1. freeflow
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    freeflow Member

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    The Italian Language Hates me :(

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by freeflow, Mar 3, 2009.

    Okay, well I'm trying to teach myself italian, because freshman summer I want to do a foreign exchange student program. So, I'm all excited and trying to learn italian which is NOT working out for me. There is so many rules!
    Like for the word ghiaccio (ice) you pronounce the "g" like the "j" in job. But not only that oh no! You have to put a "h" infont of the "i", because if the letter "g" is followed by "i" or "e" you add a "h".

    I'm constantly messing up! Does anyone else expericence this problem when learning other languages?:confused:
     
  2. SonnehLee
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    SonnehLee Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, all the time. You just have to take it one step at a time and not swamp yourself.
     
  3. freeflow
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    freeflow Member

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    I'm taking it really slowly. I'm only on grammar right now.
     
  4. SonnehLee
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    SonnehLee Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, if it makes you feel any better, I'm doing the same with German. I want to be a foreign exchange student in Austria. What organization are you going with?
     
  5. apathykills
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    apathykills Contributing Member

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    Try Pimsleur's Italian.

    It will teach you simple sentences like; what time is it, were is ..., i am ... and so on.

    I'm using Pimsleur's Japanese right now as preparation for my trip and i have to say it's working for me.
     
  6. freeflow
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    freeflow Member

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    I'm doing Intrax right now. Well hopefully I will be. :)
    Austria sounds like a awesome place to go.
     
  7. SonnehLee
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    SonnehLee Contributing Member Contributor

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    *stutters* $345???


    And I really hope so. I really want my dad to teach me German. He speaks it, so, knowing him, he'll end up only talking to me in German before my trip.
     
  8. freeflow
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    freeflow Member

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    Your lucky to have someone to tell you if you say something wrong. I just will sound like a moron. Haha
    Americans already have bad reputations in other countries.
     
  9. SonnehLee
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    SonnehLee Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ha, no kidding. But hey, at least you're trying and not expecting everyone to conform to you.
     
  10. freeflow
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    freeflow Member

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    Haha I guess so.
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If you can afford it, the Rosetta Stone learning system is great. I took Spanish in high school, but that was a long (long, long - shaddap!) time ago. I'm relearning it, and then some, with Rosetta Stone, and it's much easier and more intuitive than the excellent classes in high school.
     
  12. SonnehLee
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    SonnehLee Contributing Member Contributor

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    My dad says he wants to get us that so we can learn as many languages as possible. I think it's kind of neat.
     
  13. ManicParroT
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    I'm busy working on Japanese, and I know what you mean. When you pause and think about how complex the English you use on a daily basis is, it can seem soul crushing to try and learn another language in that detail.

    My main suggestion is to decide what level of proficiency you want and need, and then work around that.

    If you merely want a survival level - Where's the toilet, how much is this, what time is it - I'd suggest finding a decent phrasebook. Grab that and a dictionary and identify the key phrases.

    If you want to learn it properly you need a good textbook (to learn the grammar points), a decent dictionary, possibly some lessons and definitely a lot of time. Getting good at a language takes a while, particularly if you haven't learned any others. If you did nothing else though, you'll probably get quite decent in a year.

    I'm going to disagree with Cogito on Rosetta Stone. I've got a copy, and it's been handy for learning vocab, but I think using a good textbook is a lot better. I'd maybe buy it as a top off, after investing in the other elements of learning the language. In any case, I think time spent on the textbook / dictionary is a better tradeoff than time spent with Rosetta Stone.
     
  14. apathykills
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    apathykills Contributing Member

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    Or use Pimsleur's, as this is precisely what it teaches and unlike a text book you will also learn how to pronounce it.

    As for real language proficiency... i'd suggest looking for classes at a language school near you.
     
  15. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Any language course is only a beginning. Rosetta Stone gives an intuitivefeel of the language and a core vocabulary. You're right that it doesn't give much of te down and dirty on grammar, but the big hurdle is becoming conversational enough that you can draw on other sources.

    With Spanish, I can switch to one of the many Spanish-language cable channels to listen and improve proficiency. I'm not yet to the point where I can follow evey conversation, but I can get the essence if not every word or phrase.

    Once you have the fundamentals, you can seek out literature (including audiobooks), movies, etc to build profiency. That is also a good time to pick up language texts that focus on formal grammar rules.
     
  16. freeflow
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    freeflow Member

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    I begged my parents for Rosetta Stone, but they said it was to much. :p
     
  17. ManicParroT
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    ManicParroT Contributing Member

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    Oh, I almost forgot. Try livemocha.com. It's an online language learning social network thingy. I haven't spent much time on it, but it might work if you just want to get started right off the bat.

    It actually had some interesting parallels to Rosetta Stone, now I think of it.
     
  18. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the latin languages are the easiest to learn, so count yourself lucky you're not trying to learn greek or russian, or any of the others with their own alphabets, that you also have to learn how to read!
     
  19. freeflow
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    freeflow Member

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    Very true. Although, Greek looks like a cool language to learn.
     
  20. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the capitals came fairly easy to me, but it took quite a lot longer to learn to recognize the lower case, as they are so different from the upper [like some in english!]...
     
  21. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    I hear Russian is really hard to learn. Something about lots and lots of different consonants.

    Ancient Hebrew would be cool. From what I know its a language with no vowels. Kind of hard to think of when all the languages I know of have vowels. Arabic would be cool too, but I hear that's really hard to learn.

    The cool thing about Italian, French, and Spanish, is many speakers of one of the three tell me they are able to communicate somewhat to speakers of the other two because of the language similarities. I have never seen this before, but my mom is a Spanish teacher and is fluent as far as I know, and my french teacher was actually french so I assume they know what they're talking about.
     
  22. SonnehLee
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    SonnehLee Contributing Member Contributor

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    My pastor speaks Hebrew. It's quite creepy to hear out loud, actually.
     
  23. sophie.
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    sophie. Contributing Member

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    too true.
    i'm learning ancient greek - it's hard enough trying to remember the letters... haha! i'm so going to fail my gcse :(
     
  24. sophie.
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    sophie. Contributing Member

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    I found the capitals harder! strange..:)
    I'm teaching myself French outside school and I try and watch as many films ('the Class' is out soon yay) as possible, and listen to radio. I only get 1 word in 5 but it helps with the rhythm and everyday language used. But with grammar it's so hard - evven French people say the grammar is hard\!
     
  25. freeflow
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    freeflow Member

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    I'm taking French in highschool. I wish languages could come naturally to me. It would make everything so much easier. :(
     

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