Best way to learn a Language??

@Jaxsky (196)
July 28, 2009 4:02am CST
Hi, Just wondering peoples thoughts and opinions on the best methods they have found for learning a language. I have been using Rosetta Stone to learn Swedish and I do like it. Just wanted to hear some success stories etc, what did you learn? How long did it take you? Etc Thanks Adam
3 responses
@thea09 (18324)
• Greece
30 Jul 09
Hi Jaxsky, I was using Rossetta stone a lot until the disk drive broke in my computer, I found it to be the best system for learning Greek in my case. With books you don't get the pronounciaton right but listening and reading at the same time is an excellent method. A Greek friend got them for his American wife as it wasn't working too well when he tried to teach her and being a master of many languages himself he recommended them as they don't use any English so you have to think quick in the language you are learning. The Greek ones have a whole section of newspaper type cartoons and I knew I was starting to get there when they made me laugh rather than leaving me baffled. They are great for increasing vocabulary and I used to write down every word I didn't know then add it to my homemde Greek dictionary which is the other method I use endlessly, re writing words until they sink in. Must be on about my 20th version of homemade dictionary already and the latest one fills 2 A4 size box folders.
@Jaxsky (196)
30 Jul 09
Really??! Homemade dictionaries now that's impressive!! I started to do that but got to half an A4 page and stopped for some reason! I admire your determination. How good is your Greek now?? How long have you been using Rosetta for?
@thea09 (18324)
• Greece
30 Jul 09
Well lets see, I have spouts with Rossetta stone where I could be on all day then leave it for a while but it was the best thing I used. Greek is an extremely difficult language to learn as not only do you have the problems of learning all the vocab and grammar but you can't just translate a sentence word for word as they put the words in a different order which gets really confusing. I had no choice since we live in Greece and whilst many don't bother I needed to be able to communicate with my sons school from the beginning. My Greek is ok, I can speak it pretty well, with plenty of mistakes, but I have much more trouble understanding it. The different alphabet was no problem at all and writing it is easy. My 10 year old was almost immediately fluent and is totally bilingual so children really do have it easier. As for the homemade dictionaries I find them useful, I now divide them into general vocab, verbs, adjectives and idioms and find it works for me, sometimes the odd word will stick immediately, other times it will take ages for me to remember them, if it's something I need to use, for instance the verb 'to use', I will make my son break it down into syllables to repeat after him. Often I know a word but will have never actually heard it before and have to think 'I know that word'. A lot of my friends are Greek who don't speak any English at all and I find it easy to communicate with them as they are patient with me and I don't feel self conscious using the language with them wheras it is too easy to slip into English with someone who can speak it.
@Jaxsky (196)
30 Jul 09
Sounds great, I would agree that just from being in the country really forces you to learn and understand the language! It is funny how your son picked it up so quickly. I think your dedication to Greek far exceeds mine for Swedish thought like you I do seem to work in bursts Haha highs and lows! :) Thanks for the friend add! :)
• New Zealand
28 Jul 09
Hi Adam, I probably not the best person qualififed to answer this question as im currently in the process of learning in a language and am not yet fluent in it. However I can converse a bit in it and can read it. Im learning French through my local Alliance Francaise part of the international French club and language school organisation. I find having a native tutor makes a difference. I learnt a bit of French during my high school days however the teacher who wasn't French pronounnced most words incorrectly. Native speakers keep enforcing perfect pronounciation. A result of which is that I learn the pronouncation rules early on and can figure out most new words on my own. I also like the class format as you can ask the tutor any questions you may have get to do a variety of exercises (listening,comphrension,writing,group and pair work). The bonus of joining the Alliance is that they have a French library which has dvds too and they run regular parties and events where one can practice their French skills. The best way to learn a language however is to live in a foriegn country and to be surrounded by a new language. A few weeks ago I travelled to New Caledonia a French speaking country and I soon found myself picking up new phrases and understanding the locals conversation. Those who live in a country for six months usually find that they become fluent in the language. However if you cant pack up and leave your country I reccomend using as many different methods as possible. The more you listen,read,write and talk the better you will become. I was hoping to buy Rosetta Stone but was unsure of whether it would work or not. (I've tried their demo on their website). What can you tell me about it?
@Jaxsky (196)
30 Jul 09
Hello, thanks for the response I have to agree that being surrounded by it is perfect! What would you like to know about Rosetta???
• New Zealand
30 Jul 09
Do you believe that Rosetta stone is a faster and more effective way of learning languages than traditional methods? Is it worth the money? and what would you rate your knowledge of Swedish after completing the programme. Thanks for your response, and my apologies for all my questions. :-)
@Jaxsky (196)
30 Jul 09
Well firstly I haven't completed the programme by any means! I am I long way off. And please don't apologise for the questions, it's great to talk with people especially if I can help out at all. I also didn't buy Rosetta Stone, I downloaded it for free so shhhhh:) However I did notice quite quickly that my knowledge and retention of words grew quickly. Rosetta makes you repeat a lot so that words are remembered. I didn't think a language programme would be able to help much but I think if used correctly it can actually be a fantastic tool. So if you have the time and a computer to study on then I would seriously recommend it:) Plus french is easy anyway:P:P Haha I'm joking!
• United States
30 Jul 09
Hey Adam, I am speek 4 different languages, but I will be honest, just one of them I learned using books, when I was in school, wich was french. But rest of them I learned just being around people that speek them, and really try to learn that way. Well good luck to you!
@Jaxsky (196)
30 Jul 09
4 languages is stunning, well done!! I think 2 or 3 will be my limit unless I marry a foreign girl and then learn off her:) Thank you I will continue trying to study! :)