Your language learning adventures

The place to discuss learning languages
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Joined: Sun 19 Apr 2009 6:51 am

Re: Your language learning adventures

Postby Declan » Sun 17 Jan 2010 12:53 pm

Dillon D wrote:Ich? Es tut mir leid, I forget how to say 'who' I thought it was wi but Google is telling me wir. Could somebody remind me? Danke schön!

Who is Wer, Wen, Wem, nominative, accusative and dative.
So, "Wer hat das gesagt?"
"Wen hasst du?"
"Wem gehoert es?"

Firstly, I speak English as a native speaker. From when I started primary school, around 4 or 5, I started to learn Irish like all other Irish children. This will be my last year of formal study of Irish, and between school and about nine weeks at Irish College, my standard is pretty good. Certainly I can converse with no problem at all, I understand most of what is said to me most of the time (except occasionally the Donegal accent which I'm not used to at all), and I understand a fair amount of what I read. I'm not fluent, but it's certainly my best foreign language.

At secondary school, I started learning the only language offered (and therefore compulsory) German. I've spent time in German immersion, and I like some German music, and I'm getting pretty good. I am making less and less grammatical errors, and learning more and more vocabulary, so I hope to get my standard as good as my Irish at least. I really like German.

My mother is a French teacher, and since I like the language, and am reasonably good at it, I started learning French with her maybe six years ago. I can sort of converse, at least about simple things, but what's holding me back is practice more than anything else. Recently I've started to read more French, and watch a few movies, and speak with my mother more in French, so hopefully I'll be gradually improving.

I'm in my last year of school this year, and next year I hope to study engineering, which means that my formal learning of languages will stop, possibly forever. As I'll be rather busy for the next few months, I've put learning any further language on the long finger, and will focus on the four I speak to varying degrees. It is my intention to continue doing this for as long as possible, and I also hope at some stage to start learning a few more. Possibilities are more Celtic languages to go along with Irish (and when I stop having to use the "official standard", I would like to study the dialects a bit more. The native dialect of my area would be a mix of Conemara and Munster, and at present, I speak a mixture of them and the Caighdeán). I have always been interested in Latin and Greek, for their cultures, for their literature, and from an etymological point of view. So I'd like to learn one or both, perhaps not fluently, but well enough.

And if I ever develop an interest in another language, or happen to get to know someone who speaks it, I hope I will still have the desire to learn Icelandic. One that I might eventually start to learn is Icelandic, especially if I ever have the opportunity to speak it. If not Icelandic, I might at some stage start to study the Germanic branch more, perhaps Old English plus a Nordic language or something like that.
Native: English
Very good: Irish
Reasonable: German, French
Very basic: Latin.

Monox D. I-Fly
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun 29 Jun 2014 1:57 pm

Re: Your language learning adventures

Postby Monox D. I-Fly » Mon 07 Sep 2015 4:19 am

Sobekhotep wrote:Welcome to the Omniglot forum!
It's good to see people in high school interested in learning languages.

Well, I was interested in learning Japanese ever since I was in Elementary School. due to watching Digimon.

Posts: 4
Joined: Thu 26 Jun 2014 9:50 pm

Re: Your language learning adventures

Postby Yona » Tue 24 Nov 2015 10:16 pm

French : It's my native language. In spite of that, I made a lof a typos when I was young because French orthography is somewhat complicated (even for French people). When I was young, the French education system insisted on writing to learn foreign languages. That's why many of us have poor conversational or pronounciation skills !

English : I don't even remember when I've begun studying it... I've never been in an English-speaking country except a few days in London. I've learned thought the internet (thanks Wikipedia) music and movies. I wouldn't say I'm proficient but I understand and I find ways to express whatever I want, so it's okay.

Latin : studied three years in junior high school. I hardly remember anything but it helped me a lot to understand grammar and language in general.

German : studied for eight years. I was really interested in German and good at it at school but as previously said, the teachers insisted on the written aspects of the language. That's why I'm able to understand a text I read but it's harder for me to speak or to understand people speaking fast. I've studied by myself beside school and I really invested myself into it but I had difficulties to memorize the vocabulary (especially genders), the declensions and it took me a lot of time to be able to make a syntactically correct sentences. I had the opportunity to speak with German people and I learned a lot with them but I stopped taking courses this year and I feel like my level is decreasing since.

