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Paganbasque
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:28 am
Posts: 1636
Location: Basque Country
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:24 am 
 

Lord_Brendan wrote:
Paganbasque wrote:

Basque language´ s pronunciation .is much ,much stronger than in English and Swedish, so I suffer so much with the soft parts and endings of the words, and the apparently lack of rules to understand the pronunciation.

Another crazy thing is how Swedish seem to pronounce some words differently depending on I don’t know what the fuck. :D

I also complain with the articles which is funny taking into account that Basque is much more difficult in this aspect hahaha


Trust me, my Basque pronunciation is worse than your English and Swedish. Tried to sing along to Ilbeltz and other Basque bands and failed


I can imagine that "rr", "tz", "tx” and others must be a nightmare for English native speakers, its even really difficult for the Spanish ones. Anyway ,my Swedish teacher lived a couple of years in the Basque Country and though he didn’t learn anything his pronunciation was not that bad, so keep trying!

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Paganbasque
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:28 am
Posts: 1636
Location: Basque Country
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:29 am 
 

Erotetic wrote:
Paganbasque wrote:
Slovakian seems to be a totally crazy language to study too, perhaps it is similar to Czech, but I don’t know. Very difficult languages to study and master, I read that some experts said that you need 12 years to master (not completely) Slovakian, too much haha.


it seems about as similar to Czech as Swedish is to Norwegian. all the Czechs I know say it's a 'mutually intelligible' situation.


So both are really difficult to study, another tricky one is Polish. I have always read that the most difficult ones are Slovakian, Polish, Hungarian, Finnish and Basque, I am not an expert but all of the are a nightmare to learn hehe.

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Smoking_Gnu
Chicago Favorite

Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 11:22 pm
Posts: 2664
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:29 am 
 

Polish indeed seems to be extremely difficult, having picked up a few traces through my Polish fencing coach (and Polish bandmates as of recently.) Everything just seems like a clusterfuck of z, w, c and y.
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Aquarius
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:17 am
Posts: 589
Location: Czech Republic
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:32 am 
 

Erotetic wrote:
Paganbasque wrote:
Slovakian seems to be a totally crazy language to study too, perhaps it is similar to Czech, but I don’t know. Very difficult languages to study and master, I read that some experts said that you need 12 years to master (not completely) Slovakian, too much haha.


it seems about as similar to Czech as Swedish is to Norwegian. all the Czechs I know say it's a 'mutually intelligible' situation.


Exactly. Czech and Slovakian are almost identical languages. There are only few words that Czech people have to learn in order to understand Slovakians and vice versa. As for grammar, there are some
divergences as well, but not fundamental for mutual intelligibility. And yes, both these tongues are hard to learn for foreigners because of rather difficult grammar structure and frequent inflection of words.
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MutantClannfear
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Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 12:12 am
Posts: 2309
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:00 am 
 

Is the grammar structure for Czech really all that difficult? I mean, I haven't dove too far into it yet, but it seems much more agreeable and logical to me than Spanish grammar and just about as fluid as English (though that latter one might just be native speaker bias on my part).

The inflections can all go die though, yes. :(

EDIT: Oh, with the grammar structure, were you referring to the cases? Because if so, then yeah, agreed.
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Wilytank wrote:
Aeosphorus wrote:
there are post-black metal bands such as ...Sunn O.

When did we start calling Sunn O))) black metal and how soon can we stop?

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Erotetic
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:05 pm
Posts: 907
Location: New Zealand
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:14 am 
 

Aquarius wrote:
yes, both these tongues are hard to learn for foreigners because of rather difficult grammar structure and frequent inflection of words.


what does your sig mean?
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Aquarius
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:17 am
Posts: 589
Location: Czech Republic
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:44 pm 
 

MutantClannfear wrote:
Is the grammar structure for Czech really all that difficult? I mean, I haven't dove too far into it yet, but it seems much more agreeable and logical to me than Spanish grammar and just about as fluid as English (though that latter one might just be native speaker bias on my part).

The inflections can all go die though, yes. :(

EDIT: Oh, with the grammar structure, were you referring to the cases? Because if so, then yeah, agreed.


