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Learning a language

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Learning a language

Post by Lilac on Fri Apr 22, 2016 1:19 pm

I want to learn some Spanish before I go to Costa Rica, though with exams and uni I just haven't found the time to start! I have around two months so I'm definitely not expecting to be fluent Razz PLOA but I don't want to get there and know nothing.

Has anyone learnt another language, and have any tips on the best way to learn? I'm not sure whether to try books or audio. Classes would probably be the most helpful but the ones that I've seen are quite expensive.
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Re: Learning a language

Post by lunareclipse on Fri Apr 22, 2016 4:47 pm

I speak 5 languages, so I have learned 4 besides Estonian- English, Spanish, Italian and Brazilian Portuguese. Actually I haven't spoken Italian in many years, so I don't even know if I can count it in Rolling Eyes but in my dreams when I speak Italian it's always fluent lol, so I guess a part of me does idk

I loooove Spanish, so you can always ask me anything you want to know. You don't need to spend a fortune at all, everything you need is available online for free. There are tons of really good quality free websites, free tests, free Youtube  tutorials for every level from absolute beginner to higher grammar.

But you have to have a passion to learn a language, you can't just dry force yourself. I know because I learned Finnish and Russian for 10 years in school and still don't speak or understand them Laughing I just never liked them or cared for speaking them idk Luckily Spanish is fairly easy to learn for English speaker and pronunciation is pretty straightforward unlike English.

You will be a pro by the time you come back lol, when I first moved to Italy, I didn't speak a word beyond pizza, pasta and ciao Laughing but I picked it up in a month or so, I just had no other choice cause I was working every day with people that spoke nothing but Italian idk and they were very chatty.

I taught myself Spanish when I was 17, because I was really passionate about living in Spain. By the way Spanish is spoken much MUCH faster in Spain, so if you happen to have any Spanish friends to practice with, don't worry if you find it a little hard- it is a lot easier to understand anyone from any part of Latin America (except Argentina, since they pronounce some things differently) than Castellano-Spanish of Spain, plus they have tons of slang too.

One thing that I find really useful and if you could do that until you go, it would help you a lot, is listen to music in Spanish, even in the background. I have TONS, I mean, thousands of songs, so I will dig them out today and go through them and send you some of my favorites that I can recommend. I owe you some travel tips anyway Razz PLOA so I'll pm you some later on today.

Another thing that I probably would spend money on is just a small pocket dictionary to read whenever you are commuting to work or have a free moment.
I also had boxes of small flash cards (that I made myself) with Spanish word on one side and Estonian on the other, I used to lay them out in 3x5 rows and memorize them until I got all of them without having to flip them over. That's not really necessary, but I'm just sharing tricks that I used.

Other than that, anything to immerse yourself in the language always helps and nothing is as good as starting speaking. It doesn't matter how wrong you get it, nobody expects you to sound fluent. The locals will love it that you are trying no matter how horrible you sound (not that you are going to hehe) and that speaking as much as you can will really excel you fast.
So finding a friend to speak with, even online is great.
Plus there are tons of sources online, such as movies with English subtitles, free books in Spanish and all that- you really have absolutely everything you need to learn any language for free in the internet these days (especially Spanish).

The most important thing is the mindset- do not think of learning a language as some gigantic hard task that would take yeaaaars and is really complicated. It's really not. The more you think "This is going to be easy" - the smoother it will be and the easier you will remember anything.
I remember the first time we went to Spain with my class and me and my friends were really shy about speaking Spanish until we had a big jug of sangria and suddenly it was just flowing lol, we never knew we were such experts and speaking Spanish was so easy until then Razz PLOA

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Re: Learning a language

Post by LittlemissSunshine on Sat Apr 23, 2016 8:35 am

Wow lunar you are such a world traveller with all the languages you speak and the places you have went Smiley

We learn german, english and french in school so I speak a little bit of those languages. I studied Chinese at University and lived in China so I speak Chinese. Flash cards used to be my best friends! But I would also recommend finding someone for language exchange. A language buddy. It's the best way to practice what you have learned.

Well I can go on and on about how I learned Chinese. It's not the most easy language to learn but you can also just PM me so I can help. I love learning languages Smiley
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Re: Learning a language

Post by posay on Sat Apr 23, 2016 10:35 am

That is impressive Lunar!

I managed to teach myself some Italian years ago but it was just for fun to see if I could and I gave up, but it was so easy.

I also recently taught myself some Korean (don't ask lol) and that was actually easy too but again I gave up. These were both done online for free just by googling so I'd second what Lunar said!

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Re: Learning a language

Post by Lilac on Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:01 am

Thanks for the tips! Your language skills are so impressive!

I think you're right, me having the mentality that it's going to be so difficult is not going to work in my favour so I need to alter that! I saved the Spanish songs and I'm going to give them a try today so I'll let you know how it goes Very Happy I told some of the staff that I'm going to try to learn some, and they said they also have some classes there so they can help me out. But I do still want to learn as much as I can before arriving Smiley

Flash cards are a great idea! They're my favourite method of revising for uni so was pretty dumb of me not to think of that lol

This week is going to be my first practice week starting tomorrow cos I have a million uni things to do today. So maybe I'll attempt to have a basic Spanish conversation with you and see how I get on Razz

One thing I hate whenever I've tried is my attempt at the accent sounds soooo silly but then when I speak Spanish in my Manchester accent it just doesn't sound right. I guess it's just something I'll have to get used to haha
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