How I study languages 📚🎧 (My current self study approach)

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This video covers my current approach to language self study. I hope it inspires some interesting discussion about learning methods and approaches to studying!Support Langfocus on Patreon My current patrons include these great people:[APG]RoboCop[CL], Andres Resendez Borgia, Anjo Barnes, Auguste Fields, Behnam Esfahbod, Bennett Seacrist, Brandon Gonzalez, Brian Michalowski, Fiona de Visser, Georgina Toland, Guillermo Jimenez, Jacob Madsen, John Moffat, Matthew Etter, Michael Arbagi, Michael Cuomo, Paul Boychuk, Rosalind Resnick, Ruben Sanchez Jr, Sebastian Langshaw, ShadowCrossZero, Victoria Goh, Vincent David, Yuko Sunda, Adam Fitch, Adam Powell, Adam Vanderpluym, Alberto del Angel, Alex Hanselka, Ali Muhammed Alshehri, Andrew Woods, Angeline Biot, Artur Kondrashin, Ashley Dierolf, Atsushi Yoshida, Avital Levant, Brent Warner, Brian Begnoche, Bronwyn Salton, Bruce Schultz, Bruce Stark, Bruno Filippi, Carl saloga, Chad Belcher, Charis T'Rukh, Christian Langreiter, Christopher Lowell, Craig A Stewart, Dave Orum, David Anglin, David LeCount, Diane Young, divad, Dmitry Stillermann,Don Ross, Donald and Alexandra Wycoff, Donald Tilley, Edward Wilson, Erin Robinson Swink, fatimahl, Florian Breitwieser, Frank Sellers, Frédéric Fournier, Greg Gibson, Haiko Eitzen, Hannes Egli, Harry Kek, Henri Saussure, James and Amanda Soderling, James Lillis, Jeff Miller, Jens Aksel Takle, Jerry Janowitz, Jessica Morris, JESUS FERNANDO MIRANDA BARBOSA, JL Bumgarner, Jugurtha Ait Juba, Justin Faist, Kenneth M Thomas, Kevin J. Baron, Klaw117,Kristopher Robinson, Leo Barudi, Lincoln Hutton, Lorraine Inez Lil, Mahmoud Hashemi, Marco Barcellos, Margaret Langendorf, Mark, Mark Grigoleit, Mark Kemp, Maurice Chou, Merrick Bobb, Michael Regal, Mikael Uttermalm, Mike Frysinger, Mohammed A. Abahussain, Nicholas Gentry, Nicole Tovar, Oleksandr Ivanov, Panot, Pauline Pavon, Peter Andersson, Peter Nikitin, Phoebe Churches, Pomax, Raymond Thomas, Rick Gerritzen, Rob Hoskins, Robert (Bob) Dobbin, Robert Sheehan, Roland Seuhs, Ronald Brady, Scott Fujan, Scott Irons, Scott Russell, Sergei Tikhomirov, Sergio Pascalin, Sergios Tsakatikas, Sierra Rooney, Simon Blanchet, Sophia-Rose Marron, Spartak Kagramanyan, Steeven Lapointe, Stefan Reichenberger, Suzanne Jacobs, Sven Onnerstad, Theophagous, Thomas Mitchell, Tryggurhavn, veleum, William O Beeman, yasmine jaafar, Zhiyuan Shi, Zsolt Márta, Éric Martin, and 耳血.MusicMain: “In Case You Forgot” by Otis McDonald.Outro: "Majikk" by Jingle Punks.

Anki Anki SRS foreign language grammar language study linguist linguistics phonology phrases polyglot pronunciation shadowing spaced ... vocabulary

Abo Ali
Yeah i also learned languages from linguaphone its really useful
Andrebeautiful marin
it's pretty interesting. You just have a more technical and organized way of what I do when learning a new language. I'm lazy for searching conversations or audios, but I love music in all languages, so I just repeat what they say. I check the lyrics and search how to pronounce the words, so I learn how to read. I look for the context of them and also google the translation and definition, so I get a lots of vocabulary. Whenever I find a native or some who maters the language, I ask them about my doubts. I compare it with the ones I already Know. Finally, I cosume media in that language and talk to my mother in it. She will not judge me if I make a mistake because she doesn't understand it. However I also like to get some courses everyones in a while. It organizes my knowledge (german, here we go!)
