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In this page, I share some of my insights and personal notes on learning languages.
In order, to be fluent in a new language, you need to spend time with it. To give an idea, if you are new to language learning; having basic knowledge (A2) in a language that is similar to the language(s) you already know may take you about 300 hours, and 600 hours if it is far the language you already know. You may double this amount of hours to reach intermediate level (B1-B2). A similar language may be German if you know English or French if you know Spanish. A language that is far may be Chinese or Arabic in both cases.
Which method should you use? We will use interchangeably method an strategy in this section. As for other areas such as a training to run a marathon or lifting weight to gain muscles, you may quickly find conflicting recommendations. As for both sport example, in the beginning, as long as you spend time with the language and you find your methodology manageable for your motivation you well progress. I have seen people using very different strategies for language learning and reaching high level of fluency. And I speak about those who are mainly studying alone. We can classify these strategies according to different criteria:
- explicit teaching of vocabulary, grammar and syntax rules vs acquisition through listening and reading.
Examples of strategies per polyglot
- Luca Lampariello (knows about 14 languages). He uses bidirectional translation. This reminds of Assimil, an established language method based in France.
- Steve Kaufmann (knows about 20 languages): focus on listening and reading before speaking and writing.Regarding grammar, he only skim it and hates doing grammar exercices. Similarly, he does not spent much time actively studying vocabulary flash cards. He has created Lingq with this in mind.
- describe Luca method
General strategies that are always beneficial
- proper sleep
- proper nutrition
- physical exercices
- emotion and stress management
List of polyglots and language teachers on Youtube
- Mezzo Guild , Language Product Review