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Learning a second language

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66Mustang
66Mustang Community member Posts: 14,920 Disability Gamechanger

I was thinking about maybe trying to learn a second language.

I often feel inadequate among foreign people who are able to speak English, because they have made the effort, yet, like so many English people, I haven’t bothered.

It also seems like a good hobby to use up some time in a productive way.

I am almost 29. Does that seem too old to learn a language? Would I struggle?

I am interested to hear from anyone who learnt, or tried to learn, a second language, especially if you did so later in life.

I also don’t know which language would be a good idea.

I like Japan and Japanese culture so I was thinking about Japanese. Then again, only one country really speaks Japanese. If I learnt something like Spanish or French, I could get by in several countries.

Any thoughts?

Comments

  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi mustang 

    It's something I plan on doing and I'm much older than you I'm sure you will manage just fine 

    Personally I would look at a European language as they are more likely places to visit and more people here using them 

    I was recommended an app by chiareds think it's called duo lingo 
  • Sandy_123
    Sandy_123 Scope Member Posts: 55,477 Disability Gamechanger
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    Never too late to learn I would like to learn  latin
  • bg844
    bg844 Community member Posts: 3,887 Disability Gamechanger
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    Spanish for me.
  • Cartini
    Cartini Community member Posts: 1,108 Pioneering
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    I`ve been through this several times over the years (wanting to learn a 2nd language).
    As a child I spoke fluent Afrikaans (I lived in South Africa for a few years), but I saw no point in studying Afrikaans again because I will never be going back to S.A.
    I used to go to Son Bou in Menorca, so decided to take up Spanish so that I could, at least, make the effort.  I got to the stage where I could order things and make general comments, but because I only went to Son Bou for 2 weeks a year, I never really got the hang of Spanish.
    I`ve got Portuguese and / or Italian in my sights now, but whether I actually get round to it / them or not is another matter ;)
    As janer1967 has stated, you`d be better learning a European language.  The 3 languages I would recommend are Spanish (European version, not Latino / South American version - there are differences), Portuguese and Italian.  The reason I say these three is because they are similar to each other (as is, I believe, French - but I was never a fan of French at school so didn`t go any further with that) with Spanish and Portuguese being the closest.   This is, I believe, is because Portugal was a break-away (for want of an expression) from the Spanish region of Galicia.  Crack Portuguese and you should be able to crack Spanish, and vicky verky.
    I can`t say whether you would struggle or not because we are all different.  I struggled, to a certain degree, because I need to be in an environment where I can hear "real world conversations". 
    What I will say is you will never know unless you try. 
    Andy
     
  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community member Posts: 14,920 Disability Gamechanger
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    Thanks to all for the messages.

    @janer1967 thanks for the advice, seems sensible to me. Which language are you planning on doing, out of curiosity?

    @Sandy_123 Latin sounds like a very interesting language to learn!!!

    @bg844 do you mean you speak Spanish, or want to? Either way, nice choice.

    @Cartini Thanks for the tips. Also good luck with your own learning. :) I notice you say you "spoke" Afrikaans as a child. Do you not speak it now? Is it possible to "forget" a language?
  • Cartini
    Cartini Community member Posts: 1,108 Pioneering
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    66Mustang said:
    @Cartini Thanks for the tips. Also good luck with your own learning. :) I notice you say you "spoke" Afrikaans as a child. Do you not speak it now? Is it possible to "forget" a language?
    Thank you.
    I`ve just turned 61 and I last spoke Afrikaans when I was 14, some 47 years ago.  I can remember some expressions (see you tomorrow / see you later / go home / no work (we lived there during apartheid and regularly had young women knocking on the door looking for domestic work)) and can still count to 10, but other than that I can`t remember how to speak Afrikaans.

  • cat6873
    cat6873 Community member Posts: 69 Pioneering
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    @66Mustang it's never too late! I'm Italian and I've lived in the UK for 31 years so I also speak English. When I visit my sister in Belgium I switch to French (learnt it at school but never bothered but now it's very useful). I also did Latin at school and, when I first came over, I worked for a Greek bloke and managed to learn a few phrases. I speak Spanish but my ultimate goal is to learn Dutch. You have youth on your side - I'm 64 and nothing will stop me from learning. Go for it!  :)  
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
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    I'm going to do Spanish as the plan is to move there

    The app I mentioned would be good for me as you can do it by speaking voice eg you listen then repeat back the words and phrases 

    You learn at your own pace no exams and suits my visual impairment as I'm not interested in the written language mainly the spoken the app gives you the option tho of both 
  • leeCal
    leeCal Community member Posts: 7,550 Disability Gamechanger
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    My eldest was learning Russian prior to February using duo lingo @janer1967 He recommended it.

    “This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple kindness.” 
    ― Dalai Lama XIV

  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
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    Thanks @leeCal I need to give it a go instead of just thinking about it 
  • Siwheels73
    Siwheels73 Scope Member Posts: 748 Pioneering
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    Babbel is also very good for language learning.
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 12,088 Disability Gamechanger
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    I did French at school in the early 70's and still can speak some of it, once learnt I think it stays with you, have all so picked up what I would term "tourist" Spanish one the years it's always nice to be able to say hello, please and thank you when on holiday 

    2024 Election won

  • Karen7788
    Karen7788 Scope Member Posts: 598 Pioneering
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    I’m learning a little Russian and Ukrainian every day but I would love to learn Italian as I think it’s a beautiful sounding language.
  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community member Posts: 14,920 Disability Gamechanger
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    Thanks for all the replies.

    @janer1967 good luck with it. :)

    I agree @woodbine it's nice to be able to speak even a little bit of the language when you go away. Just show you have made a little bit of an effort - we always try to learn hello, please, thank you etc. whenever we go to a new country.

    Nothing wrong with learning Russian IMO. I wouldn't stop if I was learning it. It doesn't mean you agree with what one certain person is doing. Apparently during the world wars people who could speak German were quite in demand!!
  • Alex_Alumni
    Alex_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,561 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi @66Mustang I'd say you're never too old to start learning a language, especially if it's one you're passionate about. I'd perhaps start with a romance language, like French or Spanish to begin with and see how you go. 

    Japanese would be cool definitely, I've dipped into it on DuoLingo, but much like Greek, Russian, and even Latin, and Middle Egyptian (Hieroglyphs) you'd need to learn a whole new alphabet, and translate words twice over before you get to English. If that's a challenge you'd be up for, then by all means go for it. 

    I'd love to know if you do decide on one, and how things go :)
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  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community member Posts: 14,920 Disability Gamechanger
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    Thanks @Alex_Scope :smiley: I will definitely let you know what I choose if I choose to try one and how I get on.
  • life
    life Community member Posts: 527 Pioneering
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    I've always liked the German language, Guten Tag Ihnen 
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