Thoughts on traveling/expat'ing for the sake of learning languages?

Thoughts on traveling/expat'ing for the sake of learning languages?

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  1. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    I'm interested in doing this with French, but committing to either expensive Europe or shithole Africa seems rough. German has even less options.

    • 11 months ago
      Anonymous

      depends on the type of lifestyle you want but there are cheap parts of france - rural sparsely populated not much industry outside of agriculture
      i recognize real estate is not part of these considerations but for much of the country real estate is not that bad

    • 11 months ago
      Anonymous

      Switzerland offers great 6 month programs.

  2. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    Done it twice, first a dedicated language school in Japan and then half a year of Portuguese language studies through a university exchange program to Portugal

    • 11 months ago
      Anonymous

      What was your experience? Did you learn the language well? Were you living like a student or did you live normally and just attend some classes?

      • 11 months ago
        Anonymous

        Good overall, though I picked a way too hard school in Japan that required way too much study time but it helped me learn the language better. I went from basically zero Japanese to an N3 level in 5 months, it was around 5 years ago so I'm basically around N4 level nowadays in listening and talking skills but I have forgotten most kanjis and grammar by this point. I had my own apartment, I was initially interested in living with a host family but that didn't pan out and the student dormitories were fully booked. I got all the help through gogonihon and they took care of everything from school admission, visa stuff and finding a place to live.

        My Portugal experience wasn't as interesting since I was there during the height of the pandemic, stayed at a student dormitory and had zoom lessons for the first couple of months. Had classes 3-4 times a week after that, didn't really learn that much Portuguese but I can still read quite a bit. Didn't really do much stuff while I was there, just mainly walked around the city, visited museums and historical sites.

  3. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    Thinking of doing this as well. I’m in my 30s now so I tend to feel as if my years of being a student vagabond to learn a language are over but I still want to do it. Interested mainly in France and Iceland.

    • 11 months ago
      Anonymous

      Speaking of France, what would be the coziest place to stay while doing this? It seems like there are a lot of different experiences you could have there: urban, rural, Mediterranean, the alps. It'd be nice to experience as much of it as possible, and preferably while avoiding the enriched areas.

      • 11 months ago
        Anonymous

        Bordeaux is pretty much groid and sand people free

      • 11 months ago
        Anonymous

        How long are you planning to stay in France?
        You can easily move around between something like Nice, Bordeaux, the Normandie and somewhere in the Alps if you can spend at least 2 to 3 weeks at each place you want to visit.

  4. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    Since I live in mutt land, most countries that are easy travel locations on this side of the world speak Spanish. So that gave me some motivation to start self studying Spanish. I take like solo trips on the order of a week to Spanish speaking countries and it obviously really helps learning. I personally feel like one week is minimum to get something out of it though. My experience is that the first day or two, your brain starts adapting to the fact that you’re only going to hear a foreign language and your only chance of communicating is to simply try. By the end of the week, I feel comfortable listening and speaking (in my case, Spanish). Not saying I’m proficient or fluent (my Spanish is B1), but it’s really amazing to look back and wonder how the frick you managed to hold a three hour conversation with some chick in a language that you’ve been trying to learn. Obviously you’re not going to learn a whole language in a week, but the power of immersion is amazing.

  5. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    Best way to learn a language is to date someone of that language speaker. coomer bros can't stop winning.

    • 11 months ago
      Anonymous

      >Thoughts on traveling/expat'ing for the sake of learning languages?
      Broadly speaking, I think it's a great idea. I know that when I have lived or studied abroad I've always found my language skills to improve significantly. Immersion and being forced to practice a lot are valuable study aids.

      That said, as someone who's put time into a lot of languages over the years, I would say that for most people in most cases, just immersing or just finding conversation partners, without a formal instruction component, isn't usually that much help. Conversation partners are great for increasing fluency and confidence. But they can also reinforce mistakes or ingrain bad habits if they're not willing to correct you and/or can't explain why something you've said is incorrect as long as they get what you're trying to say. Maybe that's good enough in a lot of cases. But nearly everybody does better in target-language environments with some formal drilling in grammar and some basic core vocab under their belt.

      >Best way to learn a language is to date someone
      There's at least some truth to this--the concept of the "sleeping dictionary" is an old and well-documented one.

      But I think the above caveat still applies, even more so in some cases-- a girlfriend may not want or be able to correct you accurately, unless she's also a trained language teacher. She should certainly help you acquire fluency, though. And in some languages, a male learner can wind up up getting himself in trouble, or at least sounding quite weird, if he inadvertently picks up a lot of feminine speech patterns; in some cases vocabulary and grammar even differ between male and female speech. I've known people who learned Thai mostly from girlfriends to come out sounding distinctly transsexual, and I've heard stories of Japanese students with similar problems--a man speaking in a way that sounds girly is supposedly off-putting to a lot of folks.