Yes, I was mainly reffering to the cases. I really do not envy serious learners of Czech language having to learn all the shapes that are typical especially for nouns. Nevertheless, there can be a relief. While Czech tongue has 7 cases, Finnish uses even 15 cases, which is a real bite.

Erotetic wrote:
Aquarius wrote:
yes, both these tongues are hard to learn for foreigners because of rather difficult grammar structure and frequent inflection of words.


what does your sig mean?


It is a pun that I primarily made up for my own amusement. If you use a translator, you will probably get inaccurate translation at best, or nonsense at worst.
Because it is impossible to translate that sig into English literally, I will try to explain its meaning.
Basically, I am asking profiteers what they became rich from. The adjective "zbohatlí" expresses the state of a rich person (the possessions).
I admit that it is somewhat silly sign but no way offensive. So, why not?
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Paganbasque
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:28 am
Posts: 1636
Location: Basque Country
PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:38 am 
 

15 cases??? this is terrible, I remember when I bought a Finnish dictionary and I have serious intentions of learning the language, if I a suffer with German and Swedish I cant imagine how difficult could be for me to study Finnish, and its a pity because I like the language.

Anyway, I dont understand why some languages have so many cases, its a nonsense. :D

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Erotetic
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:05 pm
Posts: 907
Location: New Zealand
PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2014 6:47 pm 
 

Aquarius wrote:
Yes, I was mainly reffering to the cases. I really do not envy serious learners of Czech language having to learn all the shapes that are typical especially for nouns.


the cases for verbs seem pretty easy, but, yea, with nouns, that's the kind of thing I'd never even think about...I'm not sure I can even identify which statement _in English_ fits what case category, never mind learn all the words and endings in Čeština.
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TheGreatDuck
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Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:37 am
Posts: 429
Location: Croatia
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:30 am 
 

Aquarius wrote:

Exactly. Czech and Slovakian are almost identical languages. There are only few words that Czech people have to learn in order to understand Slovakians and vice versa. As for grammar, there are some
divergences as well, but not fundamental for mutual intelligibility. And yes, both these tongues are hard to learn for foreigners because of rather difficult grammar structure and frequent inflection of words.

So Czech and Slovakian are like Croatian and Serbian?

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Aquarius
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Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:17 am
Posts: 589
Location: Czech Republic
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:27 am 
 

I am not so much familiar with those languages to compare it exactly, but in my opinon, Croatian and Serbian differ from each other a bit more, mainly in terms of grammar. Also, Croatian uses Roman characters whereas Serbian keeps Cyrillic as well as Russian.
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MutantClannfear
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Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 12:12 am
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:26 pm 
 

Huh, is that so? I figured Croatian and Serbian were mutually intelligible, along with Bosnian; one of my friends is taking a college course right now that just bunches the study of all three of them together, so I figured there wouldn't be any vast differences between them aside from Serbian's usage of Cyrillic.

ORTAB, do you maybe wanna come in here and clear this up for us? :)
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Wilytank wrote:
Aeosphorus wrote:
there are post-black metal bands such as ...Sunn O.

When did we start calling Sunn O))) black metal and how soon can we stop?

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severzhavnost
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Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2008 10:16 pm
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Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:04 pm 
 

They are totally mutually intelligible in their standardized forms. Fringe dialects that border on Bulgaria and Slovenia are not quite the same.

The use of different alphabets has changed a few things though. Transcribing Serbian into the Latin alphabet wouldn't look identical to Croatian, but that's just because a couple of letters' sound are not exactly equivalent. For example the word "eternal" - Serbian Cyrillic: вечан, Croatian vječan. Pronounced the same, but in Latinized Serbian it's Večan, omitting the j, because they've carried over the pronunciation of "e" in Cyrillic alphabet.
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prisonerofourtime
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:22 pm
Posts: 13
PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 5:05 pm 
 

I want learn Japanese in these years to move and live in Asia.

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Lord_Brendan
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Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:55 pm
Posts: 556
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 8:12 am 
 

prisonerofourtime wrote:
I want learn Japanese in these years to move and live in Asia.


