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Windows 7: Any linguists among us?

10 Nov 2010   #1

MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 
Any linguists among us?

Hi all!

Just lost my job last week and have been looking for work. Whilst I have no formal IT training I still know my way round a computer. However that doesn't count for much to would be employers.

I've been looking at going back in to education. I'm 22 so I'm hoping it's not to late. Some time back I took a notion to learn German or Dutch. I know jobs in translation pay pretty good and it's something I wouldn't mind learning. I should point out that in school I did French (badly) and hated every moment of it but as I've got older I now appreciate education in a way I didn't back in school. I also came away with a C grade in GCSE English (UK peeps will know what that is.) which isn't exactly great, it's considered a bare minimum pass.

Anyway, I've been looking on some websites at online courses. If I did decide to go ahead with this I assume going to college or getting a tutor would be best since you would have someone who can explain the ins and outs of the language one to one.

So I just wanted to see if we had any people on here who speak multiple languages and how they went about learning and what their experiences were with learning a new language.

Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Nov 2010   #2

Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1 (desktop)
 
 

There are certainly some multi-lingual people here, but you'll find most of them are on your side of the Atlantic, as opposed to mine. It's fascinating to me that many Europeans for whom English is a second or third language write better than many Americans who only speak English.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Nov 2010   #3

 

Well, when the majority of reading materials you're interested in are in certain languages that can be a powerful motivator. I don't know about translation jobs paying well unless it's the ones dealing with specific technical areas. Short of going native I agree that a structured course would be your best bet for starting out. Striking out on your own, I found it easiest to start with childrens' books and folk tales. In my experience once I get past the grammar and general cultural idioms translation gets easy pretty fast and then it's only a matter of vocab. Momentum and motivation are crucial though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Nov 2010   #4

W7 X-64 RTM,SUSE 11.1, XP PRO SP3 as a VM, VMware ESXi
 
 

Hi there
when you are born in a Country with only around 300,000 inhabitants (and that's an over estimate) you have to learn other languages.

The main problem however if you are a Native English speaker is that most people just want to learn English and relish any opportunity to practice it so the chances are that even when you attempt to speak the foreign language people will answer in English --- Even in Paris where a few years ago people would do ANYTHING to avoid speaking English --it's the reverse now.

Just keep pressing on in the foreign language.

Internet Radio broadcasts are also good -- much clearer than the old fashioned "Short Wave Radios" we used to have when I was a youngster.

Read foreign papers too or look at the News media sites of the Countries you are interested in. The sites are often mult1-lingual so a help there.

Another excellent way is to watch a DVD in your Native language but with the subtitles of the language you want to learn switched on.

Also these courses are absolutely EXCELLENT

Read this Wiki and then search on Assimil. EXCELLENT and Natural method

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assimil

Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Nov 2010   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate
 
 

sarcasm is my native tounge
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Nov 2010   #6

MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
Hi there
when you are born in a Country with only around 300,000 inhabitants (and that's an over estimate) you have to learn other languages.

The main problem however if you are a Native English speaker is that most people just want to learn English and relish any opportunity to practice it so the chances are that even when you attempt to speak the foreign language people will answer in English --- Even in Paris where a few years ago people would do ANYTHING to avoid speaking English --it's the reverse now.

Just keep pressing on in the foreign language.

Internet Radio broadcasts are also good -- much clearer than the old fashioned "Short Wave Radios" we used to have when I was a youngster.

Read foreign papers too or look at the News media sites of the Countries you are interested in. The sites are often mult1-lingual so a help there.

Another excellent way is to watch a DVD in your Native language but with the subtitles of the language you want to learn switched on.

Also these courses are absolutely EXCELLENT

Read this Wiki and then search on Assimil. EXCELLENT and Natural method

Assimil - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cheers
jimbo
I've just looked Assimil up and it seems to get good reviews. Most people have said it beats the other traditional learning methods. I think I will pick up their German with Ease book and CD and see how it goes. I do like the idea of Dutch, but if I'm correct Dutch is very Germanic and maybe trying to learn German first would help if I in future decided to give Dutch a go.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by vierasniper View Post
sarcasm is my native tounge
I'm pretty good at it myself
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Nov 2010   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

Judging from your post, you are on a right track. I'm one of those people believing in importance of knowing not only other cultures, but their languages as well.

I come from a bilingual Finnish home (Finland is bilingual > Finnish and Swedish), married with a German wife living in Germany, after living in both Italy and Spain. My work language has mostly been English. My daily life includes my four main languages. I've never really studied a foreign language and I'll notice it; although I understand everything and can make me understood, I make silly mistakes time to time.

My point is, at 22 nothing is too late to you. Take studying as a project, make a plan and stick to it. It takes only a year or two and then you will have a huge advantage on job market.

One alternative would be to seek a job abroad and study there. An example: Here in Germany is a constant need of English speaking personnel. Call centers etc. are looking people who can English or some other foreign language. You have no problems to find something; because you are an EU citizen, you have 25 countries to choose, where you don't need any permits to work, or if the official permit is needed it is given to you automatically.

Once you have found a job, even part time, you can take courses in local language. For instance here in Germany every town has a "Volkhochchule" (Volk = people, hoch = high, schule = school), kind of evening schools to adults where you can take lesson from German to pottery, from painting to folklore dancing. I checked the net now and for instance a 100 hour (four hours a night five days a week, four weeks) intensive, small group German course for beginners costs a few hundred euros, including text books. After that there is also 100 hour intermediate A and intermediate B and then Advanced levels.

