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File 131050156493.gif - (10.81KB , 746x560 , language.gif )
823 No. 823 [Edit]
Anybody here trying or planning on learning a language?

Japanese is already covered here:

So this thread is not about learning Japanese in particular, but things like what you've learned from learning Japanese that can be applied to other languages is welcome.

Anyone trying to learn Spanish? French? Mandarin? I'm interested in what you want to learn and how far you've gotten in your quest.
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>> No. 824 [Edit]
Arabic, specifically the Levantine dialect but also the formal written language if I can get that in too. I haven't gotten very far yet, however. They say you're supposed to talk with native speakers a lot to get better at a language, but... you know how that's worked out.

Post edited on 12th Jul 2011, 1:48pm
>> No. 825 [Edit]
Interesting choice. Why'd you start learning Arabic?

As for getting in touch with native speakers, try somewhere like Livemocha or a college that would send you over to the Middle East to learn the language.
>> No. 826 [Edit]
I'm not even close to fluent in two languages, but this is what I've learned from my time studying Japanese.

Drill whatever language you're pursuing as much as possible. 1+ hours per day, ideally at least 2-3 hours, every day. Don't do it half-assed. Learning basic grammar concepts/terminology can be useful, and can be applied across all languages, but it's not required. Use native source material with translations available when starting out. Don't jump in over your head in the beginning.

Don't get discouraged! Acquiring a language takes a lot of time, but your attitude/amount of effort can greatly reduce the amount of time it takes.

Not saying this will work for all languages or people, but that's what worked the best for me.

Post edited on 12th Jul 2011, 2:48pm
>> No. 827 [Edit]
English. After years and years browsing imageboards, I still suck at it. Also, if everything goes alright, early next year I'll start learning German at a local university (I'd also be studying Psychology there), mainly because of the books and the articles written there. I'm a bit scared of the language, to be honest. Its huge words look really intimidating. Oh, I'm also interested in French, but that's in the distant future.
>> No. 830 [Edit]
If you had not stated that you weren't a native english speaker, I would have not noticed.
>> No. 831 [Edit]
I took Sign Language for two years in high school. I'm really rusty, but my college is right next door to a deaf school, so I try to figure out what someone is signing if I see them.
>> No. 832 [Edit]
Passive learning, I guess? Anyway, that's because you didn't hear me talking (I sound like a drunk Mexican and I'm not a native Spanish speaker), but then no one else did and that's exactly why I suck at it. I barely speak using my native language anyway. Besides, I know nothing about English grammar at all, although my vocabulary is pretty solid. There's English classes for intermediate speakers at the same place I will study German, so I might go there learn something after my life calms down.
>> No. 833 [Edit]
It's the native language of one side of my family. Almost all of them speak English well, especially my younger cousins, who pretty much sound like native speakers. But I'm a lot closer to them than to the dysfunctional fucked up other side of my family, so I'd like to learn the language. Also for job opportunities, etc.

The trouble for me isn't access to native speakers, it's getting out and talking to people and making friends, which I basically cannot and/or will not do. Just talking with family members on occasion isn't enough. That's what I meant.
>> No. 835 [Edit]
>things like what you've learned from learning Japanese that can be applied to other languages is welcome

More or less the opposite in my case. I spent the last year learning Latin to fill up a class slot, and didn't expect myself to gain anything from it. But I had the greatest teacher I've ever had, and it's helping me learn Japanese. Latin has what, 6 declensions, while Japanese has 3. So after learning 6 learning 3 isn't a problem at all. It has the verb at the end of the sentence, just like Latin. Who would have thought two languages so geographically separate would be applicable to each other.
>> No. 837 [Edit]
Really passionate teachers are always awesome, but they're hard as hell to come by.
>> No. 871 [Edit]
This might help with French
>> No. 874 [Edit]
File 131133429129.jpg - (58.91KB , 490x238 , 6a00d83451949969e200e54f4539868834-640wi.jpg )
Spanish is my native language. I studied french over my teens, for 5 years; I only started to get relatively fluent near the end, when I joined extra clubs and so spent lots of hours a day with some of my native french teachers, doing lots of diferent stuff, talking in their language for everything.

