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Want to master either Chinese or Spanish after 30, is it possible?
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RandomGuy1 Offline
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Post: #26
RE: Want to master either Chinese or Spanish after 30, is it possible?
I for one think that it all comes down to how motivate you are. Motivation can be a really huge stimulus and can release a lot of power in general and power of endurance.

How ever you will decide, I wish you good luck.

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04-30-2016 02:47 PM
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MdWanderer
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Post: #27
RE: Want to master either Chinese or Spanish after 30, is it possible?
My friend majored in Chinese and lived there awhile a few years ago. He can barely do tourist stuff now.

I studied Spanish intensely for 4 months in Guatemala, and now have a gf who doesn't speak English...

You better have a damn good reason for studying Chinese, the return on investment for learning a Romance language is far higher.
04-30-2016 04:03 PM
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Post: #28
RE: Want to master either Chinese or Spanish after 30, is it possible?
MDWanderer, thanks for your service brother. You say you like the culture but do you have much experience living in it? What kind of girls do you like? What kind of food do you like? What environment (city, rural, tropical, coastal, inland, mountainous, etc) do you enjoy spending time in? Do you know what kind of business you'd like to work in or start post-military? Which language melds with all of your interests?

My dick and my tongue told me to learn Spanish and I rarely ever felt like I was studying. It was an extremely pleasant and positive experience. I love latinas and the food variety that Latin America has to offer. Chinese is fucking hard. Much harder than Spanish, but if your other interests besides the language lie in that world, it will make learning easier, quicker, and more fun. A lot of other members have mentioned that for business it would be better to know a Chinese speaker than to learn it yourself, and that is probably true and the shorter route, but if your external motivators are Asian pussy and scallion pancakes and labyrinths of industrial cities then it is congruent with what you want anyway.

If you're on the fence about it, PM me and I'll send you some booty pics that will make the decision for you. Good luck man. AngelBanana
04-30-2016 04:43 PM
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Post: #29
RE: Want to master either Chinese or Spanish after 30, is it possible?
Many people encourage choosing Spanish because it's so much easier to learn for an English speaker. Completely true, but I like to turn this argument around and think it makes Spanish less attractive because of how easy it is for Spanish speaker to learn English. For example, most well-educated Spanish native speakers also speak good English, while in Asia this is not true.

Whenever frustrated with Mandarin, I try to think "oh man this is what Asians must go through when learning English". Because of the high barrier of entry (between western and eastern languages), there will always be a lot of opportunity to take advantage of your Mandarin if you succeed learning it.

That said, in your case I would still choose Spanish, firstly because you already have background for it, and secondly because you don't master a foreign language yet. I recommend choosing an "easy" language first to give you confidence that it's possible to learn a foreign language at all.
(This post was last modified: 05-02-2016 10:21 AM by Apoc.)
05-02-2016 10:18 AM
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MdWanderer
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Post: #30
RE: Want to master either Chinese or Spanish after 30, is it possible?
I studied Spanish for about six years and I'd say I'm now about high intermediate level with it. Means I can talk about just about any subject other than deep academic or political topics.

I've found being able to speak Spanish to be an immense benefit in the Western hemisphere. I have opportunities to speak it almost every day in the US or when I travel to other places in the Americas. It has also helped me at random times when traveling in Europe and Asia, but more so in Europe. For example, I once needed to ask directions from a German couple. They didn't speak English very well for some reason (rare in Germany) but I was able to communicate with them when I switched to Spanish. Also, knowing Spanish will allow you to read, and speak to a limited degree, in French, Italian, Portugese, and Romanian.
05-03-2016 07:58 AM
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Post: #31
RE: Want to master either Chinese or Spanish after 30, is it possible?
(04-29-2016 08:29 AM)Suits Wrote:  How much do you really know about Chinese culture? This culture is sick and corrupts just about everyone who gets "immersed" in it, so don't count on your time here to be butterflies and rainbows.

haha holy shit, not sure how serious you are? why do you stay?
would love if you could elaborate on how shitty the culture is... be it better or worse than the west.

