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7-06-2009 @ 9:11AM
You cannot learn a foreign language from a game. Rosetta Stone software will not allow you fluency in any language.The biggest challenge of any language is grammar, and (especially for English speakers) tenses, moods and cases. None of these can be learned by memorizing phrases like 'jeg er engelsk' etc.You can augment your knowledge, yes, and if you are already aware of the grammar then WoW is an excellent way to extend your vocab (especially in casual speech) but to suggest that merely playing with Europeans is a guaranteed way to pick up a foreign language is both misleading and insulting to those of us who have put a lot of effort into doing so.(Hope that made sense--Blackberry not ideal for posting)
7-07-2009 @ 6:18AM
Now, I am fluent in English, French and Spanish, the former being my native tongue and the latter two learned through traditional methods. I don't find it insulting to say that you can learn languages via WoW, I think it's fantastic if it gets more people learning and interested. Perhaps this is because I'm English and our language provision in school is fairly dire, so I'll take whatever I can get. Secondly, '...the biggest challenge of any language is grammar, and (especially for English speakers) tenses, moods and cases. None of these can be learned by memorizing phrases like 'jeg er engelsk' etc.' While I agree that this is the case - you don't learn by parroting - people are not neccessarily doing it that way. I didn't pick up Norwegian through memorising phrases, I learned it by reading conversations between people and listening to them on Vent. Once you learn to pick out the verbs from the vocab, you can recognise the different conjugations. Perhaps this is more advanced than what some people do, because I am naturally gifted with language, but I'd like to think that when people say 'Jeg er engelsk' they deduce that jeg is the personal pronoun and er is the correct conjugation of the verb. In fact I'd go so far as to say that most people do think that way, since the second question is usually 'How do you say 'you are'? Something er?' And then you add in the aural element, on Vent or Skype or whatever, and you realise that in Norwegian (at least in the accent used in Trondheim) 'Jeg kommer fra' is pronounced like 'Y-eye kommerr frar' (failing at writing that phonetically 'cos you don't quite pronounce that last R) and it starts to make sense.So, although I partially agree with you, I don't think you can assume people are memorising rather than learning.
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