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Questions about language learning, boosts+ 

So, for people who are learning a new language or already learned one. How do you do it? Do you have a certain way of learning? Use flashcards to learn vocabulary or only learn full sentences? Try to get all the grammar rules in, or just don't bother with it? I'm also interested in how much time you spend on average learning it. I'm curious.

Questions about language learning, boosts+ 

@VoidDrone Depends on so many things, like what languages you already know, how closely the new language and your native language resemble each other, what is your need for the new language, etc., so it's impossible to generalise what method to use.

One thing affecting the choice of methods is always what's easily available.

Questions about language learning, boosts+ 

@Stoori maybe I didn't word it so well. I'm not really asking for advice here, I was just curious how other people approach their language learning and what works best for them. I also think it's highly subjective.

Questions about language learning, boosts+ 

@VoidDrone ah, okay!

Well, what I wrote also answers that question: I take every language as it is and look what's needed and what's available for me.

With some Germanic and Romance languages I can go almost straight to reading books, but with non-European languages, like Arabic, I have to drill the basics for a long time before I can tackle my non-existent vocabulary, and so on.

Questions about language learning, boosts+ 

@Stoori
Same here! Although I haven't learnt many German languages ^^ one thing's sure, though: I don't take classes anymore, I work better by myself... But I know how to teach myself. First, basic grammar and vocabulary, and then immersion: speaking, listening to and thinking in the new language as often as possible. The most important thing (also the most difficult) is losing the fear of making mistakes and start talking ;-)
@VoidDrone

Questions about language learning, boosts+ 

@polygoat Yes, how to lose the fear of making mistake, always the hardest question.
@VoidDrone

Questions about language learning, boosts+ 

@Stoori
Living abroad for several years did the trick for me, and for most people I know who left their country for a while.
Also, I forgot to mention that passively learning vocabulary lists has never worked for me: I need to manipulate the language to understand how it works and become an independent speaker. And that means going out of my comfort zone 😉
@VoidDrone

Questions about language learning, boosts+ 

@polygoat Yeah, living in an environment where the language is used a lot certainly helps in starting to use it.

And vocabulary lists by themselves are indeed not a good way to learn. They must be tied to some context, some use case, to be useful. It can be reading, listening, speaking or writing, of course, but some way they must be put into use, or they will be forgotten very quickly.
@VoidDrone

Questions about language learning, boosts+ 

@Stoori
Exactly!
About living abroad, I actually meant that you *have to* start talking to be able to live there. It's almost about surviving there: at some point you just have to go for it and see what happens, because you'll meet people who don't speak English or because speaking English when English isn't even your mother tongue in a non-English speaking environment seems kind of vain. You won't get rid of your fear only by listening...
@VoidDrone

Questions about language learning, boosts+ 

@VoidDrone
It depends, at the moment I'm 20 minutes to half an hour today, using Assmil (you can get the older books fairly cheaply) and also gold listing to help me revise. https://www.open.edu/openlearn/languages/learning-languages/the-goldlist-method

Questions about language learning, boosts+ 

@VoidDrone I use (self-made) flashcards for vocabulary.
I had taken several courses / night classes over a period of years that taught the grammar, so now Anki (the cards program) is making it stick / increasing my vocabulary.
Time varies; 10 minutes every day on the cards and it *should* be more because I *should* be finding new words to make cards of.
(I now live in the country where the language is spoken, so there's immersion going on as well.)

@VoidDrone for the rote memorization of vocabulary part, I do side by side list of terms, hand-copy the page a few times, then with one column guess the equivalent word from Lang A-B, then B-A.

@VoidDrone also buy a blank address/contact book the kind with the letters at the edge, all new interesting terms go in, as a personal term dictionary

@VoidDrone then start reading kids books, talking to whoever will engage you

Questions about language learning, boosts+ 

@VoidDrone i started (didnt finish) learning russian by: making flashcards for every alphabet letter and what it sounds like, being around russian speakers for a while, reading kids books with a bilungual russian speaker and asking what words are along the way. this was really helpful. minus the fact that i could not properly pronounce a letter for the life of me. also this kind of environment is kinda unique/rare, unsure how accessible this is to others.

