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Thread: Learning a second or third language?

  1. #1
    Registered User nyfty's Avatar
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    Learning a second or third language?

    I've been considering learning a second language as it would be beneficial for my work travel. Since I'm working fulltime I have little time for formal classes. I see several computer based programs, especially Rosetta Stone. Other than their advertising I've never met anyone who has used their system to learn another language. I was hoping that with our wide ranging membership that I might get some feedback from several who may have used Rosetta Stone to learn a new language. So do we have any members out there who has used Rosetta Stone to learn a second or third lanquage?
    Jim Nyffeler
    Lincoln NE
    '10 F800GS
    BMWMOA 110521, IBA 8936

  2. #2
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    Haven't ever seen/heard a Rosetta Stone course; but when I was in high school and learning German, part of the "text" handouts was a set of vinyl records - yes, this was back when the earth was flat - so, as part of our homework, we could hear first-hand (and then repeat) what the sentences were actually supposed to sound like. I think this helped a lot.
    I blatantly failed Spanish in junior-high school, where we had a Spanish gal trying to teach us; but I still enjoy cervesas y burritos. I've actually learned more by "immersion" in this area than I ever did back there then. To paraphrase the old saying, "Necessity is a mother."

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    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Rosetta is expensive, but like Pauls1150 said, I started in on French with vinyl rekkids in the early 60's. The key is that it was conversational French. Last year in Quebec, the correct phrases were "just there" -- very surprising after so many years.

    So my recommendation is to get yourself a conversational course. I suspect there are numerous free offerings out there, YouTube.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

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  4. #4
    BMW Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYFTY View Post
    I've been considering learning a second language as it would be beneficial for my work travel. Since I'm working fulltime I have little time for formal classes. I see several computer based programs, especially Rosetta Stone. Other than their advertising I've never met anyone who has used their system to learn another language. I was hoping that with our wide ranging membership that I might get some feedback from several who may have used Rosetta Stone to learn a new language. So do we have any members out there who has used Rosetta Stone to learn a second or third lanquage?
    I checked out the reviews for Rosetta Stone on Amazon and there were 201 reviews. That's a pretty good number to get a handle on what others are thinking. The reviews are all over the place from 1 to 5 with no real majority that you might rely upon. Learning a second language as an adult is difficult for most. I have a feeling the old fire in the belly comes into play here. If you really have a passion for learning the language of choice you will learn it whether through Rosetta Stone or some other vehicle. If you don't the road is likely to be long and hard.

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    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    I took three semesters of German at the local JC a few years ago. (When you work on old German bikes, you pretty much have to deal with old Germans, who often don't speak English, in spite of how common it is with younger people.) For me, for German, it was important to get a formal grounding in the grammar. And it was tough to do, because I was never very good with languages. I passed Spanish in Junior High, but that was "a while" ago.
    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison
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    Registered User WalterK75's Avatar
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    Michel Thomas has a series out under his name for several languages.
    Walter

    G. K. Chesterton wrote - "The traveller sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he came to see."

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    Quote Originally Posted by tommcgee View Post
    Rosetta is expensive, but like Pauls1150 said, I started in on French with vinyl rekkids in the early 60's. The key is that it was conversational French. Last year in Quebec, the correct phrases were "just there" -- very surprising after so many years.

    So my recommendation is to get yourself a conversational course. I suspect there are numerous free offerings out there, YouTube.
    Expensive, not! CL is full of Rossetta stuff on the cheap. FWIW, I found that my age is a factor in learning a 2nd language-a big one! I've spent mucho time in the classroom in both technical & academic stuff & never had a problem until I tried immersion & full time Spanish classes in Mexico. Was it fun-sure. The MC ride going/coming there was the best part! A local friend is a Spanish teacher & has been the KY Teacher of the Year and he told me Rosetta was a very poor way to learn Spanish but I felt he had a bias toward classroom study too.
    "If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up... I would take fewer things seriously...take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more rivers...eat more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges at age 85.