Japanese is easy for pronunciation but quite difficult in other areas. I studied it in my teens and went to Japan for a while. Amazing place
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OzzyApu
Metal freak

Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:11 am
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Location: Seattle, United States
PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 1:28 pm 
 

prisonerofourtime wrote:
I want learn Japanese in these years to move and live in Asia.

I've been studying Japanese since last September and it starts easy and becomes harder. Kana stuff you'll be fine at and I recommend learning that on your own, but if you then start at Kanji (which will inevitably happen) then the difficulty ramps up. Last quarter hit me hard in terms of understanding because it requires lots of different conjugation patterns and the not-so-easy contextual-based system they have going. You'll love it initially but it will take hard work to get good at it.
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TripeOverload
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Joined: Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:46 am
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Location: Romania (The Land of Jokes)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 6:22 pm 
 

I'm Romanian, and I'm rather skilled at various pronunciations (German, French, English, Russian and so on), many of my country are able to master these well... not all of them try hard enough. As for the most adequate technique, I always opt for complete immersion - get newspapers, scientific articles, ads, literature - anything you can in order to compare terms and expressions, of course, it often depends on one's priorities, you can focus on scientific papers or technical documentation if that is your field.
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But seriously, someone tell me what's so funny about Hellveto's name. Is veto Polish for blowjob or something?

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Unity
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:42 pm
Posts: 399
Location: Portugal
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:25 pm 
 

Just started studying Spanish again, had my first class today. Loved it!
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Arkhane
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Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:39 pm
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Location: South Texas
PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:56 pm 
 

I remember initially trying to learn Spanish. I tried so hard, because half the people in Texas are fluent in it and I was particularly jealous. Finally, after having to hear enough of it and dealing with enough frustration over not knowing it, I gave up. Nowadays, I don't know if I associate it with frustration and anxiety, or if it's just naturally annoying, but anytime someone around me starts speaking in Spanish I usually get mad and tell them to speak English. Nothing more pretentious than two people who can speak perfect English that are talking in a language you can't understand in front of you.

As for my pursuit of the Norwegian language, I found a website with free lessons to get me started. It teaches simple phrases to get you started in case you find yourself going there in a few months, and also has prerecorded voices helping you to pronounce the phrases. It seems easy enough to use, but it doesn't teach you the 'why' of why this syllable is differently enunciated than a different word with the same syllable. I just found it two days ago, to be exact.

http://www.loecsen.com/travel/0-en-67-2 ... egian.html
Anyone try this site before?
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Paganbasque
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Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:28 am
Posts: 1636
Location: Basque Country
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:10 am 
 

Arkhane wrote:
I remember initially trying to learn Spanish. I tried so hard, because half the people in Texas are fluent in it and I was particularly jealous. Finally, after having to hear enough of it and dealing with enough frustration over not knowing it, I gave up. Nowadays, I don't know if I associate it with frustration and anxiety, or if it's just naturally annoying, but anytime someone around me starts speaking in Spanish I usually get mad and tell them to speak English. Nothing more pretentious than two people who can speak perfect English that are talking in a language you can't understand in front of you.

As for my pursuit of the Norwegian language, I found a website with free lessons to get me started. It teaches simple phrases to get you started in case you find yourself going there in a few months, and also has prerecorded voices helping you to pronounce the phrases. It seems easy enough to use, but it doesn't teach you the 'why' of why this syllable is differently enunciated than a different word with the same syllable. I just found it two days ago, to be exact.

http://www.loecsen.com/travel/0-en-67-2 ... egian.html
Anyone try this site before?


If the guys were with you I understand your reaction, but if they were speaking between only them, I dont understand it.

Anway, I recommend you to visit Spain, the are plenty of nice places to visit and the best food you can imagine, I am sure you will learn the language properly with a nice accent and appropiate vocabulary.

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Paganbasque
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Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:28 am
Posts: 1636
Location: Basque Country
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:19 am 
 

By the way, as a continuation of my Swedish classes I will spent 3 weeks in Tjörn, near Gothenburg, in a summer course, so I am really excited with this, hopefully my Swedish will improve a lot. :hyper:

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Turner
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Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2002 2:04 am
Posts: 1244
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:59 pm 
 

Lord_Brendan wrote:
prisonerofourtime wrote:
I want learn Japanese in these years to move and live in Asia.


