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Free language courses

Postby vagabond » Tue Nov 28, 2006 5:04 pm

Seems Foreign Service Institute courses are available for free at this site:

http://fsilanguagecourses.com/
"If you were born near someplace called "The Erg of ____" you lost the lottery." - Kurt the Wise

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thanks for posting that

Postby seeker » Wed Jan 03, 2007 4:50 am

wow...it's ages since I've been here...and it feels good to be back - just been so mired in school, work, work, and learning Arabic (hence my thanks for that link)...

I just recently battered - pathetically - my way through 'Dummies Guide...' - but now i really want to get immersed - sadly my local universities and colleges don't offer such course in languages they deem esoteric...

anyway, it's so nice to be back among you all...just finished reading RYP's newest and always it's fantastic: objective, succint, illuminating...he's the reporter's reporter, the seeker's seeker...

hope everyone has had an amazing holiday - secular or otherwise...and I look forward to continue learning as I always do from you all on this site...
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Re: Free language courses

Postby seeker » Sun Feb 25, 2007 1:46 am

vagabond wrote:Seems Foreign Service Institute courses are available for free at this site:

http://fsilanguagecourses.com/



has anyone used this site yet? was wondering what people might recommend as the most useful language learning resource that they have had experience with.

Currently I am also signing up with the Foreign Students Org. so that I might be able to assist someone with learning English in exchange for getting to learn Arabic or Russian or Hispanic.

What other successful approaches have BFC'ers taken here.

also, WHAT language would one think wouldbe the most important to learn - in a generalized sense??
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Postby soulohio » Sun Feb 25, 2007 7:15 pm

mandarin or other chineese, indian and i guess russian and arabic is always the two standbys...depends on your ethnicity and what you want to do with your life and language skills.
where are you going? why don't you walk the wheel with us? what is the matter my american friend? what has upset you?
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Postby shivers » Sun Feb 25, 2007 7:32 pm

Spanish and some asian language or maybe Arabic. Kinda depends on what your own plans are in life.
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Postby marie-angelique » Sun Feb 25, 2007 9:07 pm

The Russians have a joke:

If you are optimist, you learn English,
if you are pessimist, you learn Arabic,
if you are realist, you learn Chinese....

What is your native language and what do you want to do with your language skills?
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Postby Tacos » Sun Feb 25, 2007 9:48 pm

Spanish and Mandarin (not Cantonese or any other Chinese language) are my choices for future needs in travel or business.
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Postby seeker » Mon Feb 26, 2007 8:06 am

marie-angelique wrote:The Russians have a joke:

If you are optimist, you learn English,
if you are pessimist, you learn Arabic,
if you are realist, you learn Chinese....

What is your native language and what do you want to do with your language skills?


LOL

good advice all. and thanks!

~reasons for wanting to learn - travel and work (journo, writer, radio guy).

~desire to know so I feel I have more freedom to communicate.
~inherent belief that a freedom to communicate will allow me to pursue my prof. goals as a writer/journo/radio guy/corrrespondent.

drawn to "the 'stans", central asia - want to be flexible in Europe too.

SO bottom line basics starting out with:
~first language - English (Canadian)
~ knows some French from the public school system: enough to not have to spend a LOT of time brushing up on for some fluency.
~Know some Latin: demanded a credit course when they dropped it from curriculum.
~took 1 year German in University.

~started messing about with 'Arabic for Dummies' and I have fun practicing with the Iraqi fellow who owns neighbourgood convenience store. He is happy that I am interested and really helps with prounciations.

~don't have difficulty grasping the basics of languages, over all.

~not naive enough to think they can be learned without some real dedication and time.

~generally enjoy languages + avid reader - including classic Lit which exposed me to nuances of certain languages ie: Russian and Greek esp.


~so that's the 'reasoning' so to speak (no pun intended). I understand the need to know spanish, too.

~ but it would also be ridiuclous to think one can 'rush' learning a a language.


~ what other languages do many of you know / share?


~ maybe this desire sounds pathetic, but the yen is there!
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Postby redharen » Mon Feb 26, 2007 8:58 pm

I've studied several "esoteric" languages, all in a university setting, and I think that's the best way to go, if there's a good college within daily driving distance. If you're interested in Central Asia, it'll be hard to get lessons in, say, Dari or Pashto, but Farsi would probably be a good option because it's related, versatile, and shares the same script.

If you decide on Arabic or Farsi, you might find someone at a mosque (if there's one nearby) who can help you. Ironically, my first Hebrew lessons were from an expat Iranian (Baha'i) who I met in my Arabic class. He teaches Russian now. And that was in Oklahoma. So you never know where you'll find people who can help. Just put the word out.
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Postby seeker » Tue Feb 27, 2007 2:12 am

thanks Red! - since I am enrolled in both College and University (finishing up a degree and a diploma), i have touched base with the Foreign Student's office since they are always looking to pair students from other countries to helpp them learn English, and vice versa...

and the University is starting to expand it's language courses - while the college only offers French, Spanish, and now Mandarin...

There is also a Mosque in town - and I will definitely stop in on their monthly Open House to the public...

great advice, all of it. thanks for entertaining my curiousity!
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Postby marie-angelique » Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:46 am

I highly recommend this book:
http://www.amazon.com/How-Learn-Any-Language-Inexpensively/dp/0806512717/sr=8-1/qid=1172547766/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/104-1016329-2512727?ie=UTF8&s=books
So does my Pop, who is a bona fide polyglot.

I am good in Spanish and Russian, good enough in French, and speak survival Arabic and Mandarin. Can read and write in everything But Mandarin, but am signed up for a class in Beijing this summer to fix that.

Nothing like going to a place to help with motivation..

good luck!
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Postby redharen » Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:10 pm

Speaking of motivation, someone on here also posted awhile back that one good method is to fall in love with someone who speaks your target language. Of course, that could backfire if you actually get the person to fall in love with you, and you just make out all the time instead of working on the language.

Maybe the best thing is to fall in love with someone completely unattainable; that way, you'll always be trying to please that person (studying constantly) but will never be rewarded. Then you'll get frustrated, decide to run and get away from it all, and flee to said foreign country while your heart mends. As a result of the total immersion, your language studies will be complete, and all you had to pay was the shattering of your soul. The final irony: you get to write your suicide letter in Pashto.
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Postby jlivings » Tue Apr 03, 2007 6:42 am

Hey man if you're intersted in the Stans I'd go for a Persian and a Turkic language. I'm living in Dushanbe right now. I've got the Persian languages (Dari, Tajik, Farsi, little bita Pashto) and I shooting for a Turkic Language in the near future. Go Persian man. It's pretty easy.
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Postby John_Mills » Thu Apr 05, 2007 12:28 am

Anyone know a free source to find Russian?
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Postby vagabond » Sun Apr 08, 2007 5:14 pm

The above link. Or use BitTorrent and search for "Pimsleur Russian" or any of the other name brand language learning stuff, Teach Yourself..., Rosetta Stone, etc. It can all be had for free there. Use torrentspy or bitjunkie to look for it and then just download it.

Also, further help can be found on your local craigslist. There's always some people wanting to do language exchange ("My Russian for your English") or you can post and find someone to exchange with.
"If you were born near someplace called "The Erg of ____" you lost the lottery." - Kurt the Wise

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