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05-03-2016 04:13 PM
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KCMOMAN Offline
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Post: #32
RE: Want to master either Chinese or Spanish after 30, is it possible?
Just stumbled across your question while researching Spanish immersion schools.

Yes. One can acquire a second language after 30. I did it after age 40! I can converse in Spanish only for hours long conversations.

My wife was an ESL teacher with a masters degree. We had books lying all over the house on second language acquisition. In a nutshell, here’s what all those books had to say about learning language as you age:

It’s a myth that second language learning is more difficult because of age specifically. (I’m talking about any healthy adult learner, regardless of age.)

It is more difficult because of your circumstances. You have a career, kids, commitments and etc. You just don’t have the time a kid has to dedicate to practicing your target language.

Another factor is the vast vocabulary of your native language. An adult has a vocabulary of roughly 15-20k words. So, in order for you to communicate well with your peers of your target language, you’ve got quite a bit of work ahead of you!

A child of 6 who gets immersed in a foreign language setting doesn’t have such a daunting task ahead of him. He’s got about 2-3k words to learn to be on par with his target language peers.

There is a lot of data showing that kids DO have an advantage when it comes to pronunciation of the target language. I believe the reason was auditory. For some reason, adult learners have difficulty hearing certain sounds of the target language. They’ve spoken their native language for so long that when they try to say the newly acquired word in the target language, they can only make the vowel and consonant sounds of their native language. These are people who have a “heavy accent”. “Heavy accent” really means they suck at pronouncing the second language. However, they may speak the target language every bit as well as their fellow countryman who was immersed for the same amount of time as the “heavily accented” speaker.

I know two sisters in their mid 40s who moved from Dublin to the USA when in their teens. One sister sounds like she was born in the USA, the other sounds like she “just got off the boat”. Oddly, it’s the younger sister who can’t pronounce American English. She can’t even fake it after all these years, even though she wanted so badly to sound like her American peers when she was being teased in high school. She gave up trying long ago and laughs about it now.

Obviously, the one sister speaks English as well as her non-accented sister. After all, she was a native speaker when she got here! Point is...some people can’t do it no matter how hard they try.

So how do you know if you will be able to pronounce your target language well? That’s easy. Let’s hear your best attempt at faking an English, Irish, Australian, or southern Alabama accent. lol

Granted, you may not be great right now, but could you if you worked at it? Either way, it doesn’t matter. Have at it! The age myth has been BUSTED!!
11-01-2017 12:11 PM
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Heart Break Kid Offline
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Post: #33
RE: Want to master either Chinese or Spanish after 30, is it possible?
(05-02-2016 10:18 AM)Apoc Wrote:  Many people encourage choosing Spanish because it's so much easier to learn for an English speaker. Completely true, but I like to turn this argument around and think it makes Spanish less attractive because of how easy it is for Spanish speaker to learn English. For example, most well-educated Spanish native speakers also speak good English, while in Asia this is not true.

Whenever frustrated with Mandarin, I try to think "oh man this is what Asians must go through when learning English". Because of the high barrier of entry (between western and eastern languages), there will always be a lot of opportunity to take advantage of your Mandarin if you succeed learning it.

That said, in your case I would still choose Spanish, firstly because you already have background for it, and secondly because you don't master a foreign language yet. I recommend choosing an "easy" language first to give you confidence that it's possible to learn a foreign language at all.


I'm not sure if this is true, I feel like this is the opposite. There really aren't that many bilingual speakers in Latin America, I think English education is much better in Asia than in Latin America.
11-01-2017 10:48 PM
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Fortis Away
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Post: #34
RE: Want to master either Chinese or Spanish after 30, is it possible?
Nope, after thirty your IQ plummets down to 50 and you're effectively a vegetable.

But seriously, yes you can get fluent in Chinese after 30. Will it be harder? Yeah, but it can be done.

The Why will always determine how quickly things get done, though. If you moved to China and studied hard for 6 months to a year you would get strong really fast. ChoiChoi has been here one year and his Chinese is already wayyyy better than mine. He's over 30 IIRC, too.

