[INFP] How did you learn a second language? - Page 2

How did you learn a second language?

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This is a discussion on How did you learn a second language? within the INFP Forum - The Idealists forums, part of the NF's Temperament Forum- The Dreamers category; I use three languages. My first language is called Sundanese language (Basa Sunda). It's my ethnic language. Somehow I use ...

  1. #11

    I use three languages. My first language is called Sundanese language (Basa Sunda). It's my ethnic language. Somehow I use this language more often than Indonesian until my college years because the most of the student in my campus is Sundanese. So, I used this to interact with my family and my friends.

    My second language is Indonesian. Of course I've known this language since I was a kid but I only used it in formal setting like when I needed to present my work to everyone in the classroom. Basically, I've been frequent using Indonesian only since 3 years ago because I only met people who are not same ethnic. It was really not comfortable at first but somehow I can use it like a real Indonesian lol. I learned this language by interacting directly with other people of course.

    Then my third language is English. English is one of main courses in schools. But, the studies were not effective. It looks like I only learned about basic grammar and that is. My English was really horrible (now it's still bad though). I couldn't understand what the speaker said in the final English test even though she/he talked so clear. My English was improved because I watched so many Anime and Japanese drama in college. The subtitle was always English so it can't be helped, I need to understand the subtitle if I want to understand the story. I remember the first time English subtitles that I needed to read frequently was Naruto. So, I needed to pause and looked the dictionary (it was a real book dictionary since the we didn't have google translate in 2007). So, I think this is really effective. My nieces are also good at English since they are more familiar with English subtitle. However, the only bad thing is that we are terrible if we talk with English because we never have a chance to practice. I think this only will be good if we have an environment to talk with English regularly.
    WamphyriThrall and GTG thanked this post.

  2. #12
    INFP - The Idealists

    I first started learning English in 7th grade, so 5 years ago. For me it was probably the combination of learning grammar at school but also listening to a lot of English in the form of videos, movies, music etc. at home. The best method is in my opinion to just try and integrate the language in your case German in your everyday life. Try to surround yourself with German, but don't feel discouraged if you don't understand everything from the beginning. It takes time to get used to listening to a new language.

  3. #13
    INFP - The Idealists

    You can also learn a language instantly with this black magic tip by grinding 3 official dictionaries of the same language into a bowl of juice/soup and drink it all up in 1 go without ever taking a breather/break................................

    Anybody wanna try? If it doesn't work, I'll treat you sweetrolls.

  4. #14

    @Blue Sphere , I don't know what are your sources, but I see no way that might work — I would probably make people really ill, and getting constipated doesn't sound like the best language learning drill at all (well, perhaps if one moaned in the new language, but still).
    GTG and JonathanLivingstonSeagull thanked this post.

  5. #15

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Sphere View Post
    You can also learn a language instantly with this black magic tip by grinding 3 official dictionaries of the same language into a bowl of juice/soup and drink it all up in 1 go without ever taking a breather/break................................

    Anybody wanna try? If it doesn't work, I'll treat you sweetrolls.
    Incorrect, my sources tell me you also need to read out some holy rites in that language and blend in their national alcohol as well. If that doesn't work with luck you'll be too wasted to notice
    Marvin the Dendroid thanked this post.

  6. #16

    I live in Ontario. Even though I wasn't in a French immersion school, I started learning French pretty early. Grade 3 or 4 I think. I continued with it all through high school and minored in French in university. However, I haven't had any experience immersing myself in a French-speaking community. I can read and write French practically fluently, but my actual speaking French isn't fantastic.

    As an adult, I've started learning German and Korean. Consuming media in the language you're learning is always a great way to practice your comprehension. You should get your hands on some learning materials if you can (books, online lessons, etc.), especially for grammar. Duolingo helped with my German vocabulary, but I got the most out of taking a German class in university. As I mentioned above, you can learn a language decently well by yourself in terms of grammar/reading/writing, but it will be really hard to get fluent without having some kind of immersion experience (living for a time in an area that speaks that language). The website iTalki offers online language exchanges, where you skype with someone who knows the language you want to speak (and who may also want to learn your language), and so you practice speaking with each other. They also have teachers who you can get skype lessons from. I haven't tried it myself but I've heard good things about it.

    A tip for vocabulary in any language: get post-it notes and put them on everything in your house with the word for what it is. Since I'm learning German, on my windows I have sticky notes that have "Fenster" written on them; on my fridge I have "Kühlschrank" written on it, etc. Say them each time you see them so you associate the word with the thing.
    WamphyriThrall, attic, Adonnus and 1 others thanked this post.

