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Julia
Do you have any specific methods for learning languages?
Whether it's a time management tip or a study tip, I'd love to hear what you all do to learn languages! It's fascinating to see the different learning styles from person to person.

Language learning is such a personal journey, and everyone has their own methods to approaching it. Here are some of mine:

  1. This is an idea I got from a YouTuber (I'm blanking on who in particular), and it's for anyone who is learning more than one language at a time. Assign a different color to each language, and in your calendar, use those colors to mark the days in which you have practiced those languages. For example, I've assigned blue to Spanish, green to Portuguese, red to Italian, and purple to ASL. On Tuesday, I spoke in Spanish for two hours straight in the afternoon, spoke in Portuguese for an hour at night, and spent some time on Anki and Memrise for Italian right before bed. I used blue, green, and red in the April 16th box in my calendar, making sure that most of it was blue, some of it was green, and only a small sliver of it was red. This shows me the amount of time or the intensity that I dedicated to each language in relation to one another. After a few days of doing this, I can already see which languages need more attention and which I can expect to see great results in.
  2. I make sure that I listen to music in my target languages EVERY DAY (except ASL obviously, but I make up for this by watching YouTube videos). This has just become habitual for me. If I'm not having conversations with native speakers that day, at least I'm getting input, enjoying myself, and using the language via my terrible singing.
  3. Sometimes, I make daily journal entries in my target languages. Honestly, I haven't been doing this consistently because of finals and essays that require my attention, but I love this idea for practicing my writing skills. Since writing daily journal entries seems to be too difficult of a feat for me at this time, I might make weekly journal entries instead in which I use all of my target languages to summarize my week.
Apr 19, 2019 12:39 AM
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Julia, I don't think I'm good at this. I mostly read in languages and until recently I never tried to learn a language well. 
Now I commuicate wiht native speakers and I think they would be pleased if I learned it well... and I would be pleased to.

But what I think is that the best idea is doing EVERYTHING. If you've never tried something, chances are, you ill benefit greatly from it just because it is new. 

I know a good way to start with a langauge. Songs.

My interest often starts from that I like a song and I'm curious and so I analyze lyrics and when I understand everything, I also remember most of it. Then I learn it by heart and can sing it. And then I may want to learn the langauge. I learned several Italian songs when I was 22: my freind likes the singer and I got curious. I still remmeber them. I counted, in the longest song of those I remember there are more than 200 unique words!!!!
Which means my Italian vocabulary is larger than you could think. As I was analyzing them I also know some grammar. 

I believe this has to do with the fact that when I recently listened to Italian on youtube I understood most of what was said, but I was surprised. Italian is "easy", when you know some Latin and French and English there are really many words in Italian whose meaning you can guess and its phonetics is rather easy too. 

It is a way to enter a language: when you start it you already know hundreds words and the language looks a bit more familiar.

But: we all have heard MANY English songs. Still even when i was a fluent reader in English I could only understand about a half of what is said in the news!!!!
Now it is much better, but what I mean is that when phonetics of a language is "exotic" as English phonetics for a Russian, songs do not make a good listening practice.
April 19, 2019

Very useful tips.  I never thought about it that way.

You are learning Portuguese and Spanish at the same time?  Wow, how do you not mix up those two languages?  That would be torture for me lol.  That is why I learned Spanish to fluency first, and now I am tackling Portuguese because my Spanish is close to B2 / C1 now.

April 19, 2019
1) Before to start to learn a language I usually have the first aprouch to the language using Assimil, with this course I can make a solid knowledge of the target language pretty fast. 


2)To train the listening I like watching YouTube all the time  or movies in the target language because this way allow me take a break and watch videos that really like me while I'm learning.


3)And I study some grammar and vocabulary books to try to improve my writing.
April 19, 2019

The best tip I had told me to repeat a sentence 200 times or more.


1) I hadn't previously realised it would take so many repetitions because when you have a lesson, you only do a few reps and then you move on to the next sentence.

2) I prioritise listening and speaking skills. In Anki, I only have sentences. When I set up Anki, the initial card only has the audio which repeats ten times. I do this because: a) if I don't catch the sentence the first time, it auto repeats. That's more convenient as I don't need to keep pressing anki to repeat the audio. If after ten times, I still don't get it, I can repeat the listening another ten times!.  b) it gives me a greater chance to catch the rhythm of the sentence (I use native speaker recordings) for listening

3) My anki answer card repeats the audio again ten times with the words. My aim is to shadow that audio ten times. If I feel I am not good enough, I can easily repeat the audio and get another ten reps to shadow or more. That way I can build up the sentence reps fairly conveniently or just keep to ten reps if it is a sentence I am familiar with.

April 19, 2019

@Julia


Quite possibly the tonal languages are harder. I notice that people's written skills are usually better than their verbal and listening skills. Even though many times we learn a new sentence by seeing and reading it at the same time,spoken skills usually lag behind. But I want to talk to people more and then later catch up with the reading and composition. 


My anki question card means I must fully concentrate on the listening input.


The answer card has the written Chinese, the translation and whatever. Those are really just aids. I just glance at those and then try not to look at them when doing those extra repetitions when I shadow.


The pain is making the anki notes takes up a lot of time if you put many sentences in. But you get quite a lot of satisfaction in getting your voice closer to native like rhythm, tone and connected words after such specific practice.


April 19, 2019
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Julia
Language Skills
English, German, Portuguese, American Sign Language (ASL), Spanish, Vietnamese
Learning Language
German, Portuguese, American Sign Language (ASL), Spanish