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 Language Learning Forum : Lessons in Polyglottery Post Reply
11 messages over 2 pages: 1 2  Next >>
United States
Joined 6485 days ago

10 posts - 46 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: German, Ancient Greek, Modern Hebrew, Sign Language, Mandarin

 Message 1 of 11
15 December 2008 at 12:25pm | IP Logged 
I'd like to suggest an early Christmas gift for Professor Arguelles. While being primarily a lurker on this forum, the professor's generous contributions of time and expertise have been a blessing and benefit to me. I'd like to suggest that people (especially lurkers) who have benefited from his many comments leave a note here saying what in particular have been the most useful things they have learned from the Professor.


The major things I have learned from your posts have been:
1. A sense of what is not impossible in learning languages. The collective body of posts representing your experience has given me a much better sense of what is needed to master language learning.
2. The value of objective tracking of time, progress, and goals. My own targets and (now realistic) plans have come about in large part from reading many posts in this forum.
3. The value of having a "living voice" of a language in one's mind. My own Ancient Greek studies have leaped forward since I have started using Modern Greek as a basis for pronunciation and rhythm. Words are starting to change from images on a page into (for lack of a better term) sounds in my mind. I also started learning Hebrew exclusively via listening/shadowing techniques and (much to my surprise) found that "reading" the words on a page were prompting the sounds of the words in my mind rather than prompting images of words in my mind. This was a first for me in language studies.
4. The value of scriptorium exercises. I have found that slowing down and focusing on each word results in much greater fluency and comprehension when I go back and re-read passages later.
5. Your general approach to learning languages as a gateway to classic literature. Over this break, I will be sitting down with my youngest daughter (now a senior) who is strongly considering a major in English, foreign languages, and/or literature and showing her your home page and this forum.

The combination of the above things has actually made it possible that I can achieve my (by this forum's standards) modest language goals.

I very much appreciate the amount of time and thought you have put into the answers and advice you have given in this forum.

Steve Stuve
1 person has voted this message useful

SwedenRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 6552 days ago

4250 posts - 5710 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English
Studies: German, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Mandarin, Esperanto, Irish, French
Personal Language Map

 Message 2 of 11
15 December 2008 at 1:20pm | IP Logged 
What a great idea, Steve. A lot of members read the threads in this particular sub-forum without ever writing a single line.

One thing that I have found very useful is to keep track of my studies by using the spreadsheet. Although I have not set any detailed goals, I can have a look at the chart to see what I should focus on or pay a little more attention to. For some of the languages that I have allocated time during this year, a few aspects have been totally ignored. For instance, while I have listened to, read and shadowed most of my languages, Chinese is the only one where I have spent time on the scriptorium exercise. However, since I have liked the method (and learned much from it), I will definitely explore it further to see what it can do for my "stronger" languages.

I have also enjoyed all of the YouTube videos produced so far, and will stay tuned for the upcoming language overviews.

Jeff Lindqvist
1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
Joined 6585 days ago

335 posts - 365 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, German

 Message 3 of 11
16 December 2008 at 10:47pm | IP Logged 
When I first visited this forum, I would have been content if I could just learn German. After reading a lot of the content on the forum, however, and the Professor's contributions were by far the largest factor, I've come to realise that there is no reason to stop after just one foreign language, and now that I've caught the bug, I'll probably continue to learn languages until the day I die.

I have also picked up a couple of new language learning methods from the Professor which have proven very useful. I've watched all the youtube videos with pleasure and I look forward to more in the future, if indeed you plan to make more.

Thanks Professor.

Samuel Walsh.
1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
United States
Joined 5641 days ago

220 posts - 323 votes 
Speaks: English*, Mandarin
Studies: Cantonese, Polish, Spanish, French

 Message 4 of 11
17 December 2008 at 8:54pm | IP Logged 
I always see the Professor's requests for more people to keep him up-to-date on their status so the board is more personal, I'm really worried that too few will and he'll stop blessing us with his advice one day...