Japanese is easy for pronunciation but quite difficult in other areas. I studied it in my teens and went to Japan for a while. Amazing place


about half the people in my linguistics courses at uni were also studying japanese. weirdos who dress like cliche anime fans and talk proudly in class about how they're somehow forgetting their L1 over the course of learning japanese while in their home country, taking all their classes in their native language and with maybe a handful of japanese facebook friends. they'd pretend they'd forgotten the most basic english words at times, fuck it annoyed me. and then i'd go to work in the student support office and take calls from distance ed TESOL students living in asia, with their fake, overly-affected mid-atlantic accents and smug "i live in asia, therefore i am more cultured than you" attitudes.... please, never, EVER become those guys :(

that being said, been to japan myself and had a great time. couldn't imagine living there but as a holiday destination it's pretty cool. and respect for anyone who can learn a language with a completely different script. but hate for cliche western japanese learners.

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OzzyApu
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Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:11 am
Posts: 9859
Location: Seattle, United States
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:11 pm 
 

Turner wrote:
about half the people in my linguistics courses at uni were also studying japanese. weirdos who dress like cliche anime fans and talk proudly in class about how they're somehow forgetting their L1 over the course of learning japanese while in their home country, taking all their classes in their native language and with maybe a handful of japanese facebook friends. they'd pretend they'd forgotten the most basic english words at times, fuck it annoyed me. and then i'd go to work in the student support office and take calls from distance ed TESOL students living in asia, with their fake, overly-affected mid-atlantic accents and smug "i live in asia, therefore i am more cultured than you" attitudes.... please, never, EVER become those guys :(

that being said, been to japan myself and had a great time. couldn't imagine living there but as a holiday destination it's pretty cool. and respect for anyone who can learn a language with a completely different script. but hate for cliche western japanese learners.

When I started Japanese last year maybe half the class were people who wanted to learn because they were video game / anime / japanese / chan fans over actually needing the language. After that first quarter half of the class (and I mean the entire quarter class, not just my classroom) dropped out. I want to live in Japan and work there so that's why I stuck at it and have continued to learn (although at a much slower pace now). The people who were in it just to be in it were the types that wanted catchphrases so they could post it online and use cute words like "desu" since loli anime girls say it. Thing is, they wouldn't learn the language properly and were intent on americanizing Japanese by not properly conjugating when speaking or use what my prof called "manga / anime Japanese" which was like the informal kid version of the real thing.
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gomorro wrote:
Yesterday was the birthday of school pal and I met the chick of my sigh (I've talked about here before, the she-wolf I use to be inlove with)... Maaan she was using a mini-skirt too damn insane... Dude you could saw her entire soul every time she sit...

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MutantClannfear
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Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 12:12 am
Posts: 2309
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:40 pm 
 

I don't have an awful lot to add to this thread at the moment, but I just wanna say that I get really excited and squeal like a little girl when somebody makes a new post here. :hyper: Languages are the bomb.

Has anybody here ever tried learning any particularly obscure languages as an L2? I'm slowly but steadily acquiring a crush on Georgian of all fucking things, but I'm not sure it'd be worth the effort considering its insane difficulty (makes Czech look like a fucking cakewalk - agglutination, unique script, absurd amount of grammar for verbs, so few resources oh god it sounds terrible).
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Wilytank wrote:
Aeosphorus wrote:
there are post-black metal bands such as ...Sunn O.

When did we start calling Sunn O))) black metal and how soon can we stop?

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Grave_Wyrm
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
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Location: At the bottom of the lake
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:41 pm 
 

Here's another one for ya, MCF!! It's pretty likely I'll be learning ASL soon. *cue squeal*
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Erotetic
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:05 pm
Posts: 907
Location: New Zealand
PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:50 pm 
 

I'm still failing miserably at Czech, ty vole :(
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peterpessimism
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:25 am
Posts: 55
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 5:48 am 
 

Could you guys please recommend the best way in which you can learn Swedish, something that can help me speak very basic phrases (and read plus pronounce correctly) and lead me to speak it fluently? I just ordered a Swedish\english dictionary online and I don't know which program to use along with it, or if I should go to classes? I'm just a kid and I'd like to learn it fluently before I move there in the future. I do know that many people in Sweden do speak fluent English as well, but it helps not looking too much like an outsider.

