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Thread: learning language on your own

  1. #1
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    learning language on your own

    I was just wondering. How many people here have learned to speak/write a language (fluently) without any help of a textbook and/or teacher.(eg through TV, Radio, comics etc)

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    Quote Originally Posted by kevinsano
    I was just wondering. How many people here have learned to speak/write a language (fluently) without any help of a textbook and/or teacher.(eg through TV, Radio, comics etc)
    Sono hito ga iru kashira....

  3. #3
    Mike Cash
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevinsano
    I was just wondering. How many people here have learned to speak/write a language (fluently) without any help of a textbook and/or teacher.(eg through TV, Radio, comics etc)
    One thing you need to keep in mind when asking for accounts of self-assessed proficiency is that, at least in the case of learning Japanese, many people tend to overestimate their own abilities.

  4. #4
    *+Mangaka/Illustrator+* sketchytiger's Avatar
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    I did! ^__^

    First I watched anime in jp with eng sub ^__^

    Then I learned some of the spoken languages often used [in roomaji x_X;;;]

    And then I learned the characters hiragana and katakana ^______^

    And THEN I grabbed the book and learned the kanji owO
    My Daily Expression:

  5. #5
    Mike Cash
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    So you have managed to become fluent in Japanese through this method then?

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    *+Mangaka/Illustrator+* sketchytiger's Avatar
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    Yup!

    If I don't watch and read, then I would lose like I have for a month ^__^;;; I've been listening to Green Day and other American songs and have lost VERY little not a lot of Japanese. It's a good thing I haven't lost my language skill!

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    Quote Originally Posted by n12y3
    Sono hito ga iru kashira....
    誰のことを言っているのですか?

    Sono sounds a little funny referring to an unnamed someone.
    そういう人がいるのかな? そういう人が存在するの? are maybe better in the case you were trying to be more inclusive and meant 'that kind of' or 'such a sort of' (odd person that would want to learn a language on their own.)

  8. #8
    Angelic Fruitcake pinkkillerkisou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sketchytiger
    I did! ^__^

    First I watched anime in jp with eng sub ^__^

    Then I learned some of the spoken languages often used [in roomaji x_X;;;]

    And then I learned the characters hiragana and katakana ^______^

    And THEN I grabbed the book and learned the kanji owO
    I listened to Japanese music and watched anime 5 years before ever taking a Japanese class. I assure you you can't learn very much from them. I highly doubt you have mastered the Japanese language this way. How could you possibly know how to properly form sentences without ever using a textbook or some type of language program?

  9. #9
    *+Mangaka/Illustrator+* sketchytiger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkkillerkisou
    I listened to Japanese music and watched anime 5 years before ever taking a Japanese class. I assure you you can't learn very much from them. I highly doubt you have mastered the Japanese language this way. How could you possibly know how to properly form sentences without ever using a textbook or some type of language program?
    First of all, I watched anime with subtitles! For the music, I read the lyrics both roomaji and english! After that, I read the roomaji and the kanji, hiragana and katakana so I would know which character is which! ^-^ To know the sentence structure, the same with music, and a little help with my Japanese friend! ^__^v And oh yeah, I use dictionary just to make sure the meaning is correct or not

  10. #10
    Mike Cash
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    So perhaps you meant to say that you have had some degree of success learning that way....not that you are "fluent"???

  11. #11
    Traveler of eternity dreamer's Avatar
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    hum...maybe it's almost the case for me with english...?
    Although I'm not very good yet, I learned english through watching videogames and movies. Of course I had english courses at school but I never really listened and I've never been able to remember the grammar rules...
    still I think that the time I spent in UK allowed me to improve far more than all those years spent in front of the lil screen...
    One of the most adventurous things left for us is to go to bed. For no one can lay a hand on our dreams....

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    Im kinda annoyed with myself for not using my books! I first started learning japanese when I was 8 with some of my japanese friends... I only remembered two words by the time it came to taking Japanese at school. Even after working in a japanese hair salon for a year with all japanese staff, and living with japanese people with limited english I still wouldnt dare say that I was any good at anything other than 'conversational japanese'. One problem I found when learning Korean by myself is that its sooo easy to not bother about the things you find boring. Then when it comes to basic things, its difficult, and people look at you funny when you can understand them talking about other situations, and not 'how did you get home last weekend when you had drunken too much in Hong Dae' (I had this situation recently... still cursing myself for not starting from basics)
    I read all the korean subtitles on TV, but doesnt mean that I understand it.

    Kara-Nari Smarty-Pants Wiz-Girl of the Southern Pacific Queen of Communication and International Arbitration and Diplomatic Solutions to Hairy Territorial Issues Her Majesty the Empress コクネ・ you quite rightly deserve the title for your individuality !

