Imagine if you remembered everything from spanish class...

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Kenneth Harden, Oct 13, 2003.

  1. Kenneth Harden

    Kenneth Harden Screenwriter

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    ...I took two years of Spanish in high school, and while watching Dora the Explorer today (I was bored), I sorta understood some of the stuff they were saying.

    I think back to what we covered and if I remembered all of it, not only would I have a very large vocabulary (probably 500 common words), but if I remembered all the sentence structure and the like, I would be at a point where I could communicate in spanish, and with the help of a pocket dictionary to translate hard words, I could probably do a lot.

    However, I remember a lot of the math and science stuff. At college, I was talking to one of the chem teachers in their room, and the stuff they were doing flooded back into my head and I could do some of it.

    It's funny how you can be good at one thing, but totally useless at the other.
     
  2. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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    Not exactly related, but your post reminded me of how I learned English. The truth is I don't KNOW how I learned it. Or when. I took it in high school, but I didn't learn a lot. I could barely construct a sentence, and actual conversation was 99% beyond my skills. However, I was constantly surrounded by the language: It was the years before cable TV became mainstream in this country, so our only access to foreign TV came through those old gigantic parabolic antennas, which meant we got the original American channels, instead of the dubbed/subtitled region-specific ones we get nowadays. Also, I was very much into videogames at the time, and used to buy American gaming magazines, even though I couldn't read most of them.

    But, one day, I was watching a movie and realized I actually understood what was being said. Between the audio and the close captioning, I could actually follow it! Later on, I was able to read my American magazines with ease, as if I'd always known the language. My final test was getting through Tolkien's "The Silmarillion" without resorting to the dictionary :p)

    To this day, I don't know how the process took place, all I know is I can speak the language like a native, and I never took any English classes beyond the usual stuff you're taught in school.
     
  3. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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  4. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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    Language is naturally learned by simply being immersed in it all the time. It's how babies learn to speak it, and kids that grow up in bilingual households can often speak both languages well with very high listening comprehension. My girlfriend is half Japanese, she has great listening comprehension, but complains that her conversational abiliites in Japanese are about those of a young child about ten. The caveat is that she wouldn't be able to read Japanese except from the Japanese classes she's taken in highschool and college, though perhaps she would have since she taught herself origami from her mom's Japanese books that had no English in them whatsoever. [​IMG]

    I believe, but am not sure, that scientists believe that an area of our brain is especially active during early childhood that allows us to make the intellectual progress that the vast majority of humans achieve, and that this area begins to either shut down or falls into disuse as kids age (and around the same time really begin asserting their indpendence and personality more and more firmly). Don't hold me to that though, it's one of those things that just popped into my head that I read sometime somewhere, it may actually be from a scifi book, I'm not sure [​IMG]

    Adam
     

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