For the next few days, I’m in Singapore to host a language lab to train people to speak their target language on day one, and to sign copies of my book. I’m also using this visit to a country that speaks English as an official language, to investigate its other unique linguistic opportunities. In this […]MORE
Time for the final update on Lauren’s 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 video at the bottom of the post. But first, I’ll hand the blog over to her, to share her thoughts: […]MORE
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.MORE
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.MORE
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.MORE
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.MORE
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!MORE
After months of book tours, and enough of a work backlog that I’ve had to hire full-time help, it’s finally time for me to get back into making videos again! 😀
Since this year I’ve decided to focus on improving the languages I already know, I wanted to give you a look into the process of how I go about slowly improving my languages over the long term, maintaining them, and pushing myself into mastery in my top languages.
As such, I’ll be making a heap of new videos that I can produce with much more consistency than I ever did during my hectic intensive learning projects!MORE
What a week! I’m still on a book launch buzz, before I can get back to “normal”, if there is such a thing for someone constantly travelling. And now that the book stuff is finally winding down, I can start focusing on what’s next on my agenda: Visiting you all and encouraging language learners in […]MORE
“Japanese is really freaking difficult.”
“Japanese is really freaking vague.”
“Japanese is really freaking illogical.”
These statements have three things in common.
Let’s share another “Why a supposedly hard language isn’t as impossible as you thought” type post! This time from Cantonese native speaker Brian, who has guest posted here before and who organizes the Plus 1 challenge. One of the challengers, Jan, took on Cantonese for his project and you can see the result where himself […]MORE
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 […]MORE
We are now coming into the final days of month two, so it’s time for another video! In this video I stuck to the topic of my travel plans in Japan, so I edited it to stay on that topic. As such, my italki teacher Yuri didn’t get a chance to show how good she is and how well she can communicate with learners – sorry about that!
I’ll take a break from uploading Japanese videos next week so that I can keep focused on improving my comprehension to interact with natives better, (which will be more of a theme next month, as me doing most of the talking has been the theme this month) as well as finally tidying up the last of my basic vocab and grammar issues so that I have a solid level to improve from for the final weeks of the project.MORE
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.MORE
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.MORE