[INFP] How did you learn a second language?

How did you learn a second language?

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This is a discussion on How did you learn a second language? within the INFP Forum - The Idealists forums, part of the NF's Temperament Forum- The Dreamers category; By this I mean, if you know one, or a third language for that matter, what actual way did you ...

  1. #1

    How did you learn a second language?

    By this I mean, if you know one, or a third language for that matter, what actual way did you use to learn it? How did it work? I'm terrible at learning languages and some advice would be nice. I'm trying to learn German, and my method is so far to read a book, learning words I don't know until I know enough that I can read without a translator. But memorising so many words is damned hard. So yeah this is basically an advice thread.
    Last edited by Adonnus; 06-04-2016 at 12:24 PM.
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  2. #2

    English is my second language... I learnt it literally by being an internet and videogame geek.

  3. #3

    I have absolutely no desire to learn another language. I speak and understand 2 as it is however it isn't a goal of mine nor do I ever have that urge to learn a new one. There are very few languages I enjoy listening too, I actually prefer an accent of English other than mine over another language all together. It takes a lot to Impress this INFP so another language doesn't Impress me whatsoever whether it be learning one myself or people who speak several.
    The Capture of Time thanked this post.

  4. #4
    INFP - The Idealists

    I learned a second language by studying it 3 years in high school and a semester in college. That was years ago. I have had little opportunity to practice it since those days years ago. I speak and read it haltingly now. I have forgotten most of the rules for tenses other than present and present progressive, and I have retained only a scant memory of the lexicon.

    It seems that for me anyway that a continued use is required to make it stick and ensure fluency. I may also have a problem in that I learned word-to-word identification rather than word-to-concept identification (i.e., English word = secondary language word vs. secondary language word = object/action/concept represented).
    frugivore, Adonnus and Larch thanked this post.

  5. #5
    INTJ

    Quote Originally Posted by Adonnus View Post
    By this I mean, if you know one, or a third language for that matter, what actual way did you use to learn it? How did it work? I'm terrible at learning languages and some advice would be nice. I'm trying to learn German, and my method is so far to read a book, learning words I don't know until I know enough that I can read without a translator. But memorizing so many words is damned hard. So yeah this is basically an advice thread.
    I learned English because it was just everywhere. I mean it was in the games I played, the series I watched and it even popped it's head around the corner in school. Becoming reasonably proficient in English was more of a given than something I had to attain. What helped me achieve fluency, though, is Skyping a lot with English speakers.

    The best way for me to learn a language is to actually try and speak in the language. I imagine there are plenty of Germans online with a decent understanding of English, you can help them out with your English speaking skills and they can help you out with learning German. If that's one bridge to far, you can always try to listen to Native German speakers and/or watch german shows.

    Good luck!
    Adonnus, GTG and ann18 thanked this post.

  6. #6

    This forum actually helped me a lot. Internet, gaming, movies and TV-shows were good for learning this language easier. But English is also un-fucking-believable easy as hell compared to other languages.

    My current French level of speaking is achieved by school efforts. It's hard to speak it fluently, but I would be able to start a conversation.
    Adonnus, GTG and ann18 thanked this post.

  7. #7
    INFP - The Idealists

    My first language wasn't English.

    Now although my spoken English still isn't all that great, but my written English is imo, alright if I may say so.

    As for how I improved my written English, well.... I did take some English course prior, but what truly helped me the most with everything considered was that I used to practice my English by arguing with people online and in forums (started out with gaming forums). Partly because I'm such a sensitive whiny shithead, and the other reason being me exploiting the opportunity to practice my writing skills.

    But hey, it works as far as learning is concerned, though not exactly glorious as you can imagine.
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  8. #8

    It first began with electronic role playing games — Final Fantasy, Legend of Zelda, Secret of Mana, etc. —; I chose the genre because I really appreciated the idea of having to use my intelligence to make progress, and also because of the engaging stories (I literally cried during some of those); for that experience to work, however, I had to actually understand what was being said by the characters, and since none of those games were translated to my native language, I began to play with a dictionary by my side, translating every single piece of text that would appear before me, and as time went by I realized I could remember more and more, needing to consult the book less often.

    That was my sole contact with the English language for a while; we didn't have access to the Internet in the Darklands, the VHS movies were already dubbed, I could get foreign music bands' cassette tapes (yeah) but didn't have the written lyrics — though after some time playing RPGs as described above I did begin to associate some of textual words I knew with the sounds I heard, at least now and then. Things really improved when the DVD technology first appeared, because then I could watch movies and series with their original audio, at first with subtitles in my language, then English subtitle, and eventually without subtitles.

