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 Language Learning Forum : Lessons in Polyglottery Post Reply
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laoshu505000
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4359 days ago

121 posts - 231 votes 
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 1 of 25
14 January 2009 at 3:55pm | IP Logged 
Hello everyone,

I've decided to make this video about some methods I use for learning foreign languages. I'm not really that great at explaining things that well, but I tried my best to share the knowledge I have with other language learners. If any of you have any other questions, I will be glad to answer them. Thanks

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEpPwldGdHE (Part 1)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2pTieKjGL4 (Part 2)


Moses McCormick
1 person has voted this message useful



M. Medialis
Diglot
TAC 2010 Winner
Senior Member
Sweden
Joined 4900 days ago

397 posts - 508 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English
Studies: Russian, Japanese, French

 
 Message 2 of 25
14 January 2009 at 6:53pm | IP Logged 
Hello Mr. McCormick.

I have just watched your videos, and would like to say that they were very encouraging and useful. Your way of constantly looking for forums and native speakers in order to practice your target language is indeed very natural and brilliant. Something I, and many others, have overlooked completely.

However, I would be more than glad if you would elaborate on the methods that you use in order to attain vocabulary. You said that you look up essential phrases and words in dictionaries. Do you repeat them in your head, write them down, or do they just stick in your mind? Do you ever look up words without having an immediate use for them?

And when you begun studying mandarin, how did you approach the hanzi?

Again, thank you for your videos.

André

Edited by M. Medialis on 22 February 2009 at 2:21am

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laoshu505000
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4359 days ago

121 posts - 231 votes 
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 3 of 25
14 January 2009 at 7:27pm | IP Logged 
Hello Andre.

      
     I think I learn a lot of vocabulary by reading and writing journals. When you choose a certain topic to talk about, you are forced at times to use a dictionary to find the necessary vocabulary. One thing I won't do is spend time trying to memorize vocabulary I know I won't really use right away. I also found out that, whenever I read something often, I will come across the same vocabulary from before. Whenever this happens to me, it sticks. I would highly recommend writing journals in the language you're studying. I'm not sure if it will work for others, but it's worked for me really well. I don't repeat the vocabulary in my head, I go find the people and use them as much as I can. For example, lets say I write a journal about the weather. All of the vocabulary I use for that journal will be used when I find a native to practice with. I try and stick to the weather as long as I can until it sticks. First, I'll go to the chat room to find a native then introduce myself normally. After that, I would then start talking about the weather using all of the vocabulary I used in the journal. This is my method for remembering vocabulary and it works very well. Then sometimes, I just go to the chat room and sit there for like an hour watching the people in there type in the language. I just sit there and see if I can spot any familiar vocabulary.

Another thing I do is keep a pad next to my CPU for when I don't understand something. I will write down whatever the native said and then study it later until I understand it.

Chinese characters...well, that's pretty tough. The only thing I can say about those is practice , practice and more practice. There are no shortcuts when it comes to Han zi.

Honestly, when I first started learning Chinese, I didn't want to know how to read or write. I mainly focused on speaking. The more Chinese I would meet, the more they would ask about my literacy of Chinese. After 3 months of studying Chinese, I started learning the han zi. Basically what I did was study like 10 characters a day, writing them over and over. Then I would just go to the chat rooms and practice often. I later on found myself being able to read a lot of Chinese characters. One thing I didn't do often was read. I was like 19 at the time and didn't study the language how I'm studying languages now. I wish I had the drive back then I have now.

I would suggest you to read as much Chinese as you can. You might want to keep a dictionary handy when you can't read something. Of course that would help improve your reading. Don't forget about the chat rooms and forums as well. They are very beneficial.

Moses McCormick
1 person has voted this message useful



Rollo the Cat
Groupie
United States
Joined 4577 days ago

77 posts - 90 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian, Russian, Ancient Greek

 
 Message 4 of 25
15 January 2009 at 5:10pm | IP Logged 
Mr. McCormick,

What I found most helpful since you have started posting here is first, the value of hard work. Many people
suggest working about an hour per day but you manage to maintain your concentration much longer.

Second, you misuse the textbooks, in a good way, looking for the words and grammar you need to start
speaking, rather than following the layout of the book, page by page, lesson by lesson.

Also, you aren't particularly shy. Many people would die of fright if they had to start a conversation with a native
speaker of a foreign language after a short time studying the language.

Thank you for the videos.

Rollo Terson
1 person has voted this message useful



laoshu505000
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4359 days ago

121 posts - 231 votes 
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 5 of 25
15 January 2009 at 9:35pm | IP Logged 
Hello Rolo,

Thanks for viewing my videos.

I don't mean to misuse the text sometimes, but there are irrelevant things being taught at the beginning which you will not learn right away. I would eventually go back to those types of dialogues later on.

You can't be shy when you're learning a foreign language. You're right, many people are afraid to use a foreign language after a short period of time. You have to be brave if you want to have fast progress in the language.

Moses McCormick
1 person has voted this message useful



-Kupo-
Groupie
United Kingdom
Joined 4610 days ago

84 posts - 84 votes 
1 sounds
Speaks: English*
Studies: German, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Russian

 
 Message 6 of 25
16 January 2009 at 12:16am | IP Logged 
This was extremely interesting and a beneficial pair of videos. I had honestly never thought of chat rooms in such a way of their uses. I really admire how you just get stuck in and are not afraid to approach people, that is a quality that I probably need to acquire...

Thank you for posting these inspirational videos.
1 person has voted this message useful



laoshu505000
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4359 days ago

121 posts - 231 votes 
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 7 of 25
18 January 2009 at 2:02pm | IP Logged 
Hello everyone,

I meant to put up my list of languages in this thread. I've made this video in response to a comment in one of my youtube videos.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmJaE0DO27Y

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtD2KzyC2oE (Part2)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKP8hcbRfWc (Part 3)


Moses McCormick
1 person has voted this message useful



jondesousa
Tetraglot
Senior Member
United States
goo.gl/Zgg3nRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4807 days ago

227 posts - 297 votes 
Speaks: English*, Portuguese, Japanese, Esperanto
Studies: Latin, Mandarin, Spanish

 
 Message 8 of 25
18 January 2009 at 4:19pm | IP Logged 
Dear Mr. McCormik,

First I would like to congratulate you on your admirable achievements and also thank you for giving me serious inspiration to redouble (and triple) my efforts to study more efficiently.

I also have a question for you if you don't mind. I would like to know whether or not you use notebooks for practicing writing at all during your studies. I tend to use one with some frequency; however, in Gethin and Gunnemark's book on language learning, Gethin suggests that it is less efficient to write things down and prefers to never write down anything during studying.

If I can further the question, do you think that extensive notes should be used for only some languages, ie those with scripts other than latin based?

Thanks again and please continue in your efforts as they truly inspire myself and many others to try to achieve that which many believe unattainable.

Jon DeSousa


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