know yours. When I was in Germany I got away with hardly ever speaking German and it would've been a wasted trip if I didn't go sight-seeing with my friends.

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Menadena
On 7/27/2015 at 11:16 AM, Flyaway4me said:

Hello,

I am learning French and Spanish at the moment :blush:

I am using an online teaching resource, listening to music and television in the languages and am talking to my aunt in the languages as practice!

What is your learning style when it comes to learning a new language?

Any advice for new learners?

Em ^_^

When you figure it out let me know. Linguistic structure is a fun hobby to me but memorizing words constantly baffles me. Even growing up hearing another language spoken a lot (Finnish) does not help when I am trying to learn it as an adult. It does make me boggle when people can not spell or pronounce some random Finnish word though.

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Telperion

I've been using DuoLingo for Dutch and Japanese and a 'Japanese Demystified' book to supplement my Japanese learning. I also watch a lot of anime.  And my family is Dutch so I can always talk to them for tips. :)

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MermaidRomani

Duolingo and Memrise have been the most effective free programs for me :)

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