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foreign languages

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Hello

We want to get our kids into leaning a second, maybe a third language.

The languages we like are Chinese Mandarin/Russian/French/Hebrew/Spanish

We like the concept of learning from the language of another superpower like China/Russia

We love the romance of french

Spanish is important, but so many americans already speak it

Hebrew is cool, but I have read only 8 million speak it, and most of thise speak english anyway.

What do you all think? Do you speak any of these?

Then there is Fluenz-Rosetta Stone-Michel Thomas-Pimsleur, etc for learning?
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Re: foreign languages

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My son learns Japanese here in Australia that is another language to consider. I speak Swedish which gets you by in Danish, Norwegian, Dutch, and Islandic as well but almost everyone in those nations knows English and English is tightly intermixed into them. I also know Manx, a Galic language spoken by very small numbers of people
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Re: foreign languages

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I speak a couple of languages found in the middle east. However I am now learning Hebrew and Italian is my next venture. My children also speak the languages I grew up with simply because it's passed down from generations. My father speaks 9 languages my exhusband spoke 5. But when you live overseas you tend to learn several languages. We have it easy here :D
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Re: foreign languages

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The three languages I've always considered most useful to learn are Spanish, Arabic, and Mandarin Chinese. I think they encompass not only the most amount of the world's population, but also the most regions, and in the business world would have the most application. Unfortunately Spanish is the only one I've really learned any of.

The main obstacle in learning languages is that unless you use the language in either your social life or for your job, it's less likely to stick. I just don't ever encounter those languages in my daily life, with the exception of a little Spanish, so it's hard to find a use or a motivation for any languages.
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Re: foreign languages

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Fairminded wrote:The three languages I've always considered most useful to learn are Spanish, Arabic, and Mandarin Chinese.

+1
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Re: foreign languages

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We were looking at the free preview of Fluenz language system. It looks really good.
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Re: foreign languages

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My husband speaks Mandarin and its not a bad language to know business wise I suppose. But he just learned it because he loves China. He has a real love for the Chinese people and the culture. I personally would like to learn another language myself. But its much harder to do when you cant submerse yourself in the culture.
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Re: foreign languages

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firend wrote: We love the romance of french...


What's that supposed to mean?
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Re: foreign languages

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My brother bought the first 3 phases of Rosetta Stone for Arabic. Disclaimer: he served his mission in Lisbon, Portual, so is very adept at Portuguese. Plus I've heard the first foreign language you learn is the hardest. Anyway, he learned some Arabic and even has an Arabic BoM, but realized he wasn't picking it up nearly as fast. Two reasons, IMO, 1) A lack of the Gift of Tougues (at least to the extent he needed it on the mission) and B) No Full Immersion. It makes it really hard for the language to "stick" if you aren't speaking it while learning it.

I also got into a philosophical debate about learning Arabic as an American. Needless to say, I think he should have picked another language.

Me? I'm interested in German, Russian, and Mandarin, in that order. Mainly because if needs be in a RWOL or invasion, I could pass as an actual German or Russian, but as hard as I try, I can't look Chinese. B-) Joking.

But seriously, Germany is the puppet master of the EU right now, and is feeding Russia money too. They will have a larger role in the NWO than many realize...4th Reich?
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Re: foreign languages

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What's wrong with an America learning Arabic pray tell?
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Re: foreign languages

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You might be interested in knowing that Pres. Kimball suggested saints learn the lesser known languages to prepare for teaching the gospel in those countries. He specifically mentioned Arabic. It's extremely difficult if you're not living in a foreign country, but it's valuable even if you never really get fluent. You learn all sorts of amazing things from language.
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Re: foreign languages

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I found this to be a fascinating read...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic_influence_on_the_Spanish_language

Yeah, I'd also like to know why an American would be dissuaded from learning Arabic. I hope it's not what I think it is. /:)
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Re: foreign languages

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Believe it or not English is a hard language to learn compared to other languages. Other languages how you speak it is usually how you write it... not english :-?