Angel BP
I just watch videos, read books, listen music and talk with native people, now i speak Spanish English, Italian, and French. \u003c3
Anthony Grigorian
Saya punya buku itu (linguaphone). Kami tinggal di Jakarta selama dua tahun. \rAnda belajar dengan mendengarkan lagu juga. Misalnya, sekarang saya sedang mendengarkan \
(All my personal opinion, I don't mean to criticise anyone who does it any other way. The most important thing in language learning is to do what you enjoy)\nI think shadowing is appropriate once a person has reached the level where they should begin speaking in the target language. (I'm of the mind that speaking before understanding does more harm than good by building bad habits and that speaking should be left until verbal comprehension has advanced fairly far)\nI support shadowing for the purpose of creating an accent for yourself/ basing your accent off the people you're shadowing. Before a person gets to the speaking point I think shadowing may be less effective than simply immersing/trying to understand/increasing verbal comprehension. (If it's not clear I'm a big fan of the input method)\n\nI think Anki is excellent. Aside from using it to memorise language scripts I think it's great for memorising the meanings of sentences. Through memorising sentences and immersion I've come to believe that vocabulary and grammar can be acquired almost exclusively through immersion and that individual words require little memorisation. There have been several words I've gotten accurate senses of meaning of prior to looking up the translation. \n\nI learn by input in the way put forward by Stephen Krashen and that's been amplified by Steve Kaufman. The specific models I use are based on what the youtuber \
Charles Denney
Claire Gittens
Paul, I just wanted to say thanks for the most informative language channel I’ve seen on YouTube. I guess that’s because you’re not trying to make a Polyglot channel. My faves are the language comparison vids. So useful. \n\nI think our study methods are pretty different. I don’t really like shadowing. Not interactive enough for me, I guess. But I do agree that it gets your speaking speed up. Also not a fan of flash cards. I have Memrise, but I only use it to bulk up before a test. I prefer to connect with native language as early as possible, which means hella YouTube/DVDs. Listening is always my best skill. By miles. I used to be into books with audio conversations, but now I think I’m slowly switching to a grammar patterns method. See, you speak quicker in random situations if you’ve got the basic grammar patterns down.\n\nPs, I’m now stalking , er, following you on Duolingo.
The male model music was so fresh
Emma Kerschner
Guys I speak German and English, what language should I learn?
Entertainment Hacker
Great vid. Missed this one! Keep em coming 👌👍
Ever Forward
Another excellent video. I learned Spanish by studying it from 7th grade till my third year of college (when you start to learn a language before the age of 13, you can still acquire a native-speaker accent). Along the way, I studied other Romance languages, either by myself, or, in the classroom. This reinforced those words in Spanish which had cognates in those other neo-Latin tongues. Later, I lived in Spanish-speaking neighborhoods in upstate New York, and, in New York City. In particular, I lived in a Colombian neighborhood in Queens, while teaching Latin American immigrants English. On the weekends, I wouldn't even speak English at all. Even when I wasn't conversing with anyone in Spanish, I'd subconsciously hear Spanish being spoken around me, and, this reinforcement by osmosis, as it were, also helped me become fluent (and, this kind of osmosis is a tool which I've not heard much about). In addition, I'd read publications in Spanish, and, watch television programming in the language. The years I spent living in Queens, in that Colombian neighborhood, were the next best thing to living in a foreign country, in a part of that country in which few people speak English. The end result of all this was that, one day, when I went to inquire about an apartment being rented by a Colombian lady, that lady thought that I was Colombian myself. After having learned Spanish, I learned Portuguese, and, I did so by first concentrating on the points of grammar in Portuguese which were different from those of Spanish, as well as knowing the sound differences between the two languages (for instance, if I already knew that the word for \
This is so fascinating! I had never heard the term \
Frank Steffahn
hmm, never heard of shadowing before, sounds interesting though. I'll definitely try it out for my Japanese language study.\n\nI'm not that far into language self study, but as far as I can tell, Anki (which I've been using for vocab) is pretty neat — and I think I personally prefer textbooks over apps, too.
Genius Kojumbo
¡ƃuɐ˥ sᴉ ǝɯɐu ʎɯ 'snɔoℲlnɐԀ oʇ ǝɯoɔlǝM\n\nWait...
Giorgos Andrigiannakis
Duolingo actually is very good to creat a good grammar base, but that's it. It hasn't got rich vocabulary but it has pretty good grammar. It is very good with the Romance languages though. I have studies Italina there and in 4 months i was able to talk with native speakers. Also it has very good stories for listening practice for some language and Spanish prodcast again for listening languages. I would reccomend it any day but i would also say that it is clearly the beginning of the language learning. I have done Italian there and now i do Spanish and Russian. Spanish is pretty good but in Russian I'm ready to cry and probably i will start the FSI courses.
Youre so hot daddy!
Hoàng Kim Việt
Just one word: Wonderful! :-0
Shadowing sounds like a good approach. I started off with Pimsleur for Spanish and French. I did Babbel and Busuu at the same time. However, I found that getting a tutor and speaking was the best appraoach. I would practice with Spanish speakers, but it has not been so easy with French. I have traveled to other countries to be immersed as a test of my skills. My question is how do you keep up with the languages you have already learned?
