6 biggest lessons from learning to speak my first non-native language [Final video]

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Time for the final update on Lauren’ss 6-week-challenge! She successfully completed her mission, and was able to socialize, make new friends, and have fun in Esperanto. You can see it all happen in the above video. I’ll hand the blog over to her, to share her thoughts: The 6 biggest lessons from learning to speak […]

Time for the final update on Lauren’ss 6-week-challenge! She successfully completed her mission, and was able to socialize, make new friends, and have fun in Esperanto. You can see it all happen in the above video. I’ll hand the blog over to her, to share her thoughts: The 6 biggest lessons from learning to speak […]

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Lauren’s Esperanto project: Week 5 on Skype

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We are now just a few days away from the Polyglot Conference that marks the end of Lauren’s 6-week project to learn Esperanto, and she’ll get a chance to use it to make new friends!

Because of that, rather than throw her in the deep end, in this last video I put her face-to-face (digitally) with an Esperanto speaker she didn’t know and she had to make conversation. Unlike in the last video, she only prepared a couple of questions, but most of her dialogue is spontaneous.

We are now just a few days away from the Polyglot Conference that marks the end of Lauren’s 6-week project to learn Esperanto, and she’ll get a chance to use it to make new friends!

Because of that, rather than throw her in the deep end, in this last video I put her face-to-face (digitally) with an Esperanto speaker she didn’t know and she had to make conversation. Unlike in the last video, she only prepared a couple of questions, but most of her dialogue is spontaneous.

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Week 4 of Lauren’s project: Chat in Esperanto

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Time for another weekly project update! We have been really busy this week since getting to Amsterdam (fun things coming on the blog very soon!) so we focused the video on a chat with Lauren.

Since the first conversations we tend to have with new people we meet tend to be predictable, I told Lauren some example questions I’d like to ask her and she prepared her answers in advance. This kind of conversation may be the kind she may have on meeting someone and using the language for the first time, so it’s really helpful to know what she wants to say in advance.

Time for another weekly project update! We have been really busy this week since getting to Amsterdam (fun things coming on the blog very soon!) so we focused the video on a chat with Lauren.

Since the first conversations we tend to have with new people we meet tend to be predictable, I told Lauren some example questions I’d like to ask her and she prepared her answers in advance. This kind of conversation may be the kind she may have on meeting someone and using the language for the first time, so it’s really helpful to know what she wants to say in advance.

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Benny & Lauren’s plane, train & automobile travels: Week 3 of Esperanto learning

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This last week was a pretty crazy one! We left Ireland by driving to the ferry port, getting a ferry (with the car) across to Wales, driving to Manchester, flying from Manchester to Cherleroi, getting a train to Brussels, and then on to Bruges, and finally in AMSTERDAM. Wow!

To mix things up a little, I passed the commentary microphone over to Lauren this week! She prepared what she wanted to say and wrote it all out herself. I only glanced at it, so a few minor mistakes may have snuck through but you can hear how she is doing to use the language with a prepared script. You also get to see how we got around studying without Internet (since we rely on websites like Lernu/Memrise a lot), and see some funny moments in our interactions.

This last week was a pretty crazy one! We left Ireland by driving to the ferry port, getting a ferry (with the car) across to Wales, driving to Manchester, flying from Manchester to Cherleroi, getting a train to Brussels, and then on to Bruges, and finally in AMSTERDAM. Wow!

To mix things up a little, I passed the commentary microphone over to Lauren this week! She prepared what she wanted to say and wrote it all out herself. I only glanced at it, so a few minor mistakes may have snuck through but you can hear how she is doing to use the language with a prepared script. You also get to see how we got around studying without Internet (since we rely on websites like Lernu/Memrise a lot), and see some funny moments in our interactions.

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My girlfriend learns Esperanto: Week 2 update and spontaneous conversation! [video]

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Time for another progress update on the makings of a new polyglot… from scratch! We are recording literally every single second of language learning and use of the language, so the greatest realizations can be caught on camera.