    Getting my first computer — with all the splendor of its 500mb HD, 64mb of RAM... wow! — introduced me to new technologies, which demanded more English. And with a dial-up connection, there were chats, PBEM RPGs, forums... There was much to learn from those, beginning with the way people sounded (or wrote) in informal contexts. I got to a point where the fellow participants of the online conversation (or whatever it was) wouldn't notice my not being native to their language. The Internet also meant I could acquire untranslated books for the first time — I can't remember which one was my first, by I've had a lot of them since then!

    As for my pronunciation, it was terrible; not because I didn't know how something should sound, but because I hadn't ever practiced; I could say something correctly when alone, but when there were others listening I would get nervous, and the words just wouldn't get out (at least not as intended). Honestly, I don't know why I wait for so long before changing that; I guess I just was too nonchalant about it, also happy enough with consuming, not trying to express myself; be as it may, I decided to take care of it, so I started reading everything aloud whenever I could until I developed an intuitive feeling about how a new word should be pronounced.

    When I finally left the Darklands to inhabit more cosmopolitan spots, I had some opportunities of talking to foreign people and took advantage of that; I forced myself to be rather shameless about how terribly I sounded until I got comfortable with the frightening experience of communicating in a different language with a real someone, in person. Relaxing was a turning point: after overcoming that psychological barrier, my speech started corresponding to how proficient I actually was regarding the English phonology, to the point of people believing that to be my first language.

    I have never followed any language learning method, I did it by a) long-term exposure and b) caring (or loving) enough some odd stuff. Some friends of mine share my interests, and have possibly had the same amount of contact with different languages I've had, but we've approached both differently: they were happy enough, when playing a RPG, with randomly clicking on everything until something happened, thus they didn't learn from playing RPGs; they waited impatiently until someone dubbed or subtitled a movie or TV series they wanted to see, but not so impatiently they would learn a new language to eliminate the waiting altogether — I know those who have learned English just so they could read the next Patrick Rothfuss' novel before it came to our country, and others who have become fluent in Japanese to watch anime without depending on translations.

    Naturally, there are better ways to go about doing that — I mean, unless I were terribly lazy, I simply couldn't but learn at least some English after all those years! But I wouldn't wait for so long to learn a new language now, and I surely would make better use of my time. Some of the learning projects I have planned for the future — the current one, "un-messing my head", is taking precedence — include becoming fluent in some languages, and for each one I have dedicated time to learn about the best resources available and discover how to make good use of them, which has already led me to studying the acquisition of new languages in general.

    Now, @Adonnus , there are different ways of tackling that, each fitting a different learning style. Some people prefer to start with grammar so they will understand what the language is all about, others prefer to watch people using the language and learning from the context, there are also those who prefer to do lots of drills... I'd advise you to experiment and discover what works for you. If you don't know where to start, try Prof. Alexander Arguelles' channel on YouTube; the guy is a polyglot himself, considered to be an authority on language learning, his videos are really useful (this one is about typologies of foreign language manuals and student learning styles).

    Unless you just want to read German, start speaking since the beginning; it's harder to fix "pronunciation prejudices" later, so it's a good idea to try something audio based so you'll assimilate the new phonemes, learn the language's rhythm and so on. If you have $$$$, or access to some good libraries, you can check out courses like Michel Thomas and Pimsleur.

    There are some good blogs on language learning out there; I like Benny Lewis' Fluent in 3 Months and Khatzumoto's All Japanese All The Time (useful not only for learning Japanese). The aforementioned Prof. Arguelles has also founded a very good forum: How To Learn Any Language. Spend some time browsing those links and I think you'll thank me later.

    Viel Glück! :)
    Adonnus, JonathanLivingstonSeagull and ann18 thanked this post.

  9. #9

    Quote Originally Posted by thatcookie View Post
    Unless you just want to read German, start speaking since the beginning; it's harder to fix "pronunciation prejudices" later, so it's a good idea to try something audio based so you'll assimilate the new phonemes, learn the language's rhythm and so on. If you have $$$$, or access to some good libraries, you can check out courses like Michel Thomas and Pimsleur.
    Thanks for your reply, I'll definitely consider all of that a lot. But yeah, I actually did do a class for a year in college, and I've seen enough movies/songs as well to get the pronunciation of *most* words and letter combinations quite accurate I think. My teacher was awesome, she was a former East German. She told us how on the day that there was reunification she slept in, so when she woke up the country she grew up in just vanished.
    GTG thanked this post.

  10. #10
    INFP - The Idealists

    English-video games (mainly pokemon)


     
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