Questions about language learning, boosts+ 

@VoidDrone i like to start with a college level course - group work and a higher intensity is something I respond really well to.

I use SRS programs where they’re available for vocab, and usually set a goal for an amount of textbook learning to crash through vocab. I use Mango on my drive to work to get talking while we’re quarantining. Altogether it’s a solid hour a day of dedicated studyf time.

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@VoidDrone i am in a position to focus on language because i'm at uni, which helps. i listen to it through podcasts, do it using duolingo, do it in lessons, speak snippets to my flatmate that speaks it too, use anki (flashcard app) for indigidual words, read wikipedia, contantly pass things through google translate, vocalise or parrot frequently during lessons to try to get a sense of the language, and discuss certain grammar aspects with my tutor and read about them too.

flashcards help me identify a word. they are less helpful at teaching me to use the word in a sentence naturally though. learning the grammar is great because it gives me frameworks to fill with words. speaking is probably more useful than writing, but writing is more like a project as it requires reseach and a few attempts at grammar, but allows me to build more complex constructions that speaking on-the-fly usually permits.

duolingo's method of learning words is context is very probably more helpful than learning individual words. it's also slower and more intensive though.

time spent on it fluctuates massively. i'm usually thinking about it to one degree or other for most of the time i'm awake, unless i force myself not to with distractions. lesson time comes to 6-8h per language per week; i study whenever i can

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@VoidDrone i will say that learning two at once is complementary and confusing. i get basic stuff like numbers mixed up between languages but that's mostly just a lack of familiarity with the subject. learning two allows me to draw parallels between grammar / words though, which is good from an academic perspective

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@VoidDrone and i forgot to mention the "say something in" courses which i use and which claim to be exeptional at teaching languages

Questions about language learning, boosts+ 

@VoidDrone I've only really learned languages in classroom settings, and I think what worked best for me was conversation for grammar and reading with dictionary for vocabulary

I would not know how to learn a language on my own in the absence of another person speaking it at me. So I look forward to seeing other responses to this.

Questions about language learning, boosts+ 

@VoidDrone Depends on use. If I intend to speak and write the language seriously, I do it like in school - books, grammar, the works. If (which is far more often) I intend to understand and communicate a bit, I use apps like 50languages or similar to repeat whole sentences and phrases, and pay no heed to grammar or even writing. I have learned some tourist Arabic this way.

Questions about language learning, boosts+ 

@VoidDrone For me the thing that really helped was flashcards, I used Memrise and then Anki, but I already knew the grammar pretty well by then. I would mostly just do the recommended amount every day.

re: Questions about language learning, boosts+ 

@VoidDrone conjugaison/grammar stuff (as in how to phrase shit, that kinda stuff, ya know?) and basic/most used words first. (ya can do so incrementally, like 10 then 20 -30-50-75-100 words, limit it to one or two hundred. pictures books can help too) then putting tv shows/movies/whatever in target original language with captions in language ya're fluent.
i personally find that translating stuff (can be word for word, translating subtitles etc...) to be a really good learning experience (hell, even for old timey learner) and full sentences provide a much better picture than one word flashcards vocabulary, because it places said vocabulary in context. also listening/reading regularly, of course! about the time spent on learning, i'd say it depends... my father is learning chinese/mandarin and is still learning, despite the years he puts in, he's nowhere near fluency ; my mother is relearning italian but because of its proximity to french, she will probably spend less time to master it.
as for me i learnt the bare basics of english in school, but it was really the bare bones so much so that i say i basically learnt it through tv shows and shit.

Questions about language learning, boosts+ 

@VoidDrone I was lucky growing up in The Netherlands. I learned English & German simply from listening to it on TV as a kid.

I "learned" French for years in school & can just barely survive in France.

When I moved to Germany & had to actively use German I stumbled on a booklet on learning languages. That was great, i wish I had known that in school.

From simple tips like try to think in the language, name items you see, to how important repetition is.

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