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(MIT)   Having trouble learning a new language? You're trying too hard   (newsoffice.mit.edu) divider line 28
    More: Interesting, artificial languages, vowels, Language processing in the brain, language learns, prefrontal cortex, structural elements, linguists  
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2469 clicks; posted to Geek » on 22 Jul 2014 at 6:42 PM (8 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



28 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-07-22 06:00:21 PM
I've learned 4 languages.
This absolutely was true for Russian, having a different (cyrillic) alphabet.
 
2014-07-22 06:45:20 PM
I wonder if a corollary to this would be to teach younger kids how to code JavaScript, C# and Java.   Get them coding early so they will be able to work out of college.
 
2014-07-22 07:07:36 PM
wut
 
2014-07-22 07:16:38 PM
I do notice that if i'm watching a foreign film without the subtitles on, if i try to 'decipher' what is being said, i'm at a total loss.... But i simply sit back and experience the dialog without thinking about it, the intent of what they're saying comes across.... sometimes, markedly so, where its almost like i'm hearing the English in my head.
 
2014-07-22 07:18:33 PM
inna gada da vida, bay bee
 
2014-07-22 07:20:23 PM
...and you should probably just stick to fluffy ones like html, perl or java.
 
2014-07-22 07:38:33 PM
I've always found getting drunk really helps with the translation anxiety and quite possibly makes me more understandable when I'm in Germany.
 
2014-07-22 07:47:55 PM
Really wish I hadn't focused so heavily on the Romansh.
 
2014-07-22 07:52:27 PM
I know Dutch English and some German and French. That is enough to understand most Spanish if people talk slow enough and to decipher most written language,
 
2014-07-22 07:54:14 PM
My daughter is turning four this week. She took a long time to start talking to us, but now she talks to my wife in Japanese and me in English, and she doesn't skip a beat between the two.

I'm struggling every day to learn some Japanese, but I get totally hung up on syntax ("should that be 'ga' or 'wo?'") and wind up frying my brain in under 30 minutes.

At least I'm learning a lot of Japanese pertaining to being a princess and/or a mermaid.
 
2014-07-22 08:02:32 PM

Shirley Ujest: I've always found getting drunk really helps with the translation anxiety and quite possibly makes me more understandable when I'm in Germany.


Growing up, my dad had a German friend named Hans. His accent was so thick it was nearly impossible for me, as a kid, to make it out. Years later, I learned that my parents couldn't understand him all that well either and he had to repeat things several times sometimes for the point to get across. Later, some other family friends had a German exchange student. So someone who can finally speak normally with Hans, right? Turns out Hans had a speech impediment and the German kid had a really hard time understanding him in German.
 
2014-07-22 08:18:27 PM

Shirley Ujest: I've always found getting drunk really helps with the translation anxiety and quite possibly makes me more understandable when I'm in Germany.


With German that actually makes sense.
 
2014-07-22 08:20:27 PM

Shirley Ujest: I've always found getting drunk really helps with the translation anxiety and quite possibly makes me more understandable when I'm in Germany.


If you speak Latin, you can just get really drunk and it will sound like French.
 
2014-07-22 08:30:32 PM

sxacho: Shirley Ujest: I've always found getting drunk really helps with the translation anxiety and quite possibly makes me more understandable when I'm in Germany.

Growing up, my dad had a German friend named Hans. His accent was so thick it was nearly impossible for me, as a kid, to make it out. Years later, I learned that my parents couldn't understand him all that well either and he had to repeat things several times sometimes for the point to get across. Later, some other family friends had a German exchange student. So someone who can finally speak normally with Hans, right? Turns out Hans had a speech impediment and the German kid had a really hard time understanding him in German.


Oh wow. Poor Hans :-(
 
2014-07-22 09:28:23 PM
I would love to be able to learn multiple languages as easily as I did my native one.  Huge pipe dream.  Even learning French as a teenager was much easier than it is now.  Funny thing is, I had a passable French accent as a high school student, and now I sound awful.  I know I sound awful.  But for some reason I can't make it sound right anymore.  Huh, maybe they're right and I am trying too hard?

For now...aprendo español...despacio. :I

Je ne voulais pas devenir une grande personne. :(
 
2014-07-22 09:29:32 PM
I know enough Spanish to make myself not understood when trying to speak Portugese with my family. mas is "more" in
Spanish, "but" in Portugese...

/damn Mexicans!
//love Mexican/latin people
///tres slashies por sabor
 
2014-07-22 10:03:50 PM

sxacho: Shirley Ujest: I've always found getting drunk really helps with the translation anxiety and quite possibly makes me more understandable when I'm in Germany.

Growing up, my dad had a German friend named Hans. His accent was so thick it was nearly impossible for me, as a kid, to make it out. Years later, I learned that my parents couldn't understand him all that well either and he had to repeat things several times sometimes for the point to get across. Later, some other family friends had a German exchange student. So someone who can finally speak normally with Hans, right? Turns out Hans had a speech impediment and the German kid had a really hard time understanding him in German.


There was a great soccer player who grew up in East Germany, Michael Ballack. You might have seen him if you watched the WC. He was an ESPN studio analyst, and his English was flawless, outside of a few interesting but functional word choices.

