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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Anyone here successfully learned a 2nd language as an adult?

    Curious who's done it and what worked, time dedicated per day, best methods for you, time to fluency etc.

    And to be clear, I'm not talking about learning enough Spanish so that you can order a beer from the guy at the resort bar in Cancun. And I also don't mean that you have to be able to convey technical ideas or deep thoughts at a native language level. I just mean that you can have a normal conversation about a range of everyday things at a cadence that is comfortable for that local.

    I've been using Duolingo for about 8-10 months, and while I feel like I am learning, I realize how weak I am at listening and being able to translate that in my head in a timely manner. I think that Duolingo has made me rely on seeing it written, instead of listening.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Big in Japan
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    36,060
    Agree about Duolingo and reading, although I made it a point to talk it through.

    I'm convinced the only way I'd learn is to be forced to by living in a place for some time. Used Duolingo fo my Spanish trip last year, helped a little to understand a little, but, it's all gone now.

    Let's do some livin'
    After, we die

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    North Vancouver
    Posts
    592
    Duolingo is awesome.
    You need to be immersed in the culture and languge to get yourself fluent.
    What if "Alternative" energy wasn't so alternative ?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    311
    Depends how you define "adult". I learned Japanese in college and went from 0 to moonlighting in a bar in Japan in about 5 years. But that relied on a concentrated approach to study that's only accessible for students and the most successful dentists: anywhere from 4-8 hours of class a week+homework, a year spent with a host family, etc.

    A buddy has used Rosetta and seemed to think it worked pretty well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    Before
    Posts
    20,065
    Any data collected here will be suspect. The sample size for adults is too small on the TRGs.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    304
    Norwegian -- started with Duolingo, did a couple months of a babbel online course, dated native speakers, and watched TV in Norwegian. Was conversational within a year spending 1-3 hours a day, but I was living in a more or less Norwegian speaking area.

    Also learned Spanish much earlier in life, but living in the US (through school and continued into college). That for me was much easier, but the learning was less concentrated. Was close to fluent for awhile, but haven't used it in years so not sure if I would need to relearn or not.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    2,603

    Anyone here successfully learned a 2nd language as an adult?

    I learned Spanish in my late 20s

    I had taken years of French, so had a head start.

    I took four semesters of Spanish in graduate school, pass/fail since I didnít need those credits for the degree. That provided a base, then traveling for 2 months in SA cemented it. Not that Iím fluent but I can communicate both ways when needed.

    The immersion and being forced to understand and say stuff 24/7 is huge.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
    Keystone is fucking lame. But, deadly.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    on the banks of Fish Creek
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    1,270
    Living in Sicily for two years left me fairly fluent in Italian at that time. I was able to carry-on all but the most technical conversations without any problem. I was amazed at how quickly I was able to pick it up by being around it every day.

    By the time I had been back for about a year I had lost a good 80% of it and at this point I canít remember anything.
    The mind is weird.....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    here and there
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    14,740
    Can you understand anything that SFB posts?
    watch out for snakes

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    crown of the continent
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    13,955
    Rocket helped me a little but like has been said immersion is the key. Iíll be taking more classes in Merida from Habla in the years to come.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    Something about the wrinkle in your forehead tells me there's a fit about to get thrown
    And I never hear a single word you say when you tell me not to have my fun
    It's the same old shit that I ain't gonna take off anyone.
    and I never had a shortage of people tryin' to warn me about the dangers I pose to myself.

    Patterson Hood of the DBT's

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    NAZ
    Posts
    474
    I'm in the same boat as you, but earlier in the process. Right now I've got a long commute so I try to listen to a few episodes of Coffee Break Spanish. It's very basic repeat after me stuff but has been a good start.

    However, I need something in front of me so I'm going to supplement with reading, duolingo, flash cards. Also, my SO is bilingual so once I'm to the point that I think it could work, we'll just start speaking only Spanish at home.

    I think the absolute key is immersion.
    It sucks to suck.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Big in Japan
    Posts
    36,060
    The younger the better.

