Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Who is the Strategist: A Book of Five Rings (Part 1)

There are several concepts of what a "Strategist" is- the way in which a man masters the path to victory. Today, we will look at the conception of a strategist as conceived by Miyamoto Musashi.

"Book of Five Rings"

The "Book of Five Rings" (Go Rin no Sho) is the masterpiece of Miyamoto Musashi, a legendary swordsman from Japan, who was active during 16th and 17th centuries (known as the Kyoto Renaissance). He fought from his youth to his old age without losing a match, and killing several opponents in duels, before becoming somewhat of a warrior poet and immersing himself into the more mental and spiritual part of combat rather than the physical. At the end of his life, he wrote this masterpiece that summed up his style and thought on strategy.

Given that Musashi was a swordsman and duelist, his conception of a strategist and strategies tend to be more involved with clashes between individuals, rather than the movement and control of men (as opposed to Sun Tzu's Art of War).

You can find a version of Musashi's masterpiece here.

Content and Organization

Musashi divides his book into five parts, named after traditional religious principles that relate to meditation: They are Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, and Void. And each part relates to a specific topic or concept.

The Earth component is the introduction. It talks about the "way of martial arts" as well as Musashi's own style. It is important because it describes how Musashi believes one should practice the way of martial arts: by knowing the large you know the small, and by knowing the shallow you can know the deep.

The Water chapter is about flexibility to circumstances. To understand the principles of swordsmanship so well that by defeating a single opponent, you defeat every opponent in the world. It should be noted here that he says defeating an opponent the wrong way, is not worthwhile. So victory alone isn't right, you need to win "the right way", only then can you become the one who can defeat every opponent by defeating one.

The Fire component is about fighting. In this chapter, Musashi talks of the tactics and methods of combat, as well as the vigilance that is required.

The Wind chapter is about "style". Musashi notes the importance of knowing the different methods and styles of other people. He notes that it is important because if you do not know your opponent, it is difficult to know yourself.

The Void/Emptiness chapter talks of the value of "natural freedom". Once you know the principles of combat, you must be able to be natural and not constrict yourself. Great power and ability comes from natural movement, and from the ability to strike naturally and hit naturally.

We will discuss each chapter, and then come to a conclusion to the type of strategist he wishes the reader to become.
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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Half-Blog post: Espanol current progress.

I find that the best way to demonstrate understanding of something is to try and teach it.

To test my proficiency (or lack thereof) of Spanish, i'm going to attempt to write this blog post in spanish (sorry about the lack of accents):

Este es una entrada de blog que dice sobre mi progresos en aprendar espanol. En el mes anterior, aprende los conjugaciones de espanol verbos. Durante mi tiempo, Aprende los conjugaciones de "presente", "pasado", y "futuro". Pero no aprende muchos verbos o sustantivos.

Para practice escribir espanol, yo enviaba textos a mi amigos y amigas en espanol. Necesitaba "google translate" para sabi los verbos y sustaintivos. Pero quieria usar mi cabeza para construir las sentencias.

Cuando estoy leyendo los articulos espanol, yo entiendo el profundidad de espanol. Las sentencias de articulos de "BBC el Mundo" es muy diferente de mi sentencias. Los Articulos hablarian "cuando", "como", "donde", y con que emociones los eventos ocurrio.

Entiendo no estoy el "Shakespeare" de Espanol. Mi Sentencias despues de un mes no es muy complejo. Pero, quiero estudiar los sentencias muy complejo para entendar mas. Entiendo los partes mas importante para aprendar.

If you didn't understand that, this is roughly what I said:

This is a blog post that talks about my progress in learning spanish. In the last month, I learned the conjuctions of spanish verbs. During my time, I learned the conjunctions of present, past, and future. But I didn't learn many verbs or nouns.

For practice in writing spanish, I sent texts to my friends in spanish. I needed "google translate" for knowing the verbs and nouns. But I wanted to use my head to constuct sentences.

When I read spanish articles, I understood the depth of spanish. The sentences of "BBC el Mundo" articles were really different from my sentences. The articles talked about "when", "how", "where", and with what emotions the events occurred.

I understand that I'm not the "Shakespeare" of spanish. My sentences after a month are not very complex. But, I want to study complex sentences to understand more. I understand the parts that are most important to learn.
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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Learning 3 Languages in a Week: Day 3 Japanese and Spanish


I've found a source for my Japanese articles. Unfortunately, its also presented me with a great deal more work. The source is http://news.google.co.jp/, and sadly, the articles are written in a mix of kanji and katakana, of which I have issues.


