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tiger
30th December 2007, 00:21
DS2 gave DH and me a "Learn Greek" course for Christmas as we are going to Crete in May.
I'm finding it fairly hard at the moment. I can say one or two words, but can't see me being able to say more than the odd word. There are some words that I find impossible to pronounce at the moment. I'll keep playing the CD though.
We Brits are a lazy lot aren't we? We mostly rely on others to speak our language rather than learn theirs.

Polo
30th December 2007, 00:28
Very true tiger about us brits. But even if you only get a couple of words under your belt, it will be appreciated!

I find it difficult to learn things from CD's, might be worth keeping your eyes peeled to see if your local college offers a greek holiday class - ours sometimes does a day course just for the basics... and its not very expensive. (saying that I've never got round to doing one!)

good luck!

M3chanical_animal
30th December 2007, 00:30
I really would like to learn Spanish - thinking about maybe loading the CD onto iPod and listening to it when on the bus to work and also walking around town.

Hang in there Tiger, it will get easier with time!

tiger
30th December 2007, 00:33
It's got different features on there, like speaking practice and some games where you can test how many words you know and it gives you a score. He got us a phrase book and dictionary as well.
I suppose if I can only learn a few phrases, then it will help.

andylaine
30th December 2007, 00:33
Agree with you Polo. I tried to learn Italian from a cd, but was hopeless. think its because there is no one to tell you if you are right or wrong. went to night school in the end and it was great.

I would say dont give up, its always hard in the beginning but the penny will drop. the locals really appreciate you making the effort even if its just please or thank you.

tiger
30th December 2007, 00:34
Thanks M3.
A friend of DS1's learned Spanish at school and he said it wasn't too hard. He preferred it to French.

M3chanical_animal
30th December 2007, 00:37
You could always get a cheap mp3 play Tiger and load it on there, maybe the longer you are exposed to it the quicker you will pick it up?

I must say I've not got a good track record with languages. Took French for GCSE (later kicked off my course as I was a nightmare at school) and then went on a German exchange hehe

hydro
30th December 2007, 09:46
The bbc used to do free online language courses, not sure if they do now but worth a search.

Once you start getting into it and practising it'll get easier. Search out any Greek speakers in your local town (restaurants, fish & chip shops are good starting places). You have to 'tune in' your ear. Also, if you have Sky tv, have a look through all those channels you never look at, as there are loads in foreign languages. You need the sound entering your brain as much as possible, it's how babies learn and you'll be amazed how much sinks in without you realising it.

I speak spanish, learnt in the country when I lived there. I never had one lesson, but learnt from listening and speaking to people, watching tv and reading the local newspaper. I was fluent within a few months!

You'll be amazed at your progress if you keep at it.

Button
30th December 2007, 09:54
I am a fluent German speaker and I learnt this from living there. I had done GCSE and A level German before I went and thought I was quite good - how wrong was I?? I was originally going for 1 year but loved it so much that I stayed for 3 - such a beautiful place.
Anyway, I have some French and have tried to progress with this using CDs etc. I find it extremely difficult learning in this way. :( Good luck to anyone doing this - I have the utmost respect for your comittment. :)
Mind you, when I returned from Germany I signed up to the OU and was able to do this but of course by that stage I was fluent anyway.

SuzyWoo
30th December 2007, 10:03
My French is limited now, but I used to be able to understand conversations really well, although was not so good at speaking. I used to go over to France twice a month and spend all my holidays there in my early twenties. Like Button says, the only real way (for me at least) is to immerse yourself in the country - I did, I was engaged to a Frenchman! ;)

Maverick
30th December 2007, 10:06
I speak a few languages, hubby none, and he spends hours at a time in a car, this has got me thinking he had really been meaning to learn so will get him to download a french course I think to start with, after all he can not converse with some of the family now.