I typically wanted to start with japanese some time ago. I bought a japanese-spanish dictionary with a grammar section that I started checking, but pretty much stoped when I learned about the existence of the AGTH hook. I'd still like to speak it, but the idea of attending courses and being with people on a regular basis once again quite discourages me.

I've been wanting to learn at least the fundamentals of german for a while, now: it is the language on wich several things I utterly love were written on (and it's mai waifu's 1st mother-language). I can more of less pronnounce it but haven't really started studying it yet: declension is just such a strange land to me... The only thing I envy about philosophy-exclusive students, it's the fact they learn greek and latin from the very begining; I also wanted to learn hebrew (to read The Zohar directly), but don't think that'll ever happen.

Relatedly with your pic: it's interesting how getting to know some languages completley outside of that genealogy and wich work so differently, like japanese, help us realizing how naive the idea of every language being reducible to a (westernized/modern) pure logic form was.

Post edited on 22nd Jul 2011, 8:05am
>> No. 876 [Edit]
I want to learn French. I already understand most of it when it's spoken but I lack vocabulary and I don't know how to conjugate a lot of verbs. I'd also like to learn Welsh and Gaelic, because I've always been attracted to Celtic culture. I understand Spanish and speak fairly well too, but I'm Portuguese so I have no right to brag about that. I also understand most Italians, though they sometimes speak a bit too fast.

And of course, I'd love to learn Japanese, though I need to get some more free time to do that. And self-discipline. And motivation.
>> No. 877 [Edit]
Oh, a fellow native Portuguese speaker (I'm Brazilian though). I've heard that Japanese (and Chinese, Korean, etc) are the hardest languages for native Portuguese speakers to learn, with Arabian as a close runner-up. Not like my plans of learning German are easy though.
>> No. 878 [Edit]
>no right to brag about that

Sad but true (I know it from the other side): after listening for a while, they don't even sound like 2 different languages but just, for both parts, like people who "speak funny".
>> No. 886 [Edit]
Sorry for the semi-hijack, but I don't think this warrants another thread. I want help with choosing a third language to study, and my main options are French and German.

I'm a Brazilian (i.e. a native Portuguese speaker) like the fellow up there and I'm a C1 English speaker. I will study Psychology next year, and so I think it's about time for me to start learning a third language. I'm torn between German and French. I'd love if someone would summarize their pros and cons. I'm aware that, for me, French would likely be easier, but I believe that there are more scientific articles and such published in German. Moreover, my local university has a permanent partnership with die Universität zu Köln, and all of its French partnerships are temporary (although it is very unlikely that they would ever be with no connections). Any feedback would be very welcome. If the OP or anyone else feels this is a hijack, I'll happily delete it and create another thread.
>> No. 887 [Edit]
Nah it's fine.

I think French will be easier for you to learn than German. It just depends how much workload you want to take on right now. Depends how hard your classes are.
>> No. 889 [Edit]
True. I think I'm leaning more towards French. German sounds so... outlandish.
>> No. 890 [Edit]
Think: "Wich one of these books/authors I've been wanting to read vernacular do I like more? the french one or the german one?"
>> No. 891 [Edit]
Well, now that I think about it, I'm in deep love with much more German-language writers (Nietszche, Kafka, Hesse, Mann, Goethe, Storm, Freud, Jung, etc). Fuck, this choice is too hard. Maybe would someone have info involving the (second) preferred language for psychological articles? If that's German, then I'm combining business with pleasure. Plus, I think krautchan is bigger than any french imageboard... But that's irrelevant.
>> No. 898 [Edit]