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MutantClannfear
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 12:12 am
Posts: 2309
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 12:02 pm 
 

Sign up to Memrise (it's free) and download courses for Swedish, particularly vocab courses. Also, buy one of these and start reading through it front-to-back whenever you get some free time. The Czech version of this book has been nothing short of a godsend for me. Classes would honestly probably be a waste of your money, you'd probably be better off just using an online community like Italki to find native speakers to converse with as soon as you feel like you know enough to hold basic conversation.
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Wilytank wrote:
Aeosphorus wrote:
there are post-black metal bands such as ...Sunn O.

When did we start calling Sunn O))) black metal and how soon can we stop?

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waiguoren
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:23 am
Posts: 2190
Location: Make a kiss to her
PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 12:16 pm 
 

peterpessimism wrote:
Could you guys please recommend the best way in which you can learn Swedish, something that can help me speak very basic phrases (and read plus pronounce correctly) and lead me to speak it fluently? I just ordered a Swedish\english dictionary online and I don't know which program to use along with it, or if I should go to classes? I'm just a kid and I'd like to learn it fluently before I move there in the future. I do know that many people in Sweden do speak fluent English as well, but it helps not looking too much like an outsider.


The hardest part of Swedish is not the grammar or vocabulary (especially if you know some German or Dutch) but rather the pronunciation, so you definitely want to work on getting that right. Not sure what you mean about looking like an outsider but not knowing any Swedish definitely helps in the meeting girls department. You should also work on getting yourself into the housing queue if you're going to move here, unless the thought of living in hostels for months on end appeals to you.
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insAnum
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Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:57 pm
Posts: 41
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 3:04 pm 
 

I only speak English and Finnish fluently. English was always my favorite subject at school, although I always disliked studying and sucked at school in general and got outta there through graduation as soon as possible at 18. After that I've simply learned from movies and the internet.

My spoken English is by no means perfect, but people can understand me no problem. I know enough English to make a living as a English-to-Finnish translator. I wouldn't translate the other way, as I feel English should be my mother language for that, and my vocabulary is definitely limited.

I don't know how people can speak more than 2-3 languages fluently. My brain would explode and implode at the same time if I tried that.
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Arkhane
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Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:39 pm
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Location: South Texas
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 3:22 pm 
 

Does Italki have a Norwegian counterpart? Or is it just a website designed for immersion in your target language?
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MutantClannfear
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Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 12:12 am
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 3:31 pm 
 

Arkhane wrote:
a website designed for immersion in your target language

http://www.italki.com/learn-norwegian/en-us
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Wilytank wrote:
Aeosphorus wrote:
there are post-black metal bands such as ...Sunn O.

When did we start calling Sunn O))) black metal and how soon can we stop?

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Arkhane
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Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:39 pm
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Location: South Texas
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 3:37 pm 
 

Awesome
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kluseba
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Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:36 am
Posts: 122
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 5:36 pm 
 

I have learned a lot of languages as well, some are easy, some are really hard...

German is my mother tongue. I'm pretty good in German but it's not a language that always makes sense. You need to practice a lot, learn many things by heart and get used to almost as many exceptions as there are regular grammar rules. It's a rich, poetic and beautiful language though with a lot of different words. I would choose to learn other languages such as English or Russian well before starting to learn German which is definitely tougher.

My second language is French. When I started to learn it, I had seven classes a week. I had exchange programs of several weeks and went to schools in Saint-Germain-en-Laye and later on Villeneuve-d'Ascq. Many people say that French is hard but I always thought that the grammar was much more logical than German grammar and I never got any troubles with this language. I'm living in Quebec since 2009 and have become perfectly bilingual over the years. I also have a strong accent by now and prefer the different local idioms over school French. This is not always a case for immigrants as many can't make sense of the local idioms and still speak school French. If you want to integrate and identify with the culture of a country, you should at least be able to tolerate and speak some local idioms.