Here is the next Spanish article in the meantime
Here's time for review. Before I started devoting hours to learning an entire new alphabet (hiragana), I had begun to learn the grammar that structures sentences- given that nouns and verbs are so many (I didn't want to merely focus on vocabulary).

Learning How to Construct Sentences (Spanish)

Essentially, all sentences in English have a subject and a verb, whether apparent or implied. Given that English and Spanish are so similar (even though English is not a Romance language like Spanish), I've decided to treat it as being the same in that regard.

Thus, I decided to first compile a list of pronouns to become familiar with. In English, we have things such as "Him, Her, He, She, Them, We..." because they show up so commonly.

Here is a list I stole from Wikipedia
Additionally, I've also added two things:
  • Esos- "These"
  • Estos/Aquellos - "Those"
To decipher this chart, i've made a few notes:
  • Nominative- refers to naming who is doing the act (much like I, He, She, They, We)
  • Accusative- refers to the direct object (such as Him, Her, Them)
  • Dative- is similar to Accusative, but it is indirect rather than direct
  • Prepositional- Used for objects and complements (I can't find an english equivalent) 
  • Comitative- Complementary uses that are preceded by "con" (with me, with her, with us)
In addition to this, I am complimenting my learning of the grammar with Television. I'm watching the BBC's special spanish learning program "Mi Vida Loco". Which, while a bit cheesy, is at least in spanish that I can follow.

In the meantime, i've been trying to immerse myself in spanish sentence construction the best I can. I essentially communicate through text using spanish only- to the chagrin of my friends.


I've taken a look at Katakana, and decided that despite it being longer than Hiragana, shares a lot of things in common. So perhaps I will be able to learn it more quickly this time. Update soon.

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Monday, April 28, 2014

Learning 3 languages in a Month: Day 2 Japanese

My original plan to use articles from the BBC has actually failed in a way. This is because, despite how many languages the BBC website has, it does not have Japanese nor Italian. As a result, I'm having to look for articles from other sources.

Japanese will be a great deal more difficult for me than Spanish given my lack of exposure to it. I can understand a few phrases here and there thanks to watching several Studio Ghibli films with the subtitles on. However, reading it is an entirely different story, and I imagine learning the language (I'm going to be focusing on the phonetic portion of the language) will be VERY challenging. Unlike the languages with a latin root, I won't be able to rely on my knowledge of the roman alphabet.

So in order to be able to read it, I would also have to learn a whole new alphabet.

Following the advice of a native speaker, I began by learning Hiragana, part of the phonetic alphabet of Japanese. t is a sister form to Katakana.

 How Hiragana works

Having the "Hiragana base characters" helped me understand how it was structured.
  • The column determines the first syllable- with the phi-symbol denoting a lack of first syllable
  • The row determines the second syllable. They are basically vowels.
  • Example:  The sound of "Na" would be な. While the sound of "Ni" would be に. Together the sound "Nani" is written as
    なに (which means "what" in Japanese).

I have a bit of a monumental task, as in order to read Japanese, i'll have to not only be able to recognize a whole new alphabet, but also have to learn how it is spoken.

In order to memorize the alphabet, My plan is to begin by recognizing the available sounds: a, i, e, u, o. And the modifiers, k, s, t, n, h, m, y, r, w, and the rest. From there, i'll have to simply grind it out.

I'll probably try to utilize a sort of mnemonic visualization technique to better retain the symbol's appearance. But i'm still uncertain of which one at this point; I'll experiment.


I've fully memorized the 46 Hiragana characters, though I can't really recommend my method, as it did take about 5 hours to perform.

Essentially I tackled the Hiragana 5 one row at a time. I had a few steps I considered with every set though
  1. I always began by writing out each 5 characters
  2. I looked at each character and tried to associate the sound it made with something. For instance the symbol for the sound "a" reminded me a bit of an @ symbol. As such, in my mind I would associate the two ideas, which would help me recall it later on.
  3. I tried to take note of general patterns that occurred. For example, how "Ru" and "Ro" look very similar, and how "ki", "sa", and "chi" were similar. As well as "ke", "ha" and "ho". 
  4. After finishing a new group of five, I would review the past sets that I already learned in order to practice and cement it in my head.
  5. I also tried to make words and phrases when I could, writing out "Mu Sa Shi", or "Wa Ta Shi", "Su Ki Ya Ki" and "Ko Ni Chi Wa". The use of these helped me recall how the hiragana were written more than I expected the to.
  6. I reviewed using flash cards- I would display the sounds and then write out the character, essentially training myself to be able to write on command.

