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How does your brain learn languages?

A discussion of the peculiarities of languages and the differences between them.

How does your brain learn languages?

Postby Ladyquill » Tue Nov 22, 2005 7:10 pm

I have almost no trouble understanding what I read or hear when I'm learning a new language. I can read with the same accuracy and speed as I do in English. But, I fumble for words when attempting to speak. Then, I constantly say what I'm trying to say WRONG, but once I hear what comes out of my mouth, I immediately know what's wrong and how to correct it. Also, I usually write things wrong the first time, but once I read it, I know how to correct it. Is this just a personal thing, or is there an explanation for this?
I absolutely LOVE languages--- and people and cultures--- but I'm actually here because now, after some time hearing, speaking, and reading other languages, my English is suffering!
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Postby tcward » Tue Nov 22, 2005 7:12 pm

It's personal. (Right, BD?) ;)

And welcome to the Agora!

-Tim
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Postby Ladyquill » Tue Nov 22, 2005 7:15 pm

Well that just sucks. :oops: hehehe
and thanks. I hope to learn some things in here.

Lisa
I absolutely LOVE languages--- and people and cultures--- but I'm actually here because now, after some time hearing, speaking, and reading other languages, my English is suffering!
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Postby Brazilian dude » Tue Nov 22, 2005 10:21 pm

It's personal. (Right, BD?)

Not know. Me not speak English.

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Postby Ladyquill » Tue Nov 22, 2005 10:43 pm

Well then, any suggestions on how to get over this "personal problem"? And what about mixing languages? Anyone ever do that? Good grief, I'm making a great first impression... :?
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Postby Brazilian dude » Tue Nov 22, 2005 11:02 pm

And what about mixing languages? Anyone ever do that?

All the time, even my own.

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Postby Stargzer » Tue Nov 22, 2005 11:34 pm

Ladyquill wrote:Well then, any suggestions on how to get over this "personal problem"? And what about mixing languages? Anyone ever do that? Good grief, I'm making a great first impression... :?


That's OK, we're a wierd lot to begin with. At least some of us are. 8)

My oldest daughter spent 3 weeks in Cuernovaca, Mexico, in a language immersion course, where the students live with a local family and take all classes in Spanish. She said she noticed that sometimes at the dinner table, they'd all flip back and forth between Spanish and English without skipping a beat.
Regards//Larry

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Postby Ladyquill » Tue Nov 22, 2005 11:50 pm

I've heard of that, but what about flipping back and forth between English and Portugues when everyone else is speaking SPANISH??? hehehe I know, I'm a dork. But it's true!
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Postby Stargzer » Wed Nov 23, 2005 12:07 am

Ladyquill wrote:I've heard of that, but what about flipping back and forth between English and Portugues when everyone else is speaking SPANISH??? hehehe I know, I'm a dork. But it's true!


[Stargzer ducks an incoming missle from BD in Brazil and several from the Iberian peninsula.]

Is there a difference between Portuguese and Spanish?
Regards//Larry

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Postby Ladyquill » Wed Nov 23, 2005 12:16 am

HAHAHA...hehehe....well, YES! What's funny is, if you're speaking Portugues to a Brazilian and mix it with Spanish, they don't really care, and they understand. But if you're speaking Spanish with a Mexican (I live near the border) and you mix Spanish with Portugues, they look at you like you've lost your mind! I can understand myself, why can't THEY? hehehe
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Postby uncronopio » Wed Nov 23, 2005 1:40 am

Stargzer wrote:Is there a difference between Portuguese and Spanish?


Not at all. We are like brothers with BD :wink:
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Re: How does your brain learn languages?

Postby floating_leaf » Wed Nov 23, 2005 7:55 am

Ladyquill wrote:is there an explanation for this?


There is an explanation. There are different types of learners. You have to see something in order to learn it. I don't know how it's called in enlish but in greek it's called οπτικός τύπος.

By the way, I remembered my first attempt to speak italian 3 years ago.
The teacher asked me "Come stai, bene?" and I answered "Oui!!!" :shock: :shock: :shock: :oops: :oops: :oops:
The best thing was that I don't speak any french!!!

What helped me speak italian better was watching italian movies in order to get more familiar with the use of the language and the frases and listening to italian songs (and singing along :oops: )
I don't know if this helped you. I hope it did!
Movάχη έγvoια η γλώσσα μoυ στις αμμoυδιές τoυ Oμήρoυ...
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Postby Brazilian dude » Wed Nov 23, 2005 10:33 am

There is an explanation. There are different types of learners. You have to see something in order to learn it. I don't know how it's called in enlish but in greek it's called οπτικός τύπος

Visual memory?

Not at all. We are like brothers with BD

Right, and siblings sometimes fight, but that doesn't mean they don't like one another.

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Postby Ladyquill » Wed Nov 23, 2005 10:40 am

That's a great thought. I'm an auditory learner normally, but maybe it's different with languages. Thanks for your help!
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Postby Apoclima » Wed Nov 23, 2005 7:37 pm

I understand the problem very well. Yes, everybody learns differently after the Language Learning Apparatus shuts down, which happens differently for different people. (In people like BD it has hardly shut down at all, but there are people who really have a hard time with a second language and their apparatus seems to have deteriorated to the point where it is a detriment [I'm not mentioning names here, but you know who they are].

When you are learning multiple lanugages, at first, the non-native ones are sort of thrown into a "Other Language" file that maybe a dominant one sort of takes over, like "German and other languages." So when one comes to an idea or a thing in a foreign language that we don't know, we search for a "Non-English" word first in our "Other Language" file.

And sometimes things and memories or associations are fixed to a certain language, and we resort to that word or phrase because it in more meaningful to us.

I think the trick is getting the files sorted out in our minds:

I have found that writing stories and poems in the different languages has helped give them each a distinct character, creating images and abstract feeling-thoughts behind the words, like have come naturally with your first language. then every language has a mythology, a linguistic identity to pull all the words of a particular language into the same "file." Of course, there is always that Big File of "All linguistic input I have ever known" where everything is kept in associative order, but like I say it is important to draw the languages into seperate files or identities.

Of course, I am speaking metaphorically. No one knows exactly how these things are done.

Apo
'Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination.' -Max Planck
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