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Everything posted by djlearns

  1. Well, I would grab the book "Word Power Made Easy" by Norman Lewis, copy the format in that book, and create amazing videos using that format. In fact, if you can find the old 1990s version of this book, it would be great. The old book is really thin and can be read through in one sitting. It has sold hundreds of millions of copies across the world, so the man must know what he's talking about.
  2. Sad to see the app that I am currently using not be on the list. Although, it did provide me a new list of apps to try out. Although, it would be a while until I try a new app since I am on a set plan that includes the use of just that one app. But, thanks for the link.
  3. Never watched a children's show, but have tried watching tv shows and movies in other languages that I was trying to learn. They actually do help. So, I am guessing watching a children's show would be helpful as well. In fact, its one of the best techniques, if you can study the language in parallel.
  4. Talking to a native speaker is a great idea. I am not too sure about traveling to a place to learn the language though. But, if you need that sort of immersion to learn something or if you have the time, why not do it? Although, you have to remember that most languages have "localized" versions which maybe different from what you're trying to learn - the main/universal/business version of the language. For example, I know that Chinese, Arabic, and Italian vary from region to region.
  5. I knew that it existed probably for every conceivable subject (possibly), but I didn't know it was called a rule 34 or that it could actually be used in a phrase. Also, I am not sure if I would use it in a conversation because I can't think of a situation where I would want to use it, unless I am talking to my teenaged cousin, in which case, I would lecture him about a few things in life if he used "rule 34" in his sentences It would be a catch 22 situation for me considering I would be proud of him "expanding" his vocab while at the same time I would be worried about "how" he's expanding that vocab.
  6. Yes, I have learnt the Russian language or tried to. Its a fun language. The language does not have certain connecting words which we take for granted. Other than that, in terms of vocab and pronunciation, the words are similar to other languages. Also, the Russian alphabet is pretty easy to learn too.
  7. I would go for spanish, since it is the second most spoken language in the world! So, in terms of practicality, I would say learn spanish so that you can interact with more people. Although, I would also go for Italian, because there is a lot of music and literature that is in Italian and for once, I would like to enjoy the Opera without looking at the subtitles
  8. Thanks. I will try your website as well. Hopefully, I will be able to use it to my advantage. I will post a review here once I am done with the website as well, just so everyone knows how things went. Although, I have to say, I checked your website out and it wasn't easy for me to understand what easy or difficult meant when I tried to learn a language. But, other than that, it seems good. Let me check it out. Here's to learning better and faster!
  9. Apps help a lot if you can find the right one. Of course, the whole point of using an app is to just get used to the language. You could simply use the BBC language website to do the same thing as well. Apps don't try to teach you absolutely everything. So, you will still need video tutorials or human tutors to teach you the intricacies of the language. Finally, you'd need a "testing" ground which an app cannot provide unless it connects you with a native speaker.
  10. Update: I have bought a bunch of index cards. I have signed up for the 24 hour session online. I would have done this earlier, but life happened. Basically, right now I am immersing myself in Chinese - I have an app that works, lessons that are good, and I have learning tools that I am using to learn the language. The time starts now- just fyi, this only includes learning time which means the whole thing could be completed in 24 hours or a week or 24 days even. However, since I need to learn quickly, and that was the whole point, I will be doing it asap.
  11. Well, I have never found classrooms to be helpful. I have however found one-on-one sessions extremely helpful. Also, I have found community based learning to work as well, which is why peer-to-peer studying or study groups or similar arrangements work really well. However, ultimately you will have to learn on your own because no one can teach you anything you don't want to learn. IMHO if you can afford a one-on-one tutor, then get one. Otherwise, I would rather prefer learning on my own.
