| Chancer wrote:|
I agree with you, thats how people learn, but with thea addition of "adult people" and "initially", eventually they unconsciously revert to learning as a baby or a child does, the survival instinct can also play a part dependant on the circumstances.
A child would just work out that the bar owner (OK not likely to be him!) would say "Allez" before saying goodbye or whatever, after being sure they would mimic, initially to him and then to their family, wider circle of friends etc, they may sense that their parents or grandparents dont like this (it could be a vulgarity or too commmon for them etc) and they learn which words can only be used in which company, this is exactly what happens with me and I am cautious when first repeating an expression and watch carefully the reaction of the other person(s) a child probably does this intuitively far better than me.
I realise that I am going to fly in the face of "conventional wisdom" and disagree that you have to learn a language as a child would!
This is because we are NOT children and cannot go back to that "blank slate" (tabula rasa or whatever the jargon expression is) in order to learn with no pre-conceived ideas. Of course, that is not possible! In fact, whenever I see an advertised course that says, learn as a child, look, listen, repeat and learn, it turns me off completely.
It's not only natural but desirable to "translate"! Why, because you are then able to bring to the new language all the things you already know about the old language. My German fellow-French student tells me that I am very lucky, knowing English as English and French have so many words in common. With that, I have to agree. I often find that, if I don't know a word in French, I only need to use the English word with French pronunciation, and there I have it!
With adverbs, this is wonderful: thus silencieusement, tranquillement, rapidement, evidemment, précisement, simplement etc etc. Easy, peasy, no problem translating any of those, is there?
What I would say is, you use ALL the tools you have available. I am fortunate to have quite a good ear for sounds and also a facility for taking the mick. So, I do just copy sounds and learn a lot that way. OTOH, I also use grammar books, French classes, etc to help. Nobody learns just using one method; you use everything you have available to you. You might prefer to learn from the written word or just orally; doesn't really matter. What I WOULD say is, it's a lot easier learning if you have a REAL reason to learn (survival as Chancer has pointed out) or just sheer curiosity or merely loving the sounds and "feel" of a language or even because you need it for work.
If I am unsure whether a word or phrase is socially acceptable, I don't always just try it out. As an adult learner, I am able to ask a trusted person, such as my French teacher whether the word or phrase is "familiar" and "pas derogatoire" or would definitely "choquer " mes voisines.
Apprendre une langue, c'est faire un voyage différent chaque jour.
from Fle pour les curieux