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FenWoFon

Live in a foreign country to learn?

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I've heard this quite a lot of times and I dont really think it is true, because I' have learnt a lot of english without placing a foot outside of my country, it is true that you need to live in the country to learn everything about the culture but it is kinda false for me that you necessarily need to live in the country to learn the whole language thing, what do you guys think about this?

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Living in a foreign country to learn a language is the ideal situation, but it's not required.
It would have been valid if you were living in a communistic country prior to the 1980's, but thanks to the internet this statement became invalid.

If you choose to be in a foreign country to learn a language any way, you should spend at least 3 months in that country.
Being there for only 1 week won't teach you anything.
And even then you will need to show the same commitment to language learning as if you were to stay home, the only difference is that you will be surrounded by the language there.
Other than that, there's nearly no difference between learning from home or learning abroad.

Most foreigners will end up blending into their own language communities or contacting their own family in their own language any way.
So that's another argument to consider.

I hope this helps.

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I really do not think it is important to learn the language.  A lot of the work required to learn a language can be done from home.  But living in a different country can take it to a new level that you will have a hard time reaching without it.

Just be careful about which country you pick..  you definitely need to understand, especially for languages like spanish that it is almost like 20 different languages and much of what you learned from books or the internet will be VERY different depending on where you go.

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This is kind of my dream actually. I have lived on Malta for 2 years and I have learned some of their language but since it is bilingual country with English being the other language, it was hard to learn something. The good thing about this was I was working there and it helped a lot that they spoke English.

I would like to have a leisure year or two in France or Portugal, Spain, Italy. I really do not care. I like Greek language as well and Greece is wonderful. Maybe that would be the best because I already speak a bit of Greek.

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It's not essential, but it would help tremendously. If you have nothing to lose and the means, then go for it! I learned more Spanish in three months of living in Venezuela than I would have in three years just studying it. Of course, mostly no one has the means to do this, and like I said, it's not required. It doesn't even work for everybody, but it often helps. BEWARE of culture shock however!

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You don't HAVE to live in a foreign country to learn a language, but it'll speed up the process because you'll (probably) be using the language more. Plus, you'll be able to learn words and phrases that are not taught in textbooks or in a language class. 

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I think living in a foreign country will aid you in learning the language. This is because you will be surrounded by people who speak it and everywhere you go, the language is spoken. One of the first things you actually learn is the currency; how to make transactions and say 'Thank you' then comes the greetings.

I feel it is a practical way of actually learning a language faster.

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It can certainly help although it isn't the only good way of learning a language. For one, it can help you understand pronunciations and dictation more easily. You can actually hear and listen to how people say the words exactly. It's better to learn a language from the person who has learned the language natively. Secondly, you cane easily ask questions especially if the speaker can speak English as well. You can learn words that apps or websites cannot teach you. And lastly, you get to understand slang words or words that are only heard in the streets or through informal conversations. 

Ideally though, you would need to spend some time in that country before you can even learn the language completely. Some foreigners living in my country can understand Filipino/Tagalog but still cannot speak the language. Others still have the America accent when speaking my native language. But only those who had lived here for years understand the language fully. And even then, deeper words or traditional words are still new to them at times.

It's not necessary, yes, but it makes for a great experience in itself. I would love to live in Korea for a whole year and get to know their language deeper and better.

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Living in the country you intend to learn the language of can be an asset for sure. I think that if you know a little bit of the language beforehand though that's definitely a bonus so that you're able to understand the basics and have a basic conversation right from the start.

If you can learn from the natives of a country you're more able to learn natural sayings too rather than trying to string things together for yourself. It helps to learn local slang too if you plan to stay somewhere for a long time. It makes translating things much easier.

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On 4/6/2016 at 5:12 AM, FenWoFon said:

I've heard this quite a lot of times and I dont really think it is true, because I' have learnt a lot of english without placing a foot outside of my country, it is true that you need to live in the country to learn everything about the culture but it is kinda false for me that you necessarily need to live in the country to learn the whole language thing, what do you guys think about this?

Oh, it's true.  Not only am I the perfect example, I know hundreds of people who are.  I moved from the United States to Japan to not only become fluent in Japanese, I'm living and working here too.  Within the first 3 months of studying at an immersive language school in Shinjuku, my Japanese comprehension escalated rapidly.  Within a year, I was practically a conversationalist.  Now I'm preparing for the JLPT N1, the highest certification you can achieve in Japanese fluency.  

