Saturday, May 26, 2018

Language learning tips

 So... I was studying kanji, and thought about the Chinese word 白 bái. It has over 20 different meanings in English, and how screwed one would be if one learned all the different meanings by heart... and how screwed one would be if one didn't learn any of them, because "one cannot say one knows a language unless one knows all the different meanings of a word and how it is used in context, with other words etc. etc. etc." 
No, you don't need to know ALL the different forms and ways of every word. It is quite enough to learn "白 - snow, white". All the different meanings will come clear (白) in the future as you learn more. And in the future the meaning "白 anti-Communist" becomes clear 白 and obvious. I as a Finn know this already. ;-) We use the word "white" in the same sense.

So, go ahead and learn L2 words as direct translations of the L1 words. It won't harm you, limit you, make it harder to learn a language etc. etc. as all the nay-sayers and fear mongerers say.


30 Incredibly Effective Tips and Tricks to Learn a New Language
(I am posting the list here, because sometimes pages disappear. There is a lot more information on the site, so do follow the link.)

1. Choose a Word of the Day
2. Practice With Native Speakers.
3. Take Notes Whenever You Connect With The Language
(watching television, YouTube, internet surfing, reading, listening, on the bus etc. etc.)
4. Sink or Swim/All or Nothing
(move to a place where target language is spoken and refuse to speak any other language)
5. Learn Cognates
6. Use an App
7. Focus on What’s Relevant/Most Important To You
8. Set up a Routine
9. Find and Attend Local Events
10. Remember why you started
11. Track Your Progress
12. Learn the Phrase “How do you say X?”
13. Learn What You Need
14. Pace Yourself: One Step at a Time (5-15 minutes of intensive studies 10 times during a day is more worth than 3 hours block of studies).
15. Study smarter, not harder.
16. Be kind to yourself - it's OK to make mistakes, you are learning, not mastering
17. Watching, reading, listening, and talking about the news in your new language
18. Food - cooking and eating
19. Use your social intelligence, intuition and natural instincts to interpret social situations; works both in real life social interaction and tv series/movies/videos
20. Watch Movies (Remember, there's the right way and the wrong way of doing this, too. Or the effective, functional way and the ineffective way with little if any results.)
21. Believe in Yourself
22. recreational entertainment in new language
23. Enough.
You have enough, enough time, resources, intelligence, talents, memory, what ever is needed to learn a new language.
Also, five new words is enough. Five minutes is enough. You CAN learn 100 words in an hour, but you don't need to. It's enough to learn five new words every day. Or less. It's enough.
24. Be Kind to Yourself
It's OK to make mistakes.
Slow is good enough.
Focus on what you have achieved, what you do, not on what you might/could/should.
25. role play in your new language, alone or with friends
26. Flashcards
27. Storytelling
28. Learn with a friend
29. Learn Synonyms (Er... I'm not convinced. But try it out.)
30. Immersion - AJATT

Some other ideas:

31. Eavesdrop on Local’s Conversations
32. Re-read Your Favorite Children’s Books in Your New Language
33. Start With High Frequency Words and Phrases.
34. Passive listening
35. Study pronunciation
36. Use all ways of learning; auditory, visual, tactile, reading-writing...
37. Learn Esperanto
38. Set Specific, Measurable Goals. (Instead of "learn French", "Learn 50 French food vocabulary terms and how to use them when at restaurant and cooking")
39. Carry a pocket dictionary
40. Make It Fun - Produce language in a fun way; write songs, comic strips, play, podcast, poem, short story... what ever rocks your boat.

DO NOT use the diglot weave technique. Don't mix languages, to support your brain to keep the different languages separate and to automate the language production. If you teach yourself to mix the languages, you will not be learning any new words, because your brain tells you the different language words are just synonymes. You will be talking Frenglish or Farsitalian or something


Other things to think about: Why I Taught Myself 20 Languages by Timothy Doner
Just remember that when you start whining about knowing languages and fluency.

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