Thanks Tiger and M3 for the ideas

tiger
30th December 2007, 10:39
M3 and Maverick, if you want a CD for just listening to, then check what's on it before you buy. The one we have is for on a PC and are visual.
I'm only on the early stages with mine, but there is no English repeat of the words, just pictures or written words. It's a Eurotalk CD. He's got us a BBC Active course as well, but I've not tried that yet. I'll let you know when I've used it.

Thanks everyone for your encouragement. I don't think it would have occurred to me to learn the language if DS hadn't bought us the course. I think anything I manage to learn is bound to be useful. Just getting a feel for the language must help and I will be happy if I can speak a few key words and phrases before I go, like please, thank you, bus, train and where's the toilet? etc.

DS is good at learning languages. He learned German and French at school and then learned Russian and Japanese from home courses. He passed GCSE in Russian.

SuzyWoo
30th December 2007, 10:41
I think it's great to learn the basics, and people really appreciate it. We had the kids speaking tiny bits of Spanish on hols. DS has a Spanish teacher at school - he's 5!

M3chanical_animal
30th December 2007, 10:44
Good luck Tiger, keep us updated.

The locals will appreciate that you have attempted to learn the language and made the effort to speak to them in Greek, rather than just being another tourist trying to force them to speak English - I'm sure they will be helpful and after seeing you make the effort to speak Greek will be happier to speak in English if you are struggling.

I'm going to look into a Spanish CD and also maybe take a look what is available on the Open University via Tesco points ;)

M3chanical_animal
30th December 2007, 10:45
I think it's great to learn the basics, and people really appreciate it. We had the kids speaking tiny bits of Spanish on hols. DS has a Spanish teacher at school - he's 5!

Wow Suzy you should really keep him in touch with that, best time for him to learn!

tiger
30th December 2007, 10:45
I think all primary schools should teach languages. Our two eldest had french lessons in the last year at junior school and I suppose it helped a little with learning when they went on to learn it at secondary school, but I don't think it was enough. Children that went to that school from other junior schools hadn't learned any so they learned at their pace.

M3chanical_animal
30th December 2007, 10:57
I agree Tiger, I think children should learn languages from an early age - certainly wish I had the opportunity from a young age.

SuzyWoo
30th December 2007, 11:03
We were laughing, DS has to see a speach therapist, but there he was speaking Spanish!

One thing I used to find funny was when I visited France I would ask a question in French, but they would answer in English - I think my accent was awful (although I did get asked once if I was from Belguim!).

tiger
30th December 2007, 11:47
I don't feel confident speaking French, but it helped being able to read some. DH managed to converse in French on the odd occasion when we met someone who couldn't speak English. We found that people in shops etc. usually spoke very good English.

Hector
30th December 2007, 12:03
BBC still do free on line languages courses. I tried the Italian one earlier this year and found it very good. I learnt some basic words and phrases which I managed to use successfully on our holiday to Sicily

tigger74
30th December 2007, 12:11
It's definitely easiest to learn a language when you're in that country.
I learnt Danish from scratch when we moved to Denmark, even though we didn't speak Danish at home (Mum is Danish).
I speak French too, though not nearly fluently. I did learn some at school, but I learnt most of it from spending a year in Brussels as an au-pair before starting university and then spending 7 months in Paris on exchange as part of my university course.

Everyone does appreciate you making an effort, though, even if they do speak back to you in English! (they want to practice their languages too!)

mmm
30th December 2007, 12:14
I worked in wales for 18 months & picked up some of the language. I never had the nerve to try & speak it but could understand a bit of what people were saying.

I think the hardest part for me was understanding the welsh accent when they were talking in english to me.

Cookie Monster
30th December 2007, 12:17
Children seem able to pick up languages so easily, that's how they become bi-lingual. English speaking nannies are really popular (and in some countries are really sought after) because the children learn English from the 'staff'.
I think some people have a natural flair for languages, and I am definately not one of those. I did Latin, German and French at school but struggled at them all!!
Good luck Tiger.............. stick with it if you can!!

