Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
alexdtree

Learning languages online

Recommended Posts

Hey guys,

was interested in learning a language online, dont need a qualification or anything for a language, just interested in learning for personal reasons

maybe russian, japanese or arabic. just wanted to know if anyone knows of or has used any online language services and what sort of experiences they had with them.

thanks in advance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Much, much harder to do without human interaction I imagine.

 

What do you speak now? You have choosen three of the most difficult of all to learn there.

Edited by Hlass

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Much, much harder to do without human interaction I imagine.

 

What do you speak now? You have choosen three of the most difficult of all to learn there.

LOL only english and L33T sp3@k :P

yeah i assume it will be harder but its possible an online services could accomadate that with skype conversations or some sort of chat with instructors or something like that,

a local hair dresser near me recently learnt french from CD. seemed like it went ok.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Much, much harder to do without human interaction I imagine.

 

What do you speak now? You have choosen three of the most difficult of all to learn there.

LOL only english and L33T sp3@k :P

yeah i assume it will be harder but its possible an online services could accomadate that with skype conversations or some sort of chat with instructors or something like that,

a local hair dresser near me recently learnt french from CD. seemed like it went ok.

 

Start with a romance language then. You will be able to speak it in the time it will take for you to get frustrated with Arabic, Russian or Japanese and abandon them.

Edited by Hlass

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Start with a romance language then. You will be able to speak it in the time it will take for you to get frustrated with Arabic, Russian or Japanese and abandon them.

Ive learnt french in the past and japense in primary school (now at university).

I really dont like the idea of learning another language just as a stepping stone because i know i wont keep it up because i wont be interested enough.

 

language preference aside are you aware of any online resources that make learning languages possible/easy?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Learning to speak Japanese is not so hard, comparatively speaking. No plurals, no future tense, consistency in verb conjugation. It's the reading and writing that is hard but if you do an online course, the reading will be fairly simple. There is a site called Japanese pod 101 I think, which seems ok. I don't think any online method will ever compare with real life lessons though.

Edited by komuso

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Im learning Mandarin at the moment using books, online and CD to listen to. I think its good. I can speak fairly good but still needs improving. the problem is if you are saying it wrong then you have no one to pull you up in it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On my Nintendo DS I have a couple of games called "My Spanish Coach" and "My Japanese Coach". They're very good. They teach you how to read and speak these languages by playing a series of increasingly difficult games and exercises to get you to remember them more quickly. They also have a dictionary for switching words in between the two. You can even learn to write kanji on the japanese one (It's too difficult to write spanish use the stylus to write english letters easily... It can be a little inaccurate at times, but does kanji nicely). To be honest, since getting them I haven't had the time to use them properly. You do need to be in an area where you can speak out loud, but, the benefit of the DS technology is that you can record your voice (built in mic) and play it back with the tutors voice over the top to make sure you have the pronunciation one hundred percent correct, as, sometimes when you only can hear your voice as you speak it, you miss out on small nuances of detail that you can pick up on if you can play back your own voice again and again. I really like them. They also teach you a little about the culture and everything, and if you wanted to quickly string some sentences together that were important for and impending trip, like "Where is the bathroom please?" or "Where is a good place to eat?", you could. Quite easily. I give them 8.5 - 9.5 out of 10.

 

The best way to learn a language is to take a lover from that country and have them teach you. You'll learn a lot quicker that way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can speak fairly good but still needs improving. the problem is if you are saying it wrong then you have no one to pull you up in it.

Hey you speak English fairly well for someone who is only learning online and from books.

 

Oh... Mandarin was it....

 

 

 

(:

 

The best way to learn a language is to take a lover from that country and have them teach you. You'll learn a lot quicker that way.

+.5 to this.... It's a good way but you can end up sounding like a girl. With English, this isn't such a problem, but Japanese intonation, words, and expressions can have you sounding very feminine. Other languages with genderized nouns would be more of a problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're right about that. I've had to adjust everything I've ever learned from them to suit. But I have never regretted it. :)

 

I guess I kind of assumed that that kind of thing was obvious enough to be clear or that the girl (based on the assumption that alexdtree is a male) would pull them up and say that they should try and sound more like a male.