My third language is English. I was neither good nor bad and I had a lot of mediocre teachers. It started to get better when I began to write reviews on the internet. This made me revise some important grammar rules and look up a lot of new words. Written practice really helped me to improve my English as well as reading books and watching movies in English. I decided to go further and taught some basic English at a local language school. If I meet foreign or bilingual people, I try to practice my English as often as I can. Each year my English is getting better.

The fourth language I have learned is Latin. You really need to work hard and spend a lot of time to learn this language. It's really tough but Latin grammar is precise and always makes sense to me. While I was learning Latin for four years, all my other languages improved as well because Latin influenced many of them. I haven't practiced this language for almost eight years by now, so I'm obviously a little bit rusty.

The fifth language I have learned is Russian. Many people think it's hard but it isn't. It's easier than German and French and not as hard to digest as Latin. Grammar rules are rather easy and the vocabulary is rather close to English/German as well as to French at some points (this has historical reasons). Knowing these other three languages definitely helped to learn Russian. I had the chance to go on a school trip to Saint Petersburg for one week and in only one week in this country my Russian improved incredibly. For a while, I was seriously thinking of doing my studies in Russia but I later moved to Canada. I took a few Russian lessons again at university but I haven't practiced this language for four years by now. It's maybe the most beautiful language I have ever learned.

The sixth language I have learned is Innu-Aimun, a First Nation language spoken in the North-East of Quebec. This language is incredibly hard to learn. There is no real alphabet and there are almost no languages to compare it to. I only took lessons for about four months and even though I was intrigued by the language, I'm not able to speak it at all. This kind of language needs a lot of patience and practice and you really have to speak to Natives to learn it. I learnt much more about Innu culture than the language itself when I took classes. This is definitely the hardest language I have ever learnt.

My seventh language is Mandarin Chinese. I took lessons for about four months and was able to practice with a few people as well. Grammar is not so tough but the pronounciation is really hard because many words may sound similar but have completely different meanings. As most of you know, even communication between Chinese can be difficult. When I was talking to people from a Southern province like Sichuan or Guangdong for example, they easily understood me despite my big accent. People from northern parts like Beijing basically didn't understand me at all. I have no clue why that was so. I would really like to learn more about this language, apart of Russian it's definitely the most beautiful and intriguing language I have learned so far.

My eighth language is Japanese. I was always into Japanese culture and it was a childhood dream for me to learn Japanese but it's an incredibly tough language. Many people say it's easier than Mandarin Chinese but I don't agree at all. The pronounciation is not so hard, that's true. Japanese grammar is quite complex though and the fact that they sometimes use three alphabets at the same time is incredibly tough and incoherent in my opinion. You need to learn a lot by heart and practice regularly to make sense of it and it will still be hard. I took some lessons for about four months. The first few classes were easy but after two months and a half, I was completely lost. It's the first time (apart of Innu-Aimun) that I thougt a language was almost too tough for me to learn. Maybe I will try again with a different teacher and some more discipline one day.

I always wanted to learn languages that I thought were challenging, different and exotic most of the time. Today, I'm eager to learn easier languages as well. Italian, Spanish and Portuguese are definitely not tough if you know Latin and French as in my case. If I had some more time, I would like to improve my Russian and my Mandarin Chinese and still learn some of these other languages.

The best way to learn a language is taking classes (high school, college, universities, language schools) and travelling / immersions. If you want to learn a language on your own, here are some advices: Practice regularly - no excuses! Try to write down some vocabulary each day, let's say about ten words a day. Learn a new grammar rule every two or three days. Practice regularly with real people instead of the internet (even though you can start and find some people there). Don't hesitate to ask foreigners to help you and practice with them. Most of them will accept and will be happy to see that somebody is interested in their culture and language. In every bigger city, there are things like "language circles" for natives and foreigners and you can easily find information about it at language schools, colleges and universities or on social media. If you ask a girl as a guy or the other way around, be careful because some people tend to think you just want to flirt and not really learn a language. Prove that you are serious and set things clear right from the start.

Some people think that watching movies or listening to music might be incredibly helpful. I don't agree. This might help if you already have a really solid base, otherwise it's overrated and pretty much a waste of time in my opinion.

