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View Poll Results: How fast did you learn the local language?
Within a year 4 36.36%
After 1 year 0 0%
After 2 years 2 18.18%
After 3 years onwards 3 27.27%
After 5 years 1 9.09%
Didnt find it necessary to learn it 1 9.09%
Voters: 11. You may not vote on this poll

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  #41  
Old 17.11.2008, 11:25
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Re: How long does it take to learn a new language?

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I haven't read all the replies so excuse me if I am repeating what has already been written. Find a good teacher and stick with it even if you feel you're getting nowhere and feel like stopping. There are times, when learning, you feel you are not getting anywhere but in fact you are probably making good progress.

And besides Lynn, you would learn Italian a lot quicker if you weren't so addicted to the Forum
You know, that is so true! I was just thinking the other day that if I would quit the forum and dedicate that time to learning Italian, I would be fluent by now. So good bye everyone! I'll be back when I speak Italian.
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  #42  
Old 17.11.2008, 11:28
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Re: How long does it take to learn a new language?

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Language growth seems to come in spurts.

I seem to plateau for a while, and then I seem to start
seeing gains once again.

In German at least, I bought a book with the "10000 Most
Used Words in the German language". I studied this pretty
diligently, and it helped tremendously.

It took me about a year to be pretty fluent.
OK. I'm back!

This is exactly what my teacher said. You learn, you plateau and then you progress again. Kind of like losing weight.

Great idea with learning the most important words. I was trying to find something like this in Italian but had no luck. Any suggestions?

Last edited by Lynn88; 17.11.2008 at 11:29. Reason: addition
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  #43  
Old 17.11.2008, 11:52
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Re: How long does it take to learn a new language?

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You know, that is so true! I was just thinking the other day that if I would quit the forum and dedicate that time to learning Italian, I would be fluent by now. So good bye everyone! I'll be back when I speak Italian.
Don't you dare..
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  #44  
Old 17.11.2008, 12:15
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Re: How long does it take to learn a new language?

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I'd be curious to hear how long it took for others before they felt comfortable conversing in a new language. I can see how much easier it is for my son. As an adult, learning a new language is a more difficult process. I'm wondering how much easier things will be in a year? In five years?
Whether or not it is ever possible to feel comfortable is debatable. By any assesment I have undergone, I am fluent in German, even though I still make mistakes and am still rather self-concious of what I say. But that doesn't stop me.

Sure, if you say nothing, then you can say nothing wrong - but then you never say anything right either.

Don't worry about being comfortable, just jump in. Simply giving it a go will improve your language skills. Most people will appreciate the effort - don't be put off by any arrogant responses that you may get, they achieve nothing...

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Exactly, I've met an Australian couple once, over 40 years of age. They came to Switzerland to learn French. It was the most hopeless thing they've ever done. We laughed so hard together
So they should simply not make any effort and instead insist that everyone speaks English? Real smart.
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  #45  
Old 17.11.2008, 12:42
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Re: How long does it take to learn a new language?

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I guess Hungarian doesn't help me. But we already have a thread about that.
I believe that Hungarian language in terms of its grammar complexity and structure, it resembles Polish language. Once you know such complicated language as Hungarian it should be easier to master the other languages grammar-wise, just the thought
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  #46  
Old 17.11.2008, 13:50
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Re: How long does it take to learn a new language?

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Don't you dare..
OK. Since you asked so nicely!
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  #47  
Old 17.11.2008, 13:52
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Re: How long does it take to learn a new language?

[quote=Dodger;350405]Don't worry about being comfortable, just jump in. Simply giving it a go will improve your language skills. Most people will appreciate the effort - don't be put off by any arrogant responses that you may get, they achieve nothing...

quote]

I'm very lucky because the people in this area are very helpful and patient with me. I also find that many will repeat what I say back to me but in the correct form. This is also very helpful
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  #48  
Old 17.11.2008, 13:53
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Re: How long does it take to learn a new language?

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I believe that Hungarian language in terms of its grammar complexity and structure, it resembles Polish language. Once you know such complicated language as Hungarian it should be easier to master the other languages grammar-wise, just the thought
I'm not sure how we compare as far as grammar goes but you guys have no vowels, right?
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  #49  
Old 17.11.2008, 16:07
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Re: How long does it take to learn a new language?

