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Can you really learn a language in fifteen minutes?


kurdapia
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Is there really a faster way to learn a new language? In my hopeless quest I stumbled upon a video from TEDX explaining how this can be achieved quite easily. No matter how hard I try to listen to him I still can not comprehend if his assertion is doable.

Do you guys have a better way to learn a new language? How do you deal with getting overwhelmed with the new lessons and the new things you need to learn? Are there people who are born to be good at it?

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If there's a technique to learn a language that fast, I'd love to know what it is - I have been living in Japan 12 months, with 2 years to go - and I still don't know the language apart from a few basics.

Sure, 15 minutes of intensive studying might give you a few words or phrases but I certainly don't think you'll get much more out of it than that in that time frame.

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I highly doubt it.  If you want to truly learn a language you definitely need more than just 15 minutes,  you need a lot focus and dedication to do that, at least one hour daily for at least half a year.  Just like I have been doing the last few months with dutch (showing results already).

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I think if it were feasible to learn a language in 15 minutes, a lot of companies would be out of business LOL More people would speak more than one language. They do say if it sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly is. I think this is one very classic example. I personally wouldn't be able to learn anything in 15 minutes, maybe just one or two expressions.

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If you are learning 5 sentences like greetings and thank you and welcome, that 15 minutes would suffice. However, you have to take notes and remember the correct pronunciation. But when you say language, you learn it in months or at least weeks if you have a scholarly mind.

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If there's such a technique, I'd really like to know. However, I think that 15 minutes would be enough to learn a few sentences and conversational phrases, nothing more. I think it's pretty much impossible to be fluent in a language and know lots of vocabulary in just 15 minutes!

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I would like to meet the person who is able to teach someone that fast. I don't believe for a second that someone is able to learn a new language that fast. I mean it just doesn't seem possible. How would you know how to use the right verb tenses and all that, I mean it just doesn't make any sense. I would think that this is just a big scam.

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If someone could learn a new language in 15 minutes, we'd all be bilingual and able to communicate in every language by now, lol. No; I you definitely can't learn an entire language in 15 minutes. That's a ridiculous expectation, and anyone thinking they can seriously learn a language in that amount of time is being impatient and setting an unrealistic goal for themselves.

Is this an actual marketing statement someone has used for their course? "Learn a new language in 15 minutes"? Sounds like one of those too good to be true sorts of things to me.

A more realistic goal:

"Learn a new language in 15 minutes a day."

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  • 2 weeks later...

If someone could learn a new language in 15 minutes, we'd all be bilingual and able to communicate in every language by now, lol. No; I you definitely can't learn an entire language in 15 minutes. That's a ridiculous expectation, and anyone thinking they can seriously learn a language in that amount of time is being impatient and setting an unrealistic goal for themselves.

Is this an actual marketing statement someone has used for their course? "Learn a new language in 15 minutes"? Sounds like one of those too good to be true sorts of things to me.

A more realistic goal:

"Learn a new language in 15 minutes a day."

-and as we all know, if it sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly is! if it were possible, I'd be multilingual, that's for sure. The sad thing is that there'll be people out there who'll fall for this obvious scam.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, you can probably learn few basic greetings in 15 minutes, but not every little thing about the language, including their alphabet. That would be ridiculous. Honestly, it would take so many years before you become an expert in speaking another language.

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  • 1 month later...

How could you learn a language in such a sort amount of time? I think you might learn some of the structure of the language in question but you couldn't fit all the grammar in such a short amount of time, let alone learn any of the vocabulary and what if the language doesn't use the roman alphabet. How would you learn to write?

I don't think this is true, it's just a way to catch peoples interest or rather a publicity gimmick.

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I honestly don't see how that could be possible.  There is too much to learning a language.  Not only do you have to learn the vocabulary and sentence structure, but you have to learn the slang words and phrases.  Not to mention understanding any regional accents a person may have.

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I agree with the other people here.
3 months is sufficient enough to become comfortable in your target language, but 15 minutes is far too few.
Although I did become comfortable in Japanese, German and Spanish in a few weeks, but it doesn't mean I can speak Japanese or Spanish full-time.
German is another story, but that's because German and Dutch are almost like dialects of each other, which I said multiple times on my blog (note: switch your language to German to see those posts, the last 2 posts even include a translation on mouse-over).

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I can do more than just learn a laungage in 15 minutes. I can build a house and a care all in those 15 minutes while learning the laungage and do it all by myself. (this is sacism) In actuality you need more than 15 minutes to learn a laungage. You can learn the syntax of a laungage but you need time to learn the vocabulary.

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You should take that with a gain of salt really.
Similarity to another language might give you some advantage, but this whole image conflicts with each other.

