Are you learning a language?

United States
March 28, 2007 9:27am CST
I'm currently trying to learn Portuguese, using BBC online's excellent language learning facilities. For those interested, the BBC has online language learning for French, Spanish, german, italian, Mandarin chinese, Portuguese, Greek, English, Irish and Welsh. The modules are a mix of videos, slideshows, glossaries, cultural notes and tests. And of course BBC online has news in 33 world languages, so you can test yourself trying to read the news in the language you are learning. To explore further, see http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/ Is anyone on MyLot learning a foreign language? What are you learning and what are the pitfals you've encountered and what tips can you offer the rest of us?
1 person likes this
11 responses
@helen_hj (10)
• China
29 Mar 07
Thank you for sharing this wonderful site to us! I'm learning English now, and the biggest problem I encourntered is there are no more chances for me to talk with a native speaker. Here is a website I know which offers English, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese etc. learning. http://www.languageguide.org Hope it will helpful~
1 person likes this
• United States
29 Mar 07
I agree that practicing a language with a native speaker is one of the biggest challenges of learning a language. I applaud you for participating on a site like MyLot, which is in English. I expect it will be years before I feel confident enough to go to a Portuguese forum and start posting.
@portugirl (108)
• Singapore
3 Apr 07
Oh wow! You are learning Portuguese? I have been trying to learn the language for about a year now and thankfully I found you and your advice on where to get help for Portuguese. Thanks!!! Are you learning Brazilian Portuguese or European Portuguese? Maybe we could practice the language together : )) Cómo estás?
• United States
3 Apr 07
Muito bem, obrigada! I am learning European portuguese. I'd be glad to practice with you - perhaps through the messaging system?
• Singapore
3 Apr 07
Great I'd love to but how do we do this through the messaging system. I'm new to this so please help me along. How long have you been learning Portuguese?
• United States
4 Apr 07
I guess we could try to have a converastion with each other in portuguese by sending messages (see the tool bar at the top). I haven't been learning portuguese long and only understand the basics, but I'm sure trying to have a conversation would improve my knowledge considerably!
@VotreAmie (3037)
• United States
20 Apr 07
Hi snowflake5 and thank you for this information. I'm currently trying ti learn Spanish. I will check out the site. I think in learning a language you have also to practice regularly with people who speak it well. Otherwise you will get tired if you only use books or online courses by yourself. When I started learning English I went online and looked for pen pals from English speaking countries. And you know what snowflake5? That's how I met my husband. He taught me English and I taught him French. I also had other friends who were speaking English to me and that's how I learned. Good luck with your Portuguese!
@VotreAmie (3037)
• United States
20 Apr 07
I would like to add this too. I know some people who can read in a language and they understand but when they try to speak they can't. Also when they listen to someone speaking that language they don't understand most of what they are saying. That's because by learning by themeselves they pronounce their own way. This happened to me. When I was first talked with my English penpals on the phone I couldn't understand what they were saying but then when I ask the to spell the words I say "Hey I know this!". You see I know the words when they are written but I don't if I hear them pronounced. So of course if you use pronounciation tools and you try to listen to the news for example you will not have that problem.
• United States
21 Apr 07
That is very good advice on the difference between the written language and the spoken language. It's always easier to read a second language than speak it, because if you are unsure about anything, you can read it again. With speech, it happens quickly and is gone. So you have to concentrate very hard. If you start to wonder about some point, by the time you are back to the conversation, it has moved on, and you've lost the gist.
@18101989 (700)
• India
13 Apr 07
I tried to learn languages and i did a lot of search for it but i was not able to find any site or person that was interested to teach me any language so i quit and i forgot about it and these days i don't even think about it but if i get some one who can teach me i will surely like to learn from him
• United States
14 Apr 07
What language were you trying to learn?
@wachit14 (3600)
• United States
13 Apr 07
Actually, I'm learning Spanish. I teach computers to pre-schoolers and I am doing a Spanish program with them on the computer. I took French in high school so I needed to learn some basic Spanish fast. Thankfully, my kids both took Spanish and they are helping me. Without them I couldn't do it.
• United States
13 Apr 07
Spanish is gaining in popularity isn't it. I think more people learn Spanish these days than French
• China
7 Apr 07
learning English  - learning English is very difficult
i am learning English,i think it is a good way to start discussions in mylot,when i want to post response,i must understand discussions,so i can improve my level.
• United States
13 Apr 07
You are right, posting on forums is a very good way to learn languages.
@krayzee (1161)
• Romania
7 Apr 07
I was trying to learn Chinese until recently and so far I found it a most interesting language :) However I took a break from it in order to try to learn Finnish which I might actually need because I have scheduled a visit there (while the Chinese was simply for the fun of it :) ).
• United States
13 Apr 07
Wow! Chinese and Finnish! Two very different languages. I understand that Finnish is related to Estonian, but no-one knows the root of the two languages (they are different from the other European languages which tend to be either Latin-based, germanic or slavic).
3 Apr 07
Thanks for the site. I always wanted to learn Gaelic. I am living in the Highlands so I really should be able to speak Gaelic. I love to listen to it. We spend a lot of time on Skye and learning the language is important to know their culture. I learned Spanish while I was in school but I figured I would never use it. It no longer seems necessary. Learning Gaelic is important to me. I'm just glad there are free lessons out there. I left all my tapes back in Alaska and I don't remember what box they are in! Thanks, I have bookmarked the site.
• United States
4 Apr 07
Is scottish gaelic very different from Irish gaelic? As an aside I'm sometimes amazed that we in britain arn't made to learm all the Uk langiages. If you think about places like belgium where french and flemish have equal status, it seems amazing that in in Britain, welsh and scots don't have mucb status except in their native areas.
@AskAlly (3627)
• Canada
3 Apr 07
I kind of did the learn as you go thing with the Dutch language. My great grand parents were Dutch immigrants and this area was heavily settled by the Dutch. But I really should learn to speak french better since it is also and official language in Canada.
• United States
3 Apr 07
Did you find the dutch modules helpful, then?
• United States
28 Mar 07
Really cool site. Thanks for sharing. I bookmarked it and will try and take my first Spanish lesson later on today. Right now my 2 year old is blasting "Elmo's World". I think I have a better chance of learning the lesson when she's napping. I'm so excited because they have a ton of languages listed. I'm hoping to learn a little Polish and Hungarian as well. I know it would certainly help with my genealogy research.
• United States
28 Mar 07
The BBC is cool all round (you might want to explore the edicational material they offer for toddlers and other children - it may be of interest to your children. I definitely feel that the more languages you learn the better. As you say, learning Polish and Hungarian will help you read documents that help with your geneology. I often wonder how much we miss by confining ourselves to English.
• United States
13 Apr 07
Not at the present time, although I did take German in both high school and college many, many years ago. My ancestors came over from Germany in the 1800's I believe.