Yes, I too would like to know why the discouragement of learning Arabic is being that it’s one of the languages my family speaks.
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Re: foreign languages

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I guess the reason I got into the discussion with my brother was his reasoning behind learning Arabic. The reason I think an American (U.S. citizen) has better options when it comes to learning a language, cold turkey, is due to possibilities of exposure to those other languages and uses in the future. Learning Arabic because it's the hot button topic politically right now isn't reason enough for me (as it was for him). I told my brother, unless he's seriously considering Middle East intelligence, the Oil and Energy sector or archaic civilizations/archeology, i.e. areas where his exposure would be high, some other language might prove more beneficial here in the U.S. of A. The rising Superpower in our own hemisphere speaks Portuguese, which he already knows, but I wouldn't mind knowing for instance. Germany, like I said is proving itself extremely assertive right now in Western economies. And like the Big O said, "If all the oil revenues were taken from the net oil exporters in the Middle East, the total non-oil GDP of the region would be equivalent to Switzerland" ($500 billion).

I understand you learn all sorts of amazing things from language, and it can be said for any new language you learn. Elder Russell M. Nelson spoke to our Stake last year and told us the First Presidency specifically told the Brethren to learn Mandarin Chinese. Elder Nelson said he took some courses and learned basic conversational Chinese! Then he spoke some for us. I have to admit I was impressed, but the commandment wasn't for me, it was for the Twelve Apostles.

Anyway, I'm just of the opinion, that should an American be throwing darts at the Language dartboard, for the sake of learning a language, there's at least a half a dozen languages in this part of the world that would be more prudent than Arabic.
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Re: foreign languages

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I'd learn Latin. I haven't done it myself but I understand that sets you up to quite easily pick up Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and others.

Also useful in a medical or legal career, and also some of the sciences, particularly biology.
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Re: foreign languages

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Thank you for the clarification.

My father and my ex-husband both said something that stuck with me. Always know the language of your enemy so you will know before he attacks. There is some truth to this statement. My father was in a country that was surounded by countries that hated us then mix in it was the time of communism... well it was very important to educate yourself with the languages of those countries to be aware. My ex-husband was a fighter in his motherland so it was critical he know the language. However they both learned the languages long before danger had presented itself when they were older.

So I wonder if their parents/family/society forsaw the dangers ahead and geared the to learn those languages?

I wish I could learn the language those Asian nail ladies are always speaking when I go to get my nails done. Dang I know they are talking about me and laughing at me X( :p
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Re: foreign languages

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Re: foreign languages

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sadie_Mormon wrote:I wish I could learn the language those Asian nail ladies are always speaking when I go to get my nails done. Dang I know they are talking about me and laughing at me X( :p

Most likely Cantonese? Good luck with that one! But its influence is waning.

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2. What would be useful
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Re: foreign languages

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I was surprised how pretty Arabic is when spoken. In my opinion it is a classier version of hebrew.

I think we are going to go with Madarin Chinese and French.
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Re: foreign languages

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Arabic is also visually beautiful.
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Re: foreign languages

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I speak English, Spanish and German. I grew up speaking English as my first language, though I'm Hispanic, having learned Spanish simultaneously. I learned and have maintained my German from my days as a missionary in Germany. I find I use Spanish quite often and am thankful to have grown up bilingual. My advice is to teach what is most useful, applicable and practical. Learning a Latin language like Spanish is a very good springboard to learning and understanding most Latin languages like Portuguese, Italian, French, etc. I'm not sure what I'd like to learn for a fourth language until it is something that would be practical to learn. Maybe Chinese or Hebrew for different reasons.
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Re: foreign languages

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gkearney wrote:Arabic is also visually beautiful.



? I have read that Arabic has many different dialects? As in it is a hard language to learn because many arabs speak somewhat different from other arabs? I don't know if this is true or not.

I have also read that a high percentage of arabs know english? Do you know it this is true? I know a majority of those who speak hebrew know english atleast somewhat.


Also coachmarc i completely agree to teach and learn what is most useful. I know Spanish especially the latin american dialect of spanish is so very useful. My problem with spanish is so many in americans already know it so it does not seem like it would give an edge to my kids on a job app someday. Yet hardly any americans know mandarin for example.

