The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 15, 2007
    Location
    often between a rock and hard place in Ky
    Posts
    4,824

    Default Learning a new language as an adult.. geeze oh pete my brain is cramping..

    First off hats off to all you fluent bilingual folks out there.

    I am trying to teach myself a new language and oh my lord is my brain hurting. Any tips anyone can offer to help this process along or help it stick?

    I am using the Pimsleur audio lessons which are WONDERFUL. You can buy them in little 5 unit bundles on Itunes for a reasonable amt of money ( 25 ish bucks waaay cheaper than Rosetta stone) and the way they teach does help it stick, but at lesson 13 my brain is fizzling and short circuiting LOL. ( I can ask what time it is , say I don't understand, ask what you want and say that I want something or ask where something is and say I don't know LOL)

    I am learning Tagolog which isn't an easy language to begin with. Boyfriend speaks it fluently and is helping me and getting me to use it around the house for the small phrases I do know. We are planning a trip to the Phillippines next summer to see his family and while his dad speaks English well some of his other relatives do not. I just want to be able to get around and somewhat understand or get the jist of what is being said. English is spoken quite a lot there so it's not absolutely necessary but I would love to be able to at lease be polite or be able to get basic things across if I need to.

    Is it normal for comprehension to come before speaking fluetly? I may not be able to come up with the words quickly but I was listening him talk to his dad on Skype the other night and understood maybe a third of the conversation and the rest I got bits and pieces of, so that wasn't too bad I though.

    Oh and his little sister who lives over there gets a giggle out of my " country" Tagolog accent. Yeah.. Tagolog with a twang that will sound interesting LOL. Wonder if Ya'll translates??
    ___._/> I don't suffer from insanity.. I enjoy every
    ____/ minute of it! Member stick horse art lovers
    ';;;;;;; clique
    //__\\<-- Don't feed the llama!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 15, 2005
    Posts
    3,275

    Default

    Berlitz is wonderful, although expensive. My employer paid for all of us to get 4 hours per week of small group, online, instruction in Spanish done by Berlitz instructors. The class was customized to our needs. Everyone who took the classes was speaking basic Spanish pretty well after the 15 weeks. It is hard to learn a new language as an adult, but is also fun.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 15, 2004
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    7,682

    Default

    I was first married to a Flemish speaking Belgian. I could speak French, English and German (much less than English though) and I could really get the gist of most conversations... but beside the basics I could never speak it. No matter how hard I tried, my brain was not processing it and all the words that came out were either English or German, never Dutch.
    I also think that whether you know it or not, you are self-conscious about speaking it properly so you hesitate... but in listening, there is no problem...
    Good luck. This is not an easy language to learn, but immersion will do you a lot of good when you do visit and you will pick up a lot.
    My English improved tremendously when I spent 3 months as an au pair in Northern England.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 20, 2010
    Location
    All 'round Canadia
    Posts
    4,576

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by horse-loverz View Post
    Is it normal for comprehension to come before speaking fluetly?
    Yes. I took French in school and did quite well reading/writing, but couldn't speak for s***. I also used to be fluent in German because I lived there for 3 years, but that was over 20 years ago and I don't speak it here; I can still follow much of a conversation or written piece, but I'm pretty lost trying to speak it.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2001
    Location
    Packing my bags
    Posts
    30,925

    Default

    pour yourself a stiff one. Jack and Jim are some of the worlds best translators and language tutors!

    I have heard that the computer based recognition software can be tricky, even for native speakers. So take heart!
    Since you can talk to a native speaker, use that.

    And of course do remember: Most people all over the world are happy when somebody makes the effort to speak their language, even if it is horribly butchered!
    And once you are submerged in it, you will be surprised what all you can recall!
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 18, 2006
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    4,344

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by horse-loverz View Post
    Is it normal for comprehension to come before speaking fluetly?
    Heck, yeah! I am taking Russian with my kids, from a woman who speaks English as a second language (obviously Russian as her first language). We share many stories about not being able to USE our foreign language despite being able to understand it. And she tells us that teaching Russian has helped her English immensely, because she HAS to use it when talking to us.

    We have been in weekly classes for three years, and we *can* converse, but it's hard because we don't force ourselves to do it. Our lessons now require us to speak, and it's hard (and humbling). Yet, our tutor can tell us entire stories in Russian and we can understand 90% of them.

    If you have a chance to immerse yourself, it will be great! But don't forget that we all learn language by first listening, then responding to questions, then actually *using* our language to express ourselves. That is how it works!

    PS Y'all translates into foreign languages. In fact, we have used "all y'all" to help the kids understand the concept of "plural You".



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 15, 2007
    Location
    often between a rock and hard place in Ky
    Posts
    4,824

    Default

    His dad says my pronouciation isn't bad for an American despite my accent LOL but some words just get stuck.. nga is a word my tongue does not want to wrap around. The lauguage is a bit more gutteral than I am used to but not as hard as some of the other Asian languages. Plus it is influenced by Spanish they use some of the same words so that helps too but the conjugating and tense gets me sometimes.

