Has anyone learned a foreign language from tapes?

KathsgrdnAugust 12, 2006

Or CDs? I used to be able to speak Japanese, years ago when I was a toddler. My mom was Japanese and taught us all until my dad told her it would confuse us. (he now realizes that was a mistake). My mom is gone but we had always planned on going to Japan someday and visiting her family. We never made it. I kept her old addresses and phone numbers to her family but wouldn't be able to communicate with them because none of them speak English. My cousins did when they were in school but the last time I spoke to one of them she could hardly remember any of it and that was about 20 years ago. If the kids and I ever make it over there, I'd like for all of us to have some basic language skills to use and am thinking of buying CDs to learn the language.

I was never good at foreign languages, though...took three years of Spanish and did ok but not great. I know a few phrases and words but that's about it. I took German when I was stationed over there but again, most of the Germans just spoke English to us when we'd attempt to speak German...it was just easier. I'm hoping the kids and I will use Japanese and therefore it will become a second language. I do know quite a few words but putting together a sentence in Japanese is another thing. The kids are still young and I think it'd be a lot easier for them to pick it up, even if I don't.

So, anyway, has anyone ever actually learned a foreign language from tapes? I'd start out by getting CDs that I can listen to in the car to and from work.

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Whoops! I meant to post this at the Kitchen Table. Sorry! If anyone wants to respond here, I'd still like to hear what you have to say.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2006 at 1:14PM
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My DH likes languages and has used CDs to help him learn Italian. However, he also took a couple of semesters at the local community college. The two approaches each helped the other, but he says that the CD alone is not enough. You don't get any grammar from the CDs, for example. Even with both, he is not fluent, but he can communicate to some degree.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2006 at 2:37PM
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kath, I bet that since your Mom was teaching you when you were a child, the fundamentals are somewhere in your brain still. That would make it easier to pick it up again. It's harder as an adult to learn a new language if you've never studied a foreign language at all. Why not give it a try?

I studied four languages when I was in school, but the one that really stuck is Spanish-- and I think that is because when I was about 9 and 10, my best playmate was a little girl my age from Ecuador. The Spanish we spoke to one another was "playground" Spanish-- in other words, the sort of thing kids use just playing, kid's syntax and colloquilisms. But then when I studied Spanish as an adult, it proved to be be a sound foundation to build on.

I haven't tried cds yet, but know people who've used them to pick up basics or refresh a language they'd studied in high school before going overseas on business. I'm thinking about trying it to refresh both Spanish and Russian (which I studied in high school).

Dayle Ann

    Bookmark   August 12, 2006 at 4:41PM
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Woh! I stumbled upon this topic by mistake and I couldn't thank you enough for your "mistake" posting.

I've spoken Italian between ages 5-10. I was told that my Italian was perfect. However, when I came back to my country, I lost it totally just as I lost my native language when I lived in Italy. I'm now in my late 40's and have been wondering if I could ever speak Italian again.

With your advises, I'm going to try with cds and see if I remember it back.

One neat thing I've noticed is that my English accent is much better understood than most Asian around my age. I think it's due to learning a different language at a very young age.

Thanks for an interesting topic.


    Bookmark   August 26, 2006 at 1:09AM
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I have tapes/cd's in Spanish, Chinese and Russian that I purchased for myself. I picked up a little bit of comprehension of the languages from listening to students and a desire to learn more "someday". Now that I am not around people that speak other languages I have forgotten most of what little I understood. The speaking part is the most diffcult for me. I found that listening in the car was a good place and kept me focused, however when I purchased another car without the audio systems in it, my progression stopped. I now spend a great deal of time on the computer so I thought that this would be the time to try the Rosetta Stone language learning system. When I had to immerse myself in anothers language my comprehension came more naturally then speaking ability. I thought that I would pass this link along to all of you. They have a good reputation and we can all sit in our small snug houses this winter and expand our worlds!

Here is a link that might be useful: Language Help

    Bookmark   August 27, 2006 at 4:03AM
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As an adult, in order to learn a new language, you need to be gifted with a very good memory. I'm fluent in 2 languages, but only because I learned them as a child, surrounded by people who spoke Spanish and English. My daughter has a good memory, and she has learned 2 languages, as an adult. She's a nurse and a teacher, but she's not THAT smart. You can do a lot if you have a good memory.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2006 at 8:17AM
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