Indra Herdiana
What? Buaya bergigi emas?\n\nI'm an Indonesian native but I don't know that thing. :(
Iskra ME
B'ahaha the doggy part at the beginning of the video actually made me laugh out loud.
James Cook
Shadowing here 2. Couldn't customize ANKI. I'd rather make myown color-coded translation-free flashcards that I rearrange & paste round. Has worked 4 German & now Mandarin. Textbooks, Homemade flashcards, YT & zero Apps.
Janusz Reguła
I learned English (my first language is Polish) by watching YouTube videos in English, just for entertainment. When I started I had a rather limited understanding of English ('cause Polish education blows) but after a while I realized I can understand these videos quite easily. If I heard an interesting phrase, new way to use grammar or a new word I would repeat it (shadowing) and try to memorize it. I figured out almost all the vocabulary I know, purely from context. Few years later I had to move to UK with my family and that's when I actually realized that I've become fluent. I never \
Jason Bechtel
+++AnkiSRS ftw. it's free (except the iOS app), syncs across devices, works offline, comes with a huge repository of shared decks to draw from, and makes it so easy to drop in and interact with a language, even just for 10-15 seconds while walking or standing.\n\nMy flashcard workflow is that I use Google Sheets to make lists of translations (words, phrases, or whole sentences) from whatever resource I'm currently using, make a second pass thru the cards -- adding context (embellishing for memorability) or removing extraneous stuff from a long sentence -- to make sure they're the way I want them, and finally File -\u003e Download as... -\u003e Tab-separated values so I can easily import into the Anki desktop client as \
Jason Cragg
It took me a long time I really never devoted all my time but with my interest in say Hebrew I keep going back and trying and recently it's really starting to pay off. Following Pauls videos working with other media in time, the puzzle starts to work its self out it is not impossible it just takes time, I recommend Great courses plus for Hebrew, it is a good resource. Now my interest in the Chinese language has a way to go!
Jason Wood
I also tend to focus on written learning for languages and my lack of listening and speaking skills has really been brought into the light since I started work in Japan. I like the idea of anki but my work hours are long and I don't really want to dedicate the time to learning how to use it effectively so I've been using a combination of WaniKani for vocabulary, textbooks with audio for grammar and Japanese graded reader books with audio to practice reading, speaking and listening skills. It's not the best or most effective method but it's something I can stick to from day to day so I can't really complain.
John Collins
Congratulations Paul. Great channel. Wow, job well done.
John Doe
Never heard of such a thing before and never thought of it as a technique, but it seems I've been practicing shadowing for my whole life while studying a language. I think I do it a lot while listening to music in target languages (singing along that is), and while watching youtube videos. That requires some kind of written transcript of what is said, though. So it's kind of cool how I've found it quite helpful while learning foreign languages, even without realizing it.\n\n(I've written a comment before I got to the question of the day, so I'm gonna continue and answer other qs with an edit here)\n\nAnki is great, I used it a lot while learning topical vocab for my German class, and I also tried to create my own cards from gaming and moviewatching I've done in German. I can't recommend it enough, though the important thing is that you HAVE to be consistent and use it for at least 5 minutes a day, there's no point in spaced repetition if you use it two times a week. Also, I would definitely encourage seeking out games (or localizations) in your target language (if you're a gamer), and watching movies/tv shows, that will help you a lot, though bear in mind that some language you will pick through games might be very contextual (fantasy games or shows like GoT, for instance) and you might find out that you've been learning some vocab or grammar structures that are no longer used in everyday speech.
John Knaphus
I've been to two extremes when it comes to Anki. There was a time when my language study was exclusively making and studying flashcards. I didn't realize that when a word is \
John Pritchard
Johnny Lynn Lee
I've found that the approach of Stephen Krashen about massive input and comprehensible input, and about ACQUIRING a language rather than LEARNING a language was quite usefull to me and improved A LOT my process of learning language.\n\nI strongly recomend you all to watch one of his videos. HEAR (and read), passively is more important than everything. Don't focus on try to reproduce the language, as he says. This will come NATRUALLY as soon as you are exposed to enough comprehensible input.
Josh Adams
Thanks for sharing your technique.
Can you let me subtitle it in Spanish?
Kai Cyreus
I just watch subbed anime.
Kenny Arias
Never heard about shadowing, sounds really interesting
Hi Paul! I love your videos and i think you are very good at explaining complicated things for language dummies! Im from Latvia and would like to see a video about the Baltic countries and their languages and dialects. I see you dont have a lot of info on them in your channel. only a couple of mentions here and there. I think Latvian and Lithuanian ,extinct old prussian are very interesting and unique branch of languages ,that would deffinetly deserve a video by themselves, Plus i would just like to hear a westerners view on my language who has studied it ,but dose not speak it out pure curiosity. I hope you read this and consider. Have a nice day Paul. -Aleks
Leeber Gruber
Anyone having an experience about how easy/ complex / fast / slow / nice / mediocre Hungarian is to learn ❓❓
Liam Cavanagh
I can study languages properly only if I am on a bus or Overcrowded Seoul subway.
