Best language tip posts
Most of the posts below are more related to travel or ideas I wanted to share, but I know many people read the blog for specific inspiration and tips in learning their language – here are some posts that share these tips:
Since this excuse is by among the biggest ones (kids are better learners than adults, so why bother?) I wrote not one, but two posts on the topic. This one refers to scientific research that tests both groups fairly (most comparisons are made in purely academic settings, which I would agree that children probably do better in).
This post shares some more initial thoughts about how invalid this excuse is.
I'm amazed that some English speakers can be learning a language for a year or more and STILL use an ugly English R in their target language! And they are surprised that some natives don't want to speak that language with them? I dealt with the R issue first when I was learning Spanish, and this post shares several easy ways English speakers can get started to sound more authentic in the target language.
Everyone was enjoying this post so much from the Language Hacking League email list, so I decided to share it on the blog – trying to inspire people to look at their language differently rather than complaining so much about the fact that it is different.
Best stories of 2011
Here are two anecdotes that I loved sharing and that were well received by the readers! I'll be sure to give you more blow-by-blow accounts of particular (mis)adventures in the next year!
Yes, I genuinely went “speed dating” and considered it an excellent opportunity to practise some Dutch even though I had been learning it for only about a month.
This post explains, in great detail, how most of my mini-dates went and how great a chance it was to work on my small talk in Dutch!
While it actually happened a few years ago, this year I decided to share this pretty funny (and still a bit scary) story of how I used my wits to outsmart the Brazilian Federal police, after they locked me up!
Although, in future I'll just avoid getting locked up – that's a much better solution to the problem 🙂
Most popular posts of 2011
These posts went ridiculously viral on various social networks and led many new visitors to the blog.
This one post has been read well over a half a million times. It shares some of my thoughts about people and the world on my 29th birthday, and on my 8 year travel-anniversary.
Unlike the previous one, this post went viral not because it was an inspirational read, but because of pure controversy. In general I like to frame my cultural experience as positively as possible to promote cultural understanding, but this time I didn't do that for the reasons explained in the post (and because Americans already have big enough egos to be honest…)
So far it has been accessed a quarter of a million times by people, and has the most comments out of any post ever on this blog (both agreeing with me and disagreeing).
While these didn't go hugely viral, I personally had a great time writing them, and enjoyed the confused reaction of people from them!
Products, products, products – apparently the only way some people see to learn a language is by spending money on some pre-packaged course that will solve all their language learning woes. I've reviewed some big names like Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur and do not find them to be great at all. When I take on my big language project in January, I will review another big name in the business.
But since everyone wants a sales pitch for something, I gave them one! This post is my sales pitch for HB 2.0 – the “system” that I genuinely do think that you should “invest” in.
When you run a popular blog, no matter what it's about, even something like language learning, you will get Internet trolls annoying the hell out of you (right now around the holidays, more than usual are coming out from under the rocks to send me annoying messages). And one thing they constantly say is that I'm a”fraud” and don't really speak these languages that I claim to.
Despite ample Youtube evidence to the contrary, I decided to feed the trolls with this “confession”, explaining in great detail how I “faked” those Youtube videos. I dropped lots of hints in the text (before adding “April fools'” to the title the next day) that it was a joke, but even some regular readers fell for it and got angry with me…
What was your favourite post or video on Fi3M this year? 2012 is going to be even more fun with lots of fun stuff to read and watch, and some very very interesting language missions (starting with a big one! I will reveal that first in the email list on January 2nd, so join it in the top right of the site if you haven't yet).
So until then, have a great time over the holidays with your family everyone!! 🙂
Any other thoughts? Share them in the comments below!
And finally... One of the best ways to learn a new language is with podcasts. Read more about how to use podcasts to learn a language.