Anyone learn a second language as an adult?

JL_LI

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No. I'm British.
When us Brits are abroad we just talk loudly & point.
It seems to work most of the time. :cool:
Funny but not so funny. I worked for a Japanese company that sent junior engineers and managers to the states for four and change years as part of their grooming for promotion. Some spoke English well, others, politely, not so well. There was a tendency on the part of Americans to speak loudly when they weren’t understood. It was much more useful to rephrase what was missed and if one of them wrote something for circulation, help them with idioms and syntax. It’s easy to learn 50 words in any language. It’s much harder to put them together to convey meaning.
 

PCollen

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Despite my parents' and every school I attended's attempts to teach me French from the age of four, I know about ten words of it.

The past couple of years I've managed to pick up Spanish pretty well though. I decided to give it a go and bought a few exercise books and started watching movies and TV in Spanish with Spanish subtitles I could read while listening. Working with Spaniards helped too; instant correction teaches quickly. I can just about hold a conversation about most everyday stuff, but don't expect me to write you an essay on something.
I know a little Italian: Besame dupa.
 

aging_rocker

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I 'learned' rudimentary German & French at school. I can read both better than I can understand from hearing someone speak.
As an adult, I've 'picked up' rudimentary Welsh (lived there for 30 years, kids were taught it at school) and also some Te Reo (Māori).

There is a growing common usage of Te Reo in Aotearoa (NZ) now, which I think is wonderful. Many terms are in everyday use by everyone. Except for grumpy old white people.

We have 3 official languages here, English, Te Reo and NZ sign language.

No. I'm British.
When us Brits are abroad we just talk loudly & point.
It seems to work most of the time. :cool:
Although she lives in Spain partly these days, this is my mother's approach.
 

telestratosonic

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Despite my parents' and every school I attended's attempts to teach me French from the age of four, I know about ten words of it.

The past couple of years I've managed to pick up Spanish pretty well though. I decided to give it a go and bought a few exercise books and started watching movies and TV in Spanish with Spanish subtitles I could read while listening. Working with Spaniards helped too; instant correction teaches quickly. I can just about hold a conversation about most everyday stuff, but don't expect me to write you an essay on something.
Spanish is the way to go. I can get by in French and read well. A month in France speaking/hearing only French would make me really proficient.

I took German in first year university in 1971. Waste of time and money. I was in Germany in 2015. I would politely ask, in German, for directions sometimes and if we could speak in English. All except one person, who turned out to be newly arrived, spoke excellent English.

Living in the US of A? I'd opt for Spanish.
 

chris m.

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I think I have some facility for learning languages by being exposed to languages as a small child. I lived in the USA but had a Greek babysitter. And my mother spoke Tagalog to me a lot. I speak only a few words of Tagalog or Greek, although I'm told I spoke a lot of both as a small child.

But then in high school I took French and I actually learned it, including conversational French. Learned it well enough to basically place out of it in college. I've traveled to Francophone places-- Tahiti, France, Quebec, Martinique, and do fairly decent with it. Whenever I have the chance I practice with native French speakers.

In grad school in Seattle I made friends with a lot of the Brazilian expat community and fell in love with the people and their culture/laid back, friendly vibe. I studied Portuguese on my own for about six months and then lived in Brazil for six months. The immersion was key. Here it is 35 years later and I can still speak and understand Portuguese well. I also got a chance to use it in Mozambique in around 2007. I haven't gotten as much practice but lately have been watching lots of Brazilian Portuguese on YouTube and am thinking about making a trip to Brazil post-Covid....

Here in SoCal there's lots of Spanish speakers. I can do a pretty good job with "Portagnol", including when I go on surf trips to Costa Rica. Portuguese is so close to Spanish that with not too much work it's pretty easy to understand and get by in Spanish.

I think from being a musician I am pretty decent with accents, too. One key is to really exaggerate. Remember Pepe Le Peu and his outrageous accent? Or John Cleese on the castle turrets in the Holy Grail? To get a decent accent that's what you have to do--- don't be embarrassed, but instead totally go for it. You end up sounding WAY better than if you just use your gringo accent and don't try.