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    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    I should add that I tried out Pimsleur for German, but found it too scattered for me.
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  9. #9
    Rally Rat
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    language

    I had French, Spanish, and German in HS, along with the then required latin. We have taken numerous trips abroad, and I have managed to struggle through with the help of the Langscheid guide books. However, what really worked was hosting high school age exchange students. They are here to learn our ways, and the language. What my wife and I did to help them was to have alternate weeks of language. One week only English, the second week only their native language for their entire year's stay. Now European and South American travel is a snap, along with the added benefit of visiting "our kids" and their "at-home" families. I am now comfortable in Spanish, Italian, Dutch, German, French along with a smattering of Portugese and Cheechwa (native Andean area). By far, now the hardest to manage are Australian and Engand English.

  10. #10
    Scooter Whisperer
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    Used RS to learn Arabic. It was OK..but total imersion for a year worked better.

  11. #11
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    There are a ton of options for learning another language , but they only work if you practice everyday.

    I learned my German out of necessity , I was a young soldier stationed in Germany. There were no girls on the base except for some old crones. I liked girls a lot, so i started hanging out with some kids my age who were kind enough to introduce me to my first wife , who only spoke a few words of English.
    We eventually parted ways but had a Daughter with whom I have always supported and kept in contact . She is now a married lady with three kids and still lives in Germany. I visit when I can and I practice my German everyday.
    I admit my language skill is not as good as it used to be, but i can still read and speak well enough to make myself understood.

    Again the key is to practice, find a friend who is a native if possible and speak with them frequently.

    My Spanish is pretty week , but at one time i was doing ok with it . Stopped practicing and it has about gone away now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by darrylri View Post
    (When you work on old German bikes, you pretty much have to deal with old Germans, who often don't speak English, .
    Funny, how many people in the "BMW community" believe so. I am part of a couple of vintage Japanese motorcycle groups and nobody there feels compelled to learn Japanese

  13. #13
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMSimon View Post
    Funny, how many people in the "BMW community" believe so. I am part of a couple of vintage Japanese motorcycle groups and nobody there feels compelled to learn Japanese
    Are you trying to restore bikes that were only sold in Japan, and therefore most experience resides in Japan and there are only Japanese language parts books, service books and owners books?

    BMW didn't officially export bikes to the US until 1955. There are English language owners manuals for many of the prewar models (because they were exported to Britain), but the parts books are all in German. And most experience with these bikes, and reproduction parts, still resides in Germany.
    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison
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  14. #14
    Lady Scarlet Terry Cainey's Avatar
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    Canadian as a second language

    Hi Jim,

    Just saw your post, we can teach and or immerse you in learning Canadian at the next rally we share tent space.

    Unfortunately Darryl and I will not be at Salem, OR this year, as Darryl just had the first of two knee replacement surgeries.

    Maybe we will see you at another rally.

    Take care and good luck in a second language, some days I have trouble with my first language.

    Lady Scarlet (a.k.a Terry Cainey)

  15. #15
    Registered User nyfty's Avatar
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    My Lady Scarlet

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Cainey View Post
    Hi Jim,

    Just saw your post, we can teach and or immerse you in learning Canadian at the next rally we share tent space.

    Unfortunately Darryl and I will not be at Salem, OR this year, as Darryl just had the first of two knee replacement surgeries.

    Maybe we will see you at another rally.

    Take care and good luck in a second language, some days I have trouble with my first language.

    Lady Scarlet (a.k.a Terry Cainey)
    Terry, It was quite an honour in Sedelia to have a mini immersion by My Lord and My Lady; as well as the other fine Canadian instructors that were in our general camping area. It seems that I have grown a need for Agave instead of Rye.

    I also will not be in attendance in Salem this summer. My one lone chance of attending a rally this year might be Iowa. It sounds like your Lordship will be on the mend when that rolls around. I look forward to instruction again at a future rally. Maybe in Minnesata, eh?
    Jim Nyffeler
    Lincoln NE
    '10 F800GS
    BMWMOA 110521, IBA 8936

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