Lithuanian Mapper
i love that dog
I'm kind of learning Tagalog. So far I have only used an app and few youtube channels if I've the time.\nBut I'm still too afraid to buy a whole book for it. I want to know \
María León
I have never heard about shadowing, it is a very interesting focus. I'm gonna try out. I have never used much repetition for anything, I am really good at grasping fast, at least with the basics.
my technique for learning german is\n1. learn it at school for 7 years and end up as the worst in the class\n2. go to university for 2 years in a german-speaking area, only speak english and italian\n3. go work for a company where people only speak english\nit sucks\n\nfor english it was easy just played cracked videogames in elementary school and then world of warcraft
Max Koshovyi
Ok, let me tell you how do I learn language! First: I tried shadowing and found it not efficient! Instead I just take an audio material, listen to it several times, then I write down the whole script with hand, underline words and expressions that I don't know and do google research to learn the meaning.. After that I start training all this script pronouncing it in a loud voice trying to imitate the original audio. I do this repeatedly until I feel that those expressions from the audio are already learned deeply enough. This technique really helped me a lot! And why do I think shadowing sucks? Because when you do this you concentrate mostly on sounds that you listening to, you do not follow the logic of audio you are shadowing! So you learn sounds instead of patterns of language.
Michael Jung
I think \
Mina Khalili
For SRS apps, I prefer tinycards to Anki, it's easier to use I think. \nAs for shadowing, never really tried it in a systematic way like this; sounds interesting. I'll definitely try it.\nI enjoy listening to the sound of the language, so a lot of my studies involve listening; i listen to podcasts and audio on my dead time on the way to somewhere, at nights I do some memrise or duolingo (I prefer Memrise); and some days in the week I study a little by going through a book..
Mohammad AL Obaidi
When you hear him with the background music you feel like he's rapping 😂
Read the Wikipedia page on your languages phonology before starting it, really helps give your pronunciation a bit of accuracy from the get go
After completing the Russian tree on Duolingo, I don't understand the hype for that app. I don't find it to be a very good method to learn a language because it has too much impractical vocabulary and stunningly stupid sentences that make no sense. Plus the text to speech intonation is really off that needs a lot of tweaking.
Nadhiya Sultana
Duolingo is actually a really bad app for learning another language. As it teaches you useless phrases, never prepares you for any form of vocal conversation and never offers any substantial review to actually remember the phrases you're learning.\n\nBelieve it or not your best bets are the old conventional forms and immersion. And if you can't do physical environment immersion then it's as simple as watching movies, listening to songs, studying the culture and reading books in that language
Paul, my biggest struggle in language learning is listening as well. It's easier for me to understand grammar rules and read a language than it is to listen. I'm currently learning French, and my listening involves news, and listening to long 1 hour discussions of political events with constant talking(cause news and politics is something that interests me). It's helped significantly so far for me. ;p
No Budget Movies
Thank you for this video, I can't rely on that green owl anymore
Nur Aqilah Yamin
I have studied arabic language for almost 3 years and I'm still learning. And so far my experience is I find that learning arabic in arabic is the best solution. I don't know if it works for other languages but that is just my own experience and opinion. Because the first two years of learning arabic, I was learning it with the teacher explaining the rules in malay and english. Then I left the school and joined an online arabic course which teaches arabic in only arabic and Alhamdulillaah I really improved. I understand better when I listen to conversations/lectures in arabic. Yes and I agree speaking with natives does help alot. And also one good tip I learn from my teacher from the online course, is when making a sentence in arabic as a non-native, is to not form it in english and then translating it to arabic. because that is a bad idea. you will probably sound like google translate. but the idea is to think in arabic and form the sentence.
My favourite part when learning a language it's the Grammar!