Other examples include my Korean friends who've not only lived in Japan and gained a conversational-level of comprehension but who've worked temporary positions in Australia and America and rapidly acquired knowledge of the English language.  A Japanese guy I dated lived in New Zealand for 3 years.  When he first arrived in NZ, he didn't know a lick of English.  In 3 years, he could read, write and give business-level speeches in English.

So, no, you don't necessary have to live in another country to acquire a language, but as others have said, it's the ideal situation.  You simply assimilate things more naturally when you have no choice but to adapt.

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I wish I could do this. If only I had the time to take off and the money to study Italian in Italy then I would do it. I wish my boyfriend would agree to it too and we could live in a villa in the countryside. That would be my dream.

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You don't need to live in that country to learn the language, but as immersion is incredibly important it is ideal, as Blaveloper said. If you can't then that isn't a problem. For your immersion read books, watch movies, listen to radio/music, and talk to natives either in real life or through Skype or something. Try to recreate that ideal situation as best as possible. 

Have you heard of Joseph Caspar Mezzofanti (1774-1849)? He learned to speak more than 38 languages fluently, but never left his home country of Italy yet apparently managed to learn to speak the languages without an accent and amazed native speakers of those languages.

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It's very important and does help accelerate the learning process. Well, this was the case for me in both my French and Italian learning experiences. For instance, I remember going to France for 3 months in my second year of learning French at university and learning more in those short months than I ever did in the 2 years prior. But then of course, different things work for different people. Some people may not necessarily like this. I liked it all the more because it was more than just learning French as I was totally immersed in the culture, and this is the ideal situation for me personally. It's not the only way of learning a foreign language but it's certainly one of the most effective IMHO. -and of course the cherry on top is being able to interact and converse with all the natives, and who better to learn from? 

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On 14/4/2016 at 5:59 PM, Teira Eri said:

Oh, it's true.  Not only am I the perfect example, I know hundreds of people who are.  I moved from the United States to Japan to not only become fluent in Japanese, I'm living and working here too.  Within the first 3 months of studying at an immersive language school in Shinjuku, my Japanese comprehension escalated rapidly.  Within a year, I was practically a conversationalist.  Now I'm preparing for the JLPT N1, the highest certification you can achieve in Japanese fluency.  

Other examples include my Korean friends who've not only lived in Japan and gained a conversational-level of comprehension but who've worked temporary positions in Australia and America and rapidly acquired knowledge of the English language.  A Japanese guy I dated lived in New Zealand for 3 years.  When he first arrived in NZ, he didn't know a lick of English.  In 3 years, he could read, write and give business-level speeches in English.

So, no, you don't necessary have to live in another country to acquire a language, but as others have said, it's the ideal situation.  You simply assimilate things more naturally when you have no choice but to adapt.

That is what I exactly mean, I definitely thin kthat it is all about how interested you are on learning the language, you can also plractice everywhere atany time of the day, or at least that is what I do.

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Just as many of us have learned languages without ever setting foot in the country in question, it's amazing the number of people I met who, on the reverse side of the situation, have lived in a foreign country for months or even years without assimilating more than the typical "where is the bathroom" sentences. All it takes is for you not to care, or not to care enough.

Learning something almost always requires some effort on your part - even if that effort is not conscious. Being in the science lab at school didn't teach you any science unless you actually paid attention. I've found that people who actually make an effort get way better results with very little resources than some people that have the best conditions.

I lived in Italy for a year, but I only really became good at Italian when I finally made an effort. I started reading in Italian, forced myself to speak to people instead of letting others do it for me, and last but not least, had to do my exams in Italian -nothing like last minute panic to get you learning! lol

 

 

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Nowadays the internet offers us many possibilities to learn another language without setting foot out of our country. I think living for at least a couple of months in another country helps more than anything else, you are forced to learn the language if you want to communicate with other people. I think though that as a beginner is better to study the  basics of the language you want to learn before going anywhere, that way you'd be able to understand at least a little of what is said and you won't feel too overwhelmed. I've learned english by myself and when I felt I was good enough at it, I rewarded myself with a two months long trip to England. It was an unique experience, I learned many new things and now I'm fluent. Recently I've started to learn spanish and I'm using the same approach.

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I think English might be an easier language to learn without leaving your own country since it's so popular and vastly used, and you can turn on your tv or just browse online and come across many English videos and many other resources. I don't think it's necessary to live in the country you want to learn the language from, but I do think it does help the process along especially with languages that are not as widely used as English. 

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