Never give up on a language, if you want to learn it, then there is a way.

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Woolie_Wool
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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 6:54 pm 
 

Earthcubed wrote:
People who learn more than two languages will never cease to amaze me. I don't know how that's possible.

It's much easier if you learn two sufficiently different languages in early childhood when you can still acquire languages naturally. That way you'll have a much broader understanding of language by the time you get into adolescence or adulthood and have to learn languages the hard way. If you were raised monolingual, you face an uphill battle.

But no matter what sort of tools you use, even the really expensive ones like Rosetta Stone, you will never be truly competent unless you can interact face to face (not on the internet) with other people in that language and absorb media and culture created in that language.

VariedTastes wrote:
I've been taking German in school for the past five years now. Originally I took it in middle school to fulfill the obligatory two years of foreign language learning needed to graduate high school, but I found myself enjoying it much more than I thought I would. I wouldn't say that I'm fluent by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm getting there I think. I could certainly survive if I moved to Germany and had everyone speak "Hoch Deutsch" when talking to me. I could order food and stuff, hold a conversation as long as it's not something with abnormal vocabulary, maybe even work someplace. Where I really get tripped up is when people speak in dialects or have thick accents. Incidentally, when I spent a month in Germany, the people I lived with had both very strong accents and spoke in a dialect. If I ever wanted to understand them I had to constantly remind them to speak in standard German. One of my favorite examples was when the people said "let's go". In standard German that would be "Lassen wir uns gehen". They simply said "Geh ma". Needless to say that I felt like I was wasting my time learning German when even the Germans didn't speak it!


Isn't the same true for pretty much any language, though? Formal dialects are almost nobody's native tongue. How many people come to the US with a decent understanding of Standard English and end up completely baffled by constructions like "all y'all" (even non-southern Americans seem frequently unable to figure out how "you", "y'all", and "all y'all" relate to each other in southern dialects) or African-American verb conjugations (there are rules, and "I'se" is against pretty much all of them). And American English dialects are all less than 400 years old. Some British English dialects are over a thousand years old, many of them resemble foreign languages, and some even still use "thou".

And on that note, Google Translate is hilariously bad at parsing colloquial German. It can't even recognize 'n and 'nen as contractions of ein and einen.

Xlxlx wrote:
Well, I'm talking mostly from what I've heard from other non-native speakers, and most have told me that they've found Spanish to be a surprisingly difficult language to learn. It certainly is quite complex when compared to English, as the latter is overall a pretty straightforward language.

That's kind of the opposite of what I've heard, which is that non-native speakers (who speak other Indo-European languages) see English as a kludgy, difficult, obtuse language with a gigantic, exotic sound inventory, awkward consonant clusters, impenetrable idioms, and an orthography that rivals French for the worst Latin script orthography in the entire world.

And of course, if you speak something like Chinese natively, English might as well be from Mars.
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MutantClannfear
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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 11:14 pm 
 

I dislike the notion that learning a language after adolescence renders it "the hard way". The only reason it's not considered "hard" for children because they're immersed in it, when in reality it's still a shitton of work for the mind. It takes children anywhere from six to ten years to become fluent in their native tongue(s), depending on how you want to define fluency. Meanwhile, as an adult, you have the opportunity to study the backbones of grammar itself, allowing you to understand a specific language's application of a concept like past tense and subject-verb agreement in months or even weeks whereas it takes a child years of language exposure to comprehend this.

This is why Rosetta Stone is such a load of crap as a language-teaching tool: because it runs off of the myth that totally-immersed children pick up language super-easily and, accordingly, teaches you concepts through association and images when there's really no point in beating around the bush like that. If you're trying to learn the Czech word for "lettuce", and you know English, it's stupid to try to convey a concept like "lettuce" by beating you over the head with exposure to imagery when you can just flat-out say "'salát' is the Czech word for 'lettuce'".
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Aeosphorus wrote:
there are post-black metal bands such as ...Sunn O.

When did we start calling Sunn O))) black metal and how soon can we stop?