He moved to play for Bayern Munich and he said something* to the effect of "With the older fans, I just smile and nod because I have no idea what they are saying." Having been to Munich, I can empathize. My German was pretty good at the time, but I had a waiter at Augustinerkeller who could have told me was brutally torturing and murdering everything I loved and I would have assumed he was asking for my order. Swiss German and the western Austrian accents are just as bad.

*This was in a magazine called world soccer about 8-10 years ago, but that was the gist.
 
2014-07-22 10:22:56 PM

bluenovaman: I know enough Spanish to make myself not understood when trying to speak Portugese with my family. mas is "more" in
Spanish, "but" in Portugese...

/damn Mexicans!
//love Mexican/latin people
///tres slashies por sabor


It's also 'but' in Spanish, although that's a little archaic afaik. Shows up in formal documents, poetry, the Bible, etc. The same sorts of places that have the 'vd(s)' abbreviation instead of 'ud(s)'.
 
2014-07-22 10:46:55 PM

treesloth: bluenovaman: I know enough Spanish to make myself not understood when trying to speak Portugese with my family. mas is "more" in
Spanish, "but" in Portugese...

/damn Mexicans!
//love Mexican/latin people
///tres slashies por sabor

It's also 'but' in Spanish, although that's a little archaic afaik. Shows up in formal documents, poetry, the Bible, etc. The same sorts of places that have the 'vd(s)' abbreviation instead of 'ud(s)'.


Vds. is a shortening of "vuestras mercedes".
 
2014-07-22 10:49:20 PM
This might help me get jumpstarted again. I've been a lazy ass, but Finnish ain't easy.
 
2014-07-22 11:40:19 PM

Kevin72: treesloth: bluenovaman: I know enough Spanish to make myself not understood when trying to speak Portugese with my family. mas is "more" in
Spanish, "but" in Portugese...

/damn Mexicans!
//love Mexican/latin people
///tres slashies por sabor

It's also 'but' in Spanish, although that's a little archaic afaik. Shows up in formal documents, poetry, the Bible, etc. The same sorts of places that have the 'vd(s)' abbreviation instead of 'ud(s)'.

Vds. is a shortening of "vuestras mercedes".


Indirectly, yes. 'Vuestra merced' ('your grace/honor/mercy') became shortened to 'vuesarced', which in time became 'vusarced', and then 'vusted'. Then the 'v' got softened out of existence but the 'vd' persisted (heh, snicker). Most of those will be marked as archaic in dictionaries.
 
2014-07-23 08:19:34 AM
Yes, do the bidding of your computer searchformlords. I'm sure a proper use of the knowledge will be available within country.
 
2014-07-23 10:58:29 AM
I'm working on Korean, and I'd consider myself more or less functional, but I still have a really, really hard time understanding it as adults speak it naturally. I tend to listen really hard, and try to pick out every individual word, and I think this research may be onto something - my wife, who doesn't have a quarter of my "learned" vocabulary but hears her Korean co-teacher all day every day (often while doing other things on her computer), picks up way more of the meaning of overheard speech than I do.
 
2014-07-23 11:52:01 AM
You have to read to the end of the article.  It finally mentions procedural memory )something that they could have mentioned at the beggining.  The point is to learn by doing.
 
2014-07-23 02:03:39 PM

treesloth: bluenovaman: I know enough Spanish to make myself not understood when trying to speak Portugese with my family. mas is "more" in
Spanish, "but" in Portugese...

/damn Mexicans!
//love Mexican/latin people
///tres slashies por sabor

It's also 'but' in Spanish, although that's a little archaic afaik. Shows up in formal documents, poetry, the Bible, etc. The same sorts of places that have the 'vd(s)' abbreviation instead of 'ud(s)'.


Archaic is pendejo really means pubic hair.

The best Spanish to English dictionary I have found is the Velasquez.
 
2014-07-23 03:26:03 PM

theflatline: Archaic is pendejo really means pubic hair.

The best Spanish to English dictionary I have found is the Velasquez.


Oh, is it?  I've actually wondered about that.  I've got to see if the "Mierda" and "Mas Mierda" Spanish books are still around.  They were, so to speak, for practical Spanish.
 
2014-07-23 03:27:00 PM

treesloth: I've got to see if the "Mierda" and "Mas Mierda" Spanish books are still around.


Oh, sweet!
 
2014-07-23 07:25:50 PM

treesloth: theflatline: Archaic is pendejo really means pubic hair.

The best Spanish to English dictionary I have found is the Velasquez.

Oh, is it?  I've actually wondered about that.  I've got to see if the "Mierda" and "Mas Mierda" Spanish books are still around.  They were, so to speak, for practical Spanish.


I learned Spanish as an adult. I lived in Colombia:

1989-91 age 18-21
1999-2001    29-31
2009-2011    38-42

My Colombian grandmother was a judge who also happened to have a degree in languages, and she made me sit in her courtroom with her and in her office to here proper spanish with her colleagues, and then would quiz me on it day in and day out.  She was a a hard task master.

Her thought was while I would not be fluent in both languages like my father who began speaking both as a child traveling between countries, was that I be able to hold conversations concerning topics that were abstract, technical, or philosophical.  I got tough love immersion.

It worked though. I was able to go to college there without a problem and work as technology consultant for a latin american marketing company, and everyone understood me.  Plus, my wife would have never dated a gringo.

My Velazquez is probably 60 years old but has every word you can imagine, she gifted me hers.  The only books she allowed me were the dictionary and one 502 Verbs I think.

The Mierda books are great!
 
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