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sudo wrote

Richard Stallman has a pretty good method:

I have developed a way of learning a language that works for me.

First I study with a textbook to learn to read the language, using a recording of the sounds to start saying the words to myself. When I finish the textbook, I start reading children's books (for 7-10 year olds) with a dictionary. I advance to books for teenagers when I know enough words that it becomes tolerably fast.

When I know enough words, I start writing the language in email when I am in conversations with people who speak that language.

I don't try actually speaking the language until I know enough words to be able to say the complex sorts of things I typically want to say. Simple sentences are almost as rare in my speech as in this writing. In addition, I need to know how to ask questions about how to say things, what a word means, and how certain words differ in meaning, and how to understand the answers.

I first started actually speaking French during my first visit to France. I decided on arrival in the airport that I would speak only French for the whole 6 weeks. This was frustrating to colleagues whose English was much better than my French. But it enabled me to learn.

I decided to learn Spanish when I saw a page printed in Spanish and found I could mostly read it (given my French and English). I followed the approach described above, and began speaking Spanish during a two-week visit to Mexico, a couple of years later.

As for Indonesian, I have not got enough vocabulary to speak it all the time when in Indonesia, but I try to speak it as much as possible.


GrimWillow wrote

I know what you mean. I couldn't find anything either and ended up pirating "rosetta stone" which isn't even as good as I thought it would be.


OldHippieChick wrote

You might try Anki. It's in the Trisquel reps so probably easy to get for whatever distro you're running. It's been highly recommended by Esperantist friends but I just don't want to use software at all right now.


OldHippieChick wrote

Rosetta stone sucks shit. So does Muzzy. My kid just wanted to listen to the version in his native language and the story was crap. Most educational software marketed for kids and homeschooled teens is a rip off.


NEOalquimista wrote

Before Rosetta Stone, we had, where all courses were free, and you could interact with people freely like a social network. I was learning mandarim so I made a friend from China. It was very cool there...

Until Rosetta Stone bought Livemocha and made most content unavailable unless you paid for a premium account. It was a total disaster, of course, so Livemocha died. Fuck Rosetta Stone.


[deleted] wrote


elyersio OP wrote

can't go anywhere right now


mofongo wrote

There's voice and videochat.


elyersio OP wrote (edited )

tox is my favorite program for that

however my internet's usually too slow for video chat, audio chat might be possible


F3nd0 wrote

How can using a computer help you learn a language?

Computer is a versatile machine that can faciliate a great number of tasks, among them many that help learning a language, such as:

  • Displaying a textbook (about the language).
  • Reading texts (in the language).
  • Playing audio recordings (of people speaking the language).
  • Communicating with people (in the language, via text, audio, or video).
  • Easily searching a dictionary (for the language).
  • Seeking help in online chat and forums (dedicated to the language).
  • Meeting new people (who speak the language).
  • Using specialized interactive tools for language learning.

Certainly, computers are not necessary to learn a language, but can be very helpful in doing so, to the point where one may strongly prefer them to other tools. If one who cares for their freedom were to feel most comfortable using a computer for their studies, it feels natural they would seek to follow this method without the use of non-libre software, as /u/Copenhagen_Bram did.


OldHippieChick wrote

We're using books, sound files, and friends.

I lurk on foreign language subforums of my distro's peer support forum and other interests I might have. I wouldn't post, but oddly enough if I know a person's writing style in English and we've known each other for awhile, I can usually understand their replies to common technical questions in any romance language.

My Latin is extremely rusty and self-taught, so that's kind of surprising.

I encourage libre gaming with my ten year old. I discouraged all gaming with my older children and that was a mistake.

I'm mostly interested in reading and writing rather than speaking but you can talk to people or use a webcam to see how to form lips and tongues and stuff if you're into talking.

I don't know how people learn languages with proprietary software but that sounds skeeeeeeery.

(and yes, the first thing in Cantonese I ever said to my Hong Konger friend was "Your hovercraft is full of eels" but we already knew each other so well in English that it was entirely appropriate and taken the right way.)


autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

I guess the question is-- Is there any free langauge learning software ?

And the answer is -- FUCK NO

I had a pirated version of rossetta stone v3 which was not as in depth as i thought, as well as a cracked version of Babble, which only has Spanish Spanish, not latin american spanish.. and it also seems like they've fixed whatever vuln allowed that to happen.

Basically, i've fallen back on youtube, textbooks and dictionaries.