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AngusMactavish

Voted #1 place to RETIRE in MEXICO: LAKE Chapala 😍🌮🇲🇽

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We began doing our research on retirement/second home destinations around 2000. All kinds of top 10 lists back then as now. We eliminated many of them as the weather didn't differ much from our eastern WA home. Asia was eliminated, as was South America. The required "list" was rather short. Good weather, proximity to a large city and international airport and ability to drive to the US inside of one day. Visited San Miguel de Allende in 2002 and eliminated it right away. Came in Ajijic in 2005 and bingo, all the list was checked off. Bought a house. 

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It has been a while but I read a study that people that speak at least three languages have less chance of Alzheimer's and dementia.

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I can attest that it gets more difficult to learn a language as you get older. I speak several languages and I started studying Spanish at 53. I learned it without much problems but I am French so it is easier for me. The more languages you learn , the easier it gets but t gets more difficult as you age. I have been studying indigenous languages for 10 years and I understand  quite a bit I do not speak any. I think I would have to totally immerse myself for a couple of years to speak some of it and I am not ready to make that commitment. I can very well see that it is much easier for young people to learn because they memory works a whole lot better than mine.

Frankly I admire people who can learn a second language late in life because the second one is the most difficult to learn, after that the brain disconnect from translating and it knows how to take shortcuts. Making the commitment to learn a language later on in life is tough, I can attest to that...

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vetteforon my boss who spoke fluently 4 languages and was learning Italian died at 54 from an early onset of Alzheimer. He was brilliant, build hs own spinnet and sat down to play Bach when he finished.. Alzheimer can hit anyone

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I don't get a chance to practice Spanish, all of my in-laws and neighbors want to practice their English.😁

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People are blessed in many ways.  For some it is easy to learn a new language and I am glad for them.  For others like myself we suffer. I know the basic words for restaurants so I can eat and travel and I am gradually learning other words.  Unfortunately my retention of Mexican Spanish words is poor.  My wife has a green card so we must stay in the states at least half the year and this does not help.  I get along great with the Mexicans and I have two books which have been translated to Mexican Spanish and the first is nearing publication.  The publisher has asked for 3 more books as they want to do a series of 5.  The books are Indian themed and I think they will be popular here.  So I may not speak the language well, I do relate.  I have traveled the world and this is where I chose to settle.  Hopefully in a few years I will be more learned in the language and will be better able to converse but I don't expect to ever be truly efficient in its use. 

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It was like the delivery person last night that wanted to stand around and talk in English. I finally said "My food is getting cold." HAHAHA 

Here there are so many that want to practice their English.

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16 minutes ago, rafterbr said:

People are blessed in many ways.  For some it is easy to learn a new language and I am glad for them.  For others like myself we suffer. I know the basic words for restaurants so I can eat and travel and I am gradually learning other words.  Unfortunately my retention of Mexican Spanish words is poor.  My wife has a green card so we must stay in the states at least half the year and this does not help.  I get along great with the Mexicans and I have two books which have been translated to Mexican Spanish and the first is nearing publication.  The publisher has asked for 3 more books as they want to do a series of 5.  The books are Indian themed and I think they will be popular here.  So I may not speak the language well, I do relate.  I have traveled the world and this is where I chose to settle.  Hopefully in a few years I will be more learned in the language and will be better able to converse but I don't expect to ever be truly efficient in its use. 

I know what you mean. I only know five words in Spanish, cervez grande mas baño taco. Many people say that I don't need to learn anymore.

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Asi, no me surprisa que tu eres "tiny".  😎

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1 hour ago, RVGRINGO said:

Asi, no me surprisa que tu eres "tiny".  😎

Wait a minute. Let me use Google Translate.  

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Everybody's different but I think there are two things that make it hard to learn a language as you age. Many people have hearing difficulties and that single thing makes communication almost impossible... even in your native language. It is so sad and so isolating to be unable to hear what is said properly. When a person starts to respond, in a conversation, inappropriately to the subject matter they emotionally withdraw when observing the reactions of their peers. It is the start of a vicious circle

The other thing is whether you are tone deaf to begin with... I mean, can you carry a tune? I'm not talking about being extraordinarily gifted with a marvelous voice. I'm talking about being able to sing a song, in tune, and have other people recognize it as that song. If you can, then I think learning a language is easier. You can study written material to your heart's content but if you can't "parrot" back what you hear then it's very hard. You will also make yourself understood long before you will understand what is being said back to you because, imho, it takes a while for the ears to become accustomed to hearing and deciphering a new language.

