• Activity
  • Votes
  • Comments
  • New
  • All activity
  • Showing only topics in ~humanities with the tag "learning.language". Back to normal view / Search all groups
    1. Have you learned a foreign language as an adult? What did you find effective?

      I would love to know of your experiences. I do speak multiple languages, but was lucky to learn them through immersion as a child. I would be super interested to know how people learn languages...

      I would love to know of your experiences. I do speak multiple languages, but was lucky to learn them through immersion as a child.

      I would be super interested to know how people learn languages (with a goal to speak them fluently) as an adult. What techniques worked? What techniques didn't? Do you have any funny stories (perhaps miscommunication anecdotes)? Was it worth it? Or your things generally in relation to language-learning!

      31 votes
    2. Are you currently learning a new language? Are there any languages that are on your wishlist to learn?

      I grew up semi-bilingual (English as my native language, Spanish spoken at least once a day at home), and went on to study Spanish as my language of choice in middle and high school. Despite this,...

      I grew up semi-bilingual (English as my native language, Spanish spoken at least once a day at home), and went on to study Spanish as my language of choice in middle and high school. Despite this, I would still like to further my Spanish language skills/knowledge with some self-paced coursework, as the Spanish I grew up hearing in the house was much more colloquial and then the Spanish I studied in school was the "from Spain" Spanish, rather than the Central American Spanish my family spoke. I grew up being better able to understand more than what I could speak or write myself.

      When I moved onto to college, I wanted to try studying a different language, so I chose French (bad idea; I could never really get the hang of it between the spelling challenges and the pronunciation being so different from the written word). I took one semester and passed just enough to get credit for the class but moved onto to German -- which was a little bit easier than French but more difficult than Spanish. Beginner classes in it were easy for me to learn, but I started to struggle when I got to upper-intermediate. Plus, I'm not always great at spelling in English, and French and German are not "speller-friendly" languages haha.

      Now as I approach my midlife, I am thoroughly enjoying my ASL for Beginners course through my local community college. I find it incredibly intuitive whenever I learn new signs ("oh, that makes sense, cool" when I see a new sign). My mother-in-law has known and taught ASL (as well as SEE) for over 20 years so she is very helpful with me practicing and being able to correct any small mistakes I make. I don't know anyone who is Deaf, but have had a few friends growing up who used hearing aids (I don't think they knew ASL).

      So what about you? Are you currently learning a new language? If so, what is it, how do you like it so far, and what led you to want to learn it? If not, are there any languages on your wishlist that you'd like to learn someday?

      For me, I wanted to learn ASL as a way to connect more deeply with my MIL in our relationship, as well as have some level of ability to sign with those who are Deaf/deaf. I also wanted to learn it because I wanted an alternative way to communicate with my spouse if we are at a noisy event/party/etc. without having to shout to be heard.

      41 votes
    3. Duolingo alternatives for learning Ukrainian

      Hello! Привіт! Pryvit! I started learning Ukrainian on Duolingo in February 2022 following Russia's attacks. It was my first time attempting to learn a language for 10+ years and it just clicked....

      Hello! Привіт! Pryvit!

      I started learning Ukrainian on Duolingo in February 2022 following Russia's attacks. It was my first time attempting to learn a language for 10+ years and it just clicked. I grew to love the language, became entranced with the culture, and had desires to keep learning. Prior to Duolingo's redesign, I had a year+ streak and made it fairly far in the course.

      The redesign has absolutely killed that passion. Maybe it's just the Ukrainian course, but it felt like I was going in circles and not really progressing as I once had. I've shelved my learning for a few months, but I really desire an alternative to Duolingo. Unfortunately, there's not many options that offer Ukrainian and I want to ensure I am learning the language as intended. I've read into how Russian influences have attempted to modify the language and I desire to learn the form that Ukrainian's would use.

