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Your process for learning a new language.


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What is your most effective process for going about the task of learning a new language? What are some study keys you would say really helped you to pick up a new language in the fastest pace possible? What are some books or audio help that you found valuable?

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When I study a new language, Korean for instance, I make sure that I watch videos first. Watching videos like tutorials or even movies can teach you a lot when it comes to language because these usually have subtitles. When it comes to audiobooks, the Korean how-to that I bought came with a CD. I just play it on the computer and listen to the phrases and words being taught.

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I try to start in the simplest element which is the alphabet, so that I could then use that to read various words and teach myself if there were no other people around to teach me. It makes it much easier to learn certain words and phrases because you'd be able to read pretty much anything in that language after that.

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First, I like to spend some time simply listening to the language, several hours a day. I imagine this is somewhat similar to visiting the country where that language is spoken and spending some days immersing myself in the language, getting used to the sounds and so on.

Then, I start to learn some very basic phrases and I repeat them several times. Then, I learn some basic words.

Then, I start learning the grammar of the language. I usually read several books on this.

During the process I keep watching movies with subtitles and listening to songs.

After I have some practice, I try to find a peer with whom I could practice speaking.

Then, I read some basic newspaper, and continue learning vocabulary and the grammar.

I continue this process until I feel I have a better command of the language.

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Watch and listen to the material you are learning. When I was practicing my American and French accent for a play, I would watch and listen to tons and tons of materials like audiobooks, movies, podcasts etc. And then the next step would be to practice. A lot.

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I just listen to foreign songs of the language that I'm learning so that I can easily remember it, because songs can last in your mind and have that "last song syndrome". Watching a subtitled movie also helps. Having a translation dictionary also comes in handy when you encounter a word you don't understand when you are out.

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My son (age 3) and I are in the process of learning Spanish together.  We've been watching the Little Pim DVDs (and listening to the CDs).  My son repeats what Pim says and has only just now start to apply it to his life, so we're doing good so far.  I figure we'll stick with the Little Pim DVDs for a while and then switch to maybe watching his favorite movies in Spanish, instead of in English.

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It is important to learn both written and spoken at the same time. I think Duolingo is really helpful in teaching the basics. After that, you should have enough knowledge to be able to read a simple children's book. Try to read those to improve your knowledge! Remember, if you don't use it, you lose it! Having a friend that is fluent in the language you want to learn can help immensely, if they are ready to practice dialogues with you.

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I'm a huge reader, and my language learning revolves around that. What I did, at least with English, was learn how grammar worked and the pronunciation rules first. After that I start reading with a dictionary next to me, it's hard at first since I understand almost nothing, but as I learned more words it got easier and easier. Listening to music and watching tv without subtitles also helps to get the finer nuances of the language.

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What is your most effective process for going about the task of learning a new language? What are some study keys you would say really helped you to pick up a new language in the fastest pace possible? What are some books or audio help that you found valuable?

Well, language learning should be made fun. It's best learnt when done in an interactive manner. The first step is to actually get the words into your vocabulary and then use them when talking to your Spanish or French friends over messenger or on the phone, etc. I get the material into my head by reading firstly, this is especially easy if you have a photographic memory. Additionally also, you should tape yourself (even on your phone) and listen to yourself speak over and over. Your brain is more familiar with your voice and will remember the material easier.  :cool:
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I'm a huge reader, and my language learning revolves around that. What I did, at least with English, was learn how grammar worked and the pronunciation rules first. After that I start reading with a dictionary next to me, it's hard at first since I understand almost nothing, but as I learned more words it got easier and easier. Listening to music and watching tv without subtitles also helps to get the finer nuances of the language.

Yes indeed, when you can associate words with images, that is the best thing. Watching TV does that for you. Especially when you are watching something interesting, you're brain is able to associate what it hears with the action that's taking place on the TV. This is one of the best way to learn a language. Children who watch Spanish or French or English TV, which differs from what they watch in their native language, often quickly adapt their new language.
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It is important to learn both written and spoken at the same time. I think Duolingo is really helpful in teaching the basics. After that, you should have enough knowledge to be able to read a simple children's book. Try to read those to improve your knowledge! Remember, if you don't use it, you lose it! Having a friend that is fluent in the language you want to learn can help immensely, if they are ready to practice dialogues with you.

I like that phrase: If you don't use it, you lose it. I can relate. I haven't studied Spanish in more than 5 years, and I have challenges recollecting. I have subscribed to babel and I am thinking about using other software to learn and revise. Reading maketh a man they say. Reading is one of the best ways to retain any information, including language learning info.
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The most effective way for me to learn a new language is usually with a study partner or group. I like to use a text book and do a lot of practice from it also. I prove to myself that I am doing well when I study on my own and then have someone test me in vocabulary and also orals.

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I keep notebooks for verbs and conjugations for Spanish, and I keep a general notebook for Mandarin. I have used Rosseta Stone for various languages but I don't recommend it. For Spanish, I also use movies and music sometimes. I think a good process is study to gain a base in the language, then practice with native speakers, then study to fill in what you don't know.

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