Next Step: Grammar

I plan to use a similar method that I am employing for Spanish.
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    Friday, April 25, 2014

    League Comprehensive History: How good is CJ Frost right now?


    If you've followed League of Legends and its professional scene, its hard not be aware of CJ Frost. The team, along with its sister team CJ Blaze, has a history of being one of the oldest and most prestigious League of Legends teams in the Korean scene of OGN. For those in the west, you probably remember them for taking 2nd in the second World Championships after losing to TPA.

    The Old Kings

    In Korea, CJ Frost are essentially one of the most popular teams in Korea along with SKT T1 K. They are essentially perceived as the "Old Kings", a team who has performed consistently well in the competitive scene since its creation. They won the first OGN (back when they were known as MiG Frost), and have historically placed highly in the brackets (only since OGN Winter 2013 have they fallen below 4th place); Up until a few seasons ago, there was not a single final without a CJ team-Blaze or Frost were always in the finals.

    Left to Right: Shy, Rapidstar, Madlife, Woong, Cloudtemplar

    The most popular line up of Frost consisted of:
    • Top-Shy
    • Jungle-Cloudtemplar
    • Mid-Rapidstar
    • ADC-Woong
    • Support-Madlife 
    (This was the team who recently played in the "All-Stars" match against EDG a month ago.)

    The Fall of Frost

    Frost has been traditionally a "Season 2 team", which means it was a team who excelled at teamfighting, and preferred champions who farmed heavily, and tried to draw the game out to late, and win through superior teamfighting. The style was similar to that of then CLG.eu.

    Unfortunately the meta-shifts have not boded well for the members of the team, and they have not adapted especially well. After the Season 2 world championships, their roster began to fall apart. It began with the departure of the "Tank ADC" Woong. Woong was not tauted to be a great mechanical ADC, and many perceived his replacement by Hermes to be something that would make Frost stronger.

    The original Frost roster is begins to fall off

    It was then that Rapidstar, the midlaner began to fall off. Rapidstar's champion pool consisted of heavy farm and slow moving mages such as Karthus, Anivia, and the occasional Diana. With the shift of the meta towards emphasizing early and mid game, Rapidstar had trouble adapting to the new champions. After a few subpar performances, Rapidstar was replaced by GankedbyMom, known as the world's greatest Orianna.

    Then,  in the middle of Season 3, Cloudtemplar, the world's greatest "Herbivore jungler" left the team to pursue a career in casting. Cloudtemplar is perceived as one of the Korean scene's most articulate and intelligent players (hence his easy transition into casting). In fact, you can make the argument that his preferred champion pool helped define Frost's gameplay. Cloudtemplar was well known for playing junglers who had great teamfight potential and tanky stats: such as Amumu, Rammus, Skarner, and is known for his jungle Shen. Essentially, having a jungler who offered low pressure prior to 6 but strong pressure post-6 defined how the Frost lanes would play- they would try to play safe until Cloudtemplar hit 6, and then try to force teamfights after that. Cloudtemplar's playstyle and role on the team was unique, and when he left, Frost could not find an adequate replacement.

    The Rebuilding

    Late Season 3 and Early Season 4, Frost was not performing very well. Their original strengths were made obsolete and unattainable due to meta-shifts and roster changes. Frost was looking for a new identity.

    There were three roles that were constantly changing: Mid, Jungle, and ADC.

    In the Mid lane, Rapidstar's replacement Ganked by Mom wasn't performing up to par. In addition, his lack of a champion pool was problematic, as the enemy could easily force him into certain champions. He could essentially play Orianna, and Zed, and the rest of his champion pool was not as impressive. Frost picked up veteran player Maknoon, but unfortunately he wasn't able to perform adequately either.

    In the Jungle, CJ Blaze's jungler Helios moved over to Frost to replace Cloudtemplar. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to be the playmaker that Frost needed to be successful, often being unable to make plays and forced to gank or cover lanes. He was later replaced by Lira, who had similar problems.

    In bot lane, Woong had been replaced by Hermes, but was quickly replaced by Space after a few poor performances. Space began as a very aggressive player, but later began to play in a style similar to Najin Sword's Pray- who focused on synchronized play with the rest of the team.

