New languages

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by TSE, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. TSE macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    #1
    Hey guys, I am 15 right now and I live in Minnesota in 10th grade. Sadly enough, I haven't ever been out of the midwest. I haven't even been on an airplane. My family does not take vacations because my dad's priority on buying stuff for himself is more important than family vacations.

    I really want to travel to Europe, and possibly go there for college. I get exactly a 3.0 GPA, but, I do go to a school where all the courses are bumped up a year, so I am actually taking 11th grade classes so after 11th grade I can take college credit classes. I do fairly well in Spanish class, even though I dislike the language. Why go to Europe? Well, my life has really been boring. The only thing I look forward to in the year is for baseball season to start, and that only lasts for me from about March to July.

    Here is my question, I want to learn either French, German, or possibly even Russian. I have a brother that is a Naval Officer and knows Russian, English, German, and French fluently, but he is away and I never get to see him, and won't see him for some time now. How long does it usually take for somebody to learn German, French, or Russian fluently and what is the easiest/cheapest way to go for learning these languages. I was leaning more towards German because of how awesome it sounds and I like the country more simply because I am German and the culture looks more like my style.

    How much would classes at the local university cost me? Would only getting Rosetta Stone work? Help!
     
  2. nickspohn macrumors 68040

    nickspohn

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    #2
    Rosetta Stone is very nice. I would check it out. I have it now, and I love it.


    It is different for everyone on how long it takes them to learn a language. With Rosetta Stone, or any class, you really have to try at it and focus. I'm using Rosetta Stone for my future career, which is with the government, and it just so happens the government uses Rosetta Stone to teach languages.


    I know all the basics to Spanish and German, now i'm working on becoming fluent and having conversations with people.

    Spanish would probably be the best language to learn right now in America. From there on it is up to you. But work on Spanish first. Best advice I can give.
     
  3. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Location:
    New York
    #3
    You probably won't achieve fluency through Rosetta Stone, although I think it is a great program when used in conjunction with a physical class or other learning tools. You also likely won't be fluent after a year or two unless you learn through immersion, sorry. It takes many years to learn a language well.

    Check your local universities for tuition costs. It varies by state and university.

    As far as going to school in Europe, look into any American or English Universities. I don't think it's too likely you could get into a German language uni. if you're just starting to learn right now. If you want my advice, go to a local public state university and do a semester or two abroad. You'll save money by going in-state and public, and you still get the experience of learning in another country.
     
  4. TSE thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    #4
    Would it be possible for me to become a foreign exchange student in Germany for my senior year? Or is it too late for me to look into that?
     
  5. benflick macrumors 68020

    benflick

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    #5
    I doubt that it would be too late for you to look into becoming an exchange student.
    At my school, the last week of your junior year is the deadline to sign up to be a foreign exchange student. Although there is much more work then just signing up.

    (i'm 15 also BTW)
     
  6. aethelbert macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    #6
    Honestly, you'll never become fluent through computer software or a classroom. It comes through conversation and the exclusive use of the language. When I started working for Lufthansa, I originally picked up a cassette from the library with some basics on it (it was 1995 so there weren't software programs like rosetta). I was extremely nervous to go over there for the first time as I barely retained anything from those tapes. While most everyone knew some English, I knew that I at least had to try at German to get better. Within about three years (I commute across the pond so I wasn't there all the time), I was fluent. I never had any third-party assistance outside of those cassettes. Everything came from dialogue and writing.

    Your idea of signing up to be an exchange student is excellent. I'm sure that if you knew some of the basics before you go, you could easily gain fluency in German being there for an entire year if you abandoned the use of English altogether. The first few weeks, maybe even months, will be extremely hard on you and they'll drive you nuts. But once you pick up on things, you learn so quickly and the final result is a great reward.
     
  7. donga macrumors 6502a

    donga

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
    Location:
    AZ
    #7
    the best way to learn a language is to go to a country where it's spoken and live there (e.g. studying abroad in germany)

    i learned a little cantonese when my grandma helped raise me through my childhood (not enough though), my spanish was pretty good but still not fluent (after 2 years in middle school, 4 years in high school, it was my college minor).

    my most fluent second language is malagasy, spoken in Madagascar where i spent 1.5 years as a peace corps volunteer. i've heard that the intense language training program was one of the best, but of course unless you're a pcv you can't get it. even after that, it took me months to get comfortable using it, but using it to survive makes you learn it really quickly.

    OP: i'm happy to see you so interested in learning another language. i wish more kids followed your example
     
  8. TSE thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    #8
    So I asked my dad about taking classes or getting Rosetta stone and he gave me this huge lecture on how German or French are useless languages and if I really want to be successful in this world I should learn Mandarin or Russian. :rolleyes:

    He said he would support me being a foreign exchange student and going to London though. Yippee, such a change in culture. :mad:
     
  9. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #9
    Russian? Really? Hah. Don't really see them going anywhere of note in the foreseeable future.

    Studying abroad isn't necessarily just about getting a skill (language) that can help you succeed later in life. It's also about living in another culture and learning that even just in Europe people live considerably different lifestyles than Americans, but live, grow and prosper all the same. I feel like someone who has learned that firsthand is better prepared for an increasingly globalized world than someone who spends years struggling to learn Chinese but has never left a corner of the US.
     
  10. TSE thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    #10
    My dad was in the Navy throughout the 70's and 80's so he still thinks that Russia is going to come back and try and attack America. He still shows signs of being brainwashed, hehe. :D
     
  11. Leareth macrumors 68000

    Leareth

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #11
    German is a pretty good language to learn if you are not interested in Spanish. Straighforward , pretty consistent and close enough to english you can usually figure things out.

