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My two INTJ friends and I have always found foreign languages to come almost naturally, and I think strong Ni might have something to do with this.

What do you guys think? Is Ni the ideal functions for learning languages?
 

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I wish. I have very little aptitude for learning languages, it seems.

Actually, when it comes down to it, I think it's more the way they teach it. I have a very particular learning style (I think I have to know how things correlate to other things I already know and understand, and often in an abstract, qualitative way) and they don't really teach languages like that, at least not in the classes I've taken. I didn't do so well learning English grammar out of a dry book, either. It wasn't until I could appreciate how it's used and how it shouldn't be used (and what it looks like when you break grammar rules) that I could finally understand my own language.
 

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Yeah I don't think so. My ESFJ sister is amazing at Spanish. She's a teenager, and she speaks with an accent and everything. I'm not so good at speaking other languages besides English (though I'm fairly good at accents; particularly comedic ones). I try to read too much into the patters of a language, and don't bother to memorize it. I do well in school, and in my language classes. I love the technical aspects of language, like grammar, and those have always come naturally to me because they are very orderly.
 

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I agree that it's more of the way it's taught than anything.

I tried to learn Greek for a year and failed terribly at it. The way the teacher taught it to me was just so boring to me, I had to drill vocabulary into my head to get it to stick for even an hour. I'm learning Japanese now and because of the different teacher, different approach, I'm picking it up in the time it takes to snap my fingers.

I think the type of language might make it easier for some and harder for others to learn as well. Perhaps that's related to functions and perhaps it isn't.
 

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I'm great at languages but I don't think it's Ni-related. Probably. Although perhaps different brain patterns makes it easier to learn a language.
 

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Ni is more symbolic,subjective to the user.
More of a spatial function than linguistic.
No function in itself is ideal for learning a language.There needs to be a sufficiently developed secondary function.
Si is the most efficient when it comes to real hard work and conventional inculcation,while Ni is the most efficient at implying connections and working out insights of its own.
Also,form and technique when it comes to learning anything.
 

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I don't think facility with languages or learning them has anything to do with functions, but yeah, it has a lot to do with learning styles. When I was growing up in Japan (going to an American school) we were all taught Japanese, and we'd be given massive lists of vocabulary words to memorize... which never worked for me (and they seemed to be a little pointless; we were learning, for example, the Japanese word for zebra, when the only ones in a concrete jungle of 12 million were in the zoo). So yeah, I think there has to be a practical application for the information you're taking in. I am much better with experiential learning of a language.

To add, though, I am fascinated by how certain languages have words that encompass the whole of an ide--eg, schadenfreude in German. I wish English was that smooth.
 
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Language was my worst subject. For the life of me I couldn't remember the vocabulary or how it was spelled although I could often tell when something was misspelled. Not only is Linguistic my least developed intelligence, but growing up I also couldn't figure out why I should care about it. It wasn't like I talked to anyone :p
 

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Si - Drill shit into your head.

Ni - "Oh that goes there, that means that goes here, and then that goes here" took all of 20 seconds while the Si user takes 9 months.


I will admit that rote learning does have points where it's needed, such as learning the basics of something. Once I know the basics I can just extrapolate from them, twist them to fit what I need them to fit etc.
 
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I found total immersion programs to be the best way to learn languages. I talked and talked and talked... and listened and listened... and I was speaking Spanish. Mimicry seems to come natural to me so I don't have difficulty with languages. I don't think that I have a lot of Ni, however.
 

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My two INTJ friends and I have always found foreign languages to come almost naturally, and I think strong Ni might have something to do with this.

What do you guys think? Is Ni the ideal functions for learning languages?
Depends on how you look at it. If you mean learning languages in school but never going to those countries to actually speak the language and get fluent in it,.... then no. Learning the meaning if whole lists of words and learning grammatical rules are more an S thing than an N thing.