For non-EU citizens this would be almost impossible, I've seen it when trying to organize things for a non-EU friend of mine. But you are an EU citizen, the whole Europe is open to you. Knowing something about European business world, I would say the important languages on the future job market are German, French, Russian and (really!) both Japanese and Chinese.

Search Google for "English jobs in XXXX" if you are interested in this method, learning a language while working abroad. Here's a good site for English jobs in Germany: http://www.toytowngermany.com/jobs/

Kari

P.S. Also my computers "speak" several languages , thanks to Windows 7 Ultimate's language packs:

Any linguists among us?-logon5.png


My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Nov 2010   #8

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
Judging from your post, you are on a right track. I'm one of those people believing in importance of knowing not only other cultures, but their languages as well.

I come from a bilingual Finnish home (Finland is bilingual > Finnish and Swedish), married with a German wife living in Germany, after living in both Italy and Spain. My work language has mostly been English. My daily life includes my four main languages. I've never really studied a foreign language and I'll notice it; although I understand everything and can make me understood, I make silly mistakes time to time.

My point is, at 22 nothing is too late to you. Take studying as a project, make a plan and stick to it. It takes only a year or two and then you will have a huge advantage on job market.

One alternative would be to seek a job abroad and study there. An example: Here in Germany is a constant need of English speaking personnel. Call centers etc. are looking people who can English or some other foreign language. You have no problems to find something; because you are an EU citizen, you have 25 countries to choose, where you don't need any permits to work, or if the official permit is needed it is given to you automatically.

Once you have found a job, even part time, you can take courses in local language. For instance here in Germany every town has a "Volkhochchule" (Volk = people, hoch = high, schule = school), kind of evening schools to adults where you can take lesson from German to pottery, from painting to folklore dancing. I checked the net now and for instance a 100 hour (four hours a night five days a week, four weeks) intensive, small group German course for beginners costs a few hundred euros, including text books. After that there is also 100 hour intermediate A and intermediate B and then Advanced levels.

For non-EU citizens this would be almost impossible, I've seen it when trying to organize things for a non-EU friend of mine. But you are an EU citizen, the whole Europe is open to you. Knowing something about European business world, I would say the important languages on the future job market are German, French, Russian and (really!) both Japanese and Chinese.

Search Google for "English jobs in XXXX" if you are interested in this method, learning a language while working abroad. Here's a good site for English jobs in Germany: http://www.toytowngermany.com/jobs/

Kari

P.S. Also my computers "speak" several languages , thanks to Windows 7 Ultimate's language packs:

Attachment 112840
You just reminded me of this:

Do you speak russian ? yes vodka
And you also reminded me of a sceene from Pulp Fiction althog i dont think its vise to post it. Dont want to get banned.

I speak 3 languages
- English
- German (its a little rust'y)
- Slovene

And you are never too old to learn a language.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Nov 2010   #9

W7 X-64 RTM,SUSE 11.1, XP PRO SP3 as a VM, VMware ESXi
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kylehimself View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
Hi there
when you are born in a Country with only around 300,000 inhabitants (and that's an over estimate) you have to learn other languages.

The main problem however if you are a Native English speaker is that most people just want to learn English and relish any opportunity to practice it so the chances are that even when you attempt to speak the foreign language people will answer in English --- Even in Paris where a few years ago people would do ANYTHING to avoid speaking English --it's the reverse now.

Just keep pressing on in the foreign language.

Internet Radio broadcasts are also good -- much clearer than the old fashioned "Short Wave Radios" we used to have when I was a youngster.

Read foreign papers too or look at the News media sites of the Countries you are interested in. The sites are often mult1-lingual so a help there.

Another excellent way is to watch a DVD in your Native language but with the subtitles of the language you want to learn switched on.

Also these courses are absolutely EXCELLENT

Read this Wiki and then search on Assimil. EXCELLENT and Natural method

Assimil - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cheers
jimbo
I've just looked Assimil up and it seems to get good reviews. Most people have said it beats the other traditional learning methods. I think I will pick up their German with Ease book and CD and see how it goes. I do like the idea of Dutch, but if I'm correct Dutch is very Germanic and maybe trying to learn German first would help if I in future decided to give Dutch a go.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by vierasniper View Post
sarcasm is my native tounge
I'm pretty good at it myself

Hi there
I ripped the CD's of the German with Ease on to a single Minidisc and listen when using public transport -- the book is a nice small size to carry around too.

You can rip to IPOD or other music player too -- I like the Minidisc as I can also record on it so I can check my pronounciation against the original.

I am currently trying the Spanish Course with the Base Language in French -- that way I can practice 2 Languages at the same time -- since my current contract is in France I need to understand some French too -- I've always wanted also to learn Spanish but never got round to it until now.

I'd definitely recommend the Assimil method -- its better to do 15 mins a day EVERY DAY rather than longer stretches with several days between the lessons.

15 Mins per day is enough and you will be surprised how quickly you build up a decent basic vocabulary.

Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Nov 2010   #10

MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Thanks for the replies guys! Kari, lorddenis and Jimbo. You folks with your multiple languages impress me no end. Think I will pick up the Assimil basic German when I get my last pay on Friday, as Jimbo recommended. It will be a start and I've read good things about it. If all goes well, maybe sit some official exams in the future. Now that I'm unemployed and the way the job market is in the UK right now, I have plenty of time on my hands. So I might as well spend it educating myself.

I'll hopefully drop in here with an update on how I'm going.

Cheers folks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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