U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-21-2012, 03:36 PM
 
58 posts, read 90,639 times
Reputation: 39
Default Learning a foreign language in retirement

Have any of you tried learning a new language in retirement? Seems like a good way to shake up the brain cells, but my goodness, it's not as easy as it was in high school Spanish class! Trying to use Rosetta Stone to learn Italian, but i keep having to go back and redo lessons. It's all good of course, no harm done by trying, and I will keep at it, but I am curious about other folks' experiences.
I have found other sources of learning- bought a phrase book, reading about grammar rules online, and all that.
But still- anyone tried and succeeded to any useable degree?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-21-2012, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
7,865 posts, read 13,759,078 times
Reputation: 9412
I have been working on Spanish with Rosetta Stone. I also interact with Spanish speaking people and that helps a lot.

I speak several languages and speak a little of quite a few others. That helps a lot too. I don't think it's ever too late to learn.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-21-2012, 08:43 PM
Status: "Save a life; carry a gun." (set 6 hours ago)
 
Location: Cody, WY
4,883 posts, read 3,827,348 times
Reputation: 7566
I have an MA in Linguistics so I know a bit about this.

The easiest time to learn a language is before the age of forty-two months. Prior to that time the rules of grammar haven't yet been established. This is why children of this age can easily learn two or more languages when they are simply exposed to them. According to Noam Chomsky it's simply setting yes and no switches for the syntax of any language. It often seems messy at first but they get it sorted out. After this immersion works well untill early teens. After that it's necessary to begin to teach the grammar.

Younger people have better memories and can build a vocabulary much faster than older people. But older people from early to mid-twenties on can understand and apply grammatical concepts much better. This is different from the way very young children learn as it's an intellectual rather than an instinctive process.


The easiest way for an adult of any age to begin is to learn to read the language. It's useful to be able to pronounce words correctly because in many languages there are rules which allow easy translation into English. The important thing is to be able to look at a sentence and understand why it was written the way it was. Isolated phrases are of little or no value. If someone knows the grammar of a language there's no problem translating anything with the aid of a dictionary. But knowing the meaning of individual words and phrases doesn't allow a person to translate even a children's book.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-21-2012, 09:38 PM
 
58 posts, read 90,639 times
Reputation: 39
Interesting what you say about learning to read the language. My thought about whatever I manage to learn before our trip to Italy this summer will be most useful in deciphering written materials.
And i have been conflicted about the Rosetta Stone assumption that if I am exposted to enough examples of grammatical construction I should be able to deduce the rules that apply. It seems to me that their materials have been great for learning and remembering vocabulary, but not so much the structure. Still on level one, but oh those possessive adjectives! What agrees with what?! I think i need some of both kinds of learning-the instinctive and the intellectual.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-22-2012, 12:41 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW / CO / SA TX / Thailand
10,912 posts, read 17,999,513 times
Reputation: 7780
Get some elementary level language books to accompany your Rosetta Stone. They have text and handy diagrams / pronunciations. (maybe you can hang onto one to take with you. When you order food you can point to a pic of a duck and a fire (BBQ duck!). I have been tempted to print a trio picture' flip chart for phrases while in foreign language cultures. My experience of living and working with locals, is the 'ma and pop' cafes in Spain, Italy, France don't have menus... the chef comes out and rattles off his 'specials' in the local dialect. This can offer some surprise entrees.

(I'm hoping to go to Central America for immersion school, few hundred bucks a week sounds good to me. Room, board, tutor, classes)

Since I don't watch TV, my friends say to learn a foreign language, you just need to drive a VW diesel. (TV Commercial for 700 mile range / fillup, listening to language tapes (cd) = immediate skills!!...) My VW diesels can go 1250 miles per tank (20+ straight hours listening to Spanish CD), which will be important, as I seem to have a 'flatter' learning curve these days. Maybe I will drive to CA school to get a head start on learning
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-22-2012, 04:26 AM
 
29,309 posts, read 25,468,445 times
Reputation: 16905
i should start with english and pig latin.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-22-2012, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Toronto, Ottawa Valley & Dunedin FL
1,306 posts, read 1,107,801 times
Reputation: 967
I have a smart-phone app competitor to Rosetta Stone (I've used their freeware on the computer and really like it--called Byki, from Transparent Language.)

I'm not using it right now, but have been thinking about it. Being in the US for the winter, I think I will take advantage of Spanish children's programming on TV to help me out. Comprehension is one of the biggest roadblocks to learning a language, and this seems to be a great resource, for Spanish at least (or French back in Canada.)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-22-2012, 03:35 PM
 
58 posts, read 90,639 times
Reputation: 39
Stealthrabbit, my learning curve looks a lot like yours, I think. But on the plus side, I have more time than I used to, so need to use it intelligently. And yeah, that VW ad is great. They've got the vocab but also the tone, the hand gestures, everything.
Byki, huh? I am going to check that out, for sure.
Thanks.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-22-2012, 03:48 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
7,865 posts, read 13,759,078 times
Reputation: 9412
For my learning style, I have to change one thing on Rosetta Stone. I need to actually see and write down conjugations of the irregular verbs I know I need to use all the time. Adding this to the program makes it much easier for me to actually use what I learned in conversation.

I think I have to do this because it's the way I learned the other languages I speak. I have noticed I have a new ability to confuse my languages. I can speak a sentence with one word of this and one word of that. I need to break myself of that habit fast. I end up speaking no recognizable language. But I do get a lot of laughs!

I agree about the diesel VW. I have 2 of them.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-22-2012, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Toronto, Ottawa Valley & Dunedin FL
1,306 posts, read 1,107,801 times
Reputation: 967
Transparent Language is the company, and they have a range of Spanish products. I thought about buying one of the more advanced programs, and may some day, but for now the Android app is just right for me.

I did my research and their products vie with Rosetta Stone, getting high marks when compared.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $84,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top