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Which languages need formal instruction

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12 messages over 2 pages: 1
Luso
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Portugal
Joined 4103 days ago

819 posts - 1812 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, French, EnglishC2, GermanB1, Italian, Spanish
Studies: Sanskrit, Arabic (classical)

 
 Message 9 of 12
19 September 2015 at 2:51pm | IP Logged 
I see useful replies from experienced forum members, but I still think there's something missing.

Given the constraints shown on the original post, I believe there should be a question #0: should I spend my time and money (not much, apparently) taking such a course?

I believe the answer could be yes, but there could reasons why you should go and do something else more rewarding (to you, not us language nerds).

For me, the key expression is "So far learning Spanish has been tough for me". There can be a number of reasons for that. If they have to do with learning conditions (mandatory, not well taught, etc.), you're ok, but if they are related to language learning itself (you have problems with grammar, sounds, etc.), then you must think this through.

There's a huge difference between learning Spanish and learning the other languages you mention. I have seen classes full of people with three or four languages under their belt get quickly depopulated after a month spent "just" learning an alphabet (I love it, but it's not for everyone).

If you decide to go for it, then try just one (several at this stage would be a recipe for disaster) and see if you enjoy the experience. Also keep in mind that some of the valuable advice above is only valid after you've been learning for some time.

Good luck!

Edited by Luso on 19 September 2015 at 2:54pm

5 persons have voted this message useful



iguanamon
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Virgin Islands
Speaks: Ladino
Joined 3304 days ago

2224 posts - 6707 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole

 
 Message 10 of 12
19 September 2015 at 4:46pm | IP Logged 
In addition to Luso's good advice, I would just say that it can be extremely difficult to juggle several languages at a beginner level simultaneously. Personally, I can't do it. In my years on the forum, I have yet to see any adult, raw monolingual beginners who start out learning several languages at a beginner level at the same time take any of them beyond an intermediate level.

To me, there's a lot of concentration needed for a language with a different script and/or grammar, not to mention opaque vocabulary. I couldn't begin to imagine trying to learn Arabic, Mandarin and Hindi all at the same time.

That being said, if there's not much cost involved, all you are out is your time and there are worse ways to spend one's free time than stimulating one's brain by learning a difficult language. Perhaps you'll even be inspired to further your studies.

Edited by iguanamon on 19 September 2015 at 4:47pm

4 persons have voted this message useful



Mork the Fiddle
Senior Member
United States
Joined 2011 days ago

86 posts - 158 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Norwegian, Latin, Ancient Greek

 
 Message 11 of 12
19 September 2015 at 8:00pm | IP Logged 
I say go for it, but be savvy about it.

If the college will refund your money before a certain date, and most colleges do so as to drive instructors crazy, and if the (college?) bookstore will refund whatever textbook materials you buy, then sign up for as many languages the college will let you and you can afford.

Before enrolling, if you have the chance, find out everything you can about the instructors of the courses you are thinking of taking. Do they have experience teaching the language? What is their reputation as instructors? What kind of personalities do they have?

Then sign up for whatever languages that appeal to you, even on the basis of a "feeling."

Once classes start, ask yourself questions. Can I get along with this instructor? Does this instructor's style of teaching seem fitted to me? Do the course materials make sense to me? Ask other students if they know anything about the instructor.

Remember that there are instructors who try to drive off as many students as they can at first in order to lighten their workload. Be prepared for that.

In the end, you have to make up your own mind. Then drop the courses you don't like and keep one course that seems promising (if any).

If none of the courses appeals to you, drop them all. If you keep one, but then later you don't like it, drop it, too. It's just a college course. Dropping it isn't a life-changing decision.
3 persons have voted this message useful



Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 4639 days ago

9757 posts - 15778 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovenian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 12 of 12
21 September 2015 at 7:18pm | IP Logged 
It doesn't sound like the opportunity is limited to this year only, though?


1 person has voted this message useful



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