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I believe that Hungarian language in terms of its grammar complexity and structure, it resembles Polish language. Once you know such complicated language as Hungarian it should be easier to master the other languages grammar-wise, just the thought
Sorry for being a bit too pedantic, but Hungarian is a very different language from Polish. Polish is a Slavic language, so its grammatical structure is close to languages such as Russian, Czech or Bulgarian. Being an Indo-European Language, it is also closer to English or French rather than Hungarian.

Hungarian is an Ugric language and does not belong to the Indo-European family of languages. One of its features is that it is agglutinative -- which means that you glue words and their parts together, for example (pre-)cook(-ed) to define the meaning or grammatical function. In this sense Hungarian is very different from English, which uses very few affixes to denote grammatical function (for example, English regular verbs can have only three endings -ing, -ed and -s). So word order, which in English is crucial, does not matter in Hungarian at all. Polish and other Slavic languages have more affixes (for example more case or tense endings) than English, so word order does not matter, but that does not mean that you have a sentence that is essentially formed only of several prefixes and suffixes attached to one stem.

Now, does mastering Hungarian make it easier to learn other languages? I would say yes, especially if your first language belongs to a different family. Learning two such disparate languages makes it easier to adopt another language even if it is very different from both (for example, Chinese) because your brain has already been trained to think out of the box, ie the familiar structure of your native language.

Now to the original question: I have been here for 6 years and I am still struggling with French because I work exclusively in English and I have never brought my French to the point of real fluency.

If you make an effort to communicate regularly in Italian, I believe that you can make progress fast. In particular because I understand that you speak French already. These two belong to the same family of Romance languages, so although they departed from Latin quite a bit (especially French), many things I have been struggling with while learning French (gender, prepositions, syntax) should for Italian be fairly similar.

Then again, when learning two similar languages, one has to watch out for 'false friends' -- words that look or sound similar but have very different meanings (your patates would be one example). I notice this with English word important -- which in French means big. A friend once told me that a doctor in Geneva advised her to have an ultrasound rather than mamography because her breasts 'were not important'.
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  #50  
Old 17.11.2008, 16:27
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Re: How long does it take to learn a new language?

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. I notice this with English word important -- which in French means big. A friend once told me that a doctor in Geneva advised her to have an ultrasound rather than mamography because her breasts 'were not important'.
That's not true. Important in French means important in English.

It's other meanig is considerable. Un montant important = a considerable amount.

Big is "grand" in French
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  #51  
Old 17.11.2008, 16:27
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Re: How long does it take to learn a new language?

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I'm not sure how we compare as far as grammar goes but you guys have no vowels, right?
There are also vowels in Polish language as a, ą, ę, o, u, ó, i, y. There is more explanation from lingual expert below, which indeed Polish belongs to Slavic and Hungarian to Ugric group of languages... my mistake.
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  #52  
Old 17.11.2008, 17:17
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Re: How long does it take to learn a new language?

Oh Dodger don't groan me. It was them, the couple themselves who made fun of themselves and said it was their age and all that made it impossible to learn a foreign language and believe me, after a great, great effort and having spent some time in Africa they've learnt French quite well
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Old 17.11.2008, 17:58
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Re: How long does it take to learn a new language?

hhm who was it that said the B1 was the same as a gcse??

I am studying for the B1 the exam is this saturday! I am finding it really hard but in the past I have gained a B in GCSE german! That cannot be right?! I dont remeber it being this complex at GCSE!

Wish me luck (yes I should be studying right now, but lost motivation after looking at a practise test and getting stuck!)
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  #54  
Old 17.11.2008, 18:45
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Re: How long does it take to learn a new language?

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Sorry for being a bit too pedantic, but Hungarian is a very different language from Polish. Polish is a Slavic language, so its grammatical structure is close to languages such as Russian, Czech or Bulgarian. Being an Indo-European Language, it is also closer to English or French rather than Hungarian.

