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Old 30-04-2017, 03:34   #1
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HELP! Me Learn a New Language. Please. Please, please

Hey guys, hereís the deal. Being bilingual(+) SUCKS! For me anyway. English, German, & a tiny bit of Russian...
I need to get fluent, or at least conversational, in French & Spanish, FAST.

This is kind of one of those "whatever it takes deals". So other than being air dropped into a foreign country under cover of darkness (immersion): What learning systems have worked for you, & why? Also, the inverse, which oneís ainít worth the postage to mail them back?

And if anyone knows an easy way to switch my computer so that it speaks French 100% of the time 1 day in 3, that would be good too. NOT that I want to switch my keyboard over to a foreign key pattern, yet.That I can figure out myself. And am vehemently opposed to (for now).

Also, any & all other tips along the lines of revoking my "Cultural Infidel" status would be appreciated too.
Thanks!

PS: For those who are wondering, "Cultural Infidel" is a Jimmy Buffett'ism. And no, taking on a mistress or two isn't out of the question, as long as "some" conversation is involved.
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Old 30-04-2017, 03:41   #2
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Re: HELP! Me Learn a New Language. Please.

Total immersion and no speaking English 24/7. So to learn Spanish move to LA and to learn French to Quebec.

An old Jewish joke.

Moishe comes to Brooklyn from the Old Country to visit his old shtetl buddy Chaim who immigrated a while ago and became a successful restaurant owner. Chaim welcomes him to his restaurant with open arms, happy to see his old buddy and eager to show off his success. Chaim: "Moishe, order anything you like" and motions to the waiter. The waiter, an elderly Chinese gentleman, comes to the table and to Moishe's astonishment asks what he wants to order in perfect Yiddish. Moishe turns in amazement to his buddy Chaim and asks, also in Yiddish: "Where did he learn to speak our language???" Chaim: "Shhhh, he thinks it's English..."
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Old 30-04-2017, 06:09   #3
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Re: HELP! Me Learn a New Language. Please. Please, please

There is a song that every English speaking person knows by heart. It was one we all learned as small children. The alphabet song. When learning Spanish, I first tossed away $300. on Rosetta Stone which taught me words but not how to put sentences together. My Dominican cleaning lady was in my Provo apartment cleaning one Saturday while I was going through the motions with RS on the computer. She made me a bet that she could teach me more Spanish in a week than I learned in the month that I had been working with RS. the bet was $100.00 against two free weeks cleaning. I lost and all she did was to teach me the Spanish alphabet. Learning that made Spanish very easy to learn because there are so many words that mean the same thing, are spelled very similar or even exactly as in English but are pronounced differently just because of the alphabet. Especially words ending in ion, ate, and es. Gotta always start with the basics.
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Old 30-04-2017, 06:16   #4
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Re: HELP! Me Learn a New Language. Please. Please, please

Well, my trick was marrying a francophone, but that may be a bit extreme.

Immersion by this or other means is great for perfecting a language, but there are also apps that help get up to speed at earlier stages of learning. I'm using "Duolingo", available free on most platforms, to maintain and improve my bit of German. It would likely work well for someone with a more focused approach than I'm using.
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Old 30-04-2017, 06:21   #5
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Re: HELP! Me Learn a New Language. Please. Please, please

Quote:
Originally Posted by JstaRebel View Post
There is a song that every English speaking person knows by heart. It was one we all learned as small children. The alphabet song. When learning Spanish, I first tossed away $300. on Rosetta Stone which taught me words but not how to put sentences together. My Dominican cleaning lady was in my Provo apartment cleaning one Saturday while I was going through the motions with RS on the computer. She made me a bet that she could teach me more Spanish in a week than I learned in the month that I had been working with RS. the bet was $100.00 against two free weeks cleaning. I lost and all she did was to teach me the Spanish alphabet. Learning that made Spanish very easy to learn because there are so many words that mean the same thing, are spelled very similar or even exactly as in English but are pronounced differently just because of the alphabet. Especially words ending in ion, ate, and es. Gotta always start with the basics.
Sounds like a resounding NO on Rosetta Stone. Which I'd been wondering. Also, yes, a tutor had crossed my mind. Whether it's recruiting one locally via word of mouth, etc. Though a local college... or seducing one (the mistress thing) Since naught beats hands on instruction.

Also, any tips on learning sailing vocabulary, & terms? Common ones, as well as those use regarding weather (technical), & racing. Plus any, & everything technical that has to do with how boats are put together, designed, built, & repaired.
And yeah, I know, technospeak in any foreign tongue is 10x tougher than picking up the language conversationally.
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Old 30-04-2017, 06:29   #6
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Re: HELP! Me Learn a New Language. Please. Please, please

For the language, try the DuoLingo app on your phone, it's free and works well.



For sailing terminology, Ivar Dedekam's bible is available en franÁais:

https://www.amazon.fr/gp/aw/d/295176...IiL&ref=plSrch

Handy, because it's filled with diagrams that are noted in French..

I'm sure with a bit of searching you'd find it in Spanish too!