The goal of this week was initially to get comfortable using the language in other senses, like communicating via email with people.

I have been coaching Lauren, rather than teaching her, and wanted her to get exposure to Esperanto in as many ways as possible other than talking to me, to give her similar conditions to any other learner. I rarely ever translate things for her, and mostly answer her questions with another question to help her find the answer herself better.

Time for another progress update on the makings of a new polyglot… from scratch! We are recording literally every single second of language learning and use of the language, so the greatest realizations can be caught on camera.

The goal of this week was initially to get comfortable using the language in other senses, like communicating via email with people.

I have been coaching Lauren, rather than teaching her, and wanted her to get exposure to Esperanto in as many ways as possible other than talking to me, to give her similar conditions to any other learner. I rarely ever translate things for her, and mostly answer her questions with another question to help her find the answer herself better.

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Week 1 of a monoglot’s first language learning journey (Benny coaches his girlfriend to learn Esperanto)

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I have had many language learning projects myself, but this one is the first one that I get to document of another person. Lauren, my girlfriend, had the great idea that we should have the camera rolling every single second that she is studying, speaking, using or otherwise getting some kind of exposure to Esperanto.

Over the space of 6 days we had over seven and a half hours of footage, and I edited the best realizations down into today’s 13 minute video (above). I hope you enjoy it! This way you can see the gradual but definite progress of a genuine beginner language learner to a more confident speaker, from start to finish

I have had many language learning projects myself, but this one is the first one that I get to document of another person. Lauren, my girlfriend, had the great idea that we should have the camera rolling every single second that she is studying, speaking, using or otherwise getting some kind of exposure to Esperanto.

Over the space of 6 days we had over seven and a half hours of footage, and I edited the best realizations down into today’s 13 minute video (above). I hope you enjoy it! This way you can see the gradual but definite progress of a genuine beginner language learner to a more confident speaker, from start to finish

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New language mission! [video]

Since I’m not learning a new language this year, it’s hard to have a language mission, right? Well, see this video to find out what my next language mission, for the next six weeks, is going to be ;)

You should be subscribed to my new Fluent in 3 Months channel to get updates on this. Share your thoughts on this in the comments below. The mission has already started today!

Since I’m not learning a new language this year, it’s hard to have a language mission, right? Well, see this video to find out what my next language mission, for the next six weeks, is going to be ;)

You should be subscribed to my new Fluent in 3 Months channel to get updates on this. Share your thoughts on this in the comments below. The mission has already started today!

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When projects don’t go as planned (Biting off more than you can chew)

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What a whirlwind few months! Rough start, but a good first two months Back in September after announcing my Japanese project, I jumped in and started speaking spontaneously my first weeks, and was able to share a prepared speech pretty confidently. But I quickly ran into a hitch of being desperately sick, just when I […]

What a whirlwind few months! Rough start, but a good first two months Back in September after announcing my Japanese project, I jumped in and started speaking spontaneously my first weeks, and was able to share a prepared speech pretty confidently. But I quickly ran into a hitch of being desperately sick, just when I […]

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Japanese project update: 2 weeks left

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Time for a language learning break over the holidays! I still have two weeks left in my Japanese fluency 3-month project, that I’ll take up again starting January 11th, so that the last day of intensive Japanese learning will be my second day in Japan! After that, I want to focus my time in the […]

Time for a language learning break over the holidays! I still have two weeks left in my Japanese fluency 3-month project, that I’ll take up again starting January 11th, so that the last day of intensive Japanese learning will be my second day in Japan! After that, I want to focus my time in the […]

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Benny’s first time speaking Japanese in person? Not quite! [video at Manga Hall event]

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Note: While I was initially aiming for 3 months, unfortunately preparations for my published book took up all of my time and I had to end the project at this 2 month point. Summary of the project is given here, but this video below represents the end point of the 2-months that were intensive in […]

Note: While I was initially aiming for 3 months, unfortunately preparations for my published book took up all of my time and I had to end the project at this 2 month point. Summary of the project is given here, but this video below represents the end point of the 2-months that were intensive in […]

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Benny’s Japanese: Skype conversation over the half-way point [+ new language discussion channel]

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This week, I can finally do what I had wanted to do last week and give you a full example of how my conversations tend to be going, right now a little after my half-way point in the Japanese project!

