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Have you ever studied a language that you can't speak currently?


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I studied Spanish in high school. It was only for a semester or two, but I don't really remember too much of it. It seems like it all flew out of my head when I passed the class. I've always wanted to learn the language and I'm working on it now, but those classes were of no help it seems. Am I the only one to study without really learning the language??  Has this ever happened to you?

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Yes, totally! I had studied French for a good while (3-4 years!), but I never once felt confident while speaking it. During 3 of those 4 years, I had this teacher who just focused too much on memorizing. I hate memorizing and I just studied enough before exams to pass. It was horrible. That experience kind of ruined the language for me.

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Yes. I studied some Spanish after college because I was interested in it but bit by bit I lost interest and now I can't remember any of my memorized words or phrases from that time in my life. I do still know of some of the words though because our language is very close to it, but that's about it. Most of the conversational phrases have been forgotten already.

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Yes I have learned Zulu and unfortunately as I was not able to speak it often I lost almost all of it. I can say hello and greet people, ask where they live but infortunately never will be able to hold a full conversation. I would like to learn it again so that I can communicate with others.

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All the languages I've studied I can't speak fluently. I'm not much of a speaker to start off with and I'm even more quiet when I have to interact in a foreign language. So, consequently I'm better in reading and listening -- that same goes for English :grin:

Now, I have studied 2 languages (for several months) that I absolutely cannot speak. They are Hindi and Ancient Greek.

Ironically, I spent more years studying French in school but speak and understand Spanish better. That's the power of telenovelas and latin music.  :wink:

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I have started to study Mandarin Chinese back in 2008  and I have done so for a year, I was attending a weekly evening course for 2hours a week. In addition to that I was learning on-line on Livemocha.

Despite this length of time I am now still only at the basics and I so much wish I can practice more Chinese. I dream of the day when I'll be able to carry a full conversation in Mandarin.

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I studied French in High School for two years, but since I only rarely had the opportunity to practice it, I have forgotten most of it. At first I tried to make an effort to stay in touch with the language by reading French articles and books, but over time, I started losing interest. I can still understand the basic content of any French text, but that's about it.

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All the languages I've studied I can't speak fluently. I'm not much of a speaker to start off with and I'm even more quiet when I have to interact in a foreign language. So, consequently I'm better in reading and listening -- that same goes for English :grin:

Now, I have studied 2 languages (for several months) that I absolutely cannot speak. They are Hindi and Ancient Greek.

Ironically, I spent more years studying French in school but speak and understand Spanish better. That's the power of telenovelas and latin music.  :wink:

Fellow telenovela watcher!  Even though I don't speak Spanish fluently, I love watching telenovelas. 

I've been watching them for years.  I adore Korean soap operas too, they thrill me.

Hindi and Greek...Ancient Greek!  Interesting combination.  I had a boss who spoke English and Hindi, and on my lunch break she got me interested in watching Hindi soap operas.

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I studied French in school for three years, and even had to read Les Miserables in French! Today, I remember very little. I think they teach us too late in the US when it comes to other languages. So here I am, trying to learn it again, because now I need it.

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I tried to study Korean before and was able to form sentences however I wasn't able to practice it as the days go by and now I have forgotten what I've learned. Maybe I'll try learning it once again after I'm done learning Japanese.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have spent some time studying Sanskrit.  I cannot speak it with any person because I do not know any person who is willing to speak with me.  I do not know much about the language.    The only time that I use this language is when I sing a song in Sanskrit.

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My high school had Latin as a foreign language choice only offered to International Baccalaureate students. The other choices included Spanish and French, but I was urged to take Latin because it provided a basis for understanding the medical and health language. Those four years of Latin were exhaustive yet highly interesting: memorization of charts and endings as well as vocabulary were crucial to understanding Latin passages. Grammar was difficult to grasp - there were rules and exceptions to every kind of sentence imaginable. Putting it all together - the moods, tenses, declensions, conjugations, meters, and exceptions - were mental punches. In the classroom, we translated Roman poetry and prose, and I began to see Latin in everyday settings. But I do not speak Latin in common day affairs.

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I learned Irish from the age of 4 to 18, just like everyone in Ireland, but can hardly remember a bit of it. Since the exams are so focussed on things such as poetry and prose essays, by the time you leave you know very little practical Irish that you can put to use in daily life. So my situation isn't uncommon here!

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Yes, this has happened to me, studying languages in school and forgetting what I've learned, or not continuing the studying. I've studied Spanish, Russian, Japanese and French, but I currently am not fluent in any of these languages :sad:

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I'm currently studying Nihongo, and though I can understand some of the vocabulary, I am far from speaking it fluently.  I'm also interested in Korean, but I only know a few Korean words.  Since I stayed in Saudi Arabia during my childhood years, I, together with my classmates, was required to learn Arabic.  I never got interested in learning about the language, and only studied it for purposes of passing.

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It happened to me with French, as well. I believe in school (sometimes even college) you sometimes study just to get some grades, not to try to incorporate what you learn in real life.

I have to say, though, that I'm starting to pick french up again (this time, I'm trying to do it my way, by self teaching) and at first it has been easy to pick up on those things that I had previously learned. Still a long way to go, though...

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Yeah, I tried French for a brief moment and it wasn't for me. I just didn't have a burning interest to learn the language and it showed. I can't speak more than a couple of words of French to this day. Perhaps I'll give it another try at some point, but I don't see that happening anytime soon. Just wasn't for me.

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All the languages I've studied I can't speak fluently. I'm not much of a speaker to start off with and I'm even more quiet when I have to interact in a foreign language. So, consequently I'm better in reading and listening -- that same goes for English :grin:

Now, I have studied 2 languages (for several months) that I absolutely cannot speak. They are Hindi and Ancient Greek.

Ironically, I spent more years studying French in school but speak and understand Spanish better. That's the power of telenovelas and latin music.  :wink:

I must admit, I have a love for telenovelas as well! They are my guilty pleasure and I have learned some new Spanish words from them as well. It's amazing that almost every local channel in Ghana shows telenovelas. I was first introduced to Spanish when I took it in University. Spanish is not a commonly used language here, although there is a small population Cubans and Puerto Ricans here. But, since I did not really have anyone to use it with, I lost a lost of the skills that I did learn in the language. I also had started taking Japanese in University, but the professor left and I was unable to continue my studies because no one else taught the language.

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  • 2 months later...

Yes I have and for me it really is embarrassing. I studied French all through out my schooling days right through to university but can't for the life of me hold a proper conversation in the language. At least not a conversation that makes much sense.

I always wonder what could have happened because I was pretty good at French in school and passed it very well. I suppose it boils down to the fact that after my studies I never really practiced what I had learned to begin with. Like the saying goes, "Practice makes perfect".

I am currently trying to learn French again and this time actually speak it.

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I'm the same, I took French as a Minor at university for four years and was really rather good at it (ahem, even if I say so myself!) When I went on to do my Post Grad in Education, it wasn't offered so I paid a small fee to take lessons with an organisation called Alliance Francaise. That was only for a term, though. I was always better at writing it than speaking it. I suppose it was confidence thing :(

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This seems a long the lines of people that used to play an instrument in school, yet cannot any longer. But it is not as strange as it seems. I used to be able to read music when I was a teenager, but now I have forgotten how. I also took one class of Spanish and one of French, and although I was not fluent in one semester of each, I did pass the classes. Today, I can barely speak three words in French.

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