    Let's do some livin'
    After, we die

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    9,144
    Quote Originally Posted by SB View Post
    Can you understand anything that SFB posts?
    Google bro-ambic pentameter
    "timberridge is terminally vapid" -- a fortune cookie in Yueyang

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Ogden
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    I do think immersion is the key. I could see myself traveling to Mexico (or somewhere Spanish speaking) for a week a year for the next 5-6 years, and then spending a month or so a year there after that.

    My wife speaks great spanish (grew up in a dual language household) and I'd be willing to bet it's the first language for 25ish% of the local population. So I have plenty of opportunities to use it, if I can learn it. I'm just at the annoying stage to my wife right now I think, I get the "what are you trying to say to me?" when I try to say something to her after a long day at work. Other times she's great and patient.

    Ultimately, I think I'm going to have to dedicate more time to go much further than I am now. I spend 20-30 minutes a day on Duolingo and then listen to Spanish podcasts for another 20 minutes a day. Just not enough for any sort of proficiency I'm afraid.

  15. #15
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    Oct 2003
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    Ogden
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    Quote Originally Posted by DolphinSki View Post
    I try to listen to a few episodes of Coffee Break Spanish. .
    Coffee Break Spanish is good, but I find myself zoning out and mind wandering a lot of the time. I've also been meaning to make some flash cards for verb conjugations that I struggle with. And just ignore Vosotros, no one in LATAM uses that and I think you could probably get by in Spain without it.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Posts
    354
    I lived in Mexico for a year and a half. Bottom line is this if you want to be fluent in a language you must talk to yourself in that language. Every thought in your head must be in that language.
    Also slang and regional dialects make it impossible to go from textbook language to understanding conversations around you. Just think how different ppl in the uk talk compared to Florida/ Alabama folks... Sometimes you cant understand what they're saying in your native language so the same only worse say in Spanish from one area or country to the next. There is no book that can teach you that

    Sent from my H3223 using Tapatalk

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,324
    If you really want to learn Spanish and speak fluently get a job as a roofer or a landscaper for about 5 years and you'll still be the gringo that speaks spanish slowly with a gringo accent.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    Seattle
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad dancer View Post
    You need to be immersed in the culture and languge to get yourself fluent.
    ^ This.

    I moved countries and learnt Australian.
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    in the mouth of a desert
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    2,118
    I've dabbled in Spanish for years (took a year in high school, subsequently used a couple aps/learning CDs) and have traveled to Spanish speaking countries c. annually for the past five or ten years. I've gotten to the point where I've got a pretty decent vocabulary, know sentence structures, know how to conjugate verbs in different tenses, can pronounce things well, etc. What I can't do is understand what the fuck people are saying a lot of the time. Sure, I have no problem in restaurants, getting directions, etc., but as soon as I get off the beaten path or off context, I quickly get lost. I think you really need constant immersion to get over this last hump. A guy I work with pays some Venezuelan dude like $5/hour to Skype with him in Spanish every morning. This might be a decent route if you really want to get there.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    33,518
    Quote Originally Posted by SB View Post
    Can you understand anything that SFB posts?
    like others mentioned, immersing into the culture helps.
    .

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    here and there
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    I dig the photo TRs.

    I get the dog, boat, fish stuff and the white room.
    watch out for snakes

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Loveland, Chair 9.
    Posts
    3,597
    you need to read and talk Spanish. considering it is Spanish and not german you are learning, there should be plenty of books you can get online printed in Spanish to read and if you do not have a friend that will speak nothing but Spanish, find a tutor online,
    Eat em up Houston Cougars !

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    truckee
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    10,776
    Sure--"Me gustarŪa circuncidar tu mesa." If I can do it anyone can.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    The Cone of Uncertainty
    Posts
    46,862
    I"m fluent in both SFB and Jive.


  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    SE USA
    Posts
    1,989
    I'm pretty fluent in redneck, though I learned it as a child.

    Some days I ceen even speak english.
    "Can't you see..."

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