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Learning Another Language

TBerg

fallen angel who hasn't earned his wings
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Ich will Deutsche lernen.

I am learning German as a way to gain more insight into my ancestry as well as to gain a wider perspective on Europe in general. I feel like there is a zeitgeist (lol) that I am currently lacking.

Right now I am committing to one sentence of Thus Spoke Zarathustra using the Scriptorium method and combining it with Assimil German with Ease as well as using Tim Ferriss's 12 Sentences.

Anyone else interested in German culture or learning another language?

For that matter, does anyone here have a degree of German fluency?
 

Pyropyro

Magos Biologis
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I'm interested in learning the German language to learn more about their tech.
 

Cheeseumpuffs

Proudly A Sheeple Since 2015
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Ja, Ich kann bißchen Deutsch sprechen.

I took German in high school. Some of it has stuck with me, but my vocab is shit and I fuck up the formal case all the time.
 

Architect

Professional INTP
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I took years of college German and lived/worked in Southern Germany for several years. I'm half German FWIW and have a great affinity for the country because of my classical music interest.

Classical Latin was more fun though, I practically got a minor in that. Old English too - Hwaet!
 

onesteptwostep

Think.. Be... ..buzz buzz :)
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Mein fuhrer heil!

(...that's about it)
 

TBerg

fallen angel who hasn't earned his wings
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Pity. Much of German is actually a lot more delicate, just from my listening to it so far.
 

Blarraun

straightedgy
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You should definitely study any second language. I think it opens a new perspective on the world that you can't access if you only know one language. Good luck and keep at it.
 

Tannhauser

angry insecure male
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Mein Fuhrer... I can walk!

I wanted to learn german so that I could read Heidegger in the original langauge, but that project is on hold atm.
 

Kelly

Redshirt
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It may not be as sophisticated as Heidegger, but when I have dabbled in learning other languages (specifically German for me), I find culturally relevant tv shows to be super helpful.

At one point I had about 15 seasons of the Simpsons in German with German subtitles (the subtitles were really important for me as I have trouble hearing the start/stop of sentences)...have that on during every free moment (cleaning, cooking, etc) and you will get a lot of practice. The Simpsons is great because the conversations are so simple (children's level stuff) and you always know what is going on because the show is so basic.

The most difficult part is getting used to Homer's voice...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsnHCFHd204
 

TBerg

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Mein Fuhrer... I can walk!

I wanted to learn german so that I could read Heidegger in the original langauge, but that project is on hold atm.
Just do one sentence at a time like me. Look up Professor Arguelles's Scriptorium for inspiration.

Supplement it with listening to whatever interests you along with a little Assimil lesson.

Ich will mit dir Deutsche sprachen.
 

Blarraun

straightedgy
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Maybe Polish will be in my distant future?

What other languages do you know, Blar?
I can read German newspapers, but I speak much more poorly than I read or write. Sometimes I converse in German when I meet with that part of my family who live there.

I'm currently studying Chinese and as a hobby I practice talking Japanese with a friend of mine as a kind of mutual motivation project, so I can't write Japanese but I speak it on a basic level and I have good hearing comprehension, I went to Japan this year and my skills were passable.

I know the Greek, Icelandic and Russian alphabets and I speak basic Russian as I took a 1 semester course in it and I hope to learn more of it in the future as a hobby.

You could say I know C/C++ and Java half-decently as I'm studying those too :p.


I'd say Polish would be much tougher to learn for you. I don't want to discourage you, but there's a degree of pragmaticism involved. If you don't intend to live in my wonderful country and you don't see yourself using it at least occasionally then you'll have difficulty staying motivated or keeping what you've learnt in your head.

German is a great choice for an english speaker as it resembles your native much more closely, both english and german are germanic languages, though english borrows a lot of the vocabulary and forms from romance languages so it's more mixed. So it's going to be easier and less error prone. There's also a wider germanic-speaking community and you're more likely to find it useful than Polish. If you do decide to pick up Polish though, don't be afraid to post me pm's and I'll try to help you out if you wish.


As for me I love the Chinese culture so I want to be proficient in the language to have a wider access to it, similarly I'm a weaboo retard as I read Japanese manga and watch their anime from time to time so it's handy to access it more widely and freely, plus it can be profitable. Pretty much for every language I know there's a reason for why it's useful to me and I think it's important to have such reasons, one valid reason could be improving your perception or intellectual reach.
 