Hungarian is an Ugric language and does not belong to the Indo-European family of languages. One of its features is that it is agglutinative -- which means that you glue words and their parts together, for example (pre-)cook(-ed) to define the meaning or grammatical function. In this sense Hungarian is very different from English, which uses very few affixes to denote grammatical function (for example, English regular verbs can have only three endings -ing, -ed and -s). So word order, which in English is crucial, does not matter in Hungarian at all. Polish and other Slavic languages have more affixes (for example more case or tense endings) than English, so word order does not matter, but that does not mean that you have a sentence that is essentially formed only of several prefixes and suffixes attached to one stem.

Now, does mastering Hungarian make it easier to learn other languages? I would say yes, especially if your first language belongs to a different family. Learning two such disparate languages makes it easier to adopt another language even if it is very different from both (for example, Chinese) because your brain has already been trained to think out of the box, ie the familiar structure of your native language.

Now to the original question: I have been here for 6 years and I am still struggling with French because I work exclusively in English and I have never brought my French to the point of real fluency.

If you make an effort to communicate regularly in Italian, I believe that you can make progress fast. In particular because I understand that you speak French already. These two belong to the same family of Romance languages, so although they departed from Latin quite a bit (especially French), many things I have been struggling with while learning French (gender, prepositions, syntax) should for Italian be fairly similar.

Then again, when learning two similar languages, one has to watch out for 'false friends' -- words that look or sound similar but have very different meanings (your patates would be one example). I notice this with English word important -- which in French means big. A friend once told me that a doctor in Geneva advised her to have an ultrasound rather than mamography because her breasts 'were not important'.
Thanks Ljm. We have a whole thread about the Hungarian language which started when I dared to utter the words that "Hungarian is like no other language in the world". It is a really difficult language but it's my mother tongue so learning it was effortless. And yes, it is completely different from Polish.

I actually don't speak French, unfortunately. (A real shame having grown up in Canada but that's a whole new thread in itself!) I only speak English and Hungarian. Neither of which help me in any way when it comes to Italian. (Except for some words in English, of course, that are Latin in origin.)

So funny about the breasts!!! My husband speaks a bit of Spanish and Italian is actually more difficult for him because he keeps thinking of words in Spanish. I told him that he first has to wipe the Spanish out of his mind and then try to learn Italian.
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Old 17.11.2008, 18:49
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Re: How long does it take to learn a new language?

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There are also vowels in Polish language as a, ą, ę, o, u, ó, i, y. There is more explanation from lingual expert below, which indeed Polish belongs to Slavic and Hungarian to Ugric group of languages... my mistake.
I know you guys have vowels Jacek. I was just pulling your leg.
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Old 17.11.2008, 18:51
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Oh Dodger don't groan me. It was them, the couple themselves who made fun of themselves and said it was their age and all that made it impossible to learn a foreign language and believe me, after a great, great effort and having spent some time in Africa they've learnt French quite well
There will be no groaning at Sada in my thread Dodger!
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Old 17.11.2008, 18:53
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hhm who was it that said the B1 was the same as a gcse??

I am studying for the B1 the exam is this saturday! I am finding it really hard but in the past I have gained a B in GCSE german! That cannot be right?! I dont remeber it being this complex at GCSE!

Wish me luck (yes I should be studying right now, but lost motivation after looking at a practise test and getting stuck!)
The very best of luck on Saturday Hayley, hope you pass with flying colours
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Old 17.11.2008, 19:04
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Re: How long does it take to learn a new language?

well, this is nothing compared to Mr. Peachy, he'd groan me into the ground if he could ... anyway, thanks Lynn

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There will be no groaning at Sada in my thread Dodger!
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Old 17.11.2008, 19:05
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well, this is nothing compared to Mr. Peachy, he'd groan me into the ground if he could ... anyway, thanks Lynn
There's always one in every bunch Sada!
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Old 17.11.2008, 19:06
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Re: How long does it take to learn a new language?

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hhm who was it that said the B1 was the same as a gcse??

I am studying for the B1 the exam is this saturday! I am finding it really hard but in the past I have gained a B in GCSE german! That cannot be right?! I dont remeber it being this complex at GCSE!

Wish me luck (yes I should be studying right now, but lost motivation after looking at a practise test and getting stuck!)
Good luck with the exam Harley!
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