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Author Topic: The Language Learning Thread  (Read 1037 times)

Patty Rain

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The Language Learning Thread
« on: May 03, 2016, 10:18:09 am »
I've been learning Hebrew with an app. Laughing over how it teaches me beverages against the word of wisdom before it teaches me other ones. Laughing further about how much easier those are than those I've learned so far that are ok.

Coffee - kafeh
Tea - teh
Wine - ya'een
Alchohol - alchohol
Beer - beera
_________
Juice - meets
Water - ma'eem
Milk - khalav
« Last Edit: May 04, 2016, 07:36:13 am by LMAshton »
Time for a change.  I am yungmom, but have wanted a new username for some time.
 

Curelom

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Re: Re: Cabin & Porch
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2016, 05:33:17 pm »
Hee hee, that is amusing, isn’t it?

I suspected the reason might have something to do with the etymology of the various words, because I knew “coffee” originated from Arabic & so do many English words beginning with “al-” with a consonant following, including my academic nemesis, algebra. I looked up a couple of the others here & the English words for the WoW-friendly (“kosher”) beverage seem to come from Germanic or other European sources.

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?l=a&allowed_in_frame=0

But that doesn’t make it any less funny, that the language of the first covenant people makes it so easy to order stuff the Lord wants us to avoid!   ;D

Is it difficult to study a language like Hebrew from an app? I remember you saying you wanted to learn, & I can’t think of a tougher one to study with no teacher, live classes, or classmates to practice with. Except maybe Russian, Chinese, or Greek. I can see trying with languages that we share the alphabet with, & even those could be challenging. I wish we had the “Hats Off” graemlin from Old Nauvoo, because you’d get a triple one for tackling this!
 
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Patty Rain

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Re: Re: Cabin & Porch
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2016, 09:15:30 pm »
It's  Chinese that I was wanting to do before,  but that all hasn't got off the ground yet.  I need to learn that in an "equivilent to a minor".

I'm learning Hebrew in part because it is one of my goals,  but at a much lesser level and in part because we are going to Israel!

So right now I am learning on the app.  I don't know if I will go farther than that our not. It will probably be sufficient.  Is definitely more fun and I like the smaller doses that I can do with it,  but it does make me wonder about some of the verb firms.  If I paid attention a little better I could probably pick them up better to some extent.  It seems a lot like I have seen with the online Rosetta style of teaching I have seen. I've had my whole family download it as we are all going,  but they haven't done as much with it.  Brady says he likes a different app better,  but it's possible that is because he hasn't spent enough time on it.

So I like it - except for the speaking: my phone is picking me up way wrong on the simplest things. And the conversation section. I have no idea how to do that part. But I am learning vocabulary.

Gavin is also learning a little bit of hebrew in seminary this year so that is fun.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2016, 09:20:13 pm by Patty Rain »
Time for a change.  I am yungmom, but have wanted a new username for some time.
 

LMAshton

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Re: Re: Cabin & Porch
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2016, 12:11:25 am »
Patty, I've noticed the same thing - the words for coffee, tea, wine, and beer show up before water, milk, or juice in the languages I've been working on. And the words for coffee, tea, and wine are usually fairly similar, although beer is cerveza in Spanish.

Curelom, the thing about learning a language from an app is that there are SO many apps that take a fairly wide variety of approaches to learning a language. Fahim and I have found that we have fairly different preferences in how we learn, so we like different apps. We won't reach fluency using just an app or a few apps, but we can get a fairly good basic understanding of a language. We'll then need to read books, news, blogs, whatever in the target language as well as listening to TV shows, movies, podcasts, news, whatever and speak with people in the target language. Learning words and phrases through apps or programs like pimsleur really only reach passive learning, but to gain fluency or the ability to communicate effectively to any degree requires activating. So it's not a complete solution, but it sure gets us closer.

Do we want to have a separate thread about language learning? We can talk about what we're learning, we can check in with our progress, talk about what we're using, what works and what doesn't, and stuff like that.
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Jana at Jade House

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Re: Re: Cabin & Porch
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2016, 07:18:40 am »
Yes, please, at least I can look on with longing. I find my spirit is willing but there are not enough hours in my day. And Chinese without a human teacher will be IMPOSSIBLE. I do not know if it because I am HOH but the tonal differences are impossible from an app.  I have tried several.  I can read the characters after a while in land.  If we do a sabbatical there, I will be in deep doo-doo.
 

LMAshton

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Re: The Language Learning Thread
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2016, 07:39:27 am »
Okay, I split out the language learning posts, so we can talk about all things language learning here.

So if you're learning a second (or third or sixth) language, whether from scratch or refreshing what you might have learned years ago, then talk about it here. What language(s) are you learning? What apps, programs, resources are you using? How's it going? Let's talk about it all!
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LMAshton

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Re: The Language Learning Thread
« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2016, 11:14:28 pm »
I'm working on French and German, although I'm taking a bit of a break at the moment - I need to every now and then. I use Memrise on my iPhone, although they also have an Android app and a website, as my primary learning tool.

I also use Slow German podcast for German - there's a transcript of the podcast so I can read what's being said as well as listening to it. The lady speaks slowly enough - hence the Slow German bit - that I can differentiate every single word even if I'm not familiar with the word or its meaning. There's also Coffee Break German (and French and Spanish, I think).