  12. So, I recently started learning Chinese for work. Since, I have to do it in a short time, I want to document my journey and perhaps obtain a learning framework for learning languages. Hopefully, my journey will help everyone else as well. I generally am able to learn things within 24 hours (if you count the actual hours). And so I have a bunch of techniques I use to learn things. I am not sure if they'll work for Mandarin, but I will try them nonetheless. Also, I would like to mention that speed learning is a real thing. If you want to learn the framework, look up the video or book "How to Get Good At Anything in 20 Hours". Learning objective: I should be able to converse in Mandarin fluently so as to conduct business meetings and communicate with people from the mainland. Scouting learning resources So, I went through a bunch of resources to see which one fits the bill. My goal was to find something that A) I am comfortable yet fast. Is easily accessible for continuous learning. C) Is free. So, with Mr. Google by my side, I started searching. I went to the bbc learning center online. I went through various other websites that claimed to teach Chinese. But, when I tried them out, I found them to be either too academic or too detailed (remember, I just want to converse and people will understand if I can't read literature). Finally, I googled "learn mandarin for business" and found this article and many like it about Zuckerberg. He's been learning Mandarin for 5 years now and he practices it everyday! Then, I went through a bunch of forums and reddits about it. Finally, I found a list of good android apps for learning Chinese. And I downloaded all the apps on the list and gave them a try. Out of all of those, I found Hello Chinese to be really helpful. So, that is the app that I am using right now. Low-Hanging Learning Objective: Learn Mandarin within 24 hours and then converse with someone in a real setting. Yesterday, I met someone who's agreed to show me how to learn Mandarin within 24 hours, which as you know is what I like to do when it comes to learning something. So, I may be letting go of the aforementioned app or using it simultaneously. I have already ordered a fresh batch of index/flash cards numbering about 300. Hopefully, they'll help me learn faster. I also read this article in the Guardian about this journalist learning Mandarin in 2 days and testing himself in an actual setting. So, I know it can be done. Here's the plan for the next few days: Stage 1. Find resources that claim to teach Chinese in 24 hours or less. Already found this site and this app. Stage 2. Try them out one by one. Create flashcards for memorizing things. Practice speaking and reading the language for about 10 hours. Stage 3. Practice listening to the language for 10 hours. Stage 4. Test listening skills by watching Chinese content online. Stage 5. Test conversation skills by going to a Chinese restaurant and striking a real life conversation. Stage 6. Come back. Take note of gaps. Improve. Rinse and Repeat until fluent. So, wish me luck guys. I will let you know how things go.
  13. Well, 500 posts is a good threshold for that forum. Hopefully, by the time I get there I will have mastered a few languages already. I like to stay focused anyways. Although, I wouldn't mind being part of hangouts or webinars so as to learn alongside my fellow members.
  14. Welcome to the Forum Mike. I am on the same boat. Hopefully, we will be able to learn a bunch of languages and share our knowledge and tips. Hope you enjoy the lovely intellectual discussions that we have on the forum.
  15. As the OP said, English appears to be the most common language. But, the new numbers show something completely different: 1. Chinese 2 1,197,000,000 2. Spanish 414,000,000 3. English 335,000,000 4. Hindi 260,000,000 But, officially, people from most countries still do business in English. Although, I am thinking I need to learn Spanish as well.
  16. Hi Everyone, I am interested in learning multiple languages. I am currently learning mandarin as I have to go on an assignment to HK and then the mainland soon. But, I have always been interested in learning languages and have tried learning French, German, and Russian. While I was taught French by an instructor, I could never really get up to speed with the language. I self-taught myself Russian using apps and a book in my library. The German's still a touchy topic with me, because I want to learn the language, but I have had no time to learn it properly so far. Hoping to learn a lot from you guys! Cheers!
  17. Well, Hollywood movies with English subtitles works in most cases. As long as the learner knows basic English. Then, you slowly move to content that doesn't have subtitles. Its an interesting way to learn and has worked in the past.
  18. Its an old thread. But, I wouldn't want to miss out on commenting on this topic. TOEFL is probably the kind of proficiency test that you're looking for - its used by the top business schools, where communication is key. IELTS has different formats for Aus and Canada. And may be used for showing proficiency at work or for academic pursuits. However, there are elements of IELTS that I never liked. For example, you may have to memorize antonyms, synonyms, and what not. Things that you won't even use once you're in school. OTOH TOEFL is pretty relevant - they test you on actual skills, but don't expect you to have dictionaries or thesauruses memorized. So, I would go for TOEFL. Btw, I scored a 115 on toefl, and a 7 on ielts, so pm me if you want any tips.
  19. I am a history buff. And I know that there was a "mother language" around 8000BC from which the Indo-European languages emerged. What interests me, is whether phonetically, the languages are similar or not. In most cases, they are. In fact, I recently noticed that a few words in Chinese are the same or sound similar to certain Hindi, Russian and German words. Any expert will tell you that Chinese has little to do with these other languages, but I have found them to be similar. So that's what interests me - similarity among languages.
  20. Well, I have an iq of 170 and i am a natural at taking standardized tests and scoring in the high 90th percentiles. However, I have tried to learn 3 languages so far (mainly because I thought I was a genius), and have so far only been able to learn Russian. I mean I know a little French, enough to start a conversation. I know a little German as well. But, nothing more than that. However, now I am learning mandarin, because its important to my work. And I can tell you that I am learning it really quickly. The reason is that I am under pressure from my manager to learn within 3 months so he can send me to HK and then to the mainland. So, I would say, more than intelligence, its the "need" to learn that really helps one learn a language. Intelligence matters, but hard work trumps intelligence.
  21. I am currently using Hello Chinese - its an android app. I am not sure if there is an iOS version. There are a lot of apps out there for this purpose, but I found this app useful because it not only teaches you the phonetics, it also teaches you how to write and understand written Mandarin, simultaneously. While, I am still a relative beginner, at least I can talk and understand basic things and have practiced the Chinese "alphabets" well thanks to this app.
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