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Old 22-09-2017, 13:53   #1
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Language learning offline while cruising.

I'm interested in continuing my foreign language learning while cruising, and since internet is hit or miss while in port and absent while making passage, that means offline learning tools.

Unfortunately most of the best tools and resources for self study that I know of are dependent on having a good reliable internet connection. Learning a language is a discipline that requires study every day, especially in the early stages. Otherwise hard-won progress is lost to forgetfulness.

Of course there are always books but I prefer methods that repeatedly pound the knowledge into my long term memory. Applications like Anki, Memrise, Rocket Languages, FluentU, LingQ, Duolingo, etc.

Those of you who study languages while cruising: what solutions have you come up with in your travels? I'm currently studying Japanese, but once I attain fluency I want to add Spanish (for cruising Mexico), French (for Polynesia), and maybe eventually some other Asian Languages like Tagalog, Vietnamese or Korean.
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Old 22-09-2017, 14:27   #2
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Re: Language learning offline while cruising.

YouTube downloader and store in advance.

Other sites may be more difficult.
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Old 22-09-2017, 15:23   #3
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Re: Language learning offline while cruising.

I've found the best and fastest way is a female crew member/gf who does not speak English and the appropriate two way dictionary..
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Old 05-10-2017, 21:55   #4
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Re: Language learning offline while cruising.

Downloads videos offline.


How do you learn? Are you following any learning routine?
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Old 05-10-2017, 22:10   #5
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Re: Language learning offline while cruising.

To get fluent takes a long time and each language has a different level of demands. Now, to speak any foreign language really, really well, takes years and years.
I do use Anki and Memrise for languages I'm not great at.
For offline learning, there's nothing like having a kindle with books in the language you're currently learning.
There are offline apps like SpanishDictionary! (I think that's its name) that work great when not internet connected.
Forvo.com helps with pronunciation when you are connected.
Books like the old Gimmick! Series for Spanish, French, Italian, and German are excellent.
Wordreference (and its forums) and Linguee are other great resources when connected.
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Old 05-10-2017, 23:09   #6
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Re: Language learning offline while cruising.

I recieved tons (3 pages worth) of tips & ideas when I asked a similar question several months ago. Quite a lot of which have been extremely helpful, so perhaps said thread will help you as well. HELP! Me Learn a New Language. Please. Please, please
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Old 06-10-2017, 12:30   #7
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Re: Language learning offline while cruising.

Correction on that app. It's called Span¡shD!ct.
I'm thinking that a native English speaker did not create it, but despite its name, I found it to be easily the best Spanish-English dictionary app out there.
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Old 06-10-2017, 16:03   #8
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Re: Language learning offline while cruising.

Podcasts are another good venue for language practice. We liked "Coffee Break Spanish" and "Notes in Spanish" while we were cruising Mexico.
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Old 07-10-2017, 10:04   #9
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Re: Language learning offline while cruising.

larousse de poche and similar pocket dictionaries for internet-less travelling. immersion into the country's systems so you need to use the language. i can now have engine rebuild in spanish, triage and medically treat sick and injured in spanish, order food, buy clothing.. getting there.... it only takes time. i did none of my learning online. only books and immersion.
the patient victims of my bad spanish correct me as needed so i know what i just oopsy said..hahahahaha
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Old 07-10-2017, 10:18   #10
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Re: Language learning offline while cruising.

We normally go to the language. I mean when we learn French, we go to Guadeloupe, etc. It does not matter that you are offline when everybody around you speaks the target language.

If there is good learning material online that you want to use offline, download the content. Sound, video, text can be easily downloaded either in source form or ripped to pdf, jpg, etc. formats.

A grammar book and a dictionary can still be had in paper form (a book) or else as an offline file.

What languages are you learning?

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Old 07-10-2017, 12:54   #11
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Re: Language learning offline while cruising.