    This was Frost's roster for a bit. (Left to right): Shy, Rapidstar, Madlife, Ganked by Mom, Helios, Maknoon, Space

    Frost had an issue of weak mid laners and junglers, which allowed for enemies to take huge advantages over them in early and mid game. While Frost was still able to make it out of groups occasionally through a lucky match up against weaker groups, they were unable to reach their former glory.

    At the start of Spring 2014, Frost dropped its midlaners and junglers in favor of new players newly released from Korean team Xenic's Storm: Coco and Swift. The pair had strong synergy (important for Mid and Jungle) and were able to carry Xenics Storm through several games.

    The new roster consisted of:
    • Top-Shy
    • Jungle-Swift
    • Mid- Coco
    • ADC- Space
    • Support- Madlife
    This new roster has changed Frost's identity greatly.

    A New Identity

    The addition of Coco and Swift changed CJ Frost's identity greatly. Given the aggression of Coco and Swift, the whole field of play changed.

    Coco, the mage carry.

    Coco is a very aggressive and mechanically skilled player. His Kassadin (named Cocodin) was reputed for good reason, and he holds one of the highest KDA's in the game because of it. His repitoire seems to consist of Kassadin (pre-rework), Nidalee, Ziggs, and Leblanc. His play has been on point, and he often makes plays with the support of the jungler swift. So far, he is probably one of the best players on Frost's roster.

    Swift, the playmaker
    Similarly, Swift is also a very aggressive player. Unlike the other junglers of Frost, he prefers to play aggressive junglers who invade and kill the enemy jungler: such as Lee Sin and Kha'ziks. His Lee Sin play is to be feared, as he has the Insec kick down to a tee, and his picks have won them games. He and his partner Coco have essentially carried games for Frost by applying enormous pressure. He often aids top lane and gets Shy rolling, and has made Mundo a terrible pick against Frost due to their skill in diving Mundo early game.

    Perhaps due to the amount of pressure being placed by the Jungler and Mid lane, Shy has begun to awaken in top lane. Shy has been considered one of Korea's greatest top laners along with his equivalent on Blaze, Flame. During the early season, he struggled to carry on Mundo and the other tanky top laners, but as of late he has found his place on Shyvana, and the revitalized Jax. In essence, he has hit "Flame-status", by getting several kills on the enemy team early, and then reaching a massive CS lead, while also pushing down all the top towers and solo-killing the enemy top laner or jungler.

    Despite what you might expect, Bot-lane is probably Frost's least exciting lane. They are not necessarily bad, but they aren't necessarily strong either. Part of the reason is Frost often neglects its bot lane, preferring to use the jungler to snowball top and mid lane early on. This means that Space and Madlife will often choose to farm safely in fear of being ganked. Madlife, though known for hi clutch plays, is not especially active in the early game. The ADC, Space has recently discovered talent in playing Jinx as well as Twitch, but often falls behind in farm from being zoned out. Frost's botlane isn't often seen dominating the lane with aggression, and will usually not make plays unless they have support nearby.

    These new changes have shifted Frost's focus and gameplay from a late-game and teamfight focused team to an early/mid-game focused team who focuses on ganks and picks.

    Recent Performance

    Frost has had one season with this roster, both in Champions and in Masters. In Masters Frost has not lost a game since Week 3, when they lost against SKT TI K. They have an upcoming series against Samsung, who they have a losing record against. However, winning in masters isn't considered very telling, as it doesn't give circuit points; as a result, teams often don't take it as seriously.

    In OGN Spring 2014, they were placed in Group B, made up of generally weak teams, and placed second in the group, only dropping two games to Samsung Ozone. They made it out of groups in second place. Subsequently, they were placed against Samsung Blue and lost in a 3-1 loss. They have recently dropped down to NLB, and managed to defeat SKT TI S in a 2-0. Later this week, they will play SKT TI K in a bout to determine who proceeds to the finals for NLB.

    Its uncertain how strong CJ Frost is at the moment. For certain, no one believes that Frost in its current form is a dominating team. While they have had fantastic games against strong teams such as Ozone, Shield, and even beaten teams like SKT S, its apparent that they aren't fully cohesive yet.
    Frost sometimes gets over eager.

    Frost's Playstyle

    Frost's playstyle is different from the teams of last season, in that they don't "control" games in the way that KTB or SKT does. Instead, their style relies on constant skirmishes and picks. Its a style that depends heavily on mechanical skill, and is actually quite risky- since a lost teamfight gives up a great deal of momentum.

