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I've been meaning to do a language thread, but I thought it would be more interesting if it includes comfy-posting about different parts of the world.
Feel free to share the -best- resources to learn your language or others that you may be aware of!

I know its hard to not get political but please try to keep it civil, or at most do some friendly banter.

I'm from a country that used to belong to the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata, my main language is Español, and some tidbits of guaraní/portuguese.

However I'm interested in japanese[0] and russian, and of course, I would like to improve my english.

[0]- https://djtguide.neocities.org/

Have fun.


I don't know if this is what you had in mind, but I can really recommend visiting Croatia. I know people say this about everywhere you go (probably because it is true, for the most part) but the people there really were lovely. We stayed opposite a restaurant once and the waiters brought food to our apartment because there was no space indoors and it was pouring with rain.

I can't speak a word of any language other than English and it really bothers me when I go to foreign countries; it feels so impolite. I guess I should be trying to change that.


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Woah, less than an hour for a reply, it's my lucky day, hehe.

Regarding your doubts: of course, everyone feel free to share their experiences.

I really recommend visiting Argentina, for most rolls out there it can be pretty cheap!
Also considering the country latitude you'll have lots of climates and regions to wander.

Personal advice: if you ever want to come here, ask in /int/ or r/argentina for advice.

Pic related might feel familiar for polite/viking rolls.


Hah, Croatian sushi roll here! I certainly didn't expect my country to be mentioned on sushi of all places.
Hope you had a nice stay!
Our economy isn't doing too good, so we are quite tourism-oriented, though I personally don't really like how the place is basically becoming a vacation resort for foreigners while our own people leave to find work abroad :^( Oh well.

>I can't speak a word of any language other than English and it really bothers me when I go to foreign countries; it feels so impolite. I guess I should be trying to change that.

Hmm, I honestly don't think it's that big of a deal, so long as you're visiting European countries, maybe minus Italy and France. English is basically lingua franca, everyone knows at least a little bit of it just from its huge prevalence in media, and we start learning it in school pretty early too.
In the context of travelling, I suppose learning a few useful phrases is good enough.
But maybe I'm a little biased, since English is the only foreign language that I can speak fluently…

Right now I'm interested in Japanese. I started learning it ~3 years ago, but kinda gave up after learning hiragana, and now I've decided to try again. I don't like how slow it's going, though, thanks to my lack of motivation.


Salut, parlez-vous français? C'est ma langue préférée.


Oui, un peu. Comment allez-vous, mon ami?


I speak English, Irish, Italian, French and Gaelic. I'd like to learn Chinese or Japanese but the fact that I have to learn a new alphabet is really off-putting. I keep trying to pick them up every now and then but give up pretty soon afterwards…


How are Goidelic languages? They sound cool, but I don't want to get too into them if they have a hard structure.


Ngl they're fairly difficult, mainly just because there aren't many resources online for people living abroad.

There are definitely a few really weird grammar rules but imo they're not much more difficult than grammar quirks in other languages like French (which I really struggled with). The most difficult things to understand are the tuiseals imo but they're leftover from old Irish (which is pretty interesting if you ever want to read Bardic poetry in Irish) and it's not like you won't be understood if you don't have a good grasp of them. I think people mostly struggle with pronunciation like the broad and slender sounds and the lack of vowels the language has lol.


Ça va bien! Merci, bonne journée.


Is it hard remembering all of those languages? I'm only bilingual and my mind can be cluttered sometimes.


Which Gaelic do you know other than Irish? Manx or Scottish?
t. wants to learn Scottish Gaelic


I've been learning (Standard) Chinese for the past two years. Now I can have simple conversations with my grandfather. It feels good to be able to speak the "mother tongue" I never learned to speak when I was young. Since I was young I have taken Chinese classes, but I only learned how to write Chinese characters, not the language. My advice for people who want to learn Chinese: learn how to speak the language first, then study how to write Chinese characters. If you start with Chinese characters, you'll never learn the language.

I learned Chinese with the FSI Standard Chinese course (available on fsi-languages dot yojik dot eu). Basically you listen to tapes and repeat what is said. The instructor on the tape says the Chinese sentence, points out important words, gives some explanation, and lets you repeat the word/sentence for several times. Of course when you meet new words and sentences you'll stutter and bite your tongue, but with enough repetition and practice they will roll off your mouth smoothly.