      I'm not quite at a level to learn from books or more static resources, and would prefer the interactivity of an app to help get me to that comfort level again. I've tried Pimsleur and wasn't as much of a fan of their format that reminded me of language tapes. One of the things I enjoyed with Duolingo was the verbal parts of it that helped with my pronunciation, and Pimsleur didn't appear to offer that.

      Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated! I have seen old posts referring to a SubStack and other resources, but at this time I need a refresher before I feel comfortable diving into those. I would love to incorporate learning a little bit of Ukrainian everyday again! Слава Україні!

      19 votes
    4. Place to learn Japanese

      So,this has been on my mind for a long time and i have tried some available/widely known methods to learn japanese language.So far iam not satisfied with my results.Can someone suggest me some...

      So,this has been on my mind for a long time and i have tried some available/widely known methods to learn japanese language.So far iam not satisfied with my results.Can someone suggest me some ways that worked for them preferably for free/cheap.The main problem is the letters or characters.i can comprehend and manage to speak a very basic levels of the language mainly from consuming media from japan,some duolingo and such.....
      any and all advice is appreciated
      Help me out guys

      36 votes
    5. From beginner to conversational in three months of learning Russian: My takeaways

      I'm posting this outside of the language learning thread because I worry those not currently learning languages are skipping it altogether :) In this post, I want to share general advice and...

      I'm posting this outside of the language learning thread because I worry those not currently learning languages are skipping it altogether :) In this post, I want to share general advice and takeaways about language learning, so this is for everybody, not just current learners!


      Today, I've hit I think a big milestone: I am now comfortable calling myself "conversational" in Russian. This comes on the heels of a 30 minutes, all-Russian, naturally-flowing conversation with my coach who was very impressed, and a couple days after having participated in a total of 4+ hours of conversations that included a native speaker who doesn't actually speak English (training wheels are off, now!).

      The goal I set myself mid-may to reach in 1 year, has been reached in 3 months. My Duolingo streak is on 87 days (or 89? I don't know if it counts the two streak freezes that were used), but I picked up DL a week after I started.

      During this time, I journaled my progress here on Tildes (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 - really, I hope Tildes isn't getting sick of my spam!), and rekindled my love for learning languages. I think it's time for a recap: What worked, what helped the most, etc.

      Summary

      I didn't follow one specific technique or guide. Everything from the beginning has been improvised, based on experience from previous languages, and gut feel.

      I talked about my methods in-depth in the journaling posts, but here's the bird's eye view of it:

      1. Learn the script first, and how it's pronounced (I had already done that years ago, kinda)
      2. Rigorously followed a single, complete-beginner crash course to get me started. In my case, a 9-hour, 30 episodes youtube series called Russian Made Easy, at an average of 45 min/day.
      3. Started using Drops to start accumulating vocabulary; this replaced Flashcards for me.
      4. After a little while, started the Duolingo course (but I don't use Duolingo the way most people do - See the old journals for details) and kept up with the streak since.
      5. Started listening to spoken material on YouTube, as much as possible, even before I could understand what was being said.
      6. Force myself to interact with the language by switching away from English in a variety of devices and apps
      7. Watch loads of short videos on various bits and pieces about grammar, etymology, word lists and misc advice
      8. Started writing in Russian on IM apps (at first using Google Translate, then without) with natives. Ask for feedback on it all.
      9. Regularly try to speak, to whomever would have a conversation with me.
      10. Regularly introspect: appreciate my progress, share it, and think about what I need to work on

      Deep dive


      Motivation

      I wrote about how important motivation is. People start learning a language and then abandon it after a few weeks like a gym membership purchased on January 2nd. Having a motivator that goes beyond "this sounds cool" is really important, because all this is a lot of effort and your brain won't see the point of making all that effort if you don't have a proper need to go through it all.

      I found that motivation is not a constant, either. It is something which has to be maintained. Sharing this experience with you all has been immensely useful in that process. And having native speakers in your life who can really appreciate your progress and encourage you is excellent.

