What is the easiest way for an average adult to learn a new language?

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by desi, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. desi Valued Senior Member

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    1,616
    I want to learn Spanish and I speak English. I'm smarter than average but I'm not especially gifted when it comes to picking up languages, at least not yet.
     
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  3. gendanken Ruler of All the Lands Valued Senior Member

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    I take it you're an American?

    I need you to be in order to substantiate my awesome stereotypes and criminal misuse of That Scientific Method.
     
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  5. desi Valued Senior Member

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    Its fairly well known Americans don't learn several languages in school like they typically do in European countries.
     
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  7. gendanken Ruler of All the Lands Valued Senior Member

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    Well, keep this in mind: this sweet, compassionate little country of ours with her blouse wide open and ready to feed whatever "wretched refuse" happens to crawl on her shore is just the cultural perversion you need to learn whatever language you wish.

    They teach you to call it "democracy".

    So, as this is the only country you can suffer the sting of culture shock without leaving your home, you can pretty much learn how to shampoo your hair in Spanish, put a blender together in French, or mud an entire wall in both while sitting right where you are.


    Read labels, go slumming, turn on the television, go renew your liscence and suffer the butchered English of Laquitta the Clerk communicating to Pedro his needing a Social Security number in Spanglish.

    In other words, pay attention and stay right where you are. You'll learn Spanish in no time.
     
  8. superstring01 Moderator

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    I'm an American. Born here to a hillbilly father (well, he adopted me when I was pre-cognizant) and white-bread upper-crust mother. I learned to speak Spanish quite well (better than Gendanken, who thinks her mofongo making, lawn cleaning, baby producing genes give her some magical power to speak Spanish better than I do). I took classes and ventured to Spain for over a year as a student. I know many Americans who have.

    ~String
     
  9. gendanken Ruler of All the Lands Valued Senior Member

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    Well, you'd think a boyhood of cleaning after chickens and pigs would've saved you the plane ride by making you Mexican.
    Not to mention all the practice at cleaning you get from polishing that gigantic bald head.

    And by the way, the reason why your expletive "Me cago en tu cuno"-- or something- sounded wrong was becuase I was.

    I read that with the very English impulse for the 'present progressive' we speak in-- the superfluous need to put an 'am' in every sentence.
     
  10. gendanken Ruler of All the Lands Valued Senior Member

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    We're, like, totally going to embrarrar este thread, String.
     
  11. Cifo Day destroys the night, Registered Senior Member

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    685
    I watched ¿Qué Pasa, USA? in college (where they spoke slowly enough for me to hear clearly), although saying this gives away my age. It seems like it's too late, but I'd recommend learning any foreign language during childhood, then other languages seem easier later in adulthood.

    I also recommend, for example, watching movies in English with Spanish subtitles. You should be able to recognize lots of cognates after a while. Then watch them in Spanish with Spanish or English subtitles. Hearing it and seeing it helps you to learn cadence and stress.

    I've studied a wide variety of languages, including Chinese and Arabic (not that I could speak them to save my life), but my years of French has come in handy. I had been wrongly informed that a foreign language was a college requirement, which turned out to be not so (they gave me funny looks at college over this). I think it should be at least a college requirement in the US.
     
  12. superstring01 Moderator

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    12,110
    Que no lo voy a hacer, yo. Tu, quizás, pero yo no. Soy el dechado de virtudes.

    Y fue, "Me cago en el coño de tu madre." Se puede decir, "Me estoy cagando en el coño de tu madre," pero significaría que lo estoy haciendo ahora mismo. Y como estoy aquí en el mudo civilzado y tu madre ya se queda en una haciendo recogiendo tomates y cebollas (a lo mejor en Guadamexirico), no lo puedo hacer ni ahora ni jamás.

    ªString
     
  13. superstring01 Moderator

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    12,110
    Joder. Tengo que cambiar mi teclado al inglés.

