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Deth Muncher
2011-03-28, 05:08 AM
Hey, so I was thinking - I'm in Russian right now in college, and I know that if I don't practice over the summer, I'm going to be screwed for when the actual class comes around again come fall. Furthermore, I've been wanting to learn Japanese, but my college and the community colleges around it refuse to teach it, despite the obvious want of it. Is there anywhere online that you can get a reasonably good handle on languages for little to no cost?

Eldan
2011-03-28, 08:38 AM
If you already have some basic skill (as you might have if you take russian lessons), there's two good ways online: watching subtitled TV in the target language, and chatrooms. It's how I learned English. Now, I don't know if there's a Russian equivalent of Hulu, but at least chat rooms should be easy to find.

Deth Muncher
2011-03-29, 12:35 AM
Mm...at worst, I could go watch Russian films or something.

Japanese, though, is a bit harder. I could do the standard otaku "watch anime until I know phrases" thing, but that's annoying and dumb. I need real, functional language skills.

Back to Russian though - I feel like I've got at least one person I can actually speak to in Russian - he's a real Russian, though I doubt he actually uses proper grammar. Then again, who does?

Eldan
2011-03-29, 02:33 AM
That's an important skill in almost any language, though.

It's not that bad in English, actually, but if you speak "proper" French to people, they look at you as if you were from another planet.

Don Julio Anejo
2011-03-29, 02:40 AM
Back to Russian though - I feel like I've got at least one person I can actually speak to in Russian - he's a real Russian, though I doubt he actually uses proper grammar. Then again, who does?
I do :tongue:
I can Skype you if you want but won't happen anytime soon as my schedule is packed 24/7 till the finals are over some time late April.

Also, Russia is pretty lenient on the whole "copyright" thing so you can watch pretty much anything you want online. The only downside is no subtitles. Unless you do the opposite and watch English shows with Russian subs.

Trellan
2011-03-29, 02:44 AM
For Japanese, check out Japanese pod 101. Might need to type it as one word if you google it. There's a membership option for the site, but you can listen to the podcasts for free and there's some good bittorrents out there that collect all the old ones. Also look at smart.fm and a digital flashcard program called Anki. The important thing to remember with self study is that you need to stay motivated and practice everyday with a mix of speaking, listening, writing, and studying. There's absolutely nothing forcing you to learn, so a lot of people just... stop. Even if you only have five or ten minutes, do it everyday so it remains a habit.

Lord Herman
2011-03-30, 03:50 AM
Speaking of learning languages, does anyone know of a good online course for Arabic? I've already done a short course on the Arabic alphabet, but it'd be neat if I actually knew some words I could write with it. :smalltongue:

Most courses I've found so far are either expensive or much too long for my purposes. I know I won't be doing this for more than a week or two (ADD and Asperger's syndrome is a wonderful combination), but as long as I'm interested in Arabic, I intend to learn as much as I can.

falco
2011-03-31, 12:34 PM
I minored in Russian during my undergrad, and have done a really crappy job keeping it up, but I remember the forums at masterrussian.net were pretty good.
Also, have you checked your library for books? Even if your college doesn't offer Japanese courses they might have some good language-learning books you can take out. (I once looked for a book on Norse mythology at the university and actually ended up finding one about the old Norse language... I spent a week trying to learn it before I gave up in despair)

Lord Herman
2011-04-01, 04:47 AM
I minored in Russian during my undergrad, and have done a really crappy job keeping it up, but I remember the forums at masterrussian.net were pretty good.
Also, have you checked your library for books? Even if your college doesn't offer Japanese courses they might have some good language-learning books you can take out. (I once looked for a book on Norse mythology at the university and actually ended up finding one about the old Norse language... I spent a week trying to learn it before I gave up in despair)

Ooo, Russian! I had Russian classes in High School. Don't remember much apart from the alphabet and some words and phrases, but it was fun to learn about Russia.

I also took a one-term course in Old Norse in university. It was relatively easy for me, both because my native language is a germanic one, and because I'd taken Old Irish before and everything seems easy after trying to wrap your head around a celtic language. :smalltongue:


Oh, I found some Arabic lessons. They're actually just sample lessons of a longer payed course, but it's plenty for me. For those interested, I found them at www.naturalarabic.com. The alphabet lessons I mentioned earlier were at http://www.shariahprogram.ca/Arabic-alphabet.shtml.