      Variety

      The most useful part of my "method" is definitely the variety of the language diet. It seems to me that following only a set of single-source courses will just leave you with huge gaping holes as soon as you leave its bubble. It'd be like learning to read by only reading the same 100 words, over and over, until you become very quick at reading specifically those words. And then you're done and you come across the word "exhaustion" and you're like, what the fuck do I do with this?

      So yes, a variety of activities that will cover all types of input (reading, listening) and outputs (speaking, writing and thinking). And with the varied diet, one should also be careful not to burn themselves out by doing too much. I ensured that a lot of what I was "doing" was passive: Switching my phone's language, leaving audio in the background, asking others to speak to me in the language and translating if I need, etc. My active learning was only being done when I felt like it. This circles us back to the motivation aspect: If that's rock solid, then you will want to keep studying/reading/learning, and you'll do more.

      Regularity

      So yes, quantity and regularity are also important, and keeping the language in your brain every single day is, I believe, critical to help it develop. The languages I do not think about on a regular basis don't develop. Despite speaking Greek my whole life, only interacting with that language once every couple weeks at most has kept it from evolving beyond a pretty basic level, and now I'm convinced my Russian is better than my Greek. Oof, this puts shame on my supposed bilingual heritage.

      Finding comfort

      I think it's easy to get frustrated at a language you're not yet good at, because you're so used to how you normally do things, that communicating is SO FRUSTRATING when you don't have your whole toolkit.

      Speaking in the target language, with people who know your primary language(s), can also highlight that frustration because the barrier feels "artificial". For me, I have not particularly enjoyed speaking to non-natives, and that hasn't motivated me much. However, speaking to natives has been much easier because it's really nice to think "Hey, you've been making all these efforts to speak in a language I understand, let me do the effort this time".

      And well, finding a way to be comfortable speaking is critical. Olly Richards mentions that, if you start speaking too early and in an unsafe space, you can scare yourself into a "bad experience" and regress because of that. I can definitely see that, and I personally was careful to challenge myself without trying to push too hard.

      Over time, you can get very good at getting a sense of how difficult a certain activity or material is for you. You have three grades: Things you are comfortable with (level+0), things that are challenging and teach you (level+1), and things that are straight up too difficult for you (level+2).Input-based method proponents often advise staying at +1, without really defining what that means, but it's true you kinda know it when you see it. For example, watching Let's Plays in Russian is still my_level+2 for me, but I see them slowly edging towards +1, and that type of material is super effective because, any time you see the progress happening, your motivation is massively improved.

      Mistakes

      Developing on comfort: You have to be comfortable making mistakes. This is what really scares everybody, and it was definitely the case for me as well.. I was (and still am) ashamed of my bad grammar especially, and if I don't know how to say something properly, I hesitate to say it at all. But you gotta push through that. There's a balance to strike as always, and you still need to be ok with

      How I use Google Translate

      I've been doing something which has helped a lot, and in hindsight it's obvious to me why, so I want to share this and popularize this technique.

      I started writing to native speakers on IM very, very early (people often use and recommend Tandem for this). Because I didn't have a good enough control over the language yet, what I would do was: Write in Google Translate what I want to say. But without writing long, complex sentences; instead, I would write things I felt I wanted to be able to say. So instead of "Hey, I'm super hungry right now, do you wanna meet me and grab a bite on the way?", I would write "Hey, I am a bit hungry. Can we go eat together?".

      I would take the translation, understand it, and usually I would write it again on the keyboard rather than copy-paste (this helps with memorization). Sometimes I would use voice input, because cyrillic keyboard hard.

      Then, over time, as I got better at output, I would think about what I want to say directly in Russian and write that into Google Translate to check it (and sometimes do a little back-and-forth dance to see if it suggests alternate forms).