    ~String
     
  14. gendanken Ruler of All the Lands Valued Senior Member

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    OOOHhh....

    Guess what, little Desi. Put the lexicons and the tourist trap grammar books away, you're going to learn Spanish today.

    All you have to do is comb through this mawling of a dirty gringo for delicious phrases covered in his Cystic Fibrotic blood:

    Si, pero cuanto tiempo te toma para escribir lo que me viene tan facil?

    A lo mejor estas distractado, pero algo me dice que es la flojera de esa cabezota llena de Family Guy y ADD, que ni puede recordar donde puso la vaselina para ese ollo inflamado que millones de anos anterior era tu culo.

    Verdad?

    MUwhahahhahahha, viste que cosa tan hermosa? Te puedo cojar en dos lenguas y, mire, ni voy a spellcheckiarlo.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
  15. superstring01 Moderator

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    12,110
    Waaahhhhhh!!!!

    ROFL!

    That was SOOOO perfect!!!!!!!

    [except it would be: espelchequiárlo, but yeah. . . that's just my superior Castellano talking]

    ~String
     
  16. gendanken Ruler of All the Lands Valued Senior Member

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    (on topic:

    SuperHilo:


    that's pretty much what I'm saying. The 'present progressive' of 'am' is very English. Ask some foreigner what he's doing and he'll say "I build a house" as though you were asking him what he does for a living.
    In English, we interpret the lack of the present progressive-- in that case, the lack of 'estoy' in the prior example--as a declarative statement of continuity or habit, not what is being done right now.

    Its perfectly normal to not have progressive verbs in language-- English is merely an arrogant little toddler needing to stick its me-ness in everything.
     
  17. superstring01 Moderator

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    12,110
    Putona:

    Indeed. The Spanish rarely use it. I know it's used slightly more en français, but not much.

    Heck, I remember using the word "yendo" to a Mexican friend he said, "¿Qué el coño es eso?" which tells me that one would never say, "I'm going" in its literal form in Spanish.

    You used big words. Me confused.

    But really.

    [Examples. . . .]

    Responding to a mother shouting, "¡Vamos, niño!" to which one might say, "Ya vengo." (I come already. . . which has an interesting ring in English).

    Why ju dissin on mi idioma! Viva la raza!

    ªString
     
  18. Kat9Lives Registered Senior Member

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    392
    Hola,
    GO spend some time in Spain!!
    that's my recommendation..
     
  19. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    What is the easiest way for an average adult to learn a new language?

    Move to a country where they speak that language exclusively or even almost exclusively
     
  20. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    24,690
    Some browsers have an INSERT menu. If yours does not (as mine doesn't) you have to use a more cumbersome technique. Have an MS Word document open and use its INSERT menu. You can pull both upper- and lower-case Ñ right off the Extended Latin character set. Then cut and paste it from your Word document into the SciForums composition menu.

    I keep a Word document open that is nothing but the entire set of foreign characters I use, sorted by language. That way I can cut and paste them without going through the additional clicks on the INSERT menu. If I'm going to use a lot of them, I just copy the whole set into my composition menu and move them around as needed. I do the same thing when I'm writing letters in Esperanto.
    Not on my board he won't. At least not more than once. Most of our members are teenagers so I allow teenage-level dialog.

    Nonetheless we all enforce the rule against personal insults, so be careful that your attempts at humor and sarcasm are not too difficult to discern. I don't know any dialects of Spanish in which being invited to "suck on my tail" is an egregious insult. So I'll assume you spelled the word wrong and that insult does not constitute "fightin' words."
     
  21. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    24,690
    * * * * NOTE FROM THE MODERATOR * * * *

    I have deleted several posts. I let Gendy's slide by at first because it seemed to have been forgotten, but now it appears to have started a flame war.
     
  22. dbnp48 Q.E.D. Registered Senior Member

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    312
  23. Pinwheel Banned Banned

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    This.
     

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