learning foriegn languages

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Garrett Lundy, Nov 16, 2004.

  1. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    I am intrested in learning some foriegn languages. I haven't had any formal classes since highschool. I was wondering if any member of this forum has any experience with any of the foriegn language 'learn at home' material from Berlitz, Rosetta Stone, or others?

    *If you're familiar with more than one... which company is best for an absolute newbie?
     
  2. Rennie Cowan

    Rennie Cowan Agent

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    Well, I am no expert, but I should think that studying at home is a good start. I love the french language and I was in France two months ago. A good deal of the French I studied in college came back to me rather naturally, I was surprised, and I can read it pretty well. Whenever I had to ask for directions I did very well. [​IMG] Glad to have a half decent memory....I would also suggest taking a formal class. I tend to believe that a classroom environment is the best place to learn, to be honest.
     
  3. JeremySt

    JeremySt Screenwriter

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    Ive been wanting to learn German for a while... I was hoping there was a "book on tape" approach. :b I took 2 years of Spanish in HS. It was the only language offerd in my HS, and I was kinda bummed. Dont remember too much of it. I am of Dutch / German heritage, so I figured German would be kinda cool to learn. I guess the library is the first step.
     
  4. Martin G

    Martin G Second Unit

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    I've heard very good things about the program that they give to diplomats when they need to learn a new language. I know that they used to be published, but I can't remember who it was or what they were called.
     
  5. John Alvarez

    John Alvarez Screenwriter

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    I have used the "living language series" on c.d. and on dvd Standard deviants. Like Rennie said though the classroom is the best place and use the tapes as a supplement. You can probably find a tutor or non credit class at a community college cheap. I payed 50 bucks for a 12 week class here.
     
  6. Craig F

    Craig F Second Unit

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    The Transparent Language is pretty good. The display is divided into several boxes. The main has a foreign phrase. Other boxes will give the translation of the phrase. Click on a word and get the translation for that word in another box. All the phrases have spoken content as well (by native speakers of the language). As you progress, you can disable the the translation boxes.

    This works well, because as a beginner, you spend so much time looking up words you don't know (which is all of them) that it becomes too frustrating. Having the info all on the screen at once eases the pain quite a bit.
     
  7. Daren Welsh

    Daren Welsh Supporting Actor

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    Which language(s) are you considering? I can recommend some stuff for Japanese. In general, for most languages, I'd suggest you look into a local club/association for that nationality/language. I've been taking my classes through the Japan America Society of Houston. I chose their classes over those offered by colleges because the classes are much smaller and more personalized. They're also geared more for those with busy schedules as we only meet once a week in the evening. I imagine other groups have similar programs.
     
  8. Alf S

    Alf S Cinematographer

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    Or you could do like my 3 year old girl does..watch Dora the Explorer! I'm amazed at how many Spanish words she blurts out to me now that she's been watching.

    I come home from work and the first things she tells me is "Ondalay(sp) daddy!!"

    Ok..now back to the topic at hand. [​IMG]
     
  9. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Whatever approach you take, it will be helpful (to the point of necessity) to practice with native speakers.
     
  10. Haggai

    Haggai Producer

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    I second Lew's advice, and I'm sure almost anyone else here who has foreign language experience will agree as well. The best thing to do, if possible, would be to combine some self-study with conversational practice with native speakers. I did this over the last couple of years (not all that strenuously, so I'm still not fluent) with my original language, Hebrew, that I hadn't used since I was 3 or 4 years old, and talking with a native speaker was almost always a better way to remember things than reading it in a textbook. Book-exercise-type work on one's own is still very important for developing a good base of vocabulary and grammar, but conversing with native speakers is unbeatable for learning how things work in the context of day-to-day communicating.
     
  11. Mark Murphy

    Mark Murphy Supporting Actor

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    Gotta go w/Lew's advice too. I grew up in a racially mixed neighorhood (black, white and spanish) and I'm pretty good at Spanish just from spending time at friend's homes where their family primarily conversed in spanish. I took it in high school as well which only enhanced my ability.

    Haggai, I gotta agree w/you too. Spanish class in school taught me grammar, vocabulary, etc. but not how to converse in a real life situation. I picked that up conversing w/my friends and their families. I hung out w/some Dominican kids in college who sometimes would speak nothing but spanish around me. Their attitude was: you want to hang w/us, speak the language. I don't speak spanish that great but I can read and understand it pretty good. Good enough that I can watch the Spanish Soaps (or Sabado Gigante) on Univision and understand what they are saying.
     

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