For foreign languages learners

For foreign language learners

Something i wrote on another forum. I'd like to post here if you don't mind

As far as i have seen, learning new vocabulary is one of the most difficult parts of a language. It takes time to learn new words. Anyway there are some techniques to overcome this. Below is one i've developed.

ingredients:

1 black pencil, 1 blue pen, 1 red pen, a striped notebook (preferably with 80 pages) and a good picture dictionary.

First begin reading the first picture(word) of the dictionary. And write the meaning in your language below it with a pencil. After this, note the word in your notebook. Write the word with blue pen and draw a red line below the word. Then write the meaning of the word(in your language) at right side. After doing this, skip one line and build a meaningful sentence (with black pencil) containing the word in blue. Here the thing is that, you should do all these attentively, carefully and by applying yourself to the process. Please refrain from doing quickly. Just be in the process and you'll get the best results :)

When you finish the first word, again do the same thing for the next ones. Depending on your performance, apply this for 10 new words. If your brain feels okay, repeat for another one. If not, stop immediately here. When your brain doesn't feel good, stop at once and leave it for another time. Anyway if it feels good, then go to the next phase.

In this phase, you're going to memorize the words in an easy way. Find yourself another notebook you can use in the process. First cover the right side of the line(without seeing the words' meanings) and say the word's meaning. Then do the same thing for other words.

After finishing it, do the vice versa of the same thing(cover the main words with notebook and say the source word of the written meaning). Then do this for all words (if your brain feels fine). And don't forget to animate the picture of the word in your mind, as this will help you a considerable amount.

By doing the same thing for 2-3 days for the same words, you will learn and memorize the words. And most of all, the result will be permanent. You'll be satisfied with the process.

I discovered this by trial and error and it works perfectly. If you're interested in learning new vocabulary, i'd recommend it.
 

Arwenn

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Hi Bosphorus 1982, thanks for the tip.

I am currently starting to learn Spanish through Duolingo, and I find learning the vocabulary easy enough, it’s the grammar and learning the genders of the nouns, as well as conjugating the irregular verbs that’s tricky. I find writing the conjugations down and learning by rote helps drum it in.
 
Hi Bosphorus 1982, thanks for the tip.

I am currently starting to learn Spanish through Duolingo, and I find learning the vocabulary easy enough, it’s the grammar and learning the genders of the nouns, as well as conjugating the irregular verbs that’s tricky. I find writing the conjugations down and learning by rote helps drum it in.

You're welcome
 
Hi all,

I plan to learn at least 1 new language. Currently I speak, read, and understand Swedish and English, and understand and read some German. I'm plan start learning Spanish or French, by learning I mean on the level of having a simple conversation, understand the essence in a text etc.

My question is: what is the fastest/easiest way of learning a new language nowadays? Any new methods or techniques?

Thanks
 

Gawan

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Hi all,

I plan to learn at least 1 new language. Currently I speak, read, and understand Swedish and English, and understand and read some German. I'm plan start learning Spanish or French, by learning I mean on the level of having a simple conversation, understand the essence in a text etc.

My question is: what is the fastest/easiest way of learning a new language nowadays? Any new methods or techniques?

Thanks

Hi worldbridger,

some are using the program/app duolingo for example.

And here is a specific topic about learning another language, which hopefully could give you several clues:

 

Chu

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I'm plan start learning Spanish or French, by learning I mean on the level of having a simple conversation, understand the essence in a text etc.

My question is: what is the fastest/easiest way of learning a new language nowadays? Any new methods or techniques?

How much time would you be able/willing to dedicate? Are you more of an audible or a visual learner? What types of texts are you aiming for? There are many methods out there, and it depends on your goals and your learning profile, IMO. The main thing if you want to learn faster is to be constant (at least 1/2 a day, no skipping for more than 48 hours), and alternating skills (reading, listening, writing and speaking). As to the "easiest" way, well, that depends on what you find easy, but based on the languages you already know, I wouldn't tell you that French and Spanish will be that easy. It's totally doable though!:-)
 

A Jay

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Any new methods or techniques?

I've found the Mezzofanti Guild to have a lot of helpful tips and reviews for various language learning programs, software, etc. One thing that comes highly recommended, though it isn't a new method or technique per se, is italki. It gives you the chance to speak with and get feedback from native speakers in real time via video chat. I've used it and really enjoyed it, so I'd highly recommend it. You can either hire a teacher who can provide a lesson plan and all that, or you can hire just a native speaker who can give informal pointers for things you're working on on your own.

