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Discussion Starter #1
As the title suggests, I'm interested to know what peoples experiences are on language study.

I've recently been told that the ENFP MBT is very well suited to language study (perhaps even the best) due to being people focused, intuitive in information processing, and having open ended goals and learning (languages can take a lifetime to become fluent in).

I'm currently studying Chinese Mandarin (here in China) for about 30 hours each week. I don't find myself to be a natural at it, but I find that techniques such as flash cards or using the language in the marketplace to be helpful.

I'm strongly kinesthetic/visual in learning style.

So how many of you have learnt other languages? What techniques did you find helpful, especially for the ISTP's?
 

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I haven't learnt other languages although I know a little bit of some.

I think learning songs is good since it's easier to remember the tune which comes along with the words. And hearing something being said while reading it and then repeating it over and over or writing it down helps to stick it in the brain.
 
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I know some German. I break down the grammar first, learn the system; use it as a map. Once you have the map, the rest is just experiencing, exploring, and discovering. I took a little Spanish, and the only thing I remember off the top of my head is some random grammatical construction. Ask me to apply that grammatical construction into a sentence, it might give me a pause.
 
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when i was in highschool i could speak : english, german, russian, finnish, estonian and a bit of swedish. I could understand latin, italian, danish and greek aswell but not good enough to speak it. Now... i can only speak english, german, estonian and finnish.
I used to just try to start thinking in the other language and read various books / watch movies to get a good idea about how it should sound. Grammar was never my strong point, i just said what sounded right from what i could remember from various lessons.

as for tips... try to get a feeling for the language, once you can comfortably think in it, it's cake to learn more. The bigger problem is increasing your vocabulary and getting the grammar right.
 

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I am fluent in Spanish (& English, what with it being my mother tongue an' all) and can busk it in french and german.
Like MadHatter, I got a systematic understanding of the grammar first - the skeleton of a language - and then fleshed it out by just getting on with it.
 
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It sounds stupid, but I think I learned a lot more Spanish just by watching their soap operas than by taking classes in high school. I don't really care for the plot or acting because I don't care for soap operas at all, but that's a good thing, I can focus on listening to the language. I think it helps to listen to how the real natives speak the language & not get too used to the slowly spoken, formal language on tapes.
 

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I know some German. I break down the grammar first, learn the system; use it as a map. Once you have the map, the rest is just experiencing, exploring, and discovering. I took a little Spanish, and the only thing I remember off the top of my head is some random grammatical construction. Ask me to apply that grammatical construction into a sentence, it might give me a pause.
I have no desire to learn any additional languages, but German seems like it would be easy. Kind of related to English. I seem to grasp a lot of the words readily, either that or I'm a Nazi.
 

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I'm taking German this year so i'm kind of wondering the same thing.

I've noticed i have a strong-suit in picking up pronunciation and accent. I only know a few words in Japanese, but my ability to drop the American accent when i say them had a native speaker do a double-take. I seem to be picking up German pronunciation and grammar rather quickly.

However, vocabulary has been challenging to learn. I can NOT bring myself to study with flashcards... I have a mental block there. :dry:
 

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Flash cards suck. They're tedious and boring, and it doesn't really seem efficient to memorize one word and conjugation at a time considering the number of words a language has. I'd rather just dive in and learn that way. Immersion's supposed to be the surest way to fluency.
 

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I have difficulty retaining vocabulary, but I've been taking German for about three years now, so my German is passable. A native German speaker says my pronunciation is perfect. Maybe it's the Se being able to pick up on the sounds.
 

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i noticed that also... every language i learned i could get the pronunciation spot on quite fast while the others struggled with it.
 

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The same for me. I'm pretty good in languages, I'm learning the 7th now and my pronounciation is always very praised (while at the same time, shockingly, I have no musical ear), but I never felt like learning words. But a few years ago I tried to learn sign language and I did it quite bad. I guess this also applies to that "multiple intelligences" thing - I'm much more verbal than kinestetic.
 

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My parents were taking a Spanish class at the local JC when I was seventh grade and they took me with them one night. I accidentally embarrassed all of the students in the class by being able to pronounce everything from that day's lesson almost perfectly. About halfway through the teach stopped to ask if I'd taken Spanish before because of my accent and the way I can roll the rrrrrrr's, and I said "no". He then went on to use me as an example of what to do by having me pronounce everything on the board and saying it was the first time I'd done any of it. My parents made me go wait in the hallway afterward because everyone else got seriously mad. :laughing:
 

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People are just haters of excellence.
 
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Discussion Starter #16
I've really bugged people doing the same thing in French. In pron you either get it or you don't. So even the most highly capable intelligent person get's infuriated by their inability to roll an 'r'....it deals out a very humbling experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for all of your responses so far....

I think I've learned that I need to continue on with methods (like flash cards) that I've been using. Being a largely visual learner, this helps me more than others.

However, I've found out since creating this thread that getting out amongst the locals more, looking like a prat getting things wrong, but learning loads in the process = the only real way to go.

I got inspired by Churchill the other day...

"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." - Winston Churchill

I think that really applies when living in a foreign country trying to speak a new, and very difficult language.
 

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I learned English and French at school and the experiences were quite different. My first teachers approaches were also very different.

The first lesson my first English teacher just told us something about herself in English and asked if anybody understood anything. I didn't understand more than "black dog" at that time, but it was a start.

My first French teacher was going about the correct pronounciation of the word "ou" for the first two lessons and everybody was supposed to say it in front of the whole class ... several times. The first time I thought "Well that was okay, let's move on", but as I had to do it over and over again (like all the others) I got more uncertain about it.

My English is now sufficient for most occasions, but I was never able to have a normal conversation with a native speaker in French.

In my twenties I had a swedish girl friend and I taught myself some Swedish. It's probably one of the easiest languages to learn if you already know English and German (mother tongue).
I didn't put too much effort into learning words, but listening to people talk and watching movies helped me improve my Swedish skills. My Swedish is still much worse than my English, but it's enough to have a little talk.

As mentioned before, I also think listening to the language (people, movies, music) to get a feel is a good way to improve. You'll need to know some basics first of course.
 
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