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In need of a little language advice!
January 31, 2012
03:40
kristinL

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Hello everybody,

I have been learning Italian for a few months now and it is coming along good.  I have read Benny's book and taken all of his advice but now I have a slight problem! I just recently started a new university and a new job at the exact same time.  Not to mention the fact that I am always busy with school and work now… I travel 2 hours a day by car to get back and forth to school.  In those hours I usually listen to my podcasts and such in Italian to help me continue to learn.  Now, I have to take Spanish classes in school because my school really wanted me to go with that language instead of Italian.  So I am in just a hard place right now because I have become so busy in such a short period of time and now instead of only learning one language I am now learning two at the same time!! I have still been trying to follow the things Benny tells us all…. but I still need some advice on maybe how to manage it a little better so I can succeed in my language goals. And I may need a little encouragement.  Any advice would be great. Thanks:)

 Native:  Learning:    Goals:   
February 2, 2012
00:29
alexandra
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I am trying to learn Spanish as well,with nobody to talk to and no way to travel abroad right now, frustrating! Your situation is not too bad though, Spanish and Italian have a lot in common, you may be able to just learn both together. My friend is Italian and he reads my Spanish homework pretty well!

February 2, 2012
02:50
Alasdair
Canterbury, England

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Useful thing I discovered today

 

The language101 (Chinese101/Russian101) podcasts have iGoogle widgets which give you a word of the day with example sentences and audio. If iGoogle is your homepage then you could have a new word every day in seconds en-route to whatever you're doing on the computer for work. 

 

Filling up those seconds between minutes is crucial

February 2, 2012
04:17
kristinL

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Thanks! To alexandra if you want to exchange skypes or something we could help each other out.  I have a friend who is spanish and I have friends on skype to help me with spanish.  

 

To Alasdair: Where can I find these Language 101 things? Thanks for the advice!!  I know I need to really start filling up my day more with those crucial minutes, I try to do it as much as I can but I can always improve with it.

 Native:  Learning:    Goals:   
February 2, 2012
13:31
NKellyEmerald
Dublin, Ireland

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http://www.italianpod101.com/

 

http://www.spanishpod101.com/

 

Good luck Kristin, Alexandra! :D Italian and Spanish are two very rewarding languages and, should you ever go there, the Italians are a very warm, friendly bunch of people. I have very warm memories of my times there. ;)

Native:   Gaeilge,  English Studies:  Polish On Hold:  Spanish Next:  Italian
Is cainteoir dúchais Gaeilge mé. Same with English. Zacząłem uczyć się polskiego, y ahora, he dejado aprender el castellano.
February 3, 2012
00:26
Jarvis1000

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I say that is hard, do you want to learn Spanish as much as Italian If you wanted to learn both just as much, you could devote half your time to one language and the other to the other language.  If not, I would say just study enough for the grade you want. 

 

Its not complicated advice just how I see things

February 4, 2012
22:31
kristinL

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Thank you very much:) That is helpful advice! 

 

I want to learn both very badly, but first Italian of course.  I do not want to only get the grade, I want to go above and beyond:) 

 

Would it be a bad idea if I studied Spanish from like an Italian point of view and Italian through Spanish? If this is making any sense, basically just to force myself to use both the languages and barley any English or as little English as possible.

 

Thanks again!

 Native:  Learning:    Goals:   
February 4, 2012
22:56
NKellyEmerald
Dublin, Ireland

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kristinL said:

Would it be a bad idea if I studied Spanish from like an Italian point of view and Italian through Spanish? If this is making any sense, basically just to force myself to use both the languages and barley any English or as little English as possible.

Hm, yes… what you've mentioned there is a variation of something called the 'Ladder Method'. I'm not sure about learning both languages at the same time using what you've suggested though. In order to learn well you'd need to know at least one of the languages well enough to understand the explanations.

 

However, if you're interested in the laddering method;

It's basically where you study one language until you have a fair comprehension of it, enough to consider yourself at an advanced level, and when you decide to move on to another language, you learn your second foreign language though your first foreign language. For example, say I've learned French as my first foreign language, now I want to learn Spanish. I'll buy 'Espagnol sans peine', an Assimil course in Spanish for French speakers, and learn using that. Therefore I'd be getting practise in both languages. (if you're interested in an explanation of the method that doesn't suck, try here: http://www.alljapaneseallthetime.com/blog/how-to-learn-multiple-langua…..ing-method )

 

In your case, I'd recommend learning only what Spanish you need to get good grades, and continue learning Italian to an advanced level, and once you're there in Italian, you can pick up a Spanish course for Italian speakers and raise both languages at the same time. (But this is only because you seem more set on learning Italian, you can of course do it the opposite way round!)