It's probably best to start by reading the "Background Notes" section on the Module 1 text to get a general picture of the language. Then you start working from the Resource Module: Pronunciation and Romanization. Once you have gotten good enough at pronunciation, you can move on to the other tapes. The most important tapes are the C-1, P-1, and D-1. Comprehension, Production, and Drill. You probably don't want to listen to all three tapes in one sitting. So after working on C-1, you review what you just learned (try to read the sentences aloud from the textbook), then the next day you work on P-1. The C-2 and P-2 tapes aren't that important, I think. At first I tried listening to them too, but they were too much work - I ended up slacking off learning Chinese instead, which was counterproductive. Focus on C-1, P-1, D-1. Also, you might want to memorize the Target Lists sentences after working on the tapes, because those are the sentences you are expected to master (i.e., be able to automatically say without thinking).

Jiāyóu, nǐ yidìng huì zuò de dào!


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I speak French, English, and Moroccan dialectal Arabic fluently. My standard Arabic is a bit shaky, but I can generally get the gist of things and hold a conversation for some time. I can read Spanish but have trouble with oral conversations and absolutely can't speak.

I'm currently learning German. It's pretty fun! Different from everything else I've learned before, but I enjoy how consistent it is.

I've tried starting Japanese a couple of times and always gave up due to lack of motivation after a month or so. I might pick it up again one day, but not anytime soon.

In the future, I'd like to improve my standard Arabic and maybe start Russian (one of my favourite languages to the ear) once I've reached a decent level of fluency in German.


You have to keep continuously watching media in the languages you've learned and thinking in them every now and then or having opportunities to practice them regularly, or else you'll just forget them. It's really sad when that happens because a lot of work goes into learning a language. There's something strange about the brain though where it's hard to speak at the start and then once something clicks it all comes out naturally for me. I'll often get mixed up between words in French/Italian or Irish/Gaelic sometimes though.

I know Scottish Gaelic and I'd really like to learn Manx. I heard a little of both on BBC channels years ago and I was surprised how much you can understand once you've a good grasp of one Celtic language. Kind of like how once you've learned one Latin one the rest are easy to understand!


Ok, nice. I have been debating on signing up for the Irish Gaelic duolingo because I wasn't sure if it was proper Irish Gaelic or a mix of the three dialects like their Spanish course is. But if they're all mutually intelligible, might as well take the plunge.

Thank you


Duolinguo is fine for vocab but I noticed that the Irish sentences are totally off. I remember "Learning Irish" by Mícheál Ó Siadhail and "Buntús Cainte" being really good (both come with CDs for pronounciation), if you can get your hands on them.

There was an amazing series by Liam Breatnach from years ago that taught the really difficult stuff but I don't think it's possible to buy anymore. If I got my hands on them, I'd probably scan them for Irish learners.


Hm, glad I didn't start the course yet. I'll keep your suggestions in mind, I have some mulling to do now.


I recently changed my homepage from my country's news to a German newspaper's website. This has two benefits: one is that if I want to know what's happening, I have to make the effort to read it in German. The second benefit is that my mind doesn't automatically begin reading German like it does when confronted with English - even if I see the English headlines for one second I start reading them. This means that I only read the news when I want to, which is less and less these days.


That's a fresh take on an old strategy. I like it.


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My gf has made the first steps towards learning some Irish. I never thought the day would come when someone would ask me to explain IPA to them, but it has.


French sushi learning Japanese here. I have a bunch of techniques for learning languages but lately i have been working on a command line tool to do spaced repetitions. Just like Anki but in the CLI.

So far it works.

I plan on learning German someday since I already got the basics.


Just a driveby tip for german, I found this really neat german/english focused word lookup tool a while back, been really useful:


Oh thank you for this.

While we re at it: people learning English might benefit from the Writefull app, and for pretty much everything you can use Linguee.com (French, English, German… in a bidirectional way).

I am letting you discover both tools features.


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My hobby is learning and making invented languages. I've been following the progress of Panunia, Globasa, and Lidepla for some time now. I'd also like to get in touch with the Volapük community before they all die of old age.

