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Everything posted by Richard.H

  1. I mean, yeah sure...but this is such a slow way of doing things. You'll make so much faster progress by actually studying the language at the same time. Not to mention the true meaning of the words will probably elude you, you'll know when to use them really well, and based on that you will probably get a decent idea of what the word means....but a few years later you might find out that you've completely misunderstood. I'm not saying you shouldn't do it, but I definitely "mislearned" a lot of words this way. Thinking they mean one thing but in reality they mean something else. Maybe you were close, but not quite. Which is something that could cause problems later if you'll get serious with the language. It's relatively easy to learn something right, but it's much harder to unlearn a mistake/error and relearn the correct thing. Not to mention you might pick up some really rude things without realizing it, and should you use it with other natives....ouch I don't know maybe I'm dumb and the only one in the world who experienced this... Either way, as a supplementary thing to help you progress - awesome! Much recommended! As the main/only studying method? Eeeeeeeeeh, no thanks. To each his own I guess
  2. Hahaha, why being skeptical? I mean, even if it's payed site there is usually a free trial - just try it and see. Skepticism is ok, but it won't bring you answers whether something is good or not. Everyone is a little different, what might be a good method for one may not be so great for another. So the best thing you can try is to give it a shot and see for yourself. Welkom gave you a nice list of things you could try out, so go ahead and give it a shot!
  3. Funny I should find this thread today! I made a video on this very topic for my blog just today, feel free to check it out here: http://richardheiney.com/how-to-stay-motivated-when-learning-a-new-language/
  4. I 100% agree! I just can't do it if I don't love the language. I the past I tried to learn Japanese, Chinese, Korean, French, Thai, and Tagalog. Only the first 3 stuck with me. The other 3 I dropped after the first lesson as I immediately realized it was simply not for me. I always say "have fun 51% of the time, and work hard 49% of the time"; I believe it does not concern only language learning though. Be it work, sport, or anything really, I think you should enjoy it. Because if you enjoy it then you can really do it well, because your heart will be in it
  5. I started with English already in pre-school. So I don't really count that has that being my choice As for the other languages... The next one was Japanese, in 2008. I was preparing for my school-leaving exam. Not 100% sure what those are called, but basically the final exams before you graduate from high school. Back then I was super dedicated student so I was preparing really hard since the beginning of the school year. Well, understandably, by the end of the school year I was really really sick of studying and preparing for it the exam. It was so bad I was willing to study something else just as long as it wasn't school-related (after I did all my laundry and sorted out my socks 3 times of course :)). So I was like "hey, how about I learn another language? You know, just for fun, see what's it like." Little did I know how obsessed I would become in the coming years. Adding Chinese and Korean to my Japanese studies. And FYI, I chose Japanese simply because I was watching a lot of Anime at the time and I figured "hey, that's kinda cool language, and like nobody speaks it around here (meaning Czech); that's the perfect language for me!"
  6. Kind of yeah. It's not nice, but hey. It's like being too fat or too skinny. It's one of those things that can be changed. So if it really bothers you so much you can go to the US / the UK / Australia for a while to get your desired accent. I've become comfortable with having less than perfect accent. In fact I like it now. So I really don't mind that much. Of course having somebody trying to insult you in your face because of it sucks for sure. But if that's the case then the real question is, why the hell are hanging around with that sort of people?
  7. Hahahaha! Good one! Well, I've completely converted myself from my native tongue - Czech - to English. I rarely even think in Czech. So no I do not have this problem (not with my native and new native tongue), I feel perfectly capable expressing myself in English when I'm upset. I would find it hard to do that in Czech if anything. For the record. I've never lived in an English speaking country. However, for my other languages - Japanese, Chinese - I find it really hard to express myself when I'm upset. All the words come up in English. So if I'm really upset I just revert to English. I can't even bring myself to think in another language. So yeah I know what you mean. But it doesn't really concern my native language but rather all the languages besides English.