Professor Arguelles: Thank you very much for the wisdom you have shared on the forum! For me the biggest difference will surely have been made by the inspiration to believe it possible for me to tackle all the languages that I ever dreamed of studying. I have gained this from reading about what you have accomplished and taking you on as a role model. This inspiration coupled with learning from you the necessity of keeping some sort of study logs and my new found understanding that it is not only reasonable but necessary to study several languages simultaneously I'm sure will make a huge difference in my progress in the coming years and decades. I wish I could give more feedback on shadowing and other things I've learned, but by the very nature of languages taking so darn long to learn it may be several years before I full adjust my strategies and can really see the results and reach my goals due to this new knowledge. I hope to be reporting back to you and asking more questions at that time.

Thank you very, very much!

Justin Wilson
1 person has voted this message useful

Joined 6220 days ago

81 posts - 81 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, Japanese, German
Studies: Russian

 Message 5 of 11
17 December 2008 at 11:02pm | IP Logged 
Professor Arguelles,

Like many other members of this forum, your contributions have really impressed me. I did not know how many languages one could learn, and now I know that basically the only limit is whether you can maintain them. I learned to keep track of the time I spend in all the areas of the languages that I study. I also found very useful your comments on shadowing, on using the Assimil series, on the scriptorium exercise, and I hope that some day I can learn more about your other methods, either from your future posts here or by taking your intensive study course.


Evan Monroig
1 person has voted this message useful

Marc Frisch
Senior Member
Joined 6308 days ago

1001 posts - 1169 votes 
Speaks: German*, French, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish, Italian
Studies: Persian, Tamil

 Message 6 of 11
18 December 2008 at 3:28pm | IP Logged 
Dear Professor Arguelles,
I wish to say thanks for mainly two of your advices:
1) Your insistence on the diachronic study of languages has prompted me to take up Latin, which has turned out to be highly rewarding.
2) Your reflections on "Great Books" have led me to discover some real literary gems, in particular, I have developed an enduring interest in Persian poetry.
1 person has voted this message useful

Super Polyglot
Joined 6346 days ago

9078 posts - 16473 votes 
Speaks: Danish*, French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Esperanto, Romanian, Catalan
Studies: Afrikaans, Greek, Norwegian, Russian, Serbian, Icelandic, Latin, Irish, Lowland Scots, Indonesian, Polish, Croatian
Personal Language Map

 Message 7 of 11
18 December 2008 at 5:43pm | IP Logged 
Dear professor,

I entered this forum during a period where you had temporarily left the forum, but your old contributions under the name Ardaschir were among the most informative and inspiring in the forum, and the sheer number of languages that you could claim was a strong factor behind my decision to try to get back into the languge learning business - if you could learn twenty or thirty languages from all over the world, then I could at least try to learn a dozen or so from my own backyard.

Niels Johs. Legarth Iversen

Edited by Iversen on 18 December 2008 at 5:44pm

1 person has voted this message useful

Joined 5737 days ago

33 posts - 74 votes 
Speaks: English, Dutch*, German, Flemish, Italian, Spanish, French
Studies: Norwegian, Mandarin, Esperanto, Finnish, Macedonian, Hindi, Greek, Indonesian, Lithuanian, Basque, Portuguese, Russian, Arabic (Written), Sign Language
Studies: Turkish, Swahili

 Message 8 of 11
20 December 2008 at 12:59pm | IP Logged 
Dear Professor,

I would also like to extend a personal thank you.

This forum and the contributions in it, in particular
the quality of the advice provided by you (and
taking the time and effort to do so), are a very
rewarding read and continuous source of inspiration.

The main message for me is 'to keep at it', perhaps
more systematically and patiently than sporadically
and haphazardly, as well as enjoying the process.

Thank you, as well as the other members, for making
this forum into what it is.

Kind regards,

Ron Peek (ronp)

1 person has voted this message useful

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