  7. #17
    INFP - The Idealists

    Try this audio course. Deutsch - warum nicht? | DW.COM
    I'm following it at the moment, finished the 3rd series last week and highly recommend it. It is quite an entertaining course, since there is a story interwoven in all of the lessons. There are also different and interesting characters you get to know. This makes it easy to identify, relate to and very accessible.

    I'm about to start reading short novel I just finished reading in my native language, that is in german originally (Demian). I think that'll be quite the challenge.

  8. #18
    INFP - The Idealists

    Lots of good things has already been said. I think it depends on many things (english was very different to learn for me than french for example(which I have now forgotten...), because english was all around, and when we did grammar in school everyone knew the correct way to write a sentence, but couldn't say what gramatical rule that decided it was to be so, it was more like learning a language as a child, intuitive, while french was both later, and is less abundant in media etc, so it was more of a conscious effort, learning the rules and putting sentences together from them.). Someone who is very talented when it comes to language might be able to sit and read a dictionary (I had a classmate who actually did this), and remember. While other might have to use word-cards, put them into a story, and repeat them a hundred times before they stick. For me in english, reading novels were what brought me over the edge where I felt like I could use the language outside of lessons and homework. I don't think it is necessary to look every word up, it can be time-consuming and disrupt the experience too much, perhaps just words where you don't understand what is happening unless knowing it, or words that come back several times. Something that is easy to forget is everday-words. I knew things like entropy and epistemology before saucepan for example, there are still lots of words like that I don't know. So Verigo's suggestion about sticky-notes I think is an exellent idea. One of the last things toward total fluency, which I have not yet bothered with myself... if getting the sentence structured just right. I think that is usually how I spot people not having a language as their first language, we say things the order we would in our own language quite often, and then translate it. It might not be incorrect, just sounds a little bit unusual. I think talking to someone and ask them to correct you is probably the best way there, and just communicating with people a lot, like on forums :) . Esperanto I mainly learnt from reading and writing on a forum, which was possible after only a few days, even if I couldn't have any deeper conversations. I think Duolingo has similar forums for learners? I think it might be easier if knowing the others are also still learners. But once good enough to make yourself understood, I think one of the best ways to learn a language is to swallow all pride and embarrasement and speak and write a lot, even if it might be wrong and with strong accent or whatever.
    Adonnus thanked this post.

  9. #19
    INFP - The Idealists

    If your problem is memorizing words, this app called Anki could help. It's basically digital flashcards except better (and free if you download it on your computer) :D! Based on how well you remember the card, it will make you review it in intervals (so first off the next day, next time three days later etc.). According to research, spaced out review of the material is best for memorizing something. You don't have to make your own flashcards if you don't want to, you can download flashcards someone else made. Most people use Anki for language learning so I'm sure there must be something for German.


    (Don't worry, I downloaded it and I didn't get any viruses haha)

    And for writing, there's this website called lang 8. Basically people write stuff on there in the language they're trying to learn and fluent speakers can correct it. Helpful if you're having trouble with tenses, grammar, and things that don't fit the rules such as weird grammar or expressions.

    Multi-lingual language learning and language exchange | Lang-8: For learning foreign languages

  10. #20

    Yay for languages I'm fluent in four languages and have a varying command of another eight or so. As a relatively withdrawn and non-talkative introvert, here's how I prefer to do it:

    1. Pick a language I love (no love, no learning)
    -> 2. Formal studies (in my case, mostly high school/uni, but online is definitely an option)
    -> 3. Self study (textbooks, online materials etc.)
    -> 4. Consuming culture in original (in particular, reading fiction)
    -> 5. Interact with native speakers

    #4 is what I enjoy by far the most, and I don't need to be anywhere near fluent in a language to enjoy reading it. Many words can be guessed from context, others are non-essential for enjoyment. I don't read with a dictionary, that kills the enjoyment; a language written in an alphabet I know generally takes ~150 hours of continuous study (at least a few hours / week) to hit a level where I can enjoy reading in it. Some books are easier to read than others! I prefer learning words by context as opposed to dictionaries, although those can be helpful, too.

    It is vital that I enjoy the stuff I'm reading/watching/listening to - makes learning so much more fun! Imagine reading Dostoevsky, Voltaire, Goethe, Borges, Hemingway, Umberto Eco and others in original! I would even say that many of my favourites don't translate well or at all, so speaking their language is the only way to truly enjoy and appreciate their genius.

    I've done a fair bit of #5 as well, but only in places I like visiting - so I've lived in a number of countries. I'm location independent work wise these days, that obviously gives me an advantage. I find loud/extroverted cultures exhausting, although there are quiet people everywhere for nice one-on-ones. You can easily do #5 online these days, although nothing beats immersing yourself in the language/culture/country.
    Last edited by Marvin the Dendroid; 06-06-2016 at 12:00 AM.
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