  8. Thanks Regarding "stroke order" vs radicals... If you think about it, to write correctly you need to know the stroke order. To write radicals you need the stroke order first. Otherwise you'd be writing incorrectly. And when you write complicated characters you'll probably reach into your memory of the radicals of that particular character. One way or the other, when you learn a character you inevitably learn both stroke order and the radicals. So it's not a thing of stroke order VS radicals. (PS sorry for the late reply, haven't check in while - got my wisdom tooth pulled out....nasty business...still on painkillers :/)
  9. I finally figured out how to study Kanji/Hanzi. I used to be unable to get past 200 characters, the more I learned the more I forgot. Now I can read and write both Japanese and Chinese! How did I get there? Actually it's funny I would find this post today - I just made a video about this and posted it on YouTube today! For anyone interested: click here to watch the video
  10. I don't know about the whole study...(I admit I skimmed it - sorry I'm not much of a reader! ) But to me it makes total sense that you like the sound of somebody's voice. Can't say for sure how huge of an impact it has on the relationship and the likelihood of the people staying together, but it definitely has a huge impact on attraction. As for me, there are girls I simply cannot stand based on the tone of their voice, and there are girls I feel crazy attracted to - again based on their voice. Again, I'm talking about "attraction", surely there is more going on between two people in a relationship than the sound of their voice. That being said, having the right voice should improve the chances of the relationship surviving, right? If even by just 1%
  11. "where there is a will, there is a way" If you want something bad enough you'll make it happen no matter the obstacles. So the real question isn't how do we deal our schedule, the real question is how will you deal with your schedule. I understand you're fishing for ideas here and that's good, and this is my advice to you - just figure it out! Sometimes we already know the answer to our problems, we just don't listen to our "inner-self" / gut / call it whatever...you know what I mean. Don't let excuses blind you!
  12. Hey guys Haven't been posting much lately! Been super busy making a Comprehensive Japanese Hiragana & Katakana course! Just launched it recently and already have over 1000 students from all over the world (78 different countries! sorry it's really exciting for me! :D)! So I wanted to invite people from my favorite linguistics forum as well! Together with my friend (native speaker), we've made a full blown course with about 5 hours of content, teaching both Hiragana and Katakana and some Kanji as well! You'll be getting the exact instructions on how to write the characters PLUS practice sheets you can print out and use for your practice (Riko-chan, the native speaker prepared those, she used to do calligraphy so they came out really well!) Also over 300 vocab building words are included so you can practice the characters in context! When I was doing research for this course I encountered some really interesting stuff about how Hiragana and Katakana came to be, stuff you won't find in textbooks! I made a video about it: http://www.richardheiney.com/digging-out-the-dirt-the-secret-history-of-japanese-writing/ You'll find more info about the course there, as well as a discount coupon ! Please note that the coupons are limited so don't wait around if you're interested! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out! Richard
  13. 1. Japanese (various dialects, e.g. Osaka, Kyushu) 2. Chinese Mandarin 3. Korean 4. (considering) Cantonese So total of 6 languages. Then I either kick the bucket or I might add another one! Who knows
  14. For me the most boring part is studying things I'm not interested in. Like when I have to learn a name of a vegetable - ugh, I don't even like those! LOL And always, the least favorite topics are numbers and family. Not that counting is not important, nor that I don't like my family...but I generally find these words boring. Especially when in Chinese you have a different word for EVERY single family member (meaning older sister X younger sister; uncle that's older than your father X uncle that's younger than your father - it can be a bit insane sometimes!) or in Korean you have a totally different set of numbers for different things (money has different numbers than objects, etc). Japanese does this too, but it's only a few numbers, Korean goes way overboard! Luckily Chinese has only one such number!
  15. very true! same thing with Japanese. R is R but it does lean towards the L a little bit. Latin characters don't really have a way of making this distinction clear though. I'm open for suggestions though
  16. Eng (:P): I love you Japanese (depends on polite you wanna be): 愛してる (ai shiteru)(informal, something you might actually use with your lover) Chinese (somebody already posted this, so let me do it in Simplified Chinese): 我爱你 (wo ai ni) Korean: 사랑 해요 (salang haeyo) Czech: Miluji tě Great job breaking it down! I would just add that 愛してる does indeed exist, but it's slang.