The actual fact is: it takes practise to speak a language, not the time you hold your arse in a classroom or the amount of weeks that just bypass.

To take a nice example: Japanese.
I started learning Japanese 12 May 2015.
I became proficient enough to use it every day since last month or so (let's say: 22 September 2015).
This makes 18 weeks to become proficient in Japanese.
Amount of hours of practise during those 18 months: 33 hours.

Admitted, German took me way less: 4 weeks / 8 hours.

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Is there really a faster way to learn a new language? In my hopeless quest I stumbled upon a video from TEDX explaining how this can be achieved quite easily. No matter how hard I try to listen to him I still can not comprehend if his assertion is doable.

link?

 

@Blaveloper - In another thread you said:

I studied Japanese for 7 years intensively with little to no results.
When I started learning Japanese by speaking it, listening to it and immersing into it since May 2015, I finally made a huge progress in Japanese, and I didn't even open a study book since then.

But now you say:

I started learning Japanese 12 May 2015.
I became proficient enough to use it every day since last month or so (let's say: 22 September 2015).
This makes 18 weeks to become proficient in Japanese.
Amount of hours of practise during those 18 months: 33 hours.

Please don't stretch the truth just to impress people. If you truly became "proficient" in Japanese in 18 weeks, you must have your own very special definition of "proficient". Maybe something like Benny Lewis's definition of "fluent"?

 

 

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@Blaveloper - In another thread you said:

But now you say:

Please don't stretch the truth just to impress people. If you truly became "proficient" in Japanese in 18 weeks, you must have your own very special definition of "proficient". Maybe something like Benny Lewis's definition of "fluent"?

That's the half part of the story you remind me to, also remember how I said I learnt almost nothing in those 7 years and how I started from scratch when I switched to this new way?

To me "proficiency" means "are you able to initialise a conversation and keep it up", not "do you know how to study or learn for how long".

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I found something interesting the other day ;)  It made me kind of sad though:

 

 

That table has some serious errors. The very first one being that it is not possible to judge a language as hard or easy unless you are talking about people with the same native language and similar knowledge of other languages. For a Japanese person, Chinese scrips is very easy while it would be very hard for a European to learn, for a Russian speaker, Polish is not so hard, whereas an Italian might find it very difficult etc.

I find it a bit sad how we all like to look at graphs and pictures and believe them just because they are pretty and easy to understand. It seriously distorts reality....

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That table has some serious errors. The very first one being that it is not possible to judge a language as hard or easy unless you are talking about people with the same native language and similar knowledge of other languages. For a Japanese person, Chinese scrips is very easy while it would be very hard for a European to learn, for a Russian speaker, Polish is not so hard, whereas an Italian might find it very difficult etc.

I find it a bit sad how we all like to look at graphs and pictures and believe them just because they are pretty and easy to understand. It seriously distorts reality....

 

Please read right below the top of the info graph, there states clearly those languages go from easy to hard for ENGLISH speakers.  Native English speakers. The info graph never generalized things that broadly.  Jesus, what's up with that fascination with trying to find error where there is none? or taking things too literally?  And no, this info graph is not supposed to be taken 100% seriously, obviously, it's just an estimation :rolleyes:   Just read well before posting, isn't that hard, it aids in keeping a good discussion going, and keeping things cordial and flowing, not stagnant thanks to small details.  We are all adults and  at this point we should already know what estimations really mean. 

 

 

Edited by Trellum
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You should take that with a gain of salt really.
Similarity to another language might give you some advantage, but this whole image conflicts with each other.

The actual fact is: it takes practise to speak a language, not the time you hold your arse in a classroom or the amount of weeks that just bypass.

To take a nice example: Japanese.
I started learning Japanese 12 May 2015.
I became proficient enough to use it every day since last month or so (let's say: 22 September 2015).
This makes 18 weeks to become proficient in Japanese.
Amount of hours of practise during those 18 months: 33 hours.

Admitted, German took me way less: 4 weeks / 8 hours.

This info graph is supposed to be taken as a simple estimation, a very veeery generous one... one that supposes the learner is very very dedicated, motivated and good at languages in general. Is not supposed to be taken 100% seriously.  And it's only valid for English speakers.  And yes,  I know it takes a lot practice to learn a language, that is how I learn English on my own :rolleyes:  Don't take things too literally. 

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i'm 100% certain learning a new language in fifteen minutes is impossible. You could learn a few words and/or sentences, sure, but the entire language? No. In fact, I don't even think you can learn a new language (and master it) in two weeks. You'd have to be an absolute and total genius to be able to do that. Hell, even they take weeks to master the language. So conclusion? No. Absolutely not.

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