      So, yeah, this has been extremely helpful because it's given me a way of using the language as a tool from pretty early on. It's great because Google Translate really is going to adapt to your level, so if you want to be at "level+1", you just have to figure out what that looks like for you in your native language.

      Conclusion

      Wow, what a journey. Of course it's not over, but I've actually hit my goal... with nine months to spare! That's enough time to make, like, a whole baby.
      I want to keep improving, not stagnate, so I'm now going to keep using the language and I think wait that full year before I really start learning a new one. (Ukrainian was next on my list, but I'm shocked at how much I now understand of it, it's much closer to Russian than I thought; so I'm still undecided).

      I have loved sharing this experience with you, Tildes, and I really, really hope I motivated some of y'all in your own language learning journeys. If these threads have helped you in any way, please do share it with me here or by DM, I want to know!

      12 votes
    6. Language learning thread #1 - Share your progress, tips and questions

      As discussed and suggested here. What are you learning? How is it going? Share your progress, tips and tricks. Ask other learners questions. Writing in non-English languages is welcome in this...

      As discussed and suggested here.

      What are you learning? How is it going? Share your progress, tips and tricks. Ask other learners questions.

      Writing in non-English languages is welcome in this thread if you want to practice, but please at least include a Google Translate or Deepl translation in a foldable paragraph, using <details>[your translation]</details>

      18 votes
    7. Why do multiple meanings of words so often map across languages

      The English word 'crane' means a large bird or a giant lever-thing for moving heavy stuff. The Hungarian word 'daru' means both of the same things. English and Hungarian are about as unrelated as...

      The English word 'crane' means a large bird or a giant lever-thing for moving heavy stuff. The Hungarian word 'daru' means both of the same things.

      English and Hungarian are about as unrelated as languages get ... and yet, I keep bumping into parallels like that.

      Thoughts, anyone?

      14 votes
    8. A tildes thread for toki pona, the minimalist conlang

      Toki Pona is a minimalist conlang famous for having a vocabulary of under 130 words. There are communities of speakers on all major social media platforms. This is an introduction thread for...

      Toki Pona is a minimalist conlang famous for having a vocabulary of under 130 words. There are communities of speakers on all major social media platforms. This is an introduction thread for speakers, learners or the toki-curious to introduce themselves. I'll advise on learning resources, or just answer general questions if anyone is interested.

      I'm a toki pona speaker and creator of the YouTube channel 'seme li sin?' which translated news stories into toki pona.

      mi wile e ni: kulupu wawa pi toki pona lon lipu Tetesu. jan ale pi toki pona li jan pona mi. sina ken la o kepeken e toki pona lon lipu ni!

      26 votes
    9. Weekly Language Exchange Thread, Week 2019-W15 (experimental)

      It is Wednesday, my dudes! So why not have some good old foreign-language practice? As an experiment, let's try just that. Start a thread in a language you would like to practice or teach, or...

      It is Wednesday, my dudes! So why not have some good old foreign-language practice? As an
      experiment, let's try just that. Start a thread in a language you would like to practice or teach,
      or reply to an existing one. E.g.

      ## German / Deutsch
      
      Hier sprechen wir Deutsch! Wie geht es Ihnen?
      

      If you want to fix someone's grammar and also reply to them in the same message, I would recommend
      using a horizontal ruler with “* * *”. E.g.:

      I think “sich” should be “ihm”.
      
      * * *
      
      Es tut mir Leid, dass es ihm so schlecht geht.
      
      11 votes
    10. Tildes folks, are you learning another language or multilingual?

      pretty straightforward ask. i have some basic, rusty Spanish (on and off learning) and a bit of Esperanto to my name (currently learning) but not much else eventually i want to speak French...

      pretty straightforward ask. i have some basic, rusty Spanish (on and off learning) and a bit of Esperanto to my name (currently learning) but not much else

      eventually i want to speak French conversationally since my boyfriend can and i think it'd be neat to converse with him in more than English, but that's a long term goal.

      33 votes