What are your life goals?
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15-12-2015, 01:13 PM
RE: What are your life goals?
(15-12-2015 01:05 PM)TurkeyBurner Wrote:  
(15-12-2015 12:59 PM)yakherder Wrote:  First my disclaimer Tongue What works for me won't necessarily work for everyone. They say people who are artistic, musically inclined, etc., usually have the easiest time picking up new languages. That's not me. My mind is more mathematical, and when learning a language I need structure. That said...

I use Anki. It's timing AI is ideal for promoting long term memorization, and it allows for audio, video, and pretty much any foreign language font. It can also automatically sync between your PC and various mobile devices, but I have that option turned off due to the sheer amount of data I have stored in audio and video files. If I were to ever accidentally sync on my Android, I'd quickly have a $500 phone bill due to my crappy data limits in Canada.

The first thing I do, every morning, without exception and before I even think about adding new material, is to open up Anki and go through whatever it has decided I need to review that day. If you keep adding new material but neglect to have a consistent system for review, both short term and long term, you'll ultimately end up forgetting everything you learn

I start with writing and listening comprehension, ideally long before I actually decide to invest a lot of time in the language. This is the easy part. On the question side of the digital card, I put audio of the foreign language (no text), preferably a complete sentence. On the answer side of the card, I put the foreign language text as well as the translation and any relevant notes (grammar points, etc.) The goal of these cards is, upon hearing the audio, to type or write what I hear in the foreign language. I don't worry too much about whether or not I actually understand the meaning of each component of the sentence. The point is to train my ear to hear the sounds and instinctively transfer them to paper in that language's writing system. Take 5 minutes to add one sentence every few days, more if you're feeling enthusiastic or are progressing fast. As you do this, you will quickly learn the alphabet intuitively as the language begins to sound more natural to you, as opposed to sounding foreign. I'm currently at this stage with Russian. I have no immediate plan to learn it, but my time investment is minimum and, if and when I decide to learn it, I'll already be familiar with and able to touch type in Cyrillic, and have my ear trained to pick up the sounds of the language. My main focus for now is French, and that's where I invest most of my time. I try to keep additions to Anki about 90% French and 10% every other languages I'm dabbling in.

If your language of choice is available on http://www.duolingo.com, I would highly recommend putting it to use. Even 10 minutes per day is sufficient, but if you're feeling enthusiastic, by all means immerse yourself in it and start plugging away. It's on par with any of the ridiculously expensive language software options out there (i.e. Rosetta stone, don't waste your money), but unlike them is completely free and has an active online community.

Beyond that, just start hitting the language from every conceivable angle you can think of.

• Whatever kind of card you make, always include audio if you have it.

• Put some real material in there. Use Audacity to rip some audio from an audio book or a movie to use those in your cards. If you're having a language exchange with someone on Skype, record the conversation and, later, use Audacity to break your trouble areas apart into manageable study card sized pieces.

• Don't rely too much on translation cards (English on one side, target language on the other), but don't exclude them either.

• To avoid relying completely on translation, use trivia. I recently got a box of French trivia cards, which I'm transferring to Anki one by one, allowing me to use French on both sides of the card so I can go through a question and answer without my brain having to transition to English.

• Don't worry if you don't rationally understand a concept, especially in regards to grammar. Let yourself learn intuitively, and you'll finding yourself knowing the right way to say something just because it sounds right. Save the grammar bombardment for more advanced stages of the process. Too much grammar early on is a complete waste of time, contrary to what most language classes seem to believe. Your mind was made to pick up on patterns instinctively. Let it do it's thing.

• Even if you can't immerse yourself, seek out opportunities for conversation and plan for them. Have an introduction memorized as a conversation starter, and let it go from there. This can be done even at the very early stages when you only know a few phrases. If you know a conversation is coming and have a general idea of what that conversation will be about (i.e. you plan on going to a restaurant and ordering some kung pao chicken), plan for that conversation and memorize some relevant phrases before it happens.