Omar Ivan Rivas Miranda
Twenty two years ago, the first foreign language I learned was French. At that time, all the technological tools we have available today did not exist. The learning methodology was very “academic”: a French teacher in a classroom before two dozens of students; taking lot of notes from what she wrote on the blackboard; passing daily written tests in grammar, vocabulary, spelling, reading comprehension, essays; watching VHS movies and hearing recordings in magnetic cassettes... All of that took 20 hours a week plus homework. That intense “training” was a compulsory requirement to be admitted at the French High School of Mexico City! Later on, I could improve my French written skills as all the subjects in that High School were taught by French teachers. Definitely, the biggest improvement happened when I studied mechanical engineering in France for six years: communicating every day with native speakers and being fully immersed in the French culture was an invaluable experience!\n\nThe second foreign language I tried to learn was English. I considered I did not have any formal tuition. Even though I had a certain knowledge of English grammar and vocabulary, what really helped me to develop some fluency was working with American engineers in the first job position I ever had after graduating from university. Although it may have seemed tough at the beginning, that was a very enriching experience that got me used to a wide variety of accents and ways of thinking in English. Nowadays, I continue practicing by watching a lot videos in English (e.g. Langfocus channel), as well as series and films on streaming services, avoiding as much as possible any subtitling. I will seriously consider shadowing for further improvement!\n\nThank you Paul for your amazing videos! For foreign languages lovers, they encourage us to keep learning and enhance our communication skills!
Piwnica Izekyela
There is the Lithuanian flag in the background!!
Robert Chitty
For all that it's worth, Duolingo has taught me how to say \
Sam Baile
I learn Somali, even though it's resources is so small, I still want to overcome.
Sasha Yan
For flash cards, I use Quizlet where someone can share all sets of flash cards with each other. I shadowed articles from Economics before, as a Chinese, it’s really hard to keep going without pausing cause I don’t even know every word there.😢
Selçuk Yilmaz
Last weeks eveyone is learning French , they got it DANS LA POCHE
Sivan Halperin
what a great video, Paul!\nתודה רבה
Shadowing sounds interesting, I should try it. I use another spaced repetition system called SuperMemo ( and I like this way of learning because I know I'm repeating only these words which I should.
The Blakester Experience
Shadowing is interesting and highly favored by Alexander Arguelles. I've been doing similar stuff with audio for a long time. I don't really like flashcards, paper or Anki. A few years ago I read Gabriel Wyner's book and tried that approach with Anki, Forvo, Google Images. For me it's very time consuming word for word. Some people modify his approach and make sentences with his suggested vocabulary list. I'm a fan of Assimil. I have their Dutch course with their instructions on how to use the course, but I've modified it. *Here are my steps:* 1) Listen to the audio with the book shut, 2) Listen to the audio while following along with the L1 (your language, or the language you're learning from), 3) Listen to the audio while following along with the L2 (the target language, the language you're learning), 4) Play the audio once more and shadow along, 5) Read the notes, 6) Write down the sentences and exercises using different colored pens in a notebook, 7) Go to the vocabulary list in the back of the book and write down the vocabulary, L2 to L1, for the current chapter (I usually number them to get an idea of how much vocabulary that course is giving you). While doing steps 6 and 7 I usually find something on YouTube, mostly native material in the target language. *END of steps.* I don't do the second phase (what they call \
Tiefe dunkle Mitternacht
For flashcards, I use Memrise. I honestly don't have the time or the patience to use something like Anki where I have to produce the flashcards myself. Memrise has been incredibly good for me to learn German.
I really like how you ask those interactive questions at the end. It feels like a discussion that a teacher would generate. Though languages teachers I've taken, and I've had at least 4, absolutely never involve such a level of self reflection! But it is very useful, honestly. My Japanese teachers had a PhDs in Japanese, but honestly I could teach it better than both of them now. Maybe they didnt have many pedagogy classes. \n\nI tried to use Anki but found it wasn't super user friendly, I got confused. But SRS is definitely great of course. For my background before I answer your questions, I speak Japanese fluently and translate sporadically as a part time job. I learned some Spanish from my family as a kid, and thru out my whole life but was never very good, but I recently reached a functional level where I can have conversations about many topics. My childhood exposure to it via my family no doubt taught me the bulk of the basis for the language. Now I'm expanding my Spanish as well as learning German, and sometimes Swedish. None of these languages are hard. I find I can often gather the gyst of Portuguese and French as well, thanks to the same Latin basis (I think?). I should be functional in German within a year or maybe two if I am super dedicated. Japanese took me 4 years to be okay ish (limited butnfunctional, not fluent) and 6 to be solid and able to translate and read novels etc. \n\nI also prefer to build my grammar via a textbook or online instructional videos, and then simply listen to a lot of conversational audio from many sources and really focus on