Toki Pona may be of some interest to the people here.


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Violence is my international language of choice.


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I've been learning French for the past 4 years but got serious this past couple months and now I'm actually at a level I'm satisfied with. I've been interested in languages for years but I'm a spaz so I know the basics in a ton of languages but not much in depth. Recently I've gotten back into Spanish, and with grammar and vocab from French I'm progressing really quickly. Would like to learn Russian next, since I've already learned the Cyrillic alphabet and am really interested in the culture/literature/films. Maybe I'll finally get past baby level knowledge of Japanese too; I know hiragana, katakana, some kanji, and basic vocab, but I don't watch enough anime right now to justify learning it sooner than Spanish or Russian.
In terms of learning methods, I'd recommend the LanguageTransfer app/website for beginners, though the language selection is a little limited. General immersion through tv/movies/youtube videos, starting with subs in your language, then eventually moving into subs in the target language, and then no subs, is good too. Once you're confident enough to speak, or close, go find people on Discord or VRChat to talk to. If you have a friend who speaks the language natively you should definitely take advantage, that's like a cheat code to fluency.


I've been learning Spanish for about a year and 4 months. I don't feel like I've made as much progress as I should have but I'm still chipping away at it. I'd like to eventually study abroad in Latin America (inb4) or Spain.


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Hey! Native french here. Content de savoir que t'es rendu à un niveau confortable en français.
I'll switch over to french if you don't mind :P

L'espagnol et le français se ressemblent beaucoup. (Ainsi sont toutes les autres langues latine.)
J'aime comment les verbes sont structurés en espagnol, car tu n'as pas besoins de dire le pronom la plupart du temps. (À moins que tu veux préciser quelque chose.)
Éventuellement, tu pourras déterminé le pronom simplement par comment le verbe est dit. Sa va être utile de savoir ça, car dans une conversation amicale, les deux interlocuteurs vont souvent parler qu'avec le verbe au lieu du pronom + le verbe. (Si je me rappelle bien de mes cours d'introduction à l'espagnol)

> Once you're confident enough to speak, or close, go find people on Discord or VRChat to talk to.

I'd say it is also a very crucial step of learning a language. There's a bunch of places on VRchat with native speakers just hanging out and talking to others that are learning their language. I'd say VRchat is very welcoming to people learning new languages.


What would you like to study?


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Moi aussi je trouve sympa les verbes espagnols. Je sais pas comment dit-on l'idée en français, mais en anglais il y a le terme linguistique "pro-drop" pour décrire les langues dans lesquelles on peut laisser le pronom ; je crois que le japonais aussi est "pro-drop," par ex. Merci pour ta reponse et dis-moi s'il te plaît si j'ai fait des erreurs :)


I'm 90% certain I'm going to do an accounting degree next year once I'm done with my pathway course I'm doing for uni.


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Pro-drop marche aussi en Français je pense. Si jamais il y a une expression qui t'échappe dans une autre langue, perso, moi j'utilise Linguee. Le site permet de chercher des mots, des expressions et il sort des extraits, dans les livres, de ta recherche.

>dis-moi s'il te plaît si j'ai fait des erreurs

C'est bien écrit!
>"Je sais pas comment dit-on l'idée en français,"
Je ne suis pas sur que "dit-on" marche ici. Perso, je dirais "on dit" ^^


Ouais, Linguee est très utile.

>"Je sais pas comment dit-on l'idée en français,"

Je crois aussi que j'ai fait une erreur là après le revoir mdr. Ma grammaire est évidemment pas parfaite mais ça suffit pour mes besoins je suppose. Je continuerai de practiquer o7


I guess the hardest part of a language differs for everyone.

For me symbols and syntax are easy to manipulate in my mind, so learning a whole new alphabet is very easy. The hard part is enunciation and pronunciation (tonal tongue twister: 我的妹妹的电话号码是一二二一三四百三四九十九五三四一二三四一百十二十。). I've been putting off french because all the different grammar rules and pronunciation challenges scare me.

老师 what should I do to master French and other pronuncy-languages? How to get good at language learning in general?




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Mon Francais n'est pas tres bonne. C'est drole par se que je besoins parler Francais sur telephone tous les jour pour mon emploi. Je va pas meme faire une "spellcheck" sur ce message.




