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Old 08-05-2014, 04:34 PM
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Default What do you do to master languages?

Alors, the question I have put as the title, I guess it's rather clear... What ways? Movies? If so, with subtitles or not? Do you do anything special about them like writing down some vocabulary or what? Books? Genre? Simplified or orginal classics? Contemporary or archaic? Talking to others? Then - native or non-native speakers? And generally everything about it. Anything else?

Me is kinda a bookworm. At least so my friends say because I scold myself for not reading enough :P . In English I read anything that catches my fancy (yay for the Internet era and cheap e-books, not to mention Gutenberg project things). As you can deduce by my signature, I'm in awe of the (in)famous author of "Lolita" and other masterpieces... Bless God if I ever get as half as learned at English! And I'm in love with Jack London's prose style!

Besides noble fiction, I happen to read some popular scientific books on animal and human minds (but most preferably on dogs'; that's my little craze, like Nabokov's insects... ^^' ). Though, recently I've rather neglected this realm - I've been engulfed by so much fiction that it all turned out... thus.

Anyway, any English read appears a (tasty) piece of cake, collated with writings in other tounges. At least to such suckers like me. I do not know why but it's tougher to find nice stuff that you will manage. (Which is also a problem because what good's a book you don't understand?) Maybe because of the popularity of novels in English? If I ask somebody what book they're reading, they're sorta likely to come up with some American/English piece.

Finding something to listen to can also be an obstacle. And how is one to talk if one isn't environed by the melody, the accent, the words, the expressions? Well, laugh me off but I do not manage talking without being accustomed.

And... if you've ever attempted to learn a language whose letters are not identical with your native one's (I mean the Cyrillic alphabet for instance, given you're accustomed to the Latin one), then how do you get to memorize them?

(Sorry about boring you to death but if you've made it to this line... you can as well reply in this thread ^^')
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:54 PM
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Hmm, well I've never decided I would master languages just out of the blue, I've spoken Spanish all my life and English for the majority, they're my primary languages. I learned them in school/at home and I'm "used to them."

As for French, simply over time from reading subtitles on videos, translations of articles and songs, I've come to gradually understand it a little. I can usually get the idea of what the average article about Alizée is trying to say. I can pick up some things when listening to her speak, and I've dabbled in trying to learn it with different methods like apps or podcasts and classes, but I am far from being fluent. I miiiight know enough to survive a day or two in Paris on my own, but not much after that hehe. Occasionally I've also watched French films such as Lila Says and Fleurs Du Mal which I've liked. I watched those with subtitles too, and it helped. Alizée's songs too of course.

I would like to learn a language totally different like Arabic sometime in the future, but I have no idea how I'd go about doing that, given the difference in writing you mentioned.
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Old 08-06-2014, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazzmin View Post
Alors, the question I have put as the title, I guess it's rather clear... What ways? Movies?
Hmmm the only foreign language film I can recall watching more ( I never learnt the language though ) than once was Amélie. Well I discovered through an english translation back in the day that it was one of Alizée's favourite films at the time along with the Titanic and The Big Blue that came before, but I chose to watch those two in english cuz I'm lazy.

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Me is kinda a bookworm. At least so my friends say because I scold myself for not reading enough :P .
Well you're female.. I don't wanna be sexist here but I'd say women read more books than men cuz they are more intuitive. I myself learn most things off the internet or movies kinda like this one.


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Old 08-06-2014, 10:08 PM
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I am an intermediate level French Speaker. I belong to Alliance Français - The official French Language and Cultural Center (They are in most major cities). I take private conversation class there which meets once per week, and I take out a French magazine each week, either Paris Match or La Figuero, and read as much as I can. Speaking is different from reading so it is essential to do both as much as you can to master the language. Then there are the accents and regional quirks such as idioms and slang. I was fortunate to end up with a Corsican teacher who also liked Alizée, so I was able to actually incorporate Liley, and Corsican life into my studies.
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:18 AM
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Practice, practice and practice. It's the only way preferably with a native speaker.
I've been trying to learn Polish for about 3 years and the best way i've found is via some internet sources and frequent Skype conversations with one of my Polish friends.
I'm still not very good but i've improved a lot.
It's difficult, especially when a different language is so different from your own but you can at least make some progress if you want it badly enough.
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Old 08-08-2014, 10:18 AM
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Good luck to everybody struggling with foreign languages!
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Originally Posted by Fall06 View Post
I would like to learn a language totally different like Arabic sometime in the future, but I have no idea how I'd go about doing that, given the difference in writing you mentioned.
Nor do I. If anyone here is capable of coming up with tips about foreign alphabets, then please do... I have not been learning anything as "crazy" as Arabic but I do not even fully comprehend "facile" Cyrillic . I mean, I do know all the bukvas and can, eventually, come through every text but I'm not fluent at all. Really, it takes me less to read a Spanish script and I've never learnt Spanish...
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Well you're female.. I don't wanna be sexist here but I'd say women read more books than men cuz they are more intuitive.
I do not think males read much less than females, tbh...

And even were it so, I'd rather say it has something to do with their aptitudes, not intuition (which could be quite helpful in one's private relationships or in psychology but literature? nay, I reckon) - males are usually more into sciences, females are usually apt to humanistic subjects. (Not to mention that some "scientist types" are bookworms more freaky than me in their past-time.) I know some people breaking those "sexist" rules though - my male class-mate read freaking much and no wonder he managed to keep himself so well-read if he, even during Maths lessons, would familiarize himself with Miłosz and Joyce instead of calculating delta :P .


@Junkmale: Będę do Twojej dyspozycji [I shall be at your disposal] if you fancy asking a Polish native speaker a question or need some other kind of help .
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Old 08-08-2014, 04:15 PM
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Thanks Jazzmin
I'm heading back to Poland at the end of the month to see Ewa in Rydultowy. It might be my last trip for awhile so really looking forward to it.
My Polish is progressing ok. I still struggle with it a lot but i'm definitely improving. Not as quickly as i would like but slowly but surely!
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Old 08-09-2014, 12:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazzmin View Post
Good luck to everybody struggling with foreign languages!

Nor do I. If anyone here is capable of coming up with tips about foreign alphabets, then please do... I have not been learning anything as "crazy" as Arabic but I do not even fully comprehend "facile" Cyrillic . I mean, I do know all the bukvas and can, eventually, come through every text but I'm not fluent at all. Really, it takes me less to read a Spanish script and I've never learnt Spanish...
If I remember correctly an AAmer called VVVACCPLPNLY learned Korean and it's characters pretty easily, though I am not sure how he did it lol. I like the sound of spoken Arabic, I think that's what draws me in the most.
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