Have you stopped learning a specific language before?

General discussion about learning languages
golyplot
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Re: Have you stopped learning a specific language before?

Postby golyplot » Wed Jan 19, 2022 6:22 am

fresh_air wrote:Dropping languages is the easy part. Sticking with a language without dropping takes a monumental level of willpower. It's like asking a chain-smoker to quit cold-turkey.


I thought the analogy with smoking was "Quitting French study is easy, I've done it dozens of times".
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jackb
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Re: Have you stopped learning a specific language before?

Postby jackb » Wed Jan 19, 2022 2:31 pm

Did you have an experience whereby you started learning a language, but it was very challenging and difficult for you, so you stopped learning it?


Isn't this pretty much every adult monolingual trying to learn their first foreign language? It sure sounds like me.
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garyb
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Re: Have you stopped learning a specific language before?

Postby garyb » Thu Jan 20, 2022 1:28 pm

I gave up on Greek, or rather put it on indefinite hiatus, after six or so months of study. I have excuses about life getting in the way and not having much opportunity to use it compared to my other languages, but to be honest the main reason was just that it's really damn hard and I lost motivation. There is a bit of truth to these excuses though: I don't mind doing hard things if I feel like my efforts are or eventually will be rewarded, but for Greek the payoff wasn't seeming worth all the work.

With hindsight I'd maybe say the payoff hasn't really been worth the work for my other languages either. I did eventually come to that conclusion with French and I put it in permanent maintenance mode, but I did so about five years later than I should've.

I do think I made it a bit harder than it needed to be though, by using courses that got far too advanced too quickly (looking at you, Assimil) rather than concentrating on the basics. Bad or inadequate materials is probably a common reason for quitting, especially if motivation wasn't that high in the first place.
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raoulhjo
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Re: Have you stopped learning a specific language before?

Postby raoulhjo » Fri Jan 21, 2022 1:59 pm

I gave up on Adyghe because the materials were inadequate. Instead, as I wanted to learn a language related to it, I started learning Abkhaz
with a good textbook.
I gave up on classical chinese because I think it is too difficult without a teacher.
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Re: Have you stopped learning a specific language before?

Postby Iversen » Fri Jan 21, 2022 2:25 pm

garyb wrote:I gave up on Greek, or rather put it on indefinite hiatus, after six or so months of study. (...) the main reason was just that it's really damn hard and I lost motivation.


I just chose to study Modern Greek (Δημοτική) instead of any version of Old Greek. It is much easier - less morphology, less diacritics and lots of living speakers which bodes for an adequate stock of learning resources. I may add classical Attic Greek later (or Homeric Greek or Koiné, whatever), but I'm in no hurry to take that step.

And no, you can't read Aristotle in the original just because you have become comfortable with Modern Greek.
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Re: Have you stopped learning a specific language before?

Postby Herodotean » Fri Jan 21, 2022 11:35 pm

Iversen wrote:And no, you can't read Aristotle in the original just because you have become comfortable with Modern Greek.


Or sometimes even if you've become generally comfortable with ancient Greek!
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Re: Have you stopped learning a specific language before?

Postby Beli Tsar » Sat Jan 22, 2022 6:37 am

Iversen wrote:
garyb wrote:I gave up on Greek, or rather put it on indefinite hiatus, after six or so months of study. (...) the main reason was just that it's really damn hard and I lost motivation.


I just chose to study Modern Greek (Δημοτική) instead of any version of Old Greek. It is much easier - less morphology, less diacritics and lots of living speakers which bodes for an adequate stock of learning resources.

It certainly has better resources, but at least classical and Koine are regular! Modern Greek sounds like it's replaced nice, regular morphology and easily graspable rules with a big bag of exceptions and irregularities...
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Re: Have you stopped learning a specific language before?

Postby Iversen » Sat Jan 22, 2022 3:16 pm

I didn't say that Modern Greek was dead easy, just that it is simpler than the ancient versions of Greek in the same way that Modern English is easier than Anglosaxon - and having said that, I think that the comprehensibility gab is about the same.

After the fall of the junta the Greeks dropped their mute aspirations and two of their accents, which is a clear advantage for learners. There is however still one big problem in the orthography, namely that several vowels can be written in a number of ways, but since my point of departure is the written language that doesn't bother me much - it's worse the other way round. And then there is of course the stress that has to fall on one of the last three syllables in a word, but not necessarily the one you expect. My rule in the beginning was that it never was the one I expected, but one of the two others. But again: the stress is marked in the writing so there you can see it (not like Danish or Russian, where it is kept as a secret). And then there are a few things in the verbal system which you have to learn, such as the aorist stems, but in most cases they can be guessed.

So I still think that I made the right choice by studying Modern Greek first and leaving the gamut of old forms for later.
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Re: Have you stopped learning a specific language before?

Postby MedievalHistorian » Sat Jan 22, 2022 10:14 pm

I once tried to start with Polish one year ago, did not have enough time because of my work unfortunately. In the meantime I started with basic Russian to compensate my desire for learning a Slavic language ;)

It was also difficult to start with a new language (with such a large amount of unknown vocabulary) while maintaining my German and Spanish and improving my Italian. I am a big fan of Assimil myself but for languages such as Polish and Russian it does get very difficult fast, I had to take it easy with the first few lessons.
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golyplot
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Re: Have you stopped learning a specific language before?

Postby golyplot » Sun Jan 23, 2022 2:36 am

raoulhjo wrote:I gave up on classical chinese because I think it is too difficult without a teacher.


I gave up on ASL for the same reason.
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