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TRAVEL Hints and Tips Post your TIPS to travellers - all the interesting little tidbits you learned on the road about packing, where to get stuff, and how to cope with problems. Please make sure the subject describes the tip clearly!
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  #16  
Old 21 Feb 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by impasto View Post

Maybe we can practice on each other?? Lets start a French thread in the Bar!!!

Sounds good, will we have to use 'French Letters'??
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  #17  
Old 21 Feb 2008
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Originally Posted by dave ede View Post
Sounds good, will we have to use 'French Letters'??
ROFL. I'm not allowed to incite or gloat. So I can't answer appropriately.
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  #18  
Old 23 Feb 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by impasto View Post
Matt!

I've been FURIOUSLY, studying in the past 6 months trying to improve my French in prep for our trip next year... (Me and Gigi agreed that she will worry about GPS and I'll learn the LANGUAGE!)

I've done the BBC courses (got it tutored at a local evening college) and its good for basic knowledge...to get you started. I've got loads of other resources too -- will dig them out for you.


HOWEVER --- the problem is, its really not good enough to have 'basic French' because... its just even MORE frustrating....

The key is in PRACTISING it, SPEAKING it with others...

Maybe we can practice on each other?? Lets start a French thread in the Bar!!!
Il sera un peu difficile a parler avec les autres utilisant un texte, non?

Mais tu peu corriger ma grammaire a commencer. Merci, a "Gigi" et toi!
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  #19  
Old 28 Feb 2008
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Here's a great way to learn enough to get by in most countries. Won't get you fluent, but will help with the day to day travel stuff.

Learn the Lingo - Travellers Language Guides
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  #20  
Old 29 Feb 2008
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I have to admit that I'm useless when it comes to languages. Last year was my first trip to the darkside (France). Previously I've been to Scandinavia where I've only needed to speak English. I tried some free CD's I'd got from the "Sundays" and found them really boring. I don't need to know how to get a train or a hotel. They try to do a story you can follow but it seems quite irrelevant to me so it wasn't much help. In the end I just went and said sod it I'll manage. I had a phrase book and had to learn the bits I needed day to day. I quickly learned that it helped immensly if I said it in a French accent and not my native Midlands! Everyone I met was brilliant and very helpful, contrary to my pre-conceptions. I stopped on a farm campsite near Gap and the owners spoke no English and I spoke no French. After two days they knew some English and I knew some French. It was a great experience and it set the tone for the whole 3 weeks. What a wonderful country. I hope my experience in Spain and Portugal this year are as good. I don't speak a word of either!
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  #21  
Old 29 Feb 2008
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The Gym

I spend 3-4 hours week in the gym or running on country roads (in a desperate attempt to allow me to keep up the pie ratio). I find that listening to Russian mp3 tuition then is great. It takes my mind off the pain of exercise, and also, I tend to think of this is using my valuable time twice!

Also, I like the 'stress' aspect of learning Russian whilst ou of breath and trying not to fall of a treadmill. I think I may be kinky

In about a year I feel I've made great progress. And bear in mind this is coming from a complete novice when it comes to languages.

Might not suit alsorts, but it's probably worth considering where you have some dead time (driving, exercising, hovering etc etc), and utilising that. Just a thought.

Oh, perhaps a word of warning. I had to give up listenig to it when I was driving

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  #22  
Old 29 Feb 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyingdoctor View Post
I have to admit that I'm useless when it comes to languages. Last year was my first trip to the darkside (France). Previously I've been to Scandinavia where I've only needed to speak English. I tried some free CD's I'd got from the "Sundays" and found them really boring. I don't need to know how to get a train or a hotel. They try to do a story you can follow but it seems quite irrelevant to me so it wasn't much help. In the end I just went and said sod it I'll manage. I had a phrase book and had to learn the bits I needed day to day. I quickly learned that it helped immensly if I said it in a French accent and not my native Midlands! Everyone I met was brilliant and very helpful, contrary to my pre-conceptions. I stopped on a farm campsite near Gap and the owners spoke no English and I spoke no French. After two days they knew some English and I knew some French. It was a great experience and it set the tone for the whole 3 weeks. What a wonderful country. I hope my experience in Spain and Portugal this year are as good. I don't speak a word of either!
Yes lots of English people are hostile to the French, who are a perfectly nice bunch of people - as any nationality is. So I'm glad your "darkside " joke changed to finding the French as nice as anyone else. A result for openness! The English seem to be the only nation with many people who seem to automatically dislike others, ie, French, Germans, Spanish etc. It's embarrassing to hear this all the time, including endless little anti foreigner jokes on TV.

