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  #261  
Old 13.12.2010, 20:22
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Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

off topic: southern France local lingo is a local dialect of Occitan. The word patois is judgemental and based on social status, not a linguistic concept. Nothing wrong using it the way it is intended, though.

That's however not uninteresting, as the local dialect has taken the first place in social life in CH, and was chased out of social life in France. That makes the question of this topic easier in countries like France rather than coutries like Switzerland. But hey, there are quite many threads on this topic already.
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  #262  
Old 30.12.2010, 23:19
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Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

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Yes actually, there may be many reasons why someone hasn't 'bothered' so try not to be overly judgemental.

In my case I'm deaf so normal classroom learning doesn't work, nor does audio CD. I would require a specialist 1:1 teacher which is both incredibly expensive, and work makes getting the time difficult.
Sorry to learn about your affliction.

Have you ever had someone make an effort to learn some sign language?

Did you appreciate it?

Serious question, not trying to be provocative. Did you appreciate it and see it as constructive rather than merely accommodating?
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  #263  
Old 01.01.2011, 13:13
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Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

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Sorry to learn about your affliction.

Have you ever had someone make an effort to learn some sign language?

Did you appreciate it?

Serious question, not trying to be provocative. Did you appreciate it and see it as constructive rather than merely accommodating?
Some one would have to teach me to sign 1st. I can manage my condition with hearing aids, some self taught lipping mostly, and a little guess work, but I have considered learning to sign as total deafness is only a matter of time for me.
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  #264  
Old 01.01.2011, 16:48
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Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

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Some one would have to teach me to sign 1st. I can manage my condition with hearing aids, some self taught lipping mostly, and a little guess work, but I have considered learning to sign as total deafness is only a matter of time for me.
My cousin is a sign language teacher and I always wanted to learn it myself. I love the language.

But the utility of it has is limitation to the people around you or in a specific group. As an independant person, if you go out by yourself you won't be able to use it.

Papa Goose, I believe that you probably have a master degree in lip reading by now, which is what makes you go out on your own and are able to do things without having constantly someone next to you to help you out with communication.
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  #265  
Old 01.01.2011, 16:52
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Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

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Some one would have to teach me to sign 1st. I can manage my condition with hearing aids, some self taught lipping mostly, and a little guess work, but I have considered learning to sign as total deafness is only a matter of time for me.
It may be an idea to start now then PG, better to be ready for it and take the benefit of being able to hear the instructor rather than wait till its too late and then being able only to learn with lip reading. I'm sorry to hear that's the case either way, can't be easy.
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  #266  
Old 01.01.2011, 16:59
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Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

I've worked with a guy who lip reads for 20 years.

Initially, I spoke German to him, now (usually) Italian, but sometimes German (he's fine with both).

Ironic, as our main business is audio equipment.

Tom
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  #267  
Old 01.01.2011, 18:51
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Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

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Papa Goose, I believe that you probably have a master degree in lip reading by now, which is what makes you go out on your own and are able to do things without having constantly someone next to you to help you out with communication.
Thanks Nil

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It may be an idea to start now then PG, better to be ready for it and take the benefit of being able to hear the instructor rather than wait till its too late and then being able only to learn with lip reading. I'm sorry to hear that's the case either way, can't be easy.
Cheers Rich, you are right and it's something that I do need to start, and this has brought my focus back. I always park it as it's a bit final if you know what I mean.
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  #268  
Old 01.01.2011, 19:10
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Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

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Cheers Rich, you are right and it's something that I do need to start, and this has brought my focus back. I always park it as it's a bit final if you know what I mean.
I know what you mean, im only speaking as someone who doesn't have the problem, God knows what i'd be like if I really had it... i'd probably be putting it as far to the back of my mind as possible. It's sort of thing you take for granted and can't imagine not having until all of a sudden you're faced with it.

Good luck with it though PG, and i'd wager too that you're not the only ex-pat in Zurich with the problem, so maybe it's worth finding out if there are fellow English-speaking signers in Zurich (maybe on EF, you never know) who could help and provide support and practise etc.
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Old 01.01.2011, 19:28
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Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

I'm here 1,5 year. Learning German is the hardest thing in my life! Thanks God that all people around speek English!!!
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  #270  
Old 03.01.2011, 20:26
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Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

When I was living in Germany I went to a restaurant in Dortmund with a German friend and was offered an English menu. Though I was semi-fluent in it at the time, I figured what the hey, why not make it easier on myself? Interestingly when I compared the menu to the German one, I found that the prices on the English menu were slightly higher

But anyway, I just didn't feel as comfortable in Germany when I couldn't speak the language. Then again the towns I was in didn't have any native English speakers that I ever knew of and few people could speak a whole lot of it, so I imagine in places where there are lots of English speakers, it's a lot easier to get by without the language.
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  #271  
Old 03.01.2011, 20:53
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Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

I thought that I would never want to learn this language and try to ignore it on every possible occassion, either these are emails or media coming my way Irony is that even without paying much attention to it, I still manage to learn the language by hearing and reading... Example, today I had to go thru a thick folder of info available only in German. With basic knowledge and www.leo.org I could digest it. Most of the time translator works for me, but the brain manages to absorb few new words. I cannot understand how someone staying over so many years cannot even learn basics. In my opinion it is impossible. You just soak it like a sponge it is like skiing on a piste...
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  #272  
Old 09.01.2011, 11:50
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Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

I have just enrolled in German classes. I could not find a once a week class, so have to settle for paying for a twice a week one; the cheapest one I could find.

