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Learning something really difficult anyone?

(60 Posts)
JessM Thu 17-Mar-16 08:35:07

I'm trying to learn another language, properly. And it's not got much grammatical overlap with English (or Latin, French, Spanish or Greek, all of which I have learned to about GCSE level).
Anyone else tackling a major learning challenge?

Imperfect27 Thu 17-Mar-16 09:08:33

I taught myself New testament Greek about 10 years ago mainly using tapes an old bible and some battered lexicons, but I'm afraid it hasn't stuck - I would really need to start all over!

I only learnt French to 'o'-level at school so to revisit it for teaching purposes, some 30+ years later has been interesting. I might have to get to grips with a bit of basic Spanish and German soon in my new job. I just try to keep a step ahead of my pupils grin.

Nelliemoser Thu 17-Mar-16 09:42:47

I find learning the music for the choirs I am in is quite difficult. I am just picking it up as I am going along although I did some basic piano for a few years.
Dyslexia means I have poor visual memory and I need to read stuff over several times before I can remember it.
It also makes it hard work to follow scores where notes are close together. My sight reading is improving with time though.

Luckygirl Thu 17-Mar-16 14:00:12

The best way to omprove sight-reading is to do it! - over and over again!

I run an unauditioned choir for all-comers and it is fascinating how some of the non-readers are really brilliant now - they have learned how to do it simply by doing it with no complicated theoretical explanations.

Mamie Thu 17-Mar-16 14:34:20

I am learning Spanish in French. The teacher mumbles really fast in both languages and sometimes I struggle to know which one he is speaking.

gettingonabit Thu 17-Mar-16 14:50:49

nellie are you aware that you can get some transparent overlay that's designed for people who find reading musical notation difficult (including people with dyslexia)?

I've just started a Theory Diploma in music. That's difficult enough for me, at least for the time being.

Greyduster Thu 17-Mar-16 15:39:21

I took piano lessons with a man who was director of the Sheffield Oratorio Chorus - a truly wonderful choir. When I complained that my sight reading didn't seem to be improving, he said many members of his choir struggled with sight reading but still managed to learn the music and sing brilliantly. I am currently trying to learn to play Bach's Prelude in D Minor, and after the first sixteen bars - when, like a lot of Bach's music, it goes off at something of a tangent - I am having to take it a couple of bars at a time. As Luckygirl said, over and over again. It is slow going and I seem to have been at it for a long time! Don't book the Albert Hall yet!

Jayh Thu 17-Mar-16 16:16:35

I am learning Latin. I didn't do it at school but always had a hankering. I love it but have great difficulty in remembering what has been taught. Fortunately the teacher allows us the use of dictionaries and blatant copying.

thatbags Thu 17-Mar-16 16:20:50

Bryophytes and fungi. And chemistry. And existentialism.

suzied Thu 17-Mar-16 16:23:00

Pattern cutting - a mix between geometry, origami and dressmaking.

mollie Fri 18-Mar-16 08:10:52

Inspirational, all of you!

Alea Fri 18-Mar-16 08:19:58

DH and I once spent a Winter learning Czech at evening classes. We had both felt ashamed a year earlier, on a trip to Prague at our inability to communicate, (both of us speaking 2 languages other than our own).
It was challenging but satisfying and totally vindicated a year later when we spent a further week in Prague and I found myself in deep conversation (?) with an old codger in a distinctly non- touristy pub.
I am not sure of all he said, even less what I might have said hmm , but we got by and I felt very proud that I had "had a go"!

Falconbird Fri 18-Mar-16 08:37:17

May sound easy to some but since I've been a widow I've been grappling with a TV, a smart phone, a tablet and trying to put in a new hand held phone.

It's sooo hard for my particular kind of brain and some folk seem to find it really easy.

Also been struggling with door locks and keys. My apartment has so many keys it's mind bending - bike shed keys, meter keys and widow keys. Also been struggling with central heating system, fan assisted oven, air extractor etc.,

I also had to move house twice and each time the nightmare of all the above.

JackyB Fri 18-Mar-16 11:21:53

I spent the greater part of the past 4 years learning to play the church organ. Organists are badly needed and it seemed to be a good idea at the time. I stayed the course but failed the exam miserably (and deservedly).

Up until a few years ago I was learning Polish. I got quite far but only so far as I could get with the tapes, which I listened to when cycling to work. This stopped when I discovered podcasts, and also I came to an impasse because I wasn't doing the bookwork to go with it. Still, I would like to pick it up again, and at least I have quite good pronunciation.

Learning languages isn't really difficult for me - I loved French at school and have gone on to learn several more since. What would be really difficult for me would be something like astronomy. There is just so much of it out there and I'd be scared I would never know it all!

Charleygirl Fri 18-Mar-16 11:37:27

Falconbird you are like me, technologically challenged. Simple things like a Firestick or whatever it is called is beyond me.

I would like to study law but the sheer expense is very off putting.

Stansgran Fri 18-Mar-16 12:19:05

I still find perfectly ordinary everyday life a steep learning curve.

grannylyn65 Fri 18-Mar-16 12:21:43

Me too Stansgran, a daily minefield !!

Nelliemoser Fri 18-Mar-16 14:19:30

gettingonabit Do you have any idea where these overlays are from or what they are called?

I met met someone on who had some postit type tape to lay along a line of music but it can damage the very old cheap paper that some of the older hired scores have.
I have thought of photocopying some scores and tippexing out the notes on my line that I am not singing.

gettingonabit Fri 18-Mar-16 15:29:34

nellie I did actually have a quick google, but couldn't find anything. I know these things exist, though, as I know people who've used them.

I'll have another try.

Falconbird Fri 18-Mar-16 15:53:04

Charleygirl - Firestick??? smile only just worked out the memory stick. I went to a careers interview years ago and they said my ideal career would be a solicitor but the amount of study put me off.

JessM Fri 18-Mar-16 19:47:47

Learning Spanish through the medium of French. Respect. I find it hard enough when my teachers teach us through the medium of rapid Cymraeg. My frontal lobes throb sometimes.
I think sight reading for singing is a lot harder than sight reading for an instrument. With an instrument e.g. piano its very straightforward - you perform the right mechanical action and the right note comes out. Much harder when it's just you and your larynx.
Intersting Stansgran is that to do with the pace of change these days? Time was when older women were a repository of useful experience and skills but did not have to keep on learning new stuff.

Lavande Fri 18-Mar-16 20:01:55

I will never be a fluent French speaker but still working hard to get somewhere near to that. From time to time I will read a novel in the French language but have to admit that it does not hold the same pleasure as reading in English. The Duo-Lingo website is starting a Greek language course some time this year so may give that a try as Greece is still a favourite holiday destination.

Just taught myself to crochet.

But my fantasy is to be able to play the saxophone which may prove beyond the scope of my capabilities.
Who knows!

Judthepud2 Fri 18-Mar-16 22:17:32

Philosophy. I have just finished a course on the existentialists. Pretty challenging but fascinating.

moobox Sat 19-Mar-16 09:30:24

on to my 3rd photoshop course. Bound to be a challenge for the over 60s mind!

AlieOxon Sat 19-Mar-16 09:56:21

Through family history I discovered a second cousin in South Africa - and at the same time that I knew absolutely nothing about the country or its history.....mow that was a steep learning curve, so as not to make a fool of myself!