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:

>11 a @ 2020/04/13 14:20

>>OP English and russian.

>12 Rushd @ 2020/05/12 10:56

My second language is English, my first language is Arabic.
I also went to Germany and stayed there for one year, so I speak a little bit of German as well. What language do I need to learn ? I need to learn Hebrew because I live in Palestine and I have no idea what do Israelis say ! LOL >>OP

>13 dfa @ 2020/06/01 05:07

I studied Chinese full time for 3 months at the end of 2017 in southern China (it was my minor in college).

In 2018, I studied 7 new words a day on average using Anki. Took anywhere between 15 mins and an hour a day, usually around 20 mins, assuming I hadn't procrastinated on it. I used ChineseTextAnalyzer to generate vocab from things I wanted to read. I was studying for the HSK 5 at the time though, so largely I worked from that vocab list (and out of the official books).

Anki is the best tool I've found for ingesting vocab. Reading is the most appealing usage of the language, after speaking it. I'm living in the midwest now and my Chinese speaking and listening skills are bad enough that it's a big favor for anyone to speak it with me.

Hah I haven't been studying or using the language recently, perhaps because I burnt myself out doing so much vocab. Likely if I were to resume, I would ditch the now-insurmountable pile of flashcards I've accumulated in Anki, and starting fresh, add 3 words a day from a book or collection of short stories that I wanted to read. is a nice platform for finding teachers and tutors. I used that for several months while prepping for the HSK 5. I think having a tutor is pretty essential for the added accountability.

>14 jebug29 @ 2020/06/20 18:17

I learned some amount of Spanish in high school and college (although didn't
continue it because I didn't like my college's course as much as my high
school one). I used to use it to talk to my friend sometimes, but now it's
pretty much gone completely dormant - not that there was a whole lot there to
begin with.

I spent the majority of last year at an international school in Japan where I
studied Japanese. I'm also beginning to lose it a bit too since I've been out
of practice for six months now, but honestly I love the language and want to
keep learning it. I really hope in a year to a year and a half's time I might
have the ability to go back to that school and continue studying -- finger's

>15 skeetcha @ 2020/07/28 21:43

I'm currently studying German and (sort of) American Sign Language. I'll start
with American Sign Language. The way I've learned ASL is different than most,
at least from what I've heard. My high school has a program for deaf students
where interpreters would go to their classes and interpret in ASL for the deaf
students (they would also be at all of the assemblies and other school events
where they were needed). Anyways, as the teacher or speaker was speaking, I'd
watch the interpreters and try to pick up on different signs. Also there was
a deaf girl in my PE class my first year of high school and she was able to
teach me a couple signs. From there, I learned from YouTube videos and
eventually took an ASL class at a local community college near me. It required
me to go to a sign language social to go speak with native signers. After I
went to that one, I kept going to them and kept learning ASL from the native

In terms of learning German, I started out using Duolingo, but I haven't been
using that app for a while now. What I've mostly used now is listening to
songs in German as well as watching YouTube videos in German and talking
with internet friends from Germany. I also have a bullet journal that I
journal in in German (to help with practicing output).

I took Spanish for two years in high school, but I never really thought much
of it at the time and have lost a not insignificant amount of my Spanish
knowledge. I would like to revisit Spanish and to learn it again to some
level of fluency.

>16 isvarahparamahkrsnah @ 2020/07/30 14:46

I can speak a few languages. I'm quite content with that.
Don't really have the will to learn yet another language.
I'm growing old. I think I can accomplish whatever I need to with the languages I know

>17 Geo @ 2020/08/04 05:32


Currently I'm studying Japanese at my university, it's one of my requirements for graduation (to study a language other than English for 2 years). I've completed half of it, but unfortunately I'm not very good, I still struggle a lot with even simple conversations. I know some German as well since my mother immigrated to the US from Germany, and she taught me some as a kid. I'm very good at pronouncing it, I learned all the sounds as a young child, but my vocabulary is pretty small and my grasp on grammar is quite weak since I haven't been able to do much with it in the US. I live in Hawaii, so I'd like to learn some Hawaiian sometime!

>18 russell @ 2020/08/28 16:38

I'm currently learning Spanish. I have a feeling the reason why is not as uncommon as people may think.

I dated a latina (we broke up, it happens) and I became interested in the language. Pre-covid I was taking a class but stopped shortly after it went online. Not really anything to do with Covid, I just lost interest.

Have been trying to pick it up again. It's hard as I do not have many people to speak or write the language with (exception being a new latina friend).

>19 jacksonbenete @ 2020/08/28 19:26

English is my second language. lol
But I've never studied it formarly, so I don't know much about grammar
and I propagate the same errors over and over again. I think I can
undestand dialogs very good as I often watch media without subtitles.
I can also read just ok, the problem is my output both written and

My native language is Portuguese and I'm studying Spanish right now
because I'm moving to Argentina. I was there before Pandemics but I've 
returned for some documents and ended stuck in my home country. I'll
come back soon to resume my studied, so if someone is interested we 
can talk but my Spanish isn't perfect yet.

For other languages, I've started Russian because before deciding to
live on Argentina I was going to Russia. And recently I've started
playing with Japanese, but as I need to focus on Spanish I can't study
more than one hour of Japanese daily.

>20 mieum @ 2020/08/31 14:02

I guess I'd be considered fluent in Korean, and I can read literary "Han" Chinese. I too studied Spanish in high school, but once I came to Korea, I quickly lost hold of it. 

If you're unable to be immersed in a Spanish soup of some sort, a casual pen-pal might be helpful for consistently using it. Or, you could start a Spanish phlog/gemlog :) In my experience with Korean, being immersed in it here is certainly a big factor, but reading and writing A LOT in Korean changed everything.

Might as well get phlogging :)

>21 peron @ 2020/09/07 05:01

Yo hablo español,. Pero un lugar como me ayuda a practicar inglés.
En mi caso no necesito herramientas especiales. Pero tengo que practicar mucho más la escritura en inglés.
Entiendo el francés, el portugués, y bastante el japonés. Pero no los puedo hablar.

>22 klu @ 2020/09/22 05:20

For anyone speaks Chinese (first/second language, or just learning), I created
a channel on called `#zh-*'. Feel free to drop in and say hi! I plan
to make it a little bit literature/culture focused - if I've time, I'll
probably create a bot to quote poems/verses etc. Just to make it more fun!

Feel free to #join #zh-*

>23 lohn @ 2020/11/24 08:58

>>OP Hi! I'm Brazilian, so English is my second spoke language.

>24 dgy @ 2020/12/21 22:38

My second language is english, actually. I took lessons as a child, then i took
a number of tests and aced them. I got all of my practice from
subtitled tv shows and printed media, and then from the internet.

Spanish is my mother tongue

>25 ramin @ 2020/12/29 15:38

I lived in Japan long enough to learn how to speak Japanese, but I don't really know how to read and write it. I still speak fluently in ordinary conversation.