    It is funny though sometimes when he is driving and I'm navigating he makes me use the Tagolog directions.. if I forget the word Right or Left for the moment I cheat and just say doon ( do-oon) and point which means there. He's calls it cheating I call it creative directions.
    ___._/> I don't suffer from insanity.. I enjoy every
    ____/ minute of it! Member stick horse art lovers
    ';;;;;;; clique
    //__\\<-- Don't feed the llama!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 29, 2009
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    703

    Default

    My Dad is from Germany, though but never spoke German with me, so for a family reunion my Mom and I took some German with Berlitz. I contributed taking German through college, including classes taught entirely in German. My conversational German stinks, but have passable comprehension. Also, my comprehension of written German us much higher than my comprehension when listening to German.

    Definitely take advantage of having native speakers to converse with, and don't be afraid of making a mistake and saying the wrong thing, its the only way to learn. You'll be amazed how much you pick up once you're immersed in it too!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2002
    Posts
    3,788

    Default

    It's totally normal to understand the language before being able to communicate in it.

    Kudos to you for taking on that task as an adult since it is MUCH harder than if you were a kid. You may never be truly "bilingual" but who cares, as long as you are able of "function" within the target language, i.e, understand the written and oral word, and speak well enough that people will understand you.
    The best thing to do is go live in the country for a few months (or even better, a few years).
    In the mean time, work on that pronunciation, you're lucky to have a native speaker nearby for help!
    Good luck!
    Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    11,372

    Default

    I took something like 6 years of French through HS and college and could write papers, read novels, etc. But speaking? I sucked.

    I really think that if you want to learn to SPEAK well, you have to practice speaking! There are actually online places where you can hook up with native speakers and practice. Else, you just get there and learn.

    I learned Italian this way: Arrived in Italy. Tried to speak.

    I learned the common French in Mauritius the same way.

    I think that joining a local group or one of the online ones where you actually SPEAK is helpful. I was so embarrassed to speak. It just wasn't an emphasis when I took foreign language in school.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 9, 2007
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,037

    Default

    I lived in Italy for High School and I comprehend pretty well but the only time I sound half-way fluent is after a bottle of wine.

    Using my hands dramatically helps too.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 18, 2006
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    4,344

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by skykingismybaby1 View Post
    I lived in Italy for High School and I comprehend pretty well but the only time I sound half-way fluent is after a bottle of wine.

    Using my hands dramatically helps too.
    I've actually been told by two people speaking who were using a foreign language that alcohol really does help. One was an ESL wife of a college professor, and the other was the American spouse of a German woman when they were in Germany. They both said that having a glass or two of wine made them less nervous about speaking improperly, and once they got started talking (at a party, for example), it got easier and easier.

    So, yes, have wine if you can!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2007
    Location
    TN
    Posts
    1,869

    Default

    I took about 8 years of Spanish class, but my first night in Costa Rica with Spanish-speaking coworkers I couldn't understand a THING! For me reading is easier than listening is easier than speaking. I can translate into English pretty easily and have done it on the fly for students during tours, but going the other way is much harder!

    It really took living in Costa Rica before my Spanish started to solidify into something useful, and even now I haven't spoken it since July and it's getting rusty again. Get your boyfriend to talk to you in Tagalog as much as possible, because IME actually conversing teaches you the language much faster than any kind of memorization. Plus speaking in a different language forces you to get creative, and that requires practice as well. That "creative directions" is called circumlocution (e.g. instead of "grandfather" saying "your father's father").
    "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

    Phoenix Animal Rescue



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,109

    Default

    When I first came to the USA, already fluent in several other languages but English, I had a terrible time trying to learn just by listening and trying to speak, never having taken any classes.

    Took me three months! to realize why.
    I was picking the dictionary, looking the words there and pronouncing them like I thought I heard, as in other languages, each letter the same sound/s.

    Ok, English is an exception, the phonetics don't correspond to the written word but loosely, you have to memorize how practically each word sounds, no rules really apply.

    What is so curious, one night, I was sleeping in a common room with three other in that riding school, they told me I was speaking in very clear English, telling someone all about if and why and why not we should at all train and ride horses, or if that was not the right way to use them.

    What surprised them so much is that I was speaking in good, understandable English, not at all like I spoke awake.

    Our brains do practice at all times, even asleep, it seems.
    Maybe being asleep is like being disinhibited by alcohol?

    Where I still today have problems, my accent is still thick, is trying to talk to someone else that also has a heavy accent, as computer help in India.
    No one can quite understand the other too well, both of us struggle.

    Compounding all this is that I am hard of hearing.
    The joke, one dog typing tells another, "no one knows who you are posting on the internet", is true also when it comes to how some of us sound in person.
    My English, stilted in writing, is awful in person.

    OP, with so many examples now reading these threads, I think you can realize that there is nothing to worry about, have fun.

    You too will have tales to tell of when you were learning.
    My best one, playing Skip-Bo cards and telling my partner to "play your ace", ace sounded like I was referring to a donkey.
    Everyone was laughing so hard, no one could tell me what was so funny.



Similar Threads

  1. Learning a new language; which one and how?
    By acoustic in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 40
    Last Post: Jul. 4, 2012, 07:49 PM
  2. Canine epileptoid cramping syndrome?
    By pinkpony321 in forum The Menagerie
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: Jan. 3, 2012, 09:07 AM
  3. What language are you learning?
    By smm20 in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: Nov. 27, 2011, 07:00 PM
  4. Learning a new language - which way is best?
    By Gestalt in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: Jan. 17, 2011, 09:25 AM
  5. Adult ammy's, method for learning.
    By JRG in forum Dressage
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: Sep. 8, 2008, 08:16 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
randomness