Have you taught yourself a foreign language?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Bryan X, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. Bryan X

    Bryan X Producer

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    Has anyone tried to learn a foreign language on their own?

    I've always wanted to learn a second language and recently got motivated to try.

    For anyone who has done this, how much time did you put into it? I'm not looking to become fluent, but would atleast like to have a basic grasp of the language.

    I'm hoping that I will be able to do this solely through the use of the Internet. Am I crazy?
     
  2. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    Well, the hardest part about learning another language on your own is pronouncing everything correctly.

    I once bought a software program to learn German. It was kind of cool, you used a microphone and it would rate your accent.

    But, I didn't find it nearly as useful as taking a class or better yet, actually going to Germany. I learned more German in the week I was there than I ever did from that software.
     
  3. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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  4. Bryan X

    Bryan X Producer

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    Dave,

    I think you are right about the difficulty in pronouncing the characters correctly.

    I'm trying to teach myself Hungarian and have spent the first couple weeks just trying to learn the alphabet and the way each character is pronounced. The nice thing about Hungarian versus English is that in Hungarian the characters always have the same sound value. So once you master the alphabet, you are more or less able to read out any Hungarian text.

    I'm sure visiting the country is one of the best ways to learn any language, but for me that's not an option. Neither is a class as there are no Hungarian classes near me and I'm too cheap to do that anyway [​IMG]

    I have found a very nice university website that has a great section on Hungarian with some very good lessons including mp3 sounds of all the characters and many words/phrases. Best of all, I can access it free.

    I think it's enough to get me started after which I'll either have to do more research on the web or pay for some software.
     
  5. RyanAn

    RyanAn Screenwriter

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    I tried learning Japanese on my own... Emphasis on the tried.

    Ryan
     
  6. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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    I'm no expert, since my learning of the English language was almost accidental, but I would say that surrounding yourself with media from the region whose language you're learning, is key.

    I took English in high school, but never made an effort to really learn it, yet I ended up picking up thanks to my exposure to American TV, books, and magazines. If you can get TV from the country in question (via satellite), it would be a great asset.
     
  7. Bryan X

    Bryan X Producer

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    That's a good thought Ricardo. At the very least, I should be able to find/read newspapers online from Hungary.

    In high school I took French, but like you didn't really make much of an effort. So I really don't remember much at all.
     
  8. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

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    I bought a Spanish course on CD last year. Unfortunately it's still sitting in the jewel case.... I am one lazy SOB since Spanish is everywhere now. Perhaps this will give me the motivation to finally unwrap it !
     

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