But try anyway and it certainly doesn't mean giving up ever. Stop thinking about being grammatically perfect and just TALK with anyone and everyone. Learn to laugh at yourself and your mistakes. It's really worth making the effort.

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You forgot... memory.  I used to work in a field that at times could be very technical. I would remember names, formulas, histories.  The same skills that are used in language use.  Now I can’t even remember where I left the keys.

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2 minutes ago, Jreboll said:

  Now I can’t even remember where I left the keys.

Your keys are on your key ring. 😆

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4 minutes ago, Jreboll said:

Now you’ll tell me the key ring is with my keys.  

Do I have to tell you everything? HAHAHAHAHA🤣

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It is true I don't hear well but I have hearing aids.  I like Mexican songs so idea of learning the meaning and pronounciation from them is a good idea.  I will try it.  Thanks Ferret 

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On 2/9/2019 at 2:15 PM, johanson said:

We also touched another subject here. Why is it that we Americans (United Statesians) almost never learn a second language which in this case is Mexican Spanish? (While most Europeans do) I guess the answer is that we don't have to speak Spanish along the shores of Northern Lake Chapala, because almost every local who wants to do business with us learns English.

I guess the fact that most locals also speak English, helps make this area one of the best places to retire.

You've probably heard the old joke about this?

What do you call a person who can speak three languages?  Tri-lingual

What do you call someone who speaks two languages? Bi-lingual

What do you call some who only speaks one language? American

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Different people learn best in different ways. Some of us are visual, some auditory, etc. And some people are good teachers and some aren't. Barring things like Alzheimers, it's been proven that the human brain is actually capable of continuing to learn and create new syntaxes forever. So "I'm too old to learn another language" actually isn't true. Rather, the motivation may not be there later in life, and children do learn languages more quickly, but perhaps that's because it never occurs to them that they can't 🙂

Even if one has hearing loss, or doesn't have a "good ear", you can still learn another language visually, from books. Personally, while I hear okay, I can't really retain things very well that I only hear, but if I see them written down, then I do. I think the problem with a lot of Spanish classes is that it's just rote learning, and therefore harder to remember. The way I taught myself Spanish (and I'm certainly not fluent enough to carry on some in-depth political discussion with an educated Mexican, for instance, but can converse fairly fluently day-to-day) was with the book 501 Spanish verbs and a good Spanish/English dictionary. I would play out in my head what I needed to buy or accomplish the next day, and then work out how to say that in decent Spanish, correct verb tenses and all. I'd write it out. Then, because I actually used it right away for something that was necessary to me, it was much easier to retain than say, just sitting down and trying to learn all the verb tenses of some specific verb.

So once you know how to say "I would like..." (which is more polite, both in Spanish and English, than "I want" or "I need") or "Do you know where I might find..." , then it becomes easy to just look up and fill in the words for what you need. I just kept doing this and one day it all started to click and suddenly got way easier. It's an amazing feeling when you realize that you just understood 80% of what was said with only a couple words that were unfamiliar, rather than grasping 20% of what what said with the other 80% being unintelligible.

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It all comes to motivation. when in HS and college, I barely got a C taking a required course in a second language, but when stationed in the Netherlands watching everyone from younger kids  to grownups speaking various languages, I figured if they could do it, I should at least try. And it worked. 13 months later speaking some Dutch I was transferred to Germany and was shocked to find how many Dutch words were also German, just less guttural. Seven year later I spoke reasonable German. and still kind or sort of do today, some 40 years later When I came here I though it would be easy to learn Spanish. I was very wrong. Spanish is Latin not German based  Being much older and much lazier, it's been very difficult. but I tried and I tried and finally some 22 years later, I can carry on conversations in Spanish.

And if I can do it, all of you can, Remember I was terrible in languages in school. You just have to believe you can and work on it a little to a lot each day.  Good luck

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20 hours ago, bmh said:

vetteforon my boss who spoke fluently 4 languages and was learning Italian died at 54 from an early onset of Alzheimer. He was brilliant, build hs own spinnet and sat down to play Bach when he finished.. Alzheimer can hit anyone

The study was quite a while ago and I don't remember the percentages. You are right I have seen people in there 50s with Alzheimer's.

Europeans are miles ahead of Americans on the number of languages. I envy.

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I tried to learn sign language but I couldn't because I have arthritis in my hands.

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13 minutes ago, AngusMactavish said:

I tried to learn sign language but I couldn't because I have arthritis in my hands.

I tried sign language but I can't paint. 😀

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