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learn the language as it was intended (detailed explanation)


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Hello everyone!

I was scrolling through the forums and I noticed that none of the subforums that I was discussed learning a language ("X") as it is supposed to be learned.  Note - I did not look too deep into the subforums so i don't know if this has already been discussed. NOTE, this post is quite long.

Short personal bio on my history of language studies.  I am Bilingual in English and Swedish.  Studied German for 4 years ending with a grade D (A1-A2)in my national tests.  can't remember a thing now.  I started studying spanish for fun because i have a lot of latino friends.  about 3 years has passed and now I have a C2 level.

Before you start studying your desired language take a moment and think about how babies learn their mother tongues, I.e how you learned your mother tongue.  Can babies read or write straight from the get go? No, of course not! so how do they learn? From LISTENING; which is then followed by SPEAKING.  These are the two main parts of any given language and should then (in my point of view) be prioritized above all other forms of studying the language.  and what is the easiest way to listen to your target language? By listening to music! here are a few tips to learn any language with complete independence and freedom. - Learn the language the way you want to. with these tips there is no need for studying grammar, the grammar comes with time and practise. And for the love of god MAKE MISTAKES.  you can't learn by always doing something perfectly... nobody cares if you slip up and use the wrong tense. The important thing is that you are understood. write these tips down.

FUNDAMENTAL TIP - learn that each word you hear/read IS the translation in your mother tongue. Ex.  learn that when you hear Perra, you think of a dog.  DO NOT TRANSLATE BACK AND FORTH, it is too slow and you will get hung up and confused very quickly. you can also record yourself to listen for improvements and flow/accent.  And STOP thinking that your "level 13" on duolingo will save your arse cause it won't.  Duolingo is one of the worst Language learning apps i've used.

1. Download the app "Musixmatch" which is a free user-based application on the app store/play store.  it gives you the lyrics for almost all songs you will be listening too and most of them have translations added by other users. it works for youtube, spotify, soundcloud and even some mp3 files. note! activate floating lyrics (highly recommended).

2. Make a playlist in spotify youtube, soundcloud etc.. and add all the music you have found. Be sure to add songs with varying vocal speeds (like rap, RnB, Trap...) 

3. Listen to the playlist daily and learn to sing along with the songs. The more the better!  listen to the song a couple times and FOCUS on the vocals while READING the lyrics from musixmatch.  Focus on the DIFFERENCES of pronunciation compared to how it is WRITTEN. Pause the song and read OUT LOUD the lyrics with out the music. try to mimic the pronunciation of the artist.  - Note, every language has different accents and dialects so PICK the one you find most fun/easy to MIMIC/SPEAK and stick to it for the time being. - note, IF there is slang you HAVE TO learn the slang of the artist to understand them completely.  use Urban Dictionary  

4. Once you have learned to sing along with the song(s) start breaking down the lyrics with the translation.  What parts/words mean what in your mother tongue? REPEAT the word/phrase OUT LOUD.

5. When listening to someone speak or a song do not get caught up on "the one word you know but can't remember" you will loose focus and miss everything that comes after.  Listen to the sentence as a whole and then SUMMARIZE what was said.  if you miss something then ask the person te repeat themselves or that part of the song.  can't hear what they are saying? going to fast? listen to it again and again until you can hear it clearly (this takes time).  the point is to "train" your ears to hear the differences of the speaker.

6. Lastly, once you have learned a couple of songs and you feel more comfortable speaking the language, start having conversations with yourself.  As if you are talking with another person.  don't worry about the grammar,  just say the first thing you think about and try to continue the conversation and switch it up, ask yourself questions,  give/ask for directions etc... . TIP, write down all the words you can't remember so you know what you don't know.  

7.  continuing on 6. when you speak to somebody try to incorporate words they use to add to your sentences to keep conversations going. 

think about ACTIVE and PASSIVE vocabulary.  ACTIVE is what you can speak in the moment, PASSIVE is what you understand.

here is a spanish playlist with varying music genres and accents. (Spanish, DR, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile)

i have attached a document explaining the different Spanish accents i'm working on. (not finished)

hope you liked the post and that it helped you out!
give me some feedback on your thoughts!

spanish tips.docx

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  • 1 year later...

Hi, I found interesting how you recommended all those tips to learn a new language, because it is true that the best way of learnning a new language is by listening other people speak it and then try by ourselves to speak. My mother language is Spanish, but I've been studying Enlgish since many years ago, so I've gotten familiarized with English because I don't only study the grammar and how to write everything, I try to watch TV in English all the time, with subtitles in English or listen to music as you said just to adapt myself to learn a daily life style in Americans, the culture is very important when learning a new language, and that's what I focus on too. I've never tried to translate everything I hear or listen into Spanish, I just think it in English and that's it. It is interesting how all about this topic can lead us to learn better a second language, because if you want to learn a new language you must try it and don't give up, commit mistakes if we have to, because that's the way to learn better.

Now I want to continue studying a new language after English.

Thank you for your tips, they are pretty useful!

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