I just heard about a Chrome extension called Learning Language with Netflix. I'm thinking of getting it:

"Learning a new language through immersion doesn’t mean you have to pack your bags and move to Europe for three months. Now, you just need to turn on Netflix. Language Learning with Netflix is a Chrome extension that lets you watch shows with two subtitles on at the same time so you can visually pair translations with dialogue and learn some new vocabulary in the process. It’s a clever service that makes use of Netflix’s massive catalog and all of the major languages in which it already offers subtitles, including Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish."
 

Rick330man

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Spanish is my first language. Catalan courtesy of my grandmother came second. English was 3rd. Brasileiro (Brasilian portuguese) is fourth. I find that not using a language for while is the biggest problem. Besides forgetting things, you also start confusing one with another, which is all too easy to do considering that Spanish, Catalan and Portuguese all are rooted in vulgar latin. Você (Brasileiro) and voste (Catalan); moço (Brasileiro) and mosso (Catalan) and others that are spelled the same but pronounced quite differently: gente in Brasileiro vs. in Spanish.

In hindsight, I think my language plate is full as I just try to hold onto what I've got.
 

Gardo

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So far I have successfully resisted the pressure to learn Mandarin, my wife’s native language. Fortunately her first job in China was as an English teacher so I have a translator when needed
I understand “ba ba ba Gary ba ba ba Guitar Center ba ba ba “ The tone of her voice tells me the rest. Usually it’s pleasant.
 

Jupiter

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I took Spanish for several years from middle school to university and got pretty good at it. I could chat and read the newspaper and write essays about Don Quixote.

I started studying Japanese in my late 20s, and at the beginning, when I tried to speak Japanese, Spanish often came out, especially syntax and function words like however, because, although, etc.

Nowadays, when I try to speak Spanish, Japanese comes out... I can still read Spanish okay, and understand things like song lyrics pretty well, and I remember a lot of nouns, verbs and adjectives, but the verb forms have huge gaps in em these days...
 

chris m.

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I think it's pretty common for the brain to initially divide languages into two pots: native and foreign. So you end up mixing all the foreign stuff together. However, there are polyglots who can speak many languages really well. My mother speaks 7. For people like that, something clicks and they are able to have sharp dividing lines among all the languages and they don't get them mixed up. Sort of like a mere blues player stepping up to be able to play real bebop. As you get really good I think your brain wiring in the language zone gets a big upgrade.
 

Quexoz

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It's been my experience that you find a way to do the things that are important to you and you find excuses to NOT do the things that aren't important to you.
...and that explains why all my guitars have new strings and setups, but I haven't showered in 3 days, my laundry hasn't been done in 2 months, and my driveway has a foot and a half of snow in it.
 

Caroline576

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I've been speaking Spanish since I was a kid. English is my second language. Difficulties arise when I have to write papers at university. The texts are checked by essay editors. In essays and similar works, it is critically important to follow the norms and rules of literary English. You have to follow the style and adhere to a formalized structure. In case grammatical, stylistic, or logical errors are detected, a professional editor chooses a method of correction with the customer, taking into account the context. The text is checked and rechecked several times, passing through the control of the chief editor before being sent to the client.
 
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BigDaddyLH

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I've been speaking Spanish since I was a kid. English is my second language. Difficulties arise when I have to write papers at university. The texts are checked by essay editors. In essays and similar works, it is critically important to follow the norms and rules of literary English. You have to follow the style and adhere to a formalized structure. In case grammatical, stylistic, or logical errors are detected, a professional editor chooses a method of correction with the customer, taking into account the context. The text is checked and rechecked several times, passing through the control of the chief editor before being sent to the client.

At TDPRI alls you gotta do is make like you know duh lingo.
 

RodeoTex

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I speak some border lingo by default.
I bought a bunch of those cassette tape French courses when I was engaged to a French girl.
Last year I had six weeks off during lockdown and decided to learn a useful language.
Come to find out none of the big names teach Cajun.
 

Tonetele

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Ja. Indonesian and Bahasa Malay ( closely related) on surfing trips to Indonesia, a cousin in Jakarta and generaly travelling around.
 




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