It seems Middlebury is supposed to have really good language learning programs. If anyone's interested, read up about it there.
>> No. 977 [Edit]
I am fluent in Spanish and English, and am trying my hand at German now. Been going over the basics and it does not seem so difficult, but I know conjugations are going to screw with me. Sein does not make much sense when changing conjugations, Ich bin, du bist, er ist,etc. Unlike Spanish. Maybe if I drop a lot of money on a program or something I will be forced into the buyers remorse rut and force myself to learn it, that has worked for plenty of things in the past. Failed with Umineko though.
>> No. 991 [Edit]
Do the native speakers of English here have any tips for foreigners who pronounce "th" as "z" or "s"? I just can't wrap my head around it, and my language hasn't got any similar sounds. The fact that I pretty much never actually speak with my mouth doesn't help, since I tend to only use my native language around here and I avoid microphones like the plague (I might record myself speaking if it is really very needed, though).
>> No. 992 [Edit]
gently bite your tongue
>> No. 993 [Edit]
Its sorta like saying v, except with your tongue on your two front teeth (the top ones)
>> No. 994 [Edit]
I've got it, I think. Thanks for the tips. Now to speak it quickly and move my tongue rapidly enough it is another matter... I swear I'll end up choking while trying to pronounce "forth" or "neither".
>> No. 1158 [Edit]
I'm picking up Mandarin again. Anyone here speak it or study it?
>> No. 1164 [Edit]
I'm studying it on and off. Wanna be study buddies
>> No. 1181 [Edit]
They are the same language, technically Afrikaans is also the same language although it's a very old dialect.
>> No. 2377 [Edit]
Japanese has no declensions.
Afrikaans is not the same language as Dutch. Dutch speakers can understand Afrikaans perfectly, but Afrikaans speakers can't understand Dutch very well.
For those of you truly interested in language learning, here:
his website:
Educate yourselves.
>> No. 2859 [Edit]
I'm learning german.

I have a book that covers the passive learning phase, and a grammar book to not learn mistakes.

Those learning books can get you pretty bad habits that are hard to get rid of. Like making assumptions and use incorrect declension forms.
>> No. 2860 [Edit]
I'm learning Latin so I can make my own profound mottos and sayings.

The Ecclesiastical Latin sounds trigger my autism.
>> No. 2940 [Edit]
I am not very good at speaking my other mother tongue besides English. I am not literate in it either. But I've recently started to learn a third language and I hope the experience would help when I decide to learn more about the other language. They're a Dravidian and a Semitic one (that I know) respectively, so all three are separate.
>> No. 2948 [Edit]
File 148655404236.png - (44.63KB , 250x259 , 250px-Grguo.png )

If anyone's interested in learning Mandarin, I suggest learning the GR romanization. Hanyu Pinyin isn't really helpful for memorizing words. It's very easy to forget that little mark on top of a vowel which tells the tone in Pinyin. With GR the spelling tells you the tone of a syllable, so if you remember the spelling of a word, there's no way you can forget the tone.

There's an air of mysticism about Chinese characters, in that how they're supposed to convey meaning without getting through sound, but that's just bullshit. Mandarin is no different from any other language, it just happens to use an overly complicated writing system which obfuscates the relationship between meaning and sound. I wish they would do away with Chinese characters, but I guess that will never happen.

Post edited on 8th Feb 2017, 6:18am
>> No. 2949 [Edit]
>in that how they're supposed to convey meaning without getting through sound, but that's just bullshit
If you learnt Simplified then you most certainly missed it.

Like: '愛' in Traditional (and Japanese) still has '心' whereas Simplified removed it to create '爱'. So then Simplified character for 'love' is love without the heart.
>> No. 2950 [Edit]
My point is, it's the spoken word which carries the meaning, not the writing. Chinese characters don't have intrinsic meanings. If you didn't know Japanese or Mandarin in the first place, you wouldn't be able to tell 愛 stands for the word "love". It's the spoken word "あい" or "ay/ai4" which means "love", not the character itself.
>> No. 2960 [Edit]
File 149045528382.jpg - (25.25KB , 319x394 , 148832807673.jpg )
>If anyone's interested in learning Mandarin, I suggest learning the GR romanization
Too late for me. At this time I've been learning pinyin for too much time that relearning another romanization system would be a waste of time.