vocabulary building and training my ear. As I'm sure you know, vocabulary building takes the most time! Grammar is no sweat. I don't use SRS that much, and I don't love flashcards unless they're sentences. I try to go from vocabulary to sentences as fast as I can so I can learn contextual function, if that makes sense. I do make lists of vocabulary or sentences and read over them, and then speak out loud using the same grammatical principles and whatever vocabulary I know to practice speaking. I also jump into reading novels as fast as I can, even if I understand precious little (my German right now x D I recognize maybe 1 in 10 or 20 words..I have only studied German very casually and sporadically over the last year, and did not get serious until last month). \n\nApps like Duolingo are alright for vocabulary building and a little entertainment. I really love dissecting song lyrics! I learn a lot of vocab from that! You know I've never shadowed at the exact time that the person is speaking. i might repeat after they speak, but never while they speak. What I do do though, is force myself to speak the language in various situations including stressful situations. For example when I am drunk, or tired, or just going about my day..I try to speak in as many situations as possible so that I build a capacity to speak even under stress or exhaustion etc. Not going to lie it gets a little bit intense ^^; but I can talk and read when I'm drunk or drugged or exhausted or sad, when oftentimes my friends who are also learning can't. But to be fair they are not as interested or dedicated to language learning as I am. They are more casual. I want to speak at least 5 or 6 languages fluently, but I've been bitten by the bug and honestly I'm a bit addicted to learning new languages. So the number could get a lot higher by middle age!\n\nI'm not sure why it's sooo enjoyable for me. I also seem to have a knack for it as well; Japanese was difficult and like running a marathon, but it was doable and all other languages so far are cake. Granted, they are Romance or Germanic languages so that is easier for a native English speaker like me. But when compared to Japanese, I just honestly think nothing but Arabic or Cantonese or maybe Russian could be as hard ^^; I resonate with what you say about polyglots. I love languages and I'm proud of my skills, but I don't care for the word or the ego that a lot of polyglots seem to have. Not all of course! But to me, someone is not a polyglot unless they speak at least 5 languages fluently. So when I hear trilinguals saying it I internally roll my eyes \u003e\u003c but whatever. \n\nI love your videos!\nI hope I didn't come off as cocky that is not my intent. I am just passionate! : )\nAlso I would rather create new sentences than shadow. It's more fun for me.
Tommy Japan Brony
I hate weebs,but really recommend you watch anime to learn Japanese.
Urban Reverie
Thanks for the video, Paul. To answer The Question(s) Of The Day:\n\n1. I have never heard of shadowing before, I will need to give it a try! Like you, my weak spot in language learning is listening comprehension. I can read Dutch and German novels fairly well with occasional reference to a dictionary but can only understand about 20% of a radio broadcast.\n\n2. I am a big fan of spaced repetition systems. I use an app called Learn Chinese in 3D that teaches Chinese vocabulary using SRS. Even though that app doesn’t teach grammar or syntax, it is amazing just how many signs in Sydney’s Chinatown I can now decipher. My Chinese friend is astounded - a white Anglo guy who knows a little tiny bit of Chinese!\n\n3. My approach to language learning is to use Duolingo as the base. Duolingo is not perfect due to the reasons you pointed out, but it is awesome at laying the foundation on which to build further understanding. Once I finish a Duolingo course, I then buy a dictionary and a novel in that language, and read that novel from start to finish. There’s an amazing bookshop in Sydney that specialises in language materials called Abbey’s; I could spend the rest of my life in there.\n\nI also read news websites in the target language.\n\nTo try to build my listening comprehension I listen to radio. There’s an app called Tune In that streams just about every radio station in the world, I will listen to, say, NPO Radio 1 to practice listening to Dutch. Thanks to your information about shadowing I now realise listening to the radio is not an ideal method; I really need a transcript I can refer to when there is a string of words I didn’t understand.\n\nI will also listen to music in the target language. Song lyrics are much slower than natural speech and lyric texts are readily available online. I might learn a song by heart but I find it doesn’t really help with deciphering natural speech.\n\nOne thing I have in common with you - studying on the train! I can usually fit five or six Duolingo lessons or three pages of a novel on my twenty-eight minute trip to work.
Víctor Andrés Piña González
I had to learn english by myself, because my country's teaching system sucks. I had to develop my own way.
Weza Beatz
Shadowing is excellent, as for Anki, thank you for have making me discover this app ! 😊
Yamen S.
I do use shadowing all the time when I learn new languages. However, I have to disagree with the \
Thank you so much for suggesting Anki! It's great!
Yurii Ivliushkin
I find duolingo really helpful in learning Romanian, since the resources that can be found online are quite limited and the books are usually dedicated for Moldovans, who already are familiar with the language. \nSo I use duolingo (including grammar explanations in it) + some A1 Romanian course written in Polish (Rumuński nie gryzie) + listening to music just for fun; recognition of some words makes me feel better + I just google constructions, the way of making and using of which I cannot understand.