Il-y-a beaucoups de francophone ici.
Je parle un peu français, mas pas trop parce que j'ai faire solement un cour en France por un petit moins que 3 moins (mois?), donc mon vocabulaire n'est pas bonne et je oublies beacoup de mot.
Anotre probleme c'est qui le cour ete presc totaillemont orale, donc je ne sais pas comme escrit presc touts le mots, solemont comme pronouncers lui.




I am learning for fun, what about you?


I'm in an intense course, still really early, been trying to find people to practice with online.


See, I'm an amateur!


> I'm in an intense course, still really early
You've made great progress. I've mostly just been using duolingo and lingodeer, watching media, and trying to practice it whenever I have the time. Admittedly I would probably be more literate if I practised and studied more…

As an illustration to how novel I am to the language so far: I didn't know what "朋友", "中文", or "哦" were before today. I also didn't catch the grammar error ("他是也" instead of "他也是").

> been trying to find people to practice with online.

I don't think I'd be much help since I'm at a toddler level and I'm still struggling with tones, multi-tones, sentence flow, pronunciation, enunciation, and emphasis but I'm hoping I'll find people to practice with once I take it a bit more seriously. I'm very fortunate to have Chinese-speaking neighbours so I think once I escape my invisible glass shell I'll be able to start practising with natural speakers and maybe have friends ( ,_,)


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>watching media
Is there anything you'd recommend?
I've been watching anime I like dubbed in Chinese, trying some donghua, and I'm excited to get into pili fantasy (since I like Thunderbolt Fantasy so much), and I've found some good Taiwanese music that fits my taste.
I'm trying to surround myself in as much Chinese as possible but it's hard to not just watch new anime instead sometimes.
There's 语 that means language as well but honestly I don't know when to use which yet.
哦 is fun to throw in there, 哈哈哈 is a good one too!

I'm in a formal course for it so if you ever have any questions please ask me. I can either try to answer it myself which would be good for my own review, or ask my 老师 which would help me learn as well.

What made you choose Chinese?


> any recommendations
> chinese opera
> chinese anime
> chinese memes
> chinese youtube
> chinese music
> lots of practice trying to think in chinese
the stuff you already do basically.

> What made you choose Chinese?

A lot of people in my area speak it, I heard it was a difficult language (i love a challenge), and it would teach me to think in a completely different way from English (soft Whorfianism). I also think it would be cool to speak it. I am also fascinated by languages in general (human language, machine language, programming language, and the many many different linguistics of expressing thought and transferring information through communicative media like sound, movement, gestures, pressing key sequences on a keyboard, and many other media). I could go on forever about information and language theories because they fascinate me so much but I digress.

> 哈哈哈

made me laugh

> I'm in a formal course for it so if you ever have any questions please ask me. I can either try to answer it myself which would be good for my own review, or ask my 老师 which would help me learn as well.

Sure! Any help is welcome, and if it helps you as well then that's even better!
Here's two:
> “多少“ is used to ask for a phone number in some instances I've seen. Is it used in other contexts as well to ask about quantities, or is there another way to ask that?
> How do you string together numbers in Chinese? Like how would you say 765 456 1324 in mandarin? 七六五四五六一三二四?
> How are tones strung together? I think that neutral tones inherit the entithetical tone of its preceding word much like 不 but I'm not sure for tone combos like 妹妹 and 九十.


Anything in particular though? Specific shows or artists or anything you like?
>teach me to think in a completely different way
Yeah that's been one of the big reason I wanted to learn another language, didn't know the term "Whorfianism" for it though.