 

If you're also saying more-so there that there are words and phrases that have/are gender specific useage, then that's a bit of a shock to me. For instance, from watching Azumanga Daioh (I went off the advice of a salesman and it was MA15+ - I thought there would be robots/monsters/guns.... There were not.), I've learned that "baka" is a word often used by girls in a specific way to describe typical teenage male behaviour. But I felt that was contextual, not exclusive. Could you shed some light for me please?

 

(Sorry to drag your thread out of line alexdtree, Nintendo DS also lets your training hours suit you, so, if you can't get a tutor, you could try ebay for a DS and "My Japanese Coach", but you'd learn a lot quicker with someone teaching you one on one... Sorry. :))

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Absolutely, girls use phrases, words, and conversational devices that are used pretty much only used by girls and trannies. Intonation is different too. A simple example is the word deshou. There are various twists and turns tothis word, a bit like saying 'you know', but girls often end it like a question, the last sound lengthened and the pitch going up. Guys sound more masculine by going down in pitch to assert that they are correct. The language is throughly imbued with differences like this. Both guys and girls use baka, but again the intonation is different.

 

The tricky thing is that often times, girls don't realise that they are using feminine sounding forms, so they cannot pull you up. It can be so subtle that I've had to explain some differences to Japanese girls, and only after an explanation can they see the difference, because it's not something they ever consider consciously. A girl might say something when you start sounding fairly cute, but by that stage it's probably becoming habitual. Case by case of course, but things tend to go this way for guys who learn from girlfriends.

 

I guess that in languages where the genderised differences are more delineated, its very obvious, so maybe a girl would correct you more quickly. I don't have experience with any other languages, apart from the language of international love. (:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Japanese, depending on how your mind works seems to be damn easy.

Im only not fluent because i'm slack :P

The catch is, in japanese there is always a 'correct way' to say things, and a way what will 'still work'.

 

anyway I digress.

 

Videos.

Reading online doesnt help much, talking is quite helpful, but propper videos are the way to go. And there are many available via the usual means.

Some people like to read it, some people like to listen; but there is something about watching a 'skit' and then breaking it down (its a common approach in learning videos) that works for the majority.

 

As for gender words in japanese, they certainly exist, but after visiting recently it seems its become a lot more relaxed on the topic; at least in informal situations. On the plus side, either way, to get basic language skills in japanese, you wont hit very many gender specific words; its more an intermediate to advanced thing in my experience.

 

DAMN IT! When I get home tonight i'm going to continue my lessons. I wanna be fluent so badly ><

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Japanese isn't that hard.

Lol I imagine your high school is focusing on the hiragana and the katakana rather than the real bitch which is kanji.

 

You have choosen three of the most difficult of all to learn there.

Dont forget Chinese bro. Edited by Mr.Twinkie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Japanese isn't that hard.

Lol I imagine your high school is focusing on the hiragana and the katakana rather than the real bitch which is kanji.

 

You have choosen three of the most difficult of all to learn there.

Dont forget Chinese bro.

 

Yep, one of my best mates is chinese. There is no 'thats close enough' with chinese; im either making sense or im not, lol.

 

Also, speaking japanese isnt hard; writing; well; thats a whole 'nother story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As for gender words in japanese, they certainly exist, but after visiting recently it seems its become a lot more relaxed on the topic; at least in informal situations. On the plus side, either way, to get basic language skills in japanese, you wont hit very many gender specific words; its more an intermediate to advanced thing in my experience.

Examples?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Japanese isn't that hard.

Lol I imagine your high school is focusing on the hiragana and the katakana rather than the real bitch which is kanji.

 

 

I know all hirigana and katakana off by heart, and we are learning Kanji.

The kanji actually seem to make Japanese easier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried Russian, wasnt my cup of tea. Dont know exactly why I wanted to learn it, it wasn't like I was ever going to actually travel there or get a job as a Russian interpreter. Maybe I liked that it sounded cool.

 

I ended up trying Japanese, I strongly recommend the Japan foundation. Very nice people and they also do the certifications so they obviously know exactly what you need to learn.

