How long did it take you to learn another language?

Canada
February 12, 2013 2:21pm CST
And how did you learn? I am trying to learn Japanese. I took lessons in school but haven't used it in over 10 years, so I've forgotten a lot of it. I'm trying to teach it to my son so that he'll be bilingual, but I'm worried that he'll get ahead of me as he starts preschool soon. I have workbooks and have been watching youtube videos of lessons. I have been reading picture books to my son which has actually helped me to remember quite a bit. (Fortunately, I can read one of the alphabets). How did you learn your second language? What do you think the easiest way to learn is?
4 people like this
19 responses
@babyeve (1051)
• Seychelles
13 Feb 13
I started to learn italian an then I stopped because my tutor went on maternity, therefore there were nobody to replace her. I tried to do it on my own, but I could not do it as I was very lazy at times.
• Canada
14 Feb 13
I could probably hire a tutor, actually. That would probably help keep me on track.
@babyeve (1051)
• Seychelles
14 Feb 13
Yes it is a good idea for you to get a tutor. You might not be pronouncing the words right when you are trying to learn it on your own.
@WakeUpKitty (8706)
• Netherlands
13 Feb 13
How long did it take you to learn your own language? Look around you at native speakers, most of them don't even speak their own language perfect. If you really want to learn a language very well, it's practising it daily, you need to know/feel (!) what is mend with a word/expression. At school we have to learn besides of our own language (dutch) also English plus 1 other foreign language (german or French in most cases, some schools nowadasy also teach Spanish or some other languages). I studied more languages but also forgotten some (never used them anymore plus also lost my interest in it). There is no easy way.. although the easiest way is to live in between people who speak the language you like to learn and not being able to speak any other language next to it. So you are forced to understand it, to speak it (with some extra books it will might go way faster).
1 person likes this
• Canada
14 Feb 13
I'm hopeful that I can find some way to practice with other people so that I use it. I speak English at home and I'm fairly good at languages, so hopefully I will be able to keep up with my son.
@jricky1 (6808)
• China
13 Feb 13
It'll took you a while to really master a language,since you have to know their culture and also to experience life of local people.However,experience makes perfect.Therefore i can't really say how long it will take you to do that thing.,good luck.
1 person likes this
• Canada
14 Feb 13
Thanks
@dandan07 (1908)
• China
13 Feb 13
I only used three month to pass the Japanese test, but it really takes more than 5 years to accumulate the vocabulary. Grammar is very important in learning a new language, but without enough vocabulary, it is impossible to use the language. As a Chinese, I try to consider Japanese a kind of accent not a language, so I learn it through watch Japanese TV series and cartoon animation.
1 person likes this
@ashrimp (24)
• China
13 Feb 13
Can you imagine that you resite the words everyday?That's terrible because you are trying to master a new language.However,I don't know how long it takes,but you have to admit that the fastest way to master a new language is to use it!
1 person likes this
• India
13 Feb 13
I have learn Hindi and it took some months for me to learn, I have heared if you learn more than 4 languages then 5th language learning will be in so short time.
1 person likes this
@blackrusty (3530)
• Mexico
12 Feb 13
i am like you i just moved to mexico and after 7 months only a few words
• Canada
12 Feb 13
It takes so long sometimes, doesn't it? I'm glad I already know some from having taken classes in high school, so I have something to build on.
• Mexico
12 Feb 13
i use to know what you want to learn when i was married to my wife but 20 plus years and dont remember a thing
• Penrith, Australia
12 Feb 13
My brother can speak more languages than i can, and what he does is recite 5 different words from the language everyday before he goes to sleep, he wanted to learn Korean. I have no idea why.
• United States
12 Feb 13
It took me 2 years to fully speak and ride Russian. I usually practice any time i get a chance. Best thing to do when you are trying to learn a language is to practice and try to talk to people even if you are just started, it will make you more comfy and you will learn it much faster. Don't be shy, practice make it all better.
• Canada
12 Feb 13
2 years seems pretty fast, you must have worked hard! I hope I can learn in 2 years, too. Maybe I can find a club to help me find people to practice on, it seems like everyone is saying that you learn best by going out and speaking with people.
• United States
13 Feb 13
The best thing i can recommend is to socialize with people at your job especially Spanish i learned Spanish also at my job working with people that don't speak English very well goes a long way to help you in the long run. The people that around you are the ones usually help out you out. Try talking to them even when you trying to help them out. That's what i did and it helped me out allot. I learned English in 5 months because i needed to and i had to.
@rog0322 (2834)
• Cagayan De Oro, Philippines
12 Feb 13
Hi, I can speak, read and write three languages. First there was my native Cebuano language spoken in many islands around my place, then I learned the national Filipino language in primary and English in secondary and college. I took up Latin and Spanish during my college days but lost the dexterity for years of not using them. Maybe I should be taking them seriously as a diversion, may not take long to relearn it. Then, that makes it five in all which is not bad considering the circumstances where most people can speak, read and write ten or more language like a native speaker.
