Learning a language on your own

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Learning a language on your own

Postby Admin » Thu 16 Apr 2009 6:21 pm

Have you managed to learn any languages entirely or mainly on your own?
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One language is never enough / Dydy un iaith byth yn ddigon / 一種語言永遠不夠

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Re: Learning a language on your own

Postby Jayan » Sun 19 Apr 2009 7:54 pm

I'm not really qualified to comment, seeing as I have not actually attained fluency in any L2, but I'll pipe up anyway. I have been teaching myself Danish on my own, and have made significant progress without an official teacher. I'm sure talking with Danish relatives has helped, but I think it still counts as mostly my work. Has anyone achieved proficiency in a language that's not related so closely to English with self-study?
Native/Fluent: English (on a good day :P)
Pursuing fluency: Dansk
Entertaining self with: 日本語
Up next: русский язык
Eventually: Gaeilge|Deutsch|Kiswahili|Suomi

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Re: Learning a language on your own

Postby Stosis » Mon 20 Apr 2009 3:03 am

I have not taught myself a language on my own. I have, however, always wanted to for the simple purpose that I don't think classes help that much. I find that for understanding the grammar I am much better off teaching it myself and I don't normally use the teacher's explanations, although they do help sometimes. I find that a much more efficient set up is to learn the grammar and memorize vocabulary on your own and the expose yourself to as much of the language as possible. This means finding as many native speakers (or others still learning) as possible and speaking with them. Its not hard especially with the internet.

One thing that I like to do is to, once I am fairly good with a language, integrate it into my daily life. If you're into online gaming then join clans or guilds that specifically speak your target language. If you can listen to international news in your target language (or the local news if you're lucky enough to have the available).

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Re: Learning a language on your own

Postby SamD » Tue 28 Apr 2009 6:56 pm

I've tried learning languages on my own, but I don't seem to do as well. Maybe it's just my temperament, but I benefit from the discipline of a class even if it is a really informal class.

On my own, it's too easy to drift off into other things. If I pay money for a class, I feel much more wasteful or lazy if I don't keep up with the material. There's also the matter of showing up in a certain place at a certain time.

An instructor who teaches well and knows the language well can also give some helpful feedback. If my pronunciation is not good, it's helpful to have someone listening to me and gently correcting me.

As I see it, language is all about communication and if there's nobody around me who speaks my target language, it isn't quite the same.

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Re: Learning a language on your own

Postby linguoboy » Tue 28 Apr 2009 9:05 pm

In a sense, every language I've learned I've learned on my own. After all, even an intensive course of study doesn't keep you in class for the whole day, and if you don't keep up the language on your own afterwards, you'll lose it no matter how much time you invested in it. (For evidence, look at the experience of compulsive Irish in Ireland or compulsive French in Canada.)

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Re: Learning a language on your own

Postby Neqitan » Tue 28 Apr 2009 11:29 pm

This question was asked in the old forum, so I'm just going to quote myself.

Neqitan wrote:Personally, I think it's pretty much impossible to learn a language well without self-studying. Classes are good to meet people with similar interests, and if you have a native speaker as your teacher, to reduce one's accent. But other than that there's lots of stuff you will never be taught in a course, so you have to learn them by usage.
lingual fiend wrote:Do you think it's a natural gift, [...] or developed your own methods?

Pshh, no natural gift, just perseverance. The hardest part of self-study is keeping doing it. :| I haven't developed any personal strict method. Just expose yourself to the language, and learn idioms, what verbs can do and what they can not, etc, etc.
lingual fiend wrote:or have you found some fantastic resources

Yes, that's of course a must. Have you checked the libraries near you?

Brought to you by Google Caché. :)

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Re: Learning a language on your own

Postby Kristie » Mon 18 May 2009 12:26 am

German (L2) and beginning Chinese. Advanced Spanish. Russian and Greek (L1) So no fluency...YET. But I prefer to study on my own and have found some great resources for study. Have made some really nice pen pals through language exchange, too :)

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