Edit: clarification
 
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Chu

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Another thing to consider before even starting is why you chose those two. Very often people have an idea about a foreign language before making sure that that is the right one for them, and then they drop it quickly. Spend time listening to both, learn a bit about what you can do with them, and see which one is more appealing. See them as a vehicle for what you want to accomplish, and then you'll know which one to start from. And I wouldn't recommend doing both at once. They are too similar and can easily get confused when you are a beginner.
 

jhonny

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I think that we also have to have a “feeling” about the new language, or an aim, when we decide to learn a new one. In my experience, when I was at school I was not interested in languages at all, but as I grew up I became more interested in other cultures and other countries, and that was my personal motivation.
 

Arwenn

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Spend time listening to both, learn a bit about what you can do with them, and see which one is more appealing. See them as a vehicle for what you want to accomplish, and then you'll know which one to start from. And I wouldn't recommend doing both at once. They are too similar and can easily get confused when you are a beginner.

I have to agree with Chu’s advice above- see which of the two you like better and learn one at a time. I’m learning Spanish just using Duolingo and watching Spanish shows as I don’t have anyone I can really converse with, so it helps to reinforce the nuances of the language as it is used in conversation. That said, it really does take daily effort which can be hard to maintain at times. The grammar alone takes a bit to wrap the neurons around :D
But having said that, it is a beautiful language & I’m enjoying the journey so far.
 

3DStudent

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I took Spanish in middle and high school and enjoyed it. I'm a bit of a ruminator and daydreamer, so I would think a lot in Spanish when I could. If you do that enough, along with listening, you can get to the point where you start to dream in your chosen language, and they say that's an achievement. Reading is the easiest to do, but I never spoke much with natives, so speaking/listening is the the hardest for me.

See them as a vehicle for what you want to accomplish, and then you'll know which one to start from.
I think that we also have to have a “feeling” about the new language, or an aim, when we decide to learn a new one.

Learning a new language is like opening yourself up to a new information field. So like Chu and jhonny say, what do you want to read or learn, or who do you want to communicate with with this new skill?
 

Xico

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yes, I agree with 3Dstudent, Chu, and jhonny, when I was a younger I always had a feeling about learning English, I wanted to know what would it feel like to speak with tourist and I began to listen to music, read, and watching movies, in order to get familiar with the pronunciation, when I was in high school I took English and was always exempt on English class tests.... :-D
 
Hi all, thanks for all the good questions and suggestions. First I plan to learn 1 language at a time, just haven't decided which one. It is for practical reasons, I plan to move abroad, don't know where yet. Priority is to communicate verbally, but of course being able to read and understand basic texts.
Audible or visual learner…..? Hmm, don't know, but I prefer learning by watching when it comes to practical things, how my "language center" works I don't know. I think I'm quite intuitive when it comes to communication in general.

I think the "feel" for it and the culture/country is important when it comes to motivation and learning ability, I think I will start with just listen to it, watch movies or something and see what happens.

I have a friend who didn't have any or little education in French, but she just loves the country/people/culture, so she just decided to understand it. After a couple of weeks/months or visits to France something just happened, it was like a barrier disappeared she said, suddenly she made a huge leap, just like that.

Well, she also said that she is sure she had previous incarnations in France, so….

Thanks everyone
 

Arwenn

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I think the "feel" for it and the culture/country is important when it comes to motivation and learning ability, I think I will start with just listen to it, watch movies or something and see what happens.

Well now, there are some great Spanish TV shows that I have been watching with English subtitles, I think I will re-watch with Spanish subtitles as it might help the learning a bit more.

El Ministerio del Tiempo- great series where a secret Spanish Govt. agency has doors that lead to different times periods in Spain, and the agents have to correct any changes in the timeline to preserve history as they know it. You will learn a lot about history and art of different time periods in Spain, and Velasquez is indeed a funny character in this show :)

Gran Hotel- set in 1908, kinda like an Agatha Christie whodunnit that spans over the 3 seasons, and every episode is a cliffhanger. Has some of my favourite actors Jon Gonzalez & Amaia Salamanca.

El tiempo entre costuras- a drama set just before WWII, and touches on the Spanish Civil war, about a seamstress and her life choices.

El internado de la laguna negra- a boarding school where some very strange things occur, and how a group of young friends try and solve the mystery, again every episode is a cliff hanger, and the little children that act in it do a brilliant job.

Las chicas del Cable- about Cable girls working in the 1920s and 4 in particluar who become fast friends. Interesting insight into the stifling atmosphere for women at the time, and the build up to the Spanish Civil War. Love the juxtaposition of the 20s style with modern music ( a bit like Luhrman's Gatsby movie). The drama can get a bit over the top, but despite that I enjoyed the series.

Now these are Spanish productions, so they pronounce some of their words with a slight lisp, whereas from what I gather South American dialects do not. Anyway, just a few for you to peruse. I am focusing on Spanish at the moment, so I don't have any French TV shows I can recommend.
 
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