Joined 2165 days ago
1 posts - 3 votes
Speaks: Finnish*, English
Message 1 of 209 January 2015 at 7:08am | IP Logged
Hello from Finland :)
Happy to be here at last. I've been experiencing extreme slowness with the forum when using Chrome, but now I tried Firefox and that seemed to solve it.
So about myself. I'm a 38-year old guy from Finland and my only fluent second language at the moment is English. I started learning it when I was about ten; I got really interested in role-playing games (like D&D) at that point, but all the books were in English. So I had my mother buy me the rulebooks and a dictionary and started reading from page one, looking up every word I didn't know. Pretty soon I was way ahead of everybody else on my class, and English has been really easy for me ever since. I guess I learned it so fast because I was: 1)very young, 2)really motivated and interested in the material I was studying.
Being Finnish I've also had to study Swedish as a second language in school. But as usual, when it's compulsory, you tend not to learn it too well. Actually, I'm technically what you call a "Finland's Swede", part of the large Swedish minority in Finland, but unfortunately my father only started talking Swedish to me when I was quite old (I'm not sure how old exactly, but I can personally remember a few instances, so maybe 4 or something?), so I would just go mute on him or run away or something because it felt so weird. I can understand Swedish quite well, I recently attended a political seminar in Sweden, and although it took a lot of concentration I could pretty much follow the main subjects and issues they were talking about. I should just start activating speaking it, and I guess it wouldn't take too long to get fluent, but I just lack the motivation to do that...
Last summer I took a 8 week Russian course. Unfortunately it was so intense that it pretty much killed any enthusiasm I had for the language when I started the course :( Maybe I'll continue on that someday, but for now I couldn't care less... it's a pity.
At the moment though I've started learning Spanish on my own. I used to study it in college for three years, but at that time I was more interested in girls and partying, so I really learned next to nothing. Anyways, I'm the kind of person that every time I'm abroad on vacation, feel silly for having to resort to speaking English with the locals. And now that I've really fallen in love with Spain, I decided to learn the language at last. Actually Catalan would be what really interests me the most, but there doesn't seem to be too many learning resources available for that (in English), so I decided to start with Spanish. I've been doing DuoLingo, and I ordered "Madrigals Magic Key" from Amazon. I've tried to watch Spanish movies as well as following the telenovela "Gran Hotel". Most importantly I have a good feeling about the process, I like what I'm doing, so I'm confident it'll go smoothly. I should just try to find ways to speak the language with some real people...
So nice to be here, I'm looking forward to learning a lot about learning languages :) Really interesting stuff!
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Joined 5253 days ago
9078 posts - 16471 votes
Speaks: Danish*, French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Esperanto, Romanian, Catalan
Studies: Afrikaans, Greek, Norwegian, Russian, Serbian, Icelandic, Latin, Irish, Lowland Scots, Indonesian, Polish, Croatian
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Message 2 of 209 January 2015 at 9:46am | IP Logged
Welcome to the forum. Your experience with Chrome versus Firefox is interesting, but so far I haven't seen the same phenomenon mentioned by others, and I don't have Chrome installed on my own computer so I can't test it. As for Catalan versus Castillian: it is logical to start with a language that covers the whole of Spain and is understood even in Catalunya. Once you have learnt Spanish you'll find that it isn't too hard to add Catalan.
1 person has voted this message useful