Do people actually learn a foreign language in college (especially Russian and Japan?

<p>I mean, obviously it depends on how much you put in it. But assuming I want to learn that language, will I be able to learn it in a US college?</p>

<p>I ask because in high school, no matter how much I want to learn a language to a proficient level, I can't because of the terrible education system (as opposed to foreign countries like Finland, where they are already proficient in four languages by high school).</p>

<p>And if yes, would that apply to Japanese or Russian, which are really difficult to an English native.</p>

<p>If you fully apply yourself, in and outside of class, and study abroad in the respective country, then I think you have a good chance of reaching basic fluency in Russian or high intermediate in Japanese (choosing between them).</p>

<p>DD is majoring in Japanese. She took her first class in college. Her recitation instructors are all native speakers.</p>

<p>Well, MD Mom, nice for your daughter, but that wasn't helpful in the least.</p>

<p>IAmPOS, you said high intermediate Japanese. Does that mean its too hard to master in College as compared to Russian?</p>

<p>So what is your question? Yes, you can learn Japanese and Russian in a U.S. college without taking the language in high school.</p>

<p>MD Mom, this person is asking whether or not he/she can become a fluent speaker of the language. There is a large difference between "learning" the language in college and becoming a fluent speaker of the language. Just because your daughter is taking an introductory language course or two doesn't mean she has learned the language to fluency. Although at 50K a year, you might want that result!</p>

<p>Fluency is difficult to achieve, and in my opinion, simply can't be taught solely in a classroom setting. It takes a lot more than that, and it also takes initiative. With so many responsibilities on the plate, a college probably isn't going to produce fluent speakers just from four years of class. However, any student who really wants to learn a language can combine the classroom, language clubs, study abroad, self study summer opportunities, and other experiences to achieve fluency in the college years. Some languages take longer to "master" than others. An English speaker is going to become fluent in Spanish much faster than he or she would become fluent in Arabic, most likely.</p>

<p>Fu<em>k u call her out jus cuz she threw in her 2 cent. If somebody dont give the answer you want dont act like a a</em>shole</p>

<p>Japanese is definitely more difficult than Russian, but Russian is still very challenging in itself. I doubt you could achieve fluency in Japanese in 4 years even with study outside of class and abroad, it will take a long time. Russian does seem feasible in 4 years though, but of course you won't be speaking like a native for a while.</p>

<p>I don't mean fluency, cause that is a relative term (like I could say I'm still not fluent in English cause I don't get 100s on my writing sections in my SATs), but I mean proficiency. The reason I ask is because one of the criteria for my college choice is whether they teach Russian, or if not, Japanese. If I won't learn the language anyway, I might as well not make that a deal-breaker</p>

<p>Cinnabuns: She didn't give her two cents. She gave an unrelated answer. I asked "will I be able to speak a language in college by the end," and she answered "My daughter takes Japanese. Her instructors are native." If you can tell me how that is related to an answer, I'll rescind my patronization.</p>

<p>Shadowzoid--"I asked 'will I be able to speak a language in college by the end,'" --But that was not your question.</p>

<p>One of the problems with online forums is that it is difficult to interpret what someone is asking. Having native speaker teachers is relevant because students are learning how to speak from someone who actually grew up speaking the language--hence my comment. And with Japanese, there are fewer dialects than with Spanish or some other languages. </p>

<p>Additionally, some high schools have very good language teachers and students can speak, read, and write the language after only taking the classes in high school. Likewise, students do very well when they start a new language in college if they are interested and motivated.</p>

<p>No need to apologize to me though. I will send you a big thank you, shadowzoid, for reminding me once again why I don't teach high school. I won't be back to this thread anyway.</p>

<p>All the teachers are native speakers = you'll probably learn the language. Looks like someone lacks logical thinking skills.</p>

<p>My answer: no, you won't learn the language, as you clearly lack the mental faculties.</p>

<p>@Pandem: You definitly are the idiot here. Just because you learn from a native for 4 years doesn't mean you will know the language. I have never in my life met a high school student learn spanish or french in high school, and they learn from native speakers. Also, my friend tried to teach Chinese to Chinese students (Both Chinese and English is his native langauge), and he still failed because he lacked the teaching skills.</p>

<p>I just asked a question. Is it wrong to want people to either answer my question, or not post anything at all? If I'm a prick, please tell me how I should have handled the situation so that
1. I get relevant answers
2. I show irrelevant posters that they are wrong, and produce a small punishment in the form of an insult so that they will be more perceptive in the future</p>

<p>also, pandem insulted me first</p>

<p>It definately is possible. I'm a Mech. Eng. major, but I also received a minor in Japanese. I didn't know any Japanese at all heading into college, and I will graduate next week.</p>

<p>I would say I am <em>almost</em> fluent. By that, I mean that I can carry on normal conversation with Japanese people for hours, watch almost any TV program and understand it, and read most conversational Japanese posted online. When it comes to trying to read a novel or having a very technical/complex conversation though, I just can't do it quite yet.</p>

<p>Studying abroad definitely helped me the most with my Japanese.</p>

<p>lols. shadowzoid you sound like you are the type of person that wears brown a lot.</p>

<p>I spent a year at a Japanese university on a study abroad program and lived with a Japanese family. In that one year I learned far more Japanese than I could have if I had taken four years of Japanese courses in the United States. For a native English speaker who does not start studying Japanese until they are in college becoming completely fluent is nearly impossible. I can communicate reasonably well on many topics in Japanese but would not say I am a fluent speaker of the language. My wife who is half Japanese and half American spent a good part of her childhood in Japan as a military dependent and learned to speak conversational Japanese with native fluency and pronunciation but because she went to American schools, after one year in a Japanese elementary school, would have trouble discussing advanced topics in Japanese.</p>

<p>Vor meiner Zeit bei der Uni lernte ich Französisch und Spanisch bei der Gymnasium. In nur zwei Jahre bei der Uni lernte ich Deutsch. Ich begann mit Deutsch 101 und diese Montag schrieb ich meine Abschlussprüfung für 302. </p>

<p>So basically, yes, it is possible to learn a foreign language in college. I've spent two years taking German and I can now speak that almost as well as I can French, which I began in high school. I would say that it is certainly possible, but requires a tremendous amount of effort.</p>

<p>And whoever said that if your teacher is a native speaker, you will learn the language, I know some French "instructors" in the languages department at my university that I'd like you to meet...</p>

<p>hahahaha this is ridiculous. MD Mom, you're old enough to not flounce.</p>

<p>TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION, a few of my friends applied themselves and one can speak moderate Russian with a decent accent, another can speak Chinese annoyingly well, and the other speaks fluent Japanese but with the worst accent ever. They're not supergeniuses but they are definitely higher than average on the intelligence scale.</p>

<p>Shadowzoid, at my university the usual recommendation is to take two to two-and-a-half years of courses, and then study (or work) abroad in a program that requires total immersion in the target language. By that time you will know enough to benefit maximally from the immersion experience. Obviously, you would benefit at an earlier point as well, but it is cheaper to take classes in the US to get through the lower levels of proficiency.</p>