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foreign language [Dec. 5th, 2007|10:50 pm]
Anyone have any experience with teaching themselves a foreign language using "Rosetta Stone" software?
Did you learn well, are you fluent? Is the program worth the money? Any other suggestions for this type of thing?


[User Picture]From: tristan_moore
2007-12-06 05:26 am (UTC)
V didn't use Rosetta but he knows some good Programs for learning Japanese. I will have him try to call you this weekend.
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[User Picture]From: thomasrhymer
2007-12-06 07:22 am (UTC)
Look for "zenith the high" on my friend list on my userinfo page. She & her husband live near me in Austin. They met & got to know each other while they were both teaching english in Japan. She probably has some good tips re:language, and just a lot of useful info about living in Japan in general.

Tell'er Thomas sent ya :)!
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[User Picture]From: dartpoly
2007-12-06 02:27 pm (UTC)
i've just heard standard positive scuttlebutt about it... mostly that the USGov uses it for training. (no sources on that; no idea on the veracity, but i believe it to be close enough to true to count as a recommendation myself.)
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[User Picture]From: musickal
2007-12-06 02:30 pm (UTC)
sorry I didnt get a chance to post to your last entry but *squee!!!!!!* I am sooooo excited for you about Japan!!! It is an amazing place to me!! Jordan and I took a university extension class, about 2-6 weeks, forget now, but it helped the most. We pirated rosetta stone software once and I like it, but I am generally to busy to sit for long enough to use it as it uses pictures to help teach words and sounds. J and I generally prefer to have tapes in our car or on my ipod. I love the idea of rosetta stone a lot though. Overall I would recommend a short quick class for the basics as it provides a real person to ask questions and friends to practice with. If you do not have time, then do what you can to eat sleep drink language learning. You can also take classes in Japan, with a bit of searching and asking around. I am sooooooooooooo excited for you.
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[User Picture]From: musickal
2007-12-06 02:34 pm (UTC)
for japan, if I recall, the subway was not in english much. The language is difficult and reading it is different looking than saying it, so focus on getting a few of most important kanji (letters) so you can read road signs and menus and then learning words of importance to say.

Also very helpful and important is learning the respectful ways of being in Japan culture as it is a very important aspect to their culture. I forget some of the things now, but things like not pointing at people, not pointing chopsticks at people, bowing, how to bow, taking things from others using both hands as a sign of respect and stuff like that. It wins major brownie points if you show some interest in respecting their culture!
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[User Picture]From: najwa_maryam
2007-12-06 04:32 pm (UTC)
yeah, last time we went, my little brother made sure I knew the basics of how to behave respectfully and not embarrass myself. When situations come up like, lets say, I go with David and his business and science guys to dinner, I may be the only woman at the table. I would have to figure out the order of importance of the men, and poor their drinks in the correct order with my husband always last. There are lots of details in their manners. They are a very civilized and refined people.
We were in Osaka last time. The street signs were Japanese words, but they were written in Roman letters.
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[User Picture]From: musickal
2007-12-07 04:27 am (UTC)
oh, doh! LOL, hon, my bad! I totally forgot you had gone before! I have such a bad memory. Dinner would have me sitting at the hotel in my pj's I think, lol! Are you excited to go back?
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[User Picture]From: najwa_maryam
2007-12-09 08:24 pm (UTC)
I am excited. It took me a while to get excited, because I had to go through a spell of fear. It's not that I ain't afraid, I"m just excited now on top of it. Ya know?
The university where David will be working has classes for the family members of international research professors, etc., like Flower Arranging, Japanese language, dance, all kinds of cool stuff. I'm going to do as much as I can.
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[User Picture]From: ladyoscar
2007-12-07 05:48 am (UTC)
Yay Japan! I'm glad you're going to get to do that.

I've got no tips for Japanese specifically, although I do have a Hiragana/Katakana phonetic "alphabet" (actually syllabic) program for my PDA (mine's an old model so I don't know if the same one would work for you but you can find these and download them I think). It's a good way to pass 5 minutes or so when waiting around, and it works.

My basic stragegy for language learning is to have lots and lots of AV stuff on hand. I didn't really begin to learn Spanish, despite years of study, until I began to watch Spanish-language television. Part of it is ear training; getting your ear accustomed enough to hearing the language so you can actually understand what you konw from booklearning. The other part is just drill; hearing things over and over again, and in different contexts.

I watch a lot of anime now - Japanese with English subtitles - and have picked up honorifics and common phrases without effort. I'd recommend any study take place with a healthy dose of anime afterwards. Oddly enough, you'll be able to pick up at least some common cultural stuff from anime also, even if the story line is about aliens from outer space.
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[User Picture]From: najwa_maryam
2007-12-09 08:25 pm (UTC)
I love anime. Thanks for the tip. That is a good idea.
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