Zachary Henry
Learning Japanese.\n\nShadowing seems like a great idea to me, honestly. I'd not thought to do it, but I think it'll be a great way to self-teach pitch accent.\n\nI obsessed over Anki for about 4 months, but it really became a chore to me and I got burned out and had to take a few months of a break from learning Japanese in general. 200 cards/day sounds about like what I was doing, but I just hated it. Every day it seemed like a chore, and I hated seeing the same 20-30 words over and over when they just wouldn't click. I'm finding it a lot more useful to read NHK Easy News articles on an app called Tango Risto. It makes looking up words easier and allows me to see them in context. It's a lot more interesting, too.\n\nMy whole approach has become very casual. Sometimes I translate manga, sometimes I reread manga to review, sometimes I read news, sometimes I just look up words and speak sentences to myself. I sometimes do exercises from books or online, and sometimes I will listen to shows and occasionally check subtitles for comprehension. Whenever I wonder how to phrase something, I use a grammar dictionary in conjunction with textbooks and Google translate (for vocabulary only) to build the sentences, then check with an online community to get feedback about how natural the sentence sounds. I have no speaking partners, unfortunately, but maybe I'll be able to impress someone some day with my 99% self-taught Japanese.
I learnt to pronounce English by speaking to myself...
Zsombor Sütő
I think that Duolingo is a very good support when you are learning a language. I've completed the Swedish tree and it helped me lot.
angel walker
I learned English by myself. I took English in middle school but I didn't learn anything, after that I decided to learn it my by myself. (Watching cartoons at first), then YouTube videos, movies, then reading books, talking to native English speaker online and doing everything in English. \n\nI think this is the best method, do everything you would do in your native language but do it in the language that you are learning. I have never been to an English speaking country and when I talk to people online at first they think I'm an American lol.\n\nNow I'm doing the same with German, Italian and Portuguese and I'm improving a lot. \nBtw I'm a native Spanish speaker.
I just realized I’ve been kind of shadowing Korean for the past 7 years. I just haven’t invested the time to learn vocabulary and grammar. I just love to repeat whatever I’m listening to the language is lovely.
beso salah
I have learned Turkish from youns emre website which let you practise on the speaking, listening, writing and reading in a very good way but that website is only for the Turkish language so I had to come back to doulingo to learn German. the good thing here that duolingo added stories (with some exercises about each one ) to the German language course which made it more useful. \nif you wont to learn German, Spanish, Portuguese or French duolingo is a good source but if not, try to find another way to learn ^^
“Male model speaks 75 Languages” LMFAOOOO THE SHADE
I haven't learned a language for years, but I have a hunch. \n\nAt 9 or 10 I learned a bunch of songs on an album by a popular folksinger. The words were written out in the languages in question if they used Roman letters, and were transliterated if not. They were also translated, so I had a picture of what I was saying. I can still sing them to some extent in Russian, Hebrew, Spanish, French and Serbian. I did poorly in high school Spanish (failing 3rd year), but a trip to Peru that summer as an exchange student gave me a good insight: Since I already had sounds and sentences in muscle memory, all I had to do was substitute the appropriate word in a pre-existing structure. When I got back home, I garnered a 98 on our statewide (Regents) examination, and in the next year, I managed a 798 (out of 800) on the national achievement test. (This was especially useful in the area of accent and vowels, since I didn't rely on preconceived notions of what the letters signify. I just sang what I heard.) \n\nUnderstanding was, and remains, more difficult than speaking -- but I don't get to practice much. \n\nA project on my bucket list -- probably something I'll never get around to -- is to go on a trip to the north European countries and learn lullabyes in the various languages. I'd start in eastern England, learn a bunch, then go to the Netherlands and find if I could get people to teach me the words in Frisian to the melodies I already knew. I'll bet there are many in common. Then down south to standard Dutch, across to Germany, up to Scandinavia, and finally to Iceland. My guess is that all those languages have some common baby songs with basic sounds, grammar and vocabulary. (Though they might be poetic or archaic.) \n\nThe hunch is that I could, even late in life, use those seed sentences to \
2:11 OMG those audio samples, I'm cackling 😂😂😂😂
shadowing sounds good. I'll give it a go. not a fan of spaced repetition (anki), I prefer to just immerse myself in a language just by reading and if a word is important enough to come up again and again I'll remember it eventually, so that for me beats any advantage of tiresomely flicking through flash cards like I have nothing better to do. just read something interestnig and you'll get used to the language soon enough.
My personal method is as follows: I need a good reason to learn a language (interest in culture, business, necessity/if you live in a particular country you need to speak the language/ ), then I read a summary of grammar once. Then I binge watch series without learning any words previously. After about a week or two maximum I can understand 90 percent of the conversation and I can deduct what the unknown words mean. Those also take care of the repetitions, if a word is important they will use it often. If I find an interesting grammatical construct I might look it up. I also try to shadow what they were saying. I don't care much about writing these days because I already learned enough languages and it takes too much time to learn every little detail to near native perfection. I am a professional translator, so that is what my clients expect. It is unattainable for me in short time, probably on a longer time-frame, too. I like to associate languages with people, specific people, whom I respect, whom I friends with. If no such person exists, I find a fictional character, and I might come up some simple situations where I would say something then they would answer and so on and so forth. It did help that I grew up in foreign country, so I have absolutely no inhibitions to speak a different language, sometimes people might laugh at me, so what? Unfortunately, this alienated me from my own mother tongue, if I may express myself like so, I think twice what I say, and I feel a certain cultural distance from my kin. I need to put some conscious effort to lessen it, travel to homeland, because it is crazy and simply unnatural.