  13. #13
    いしてる里絵子 Damicci's Avatar
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    I am self studying. Now but I wouldn't say You could learn much from watching anime. It would take alot of studying for that. But everybody is different so there is no real way to tell if it is possible or not. But I don't think many people would be able to learn another language unless in the enviroment with a willingness to learn and listen.

    Maybe hypnosis????
    私の唇の上で君の唇を感じたい。。。。。
    http://damicci.blogspot.com

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    Your Goddess is here Ma Cherie's Avatar
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    I learned to speak Japanese on my own, mainly because I started when I was fourteen and the school I went to didn't teach any kind of foriegen language. But I learned some japanese by listening to some anime theme songs. But listening to the language being spoken is really helpful.
    “All right then, I’ll go to hell”―and tore it up. It was awful thoughts and awful words, but they was said. And I let them stay said; and never thought no more about reforming.
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  15. #15
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    I'm 100% sure that it's possible, but I think age is a crucial factor to take into consideration. The younger you are the easier you learn a language on your own, IF you have enough source material(television works best, since you can conclude the meanings of the words out of the actions shown)

  16. #16
    Mike Cash
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    Television, I believe, has been shown to be a poor source material since it is a one-way medium. No corrective feedback loop is present.

  17. #17
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    Well, with the title "learning language on your own" I meant WITHOUT corrective feedback. I'm interested in finding out how many people here have learned to speak a language (fluently) without the benefit of corrective feedback. TV is perfectly okay for that job.

    I agree that it's probably alot easier WITH that corrective feedback loop present.

  18. #18
    Mike Cash
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    Yeah, I know what you meant. Threads tend to drift a bit as they go along.

    Just keep in mind what I told you about the general tendency for foreigners to self-assess their proficiency on the high side.

  19. #19
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    i'm..... slowly and appaulingly teaching myself japanese.... i'm really bad with languages, and of cause it doesn't help being dyslexic... however, i do find reading romanji a lot easier than english.... i still get a lot wrong and i have no idea what i'm saying, but i still find it easier.
    i think i would struggle a lot more if i didn;t have all the japanese films and jrock and clips from them to listen to... i get all happy when i understand something they're saying... but i do think you need some feed back from others... my friend's always correcting me... and she';s not fluent, but she has been taking classes for a while now.
    i do know people who have doen pretty well teaching themselves a language without classes... a few friends taught themselves some latin, and others russian... but they still used books... i mean... how many films do you find spoken in latin?

    also, the problem subtitles and song translations is... they aren't always translated correctly... they're moderated to make more sence or to sound better....

  20. #20
    Horizon Rider Kinsao's Avatar
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    I'm attempting to teach myself Japanese (luckily I can go to class in September so I won't have to struggle any more on my own, yay!). I've been learning for a few months from a text book. I have learned quite a bit but I'm still not very good, lol. (In fact, I have a Japanese friend that I can talk with on the phone sometimes to help my pronunciation.) I think it's possible to learn quite well from books but obviously not the pronunciation; that's where 'learning by yourself' completely is no use.

    It's satisfying to be able to listen to songs and pick out bits of what people are singing. I'm like a little child - "hey! I understood that!" Also, looking at the translations is interesting coz you can see how it has been changed to make more sense in English (or whatever) and compare English translation on the net with your own knowledge. I'd say music isn't so much use for learning, but it has got good use, in vocab, because often I'm listening or trying to translate and I'll find a word I don't know and make the effort to look for it and make sense of it. So, I've expanded my vocab, which now includes lots of really useless phrases, lol!

    But, I guess songs are often distorted in a way to make them more poetic, in the same way we do with lyrics in English.

    Oh, and incidentally I learned hiragana (not started katakana yet, but the hiragana were quite easy to learn so I imagine the katakana won't be too bad...) - that enables me to use the dictionary. Kanji looks to be way out of my league for a good long time...!

  21. #21
    いしてる里絵子 Damicci's Avatar
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    I love corrective feedback. I think that is the best way to learn. How can you learn anything without something letting you know your not doing something right. I want to take a class but with a full time work schedule it is really hard. So I rely on nice people like Mike, elizabeth, epigene, pipo, gp, glenn and the MANY others ralian who tell me "your grammar is jacked up" to help me out when I have questions, And my Japanese friends who love the fact that i am studying so hard. Also encouragement I think is another factor to keep one's spirits high when studying a new language. It's always nice to have someone tell you your doing good. This leads back to feedback.

  22. #22
    bronze squire AngkorianKnight's Avatar
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    It hard to do, I tried to teach myself Khmer (Cambodia's language) and it was very hard, even though I have Khmer blood and basically grew up in a Khmer family. I can barely read and write yet alone speak in Khmer. As for learning Japanese, I could have never done that alone.

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