• Penrith, Australia
12 Feb 13
That is so awesome. I wish Latin and Spanish were also taught to us in college it would be really useful and since Spanish words are closely linked to Filipino words, i think it is convenient to learn Spain's. its cool that you speak Latin, the only Latin phrase i know is when i say "in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit" that is the only phrase i can speak in Latin lol.
@Nursefrai06 (2498)
• Penrith, Australia
12 Feb 13
Hello cutepenguin, I've been living in my province since i was 2 months old until i was 3 years old because we moved, but then i went back when i was 6 and i live here up to today. And i still cannot speak our dialect. I can only speak only two languages and that is Filipino and English. But i dont think i can ever learn "pangasinense" (our province's dialect)
• Penrith, Australia
12 Feb 13
I tried learning Japanese too because i was an anime addict in my younger years, i can only speak a few phrases but i get the accent and the manner in how it is supposed to be spoken. I cannot read or write Japanese though, just speak simple phrases
@Bionicman (3967)
• Czech Republic
12 Feb 13
I learned Czech by moving there for a couple of years. I can speak it as well as my native language. So the best way to learn a language is to move to a country or spend a lot of time with people speaking it. They taught me English in school but I actually learned the most of it through movies and video games. Later I improved by getting a job that involved a lot of talk with tourists from all around the world. I visit US every 2 years. In school I was also learning German for a couple of years but I never learned it good and forgot most of it because I never actually used it. So that's the "secret". You learn language by using it.
• Canada
12 Feb 13
I am trying to find ways to use Japanese. I think that it will be easier to do so as my son learns more Japanese.
• India
12 Feb 13
Hi cutepenguin. The best way to learn a language is by speaking. Try talking to others in that language as much as possible. You should not feel shy if you are wrong. Eventually depending upon how frequently you meet people who speak that language will decide how fast you will learn . If you are living in that country itself like in your case Japan then you should be able to feel comfortable speaking in Japanese within four to six months at maximum. Have a nice day !! SuperShames
• Canada
12 Feb 13
I met a girl to do a language exchange and that helped me to practice but I did feel really shy about getting it wrong. She was very patient, though. And I helped her with her English so it was fair.
12 Feb 13
Learning a new langauge can be very difficult once you're past schooling age, so it is great they you're teaching your son at a young age! I know that it's not very practical, but the best way to learn a language is to go to a country which speaks it: you'll be forced to use it constantly and this will help you to process and learn it. Alternatively, I find that repetition out loud is VERY useful for learning new lanaguages as if you hear it as well as think about it you will be able to remember a greater amount. I would also recomend classes if possible as you will be given a structured way of learning with a teacher - an invaluable resource!
• Canada
12 Feb 13
We're planning a trip but it will have to be not for a few years because of finances. I am trying to repeat everything out loud and reading to my son is helping with that. This summer I'm going to sign up for some classes - I can't right now because of my work schedule.
@MoonGypsy (4613)
• United States
12 Feb 13
listen. i grew up around latino people and took spanish in high school. still! i don't know the language all the way. so, i don't know what to tell you. just think. i took you a life time to learn english, so....
• Canada
12 Feb 13
I know. I'm hoping that if I try really hard and take some more lessons, that I will be able to pick it up fairly quickly.
@katsmeow1213 (29047)
• United States
14 Feb 13
In high school I took French for 5 years and Spanish for 2. I don't feel as if I ever learned enough of either language to be fluent. A little more than 10 years later I don't remember a single word of either language. I would probably try one of those Rosetta Stone things, they supposedly work well.. although I think they're expensive. Your local library might have something useful, some books or tapes you can borrow.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
14 Feb 13
Well, I have to admit that I am definitely not bilingual by any degree, however, I do know enough Spanish that I am still able to help my six-year-old with his homework. You see I took Spanish in school from the time that I was in seventh grade through the time that I was in tenth grade. For my son, he is lucky enough to be in a Spanish Immersion Program at school. This means that he spends half the day speaking Spanish and half of the day learning in English. I honestly think that starting younger is a much more effective way of getting someone to speak a second language.
@Janurmas (645)
• Indonesia
13 Feb 13
I can speak English after I had been learned English for 6 years. I was graduated from a University that uses English as the intermediary language in teaching. Before I started my college, I was studying English in senior high school for about 3 years. I think the easiest way to learn language is watching movies with its translation text and practice by doing.
@eagletrek2 (5275)
• Kingston, New York
13 Feb 13
Hi for me I"m learning Hebrew Israeli style. at one part the easy part I all ready know the Hebrew Aphbet from High school . what i found out if you do not use what you learn you will for get so what I did is find find who i can see a few time a week.this way im using it and will remmber it.what you should find some Japanese people you can meet and tell them what you want to do. that a hard alpbet to learn ok haVE GOOD DAY.
@joliefille (3696)
• Philippines
13 Feb 13
I learned Spanish since high school but it was on and off. I only studied bits and pieces of the language that so little retained in me. When I graduated from the university, I took up studying Spanish again and the main thing that helped me was an old Learn Spanish book from the 80s. I also tried to watch some Spanish telenovelas. By 2003 I got into a project for research on thermoplastics companies in Spain. That was the first time I ever practiced the language that I only learned in books. From then on I would work in Spanish projects exclusively until 2012.