TBerg

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I am probably A2 in Chinese after having had a haphazard way of studying while I was working in China. Assimil seems to be much more systematic in its approach, even in its presentation of radicals and characters more generally. I wish I had found it earlier.

I definitely have an impatient nature, so I am already dreaming of moving onto other languages. I think Russian would definitely expand my horizons and allow me to look farther East. I just want to avoid Hanzi and Kanji as long as possible. I also eventually want to move onto the Rig Veda and Avesta.

I appreciate what you said about Polish, so maybe I will focus on bigger languages with wider import.

But, for now, I will focus on the joys of learning the language of Goethe, Nietzsche, and Wagner.

Which Polish writer do you like the most? What about Polish culture do you think most people don't know about?
 

Analyzer

Hide thy life
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I am fluent in Portuguese and English, having learned both growing up. I can somewhat carry myself in Spanish, although I don't find the language or culture that appealing so I'm rather lazy at it.

When I was younger I attempted to learn French, which I like, but for some apparent reason never finished. After the "dead" languages(Greek,Latin, maybe Hebrew and Sanskrit), my focus will be on French and perhaps German down the road. French has the best writers and most historically liberal culture, in the true sense of the word. Reading Rabelais in his native tongue would be an enormous joy.

If you're a utilitarian, learning Chinese(besides English) would be your best bet. It is highly likely it will compete with English as the Lingua Franca as this century continues. Japanese language and culture is cooler though.
 

PmjPmj

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I'm learning Spanish out of necessity and in a very passive way. As I have mentioned prior, my wife is Spanish and thus so too is the other side of my family. Only my wife and one of her two brothers can speak English - and she has a big ass family. When we go over there, I quite often find myself sat on a table with 20+ Spaniards all jammerin' on in their crazy language.

Any advances I make in comprehension comes predominantly from passive listening. It could be an Ni thing, or it could be a 'human' thing. Whatever the case, I'll be immersed in their culture for a week or so without consciously taking much in. Then, I'll have a rapid succession of 'aha' moments / start blasting out perfectly coherent sentences, constructed from various words I've pulled from the back of my mind. This usually takes everyone by surprise, because up until such points I'm just 'w/e-ing' the shit out of everything. Suddenly, I'll chip in to a conversation with perfect Spanish - even on topics I've not actually learned about / previously discussed. This usually has them (especially my wife) WTF-ing like mad.

They find me fascinating, according to my wife. I'm like this weird English curiosity; they think I'm so aloof and quiet because they're all gregarious and loving, etc. But, they are nothing if not an accepting people, so I get to be just that - my grumpy as fuck self, politely ignoring everything/one ^_^

German is a great language - I really took to it in school. I wish you the best of luck on your journey. Learning another language, even by necessity (>_>), is paradigm-shifting on a scale you really can't even begin to imagine before you embark on your learnings.

It's that moment of realisation: "Holy shit - I can now speak to hundreds of millions of people that I couldn't prior". Even the little things, like being able to pick up on bits and bobs of Spanish in American TV shows, or being able to watch Narcos without referring to the subtitles 100% of the time.

Shit be cool, yo.

[EDIT] Or this one (hugely flattering) time where some of my wife's 'rather forward' friends were talking about how handsome I am (I'm not; I'm just very different to them, and have the whole 'big blue eyes' thing they go fucking crazy for) and how they admired her taste / they'd absolutely bang me if I wasn't spoken for, etc. I just stood there, smirking.

My wife turns to me, smirking right back. We lock eyes and have that unspoken confirmation thing happen. She turns back and says (in Spanish, obv.) "Thanks! I'm really glad you find him attractive. You do realise he speaks Spanish though, right?"

I swear to fuck I've never seen a group of people go from 'happy / cocky confidence' to 'utterly mortified' so quickly. Eyes darting in all directions but mine; lowered heads and many apologies muttered. They quickly said their goodbyes and shuffled off awkwardly. I was laughing my arse off about it for ages.
 