• Download HellowTalk on your Android/iPhone. It's like Facebook for language learners, and allows you to search for connections by defining which languages you speak and are willing to help others with and which ones you are trying to learn and need help with. To that end, download your target language to your keyboard so you can chat in it. Be aggressive with it. If you have't heard from someone in a few days, log on and ask them how their day was, then use their reply for study material if you don't know what it means.

• Though there are many different ways to go about the overall process depending on your learning style, the one thing that will kill any attempt at learning to communicate is being shy. The more you use it, even as a complete beginner, the faster you'll learn it. When I was in China, I'd walk right up to random groups of people and just start talking, beginning with the basics (Hi, my name is Yak Herder. What is your name?). Sometimes they'd think I was nuts. Sometimes they'd be interested and want to converse. Either way, they'd give me a reply and a conversation would ensue. Another thing to note, in that regards, is that the stress of having a problem to solve outside the perimeters of your instinctive reactions immediately puts your critical thinking capacity into overdrive, during which time any memories you create are much more likely to stick. This is one of the reasons actual conversation is so absolutely necessary regardless of your study habits.

• Check out the Defense Language Institute and explore their online resources. It's mostly free, and they've got some useful stuff. Of note are their phone conversations, which are realistic and allow you to practice listening comprehension of the way language is actually spoken, not just the way it's supposed to be spoken but never actually is, not to mention in different dialects (North Korean, African French, etc.).

Full disclosure: I am developing a serious man-crush here... I'll try to contain myself. Big Grin

Your snipples are tingling Laugh out load
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15-12-2015, 01:16 PM
RE: What are your life goals?
Find personal happiness. That may mean love, however; I am really not sure.


Professional happiness I have in spades. Personal happiness, for me at least, has always been fleeting.
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15-12-2015, 01:38 PM
RE: What are your life goals?
(08-12-2015 08:32 PM)izel Wrote:  My goals changes everyday, I still don't know what I'm gonna be when I grow up Weeping

Just wait until you're 60 years old and you still don't know what you want to be when you grow up. That's me.
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15-12-2015, 02:33 PM
RE: What are your life goals?
The most important goal in life, for me, is being able to stay true to myself over the years in spite of peer pressure and other external influences. I never want to reach the point where I look back at my past and ask myself "Just what have I become?"

To that end, I will continue to, as I have all my life, stay away from drugs and anything else that would put me in a position where I couldn't be held accountable for my own actions. That is who I am and who I will continue to be for a long time. Sleepy

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15-12-2015, 02:47 PM
RE: What are your life goals?
(15-12-2015 01:38 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:  
(08-12-2015 08:32 PM)izel Wrote:  My goals changes everyday, I still don't know what I'm gonna be when I grow up Weeping

Just wait until you're 60 years old and you still don't know what you want to be when you grow up. That's me.


Try 70 years!

DJ

Live Better...Help Often....Wonder More
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15-12-2015, 02:51 PM
RE: What are your life goals?
My bucket list keeps getting longer and the time to accomplish them is getting shorter. I live for today. Nobody has promised me a tomorrow.

My tombstone will read.

"He lived everyday as his last and yesterday he was right."

DJ

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15-12-2015, 02:55 PM
RE: What are your life goals?
To crush my enemies, see them driven before me, and to hear the lamentation of their women!

Save a life. Adopt a greyhound.

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15-12-2015, 03:03 PM
RE: What are your life goals?
(15-12-2015 02:55 PM)Popeyes Pappy Wrote:  To crush my enemies, see them driven before me, and to hear the lamentation of their women!

Laugh out load You channeling Genghis Khan today?
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15-12-2015, 03:10 PM
RE: What are your life goals?
I'm 63, retired and have so many irons in the fire that none are getting warm. Ima have to cut back. Once my M-I-L's house is finished with the remodeling work (by year's end) I'll have more time.

My only real goal is to make sure that the money lasts until I die. That shouldn't be too tough, just have to be careful and keep up my good health insurance. If I go downhill too fast, that will keep my family out of the poorhouse.
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15-12-2015, 03:18 PM
RE: What are your life goals?
Live as long as I can doing as few unpleasant things, and as many fun things as possible. Smile
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