Thursday, April 24, 2014

Learning 3 Languages in a Month

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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.

1 comments:

  1. I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post
    ld hardas

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