Blarraun

straightedgy
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Which Polish writer do you like the most? What about Polish culture do you think most people don't know about?
It's difficult to answer your question, I don't have definite favourites and of those I have, they are personal and not especially great examples for a bystander. I'm also not so knowledgable about however little I know to compile it into a general opinion of certain periods or polish literature as a whole. You mention Goethe, I like romanticism and we've had our Goethe called Adam Mickiewicz, along with Juliusz Słowacki they come close or surpass the kind of vivid emotion and imagery Goethe used to paint with, imo.

To your second question, most people know next to nothing about Poland and its culture and sure enough there are a lot of misconceptions. I know it was probably the time to give you a fun fact about it but I spent a few minutes trying to come up with something I couldn't find parallels for and it seems I draw a blank. We haven't learnt how to be proud or how to feel good with ourselves as Polish, many Polish people suffer from a culturally infectious inferiority complex, they praise foreign influences and are ashamed of themselves and where they come from, they are ready to embrace any disguise to hide from their intellectual poverty or past, I think we as a nation need to learn how to accept ourselves and our relatively independent place on this planet. People think of the Polish as tragic victims, but we can stand up for ourselves and we have our own dreams and thoughts, it'll be a long time until there's any improvement if at all, we've only recently got out from the soviet occupation which ended in 1988. I think we are at the crossroads of globalisation, where the next step will either lead us into completely dissolving into the vast ocean of sameness where our cultural traits will only serve as flavouring of us as economic products, or we'll retain a part of our own brand of independent thinking and individuality that used to set us apart from the global culture.
 

PmjPmj

Full of stars.
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Jesus fuck, I don't half rant when flying high :facepalm:
 

Absurdity

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@Blarr what resources are you using for Chinese and Japanese?
 

Blarraun

straightedgy
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@Blarr what resources are you using for Chinese and Japanese?
We have a native mandarin speaker at the uni and we learn from Polish - Chinese and most of the important resources are in Polish as well.

I have a language partner for Japanese, you can learn hiragana and katakana in about a week (hiragana took me 2 days to memorise, I used human japanese (there's a pirate version floating around for their most basic course and you can decide if you like their method then) but any free resource will do and you can google for it, since you're english you should look for pronunciation lessons as well as there's far fewer sounds in Japanese than there is in english and you want to know which sounds to make for which characters), when you do, you can move on to the most basic kanji (which I'm not studying as I want to avoid confusing it with Chinese), there are sites like this one where you can click on a kanji and get a number of sentences with it, a kanji dictionary (writing and drawing inputs are useful) and a phonetic dictionary are useful too. Then you would probably need to get some children's newspapers or visual novels and practice your reading, translating and using in a sentence every term you find which you don't know, that's what everyone I know did.

For speaking it's best to find a language partner online or schedule regular lessons with a native speaker if you can afford or find one for free. There's a site called italki or hellotalk where people post which languages they're interested in and schedule skype/voip sessions for practice, or send text messages and correct mistakes. Though there's usually far fewer Chinese/Japanese speakers than there's demand for them.
 

TBerg

fallen angel who hasn't earned his wings
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I lurk on How to Learn Any Language, and Assimil is held to be an almost universal standard there. Some Assimil courses might be better than others, but their method is never criticized very much. Assimil even has a system for teaching Chinese radicals, which are also part of Japanese kanji.

In the beginning, Tim Ferriss (INTJ), who mastered Japanese while studying in Japan, also suggests that you deconstruct your weaknesses and practice each weak element individually. You are also supposed to find something to enjoy about your learning as soon as possible. This is why I also read Also Sprach Zarathustra. Content before form. Learn from things you enjoy before tackling things you don't.
 

Blarraun

straightedgy
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I just found out about "replays". It's basically a transcript of a tabletop rpg game. So I curiously browsed for Japanese replays and I found an imperial long ton of them.

I'm sharing it here because I think it has enormous potential to boost your Japanese learning. You get to listen to an enjoyable story played out by a few people who speak the language you are trying to learn with clear transcripts of what they were saying. Reading, listening, speaking and cultural lesson in one go. Analogously you could look for replays or stage play transcripts from other languages just as well.

Here's the most promising Call of Cthulhu, which is especially good because Call of Cthullu rpg is a fairly normal setting based in real world with the exception of some horrors and mysteries, so the players will stick to using day-to-day language and you are less likely to be exposed to useless anime lingo.


Kinda goes without saying that you have to be at least knowledgable with hira/katakana and 100 basic kanji to benefit from it.
 
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