    French is so cliched. ( ok yes I have slight bias against the bloody language)

    Russian is not a language to try on the first go. while it is pretty constant and sticks to its rules, it is a pain in the arse to learn the new alphabet and certain concepts which have no equivalent in english.

    Japanese is pretty cool if you really want to try something different.

    Exchanges are the best way to do learn languages
    Extended vacations or workstudy are good too.
    In class learning really depends on size of class and instructor
    Rosetta stone is good way to see if you are interested in a language, and a good way to brush up on some language skills.
     
  12. TSE thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    #12
    okay guys, I am set on learning German.

    I got Rosetta Stone (not telling how :D), and am doing lesson 1, but I have a couple questions...

    -Sie can mean she and them, correct?

    -Why in "Der Mann rennt" is Mann capitalized?

    -Does anybody here know German fluently and has an AOL Instant Messenger account want to help me practice?
     
  13. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #13
    Sorry to hijack the thread, but I'm going to Berlin soon and I know 2 words of German and both of them translate back to a couple certain 4 letter words in English. I know most people over there speak English, but what's the appropriate way to approach someone? Would it be rude to just start speaking in English and if I get a blank stare or if all they repeat are a couple English curse words, it's safe to assume they don't speak it? Should I learn how to say "Hello, do you speak English?" in German and ask that first?
     
  14. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #14
    "Sprechen Sie Englisch?"

    Generally it's polite to at least try in the foreign language or have a few phrases down.

    Nouns are cap'd in german.
     
  15. aethelbert macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    #15
    Yes, it is always nice to start off by asking someone if they speak English. It's typically much appreciated. Even if you know that someone speaks English (say you're waiting in line and you hear the person in front of you conversing in english to the cashier), it's just a nice and polite touch. You'll find that pretty much everyone will be happy to give an effort to converse in English if you give the effort of asking in German.
     
  16. Nickygoat macrumors 6502a

    Nickygoat

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #16
    I recall reading an article a while ago where the US military was teaching people Arabic. They reckoned it took 88 weeks to get to a native level. 44 weeks of tuition and 44 weeks in country.

    That's assuming you don't end up living with Americans in the country of your choice :rolleyes:

    That's also a relatively intensive course (about 10 hours per week).

    The normal way is to take formal tuition and then go and work, or study, in Germany.

    The easier way is to meet a nice Fraülein and get her to teach you :D There are fringe benefits to this approach although it might be more expensive in the long run :)

    Head for München because the beer's better or for Berlin because the city is the liveliest ;)
     
  17. northy124 macrumors 68020

    northy124

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    #17
    OP Learn German, I would say learn Russian but I'd recommend German to start with seeing as English and German go hand in hand (English is a Germanic language) which makes it easier to learn :D.

    Use Rosetta Stone and try and take a class as well and you should learn the Language you chose in no time :)

    Edit: I just read the thread to see you are learning German, good choice, Mann is spelt that way as nouns are capitalised. Get a book to help you as well (Teach you Nouns and how certain things should go) and you should learn it in no time.

    Personally learning via Rosetta Stone was easier for me than 5 years at school learning it ever was. Also Films help you learn as well (My personal favourite is Lissi und der Wilde Kaiser it is so funny although not subbed).
     
  18. TSE thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    #18
    ... and also guys...

    I told my friends that I was thinking of either going to Germany or possibly Britain. I want to go to Germany because I want to learn a new language, but somewhere in Britain would be very nice too.

    They all laughed at me, and I asked why. A couple of them have been to Germany, and they said German girls were ugly, and British girls is where it's at.

    I don't really want to sound like an idiot, but one of the reasons why I want to get out of Minnesota is to meet new girls and stuff, and if German girls really are ugly, then maybe I will change my mind and go somewhere else. Is this true?
     
  19. ChrisN macrumors 65816

    ChrisN

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    Location:
    Demarest, NJ
    #19
    I think you should learn Italian personally(I'm taking it in high school and its closely related to Spanish) but I would choose French or German out of that group. Also, I have no experience with Rosetta Stone.

    ChrisN
     
  20. northy124 macrumors 68020

    northy124

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    #20
    No they aren't all ugly, but yes if you want *sluts come to the UK :p but don't expect anything unless your a chav as that is who they usually hang around with or they are chavs themselves*.

    *I speak from personal experience here ;)

    Edit: I suggest you learn Russian if you want fit girls as the girls over there are hotter than anything I have ever seen.
     
  21. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #21
    In my experience british girls tend to be kind of trashy but they sure put out. German girls can be unbelievably attractive, but they do have their share of less attractive girls. France and Italy are brimming with babes but they tend to be a little cold.
     
  22. northy124 macrumors 68020

    northy124

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    #22
    Slight understatement :p
     
  23. SilvorX macrumors 68000

    SilvorX

    Joined:
    May 24, 2002
    Location:
    'Toba, Canada
    #23
    I've been trying to learn French all my life and still struggling at it, but I'm also now learning Spanish, for me it's easier to learn Spanish than a person who doesn't know french, alot of words/verbs are similar to French, which really helps me out, but I still struggle at Spanish too
     
  24. spazattack674 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    Boston
    #24
    I'm 16, and I've been taking French since I was in the first grade (Mostly just greetings/travel/numbers/colors etc. in grade school, in Honors French currently). I decided to continue with it in high school because it was the easier choice, because I had some basic knowledge. Many of my friends take Spanish, however, and when I look through their text books, many things are similar. It may be worthwhile to learn German and French, I think that if you can pick up Spanish fairly easily then you will be able to learn French.
     

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