 

Sorry if all that was in any way complicated… I don't think I've explained it as well as I could have! :) As always, if you've any questions, don't hesitate! :D

Native:   Gaeilge,  English Studies:  Polish On Hold:  Spanish Next:  Italian
Is cainteoir dúchais Gaeilge mé. Same with English. Zacząłem uczyć się polskiego, y ahora, he dejado aprender el castellano.
February 4, 2012
23:42
kristinL

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No, you have explained it perfectly!! I am more interested in Italian right now of course! I just needed some advice because I am in a situation where I have to learn both at the same time and I really wanted to be able to get one down really well FIRST before I started any other language.  I just do not want to spend too much time splitting them up and not getting the results that I would like:) I guess right now I will continue studying my Italian more and slowly build up my Spanish…. is that a decent idea?:)

 Native:  Learning:    Goals:   
February 5, 2012
00:27
JWood424
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I just wanted to add that I think NKelly has it down.  I began learning languages using "the ladder method" without ever knowing what it was called, or that anyone else was doing the same thing.  One day, when I decided I wanted to learn Italian, I created an Anki deck using Spanish phrases as my base to learn Italian phrases.  My reasoning was that I did not want to lose my Spanish, so by using Spanish instead of English, I could reinforce my Spanish while still slowly learning Italian.  It sounds like you would benefit quite a bit by doing the same.  Since you already have several months of Italian as a base, you can continue expanding your Italian while adding whatever amount of Spanish you need to pass your course.  While some may say trying to learn two languages at once is difficult, I think you're going to do very well with it.  Good luck and keep us posted.

Speaks: English Learning:  Spanish    Wants to add: Portuguese  If you´re bored and want to follow my progress, check out: http://jaimito424.wordpress.com/ 
February 5, 2012
01:50
NKellyEmerald
Dublin, Ireland

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kristinL said:

is that a decent idea?:)

I'm glad you understood, I felt like I was rambling a little bit! :D I think as long as you're doing enough to do well in school it seems like the best idea to keep you happy and interested in your language goals. :) 

Native:   Gaeilge,  English Studies:  Polish On Hold:  Spanish Next:  Italian
Is cainteoir dúchais Gaeilge mé. Same with English. Zacząłem uczyć się polskiego, y ahora, he dejado aprender el castellano.
February 5, 2012
13:48
Randybvain
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I didn't know it has a name, but I also learn other languages via my second language i.e Englishlaugh

Native: Polski | Fluent: English Cymraeg  Français | Elementary and beginner: LATĪNVM Русский
I learned also a bit: Ελληνική γλώσσα Словѣньскъ Gaeilge I would like to learn: Català Deutsch Lietuvių 官话 Kaszëbsczi jãzëk
Polska strona języka walijskiego

The Minstrel's Glade

February 5, 2012
14:11
NKellyEmerald
Dublin, Ireland

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Randybvain said:

I didn't know it has a name, but I also learn other languages via my second language i.e Englishlaugh

Haha, everything these days has a name and a category it seems, randy! :P

Native:   Gaeilge,  English Studies:  Polish On Hold:  Spanish Next:  Italian
Is cainteoir dúchais Gaeilge mé. Same with English. Zacząłem uczyć się polskiego, y ahora, he dejado aprender el castellano.
February 5, 2012
15:39
crushalanguage
Oxford, Michigan USA

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The most important thing is to concentrate on one language at a time and try to come away with at least one short new phrase that you can say and remember before you end that session.

I have a day job, currently am keeping up with 4 foreign languages (German, French, Spanish and Portuguese), have two young daughters and do Internet marketing.

And I'm learning Mandarin. (Not because of Benny. I started when my older daughter started learning it in Kindergarten.)

Time has never been a problem. Focus is the key.

So whatever you do, concentrate on only one task ("mission") at a time. One language at a time. One phrase at a time. And make sure you come away with a phrase that you can repeat.

Greet your classmates with it.

That way you feel like you have accomplished something and are constantly moving forward.

Achievement is highly motivating.

Keep it small and keep it simple.

A "session" can be as little as 5-15 minutes.

You say you drive a lot. My commute is about 40 minutes each way. My car is my complete immersion language learning magical kingdom. When I close the car door, I'm transported into a magical world where languages come easy. 

When my language exchange partners aren't available on Skype, I listen and repeat phrases from Michel Thomas, Lonely Planet Phrasebook audio, Pimsleur, some other audio source, depending on the language.

Learning in the car is great, since driving, even in nasty traffic, is boring and your mind needs a place to go. 

As long as you focus, learn a new phrase at each sitting, and keep at it, I think you'll be amazed at how easily you can learn Spanish and Italian and do all those others things you mention.

Speaks: American English Spanish  Portuguese German French  Learning:   Italian Mandarin
February 5, 2012
15:42
aapplejuicee
Italy

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The language101 (Chinese101/Russian101) podcasts have iGoogle widgets which give you a word of the day with example sentences and audio. If iGoogle is your homepage then you could have a new word every day in seconds en-route to whatever you're doing on the computer for work. 

There's this, too

http://www.transparent.com/wotd/today/italian.html  

     
feel free to correct my mistakes,
I will appreciate it!
February 5, 2012
18:21
kristinL

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Great advice everyone, this is really helpful for me:) I love the support.

 

(I do not know how to paste the section of what someone typed on here so sorry)

To: crushalanguage

I really like what you said about the how your car turns into an immersion language magical kingdom! Total I travel about 2-3 hours a day to get back and forth to school!! I really rely on this time to help me with my language learning, and recently when I have my breaks instead of going to sit with my friends and do nothing…. I will go sit somewhere by myself and do my studies just because my friends are not serious about something like this as I am, and I really want to learn:) 

 

Anyways, I am searching for a group of people to talk to in Italian around campus, they have it for Spanish so they must have it for Italian also.

 

Thanks again to everyone, awesome support!!

 Native:  Learning:    Goals:   
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