For instance, I recently noticed that with Japanese (a language I've been trying to learn since I was 13), I can get the main idea of the sentence and even details without knowing exactly what word could mean what on first shot. But if you gave me a multiple choice test with word meanings, I could probably pick out the correct definition of a given word. And here's the thing: I've never studied Japanese formally at all. I just watched one too many seasons of supernatural-themed anime. Let's be kind and generous to myself and say two years worth.
I haven't reached the age where my brain is fully matured, so
1) the neurons aren't fully inflexible
2) I can still learn at a fairly rapid pace
This happens with other languages I'm studying, too. Pretty much any language I try to study through an audio-based (ex. audiolingual) method, I can understand relatively easily.
- Does any current forum member experience this type of learning?
- If you don't now, did you as a younger you?
- What are the pros and cons to this type of language acquisition? Please detail them as much as you wish.
- Even if you had this ability, would you choose another way to pick up a foreign tongue?
As I can understand languages relatively easily and comprehend grammar quite well just by reading about it and practicing the concepts through writing (among other means), there are naturally some areas I'm weak at.
One of those, and it's a fundamental (if not the most important one) area is natural expression. I think I'm awful at this because my skills are passive in my noodle.
I went through an awkward phase (ironically while I was going through puberty), where I would literally translate everything I desired to say into robotic, machine-translated-seeming-ish Spanish. I was actually translating it myself, but it seemed like I was cheating or just not understanding how actual conversation works. But I was trying to get a feel for the hispanophone skeleton that underlied Spanish as a tongue. And it seems to have worked, as I'm often the best student in my class.
Despite that, though, I still express myself as a robot might. In English, I'm free to write as I will without any repercussions; and I know how Spanish works enough to write independent sentences with a good deal of grammatical accuracy.
However, I still remain at age 12 when it comes to making beautiful Spanish in its written form.
- Does anyone experience "puberty of the skills"? This is where you can do a few skills well, but others... nah.
- Might the solution be to just practice and practice until you get it? Or how far down does the iceberg go into the water with this idea?
- Are you fine with not being a completely well-rounded knower of a certain language? Why might that be? I'm not judging, I'm just ever the curious pup.
- If you overcame my problem, what did you do to beat it down? How did you realize you didn't write fluidly?