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Woolie_Wool
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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2014 11:40 pm 
 

Adults cannot learn languages as perfectly as small children can, period. There are special functions and pathways in the brain designed specifically for acquiring a new language from nothing (and babies start from nothing except for some very basic heuristics that are universal to all languages, adults have a huge head start by knowing one or more languages already!) and they are pruned during late childhood/early adolescence, never to be regained. There are ESL learners who are totally immersed in English, live and breathe English in an English-speaking society, for decades and never fully lose their foreign accents and sound like a real native speaker (and it's not because of neighbors, or family, or whatever--compare a first generation immigrant's often spotty English to the perfect English of his/her children). Children start having no language at all and get to that accentless native speaker level by fourth grade.
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MutantClannfear
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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 12:14 am 
 

Okay, so even if the fact that babies can pick up language in a state of not having one at all is pretty miraculous, that doesn't suddenly make learning a language later on in life substantially difficult. It changes the methods needed to learn them, of course, but I wouldn't say it takes any more overall effort than, say, becoming better in your native tongue. Keep in mind that while children have about two resources on average (immersion in an environment full of native speakers, a primary school teacher if they're old enough, and maybe a dictionary if they particularly care about that sort of thing), L2 learners have access to every single resource ever written on the language - grammar texts, bilingual dictionaries, college courses - as long as it's presented in a language they already understand. Plus it's not like they don't have access to immersion too, and it's not like immersion doesn't work wonders for L2 proficiency (though, granted, L2 learners have to be a bit further along in their learning before immersion will do them any good). Not to mention that, as I said, generally L2 learners don't have to wait for the cognitive capacity to grasp certain concepts like kids do: provided resources are available, I can probably figure out how to say "Jon drank coffee while wondering whether or not the bus would arrive on time" in the very first 24 hours of learning any given language, simply because my L1 has already granted me understanding of the concepts of past tense, present participle and conditional mood. In the case of all but the most complex languages, put an hour or two of every day into studying and you'll be fluent long before the time it takes for a baby to graduate to fourth grade.

I suppose, in the sense that L2-acquiring involves conscious effort as opposed to just living your life and picking it up as you go, it could technically be considered "harder". But as an adult, you can learn a language more thoroughly and comprehensively than a child can in less time, so it evens out. Perhaps it won't be perfect, but only because you're most likely not being constantly immersed and so you won't be immediately corrected like a child would be in school.
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Wilytank wrote:
Aeosphorus wrote:
there are post-black metal bands such as ...Sunn O.

When did we start calling Sunn O))) black metal and how soon can we stop?

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Woolie_Wool
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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 1:53 am 
 

I didn't say immersion didn't work for L2 proficiency, in fact I said it was essential to be truly proficient at a second language, it's that it's exceedingly rare to have the sort of accent-less perfection in a second language that it is considered pathological not to have in your mother tongue. People who don't go to school, who have never been to school, who cannot even read, are adroit speakers of their native languages. People spoke languages naturally and fluently for thousands of generations before schools and writing existed. You don't learn your first language by going to school. English classes in English-speaking countries teach you to write well, to analyze language, to appreciate and relate to literature, to have a solid grasp of the formal language if you grow up speaking a dialect, but you do not learn your mother tongue in primary school. The neural pathways you learn languages from in early childhood are far more specialized and powerful than the academic methods you use learning languages as an adolescent or adult. They evolved over around three million years to learn languages and nothing else.

Also I don't know about you but when I took Spanish, verb conjugations were one of the biggest challenges. Even after two years of instruction I did not fully understand Spanish verb tenses (and I've forgotten most of what I learned by now).
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Paganbasque
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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 3:00 am 
 

To learn two languages or more at the same time requires a great amount of time and hard work.

In my case I am focusing more on Swedish because I will go there this summer and I don’t have enough time to study German at the same pace. Moreover, I don’t know why but I have great problems to learn German vocabulary by heart, I have never been good at this ( I am terrible), but with German I have great problems. Grammar is tremendous too, a lot of things to remember, but I hope I will master it someday because I think it’s a beautiful and rich language.

And yes, Swedish pronunciation is rather difficult, they speak as they were singing or something like that, something tremendously difficult for a Basque guy like me, my speaking is too hard, monotonous and dry sometimes.

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