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To ask if you have ever learnt a foreign language on-line?

(13 Posts)
Fairyliz Sun 11-Feb-18 15:47:27

I am retiring shortly and one of the things I would love to do is to learn a foreign language (probably Spanish).
I don't ever think I could become proficient at it but would like to be able to hold simple conversation/request things in bars and shops. I always feel so ignorant when I am abroad that I can't speak any of the language.
Has anyone ever used an on-line method to do this and if so which one? How long did it take you to become confident enough to start a simple request?
Thanks

YouTheCat Sun 11-Feb-18 16:01:52

Try Duolingo. It's free and there are loads of languages to choose from.

ForalltheSaints Sun 11-Feb-18 16:18:54

No, thought about it but decided I could never do this, so went for a fortnight's intensive course.

Frazzled2207 Sun 11-Feb-18 16:23:45

Duolingo is good and free and a good start. However you'll never get confident without combining this with a proper interactive approach IMO.

user1497357411 Sun 11-Feb-18 16:26:25

I didn't learn another language online, but when I suddenly had to use German for work, it was very nice to find so many good videos on Youtube and I also found a good homepage where I could rehearse German grammar.

user1497357411 Sun 11-Feb-18 16:29:22

Oh sorry, I should have mentioned, that I had studied German earlier and had been almost fluent but then hadn't used it for more than 20 years.
That meant that I also spent some time watching vidoes, that were very basic. They rehearsed sentences like "This is my sister", "I would like to buy a beer" and "How old are you?".

DullAndOld Sun 11-Feb-18 16:33:47

Duolingo is a start but that is all.

You can only learn a different language (note the choice of words, ie 'another' not 'foreign') through "meaningful input". (thank you Krashen).

Therefore the only Spanish I remember are the words I learnt to deal with situations I was pushed into, when staying there.

If there is no "meaningful input" then yes you can learn a few words but you will forget them almost immediately.

For example in Greek I can say 'your house stinks and your son is crazy'. Because I needed to learn those words for a specific situation.

Do you see?

carefreeeee Sun 11-Feb-18 16:33:52

I like YouTube videos such as lightspeed Spanish. You need to practise speaking and listening and common phrases whereas duolingo gets quite boring although it's good for testing yourself. I do evening classes as well - I'd never be motivated enough otherwise

lidoshuffle Sun 11-Feb-18 16:35:35

I tried Duolingo, but found it very slow and repetitive. It didn't have any lists of conjugations etc so I never felt I got the proper foundations of a language, just umpteen repititions of asking for a coffee etc.

FithColumnist Sun 11-Feb-18 17:21:22

DullAndOld what the hell was that context?!

DullAndOld Sun 11-Feb-18 17:23:04

grin landlord issues...

Pengggwn Sun 11-Feb-18 17:41:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FithColumnist Mon 12-Feb-18 00:02:45

DullAndOld, I dread to think.

However, I've tried learning Polish through Duolingo and got reasonably far- because it was my entertainment on the bus to work. Now I no longer get the bus to work I can just about remember how to say "she is eating two apples", but nothing beyond that. For what it's worth I already spoke six languages to a reasonable degree of fluency and so am "good at languages"(TM), and I have dabbled in about twelve more. However, without any real motivation (or Krashen's "comprehensible input"- I'm a bit dubious on this), nothing has ever stuck. I am still a proud owner of "Teach Yourself Babylonian", though, and can still recognise a G-stem even if I don't know what it bloody means.

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