    Their team's success currently depends heavily on their midlaner and jungler providing a great deal of pressure early on- forcing the enemy jungler and midlaner to respond. This allows Shy to fight in a 1v1, and crush the enemy top laner in traditional CJ fashion- occasionally Swift will babysit the top lane to get Shy rolling.  When it comes to midgame, Frost depends heavily on small skirmishes to force picks and fights in their favor.

    The name of the game is Picks. Take down a single champion then proceed to roll over objectives

    Its an interesting style, but it relies heavily on their mechanics rather than decision making, and often relies on somewhat risky warding for map control (Madlife has been caught out several times due to this). Additionally, this is a style that is weak against teams who have very good map awareness and warding (a la Ozone and Blue).

    Significance of Farming

    I believe that Frost still depends on that winning teamfight, and still goes out of its way to prepare for it.

    The interesting thing about Frost is that it will often isolate its carries, and send them to farm. This is quite often Shy in top lane, where he power shoves the lane and tries to outplay the enemy laner, but sometimes Space is left alone in botlane to farm, while the rest of the team does something else. Even when the lane is pushed in, Shy will still stay top lane, and similarly, Space will stay bottom to get the farm.

    This is significant, because it means that Frost isn't aiming to merely take objectives through besieging the turrets. They want to take objectives through kills and skirmishes. In this sense, Frost is not an objective based team-they are still a teamfight oriented team.

    Frost aims to win the game by having more gold, better teamfighting, and stronger champions. This is opposed to KTB last season, who would do their fast-push  strategy, focusing on taking objectives over kills.

    CJ Frost vs. SKT TI K

    If this was last season, I would say SKT 100%. But this season, CJ Frost has improved greatly, while SKT TI K is on tilt with Bengi, Impact, and Poohmandu performing much weaker than they did the season before.
    The Fallen Kings(left to right) Piglet, Bengi, Poohmandu, Impact, Faker
    As far as match-ups go. I believe it currently looks like this:
    • Top Lane: Shy=Impact
      • While Shy might get his beloved Jax, Impact has been playing well with Renekton (often perceived as the counter to Jax). I basically expect the lanes to be Shyvanna and Renekton so long as neither is banned out.
    • Jungle: Swift > Bengi
      • Its hard to argue with this one. Swift's performance and mechanics have been on point this season, while Bengi seems to be struggling. The Lee Sin will be the real contested pick here, Swift is very dangerous on it. Another pick that we might see is Kha'ziks.
    • Midlane: Coco<Faker
      • Coco has been performing very well, but Faker has been performing well despite how K has been doing. Coco wasn't able to stop Dade, and I believe it might be similar with Faker. However, if Faker does not rotate (unlikely) the lane may go even. I expect Coco to fall back on either Ziggs or Leblanc. Faker's champion pool is too large to be able to fully predict what he'll bring out.
    • ADC: Space< Piglet 
      •  As of late, Space has been preferring to use Jinx, a champion that Piglet doesn't really play, and while Jinx is very strong late game, she is not the greatest duelist champion. So if Piglet goes for Vayne and isn't punished for it, Piglet might win this match up. I also expect Twitch to be a contested pick out of both ADCs.
    • Support: Madlife=Poohmandu
      • The two supports have similar champion pools at this point, both preferring playmaking champions: Leona, Thresh, Zyra, Alistar. Currently, I don't believe there to be a large difference in skill level between these two.
    Overall, in a best of 3, I believe it will end up a 2:1 in the favor of SKT K. Despite how far Frost has come, I believe that SKT K has a better sense of map control and team unity. With that said, if Frost is allowed their way, it could easily fall in Frost's favor.
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    Thursday, April 24, 2014

    Learning 3 Languages in a Month- Day 1 Spanish

    For the first day of the project, I've decided to start with the language I'm most familiar with: Spanish.

    To start, I picked up an article from the spanish BBC website, and planned my steps:

    The article in question
    To begin, I wanted to have this project be steeped in practicality, so I would judge my success by whether or not I could comprehend what was being said in the article. Additionally, I intended to focus more on the "structure of the words" first, rather than worrying about vocabulary with the verbs and nouns.

    So my first step was to eliminate the words in the article that looked like nouns and verbs. This is something I probably wouldn't be able to do if I didn't have SOME understanding of Spanish. I'll probably have to develop a new method when approaching Italian and Japanese.  I went though and crossed out the words that I recognized as nouns and verbs (some were easy with "el presidente", and others were a bit more questionable).

    I made a lot of mistakes (obvious ones) but its meant to be rough anyways
    From there, I began to look up the meaning of each of the conjunctions. My hope was that I would get a very rough structure of the sentences. I was hoping there wasn't too many strange grammatical changes.