I will be checking my PMs weekly, so you can catch me there. I will not be posting.
(This post was last modified: 11-01-2017 11:04 PM by Fortis.)
11-01-2017 11:03 PM
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Suits Offline
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Post: #35
RE: Want to master either Chinese or Spanish after 30, is it possible?
(11-01-2017 11:03 PM)Fortis Wrote:  Nope, after thirty your IQ plummets down to 50 and you're effectively a vegetable.

That's true. This is what I looked like for most of my twenties:

[Image: handsome-italian-man.jpg]

And this is a photo that was taken on my 30th birthday:
[Image: Uzi.jpg?resize=500%2C467]

(11-01-2017 11:03 PM)Fortis Wrote:  If you moved to China and studied hard for 6 months to a year you would get strong really fast.

True, but don't expect to be fluent or anywhere close to it after six months. True fluency will probably take at least two years of solid, serious study, due to the heavy learning curve of the language. Just teaching your brain to comprehend and hear sounds it doesn't know exist will take considerably time.

Getting your mouth to form those sounds will take even more time and that's just the barrier to entry to being about to start attempting to engage in conversations that last more than 10 seconds.

Once you've climbed that mountain, you'll still have most of the actual language learning still remaining.

(11-01-2017 11:03 PM)Fortis Wrote:  ChoiChoi has been here one year and his Chinese is already wayyyy better than mine.

So, you're saying that he has already mastered all the advance phrases such as "Maidan!", "wo de mingzi shi fo-ti-su" and "ting bu dong!"?
11-01-2017 11:28 PM
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Post: #36
RE: Want to master either Chinese or Spanish after 30, is it possible?
(11-01-2017 11:28 PM)Suits Wrote:  So, you're saying that he has already mastered all the advance phrases such as "Maidan!", "wo de mingzi shi fo-ti-su" and "ting bu dong!"?

You're joking but I think that within a year or two, He will have better Chinese than you. He's not a normal language learner, though.

I will be checking my PMs weekly, so you can catch me there. I will not be posting.
11-02-2017 06:25 AM
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Suits Offline
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Post: #37
RE: Want to master either Chinese or Spanish after 30, is it possible?
(11-02-2017 06:25 AM)Fortis Wrote:  
(11-01-2017 11:28 PM)Suits Wrote:  So, you're saying that he has already mastered all the advance phrases such as "Maidan!", "wo de mingzi shi fo-ti-su" and "ting bu dong!"?

You're joking but I think that within a year or two, He will have better Chinese than you. He's not a normal language learner, though.

Not hard to do. My Chinese is easily better than 95% of Westerners here, but that isn't because I have good Chinese. It's because few people have the motivation to go beyond learning to poorly pronounce a few phrases.

My vocabulary range is embarrassingly weak, especially for someone who has lived in China for six years, but I have the big advantage that I did nothing but focus on learning Chinese for my first ten or so months in China, which means that I learned a lot right up front and have used my additional five years here to get really good at using what I know.

My current plan is to work off the rest of my student debt (should take about two more years) and then go to working just two days a week and spend the rest of my time attending Chinese classes and memorizing vocabulary words until I get up to a 5000 word vocabulary. It's the lack of freaking vocabulary that is holding me back. Everything else is solid, as far as my current and future needs go.
11-02-2017 06:34 AM
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Post: #38
RE: Want to master either Chinese or Spanish after 30, is it possible?
Also,

I do agree that no one is getting fluent in Chinese in 6 months without some heavy, heavy immersion and deep nigh-autism dedication. Is it possible? Yes, but is it likely. Probably not.

The guy with the best Chinese that I have heard has been here for 15 years and is a legit polyglot who speaks several dialects of Chinese and even teaches Chinese classes in his 3rd or 4th language at a college for a living. Obviously not a normal person and not someone we could hope to emulate. That said, I won't place a cap on what others "can" do, but if someone said to me, "can I be fluent in 6 months," I would say "probably not."