But I do think that if you live in another country and learning to become fluent, it might help. Even though I have to say I've seen an ENFJ (Ni second position) who basically after he reached the level of being able to communicate, getting trapped at that level and not improving much if at all.

It's mostly related to simply being interested in the language and practice practice practice practice,... and than some more practice, practice, practice,.... well I guess you get the point. (this is related to getting fluent in a language.)
 

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Hmm, from what l've read about Se, l might say Se depending on exactly which parts of learning are being underlined.

l didn't go far with language in school, but a 9th grade Spanish teacher actually used the word ''genius'' to describe my ability to pick up foreign language :blushed:

Not-so-humble brag :kitteh:

Anyway, l think maybe that was just Ti. l was extremely good at rote memorization, Se is supposed to be better at mimicry, especially when it comes to tone and precision with sensory memory of what was heard.
 

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I am very "good" at it, as in language in general comes very easily to me.

But in terms of the empty hours filled with pouring over repetitive, by-wrote tasks and *shudders* the flashcards? Also considering there is but one right answer (I hate that!) ... it's just not my "favorite".

But I did think Latin was magical; not gonna lie to you :>
 

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Written languages, no problem. Usually I can figure out the linguistic structures intuitively. Vocabulary is a little different; but, knowing French and Polish helps in figuring out the European languages. I think if I were to learn Latin and Greek I could see things opening up even more. Speaking just takes practice and confidence -- and exposure, you can't be relying on intuition for every other word and comparing patterns. Sometimes you just have to memorize things, and that's just too cumbersome and annoying.

Ne, and it's pretty easy once you have an idea on how languages work.

edit: @Fern, did you learn Latin from books, websites?, and if you got any good ones to recommend I would totally appreciate it.
 
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Hi~ I'm currently working as a foreign language teacher. So I'm hoping I might be able to shed a bit of light on the issue at hand.

First and foremost, there is the need to define what is 'success' or 'failure' in learning a foreign language. Is it enough to be able to speak? To write? With/to whom? In what context? To read? What sort of materials? How much should pronunciation be weighed? In my experience, each student I've ever taught would define their success in learning a language differently, depending largely on their motivations and their goals. But that being said, let's take a general, well-balanced sense of the word 'success' to cover a well-rounded and general definition of higher intermediate proficiency. Being able to listen/speak, read/write in a fair variety of contexts in such a way as they will be understood both linguistically as well as culturally.

As far as students go, there are several factors directly involved in language learning success. Motivation, attitudes, individual differences, learning styles, studying habits, language background... the list is nearly endless. One such level of factor includes cognition and cognitive factors (though it should be differentiated from personality's use of 'Cognitive Functions'). These factors do indeed deal with how students approach language acquisition, although they are difficult to monitor since they are both largely internal and nearly instantaneous. I do feel that something so large as 'language learning' is accessible to all sorts of personality types.

So, while in the middle of a lesson in a classroom, each student will be engaging (or not, let's be honest) with the material in a wide variety of ways. Someone may be accessing their vast library of wrote knowledge; another might be building webbed spires of intricate systems; yet another could be cracking into the potential of the material; and so on and so forth. (And of course, there are those who may be concerned with messaging others, thinking of assignments/assessments in other classes, daydreaming, and so on and so forth.) Some materials, concepts, activities might be easier for some while others might prove more challenging. And even some still might be seen by some as a waste of time, while others perceive it as extremely valuable.

In conclusion, I feel that it is less likely that a person of a certain cognitive orientation finds language acquisition success easier or more difficult compared to others. Instead, I believe that it has more to do with the manner in which they engage (or disengage) with the material. Their success may be more directly relatable to other factors, such as motivation, attitudes, individual differences... and so on and so forth.
 

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Intuition is crucial for learning new languages. But intuition does not per se imply a talent for languages. Like others said, it can have a tendency for different modalities: visual-spatial, voice and sound, language etc. The brain functions or regions are very specialized, so you cannot say when somebody is very intuitive in general he of course is very intuitive regarding language.
 
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