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marcchristensen

Inspire me!

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Background
I honestly didn't accomplish as much as I wanted because I'm continuously moving from one desire to another.
Sometimes I want to learn 11 languages in the coming few years, sometimes I only want to learn 4 of them, sometimes I only want to learn Mandarin and improve Japanese, and sometimes I only want to specialise in Japanese as much as I've specialised with English.

Japanese
But moving away from the pessimistic thoughts, I have accomplished a lot with Japanese myself.
Over the time from 2008 to 2015 I couldn't manage to get any further than 100 vocab words and 1 grammar rule (not to mention it took me forever to speak it out).

Then in mid-2015 I hired an online Japanese teacher via Skype and that's the point I actually started learning Japanese.
My vocab range finally started to grow at a rapid speed, I discovered more grammar rules exist than just the basic "subject + object + verb" rule, my speaking ability improved a lot, my listening improved, just to name a few.

Last November I started learning Kanji and even more vocabulary through WaniKani and a few days ago I gave JapanesePod101 another try (mainly for grammar and listening).
However, I temporarily stopped arranging Skype lessons for budget reasons, and I feel confident enough on the speaking part for now.

English
Of course I made lots of progress with English during the second half of my life too (although I'm 4 years passed this half now).
I started learning English at school at age 10, it was quite easy for me.

After school I played lots of video games and I've been browsing on the internet a lot, which improved my English reading by a whole lot.
Once I joined some forums, I was initially being mocked about my grammar, but I learnt how to write properly over time.

Then YouTube came, product reviews popped on that platform and at first I couldn't follow it at all, but the more I watched, the more I could understand.
And then I went to an international bachelor course where teachers mostly could only speak English.
I could hardly say a word there, but after a few months I was perfectly able to speak.

German
I learnt German at school too, but I always get insufficient marks for it.
After spending a single month learning German on Skype back in October, I became able to speak German.

However, I didn't practise German after that at all, so when I went to Germany last month, I tried to speak German but others replied to me in English.
Quite embarrassing at first, but it turned out to be a relief in the end, because when I tried to order something at the Subway in German, I ended up mixing German with Dutch and continuously saying "WAS?!" ("what" in German) because the employee spoke way too fast.

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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

 

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Nice video @Richard.H.
One question: why do you recommend stroke orders over radicals?

You don't literally mention "stroke orders", but the explanation suggests this.
The radical way is much easier to learn, much more Anki-friendly and most importantly: much more western adult friendly.
For example:

What's easier to remember in this case? 14 strokes or 3 radicals? :P

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On 3/9/2016 at 11:47 PM, Blaveloper said:

Nice video @Richard.H.
One question: why do you recommend stroke orders over radicals?

You don't literally mention "stroke orders", but the explanation suggests this.
The radical way is much easier to learn, much more Anki-friendly and most importantly: much more western adult friendly.
For example:

What's easier to remember in this case? 14 strokes or 3 radicals? :P

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 :/)

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If people think I'm a tourist, they are blown away. So whenever I need a pick me up confidence wise I go hang out with people who don't know me. I have successfully been able to relocate within my present country and despite a change in local dialect, I am clearly understood and can understand about 80% of the time. It has taken me almost 7 years to get to this point. That being said, I still have a long way to go. There are daily things I miss and have to question, write down, look up, and do like research on. But that's the fun of language learning. It never gets boring. You will always keep learning and updating your craft. It is an art and therefore will have its maddening moments. But these moments may lead to your most creative expressions. 

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For me the biggest achievement was learning English completely on my own,  I was 16 years old or so, it took me 6 months to start actually speaking English, but took me a bit more than a year to be fluent in the language. I learnt it online, mostly by practicing it, once I was fluent in it I could learn more when I watched movies or read books in English.  My mom thinks it's amazing, I do so as well, because English opened so many doors for me!

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I think you have to be firm in your decision as to which language to learn. In my situation, I had been quite impulsive or shall I say if I do not have the drive I switch to another language which is not advisable. I started learning French then switch to Spanish as these two are quite related in my own opinion. Now I got influenced by some friends and I am now starting to learn Mandarin. It is just a plan but I am sure I am serious about this language this time

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My inspiration comes from the fact that I am surrounded by Arabic speakers and within two months, my husband has learned how to read and speak a little with YouTube videos. I feel slow and dull for not picking up much but I have conditioned my mind that I have no choice but to learn to speak, read and write Arabic.

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I was taught how to speak English since I was a kid. It was part of our educational programs so there's no reason for me not to learn it. Thinking I have to learn another language is overwhelming, but fun. I am trying to learn how to speak Spanish. The secret in sticking to learning the language, is wanting it, and needing it. 

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My problem is not inspiration. I just love to learn, especially languages. My problem is money. Oxford online courses are not enough to learn a language. You need to go and visit some places. To talk to people. To live there. I was on Malta and I learned some Maltese but they use English too much and they find it for communication. A lot of foreigners who already know English and it is rational for them to do it this way. However, for me it was not very good because I really wanted to learn Maltese. In the end I learned some of it and I have plans to learn more by going back there and of course some other languages.

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This might sound a bit of a cop-out, but it's not, really. My greatest accomplishment was simply starting.

No, really - before I committed on New Years Eve to learn the Japanese language, I'd spent about 5-ish years telling myself, "I'll start to learn this language eventually." It wasn't until NYE that I finally made a solemn pledge with myself to actually START learning the language, come up with a plan, goals, ect., that kind of thing. ^_^Y

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