Anyway, I do think that trying to learn Chinese without coming here is going to put another 2-3 years on that time requirement. I can't say I've ever really heard of anyone learning Chinese abroad and getting crazy good without spending a lot of time putzing around in China.

I will be checking my PMs weekly, so you can catch me there. I will not be posting.
11-02-2017 06:34 AM
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Post: #39
RE: Want to master either Chinese or Spanish after 30, is it possible?
By the way, talking about language-learning abilities, it is to be noted that people from Africa often have a natural skill for learning foreign languages, fast. African migrants pick up Spanish, in particular, in no time... There's for example this Senegalese tribe of illegal street-sellers, known worldwide, whose members seem to learn the basics of any language effortlessly in a few months. Strange.
(This post was last modified: 11-02-2017 07:45 AM by Going strong.)
11-02-2017 07:42 AM
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Post: #40
RE: Want to master either Chinese or Spanish after 30, is it possible?
(11-02-2017 07:42 AM)Going strong Wrote:  By the way, talking about language-learning abilities, it is to be noted that people from Africa often have a natural skill for learning foreign languages, fast. African migrants pick up Spanish, in particular, in no time... There's for example this Senegalese tribe of illegal street-sellers, known worldwide, whose members seem to learn the basics of any language effortlessly in a few months. Strange.

Despite what the autists tell us about everyone from Africa, they do have no problem learning new languages.

My analysis (which I stand by) points to a combination of three contributing factors.
  • Multilingualism - many folks in Africa learn several languages as a matter of course due to the varied cultural-lingual nature of Africa. I've met some who claim to know 14 or so languages, some of which don't even have a name. The best learner of a new language tends to be someone who knows what steps they need to take in order to reach their learning goals.
  • Motivation - many Africans who move abroad are looking to better themselves by doing so and are thus personally invested in learning the new language(s) that will help them do that. This is different from Westerners who see even long term time spend abroad is nothing more of an extended vacation to tick off the "foreign experience" box on their life/resume goals.
  • Situational Fluency - if a learner of a language gets repetitive practice doing a certain activity (such as selling a certain type of product), they'll become situationally (and deceivingly) fluent when engaged in that activity, even if they are completely lost when it comes to anything else.
11-02-2017 08:57 AM
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Rutting Elephant Offline
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Post: #41
RE: Want to master either Chinese or Spanish after 30, is it possible?
This thread relates to communicating with living Chinese people, but I will relate this off-topic anecdote anyway.

We had a joke in the <unspecified regional studies> department in grad school:
you can learn every language in the world... or you can learn classical Chinese!
11-02-2017 10:40 AM
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RE: Want to master either Chinese or Spanish after 30, is it possible?
(11-02-2017 10:40 AM)Rutting Elephant Wrote:  This thread relates to communicating with living Chinese people, but I will relate this off-topic anecdote anyway.

We had a joke in the <unspecified regional studies> department in grad school:
you can learn every language in the world... or you can learn classical Chinese!

It's not a joke.
11-02-2017 10:42 AM
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Post: #43
RE: Want to master either Chinese or Spanish after 30, is it possible?
(11-02-2017 08:57 AM)Suits Wrote:  
(11-02-2017 07:42 AM)Going strong Wrote:  By the way, talking about language-learning abilities, it is to be noted that people from Africa often have a natural skill for learning foreign languages, fast. African migrants pick up Spanish, in particular, in no time... There's for example this Senegalese tribe of illegal street-sellers, known worldwide, whose members seem to learn the basics of any language effortlessly in a few months. Strange.

Despite what the autists tell us about everyone from Africa, they do have no problem learning new languages.

My analysis (which I stand by) points to a combination of three contributing factors.
  • Multilingualism - many folks in Africa learn several languages as a matter of course due to the varied cultural-lingual nature of Africa. I've met some who claim to know 14 or so languages, some of which don't even have a name. The best learner of a new language tends to be someone who knows what steps they need to take in order to reach their learning goals.
  • Motivation - many Africans who move abroad are looking to better themselves by doing so and are thus personally invested in learning the new language(s) that will help them do that. This is different from Westerners who see even long term time spend abroad is nothing more of an extended vacation to tick off the "foreign experience" box on their life/resume goals.
  • Situational Fluency - if a learner of a language gets repetitive practice doing a certain activity (such as selling a certain type of product), they'll become situationally (and deceivingly) fluent when engaged in that activity, even if they are completely lost when it comes to anything else.

