Learning languages
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26-07-2015, 08:15 PM (This post was last modified: 26-07-2015 08:19 PM by yakherder.)
RE: Learning languages
In regards to language programs like Rosetta Stone: I’m not big on them, but that’s partially due to the fact that I’m kind of a control freak and like to customize my study plan to match my specific goals and the conversations I’m most likely to be getting into in the short term or, at the very least, to have dialogue more memorable than “There is a pencil on the desk.”. No cookie cutter program can do that. That said, I used to have full access to all Rosetta Stone software through the military’s online learning site, and even got promotion points for doing them. So yeah, I took advantage of it as a supplement to my primary study methods. I personally would never spend that much money, especially in this day and age with such a vast amount of material available online for free. 20 years ago maybe.

I don’t base my goals off a specific course. Simply, if I see information that I want to be in my brain, I grab it and put it there. My strategy for doing so goes something like this…

1. I see something I want. It could be a phrase from a course, a line from a movie, lyrics in a song, a recording of a phone conversation I found online, whatever. Audacity is useful for modifying audio files before using them. For example: In a typical dialogue file you pull from a language course CD, half the recording will be some guy explaining what the dialogue is going to be about, then they’ll do the dialogue. This will eventually end up in a massive playlist you will be listening to on random for review, and you don’t want to be wasting valuable review time listening to garbage. So cut out everything that is not going to help you before moving on to step two.

2. I use Anki (the multimedia flash card program I mentioned in my previous post) to accomplish this. There are a lot of different ways to make a card, the most inefficient of which is the way they’re typically made. Here are a couple ways I do it, and a few general rules to maximize their use.
• Whenever audio is available, include it in the card. My most common type of card for practicing listening comprehension, intuitive grammar development, and typing in my target language includes the following: A single sentence of audio, nothing more nothing less, on the front, so to speak, with a simple direction such as “Type what you hear.” On the back I have the transcript, and beneath that a translation. If there is a relevant image to go with the audio, or even a short video clip instead, I might use that on the front. Note that if you start to include too many video clips, syncing between your computer and your smartphone, or even backing up your cards online, can become quite data intensive.
• Question/answer. In the target language, put a question on the front (audio if available) and the answer on the back. This will allow you to practice both listening comprehension and vocabulary recall without the use of anything in English, or whatever your native language might be.
• That said, though I do put English translations as a reference, if necessary, on the back of my cards, translating between languages is NEVER the goal of a card.
• Avoid the use of individual vocabulary words for the most part. A full sentence accomplishes the same goal, but with the above mentioned benefits re: grammar. Don’t cheat yourself out of the opportunity to learn something intuitively.
• Musical cards. Find a song in your target language for which you can obtain both the complete song as well as the instrumental version. Put the instrumental version on the front and, when it pops up, try to sing along with it. When you get stomped, flip it over. On the back, you should have the full version, as well as the lyrics typed out for you to follow.
• Always be visualizing something. The more things going on in your head that can be tied together with neural connections, the more likely you are to remember when one of those things triggers said connection. That is one of the reasons you should try to throw images on the front of the card, and not just translate between languages. Translating a word from one language into another is, by far, the least effective method of memorization. Visualization combined with audio, in full target language immersion, is vastly superior.
• Emotional response also triggers your brain to remember. If something is thought provoking, sad, funny, or even insulting, it causes your mind to be more switched on when processing the information. For example: A picture of a pencil on a desk on the front with the phrase “The pencil is on the desk” on the back is boring, and less likely to stick. A picture of a dog trying to hump the leg of a table on the front with the phrase “The dog is fucking the table” on the back will not be so quickly forgotten. Obviously, you want your material to be relevant. But use your creativity to make it fun. It won’t just be more enjoyable, it will be more efficient.
• So, basically, just attack your material, preferably one sentence at a time, from every angle you feel will be helpful, and then let the flash card program take care of the rest.
3. On my MP3 player I have two playlists. One for new material, and one for the review of learned material. The new material playlist, I never let get too big. The learned material playlist is absolutely massive. After something has been on my new material playlist for a week or so, I transfer it to the learned material playlist and then just basically forget about it. While doing something where hitting the cards is not practical (I do a lot of long distance driving) I switch between the two playlists, the idea being to initially hear a bit more of the new material, but to occasionally hear every thing I’ve ever learned. The result is that, while driving down the road or whatever, I’m getting constantly blasted with material I’ve either already learned or have at least started to learn. This is casual listening, not active learning. I use the flash card program for the active learning.

