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Poll: How did you mainly learn your source language(s)?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 21:26
SITE STAFF
May 27, 2016

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "How did you mainly learn your source language(s)?".

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:26
Spanish to English
+ ...
Lived abroad May 27, 2016

I only studied beginners Spanish as a six-month filler class in my final year at uni, and must admit my attendance at said class was appalling. My degree was in French and Russian, both of which I studied for several years.
When I first came to Spain to teach TEFL a quarter of a century ago, I could only say rudimentary things like 'where is the bus stop/my luggage/How much is that?/thank you'... But I quickly acquired the language by mingling with native speakers of all shapes and sizes and reading local newspapers, etc. I'd say I was reasonably fluent after a year.


 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 14:26
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Studied it at college May 27, 2016

However, all the pieces of the jigsaw began to fall into place when I started living here.

 

Natalie Soper  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:26
French to English
+ ...
Uni May 27, 2016

Funnily enough, I also learnt Spanish from a beginner's/ab initio level at uni. My degree was in French and TEFL, and when I realised that I was going to hate the TEFL part, my tutor said "Meh, do a French and Spanish degree instead!" They didn't offer a single-honours French degree at the time, so that was that!

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 05:26
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other May 27, 2016

Studied + lived abroad!

I thought I was fluent in French when I came to Brussels in 1985 as I had taken French classes from 5 till 18 and I used to read a lot in French, but total immersion is quite a different kettle of fish! I soon found out that I didn’t know how to say simple things, like how to ask for a steak or a cutlet in the butcher’s shop (Thanks God for supermarkets) or for a bus and subway pass. After a few months I was really fluent…

[Edited at 2016-05-27 09:22 GMT]


 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:26
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Studied May 27, 2016

A lot!

 

Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:26
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other May 27, 2016

Bad poll. Namely, I experienced/did four of the options.

 

Katrin Bosse  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:26
Member (2009)
Dutch to German
+ ...
Studied + lived abroad + reading/self-taught May 27, 2016

Pity that the poll doesn't allow multiple answers...

I learned Dutch, the language that generates most of my income, by "osmosis" through living in the country for many years.
Adding a university degree in translation to it after I moved back to Germany did, of course, help, but I never took classes. Instead, I taught Dutch to foreign students at uni for six years and learned a lot through that, as well.


English, too, is an amalgam of various approaches over several decades. I wouldn't be able to identify a "main way" if I tried...

[Bearbeitet am 2016-05-27 08:51 GMT]


 

Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 23:26
German to English
+ ...
other May 27, 2016

German was my mother tongue. We moved to Canada when I was five and continued to speak it. I also learned to read and write the language as a child and then studied it as a "foreign language" at university.
French - bilingual country, so both environment and formal studies.


 

John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:26
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other May 27, 2016

Married+Lived+Studied+Self-taught.

Came to Spain in 1985. Married here 3 years later. Studied for the highest level of the DELE and passed. Watched films and TV in Spanish and Catalan, read newspapers and books, asked lots of questions, got laughed at when I made a silly mistake (probably the most effective way to learn because you never make the same mistake twice)...

The possibilities have been endless and I imagine will continue to be since I'm not planning on going anywhere else to live.


 
Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member for the following reason: Requested by user.

Chie. I  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 14:26
Member (2013)
English to Japanese
+ ...
Combination of above May 27, 2016

Parrot wrote:

Bad poll. Namely, I experienced/did four of the options.


oral communication through living abroad watching TV drama, grammar through living abroad reading comics, and reading skill hard work at college class.

Mainly my passion came from wanting to get to know people that live and speak in different culture but it is a bit curious I learnt it alone all the way. (now I am happier with colleagues abroad)


 

Patricia Charnet
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:26
English to French
Exchange program May 27, 2016

Studied English a lot then with an exchange program was a language assistant in the UK - stayed to improve my command of English ... that was 29 years ago! English is such a difficult language to master to perfectionicon_biggrin.gif

 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 05:26
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Mistakes... May 27, 2016

John Cutler wrote:

(..) got laughed at when I made a silly mistake (probably the most effective way to learn because you never make the same mistake twice)...


Mistakes, contrary to common belief, are an important learning tool!


 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
by necessity May 27, 2016

As clever specialists pretentiously state, it's but an internalization via self-teaching out of necessity.

I just needed English to understand how to play those text-based adventures and other oversea stuff, then we had a lot English classes, then uni, then office...
As far as classes took me so long, it must be it.

No, I don't know any English, may be just a bit)


 
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