I think spanish is more useful than french overall, but I love the french language
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Re: foreign languages

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firend wrote:
gkearney wrote:Arabic is also visually beautiful.



? I have read that Arabic has many different dialects? As in it is a hard language to learn because many arabs speak somewhat different from other arabs? I don't know if this is true or not.

I have also read that a high percentage of arabs know english? Do you know it this is true? I know a majority of those who speak hebrew know english atleast somewhat.


As I travel a great deal I think I can try and answer this. Much of the Arab speaking world came under the influence of the British empire or France in the late 19th century and it is true that many educated Arabs do speak English or as in Syria French. The same true for other outposts of the British empire such as India Sri Lanka Mayasia and so on.

Learning another language how ever is not purely a practical matter. Of the languages I know the most useful to me has been sign language for the deaf. Swedish I learned from living there, the best way and the Swedes make ALL immigrants even non permanent one take language and culture classes something I wish we did here. Interesting that if you are in Sweden illegally one of the things the courts will count in your favor is if you can prove you are in or have taken such a class.

Finally there is learning a language for heritage reasons like my Manx Galic sure only a few thousand people know it and all of them speak English too but that's not the point. Speaking Galic keeps a cultue and it learning and values alive in those who trace there origins to it. The same is true with any language and the loss of a language is always a tragic thing because with that loss the culture itself is lost.
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Re: foreign languages

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My experience:

-German in HS & at BYU after my mission (last name is German and I really anted to serve my mission there)
-Japanese (mission language)
-Russian (1 semester at BYU because I couldn't get into the Jap. course I needed. Next semester Pres. Monson said missionaries can go into/come from E. Germany and that Fall the Berlin Wall fell - I couldn't get into a Russian class for the next 4 years at BYU - everyone wanted to be sent to Russia for their missions)
-Latin (1 semester course offered at George Wythe College)
-Hebrew (a few weeks audited at SUU in Cedar City)
-French (various attempts to learn on my own - all abortive)
-Elvish (Queyna & Sindarin - JRR Tolkien's High & common Elvish languages) :-B :D

Of course I barely remember anything from any of these languages...

In retrospect, if I hadn't been terribly shy I would have gone much farther in these languages. It sucks when you are too scared to open your mouth to talk to strangers, for any reason (including trying to get a date :-o :(( :-ss #-o ) - I did much better at translating written texts.

I would like to learn all these I mentioned, but also add (no particular order):

Anglo-Saxon
Old Norse/Icelandic
Welsh/Celtic/Gaelic
Finnish

Italian
Spanish
Persian
Mandarin Chinese

The first group is simply because I am a Tolkien nut and love the history of language and how it ties into/shaped the history of peoples/nations (include Elvish here :D :-B )
The second group I see as more practical (along with the group I actually studied).
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Re: foreign languages

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Klingon -


NEVER!!! (not for me anyways) :-o
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Re: foreign languages

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HeirofNumenor wrote:-Elvish (Queyna & Sindarin - JRR Tolkien's High & common Elvish languages) :-B :D
But not the language of Mordor, right? :-ss


As for online resources, Mango Languages has a nice format. Not saying it's the end-all, be-all for language learning, but we've gotten a lot out of it, and the kids enjoy it, though it's not fun, per se. And it's not a free site, but your local library might have access to it.
http://www.mangolanguages.com

The languages they have on their site, as of the time of this writing ;) are:
Arabic (Levantine)
Chinese (Cantonese)
Chinese (Mandarin)
Croatian
Czech
Danish
Dari
Dutch
Farsi (Persian)
Finnish
French
French (Canadian)
German
Greek
Haitian Creole
Hawaiian
Hebrew
Hindi
Indonesian
Irish
Italian
Japanese
Korean
Norwegian
Pashto
Pirate
Polish
Portuguese (Brazil)
Russian
Slovak
Spanish (Latin America)
Tagalog
Tamil
Thai
Turkish
Ukrainian
Urdu
Vietnamese


Also, doing a Google search on "polyglot" lead me to a great deal of very interesting blogs and online resources. :ymcowboy:
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Re: foreign languages

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Want the definitive world wide list? Go here http://www.ethnologue.com/language_index.asp
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