Becoming fluent in a 2nd language

@fluffysue (1458)
United States
June 28, 2011 4:39pm CST
I've come to the conclusion that I will need to become fluent in another language in order to better my job prospects. Since I've already studied Spanish and French, and there is more need for Spanish speakers in the U.S., I will likely choose Spanish. (Or maybe French, in case I decide to move to Canada...we'll see after the next elections! ) I did pretty well in Spanish classes (in high school and college), but always lacked in conversational skills. I actually had to drop a class in college because most of the class were native speakers and I couldn't keep up (it was a Spanish history class taught in Spanish, and I couldn't understand fast enough to take notes. Reading the textbook, while slow going for a normally fast reader, was not too much of a problem). I lived in Miami for several years, and despite being around native speakers quite often, I gave up trying to converse in Spanish as I do not understand it very easily. Has anyone here become fluent in a language other than your own? How did you do it? Did you live abroad, or did you simply study the language? Do you recommend any particular language program for learning a foreign language, or is it better to take classes?
2 people like this
4 responses
@DaddyEvil (24795)
• Aurora, Missouri
23 Oct 16
I can't say I am fluent in French since I am actually.... I guess 'rusty' would be the best descriptor I can give after barely using the language since High School... (35 years ago). I did use it for about nine years, off and on, when I was the night clerk at a Best Western in the next town over from my home town. We had a lot of French Canadians traveling through our area back then. I took classes for four and a half years in High School. My daughter has been taking conversational French for almost a year online. The (programmed) instructor has said she is at the advanced tourist level. She uses Rosetta Stone, since that is the program that came with my Walmart app on my phone. I am an associate at Walmart, so the program is free for me (and her) to use. My daughter is also at the advanced level in Spanish, too. She had been taking the French and Spanish courses at the same time. She just started taking Japanese and German courses a few days ago via that app. My daughter (PrettyEvil, or Pretty for short) says that her friends online said she learned the languages faster than they did. Three of them are taking classes to learn French (one person) and Spanish (two people). Personally, I would like to get into a class in sign language, but it isn't offered around here...
1 person likes this
@fluffysue (1458)
• United States
24 Oct 16
Sign language would be great to learn, I've thought of that too, but it is hard to find classes. I learned to sign the alphabet in 2nd grade because it was on the back of a book I read about Helen Keller. I remember later when I learned French, my friend and I...or maybe it was my sister...we used to recite the French alphabet while doing it in sign language, which we thought was so clever. lol. But that was as far as I got with sign language. That's great that you and your daughter can learn via Rosetta Stone for free! It's good she's learning so many languages. I'm applying for jobs now and so many of them, when I get to the very bottom of the listing it says "must be fluent in...." Half the time it is something unusual like Japanese or Russian. Learning as many languages as possible could only help!
1 person likes this
@fluffysue (1458)
• United States
24 Oct 16
Also, in another case of "the more things change, the more they stay the same"....five years later, I am once AGAIN job hunting, and once AGAIN considering moving to Canada after the next election. *Starts brushing up on the francais*. :)
1 person likes this
@DaddyEvil (24795)
• Aurora, Missouri
26 Oct 16
@fluffysue Well, we can always hope, at least.... Uhm... almost everyone on myLot already knows my daughter is agoraphobic. She rarely leaves her bedroom and almost never leaves our house. (I force her out of the house once a month to help me grocery shop. We do that usually at 2 am so there is almost nobody in Walmart.) Pretty (my daughter, that is short for PrettyEvil) works online. Her actual job is working for Hawaii Gaming Commission, playing all the video games before they come out for the public and then writing about them online. She also works on Swagbucks, Perk and a few other sites online. Why she wants to learn other languages, IDK. I am not about to stop her from doing it, though. Anything she does could potentially bring in money.... sigh!
@Sun7788 (261)
• Changzhou, China
23 Oct 16
Your are very lucky to master English, the most widely used language in nowadays' world after birth.I also lacked in conversational skills. Oh! poor my listening and oral English.
1 person likes this
@fluffysue (1458)
• United States
24 Oct 16
It is hard to learn another language, and from what I understand English is particularly difficult to learn, due to all our crazy spelling and grammar rules (and the many, many exceptions to those rules). Which is probably due in part to the fact that our words are derived from many different languages. Many native speakers do not do so well with it, so don't worry!
1 person likes this
@Sun7788 (261)
• Changzhou, China
24 Oct 16
@fluffysue Yeah, i have spent many years learning English since primary school, but still can't be fluent in these language. Yet learning English is very interesting, giving me chance to be aware of the cultural difference, and talking with you on mylot.
• Guam
28 Jun 11
I suggest Rosetta Stone Software. They provide for all kinds of languages.
@fluffysue (1458)
• United States
11 Jul 11
I have heard they are very good, though they tend to be expensive. I may have to check it out anyway. Thanks!
@smilemoon (767)
• United Arab Emirates
30 Mar 12
I think the best way to become fluent is revising. Review anything you learn in the new language at least when you start it. Try it.