Jordan

great breakdown

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11-02-2017 11:05 AM
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Post: #44
RE: Want to master either Chinese or Spanish after 30, is it possible?
I want to address the 'after 30 years old' issue (any foreign language).

You can definitely make (major) progress at any age. I know this from personal experience with my second language. I have invested many thousands of hours of 'deliberate practice' in this, a combination of using the language along with independent study. This kind of investment may not be worth for most but it's what you need to do if you want to reach near-native levels.

The people I know who complain about their low language level are invariably doing nothing deliberate on a daily basis to improve it or they're wasting their time with gimmicks and comfortable activities like passively consuming materials.

The usual problem is that people don't do the work. They don't learn the basics or look into techniques that have worked for successful language learners. Their limits are self-imposed. I see this daily with my adult students. An hour a week of practice is not enough to take you to the next level. Think of some skill where you consider yourself near the top and think of what it took you to get there. That's the way to look at this.

It helps to be obsessive about the task. Attack it from multiple directions. At some point, you must get beyond relying solely on materials designed for learners. Those lead to a false sense of security/accomplishment.

Pronunciation is traditionally singled out as an area where adults find it hard to reach the highest levels. It's hard to tell how much of that is due to age (definitely a factor) and how much is due to lack of effort/attention. Most people with shitty pronunciation have never directly addressed the issue in a serious way.

It's certainly fine to have modest goals, just being able to ask directions or order in a restaurant. Personally, I can't see settling for that if you're going to live in the country for an extended period of time. You're missing a lot of the experience.
11-02-2017 12:20 PM
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Post: #45
RE: Want to master either Chinese or Spanish after 30, is it possible?
So I've had a couple of months of figuring out what to do since I've graduated from college. I spent a few weeks continuing my language learning of Chinese - and of course I am thinking in hindsight, if I had studied every several hours with a lot of conversation practice these past two months, where would my Chinese be?

It'd be "good" by most non-Mandarin speaking people's standards, as in people who majored in Chinese might have worse conversational skills than me. I think I would be able to get my point across in certain scenarios (buying things, introducing yourself, ordering food, asking what people like a million times), because while my vocabulary and phrases would be small, I'd have decent mastery over the few words I did know.

If one did this for 6 months, where would they be? They'd be able to converse, I am pretty sure - but FLUENCY?

This really comes down to what we call fluent. Having a diverse conversation, being able to tell a lot of jokes, synonyms, idoms, slang - think of all the different ways you say the same thing in your native language with little effort, you would not be able to do that with 6 months of learning Mandarin. I don't even think someone who is of Cantonese descent and can speak Cantonese would be able to speak Mandarin fluent in 6 months.


Can you be conversational in 6 months? Yeah, sure. Even if you train smart and hard, you'll still be far from fluent. I've seen videos of people who put in 800 hours of conversation in an Asian languages and they're still not fluent, or even close to it. Conversational and fluent are two different things.


As for the topic at hand, I'm in my late 20s, my ability to learn languages isn't any worse than when I was younger. People who are much older than me still learn languages. The whole "I am too old to learn a new language" is an outdated mindset in regards to language learning. Unless you have Alzheimer or something, you'll be able to learn a language. I gave my mom a training regiment to learn French since she is old and retired and not using her brain, and her ability to learn French vocab isn't bad at all. She's been doing Duolingo, reading childrens books and all that for a year - if she wasn't too shy/lazy to use apps like HelloTalk she would certainly be able to speak French by now (she's more of a phrase monkey at this point).
(This post was last modified: 11-02-2017 01:41 PM by Heart Break Kid.)
11-02-2017 01:33 PM
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Post: #46
RE: Want to master either Chinese or Spanish after 30, is it possible?
Totally possible with Chinese, as long as you are motivated to do it and put in the time and deal with the cultural hiccups. Of course, when you are older your ability to retain information and rewire your brain drops. On the other hand, you know yourself and your own learning style better, and have a greater context for the material you are learning, so I think both the positive and negative cancel each other out and it's definitely possible to learn.