It's been about 6 months since I've had a Japanese lesson and I'm starting to forget it, if you REALLY want to learn a language I recommend getting yourself into a situation where you need to use it alot. I was going to travel to Japan but since Fukushima I've had to put that on hold.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://duolingo.com/

 

It's not launched yet, but it's a fascinating concept. There's a TED talk floating about, I'm sure a quick Google would reveal details. From the same folks that brought us captchas, believe it or not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Absolutely, girls use phrases, words, and conversational devices that are used pretty much only used by girls and trannies. Intonation is different too. A simple example is the word deshou. There are various twists and turns tothis word, a bit like saying 'you know', but girls often end it like a question, the last sound lengthened and the pitch going up. Guys sound more masculine by going down in pitch to assert that they are correct. The language is throughly imbued with differences like this. Both guys and girls use baka, but again the intonation is different.

 

The tricky thing is that often times, girls don't realise that they are using feminine sounding forms, so they cannot pull you up. It can be so subtle that I've had to explain some differences to Japanese girls, and only after an explanation can they see the difference, because it's not something they ever consider consciously. A girl might say something when you start sounding fairly cute, but by that stage it's probably becoming habitual. Case by case of course, but things tend to go this way for guys who learn from girlfriends.

 

I guess that in languages where the genderised differences are more delineated, its very obvious, so maybe a girl would correct you more quickly. I don't have experience with any other languages, apart from the language of international love. (:

 

Oh ok, so you were a bit worried that complete mimicry would result in a misunderstanding of character. For example, if I learnt from a girl and copied her perfectly (including intonation), I would sound like a girl and be hit on by gay men into that sort of thing? Well, yeah, I definitely see your point there, but, yeah, my girls have pulled me up at times. Played some jokes too. But I guess that's part of the fun and learning process when you're not paying for lessons from a qualified teacher. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As for gender words in japanese, they certainly exist, but after visiting recently it seems its become a lot more relaxed on the topic; at least in informal situations. On the plus side, either way, to get basic language skills in japanese, you wont hit very many gender specific words; its more an intermediate to advanced thing in my experience.

Examples?

 

Well things like directions, ordering food, shopping in general, asking to inspect things, hi bye thanks and please, and so on; from what ive learnt (and used) none of it was gender specific, or if it was, no one pointed it out :P The basics were easy.

 

When i was there and talking to a young man who also spoke english (as i said i'm not fluent, so i needed the bi-language :P) he was telling me a lot of 'female' words were OK now, because they were being used as 'classy' by the younger generation (think metro-sexual); but still wouldnt be used in a formal\official environment.

He did give examples, but I dont recall them specifically sorry.

 

I guess I need to finish my learning and go back there for 6 months and see for myself how much holds true.

 

EDIT: I remembered one.

He was explaining one that totally broke the rules (apparently).

 

Watashi wa (used formally to introduce self; used informally by females only - i was using this)

Boku Wa (Not used formally, unless you're already introduced, and used informally by males only)

 

At the end of the day, you may sound like a girl, but you'll get the point across :P

Edited by Master_Scythe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm learning mandarin from Chinese pod.

 

The sites pretty good and the lessons are actually interesting in a lot of cases,

 

It's presented in a pod cast way (i.e sort of radio presenter style), It does cost money but I think its worth it.

 

Also +1 for having a girl friend from the country you are wanting to learn the language of.

 

you tend to learn the language alot faster along with the customs.

 

Also... Chinese girls > *.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:)

 

It's an interesting concept, one I've worked with the other way around for some years with a Singaporean Chinese friend teaching English as a second language, on-line.

 

Business wise not been hugely successful, but as a course very good indeed.

 

Took a lot of work, but in the end it was more about stopping the rorting of IOLTS and TOFL that has been endemic for years.

 

Me, I tend to find it immersive - spend a few days somewhere you start speaking local - for me though it doesn't stick much unless I'm there a goodly time - I do speak good American :)

 

(Waits for SirD to correct me on that :) )

 

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

it's IELTS and TOEFL...

 

I work in the "Education sector" mainly with a focus on international students..

 

First correction was mine :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×