- Posted: Thu, 20 Jan 2011 01:55:37 +0000
the thread will be undergoing significant revision in the next week or so. existing links will be vetted, and the thread will be changed to try and encourage more discussion between language learners. any help from the gaia international community is greatly appreciated. please vote the thread up and use this place to chat! i can't do this alone!
mint & peaches is a guide by myself, eden-of-mine, intended to direct users to resources they can use to teach themselves a language. and in some cases, towards tutors or places they can practice. this thread is not complete, resources and information is slowly being added. feel free to provide suggestions for sites, ask questions, etc.
please consider donations or other thank-yous for these folks' hard work
madame de sousa
i know nothing.
kanashii sakura uta
not british just gay
o k i e r c h a n
faith is your destiny
how to use
if you want to know how to start learning a language online, scroll down to the guide just below. you can look for the resources listed on google, or private message anyone listed as a tutor.
this guide can certainly be expanded. i am looking for more links, and perhaps even guides written by others. i would prefer if any written guides/essays be in the style of this thread--ie, no caps. i would love for more links and more language-specific information, i cannot possibly know about every language. if you are willing to provide tutoring in any language, simply toss me a private message or better yet, post in this thread. i will post your username and users can message you for information. it is up to you to set the boundaries for what you will teach, how often, and for what. you are free to teach in this thread, i won't mind a free bump.
how to learn a language online
first thing first: you cannot learn a language, period, without a great amount of effort on your behalf. if you are not willing to put in the effort to type a few words into google, you cannot learn a new language (unless you're, say, 6 months old). you also cannot learn a language entirely online. but you can get a good start, and dirka dirka are you really reading this see if you are truly interested in learning the language on a higher level. the internet can be a good place to start, and it can be a good place to supplement your learning. it can provide access to native speakers that are not present in your current environment.
so now that that's out of the way, where should you start? if you've read that entire paragraph right above this one--complete with the hidden message--you're on the right track. you had the patience and put in the effort to read it. below this post, you will find a series of both specific and general resources. this guide will show you how to use them.
the first step is to find one of these resources that you like and that actually has your language available. your first step should be your library: a book is more reliable and has more content than a website, and probably has access to audio cd's and other benefits anyway. but your library may not always have your language, especially if it's not a major language like french or spanish or german. some of the resources, like mango languages, require that you log in from your local library in order to access them for free. but find a primary source of lessons--preferrably one with audio--to use as your foundation.
as you read the lessons, do whatever helps you learn. does it help you to write things down? write everything down. make flashcards, say the words out loud, whatever helps you. an important thing to do at this point is to make sure you understand the literal meaning of what you are being told. for example, many websites and even books will teach you phrases like "what is your name?" or "can you help me?". but it's important that you understand what you are actually saying. not only will this help you piece together the individual words later on, but it will help you begin to understand the grammar. if your book or website is only providing you with phrases, and not explaining grammar or literal meaning, you may want to consider a new place to get your lessons.
supplement, supplement, supplement. never use just one site or book. it's important that you get your information from multiple sources, even with a "foundational" resource. multiple writers can provide different tips and information. you'll want to soak in multiple explanations so you can get a better idea of just what is going on. you'll also want to confirm what you've learned by going back and watching youtube videos, etc. google translate can be a very helpful tool. you should never use it to just do your work for you, of course. but taking the time to play around with sentences can help you check your work, see what changes words, and more. just take what you learn with a grain of salt, as any translator is going to be poor quality. check out the website of countries with your language as their official language. learning swedish? the official website of sweden has resources for swedish learners.
use this forum, but use your brain. there are many threads available on gaia international that are intended for speakers and learners of a wide variety of languages. but this is a slow forum, even for the popular language threads. make sure to look several pages back, or even use the search function! there is a thread called "international database" which is updated with many of the popular threads for each country (and usually, language). but don't assume that just because a language or country isn't on the list means it doesn't exist. there are several regular threads that aren't on it, so use your eyes. if there is already a thread for your language, think twice before starting a new one. not only is this rude and bad for the forum, it's not a good idea for yourself. you will be splitting the available amount of relevant people to talk to. some may stick to the existing thread, some may only know about yours and post there. by using an existing thread, you're bumping an established thread with established users who are more likely to stick around and help you--as opposed to the ones who may float by, say hi, and disappear forever.
don't be scared, just talk. but don't use translators, they suck. in microsoft word and open office, you can change the language and check your grammar. this only works for some languages. madame de sousa