Dancers Anonymous > Learning Other Languages

Discussion in 'Dancers Anonymous' started by DanceMentor, Oct 26, 2014.

  1. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    In addition to dancing I have heard that learning a language can help your brain stay sharp.

    I have been having fun learning spoken Chinese. I teach at a studio where there are many Chinese people and get the opportunity to have lots of practice. I meet with a person I found in China on Skype a couple of times per week, practice a little on my own, and then go practice at the studio. I had tried to learn Chinese a few times in the past and got discouraged, but this time it is really going well, so I'm excited. I've been teaching group classes now almost 50/50 English/Chinese (not quite).

    I already can speak Spanish well enough have a basic conversation (tourist level), and I'm thinking it will actually be easier to go back and learn Spanish better too (but later) because there is a certain part of my brain that is getting stronger from learning the Chinese.

    So have any of you been working on learning another language? I'd be curious about how you learned and if you have any tips or tricks.
     
    Sania likes this.
  2. MaggieMoves

    MaggieMoves Well-Known Member

    I used to be fluent in German up until I was about 21 or 22 (I'm now 30), but I stopped using it. Over the years, I've lost most of my vocabulary, but I seem to have the ability to pick up a majority of it very well... especially if I'm in Bavaria, Austria, or Switzerland as the German I learned was from a man that had those regional accents.

    German is relatively similar in structure to English, so it's not something that is too easily forgotten.

    Last year, I dated an Austrian man that boosted my practice of the language much more. But to actually get really better at it? I'd suggest visiting.
     
  3. FancyFeet

    FancyFeet Well-Known Member

    I speak both French and German... and despite not working on it, I'm getting a decent understanding of Russian, thanks to the EE contingent at the studio :)

    Agree that immersion is the best way to learn - it takes all of the structure, etc. that you are learning in class and makes you find the patterns in the language (to understand) and gives you a level of ease in speaking that is difficult to attain from a classroom or book. That said, I'm an intuitive learner - with dance too - so while this approach works for me, it may not be the best for everyone!
     
  4. Groove On

    Groove On New Member

    Native speakers of any language only use about 100-300 words in normal conversation (they usually know about 500-2,000). Based on that statistic I usually memorize about 300 of the most common words and about 20 of the most common verbs + conjugations. And then just go immerse myself. It works pretty well.

    I find that usually in any language good and fluid pronunciation goes a long way towards boosting confidence, even if your vocabulary and grammar is still poor. Mandarin is proving to be tough though, mainly because I'm having to work extra hard at the pronunciation. :cool:
     
    leee, DanceMentor and j_alexandra like this.
  5. Dancebug

    Dancebug Well-Known Member

    I recommend Lang-8 to anyone who wishes to learn a foreign language.
     
  6. Ann81

    Ann81 New Member

    Thanks Dancebug,
    I have always wanted to learn French
     
  7. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    What I like about Mandarin though is once you know the Pinyin every pronunciation is very specific. It takes a little practice but there is very little guessing.

    I highly recommend HelloTalk for anyone learning a language.
     

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