Author Topic: Thoughts on language acquisition as an adult, a realization, and a conclusion.  (Read 726 times)

Offline Kephapaulos

  • St. Joseph's Workbench
  • Korporal
  • **
  • Posts: 295
  • Thanked: 153 times
  • Religion: Roman Catholic
Thank you for sharing your linguistic history, Bernadette. I am an avid learner and lover of various languages myself.

Have you by chance heard of Cardinal Mezzofanti? https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giuseppe_Caspar_Mezzofanti
« Last Edit: May 10, 2017, 02:31:10 AM by Kephapaulos »
 

Offline Bernadette

  • Mary Garden
  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 8908
  • Thanked: 4233 times
  • Religion: Roman Catholic
No, I've never heard of him. My great-grandma spoke eight, and my grandma was proficient in at least 3, as was my aunt and as is my sister, so it seems to run in the family.  :P
"Though she be but little, she is fierce." A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act III Scene ii
 

Offline Matamoros

  • St. Joseph's Workbench
  • Vizekorporal
  • **
  • Posts: 125
  • Thanked: 110 times
Very interesting, Bernadette!  I have studied almost 20 languages, almost always in a classroom setting, and that has always worked well for me. But the exciting stage is definitely when you can learn from the environment. I haven't had much opportunity to do that yet, but I'm looking forward to it.
 

Offline Matamoros

  • St. Joseph's Workbench
  • Vizekorporal
  • **
  • Posts: 125
  • Thanked: 110 times
With regard to Japanese, I was also intimidated by the writing system. I started a course, which began by teaching hiragana, and I thought, this isn't so hard! Then I realized that I still had to learn katakana and kanji, and I confess, I gave up.  :(  I wish the teacher had introduced more of the spoken language early and not insisted so much on mastering the written forms first.

 

Offline Matamoros

  • St. Joseph's Workbench
  • Vizekorporal
  • **
  • Posts: 125
  • Thanked: 110 times
I had a similar experience with Chinese. I attended a school where they had this idea that teaching American children Chinese, particularly the written characters, would make them smarter. (This while discouraging the Hispanic children from speaking Spanish.  :rolleyes:) At first I thought learning Chinese would be fun, but memorizing dozens of intricate characters by rote was, to me, mind-numbing. Fortunately I was able to pick up some oral Mandarin and Cantonese later. But that early experience left a bad impression and has kept me from wanting to study the language more diligently. It's a shame, because I really like the sound of Chinese with all its tones.
 

Offline Matamoros

  • St. Joseph's Workbench
  • Vizekorporal
  • **
  • Posts: 125
  • Thanked: 110 times
I could go on, but I'm worried I might be hijacking your thread, Bernadette.  :D
 

Offline Matamoros

  • St. Joseph's Workbench
  • Vizekorporal
  • **
  • Posts: 125
  • Thanked: 110 times
I think I'll start another thread.  :)
 

Offline misericonfit

  • Vizekorporal
  • **
  • Posts: 243
  • Thanked: 86 times
  • Religion: Catholic (mostly Traditional)
Edit: Holy moley, now C.S. Lewis' method of learning all those languages at his tutor's makes sense! I need a bunch of books, a dictionary, and a tutor!  :eek:

Jayne! Where do I get intro-level Latin books! Wait! Winnie the Pooh in Latin! THat's it:eek:
Can I recommend this, for the grammar:
www.amazon.co.uk/Kennedys-Revised-Primer-Benjamin-Kennedy/dp/0582362407 ?

Wiinne Ille Pu and Domus Anguli Pu are both available in Latin. I won't suggest Harrius Potter, because HP is controversial. There is Dr Seuss' Cattus Petasatus, and a sprinkling of others, like Hobbitus Ille.

If I were beginning Latin, I would get a Latin New Testament. And of course there is the Missal. I hope you find something to help - something with decent-sized print :)

Receive, O Lord, all my liberty. Take my memory, my understanding, and my entire will. Whatsoever I have or possess Thou hast bestowed upon me; to Thee I give it all back and surrender it wholly to be governed by Thy Will. Give me love for Thee alone, with Thy grace, and I am rich enough and ask for nothing more.

- St Ignatius Loyola.
 

Offline Daniel

  • Feldwebel
  • ***
  • Posts: 1708
  • Thanked: 265 times
  • Religion: Roman Catholic
With regard to Japanese, I was also intimidated by the writing system. I started a course, which began by teaching hiragana, and I thought, this isn't so hard! Then I realized that I still had to learn katakana and kanji, and I confess, I gave up.  :(  I wish the teacher had introduced more of the spoken language early and not insisted so much on mastering the written forms first.
I would think it would be harder to learn the oral language apart from the kanji, because the kanji aid as a sort of mnemonic. For example, I haven't studied Japanese in years, yet I still know the days of the week quite easily. And that's because I associate Sunday with sun, Monday with moon, Tuesday with fire, Wednesday with water, Thursday with wood, Friday with metal, and Saturday with earth. From there it's only a matter of knowing which pronunciation to use (e.g. knowing that the sun in Sunday is pronounced nichi rather than ni or bi or whatever).
If somebody went up to me right now and said, "What day is it?" and I only had a list of seven Japanese-sounding names memorized without knowing how to write them, I might accidentally say that it's kayoubi or mokuyoubi or something. Because, what's the difference? None of them seem to mean anything to me. But, since today is Friday, and I get paid on Fridays, then obviously today is kinyoubi, because kin means money.

edit - Oh, wait, I just realized that what I just said only requires wordplay, not writing. Still, seeing the word written in kanji strengthens the connection in my mind. And it is for this reason that I am also a fan of the Egyptian hieroglyphs.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 06:28:07 PM by Daniel »