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So me and the girly friend are planning a trip to either France or Italy next year.
My question is what is the easiest way to learn a language besides immersion (not too many french or Italian communities here in WV) or Rosetta stone (dont want to pay $400).
Just curious if anyone would happen to know a decent and cheap program I could use to learn passable Italian or french.
Thanks in advance.
Last edited by TripleJ7007; June 15th, 2010 at 01:10.
Green iz da' BEST!
Orkz is made fer' two fings! Fightin', and winnin'!
1.) Be born into a country that speaks that language natively.
2.) Pick one destination, so you know which one to study (both would be paticularly difficult)
3.) Aside from a class at a community college or a program like Rosetta Stone, you probably won't find much quality stuff out there - have you tried Googling something like 'learn French for free' or 'free Italian language program'?
4.) Ask around at work or school, you might find a friend with some experience in the language, I mean you're not looking to learn it right, just enough to get around (basic greetings, prices and money, how to ask for things, and how to ask if they speak English (or whatever your native tongue is)).
"If you can wait til I get home, then I swear we can make this last."
Learning to read Italian and French is possible from a book or website, learning to speak either really needs practising with a fluent speaker. Maybe there's some kind of Skype (or the like) community for people learning languages?
Well, talking from experiance (knowing one language fluently, learning another two) the best way is to speak the language as much as you can!
- Finding a private tutour (if your taking it seriously) is the most important step, as they can teach and fix all the grammer mistakes.
- If you have a freind which speaks the language, only speak to them in that language. After time you'll get better, more fluent and start to develope the accent.
- Learning from the internet I find is the worst thing one could do to be honest. Its better just to take an english-french dictionary and translate your language to theirs on the spot...
- Computer programs are also bad... I tried. Actually, anything really to do with computers is not the way to go. Either go book or face to face with other people.
- I know a many friends who are german and have learnt Norwegian very well in a year (almost fluently). What they all have done is watch the news in that language... Havn't tried, but if you do it daily, you should get hold of the language in some time.
Last of all, give it time! I would be suprised if you learnt something in the first week... Also be consistent, practice almost every day. Languages are one of the most hardest things to learn (especially if you only know one langauge!)
I speak several languages, but some are much easier to learn than others. As an English speaker, French is moderately difficult and Italians is tricky unless you have any previous experience with Latin. Ruina is right on the money with his first point: a private tutor really is the best way to do it if you're after fluency.
But otherwise, if all you need are some basic phrases to 'get around' with then I would recommend picking up a French Phrasebook for beginners. Most come with audio cassettes/cds to help with accents and pronunciation. I'm going to be honest here, visiting the country there will be no need to learn the language proper. While quite stubbornly reluctant to admit it, the French as a whole are extremely proficient English speakers. I applaud your commitment to learn the language of the country you plan to visit, but you will quickly find that after opening a conversation in French, the native speakers will pick up on your accent and usually switch over to English.
Start with basic phrases, greetings and questions - but unless your stay is a very long one indeed, that should be all you need.
Or, if you are Bart Simpson, you can learn a language just by listening to a cassette tape on a single plane trip. (refering to the episode where Lisa sponsors Ronaldo the Brazlian boy)
I would have to agree with the others. A private tutor or teacher is pretty much the most effective way of learning a foreign language. You will be able to pronounce certain words correctly (trust me, this is essential. In some tongues, if you don't put an emphasis on certain syllables you colud be swearing at someone)... and you will be able to do it fluently without the need to refer to a handbook every now and then.
I think the first thing, to get a feel for the type of dialect that you will be speaking in, is to learn how too pronounce your name in that language. When I started learning Japanese, this was the first thing that I had done, and it made me more aware of the technique that is required to pronounce certain syllables in a certain way, and it will at least give you an introduction into their alphabet, and how many similarities and differences there are between English and French, for example in your case.
After that, you would want to learn the most important of questions and phrases, such as learning how to ask someone's name, and then respond to the question of the same phrase, or asking how much a certain item of interest will cost, and interpreting that so that you do not give the wrong change. Because you are travelling there, these sort of questions are ideal for what a traveller requires; I don't think there will be a need to learn what time someone finishes work...
Then you just build up your vocabulary, and be weary of what you say in certain sentences, because I know that in Japanese, a word can have multiple pronounciation, and you need to determine which interpretation to use in which scenario, which is not easy to do at all, probably because I am not native to Japan.
Hope that helps. A pocket dictionary should always be handy. I would recommend Oxford, but that's me. Go out there and find a tutor first though. It will be hard to learn it on your own.
Light a fire for a man, and he will be warm for a night. Light a man on fire, and he will be warm for the rest of his life.