I don't recommend people use Duolingo for all the reasons Paul covered in a vid from several years back. The pronounciations of some of the languages aren't always appropriate (especially for languages which require intonation or inflection to convey a meaning). Also, not all of the languages have a clear study cheatsheet before each module.
Which languages have you used this on?
Thank you for your advices. As for myself, I had never heard of shadowing and will look it up. My approach on language learning relies mostly on culture. First I try to understand the culture(s) of those places where that language is spoken, trying to apprehend their mentality. Then, the language flows into yourself more naturally. But the results vary a lot.
marc amant
this,is a pure jewel of an individual experience that we all have to considere when Learning languages.
Haha I love the part about people thinking you're crazy on the subway. When I lived in NYC I stopped doing the spoken part of my pimsleurs lessons and then just stopped doing it altogether but looking back, who cares if someone is speaking a random language to themselves, many other people are on the phone anyway or talking to themselves because they're crazy. Keep studying hard Paul, you're awesome!
mocolate chilk
This is a good method. \n\n\n\n\n\nExcept for Anki jesus that software is so terrible. Just use memrise. It's better because the repetition is in more reasonable intervals (a few hours, then a couple more hours, then a day, then 5 days, then two weeks, and so on) and not just 5 days right away even though you may just be learning a new word. AND it's not you who decides if you know the word but the website, depending on if you get it, I think that's better and removes any leniency you might have towards yourself. And plus you have to learn a new thing in order to start learning a language, that is you have to learn how to make your own decks in that archaic software. I have tried using that program on 4 separate occasions, each time approaching it with patience, and it always ends bad. It's just bad. Use memrise, it's a great alternative. It can do audio and visuals as well.
Hello Paul, answering your questions: I've never tried shadowing, seems interesting and difficult, I'll make a try ;-)\nI like Anki for learning some topics, very good suggestion from the MOOC Learning how to learn. I don´t use Anki for learning languages I prefer Duolingo, for me it is more fun. For me Anki is a little boring for learning languages as a first approach but probably it is useful to strengthen vocabulary for example.\nI approach language learning with Duolingo, it helps me a lot to start to familiarize myself with the most common words, my first goal learning any language is to be able to read and understand the written form so I can understand something about the menu in restaurants and traffic signs, then to be able to understand titles on newspapers. I don't like to put too ambitious goals because that is frutrating. Finally I would like to share a way to take advantage of duolingo, regarding you've said you don't like it too much because of the translation issue. The solution I have found is to use a second or third language to learn a third or fourth language, that means do not use your native language as the base language to learn other. I am spanish native and I know english as a second language, portuguese as a third and some french as a fourth and for learning italian and german I use french so at the same time I am learning french because duolingo asks me to translate to french which is more challenging than translating to a native language. Obviously in addition to duolingo I like to read and watch videos as a compliment.\nHope this helps and thank you for your excellent videos!
qwerty 375
I speak English Russian and Esperanto and I learn Chinese Portuguese and Spanish
My language learning process these days can be summed up in this phrase: \
umut tekin
I used to translate rammstein songs to learn Deutsch of course that's not enough but it s funny.
I use HelloChinese for learning Mandarin. It's lightyears more advanced than the duolingo course.
The shadowing technique seems pretty interesting to me, I've never heard about it before.\nBut I think that I'll have problems using it even in my mother tongue xD\nIt's extremely hard for me to concentrate on two activities (speaking and listening) simultaneously without getting lost and confused in all these words and sounds, though I understand that it must be a very useful skill.
أثير اليوسف
The shadowing technique was so much useful to me when I was learning Turkish. And I haven’t used it with English language, so I have been studying English since two years. Actually after this video I am excited to back to the shadowing technique and use it for English this time.
I use memrise sometimes. It's good for learning vocabulary but doesn't really teach you grammar or get deep into phonology. You have to learn the grammar through the sentences, but I lime how it gives the literal translation for some things. Also I'm talking about the main courses, memrise has many other courses. Conversating with a fluent speaker really helps. Watching movies, videos or TV in the language can help. And if you can, use the language over the internet. It will help with learning how to read and write in the language, which is pretty useful. I also try learning random words here in there by looking up some and repeating them until I've memorized it.
Yup, nothing special here just good ol' hardwork