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Old 04-11-2009, 11:32 PM   #1
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Default Do You Speak A Second Language ?

Ciao, I've been wanting to learn Italian for the longest time because at some point in my life I want to travel to Tuscany, and I have a bit of a crush on Andrea Boccelli...

I've tried a few CD's from the library but nothing sticks...
I've seen ads for Rosetta Stone, has anyone used that ?
Any advice ?

Grazie tanto!

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Last edited by Sweetcaroline; 04-12-2009 at 12:08 AM.
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Old 04-12-2009, 01:09 AM   #2
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i took 4 years of german and remember enough to listen in on a conversation but probably not speak it. i've picked up a bit of spanish just by existing. i know it'd be completely useless but i would love to learn to speak Gaelic.
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Old 04-12-2009, 03:02 AM   #3
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I took French from age 8 at school right through to university, where I also took Russian. I have some German too, spent 2 months there last year. On Tuesday I start learning Spanish for my holiday in June. I've learned a bit of Urdu, not a huge amount, and I did learn Mandarin Chinese for a while but most of that has gone. I knew characters too but can only draw the one for good fortune now. I memorized one of my plastic card's pin number in chinese but I still have to count through my head to remember a couple of them. Oh, and I learned to read some Egyptian hieroglyphs too. Hm. Russian. Urdu. Chinese. Hieroglyphs. Do you think I like secret symbols?

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Old 04-12-2009, 03:11 AM   #4
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I can read and write enough Japanese (so far!) to have a basic written conversation with a native speaker. I'd like to learn Mandarin Chinese, Korean, Italian, and German. (Those and many others, but I think that I'd go insane if I tried to know that many!)

I have tried out the Japanese version of Rosetta Stone for a bit, and from what I can tell, it's a pretty awesome program. I know a person who used the Italian version, and she really likes it, so.. You can't expect for it to be the sole source of your language learning, of course, so one must keep in mind that it's only a supplement to other methods. Still, I'd recommend it.

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Old 04-12-2009, 06:07 AM   #5
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I am actually a native Dutch speaker, but I have become so thoroughly anglicised tha t I now dream in English. So I am fully bilingual Dutch and English, I can manage in German and French and I speak a smattering of Spanish.
As I now go to Italy for vacation almost every year, I very much want to learn to speak Italian.
Thanks for mentioning Rosetta Stone, I will check it out.
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Old 04-12-2009, 07:12 AM   #6
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Honestly English is my second language and I'm mother tongue Italian.
Also I speak some German and Spanish, and bits of French.
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Old 04-12-2009, 07:34 AM   #7
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Try the 'teach yourself' series with cd and book. I used it for a few months before I went to India and I have enough Hindi to get by (in a country where lots of people speak excellent English, mind).
I am only fluent in English - which is shameful considering I was brought up in an English/Arabic speaking house, but I do read Middle English fluently. Not much use outside academia, but I love it.
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Old 04-12-2009, 08:34 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Sweetcaroline View Post
Ciao, I've been wanting to learn Italian for the longest time because at some point in my life I want to travel to Tuscany, and I have a bit of a crush on Andrea Boccelli...

I've tried a few CD's from the library but nothing sticks...
I've seen ads for Rosetta Stone, has anyone used that ?
Any advice ?
Me too! I just bought Fluenz for Italian http://www.fluenz.com/ I bought on Amazon, and the reviews for all of the Fluenz products are great, and a few address the differences between Fluenz and Rosetta Stone. You can view a demo on their website if interested
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Old 04-12-2009, 02:16 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Sweetcaroline View Post
I've tried a few CD's from the library but nothing sticks...
I've seen ads for Rosetta Stone, has anyone used that ?
Any advice ?

I've used Rosetta Stone, and I think it is EXCELLENT! It is expensive, but some libraries have a web-based subscription to it so that their borrowers can use it online just by entering their library card number. It's worth asking about at your local library. I've used other audio and book sets, but I've not found them as useful.
(Not heard of fluenz - I'm going to look at it too.)