Now, I may supplement the above strategy with other things (which I’ll get into), but this is what forms the bulk of my planned progression. Other things I do are as follows:

• Skype. If you can’t actually be immersed, find people who are interested in language exchange and practice with them. Anticipate conversations you are likely to have, and include relevant material in your progression. As has been suggested in one of my favorite language learning books, a complete self introduction is one of the first things I learn. I do so by writing that introduction in English, finding someone online who is willing to help me translate it, getting their permission to record them saying it to me in my target language, and then using that recording as material to add to my flash cards and playlists. Do the same with anything else they say which you don't understand. I.e. you're having your basic conversation (and hopefully recording it for later review), they say something that stumps you, you get it explained, and later when the conversation is over you break down that recording in audacity and add relevant portions of it to Anki as study material.

• Check out this page: http://www.dliflc.edu/products/. It's intended primarily for military and government use, but it has a lot of highly relevant dialogue you can grab on subjects ranging from security to medical questions. I like to pull from their Language Survival Kits. Note that some of them won't be available to the public, such as the Military Police Language Guide. But the ones I find most useful are the Basic Language Guide, the Medical Language Guides, and the Public Affairs Language Guides, and most of those should be available for download.

And actually I’m gonna stop there, because that’s a good start and I didn’t intend to write a whole damn book Tongue

If you really want to get into it, the first book I’d recommend is Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It by Gabriel Wyner. It's a very new book, and that's a good thing with language learning because they're always figuring out new things in neuroscience and language acquisition theory that allows for further fine tuning.

'Murican Canadian
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27-07-2015, 08:59 AM
RE: Learning languages
(26-07-2015 03:19 AM)HappyTiger Wrote:  Is there anyone with advice for learning languages? I am teaching myself.

I also noticed we don't have an education or language section.

I'm learning japanese and eventual korean... so ty for posting this thread.

1. Striding and swaggering rootlessness without end. The precious flow of life.
2. one should fear sweet a blood stained flower.
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31-07-2015, 03:35 PM
RE: Learning languages
私は日本語を勉強ですよ。日本語はとても楽しいです。

[Image: Guilmon-41189.gif] https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOW_Ioi2wtuPa88FvBmnBgQ my youtube
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31-07-2015, 03:39 PM
RE: Learning languages
(27-07-2015 08:59 AM)kunoxian drive Wrote:  
(26-07-2015 03:19 AM)HappyTiger Wrote:  Is there anyone with advice for learning languages? I am teaching myself.

I also noticed we don't have an education or language section.

I'm learning japanese and eventual korean... so ty for posting this thread.

日本語を勉強ですか? なぜ?

[Image: Guilmon-41189.gif] https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOW_Ioi2wtuPa88FvBmnBgQ my youtube
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31-07-2015, 03:55 PM
RE: Learning languages
no cflue what that says lol

1. Striding and swaggering rootlessness without end. The precious flow of life.
2. one should fear sweet a blood stained flower.
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31-07-2015, 03:58 PM
RE: Learning languages
(31-07-2015 03:55 PM)kunoxian drive Wrote:  no cflue what that says lol

ごめん

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01-08-2015, 01:43 AM
RE: Learning languages
私は何を言っているか分かりません

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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01-08-2015, 01:19 PM
RE: Learning languages
(01-08-2015 01:43 AM)Hafnof Wrote:  私は何を言っているか分かりません

ごめん=sorry(casual).

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01-08-2015, 07:42 PM (This post was last modified: 01-08-2015 07:46 PM by Hafnof.)
RE: Learning languages
ごめんなさい=sorry(not so casual)

I don't really have time to learn languages but I do pick up the odd snippet from occasional heavy anime consumption. The fact there is overlap in characters with Chinese helps me pick out some of the characters but I'm not up to speaking a whole sentence in any language other than English. I understand the character construction well enough to draw them back into handwriting recognition programs in roughly correct stroke order but I very little vocabulary or grammar understanding outside of english. I appreciate seeing someone going out there and becoming proficient. Well done. For me google translate will have to do Wink

When I'm travelling there is really only on phrase that I need to say regularly. In Japanese I think it is roughly "大きな生ビール下さい".

My oldest child Miss 9 knows a number of phrases that I'm sure she'll be able to use in regular conversation if she ever travels to Japan, for example "月に代わって、お仕置きよ".

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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14-09-2015, 06:35 AM
RE: Learning languages
Ran into a first world issue with regards to raising my kids in a multi-lingual household. My oldest son, coming up on four, communicates with me primarily in English and sometimes in Chinese when I'm reading to him, with mom usually in French and sometimes English, and with his grandparents in French since they speak no English. Even though he doesn't necessarily understand the concept of different languages and why they exist, he's more or less doing a good job of associating languages with certain people and using the appropriate words.

While I was away for a few days, they discovered he was also associating events with language. Normally I'm the one who gives him his evening bath, but while I was gone his grandmother was coming over to do it. Even though he realizes grandma doesn't speak English, he has associated English with bath time and can't seem to make the switch to communicate with grandma until the bath is finished lol.

I've read that this is fairly normal and he'll figure it out in the next year our so. It's just interesting watching the language learning process at work, and how kids handle the confusion Tongue

'Murican Canadian
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