Well done doctor, in putting aside your "preconceptions".
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  #23  
Old 29 Feb 2008
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Wink How far will English get you?

We could all learn French like this guy intends to learn:-

BBC NEWS | UK | England | Bristol/Somerset | Language barrier scuppers walker

MY guess is that when he hits the German or Italian border on the way to India he will turn around again!
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  #24  
Old 13 Mar 2008
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"If I had to learn a language before I went anywhere I'd never get out of South London!"

Ditto. I've always blamed it on the horrible French teacher I had. But that was 30 years ago, and she's probably long dead. However, I've now been in Latin American countries for two years, with no languages courses, and I'm a burra. (donkey) I've concluded you need to be a very social person to excel, as you have to actually TALK and practice with people.

But, it's embarrasing. How I manage to understand/get by as much as I do truly defies the imagination. Someone just mailed me a bootleg copy of the Rosetta Stone, which everyone swears by. I'll keep you posted...

Matt, I think if you took a cooking class in French, you'd be fluent in no time. ;-)
(On that note, still haven't tried any of the rice tips, too cheap in Bolivia to bother even buying a bag of rice!

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  #25  
Old 14 Mar 2008
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I'm absolutely crap with these podcasts and audiotapes and so forth because I'm more of a visual learner.
After months of frustration trying to learn Italian my dad sent me to
Learn Spanish, French, Italian, German and 60 other languages with BYKI software.
Which is basically a program of flash cards with audio attached.
It doesn't sound like much but it really kicks ass!
I can't believe the progress I've made with it.

.. Seriously I'm not affiliate with the company. I just LOVE the software!
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  #26  
Old 14 Mar 2008
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Thanks for the link. I've just downloaded Spanish. I'll give it a go.
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  #27  
Old 22 Mar 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toukakoukan View Post
I'm absolutely crap with these podcasts and audiotapes and so forth because I'm more of a visual learner.
After months of frustration trying to learn Italian my dad sent me to
Learn Spanish, French, Italian, German and 60 other languages with BYKI software.
Which is basically a program of flash cards with audio attached.
It doesn't sound like much but it really kicks ass!
I can't believe the progress I've made with it.

.. Seriously I'm not affiliate with the company. I just LOVE the software!
Hey thanks alot for that link - spot on - making loads of progress with that - thanks!
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  #28  
Old 30 Apr 2008
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Don't waste your time learning more than the minimum to get by, the extra effort won't be very useful. Most people only learn a language effectively thru immersion anyway.

I found, when I travelled to Japan for the first time, I didn't understand anything they were saying, so my prep seemed to be a waste of time. Eventually I realized the only way to learn Japanese is to live in Japan. And after speaking to many people about this, it turns out this is right. Of course Japanese is an extreme example because the language is so much different than English. The upside to knowing some Japanese is that it immediately becomes useful because few people over there speak decent English. After 5 trips to Japan, I can 'get by' in Japanese but I am severely limited by vocabulary and the colloquial speech that Japanese use between each other.

It's funny how most people here ride Japanese bikes, yet Japan isn't a top destination.

And before you think the language you are trying to learn is 'impossible' just remember, there are plenty of kids out there speaking it effortlessly. If kids can do it, surely you can do it too.
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  #29  
Old 17 May 2008
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just downloaded a couple of ones from BYKI in the hope my total lack of language skills can be overcome.
nice finds people.
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