Thanks everyone for your responses. Barnakiel to answer your question I am learning Japanese. Tough language with the thousands of Kanji characters but the grammar seems pretty straightforward. I'd also like to learn French, Spanish and maybe some others (if ever I live that long, LOL).
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Old 07-10-2017, 16:25   #12
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Re: Language learning offline while cruising.

Japanese ... a tough call. It is not spoken too widely and so you would have to go to Japan. Unless perhaps you settle down within their diaspora part in (?) California (?).

I wanted to learn Japanese and went to their embassy here but they do not offer any courses. Very odd as Spanish, French or UK/US embassies all lend huge support and some offer very cheap, very good, classes.

I have a friend who lived there some. Not too expensive at all. But bloody difficult due to the culture being quite idiosyncratic.

Youtube your friend. Download as many clips as you can for offline days.

Good luck!
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Old 16-12-2017, 05:40   #13
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Re: Language learning offline while cruising.

This is definitely a good idea for passing time on long voyages. I might follow in your shoes. A while back during my younger years I paid a tutor to teach me Japanese. A lot easier to pick up when your teacher is fluent and from Japan. I didn't master the language by any means but I will say the fundamentals of it aren't that difficult if you have a decent memory. One thing we used was this little flash card set with all the basic kanji and hiragana characters. Then remember the sound each one produced like when you first learnt the alphabet. From my time with Japanese I learnt speaking the language was far easier to pick up than reading it. It was simple enough to read basic Japanese sentences but when you got to a Japanese newspaper. The thousands of Chinese characters mixed in made it very difficult.

Anyways let me know what you figure out as I too would love to study a new language. Most of the countries I hope to sail to are predominantly English speaking or it is widely understood there. But it would never hurt to learn a new language and come back with yet another skill.
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Old 18-01-2018, 04:33   #14
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Re: Language learning offline while cruising.

I am quite literally deaf as a post--I've got about 20% of my hearing left.

This is relevant, bc it takes me orders of magnitude more time to pick up bits of languages. My strategy in Mexico, for example, involved pencil and paper, because I'm not good enough to lipread in spanish, but I can read and write it adequately.

Anyways, I second YouTube Red or similar, language podcasts saved for offline listening, and purchasing a good language dictionary. Some have recommended a cruiser's language book--I forget the name, but it's basically just phrases you might need related to customs and immigration, approaching marinas, navigation, etc. I know one exists for spanish.

Also, download foreign language tv shows or movies with captions. The captions aren't always accurate, but they'll be good enough to give you the gist and help you practice listening to colloquial language in action. Very different experience from the carefully enunciated language lessons :-)

Embassies and government organizations generally have tons of language resources available online, which may be usable offline, either via pdf or mp3 download, or via the 'save webpage' option.

Language learning audiobooks or videos are cheap, digital, and may be worth it if you want a simple system versus a Frankestein conglomerate of free stuff. The closest I and my husband got to spanish proficient was via an audiobook of introductory spanish lessons we used while winter road tripping from Alaska to Baja California, Mexico. N paid $25, which worked out to about a nickel an hour each.

I'm lucky to have an interesting array of friends--many of whom have been far more successful than I at picking up new languages, because they spent time living in the countries, spent time actually hanging out with locals, and weren't afraid of screwing up. That being said, a lot of my expat friends say the biggest barrier to learning the language of their host country, is getting comfortable within your expat community. You can really see this in cruising life, retirement communities, even neighborhoods. Discovery Bay in Hong Kong, for example--a high rise neighborhood of golf carts and expats, separated from the hoi polloi by a ferry ride across the bay/moat. (Don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed time in DB, but damn, it is a little weird.)

Are you going to Japan?

Good luck (or hard work) (preferably both).
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Old 18-01-2018, 04:42   #15
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pirate Re: Language learning offline while cruising.

To true.. there's villages along the E Spanish coast where there's only English residents.. Spanish workers bus in each morning and bus out each evening.. these Brits have no interest in learning the language whatsoever.. they're just there for the sun, sea and Sangria..
Closest they get to Spanish is 'More Milko for the Teao'..
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