Whether or not it's worth the time investment is a whole different issue. China is becoming more hostile and xenophobic towards foreigners (as well as discriminatory towards foreign owned businesses), Chinese people are learning English, and artificial intelligence translation software programs are becoming more and more sophisticated, helping smoothen out everyday conversations between different language speakers. On the other hand, as I've argued about in other threads, with all the bullshit going on in the West right now, China keeps growing in economic, political, and military power with nearly zero pushback from the U.S. and is poised to become the first Asian world superpower in centuries. This will fundamentally reshape human civilization, so being able to communicate with them and understand their culture will be an asset no matter where you end up or in what industry.

If you still decide to do it, some tips:

-Figure out what your learning style is and what your goals are. There are TONS of ways to learn a language - Duolingo, Rosetta Stone, memorizing vocab and sentence patterns, complete immersion, getting a local gf that doesn't speak English, taking a large group class, small group classes, one on one classes, watching movies with/without English/Chinese subtitles, podcasts, pimsleur, studying dialogues from a textbook, and much more. You should experiment around and think about what you want to be able to do in Chinese and what method can get you there. Personally, I think that large group classes that make you write are a complete waste of time if you want to learn how to speak and communicate in Chinese.

-I've studied language with different people, and for those that were studying in a way that was a mismatch with their learning style, all their classroom time was a complete waste (this applies to any subject not just languages - I hate listening to teachers drone on and being stuck in a chair). So, figure out what the best way for YOU to learn is, and use that method, supplemented by others. This may involve trying out different teachers and schools. See to what degree you can use different teachers or software programs on a trial basis before throwing down a chunk of cash for the whole thing.

-PLECO app - best app for using and studying a language that I've ever used.

-Decide how you want to approach writing and reading. For some people, they need to know how to write a character in order to read it. Not the case for me and many other students I know - we didn't bother learning to write and can read most characters needed on a daily basis. Either way, writing is a HUGE time sink, and if you're willing to let it go, you can focus on more important areas like pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, etc. With modern written communications mainly taking place over phone/pc, there are very few occasions in real life where you will actually have to write Chinese characters. Before you spend a lot of time on writing, see if you can learn to recognize characters without writing, and take it from there. Regarding reading, up to the beginner + level you can get by with just using pinyin, but after that you should be able to read characters directly.

On a completely different topic, I think Spanish is of course worth learning as well. Many jobs in the southwest now require fluency in Spanish just because of the growth in the Spanish speaking population. And of course gaming opportunities. A gringo speaking Spanish makes you far less unique than a gringo speaking Chinese. You will still get praise and kudos from Hispanics, though not the shock that Chinese people express when encountering a foreigner that speaks legit Chinese. China is going to be far more consequential in terms of impacting the world's economy than Latin America will, so you really have to think about your priorities and the cost/benefit. Assuming you have an equal talent for learning either language, achieving the same fluency in speaking/listening Chinese vs. Spanish will take about 2-3x more with Chinese. For reading, I'd say it's at least 4x more time to get to the equivalent level in Chinese compared to Spanish. Spanish also opens the door to French, Portuguese, Italian, and Romanian.
(This post was last modified: 11-02-2017 02:34 PM by Arado.)
11-02-2017 02:16 PM
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RE: Want to master either Chinese or Spanish after 30, is it possible?
(04-29-2016 08:11 AM)MdWanderer Wrote:  I want to get back to learning and eventually mastering a foreign language again. Actually begun Spanish when I was 11 years old, was really good up until high school when I took Latin for four years (don't remember any Latin) then started back up in college again but wasn't very good at it. Studied it for a few years again but was in a standstill. Can understand basic speaking and listening, and intermediate writing.