For a while, Fahim and I were learning Spanish together, so we started watching the Extr@ series in Spanish - it's done by the BBC, I think - which is designed for Spanish language learners. They also have the series done in French and German and possibly a few other languages. We use subtitles for me since my hearing isn't great. We also watch kid's programming - The Backyardigans, for example, in Spanish. Or French or German that I watch on my own. Backyardigans are available on YouTube. And YouTube in general is pretty terrific - I've stumbled across all sorts of other kids TV programs that are on YouTube.

We've also downloaded a lot of ebooks - mainly from Project Gutenberg, but also free ones from iTunes in our target language, mainly kids books. For French ebooks, I created a new iTunes account for France (no credit card attached) since there weren't that many on other country sites. And I've gotten free audiobooks from - ah, what was it called? Librevox maybe? They're usually Project Gutenberg books that volunteers have recorded.

And I listen to French and German radio on my iPhone. News programs are the best since it's a lot of speaking and it's fairly clearly enunciated.

What kinds of resources do y'all use?
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palmetto_gal

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Re: The Language Learning Thread
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2016, 03:25:29 pm »
After I transitioned back into the civilian world, I taught conversational
German at the local Tech school.  The Charlotte NC area had a lot of German corporations and there were a good number of Americans employed by these companies who wanted to pick up the basics of German.  During the first class, I recommended they head to their local Barnes & Noble (this was before Amazon came into existence) and pick up a children's dictionary.  These dictionaries were chock full of verbs and nouns used in beginning German classes, had great illustrations.  They also indicated whether the noun was masculine, feminine or neutral.  They weren't always dictionaries per se, so they were sometimes listed as childrens' German word books.  Nowadays, I assume these are downloadable to a Kindle app, etc. 
 
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LMAshton

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Re: The Language Learning Thread
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2018, 10:07:55 pm »
Howdy, everyone! Resurrecting a thread here!

How's everyone doing on their language learning?

I got irritated at Memrise. They changed their UI starting a year or two back and have made further changes since then, and all the changes lead to making the app more user hostile. Add in a few serious bugs that they don't consider as bugs and, after a year of complaining to them about and they're still there, I've found that I dread using their app. But it was the closest one around in terms of what worked for me for learning basic vocabulary.

I then tried using anki decks, but the anki apps are... not easy to use. I've tried a few anki deck apps, and they're all fairly appalling in how bad the UI is and how difficult they are to use in general. But I like the general idea behind them.

So Fahim is now writing an app that imports in anki decks so you can use the anki decks as the starting point. But the UI will be a lot more user friendly and the anki decks will be cleaned up. We're at the alpha testing stage currently, but we're looking at starting beta testing in a week or so, so if anyone is interested in beta testing the app, please let me know. The more beta testers the better.

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LMAshton

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Re: The Language Learning Thread
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2018, 03:00:00 am »
RESURRECTION!!!!!

So the husband and I are focusing on French and Spanish, and we're doing a lot more of our language learning together. His Spanish is better, my French is better, so it works out fairly well.

We've been using stories.duolingo.com - they have a whole bunch of short stories that you can work through in various target languages, and by a whole bunch, I mean more than a hundred. We've found them quite useful to help us progress. We've also been reading comics aka picture books, ones that are designed for children. That has also been very useful. Added to that that we've started watching some TV shows on Netflix with French subtitles instead of English subtitles, so that's been cool. And we've found that, as we watch foreign language films/TV shows in French or Spanish that we understand a lot more than we expected. It's been interesting!

How's your language learning going and what are you working on?
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Jana at Jade House

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Re: The Language Learning Thread
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2018, 07:39:24 am »
I am still slogging along in Mandarin. Although I do use some apps, I have a personal tutor every week.  She's very patient.
 

Taalcon

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Re: The Language Learning Thread
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2018, 09:56:33 am »
I've realized my Spanish, which I haven't used consistency in about 10 years is in a serious recall decline, so I have started using the Duolingo app for a refresher. I don't know how well it would work for learning a language from scratch, but it's a great review help.
 

LMAshton

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Re: The Language Learning Thread
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2018, 11:35:47 am »
Jana, having a personal tutor is fantastic! I'm glad you have that. Mandarin is difficult!

Taalcon, according to the husband, it's great for learning from scratch. He used it to give himself a decent base in Spanish. For me, it's not so good. It's really down to how one's brain works methinks.

Have you thought about watching TV shows/movies or reading books in Spanish to keep your Spanish skills up?
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Taalcon

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Re: The Language Learning Thread
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2018, 12:47:12 pm »
I have thought of each of those, most just don't fit into my schedule right now. Especially since there's a bunch of books in English in my queue I've put off that I'm just finally getting around to plowing through :)

That's what I like about DuoLingo for a refresher for me. Works well at my current pace. But I definitely see how it could be rough for a first-timer. I think getting a textbook and working through it from time to time would be helpful in that regard. If I ever work on another language, I'd probably do that, in addition to using an app-as-flashcard review.
 
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LMAshton

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Re: The Language Learning Thread
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2018, 03:46:08 pm »
That's what I like about DuoLingo for a refresher for me. Works well at my current pace. But I definitely see how it could be rough for a first-timer.

I think that's the difference between the husband and I. For me, I was starting from scratch. For him, while he was a beginner, he's already fluent in four languages, had bunches of others, and a lot of them have words/roots in common with Spanish/Portuguese. Add to that that he's really good at a. learning languages and b. spotting the commonalities in languages really quickly, and he's even further ahead.

It's great that you've found something that works for you.
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