Is it really important memorizing kangxi radicals system?
>> No. 2961 [Edit]
It blows my mind when I read about people studying Chinese and Japanese. I study a Turkic language and it only has 42 letters, of which 11 are in loanwords only and 2 of those aren't even sounds but just there to make loanwords kind of work according to the grammar, and even with only that many letters, I'm struggling after a couple of weeks. I still use my alphabet chart nearly every time I read something. How in the hell does one remember hundreds of characters? It's amazing.
>> No. 2962 [Edit]
>How in the hell does one remember hundreds of characters?
Rote learning.

I've already memorized 150 characters with its traditional and simplified forms, pinyin, stroke order, and up to 20 meanings.
>> No. 2963 [Edit]
Fucking awesome job dude, keep it up. Never let yourself think that you aren't a bright man because to do that, even just rote learning is no mean feat.

>20 meanings
Lord above, and I thought that suffixes got complicated. How does a sentence work in Mandarin? Does it have characters for a lot of specific things that are understood by context, or do you have suffix-type characters to narrow down the meanings? 20 seems like a lot of things to remember for so many characters, especially if you have to consider them interacting and defining each others' meanings. It's amazing that they never came up with a less unwieldy language. How abstract are some of the meanings?
>> No. 2964 [Edit]
It's not that difficult to learn GR though, especially if you already learned Hanyu Pinyin. GR spelling is more accurate than pinyin, and that's why the words look "right" and hence easier to memorize. For example "cun", you read it more like "tsoo-uhn", but it doesn't really show in the spelling. In GR it's "tsuen", which is closer to how it actually sounds.

I never bothered memorizing radicals. You're fine if you can write characters according to stroke order. I think you had to memorize radicals back then when there were only paper dictionaries around, because characters were organized according to their radical. So first you would've had to guess the radical of a character, then you look for it under the entry for that radical. Nowadays we have online dictionaries, so you can just draw the kanji to look it up.

I'm curious, what's your motivation for learning Mandarin? When did you start learning it?


Chinese characters don't have meanings. It's just a way of writing words, like the abcs. When you look at a sequence of Chinese characters, you'd better not try to decode the meaning by speculating what each character means and how they interact with each other. You'll get nowhere with that. What you should do is first figure out what language is it. Mandarin isn't the only language written in Chinese characters, Japanese and Cantonese also use Chinese characters. When you're sure you're looking at a Mandarin text, then you try to make out the words. That's the gist of it. It's a huge pain in the ass because for whatever reason Chinese people don't put spaces between words. imagineifyouwerelearningenglish,youjuststartedlearninghtealphabetandyouonlyrecognizethelettersabandcbutyouhavetoreadsentenceswrittenlikethis. It really tests your patience.

Post edited on 3rd Apr 2017, 1:54am
>> No. 2965 [Edit]
Yeah, nah. Fuck that. I'll never bitch about Kazakh again. Sure remembering case endings and your agglutinative rules/categories is a pain in the arse, but at least you can usually get the gist of what a sentence says by knowing certain nominal or verbal roots. This was an example from my textbook:

Мына бөлме бесінші кабатта; 'this room is on the 5th floor'. So from there I was able to recognise бөлме (room), бесін (5) and кабат (floor). Using the grammar and the raw meanings of the base words, I was able to figure out the sentence without actually knowing the full words. It's apparently an oddball that doesn't obey the regular rules of the locative case anyway so knowing the words still would have left me with a head-scratcher.

I have no idea what I'd do with Chinese where it seems that you either know the whole word it or need to consult the dictionary. Madness. I'll admit though, it must be a pretty fun language at times.

Post edited on 3rd Apr 2017, 10:01am

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