At this stage, I can handle straightforward question and answer exchanges pretty well, but my grammar and vocab still need serious improving, and will continue to be the focus for the next weeks. I’m also not so confident about explaining a concept for a few minutes and did a really poor job at describing what “Couchsurfing” was, especially when the lack of important vocab held me back.

As well as this, my accent and pronunciation need lots of improvement. I’m aware of such issues, but they will definitely take the back seat to higher priorities for now.

This week, I can finally do what I had wanted to do last week and give you a full example of how my conversations tend to be going, right now a little after my half-way point in the Japanese project!

At this stage, I can handle straightforward question and answer exchanges pretty well, but my grammar and vocab still need serious improving, and will continue to be the focus for the next weeks. I’m also not so confident about explaining a concept for a few minutes and did a really poor job at describing what “Couchsurfing” was, especially when the lack of important vocab held me back.

As well as this, my accent and pronunciation need lots of improvement. I’m aware of such issues, but they will definitely take the back seat to higher priorities for now.

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Very quick look at Benny’s current Japanese level. Suggestions (with whom, about what) for longer upcoming video updates?

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Sorry that this video is so short! Starting next week, I’ll get back into weekly updates until the end of the project with maybe just one break (so that’s six more videos up until the week my 3 months runs out), but I hope this teaser snapshot shows you more or less how I’m doing right now!

The reason the video isn’t longer is because my Skype recording software crashed after 4 minutes, which is a pity because Yuri asked me interesting questions and we had a real exchange (you only hear her say a couple of words in this video), discussing how my parents visited me here in Valencia.

Sorry that this video is so short! Starting next week, I’ll get back into weekly updates until the end of the project with maybe just one break (so that’s six more videos up until the week my 3 months runs out), but I hope this teaser snapshot shows you more or less how I’m doing right now!

The reason the video isn’t longer is because my Skype recording software crashed after 4 minutes, which is a pity because Yuri asked me interesting questions and we had a real exchange (you only hear her say a couple of words in this video), discussing how my parents visited me here in Valencia.

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First month learning Japanese: How things are going so far, initial impressions of Japanese, and Burning Questions for Benny

Last week on Wednesday, I reached the one month point of my Japanese project. After an excellent start, I had a little bit of a bumpy final bit of my first month that slowed me down a little, but am back on track now to hopefully make up for lost time by the end of […]

Last week on Wednesday, I reached the one month point of my Japanese project. After an excellent start, I had a little bit of a bumpy final bit of my first month that slowed me down a little, but am back on track now to hopefully make up for lost time by the end of […]

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Tour of my home in Japanese after learning it for 2 weeks!

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A little tradition I’ve kept up since starting the blog, is to give you a video tour of almost every place I temporarily call home! For instance, in English I showed you my penthouse in Rio, my lovely flat in Medellín, the flat around the corner from the Danube in Budapest, and the beach cottage […]

A little tradition I’ve kept up since starting the blog, is to give you a video tour of almost every place I temporarily call home! For instance, in English I showed you my penthouse in Rio, my lovely flat in Medellín, the flat around the corner from the Danube in Budapest, and the beach cottage […]

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You have to start somewhere! My first few days learning Japanese [+video of day 3, reading Kana]

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As you know, earlier this week I started my project to try to reach fluency in Japanese in 3 months! As promised, I am going to be uploading very regular updates of my progress, and when better to do that than by recording my first attempt at a Japanese only video, just three days after […]

As you know, earlier this week I started my project to try to reach fluency in Japanese in 3 months! As promised, I am going to be uploading very regular updates of my progress, and when better to do that than by recording my first attempt at a Japanese only video, just three days after […]

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