      • 11 months ago
        Anonymous

        Learning a language when travelling is a great experience and the best way to learn. To me it makes more sense to learn a language for travel rather than vice versa.

        I don't think formal instruction is necessary. I do think studying somehow, not just talking to people, is necessary, even if just vocabulary on anki. Most people won't spent 1h studying everyday if they're not in a class though, so maybe in that sense they're necessary. If you want to write academic papers in your target language, then classes are going to be needed though.
        A conversation partner who corrects you makes a huge difference. Don't be afraid to ask questions or clarify doubts with others, you don't need someone trained in language instruction to answer generic questions. In my experience most people are happy I'm learning their language and are in turn helpful.

  6. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    The best way to learn is to immerse yourself in the language. Third world migrants can pick up enough English to get by within a couple of months. Anon can learn in a comfy environment.

    In Europe can be hard to find people who’ll resist the urge to practice their English on you. French famously stubborn about using French and in more rural areas all over Europe you can find people who don’t really do English. Or just live in a city.

    Even in the U.K. there are tiny pockets of Gaelic and Welsh speakers resisting the English tide. Monolinguals are a thing of the past though

  7. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    Worked out well for me with Japanese, especially for speaking.

  8. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    Anyone here that have studied Spanish in South America?

    • 11 months ago
      Anonymous

      I want to do this but in Spain so I can talk down to those in South America.

      • 11 months ago
        Anonymous

        SA thinks the Spaniard accent is dumb and you're gonna make it sound even worse because you will never sound native, dude, what the frick are you even doing

  9. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    Sounds too expensive for me

    • 11 months ago
      Anonymous

      It usually is but you can find language programmes that goes through your home university for free if you're an European

  10. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    "Yes, pretty white girl. Let me show you where to get best good deal. This my cousin club. You go in tell him I send you. He treat you very real good".

  11. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    To truly do it, you have to go all-in with whatever language you're learning. Refuse to speak English for about three months unless absolutely necessary (that is, crucial information and not just when forming a sentence in the foreign language gets hard). Probably 90% of the people I've known that have done this have spent over half of the time speaking English and come back home with a language level not even close to fluent. That being said, you'll have a harder time with connecting people on a human level due to the language barrier; you will be mostly a novelty, a foreigner trying to learn a language instead of a fully realized person.
    On the flipside it isn't difficult from an intellectual standpoint, it just requires motivation. Languages inherently make sense in our brains.

  12. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    If you already speak English there is zero reason to learn another language. It's a waste of time.

    • 11 months ago
      Anonymous

      I hope nobody in this thread shares your attitudes

    • 11 months ago
      Anonymous

      It's useful if you plan on living in a foreign country in the long-term.
      It's useless if you're staying in your home country (except if you master difficult languages like Chinese or Russian).
      It's nice if you're interested in a country's culture and want to really experience it unaltered.
      >t. trilingual

    • 11 months ago
      Anonymous

      There's 8 billion people in the world.
      English speakers are 1.5 billion.
      There are billions of people you cannot communicate with, at least 6 billion.

      6,000,000,000

      • 11 months ago
        Anonymous

        oy vey

  13. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    >thoughts on traveling/expat'ing for the sake of learning languages?

    I don't really understand. If you have some fantasy of traveling to several countries to learn several languages that's dumb. 99% of people are not going to be able to remember langauges they don't use often, unless they are all romantic languages or something.

    if you want to sleep with the dictionary to learn spanish or something, then yeah, that's the best way to learn.

  14. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    I've done this and it was my goal! But I also learned a lot by constantly talking with locals. Practice by shopping, dating, making friends, getting penpals on instant messengers (out of hundred I met only a handful in person), and even living with host families. I also worked at the same time.

    With languages I had minimal exposure to before going I was intermediate conversational in six months tops. Within a year you can be very fluent, if you are a slower paced learner then the advanced vocabulary might take another six months. You really have to practice and repeat, studying is just the first step.

    So anyway I studied in Japan, Korea, and China. It's still hard to read newspapers with chinese characters but conversationally easy. I am fluent in Korean and I knew close to nothing before I went there. I listened to language tapes and watched media to prepare, trying to copy how they speak.

    Just pick a place that seems interesting and a language you like the sound of or culture and go for it. There were 50 year olds in my chinese lessons, along with 20 year olds. It's for everyone.

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