  17. I would call it "hard but simple" hahaha. I would have agreed with you on the script part a few years back, but now I think it's actually not that difficult. It's more scary than anything. But as long as you start that's basically half work done. The other one is stick with it and actually practice on daily basis. The hardest thing for ME would be listening. It really takes the longest time to get used to. 3 reasons I would mention here, obviously the tones (unless you already know a tone-based language this will prove rather tricky to get used to), the fact that everything sounds the same! hahaha (different words have different pronunciation of course, but they are still very close to each other with minimal difference, example: q, j; ch, zh; n, ng; shi, she....it really takes some getting used to being able to really hear the difference), finally there are words with the same pronunciation and the same spelling (usually different character though, but not always) but they mean different things! So 1. tone changes the meaning, 2. words sound very much alike and again the meaning is different, 3. same pronunciation (tones and everything) yet different meaning again. Now of course, literally billions of people speak Chinese, so it's not impossible to learn it, it's just a very slow process with getting used to the above. Especially if you don't live in Chinese speaking country. Compare with that, I find the writing to be not so bad yeah perhaps you're right there. It would be easier if you didn't have to remember 3 characters and the tones for these 3 "Open car" means to drive. So I agree with you in a sense that the logic is easy or rather simple. But wouldn't go so far as to say easy to remember. Perhaps the English translations are easier to remember since they are so interesting Just for the record I think "王国" means "kingdom", but "美国" should mean "beautiful country" if I'm not mistaken. I think the reason for this (and this is merely an educated guess) is that when America was discovered it was nice and beautiful and unspoiled. So calling it "beautiful country" was not so far fetched I think. What it is now is a topic for another time.
  18. Hey there! I've put together a free video (PDF and MP3 are included) on top 10 must-know phrases for traveling in Japan. >> http://www.richardheiney.com Some cultural insights you won't find in textbooks are included. To help you with the pronunciation I have a native speaker to help out! This is for either beginners or people who know 0 Japanese. Would love your feedback! I only aim to improve and produce more and more quality stuff! >> http://www.richardheiney.com Thanks! Richard
  19. Most definitely! But I do it mostly for foreign words. Especially for Japanese. Or I would mix the languages and create multilingual words and/or sentences! That's fun! Well, for me anyways! Or translate words into other languages so they would lose their meaning all together. It's great with Japanese and Chinese words since they use characters which have their own meaning. So I would then translate these characters into a western language and call the original thing that. Obviously I would do this only with people who speak both languages. Otherwise it's not quite as funny
  20. Yes, I do this quite a bit! It's the best way to learn I think. being able to speak in the local tongue in a country on the other side of the planet...very rewarding! It's awesome positive reinforcement for me, helps me stick with the language! If you're studying language of some other country and you haven't been there...well...get off your butt! I mean unless it's a country where the crime rate is through the roof it will be at least a little bit of fun, right?
  21. It did kinda happen to me with movies (sorry I know you're talking about books here! :D). Sometimes I encounter a movie that is just really crazy unique. So I look into the story behind it, who made it the way it is. Then I find out the person is really cool and I fall in love with their style. Which ultimately makes me love their movies even more. I feel like you can kinda tell what kind of people authors are based on their work. So I would be surprised if I got "disappointed" by finding some out some stuff about some author's life. But maybe books are different? Either way, I only have positive experience with this and only with movie directors.
  22. Flagonce and Wanda raised some really good points. It always felt a little bit silly for not having a unified sign language...but than again it feels silly to me that there isn't an official universal language... Still it makes the world a bit more colorful with all these languages in it. And perhaps it's the same for sign languages. This way a mute can "speak" multiple languages as well. I think that's pretty cool.
  23. Yeah I don't know. Learning the language (I assume means perfect written and colloquial skills) in less than 2 years? I hardly think so. You can get pretty good I'm sure. But maybe if you're in the country and you do nothing - and I mean nothing - else than study and practice...perhaps it's possible. I do remember that in just 2 months in Japan I made greater progress than on my own in a year. Then again my system/method of studying was not as refined as it is now. So it's hard to say....
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