Arabic : I drew an interest into Arabic music and culture so I began studying Arabic (Modern Standard Arabic and Levantine dialect) by myself. I mastered the alphabet (which I find very elegant and graceful) and the pronounciation and learned a few things until I lost my interest in it.

Spanish : At the beginning, I didn't really want to learn Spanish but it was the only second language option (English being mandatory) available in my current degree. The teacher is emphasizing on speaking and pronounciation so my skills are developing really fast, faster than years and years of studying German ! Spanish is easier for me as it's closer to French. The pronounciation is easy and the grammar and the conjugation are very similar to French. It would say that the hardest part of it is learning all the tenses and know when to use which.

Chinese : I have always been interested in other cultures and learning a language very different from my mothertongue appealed to me a lot. Learning Chinese also represented a challenge to me. The pronouncation is hard for me and the vocabulary and the characters difficult to remember but I'm only been studying it for two months and I don't have much time to study it beside my lessons so I will see how it evolves.
French : native
English : advanced
German : intermediate
Spanish and Chinese : beginner

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Joined: Thu 26 Jun 2014 5:04 am
Location: United States

Re: Your language learning adventures

Postby DanielParker » Wed 30 Dec 2015 6:14 pm

My language learning adventure probably started In about April 2009. My father would play opera a lot, and once I figured out that the language was Italian, I wanted to know what they were really saying behind that vibrato. I learned the lyrics to a few arias, but couldn’t translate word for word.

Once I went into middle school (September 2009), we had to choose a foreign language course. There were three: Spanish, French and Mandarin. I was crushed when I found out there was no Italian course, but we tried all three. My Mandarin teacher actually asked that I wouldn’t take Mandarin (as I’m blind), claiming I’d get bored as she explained the characters. With that in mind, the choice between Spanish and French was exceedingly tough. But the fact that there were some French operas clinched it.

I discovered while learning French that I have something of an aptitude for language. I was keeping right up with the class and it was actually boring. Not that I could say much on my own. Once I went into high school, however (two years ago; I’m still here now), my teacher had us practice on a site that helped with verb conjugations. I quickly mastered future and conditional tenses way ahead of everyone else and before long I was working on the subjunctive. That’s when French class became brutally dull, but this helped me so much more to be able to nuance my French and was the impetus for my language-learning philosophy: learn grammar first, then add vocabulary. I finished the subjunctive and various other bits of grammar at a French immersion program in Canada last summer. I skipped a level in French for this year and Now I’m in the AP French class.

My Italian was eclipsed by my French simply because I wasn’t learning it at school. However, I came back to it time and again. Last year, a friend of mine told me about Duolingo, the language app, and I’ve been using it ever since. It now has fifteen language courses and I’m enrolled in every one. While this app is by no means a way to become fluent, I love linguistics and so this app helps me learn about the grammar of a given language. For example, I enrolled in a Turkish course and this language’s very complex grammar fascinated me to no end. By contrast, the Polish course has a wealth of verb practice but none whatsoever with noun and adjective declension, which is very important in Slavic languages.

I am also interested in etymology and reconstructed languages. Recently I’ve taken to looking up an etymon and then it’s (PIE) root, then seeing what the cognates are in different branches of the family. What one discovers through this method is fascinating. From my experiences in French and Italian, I’ve also become obsessed with Romance languages. Thus it’s also interesting to take a simple word like a preposition or conjunction in Romance and see what Vulgar Latin words combined to produce the single entity, or to compare different dialects or adjacent languages to see exactly what sets them apart from each other. Overall, language and linguistics has become a large part of my life, and I’m always up for learning more.
"Si Lodhuuigs sagrament que son fradre Karlo jurat conservat et Karlus, meos sendra, de suo part lo fraint, si io returnar non l'int pois, ne io ne neuls cui eo returnar int pois, in nulla aiudha contra Lodhuuuig nun li iu er."

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