Learning a language for the purpose of learning others?

@julz: I honestly wouldn’t feel comfortable learning a language through my target language, which is relatively strong and more advanced than the majority of all language learners. People definitely overestimate the level that they can reach in a short period of time. The subtleties of a language take a long time to get down pat and most people learning languages don’t even reach a level in which they unconsciously write, conjugate verbs, use prepositions, and read without difficulty.

It is definitely going to be super inefficient and difficult learning a language through French if you aren’t at an advanced level, which does take a lot of time to reach. Depending on the definition of “advanced”, some maintain that you can reach it in 1,000 hours whereas others think that you need many thousands of hours.

@Sanne: how did you get the “el nuveo francés sin esfuerzo” for 2 euros? At a garage sale or library sale? On Amazon it is 50+ bucks so I’m obviously not going to buy it when the English one is 12 bucks or so.

I got it for £2,00, here in the UK at Oxfam, a charity shop. There was no audio, otherwise it might have been £4.00…

@caza - I hear you! I just want to be at say B2 level, and not learn all the advanced subtleties etc. We just want to use the Assimil explanations…
I bet there are people on here who are grinning and thinking, “I know what Julie and Le Jr are going to do now.”
Aside from that, I continue to be in awe of your intellect, and contributions on LingQ.

@Le Jr - coooool!!! Game on! It will be fun, and good to support each other in this ‘project’. I have no desire to speak French either, so I will skip all the audio, etc. (Of course, to me languages are about relationships, so normally I’d want to speak them).

@Sanne - your granddaughter is blessed to have you in her life. You’re so proud of her, and thumb your nose up at those who think she’d be better off not being around. I used to have strangers saying, “Didn’t you have the test?”, as in “Didn’t you have the test and get rid of it?”!! (as opposed to asking simply whether I’d had the ‘test’ or not).
My little boy makes my heart sing everyday. He has the cheekiest grin, and absolutely adores life. If myself and his siblings have anything to do with it, he will have a most wonderful life.

@Julz Sounds good. I am very excited to start this project with you :slight_smile:

@kimojima - As far as “thumbing my nose” - this is not an attitude of hatred etc towards other people. This is a reaction to strangers - asking me whilst I’m holding my child - didn’t I have “the test” and therefore get rid of “it”? Such appalling bad taste and insensitivity on their part…but I’ve had far worse: like the mother with her 2 sons loudly exclaiming “that’s a minda kid!” (a derogatory phrase here, equivalent to saying ‘that’s a retard’). The sons even repeated what their mother said. When I said “pardon??!”, she told me to f off. And so on.

As for your concern re my language studies…
my current lingQ stats don’t reflect the breadth of my studies as yet - life keeps getting in the way at present, but I know things will improve. Note though, that I am doing stuff outside of LingQ, too. To fill you in, in actuality I’ve completed 3 semesters of Japanese (with High distinction), and one semester of Chinese with High Distinction. I am also on my state university’s honour roll, earned a law prize from my law school, studied 3 languages concurrently at the age of 13 with A’s in all 3, blah blah blah - in short, there’s no reason for me not to do well in whatever I put my mind to. I don’t have a genius IQ like my eldest son, but I earned my latest high distinctions over 50. Oh, and yes, I’m a person of faith.

As far as ‘multiple language whims’ - far from being a WHIM, I have a passionate, compelling goal not shared on LingQ that is my own business.

I used to have strangers saying, “Didn’t you have the test?”, as in “Didn’t you have the test and get rid of it?”!! (as opposed to asking simply whether I’d had the ‘test’ or not).

Suggested Response: You mean in etiquette? You’ll be delighted to know that I passed with flying colors. How did you do, if you don’t mind me asking?

Seems pretty tough to learn a language in order to learn other languages. Know yourself. Your strengths and weaknesses. For some maybe that’s the way to go, for others not. If forced to choose, I’d say…probably shoot for the language you want to learn, vs two languages in order to get one.

@Vonessa - thanks for your comment.
If one prefers Assimil method, bear in mind that if English is one’s native language, then only 10 Assimil languages are available. However, if one can understand French, 76 languages are available, which is pretty amazing. This might come in handy if one wants to study a rarer language, say, or several in the long term. In addition, some are offered via French only for advanced level.
I actually don’t plan on studying French just to learn only one language. So…it all depends.
I must say, I’ve enjoyed everyone’s responses on Le Jr’s thread. It was Le Jr’s thread…hehe.

@Le Jr - Originally I was going to study French without audio, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up also listening to it.
On p.15 of Steve’s ‘The linguist on language’ (free e-book): “If you use a language without loving it, you will not improve. If the goal is only to get a better job, or to pass a test, you will not improve”. He talks about having a love affair with the language.

Who knows…as we study French, we might fall in love with it along the way?
Any chance of you falling in love with the sexy female French accent? !! (tongue-in-cheek comment).Certain male American and Pakistani accents, and the voice of two of my male Japanese lecturers do it for me - I’m sure they always have record female attendance in their classes on campus…ooh la lahhh!

“If the goal is only to get a better job, or to pass a test, you will not improve”. Whoa…I don’t know about this. I’m pretty sure that my father didn’t “love” English but since he was a poor immigrant and needed to find a job to survive, he sure as heck learned English (very well, I might add) to assimilate and make a living. The same applies for the rest of my relatives that immigrated to the US.

If I had to learn German to work in Germany or else my family would die, I personally think that it would be a much greater motivation than any love I had for the language. I love Spanish and some sports, but nothing happens if I skip a day in both. If my livelihood depended on it, then I would learn German fast and to the necessary level.

I took his advice as a generally useful comment. There’s always exceptions to everything - if my children were going to starve, I’d learn Swahili or Icelandic if I had to! Also, I imagine that having reached the required level if forced to, one wouldn’t necessarily bother spending non-essential time with the language reading history, literature etc (if not required) later on.
Actually, I’m fascinated by that book - wish I’d found it ealier.

@Julz- I don’t really think I will fall in love with it haha. Actually, I’m certain :stuck_out_tongue:

However, I do not really see the issue in doing this. I know that to learn a language for the purpose of using for future learning may not seem the more efficient use of my time, but I think it’s a fun experiment to try out.