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Old 04-12-2009, 02:22 PM   #10
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I speak some Spanish.

Not by choice, though. I was taught some things for my job (sadly necessary in Southern California), and have picked up a lot elsewhere. I'm nowhere near being fluent, but I can understand the gist of most of what's said to me.

I learned some French in high school -- and I remember enough that I can order food, ask where the toilet is, and tell people my name.

I can also curse in a variety of languages.
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Old 04-12-2009, 02:58 PM   #11
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I took two years of French in high school, and can still speak bits and pieces of it...but I can understand more of it than I can speak back to someone.

My boyfriend is Greek, and I work for his parents at their Greek restaurant-and I have been taking a crash course in Greek, and I hope to become fluent over the next couple of years to speak with relatives, etc.

I did a LOT of research before choosing language programs, and here is what I recommend:


~Rosetta Stone

I am doing a combination of BOTH of these programs. Pimsleur uses cds only-which is wonderful, because I can pop them into the cd player while I drive somewhere, and have a lesson during the commute. The bonus part of their program is that they teach you full sentences, how to say the verbs, etc. in their different forms (I eat vs. YOU eat, etc.) right off the bat. They also make you "think" during the lesson-the cd will say ask you a question or say something to you in your chosen language, and you are to repeat aloud the "answer". It forces you to be able to respond and think quickly in your new language. It also focuses on slowly building your conversation skills further in each lesson.

If you choose the Pimsleur program, you want to get their large set (Greek I, French I, Spanish I, etc.) that has the full 16 cd/32 lessons...not their mini sets with only 8 lessons, etc. on them. Pimsleur also has the more advanced course (Greek II, Spanish II, etc.) in many of their popular courses.

I cannot say ENOUGH about the program-it works for me because I do my lessons while driving to and from work...I don't have to carve out any extra time.

Rosetta Stone works in a different way. It uses your computer, and you learn words like a child would-they show you an apple, and then the word that means apple. The advantage of this, is that you get used to the item being associated with that new word-you don't have to "translate" in your head. I am also enjoying this program to help with the visual aspect of learning another language...and also for the written language.

I have found the combination of both of these methods is working wonders for me. I have only been studying for a couple of months-and I can already speak and understand many things.

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Old 04-12-2009, 04:55 PM   #12
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I took Italian in college and nearly 2 years of reading/speaking in class helped me a lot but I've lost most of the Italian I learned.

I know some Spanish and can speak a little Spanish but since I'm not exposed to it much anymore, it is harder for me to come up with full sentences.

I've been thinking of trying a language program for Spanish to relearn a lot of stuff but again if I don't use it, I know I'll lose it so I'll have to keep up with it.

When I went to Greece, I studied Greek and it helped some although Greece has Greek/English as both their national languages so most people spoke English and most signs/menus/whatever else was in both languages.

When I went to China, I studied some Mandarin and I was glad I did overall but its a tough language to learn.

One thing to note is often your community library may have language learning programs available for you to use. All libraries used to have Rosetta Stone but I think Rosetta Stone decided to change that so now our local library has another top rated program available online but with fewer language choices. There may be online resources but they may also have cds and other stuff to check out at your library.
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Old 04-12-2009, 06:03 PM   #13
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Italian is my minor, and I think a classroom is the only way to go. I've tried independent ways to do it, but they don't actually make you able to speak. Can you try taking a once a week class?

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Old 04-12-2009, 09:08 PM   #14
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No, but I've always had a fantasy of chasing my daughter's father out the back door, wielding a frying pan and shouting mean things to him in Spanish.
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:21 PM   #15
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I read a bit of Spanish and French, but wouldn't dare try to speak either language. I picked up a few words of Welsh some years ago on a trip. I'd really like to learn French fluently someday.

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