I think that I have heard people talk about the need to reach the B1 level of speaking German to be a ble to take part in pretty basic conversations. So that means doing three courses ( at least). So that means three lots of fees, which adds up to..........

I put the cost as being a very good reason for a lot of people not learning German!

With the emphasis on people needing to speak the language to become permanent residents, I am surprised that local authorities do not arrange free, or at least subsidised lessons for non German speakers who are here longterm.

Also, for me, the catch 22 is that there is a clash of timing - to attend the German classes, I have to not go to the German speaking sports club I belong to and which is actually my main motivation for wanting to learn some German.
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  #273  
Old 09.01.2011, 14:10
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Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

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I have just enrolled in German classes. I could not find a once a week class, so have to settle for paying for a twice a week one; the cheapest one I could find.

I think that I have heard people talk about the need to reach the B1 level of speaking German to be a ble to take part in pretty basic conversations. So that means doing three courses ( at least). So that means three lots of fees, which adds up to..........

I put the cost as being a very good reason for a lot of people not learning German!

With the emphasis on people needing to speak the language to become permanent residents, I am surprised that local authorities do not arrange free, or at least subsidised lessons for non German speakers who are here longterm.

Also, for me, the catch 22 is that there is a clash of timing - to attend the German classes, I have to not go to the German speaking sports club I belong to and which is actually my main motivation for wanting to learn some German.
Curious me, How much does a class cost?
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  #274  
Old 09.01.2011, 14:35
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Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

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Curious me, How much does a class cost?
Hi Nil, I m glad you made it back from the Xmas "holiday." :-)

I have enrolled with the Volkshochschule. The cost is 440CHF if there are over eight enrolments, or 545CHF if there are less than eight enrolments for the "Deutsch Intensiv1." They list A1 and A2, before the B1, so presumably they see an average learner as enrolling in three courses ( each seventeen lessons) to be proficient at B1 level.

I checked out availablity, times and costs of other Basel options and this seemed the best/cheapest for me, apart from one other provider who advertised a Saturday class, but did not reply to my email for further details.

At one centre, I asked why there was no once a week option and was told "Once a week is not enough. You cannot learn a language with just one lesson a week," Interestingly enough, that company ( and others) do provide once a week classes in French, Italian, Chinese, Russian etc .... presumably they expect people will learn something during those classes. I see it as purely a commercial supply and demand - there are enough people here who want/need to learn some German, so prices can be adjusted/ courses squeezed into a shorter time frame for German.
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  #275  
Old 09.01.2011, 14:45
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Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

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With the emphasis on people needing to speak the language to become permanent residents, I am surprised that local authorities do not arrange free, or at least subsidised lessons for non German speakers who are here longterm.
Biff, they do. I have been taking those past 4 years and now I am C1 in French. In our neck of the woods it is called Universite Populaire, it is in Geneva and Lausanne, I am sure other cantons than GE and VD have the same set up? You take classes two times a week, as one course. You pay only administrative fee of 100fr per school year. I would be very surprised if this option did not exist in German speaking cantons as well..I also take Migros conversation since I found a fab prof, once a week (200fr a semester), and go to language exchange (free) once a week, if I have time. So, things exist, you just got to find them. Be resourceful.
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  #276  
Old 09.01.2011, 22:41
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Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

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Biff, they do. I have been taking those past 4 years and now I am C1 in French. In our neck of the woods it is called Universite Populaire, it is in Geneva and Lausanne, I am sure other cantons than GE and VD have the same set up?
I am wondering if that is just in the set up locally in the French speaking cantons. Certainly, I was not aware of any such thing from the information I received at, or after the Baselstadt "Welcome to Basel" evening that I attended nor online. But I will certainly do some more sleuthing in case I just missed that information somehow. Perhpas I should move cantons....
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  #277  
Old 11.01.2011, 00:04
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Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

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I am wondering if that is just in the set up locally in the French speaking cantons. Certainly, I was not aware of any such thing from the information I received at, or after the Baselstadt "Welcome to Basel" evening that I attended nor online. But I will certainly do some more sleuthing in case I just missed that information somehow. Perhpas I should move cantons....
I'm sure there is some classes from the city of Basel for free. In Zurich, there are serveral classes (even one occurs in a shopping mall as a trial lecture: http://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/content/...rk_12_2010.pdf).
But I agree, it is hard to find them. Mostly, they target foreigners with lower incomes since the more well off can afford to pay for classes. Maybe the following institution in Basel can help you:http://www.integration-bsbl.ch/deutschkurse/
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  #278  
Old 11.01.2011, 10:28
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Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

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Biff, they do. I have been taking those past 4 years and now I am C1 in French. In our neck of the woods it is called Universite Populaire, it is in Geneva and Lausanne, I am sure other cantons than GE and VD have the same set up? You take classes two times a week, as one course. You pay only administrative fee of 100fr per school year.
Am I looking in the wrong place, MC? The only one I can find is quoting 745fr for a once a week 90 minute class, which seems much in line with fees from commercial language schools.

http://www.uplausanne.ch/cours/cours...ours=706&seq=1
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  #279  
Old 11.01.2011, 10:57
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Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

About "Université populaire", this is their website (In French and German). Not All Cantons have one.

http://www.up-vhs.ch/
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  #280  
Old 12.01.2011, 04:49
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Re: Is there ever any good excuse for not learning the language?

Papa Goose, I don't think I can give better advice than others at this forum, but you do have my prayers and support. The only other thing I can suggest is to focus your efforts (in addition to learning sign language) on written high German so you can communicate with people who don't know sign language.

Best of luck in your efforts---I'm sure you will succeed.
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