Has anyone tried learning a foreign language w/ a hearing loss?

mikatehgr8t

New Member
I used to be extremely good at Spanish w/ a hearing loss as worse as mines and without an FM system. But once my sophomore year teacher started really speaking Spanish quickly, I had to be removed from foreign language classes for the rest of high school. Now I'm trying to learn Portuguese. I really want to speak these languages so I can travel but I feel like, with a hearing impairment, I may never be able understand a foreign person in their native language. :cry:

I learned English when I had hearing so trying to learn a language with a hearing loss isn't something I know how to do...does anyone who can understand a foreign language w/o difficulty have any tips? Is there hope for me to be able to understand someone? Is it just one of those cases where I have to work harder and longer than someone w/o a hearing impairment?
 

Bottesini

Old Deaf Ranter
Premium Member
I can read and write in German. Probably enough to communicate with someone. You don't actually have to speak a language to communicate in it.
 

mikatehgr8t

New Member
I can read and write in German. Probably enough to communicate with someone. You don't actually have to speak a language to communicate in it.

i know same with me in spanish and portuguese. just i want to travel and like talk to the people and maybe even live in a country that that speaks a different language
 

Bottesini

Old Deaf Ranter
Premium Member
i know same with me in spanish and portuguese. just i want to travel and like talk to the people and maybe even live in a country that that speaks a different language

I understand. I would do it just by writing what I needed to say to them.
 

AlleyCat

Well-Known Member
I'm learning Swedish right now. I've been deaf all my life so I had to learn English as a deaf person, so I'm not sure if that makes Swedish easier or not. My goal is to be proficient in reading and writing it, but I don't know yet about the speaking or lipreading part yet.
 

BecLak

Well-Known Member
When I came to Thailand, I personally got a private tutor who worked with me to learn the alphabet of the language (in this case it was Thai). Once I learned to read in that language, my tutor would write out 'dialogues' of conversation exercises between us. I would read what she would reply and read my response. I coupled this with speech-reading. This is how I learned to speak English too. I am oral-deaf and English was my only language until I was an adult. (I am learning sign language now)

(Unfortunately I am not fluent in Thai, because my tutor had to leave after a few months and I could not find another to fill her place. But I had learned enough that I can get by with getting understood for everyday needs. However, had I continued with my tutor - yes, I would be fluent. I am looking into starting up again with this method.)

Hope that is of help to you. All the best to you.
 

Hohtopics

New Member
I took some Spanish a while back in school. However, that for someone with a profound loss and that it was also during the "pre-CI" days, I was understandably excused from the oral exams. I still took some to perhaps just practice a little. However, only the written ones counted and I did well with them.
 

deafdyke

Well-Known Member
I took French in school. I can understand it a bit, especially as I attended a camp that had a strong quebecosis population. But as always I'm better at reading and writing it, rather then hearing and speaking it.
 

shel90

Audist are not welcome
Premium Member
I know quite a few deaf people who dont have CIs. who have learned foreign languages without a problems. It takes time and commitment to learn a new language.
 

deafskeptic

Active Member
Premium Member
I knew a Deaf woman who had Spanish as her first language and she learned English when she came to the USA years ago.
 

KristinaB

Emotional Mess
Premium Member
One of the ladies in my Deaf club was born deaf. (severe to profound). She has had no hearing aids. She is 79 years old. ASL is her 1st language. She has learned Spanish, French, German, Latin, Creole, Japanese, BSL, Auslan and I'm not sure what else. She is fluent in all of them.
 

deafskeptic

Active Member
Premium Member
One of the ladies in my Deaf club was born deaf. (severe to profound). She has had no hearing aids. She is 79 years old. ASL is her 1st language. She has learned Spanish, French, German, Latin, Creole, Japanese, BSL, Auslan and I'm not sure what else. She is fluent in all of them.

Damn. I'm impressed.
 

Irish

Member
This may be late, but, I took Spanish and French in high school, and then I retook French in college - for 2 semesters. I cannot speak or lipread French. However, I can read/write/type in French. It's not impossible to learn a foreign language if you're deaf.

I remember seeing a quote somewhere around on campus, "To learn/know another language is to gain another soul." I'm guessing that a lot of us here would have three souls or even more!
 

sheila022

Active Member
I took 5 years worth of Spanish in middle and high school, and of course, I did very well. In one year, I had gotten A+ on my report card at the end of the year! (probs because everybody else in my class slacked off while I'm the only one who bothered to study and do the work) I can read and write Spanish well when I was in the class, but I think I could have more practice with speaking it...but then...it's not like I get the chance to speak Spanish everyday.

I learned Chinese when I was younger, and while I was in China for a month. My Chinese is passable while I tried to communicate with my grandmother...but damn, Chinese is the most difficult language I have ever attempted to learn, as it's a non-Romance language. It's not like going from English to Spanish. But I would like to resume learning Chinese and Spanish again one day. (Been dreaming of studying abroad in Europe--perhaps Spain or Portugal!)

Right now, I'm learning ASL and it's been a breeze so far. Def the easiest language I've ever learned. :) As for you, I think you should keep learning Spanish/Portuguese with persistence--at least, learn to read and write it well just in case.
 

sheila022

Active Member
This may be late, but, I took Spanish and French in high school, and then I retook French in college - for 2 semesters. I cannot speak or lipread French. However, I can read/write/type in French. It's not impossible to learn a foreign language if you're deaf.

I remember seeing a quote somewhere around on campus, "To learn/know another language is to gain another soul." I'm guessing that a lot of us here would have three souls or even more!

Haha, I kinda can lip-read Chinese...which is more of a challenge than lipreading in English or Spanish....as Chinese tend to have monosyllables strung together in a sentence...and don't forget the tones as well.
 

heather99

New Member
I had to learn French in primary school, and Chinese in high school. I hated learning Chinese. I could barely tell the difference between when the teacher was speaking Chinese and when they were speaking English. My school made me learn it in years 7 and 8, and so I spent the first 2 years of high school copying the answers off the kid next to me (who very kindly allowed me to do that).
Mandarin is a very tonal language- for instance, there's 4 different ways to say the word 'ni', and each means something different, and I can't hear the difference between them.
I had better luck with French, although my accent and pronunciation is terrible.
 
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