However I think Chinese would be important too especially with this global economy. I want to eventually work for an embassy or do business in Chinese (my alma mater's MBA program has a Chinese business program I was interested in that I want to find more information about) plus I enjoy the culture which would make immersion easier. My plan is to live there for six months after I leave the military (by then I would of have had 2 1/2 years of independent study under my belt). I want to find a private tutor and take lessons twice a week and do independent study the other five days.

Have any of you mastered a language past the age of 30 or known somebody who has? (I am 30 now). I know no Chinese and would be starting from scratch, but that would not be the case with Spanish, although I have a greater interest in learning Chinese than Spanish and quit Spanish several times because it bored me (I only took it because I knew it was an important language to learn).

Chinese is 20 times harder than Spanish. I haven't studied Spanish since 1997-1999, but I can still go into any of the little Mexico areas in Houston and order food with ease and translate almost everything on advertisements.

The three most spoken languages on Earth are Chinese, Spanish, and English. As long as you know 2 out of 3, I think you will be fine in life. That said, if you really want to live, work, or date in China for whatever reasons, you might have to learn it or struggle a bit.

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11-02-2017 02:44 PM
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Post: #48
RE: Want to master either Chinese or Spanish after 30, is it possible?
(11-02-2017 06:34 AM)Fortis Wrote:  Also,

I do agree that no one is getting fluent in Chinese in 6 months without some heavy, heavy immersion and deep nigh-autism dedication. Is it possible? Yes, but is it likely. Probably not.

The guy with the best Chinese that I have heard has been here for 15 years and is a legit polyglot who speaks several dialects of Chinese and even teaches Chinese classes in his 3rd or 4th language at a college for a living. Obviously not a normal person and not someone we could hope to emulate. That said, I won't place a cap on what others "can" do, but if someone said to me, "can I be fluent in 6 months," I would say "probably not."

Anyway, I do think that trying to learn Chinese without coming here is going to put another 2-3 years on that time requirement. I can't say I've ever really heard of anyone learning Chinese abroad and getting crazy good without spending a lot of time putzing around in China.

You can if you spend around 3 years at the college level. I burned out at 2.5 years, just enough to get my minor in it. Those classes were so hard, I almost gave up several times. My Chinese friends said I was very conversational but honestly I do not remember anymore.

Taking around 4 years off using it daily it hurt my skills more than anything else. I did not have a Chinese wife back then to practice with and I was too into my career at the time.

I know some classmates that studied Russian in college and the fluent guys were 2-3 years deep in classes.

Compare and contrast with Spanish. It was not uncommon to bump into someone on their 1st or 2nd Spanish course and already fluent in basic conversation. I had a close Vietnamese friend that was fluent after 2 classes. Compare that with 4-6 classes of Chinese. That's the gulf that makes it hard.

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11-02-2017 02:56 PM
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Post: #49
RE: Want to master either Chinese or Spanish after 30, is it possible?
(04-30-2016 04:03 PM)the biggest cheetah Wrote:  My friend majored in Chinese and lived there awhile a few years ago. He can barely do tourist stuff now.

I studied Spanish intensely for 4 months in Guatemala, and now have a gf who doesn't speak English...

You better have a damn good reason for studying Chinese, the return on investment for learning a Romance language is far higher.

Good comment, but the amount of opportunity with both languages is very high. Problem is that Chinese has tones and no alphabet, so as a result it requires much more time.

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11-02-2017 03:00 PM
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RE: Want to master either Chinese or Spanish after 30, is it possible?
(04-29-2016 08:54 AM)Suits Wrote:  
(04-29-2016 08:48 AM)ball dont lie Wrote:  All the people I meet who studied Chinese for year or two suck. Its shit. Their tones are horrible, the cadence of their speech sounds nothing like Chinese should and their vocabulary makes them sound retarded. Just the same words over and over. Same sentence patterns.

You're right. I need to make more effort.

To be fair, asking where the pet shop is and then going for the kiss close doesn't need total language mastery. Wink
11-04-2017 10:21 AM
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