Sent from mTalk
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Old 30-04-2017, 06:30   #7
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Re: HELP! Me Learn a New Language. Please. Please, please

Quote:
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Well, my trick was marrying a francophone, but that may be a bit extreme.
The end justifies the means 👍😊
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Old 30-04-2017, 06:45   #8
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Re: HELP! Me Learn a New Language. Please. Please, please

Read a book in French that you haven't read before in English. Ideally, something interesting for you and light, perhaps a mystery or a sailing story. If you haven't read Moitessier in English, now might be the time to read it in French. Google translate will be your best friend as you start, but you shouldn't need it by the time you finish.

https://www.amazon.fr/longue-route-S...ard+moitessier
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Old 30-04-2017, 06:48   #9
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Re: HELP! Me Learn a New Language. Please. Please, please

Quote:
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Well, my trick was marrying a francophone, but that may be a bit extreme.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilou View Post
The end justifies the means ����
I'm sure there are "fringe benefits"... drawbacks too
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Old 30-04-2017, 06:49   #10
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Re: HELP! Me Learn a New Language. Please. Please, please

LANGUAGE GUIDES for Boaters who Travel ... : SPANISH FOR CRUISERS and FRENCH FOR CRUISERS

Complete info on SPANISH FOR CRUISERS Second Edition - Features, Reviews, Sample Pages, Sales Info

FRENCH FOR CRUISERS HOME PAGE - Book Features, Reviews, Sample Pages, Sales Info - (ISBN 0-9675905-1-5)

Kathy Parsons’ Language Courses and Cruising Seminars
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Old 30-04-2017, 06:51   #11
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Re: HELP! Me Learn a New Language. Please. Please, please

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I'm sure there are "fringe benefits"... drawbacks too
Nobody is perfect !
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Old 30-04-2017, 09:21   #12
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Re: HELP! Me Learn a New Language. Please. Please, please

Go for the Fringe Benefits.
The language will Come.

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Old 30-04-2017, 09:31   #13
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Re: HELP! Me Learn a New Language. Please. Please, please

I have taught myself quite passable French and Spanish without spending a penny, by going to the library and checking out two different resources. First is the Michel Thomas series of CDs. I like these because he starts out with the many similarities to English. As a result, within a matter of literally just minutes, you realize that you already know a thousand or more words in the other language. I also like his because he spends time on the rules of the language. As you get better at it, you are able to figure out for yourself the most likely structure for verb-endings and such, based on understanding those rules.

Then, just for practice and extending the vocabulary, I like the Pimsleur CDs. They are also very good for understanding pronunciation. With new words they often go through them a syllable at a time, very slowly, so that you can get the pronunciation completely clear. They also include conversations that are helpful for getting your comprehension up -- you listen to a short conversation that is not so fast that you can't understand it, but also is not so slow that it is completely unrealistic for two people to talk that way.

On top of that, there are some free video series available on the internet. Search for "French in Action," or for "Destinos" -- I'll let you figure out which one is French and which one is Spanish. ;-)

After that, there really is a HUUUUGE benefit to just going someplace where everyone speaks the language you are trying to learn.

I would also point out that French and Spanish are both Latin languages. That means they are very similar in many ways. This, for me at least, made it difficult to try to learn both at once. Much easier to focus on one, get it down, and then move to the other. Even having done that, I sometimes find myself getting confused between the two and tossing in a French word when I am speaking Spanish, or vice versa.

Good luck!
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Old 30-04-2017, 09:46   #14
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Re: HELP! Me Learn a New Language. Please. Please, please

Quote:
Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
I'm sure there are "fringe benefits"... drawbacks too
===

Oh yes. :-)

My wife is fairly fluent in French but she is almost helpless when it comes to talking about electrical and mechanical equipment. Also, do not make the mistake of thinking you can learn French in Canada. Canadian French is much different and my wife struggles to be understood there.
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Old 30-04-2017, 09:59   #15
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Re: HELP! Me Learn a New Language. Please. Please, please

Quote:
Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
I have taught myself quite passable French and Spanish without spending a penny, by going to the library and checking out two different resources. First is the Michel Thomas series of CDs. I like these because he starts out with the many similarities to English. As a result, within a matter of literally just minutes, you realize that you already know a thousand or more words in the other language. I also like his because he spends time on the rules of the language. As you get better at it, you are able to figure out for yourself the most likely structure for verb-endings and such, based on understanding those rules.

Then, just for practice and extending the vocabulary, I like the Pimsleur CDs. They are also very good for understanding pronunciation. With new words they often go through them a syllable at a time, very slowly, so that you can get the pronunciation completely clear. They also include conversations that are helpful for getting your comprehension up -- you listen to a short conversation that is not so fast that you can't understand it, but also is not so slow that it is completely unrealistic for two people to talk that way.

On top of that, there are some free video series available on the internet. Search for "French in Action," or for "Destinos" -- I'll let you figure out which one is French and which one is Spanish. ;-)

After that, there really is a HUUUUGE benefit to just going someplace where everyone speaks the language you are trying to learn.

I would also point out that French and Spanish are both Latin languages. That means they are very similar in many ways. This, for me at least, made it difficult to try to learn both at once. Much easier to focus on one, get it down, and then move to the other. Even having done that, I sometimes find myself getting confused between the two and tossing in a French word when I am speaking Spanish, or vice versa.

Good luck!
Pertinent statement & helpful advices.
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