    I compiled a list of grammar just from the first paragraph

    "Y": and
    que: that, than
    que (accent): what
    desde: from
    desde que: Since
    en: in
    de: of
    han: have
    sido: was
    han sido: have been
    del: of
    pais: parents
    del pais: the country
    mas (accent): more
    durante: during
    cualquier: any
    otra: other

    Roughly the first paragraph would say:

    "and its since obama.....en...of.. of two...have been...the country,  more than during any other ....in..."

    Not especially helpful. At this point, I'm considering doing a translation of the English grammatical terms, just so I can recognize them when they come up. But first, I decide to take the first paragraph without the crossed out words and see if I could make sense of them:

    "And its since obama illego a la white house in enero of 2009, alrededor of two million of indocumentados  have been expulsados the country, more than during any other presidency in the history of the north american nacion."
    After putting in the verbs and nouns in, the grammar started to help make more sense. I could even begin to guess what what going on:

    Since obama "illego" (probably entered) the white house in "enero" (probably a month, most likely january) of 2009. Alredador (this term denotes an amount, like "many" or "all") of two million indocumentados (likely immigrants without papers/documents) have been expulsados (looks like the word "expelled") from the country. More than any other presidency in the history of the north american nation. 
    I looked up the terms:

    illego: came
    enero: january
    Alredador: around
    indocumentados: undocumented (duh)
    expulsados: expelled

    Not too bad, if I say so myself


    After the little attempt of today, I've decided to compile a list of "grammar" terms that denoted things like the relation of nouns to one another, and the placement of things. Its going to be split into two sections:

    1. The first section is purely meant to be a list of terms that help string words together- showing their relation to one another. These include things like articles "a, the", conjunctions such as "and, but, because, however", as well as others.
    2. The second section of the list will be terms that help determine things like "time" and "place" in terms of relation. So for instance "before, since, after" are words that determine "WHEN" things happened in respect to another event. Complimentary, terms like "underneath, inside, above, around, and between" determine the position of things in respect to another.
    The reason is because I feel that these are central and core to a language, and really help determine the way in which we communicate. There was a famous philosopher (probably Kant, its always Kant) who noted that we must put things in terms of a "space" and a "time" in order to fully comprehend it. If this is true, then all languages must be able to communicate space and time. Thus, why not pick up on the ways it conveys it now?

    In the meantime, I will look for a potentially exhaustive list of the spanish articles, conjunctions, and pronouns, as well as descriptors of time and place. If I can't find it, i'll make one myself.

    Edit: found a nice site for grammar here
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    Learning 3 Languages in a Month

    For a long time now, I've wanted to expand my language base and become truly "Multi-lingual", while at the same time experimenting with my mnemonic technique skillset. Essentially, I intend to discover the best way for me to reach a certain degree of language proficiency in a short amount of time.

    The Goal

    An example of an article in Spanish off the BBC
    For this initial experiment, the goal is:

    "To be able to read an article written in the language". 

    For this experiment, I'll be using articles posted on the BBC, which is supposedly meant to be internationally accessible.

    The Languages

    The three languages I will initially be dealing with are:
    • Spanish (Mexican varient)
    • Japanese
    • Italian
    At the moment, I have some proficiency in Spanish, and some understanding of Japanese. However, I have very little exposure to Italian.

    How to will I go about this?

    This really is the question, and I am actually not certain of the best approach. But I have a few things in mind while going into this:
    1. Don't focus on memorizing vocabulary: While vocabulary shows proficiency in a language, it isn't necessarily the most important thing to know when trying to understand what is being said. Heck, I still run into words in english that I don't recognize all the time, but am often able to intuit what it means.
    2. Start with the grammar: I'm referring to the conjunctions like "and, but, because", as well as other grammatical terms. We use these to construct ALL our sentences, so getting a good grasp of it early is important.
    3. Don't anchor the new language to one you already know: Has anyone ever asked you "do you think in English?" It alludes to the idea that your understanding of other languages is rooted in your mother language. As a result, you'll often find that you'll have to formulate your thoughts in english first, before translating them into the native language. Its necessary at times, but not ideal. For vocabulary, you might be better off rooting them in images.
    4. Immerse yourself in it: The quickest way to learn a language is to immerse yourself in it- whether by being forced to use it, or by constantly using it.
    5. Learn the melodic way of speaking- The way people speak in other languages is quite melodic. You can improve your accent by essentially singing the lines.
    Let's get to it.
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