Polo
30th December 2007, 12:47
Definately the earlier children start the better. My biggest regret is not continuing my languages, I did french, german and spanish at GCSE/A level. Then started work and not used any of them since.
Spanish I learnt for the least amount of time, but its probably still my strongest, especially when on holiday and drinking - I then think I'm fluent with a fantastic accent! (not)

I keep meaning to go to some refresher courses, as it will help with my emigration application..... but not got round to it yet!

jen
30th December 2007, 13:02
Good luck tiger and good for you having a go. It is difficult learning from a cd, I am on my third year of spanish at evening class, and although it is hard we have such a laugh in our class. Our local adult education college has short classes starting in January in some languages, if you could spare the time and money you would find it so helpful. I started trying to learn spanish from a cd and found the classes so much better.
Keep us posted with your progress.:)

jen
30th December 2007, 13:06
Good luck Tiger, keep us updated.

The locals will appreciate that you have attempted to learn the language and made the effort to speak to them in Greek, rather than just being another tourist trying to force them to speak English - I'm sure they will be helpful and after seeing you make the effort to speak Greek will be happier to speak in English if you are struggling.

I'm going to look into a Spanish CD and also maybe take a look what is available on the Open University via Tesco points ;)

I am on my third year of spanish at evening class and if you could make them I think you would find them better at OU. I have looked at OU but what put me off is there are fewer opportunites for conversation, which I find hardest of all.
I am good at the written stuff, although we have just done the subjunctive which is a verb tense we don't even have in english:eek::eek: but I am rubbish at conversation and need the constant practice we have in our lesson. But we have such a laugh in the class and I really enjoy it.

kayw
30th December 2007, 16:33
I am learning Turkish at evening class, onto year 2. the conversational stuff I learned has been amazing,I can barter in the market, and just about understand what is said to me! I didn't do too well with CD rom, but I do use it as a back up to the lessons. I learn most though by spending several weeks at a time over there.

M3chanical_animal
30th December 2007, 23:17
Well Tiger, I know what you mean about these CD's. Actually to be honest I don't think my CD is that bad - I'm just struggling so much with the pronunciation of it. I can count from 1-20 already but anything involving the number 4 and my tongue just can't handle it! I won't be put off tho! Howz your Greek going? Maybe once we have both learnt our languages we can swap CD's haha

tiger
30th December 2007, 23:28
Well Tiger, I know what you mean about these CD's. Actually to be honest I don't think my CD is that bad - I'm just struggling so much with the pronunciation of it. I can count from 1-20 already but anything involving the number 4 and my tongue just can't handle it! I won't be put off tho! Howz your Greek going? Maybe once we have both learnt our languages we can swap CD's haha

How long can you wait? :lol:

M3chanical_animal
30th December 2007, 23:33
Thinking just in time for New Year 2009 :laugh:

tiger
30th December 2007, 23:40
That might be OK. I'll have probably given up by then.:D

I do seem to be making a bit of progress. I've played some games a few times and my scores for recognising words is improving.

M3chanical_animal
30th December 2007, 23:44
Keep at it - you'll be so proud of yourself when out in Greece hearing the next table discuss how annoying the English are in Greek, then turning round after they have dug their own hole and asking them the time in Greek - imagine their faces! :rofl:

Well its getting late and i got work so off to bed - nite :)

tiger
30th December 2007, 23:46
I doubt I'll be that good, but it would be nice. I'll be pleased if I can manage a few phrases though.

Nite, M3

sandhabibi
30th December 2007, 23:53
I really would like to learn Spanish - thinking about maybe loading the CD onto iPod and listening to it when on the bus to work and also walking around town.

Hang in there Tiger, it will get easier with time!

Tiger is right it is easier to learn Spanish then French. I learnt it fast when lived in a spanish village. If you need a hand let me know.

jen
13th January 2008, 17:18
Just done my spanish homework, and was wondering how you are getting on with your greek Tiger? Hope you are still sticking at it.:)

tiger
13th January 2008, 17:47
I've let it slide the last few days, Jen, but I intend getting back to it. In fact I'll go and listen to some now. :)