Gransnet forums


Learn another language

(51 Posts)
NanKate Sun 29-Dec-19 12:28:25

I regularly read that learning another language can help hold off Alzheimer’s.

I have done a couple of free courses on FutureLearn recommended by other GN members which have proved useful. I have just signed up for the Intro to Spanish as my DS’s girlfriend is Colombian and I would love to converse with her in her own language.

Has anyone else tried any free language courses ?

Scribbles Sun 29-Dec-19 13:57:11

After numerous attempts to learn to speak Dutch "properly", I discovered Duolingo about a year ago. They offer loads of languages, you work at your own pace and there is a free or a paid for version.

I use the free version and make myself do 15 to 30 minutes a day, every day and, at last, feel I'm starting to get to grips with a fairly difficult language. Worth a look.

NanKate Sun 29-Dec-19 14:08:43

Thanks Scribbles will follow this up.

Barmeyoldbat Sun 29-Dec-19 14:13:36

One way that would help would be to put yellow stickers on say things written in the language you are learning. I am hopeless at learning languages but found this did help.

Marydoll Sun 29-Dec-19 14:44:12

I use Duolingo too, to brush up on the languages I already speak.
DH has a three year streak, using Duolingo without missing a single day!!!!
I'm not so obsessive!!😁

Callistemon Sun 29-Dec-19 15:18:54

The DGD were chatting in Welsh yesterday so perhaps I should learn more of that than the odd phrase.
However, it seems very difficult and not as useful as other languages.

I did a French refresher course years ago and started to learn German too but do prefer the Romance languages.

U3A groups often have language classes, there is a minimal, charge.

Septimia Sun 29-Dec-19 15:23:40

I've tried online courses of various types but I find that I soon get left behind because I'm not conscientious enough.

I find it better to go to classes (I've done Dutch and Japanese that way) because you're obliged to talk to other people in the class in the language you're learning. It makes me work harder!

yggdrasil Sun 29-Dec-19 16:03:14

Callistemon: DGD were chatting in Welsh yesterday

strikes me that is the most useful language for you. You have a reason to talk to someone in it

grannyrebel7 Sun 29-Dec-19 16:10:41

U3A do language courses. When I retire (19 months to go!) that's one of the things I intend to take up.

NanKate Sun 29-Dec-19 17:42:21

Just signed up for a free Duolingo course. If it’s good enough for Mary and Scribbles it’s fine for me too. Thanks girls 👍👍

Scribbles Sun 29-Dec-19 18:35:09

DH has a three year streak, using Duolingo without missing a single day!!!!

Wow, Marydoll. I'm well impressed. And there I was, feeling smug about my current 111 days! Slinking away now, tail between legs ...

Good luck & have fun, NanKate. Hope it works for you, too.

Callistemon Sun 29-Dec-19 18:44:03

yydrasil they speak English as a first language!
They just like confusing us.

Callistemon Sun 29-Dec-19 18:46:45

DD speaks a bit of Japanese and Mandarin, very useful for her.
Other DD speaks fluent French and a smattering of several languages, useful for her work.

I don't need anything useful now, just something enjoyable.

Blondiescot Sun 29-Dec-19 18:47:09

I love Duolingo - I've been learning Turkish through it and have a 1162-day streak, never missed a single day yet. I love trying out my skills when we visit Turkey (we usually go twice a year) and I find the locals really appreciate that you are making an effort to learn their language. And if it's doing my brain good too, it's a win-win all round!

Fennel Sun 29-Dec-19 18:54:12

I started to learn Italian on Duolinguo but they seem to want to be paid? I love the italian language.
I already know french and hebrew. And latin, if that counts. Started to learn russian but gave up. Surprisingly many latin roots in grammar with russian.

Pantglas2 Sun 29-Dec-19 19:02:24

I smiled at your post regarding GC confusing you by speaking Welsh- DH and I have done it all around the world baffling all within earshot! A friend in Spain called it a secret language!

FarNorth Sun 29-Dec-19 19:03:26

I'm learning Scots Gaelic with Duolingo.
Despite being Scottish, I have never had any interest in Gaelic but now my DGC are attending a Gaelic medium primary school so I thought I'd give it a go.
The Gaelic TV programme 'Speaking Our Language' is also available free online.

Marydoll Sun 29-Dec-19 20:24:19

We have never been asked to pay for Duolinguo, Fennel. 🤔😏

Callistemon Sun 29-Dec-19 20:30:36

Pantglas someone started speaking Welsh to us in Australia thinking we would understand!

Blondiescot Sun 29-Dec-19 20:41:48

You can opt to upgrade your Duolingo for a fee - but to be honest, the free stuff is fine. There's no obligation to upgrade it - it just means you don't get ads and there's a bit more content on the premium side of it.

DoraMarr Sun 29-Dec-19 20:42:37

Yes, U3A in your area may have language groups. I am part of a very friendly group. I can’t say my Italian has come on in leaps and bounds, but at least I am retaining what I have already learnt, and making a bit of progress, and we find out about Italian customs and news too, which is interesting.

Blondiescot Sun 29-Dec-19 20:42:56

Memrise is another good site for learning languages - like Duolingo, much of it is free, but you can choose to subscribe for additional content. Babbel is meant to be good too, but you do have to pay for it from the start.

BradfordLass72 Sun 29-Dec-19 21:00:31

Callistemon language shouldn't just be viewed for its usefulness.

For decades people have been saying 'what use is Maori, you can't use it outside New Zealand?'

That's a very odd way of looking at it (in my opinion) and now, when its use is becoming more prevalent (and needed), there are calls to make Maori available in all schools (not compulsory as the press would have you believe, just available). It has long been an official language, though largely ignored. sad

A language is a treasure and a beauty in itself.

Look how much the language you speak at home, tells you what sort of people you came from and about your culture.

English, is actually a very negative language due (it is said) to our inate reserve.

Someone will say, 'I don't suppose you have any orange juice have you?'

A slightly diffident request which clearly expects a negative response, instead of asking outright with the assumption of a positive reply. English is full of such phrases.

"That's not to say your suggestions are not without merit."
"We went sailing and the experience was not altogether unpleasant."

In Maori, to feel 'mokemoke' is loosely translated into English as 'lonely' but it is far deeper than that.

Kei te mokomoke au means I feel abandoned, as if I have lost a lifelong, much loved companion; a depth of loneliness and despair we can't explain in any English way.

So learn a language for its history, its excitement and stimulation, its beauty and challenge to the senses, not just because it may be of use.

DoraMarr Sun 29-Dec-19 21:44:46

Bradfordlass beautifully put.

paintingthetownred Sun 29-Dec-19 21:48:33

Interesting that so many people on here who should know better, have been banging on about Brexit and how wonderful it would be, politically, economically and socially but seem suddenly to understand the benefits of learning a language when it staves off dementia...amazingly cynical...

As for me, no I dont' think Welsh is 'not useful'
I did the work of learning to speak fluent German over the past twenty years.

Wonder how long it will take the rest of you on here to get an education.