- Oct 9, 2018
I want to learn Russia. Already understand a lot but can't say shit.
Im half polish. So im forced to. I can speak it but the writing is gibberish to me.I think polish is one of the hardest of the Slavic languages because it has more grammatical genders
Neuter, masculine animate, masculine inanimate, feminine animate and feminine inanimate
This is cool ngl. I'll try this out and see how well it works.
Country name sounded "netherlandsy" to me lol, its in Scandinavia, I guess I'm geographically incorrect, but I pretty much think of all cold places with majority white people that have "vikingish" sounding names as "netherlands" JFL.He said Denmark not the Netherlands.
Really cool man! I've been thinking about learning a new language. Thanks![This is WIP, I plan to add pictures later to make this more interesting to read]
So first of all, as some of you already know, I am really into language learning.
It is one of the best copes as it takes time to learn a language and when you have learned it, you can consume media that has never been available in a language you knew before!
But let's cut the bullshit and let's get into how I have learned languages.
This method has worked for majority of people who have had trouble learning languages so I hope it works for you too!
1. Learn what to learn
If you are learning things that do not make you better at your target language fast enough, you will get frustrated.
Learn every-day words or words that you encounter very often in your target media.
This is crucial, or you will not understand anything what is being said!
The next thing you need is a goal that you can aim for.
For most languages, you can be conversational with just 2 000 words (when I say a word, I mean a word and its conjugations; "cat" and "cats" are the same word).
At this point, you will start to learn new words through context, your brain automatically knows the meaning of the new word.
And 2 000 might sound a lot, but the more words you learn, the easier it gets. Memory is like a muscle and you can make it better simply by using it.
Note that if you have studied a language before but haven't become conversational, you might have achieved 2 000 words BUT you haven't reached 2 000 most common words. You might have learned words that aren't used daily at all! So don't get frustrated, try again with this guide!!
When it comes to grammar, it really depends on the languages you already know.
If you go from more complex grammar to simpler grammar, it will be much easier.
If you are speaking a less complex language (Chinese, English, etc) you need to a lot of grammar in the beginning but don't force it too much either. Learn sentences and you'll figure out what conjugations to use.
Grammar also has irregularities, these are things you have to learn when you encounter them. Don't force yourself to learn a bunch of irregularities because it is boring!!
2. Learn how to learn
Next step is actually starting to learn your target language.
Keep that 2 000 words in your mind.
I am currently learning Chinese and Japanese and I use Anki.
Anki is a free software for PC and Android, paid for spoiled kids who use iOS.
Anki uses word repitition system so the words that are hard for you will come up again many times until you remember them.
You could use Anki for learning anything, not just languages.
You can make your own deck for it or download other decks. I have done both and both are pretty effective.
If you want to download a deck, make sure it meets your goals.
There are official language testing institutions that hold tests like HSK for Chinese and JLPT for Japanese.
I have downloaded Anki decks that have the words that in those official tests so it will help me passing the official exams!!
3. Learning a writing system and new sounds
If you are learning a language that has new sounds (phonology) and new writing system, it will take you some extra work.
With learning new sounds, you have to listen a lot and repeat what they are saying.
For example, Chinese has tones. Tones means lowering and rising your voice will completely change the meaning of the word!!
In cases like these, I highly recommend learning with audio based lessons.
I used Pimmsleur's Mandarin Chinese to get to a point where I could recognize the tones and pronounce them.
The consonants of Chinese are still pretty hard for me but I believe I will eventually master them.
Just keep using the language, it will come at some point.
Now the writing system.
If you are learning a language with a new writing system, you have to learn the writing system. Don't skip it.
It will be much harder for you to acquire new words after you have mastered the initial 2 000 words.
Reading is sometimes even more important than speaking, it is huge help for learning vocabulary. People tend to use more complex vocabulary when writing than speaking so you will be much better at speaking because you are "lowering" your skill when speaking if you are good at writing and reading.
As a lot of you know, Japanese and Chinese both use Chinese characters and you need thousands of them to read.
I am currently at around 750+ characters and learning them has helped me more than I can imagine!!
A lot of words in both languages are made of two or more characters. This means that learning the characters makes learning the words easier.
Volcano is fire-mountain. I know both fire and mountain so when I saw fire-mountain it was extremely easy to remember that word! You hear and and see the character, it's very hard to forget it!
But how do you learn the characters then?
I will edit this later to explain it in further detail but
I write the characters that come up on Anki. If I don't remember how to write it, I tell Anki I don't know the word.
TLDR; Learn 2 000 most common words, write them on paper until you remember them
@exe you wanted to be tagged