From what I understand:
> “多少“ is used to ask for a phone number in some instances I've seen. Is it used in other contexts as well to ask about quantities, or is there another way to ask that?
Yeah 多少 is a question word for asking any number. If anything I think phone numbers are the weird situation, usually it's "how many". There's also 几 (ji3) which is used in a similar way, but it's only for small numbers, 1-9. (but you can use 多少 for small numbers too) 几 needs a measure word the same way a number does.
For instance, "how many fish do you have" would be 你有几个鱼?, assuming I don't think you have 10+ fish.
You would answer it by just replacing the question word: 我有三个鱼。
You can technically put a ​measure word on 多少 as well but usually they don't.
You have how many fish? I have 33 (measure word) fish!
>How do you string together numbers in Chinese? Like how would you say 765 456 1324 in mandarin? 七六五四五六一三二四?
If you're just reciting a phone number like that, yeah. The only odd thing is you can say yao instead of yi for 一, but that's just an optional thing people do to make their numbers clear (try saying 一七一一一七, it's easier with "yao"). Usually they wouldn't type characters for that though, that's a little like us typing out "three six five four etc.", they use arabic numbers too.
>How are tones strung together? I think that neutral tones inherit the entithetical tone of its preceding word much like 不 but I'm not sure for tone combos like 妹妹 and 九十
There's a few different things that can change tone.
In words like 妹妹 the second one becomes neutral. Same for 姐姐 and stuff.
If a word is two 3rd tones in a row, the first one is more like a 2nd tone.
3rd tones are often half-pronounced and you only get the beginning. So even though 九十 doesn't change, it might sound odd.
Certain words like 不 and 一 like to change a lot to flow better, like 不 becomes 2nd tone if the next tone is 4th for instance.
Honestly though, I think it's less of being "rules" and more just how people ended up talking naturally, because otherwise it sounds awkward. Like even my teachers don't all seem to know these rules, they just go "eh that sounds better".


>accounting degree
Drop that, doing IT but I'm not sure which major yet.


> anything in particular though
I barely understand it but 《铡美案》is perhaps one of my favourite operas so far. As for anime, my unsolicited opinion is that japanese anime is generally more interesting and diverse, maybe that's because I like horror and mystery more which don't seem to be as well addressed in Chinese anime. Maybe I'm not looking in the right places though…
That said, I'm a sucker for "daily life of immortal king" and "the king's avatar."

> didn't know the term "Whorfianism" for it though.

Philisophy of Language is interesting. You'll run into hard Whorfianism a lot when you read Orwell's "1984" and "Faranheight 451." Trotsky also talks a bit about it, language parsing, theory more generally if I recall.

> 多少 and 几

So 个 is some kind of particle which relates to the quantification or "amountness" of some subject? (what is 个 anyways? I see it everywhere).
几 and 多少 are like "a few" and "some" then? They're synonymous, but one sounds better in different contexts? Is Chinese like english where you have to rely on feedback and intuition (along with "rules" that are really more like guidelines) to understand how to say things in a way that "sounds right" in the current speech context (like poetic vs formal vs informal vs etc speech)?
On that topic, are there unsettled battles of grammar formalisms like the dreaded oxford comma in english?

> three six five four

The true english numeric system:
spaceswereinventedbecausewesoonrealizedhowharditistoparsesentences.That*Is*Why*Capitals*And*Spaces*Were*Invented*In*Latin*Script. Though originally, the spaces were these funny looking dots: 。

You should experiment with some programming. Do so in Python or JS, they're great languages for easy prototyping and learning.


Appreciate it, I'll try those.
Ah yeah, that's a huge thing.
There's a billion of these "measure words", 个 (ge) is the generic one, so if you're not sure which measure word to use, use 个.
I've seen other explanations but the one that make sense to me is this:
In English, we have words like "paper" where you can't usually say "3 papers", you have to measure it somehow and say "3 pieces of paper". Chinese has no plural words so you have to do this for literally everything. You would say something like "3 fruits of apple" instead of "3 apples". The word you add is called a measure word, so you'd say "3 个 apple".
Same for if there's not a specific number. "how many apples" becomes "how many 个 apples".
What gets confusing is that you sometimes need to do this if there's only one. If you say "I want an apple", you don't need a 个, you can just say "I want apple". But if you say "that apple" you do need to say "that 个 apple". Lots of times, you technically can use a measure word "I am 1 个 doctor", but it's obvious you're not two doctors so you just say "I am doctor".
If I ever come up with a really simple explanation for when you do or do not use measure words, I'll let you know, but as far as I know it's not very simple. But definitely use them with plurals, and reference words like that/this/which/etc.

There are a billion measure words depending on what you're talking about, flat things like maps and tables use 张, 位 is a polite measure word for people, etc. I don't know many because I honestly don't know many nouns.

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