Second (spoken) Languages by cmccabe | tildeverse BBJ

>0 cmccabe @ 2018/09/07 11:30

Are you studying a foreign language? If so, what tools or methods are you using?

I studied Spanish in high school and college, and then learned some Chinese on my own.  Now I'm trying to keep those up, and hopefully improve them, using Duolingo.  I'm curious what other tools or methods I should consider -- with the caveat that my free time for langauge study is pretty limited.

>1 khuxkm @ 2018/09/07 13:49


I'm learning Spanish at school (it's the only foreign language they offer, and aside from wanting to be bilingual, I need it for that sweet sweet credit towards Advanced Regents Diploma)
and picking up bits and pieces of other languages.

>2 erxeto @ 2018/09/07 14:00


If anybody needs help with Spanish, I'm native speaker, so don't hesitate to ask !

>3 ben @ 2018/09/07 14:21

not currently studying any, but i consider myself to be functionally fluent in german and spanish.

i'm a but rusty given that i don't get many opportunities to practice, 
but i'm fairly certain i could be back up to speed within a week or two.

>4 erxeto @ 2018/09/07 14:29


Just as an (maybe dumb) idea, a voice service (mumble or something similar) to voice chat for tildes would be nice. Maybe some people use it to practice their languages or anything else !

>5 ben @ 2018/09/07 14:31


we have one already :)

info at

>6 erxeto @ 2018/09/07 14:33


ben, you install so many services for the tildeverse that one cannot keep up ! hahahahaha

>7 ben @ 2018/09/07 14:36


heh i suppose that's a problem! i try to keep and up to date but it's tricky sometimes!

just remind me and i can update stuff!

>8 tomasino @ 2018/09/09 17:27


I studied Italian in high school for three years. It comes back whenever I'm in
Italy, but I can't piece together much at all when in the States. I also learned
Japanese in college, but nothing stuck except some formal greetings due to lack
of regular practice.

Now I'm learning Icelandic. I've been using Memrise for about a year to practice
my pronunciation and get some basic vocabulary in place. Starting next month
I'll be starting intensive tutoring with a native speaker over Skype. 

In my experience there's not really much that affects my learning one way or
the other beyond regular practice. If you can be in an immersive environment
then you're practicing all the time and it goes faster. If you are doing it for
15 minutes in an app without any other engagement it will take a lot longer.
Really it's the same as learning an instrument.

Good luck with your Spanish!

>9 cmccabe @ 2018/09/10 11:27


Thanks tomasino.  I will look into memrise.

I have been spending around 30-45 minutes a day on Duolingo Chinese and Spanish.  Both have helped a lot with vocabulary acquisition, grammar and (for Chinese) picking up new characters.  I don't have many opportunities for immersion with Spanish, but my wife is Chinese so I get a lot of spoken Chinese daily.

I still like Duolingo a lot, but I'm getting so habituated to its interaction patterns that I just want to try something different for a while.  I'll be especially curious to see if memrise is good for Chinese characters.

>10 dozens @ 2018/10/11 00:26


I speak esperanto and am learning spanish. I have a couple of notes on
resources and stuff that I use in my hole:

- gopher://

- gopher://

My main plan of attack with learning a language is this.

1. duolingo - pretty good for learning basic grammar and basic vocabulary. It's
shit at teaching you useful phrases (instead you learn stuff like "Why do
giraffes not lay eggs?") but it's really gamified and so it's good at creating
a daily study habit, and it has a very active community: you can ask questions
and get answers.

2. vocabulary - use a flashcard app like memrise or tinycards. Memrise is
really good.

3. "immersion" - find a podcast in your target language you like. Read the
wikipedia front page in your target language. maybe find a telegram or a
discord of people who are learning the same language as you are.

Reddit has lots of good general tips and language specific tips: