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Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by jahdidntkilljohnny, Jun 2, 2009.
anyone try it? anyone learn anything from it ..?
I bought it as a gift for my boss in advance of one of his trips to Italy. He loved it; learned a lot. His daughter has since used it and has become remarkably fluent.
I'd like a version or two for myself but they are quite pricey.
me and my partner have it... it's pretty good. *from what he says* I haven't tried it yet.
I used it to learn basic Turkish. It's good.
In my opinion it stinks. Don't waste your money. There are two things bear in mind when learning a foreign language;
1) Study (with intense application during the learning process)
2) Dropping yourself in the middle of the country whose language you wish to master and absorbing it like a sponge.
I was wondering about that product.
Exactly how expensive is it if you wouldn't mind telling us?
Stronzo is there a course you would recomend?
You know.. if you were a bit handier to New England instead of Old England I'd give it some good consideration given that I think you're beyond wonderful. But realize too Kotch that I studied French from fourth grade through college. I did not get the opporunity to actually apply it until twenty years later after my career here in the States was well-established. It was only then (my first visit to Provence) that it all dropped into place like cogs in a wheel. That sensation is the only formula (IMO) to real fluency.
Even as I plan for Italy soon I think "Oh shit! I've forgotten so much!!"
My honey says "oh pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeze. You'll be prattling on till I'm ready to crack you over the head in twenty-four hours". It's amazing how it floods back.
Learn the neo-Latin languages (also called "romance languages"). Invariably when I'm in Italy and am fumbling for a word I access my French and give it an Italian ending I tell you in all seriousness it works about forty percent of the time.
Italian is far easier than French. It's less riddled with idioms. I'm glad I studied French first.
This is what I did for my Italian in 2003 CB.
Since you and I live so close to one another it's doable for you too.
I went to Wheaton for four semesters and audited classes four mornings a week. I think you're even closer to Wheaton than I am.
There were twenty-one students in the class the first two semesters and nothing but Italian was spoken. All you need do is contact the language dept. at Meneely Hall at Wheaton and they interview you to see how sincere you are. You get no credit or anything but you take all the quizzes and exams and finals right along with the kiddies.
I met my cultural liaison Fulbright scholar Vera (from Venice) there and she's the gal with whom we'll be staying in Italy shortly. It was a MIND BLOWING experience.
The entire cost? ONE HUNDRED BUCKS TOTAL (plus the one hundred and seventy-five spent on textbooks).
Of course my dad was inclined to call me "my professional student".
I love the learning process and the academic atmosphere.
I wish immersion were so easy! I went to France and nobody had patience for my French. They immediately switched to English to make conversation easier. I think I ran into two people who didn't speak any English the entire time I was there last. On prior trips I met nobody that didn't speak enough English to assist me. It's quite frustrating.
More frustrating is trying to learn second languages like Welsh or Irish. I have yet to meet anyone in either country who does not speak fluent English. I even tend to think the Irish speak better English than the English do! Immersion in those environments was impossible even when one of the people I was living with is fluent in Irish.
Rosetta Stone is really good and not a waste of money at all. It was invaluable to me and really gave me a headstart with Turkish.
Turkish is quite a hard language to learn for an English speaker. The grammar is backwards, there are things like vowel and consonant harmony to learn. Letters change depending which vowel precedes it. We use multiple suffixes to give meaning to nouns and verbs... it's conjugation hell! There are 29 letters in the alphabet and no x,q, or w. It's tricky. One saving grace is that every letter in a word is pronounced. Although the sounds of the letters are a bit (or very) different than English. Once you learn the alphabet and which syllable to emphasize, you can puzzle out the correct pronunciation of most words.
Of course immersion is the best way to learn; but even being immersed, most expats here need to take lessons to get going with hard languages.
One of my English speaking Turkish friends is using Rosetta Stone to learn Russian and seems to be making good progress. I think it would be a walk in the park to pick-up basics of an easy language like Spanish using that software. I'd advise that you really have to be disciplined if you are going to learn a language. You have to study everyday and practice practice practice.
Plunking down 250 bucks is motivation use it and not waste your money IMO.
I'm sorry you had that experience Jason.
Mine was entirely the reverse. The first time I went to France (with the rudiments of the language and able to apply my school book French) I drove directly from Charles de Gaulle to Provence where we had reservations at a "mas". Several times we were lost and I had to ask for directions in my tentative French. At every turn we were met with consideration and a return serve in local French.
But I was in the countryside...
During subsequent visits I found a bit of what you mean in Paris and in Lyon - esp. in restaurants. But I persevered and insisted they speak to me in French which (as it happened) was considerably better than their ability in English. :biggrin1:
In Italy (yes even cities) I can tell you firsthand that the slightest attempt at their language will be met with appreciation and a warm smile. Far fewer Italians speak English than French speak English in my experience.
Next time tour the countryside in France and I expect you'll be pleased at the result. When staying in Chambres d'Hotes (their equivalent of our Bed and Breakfast phenomenon) invariably you're staying in a family home where no English is spoken short of "hello" and "good morning", and "good night".
It makes for a rousing morning conversation often peppered with slight translational misunderstandings that results in outbursts of laughter!
** In the Massif Central of France in 1996 we stayed at a lovely farm.
The couple had two strapping lads perhaps sixteen and seventeen.
It was joy supreme as the elder of the two offered (in his regional French) to show "les Américains" the "grange et les animaux"!!!
Do you think for one minute I was interested in that barn or those animals? Well perhaps passingly.... But HOLY FUCK those homegrown French lads can be mesmeric to the lecher's eye. :biggrin1:
Of course "l'appareil photo" was in the voiture... alas. :frown1: