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
Alexander Anderson
Am I the only one who studies Russian with Soviet cold war songs? Lol
Amirah Aji
Firstly I love this channel and your videos - so thank you so much! I would just like to share my experience. I started using Duolingo to teach myself Spanish almost a year ago. I finished the tree within three months, and then now I feel I don't use it anymore because it's just too easy. I'm possibly around a B1 speaking/writing/listening but a B2 with reading. However, I have to say it definitely helped me so much to get started. For the first couple of months Duolingo was all I used to help build up vocab and understand simple grammar. And then I would start incorporating books and other mediums. I still think it's a fantastic (free!) app and great for easing you into language learning! Now I'm about to start French, and will be using both Duolingo and trying out the new Fluent Forever app. \nLots of love to all you other language learners!!
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 \
Bartosz Bondzior
This video motivated me to try shadowing. I'm beginner in Portuguese, so I found a short (under 1 min) audio dialogue with transcription. I slowed down the audio (0.6x), because it was to fast for me, and I began to repeat the words. I spend nearly an hour to master the dialogue, so I didn't stutter or get lost. I pretty much have learned it by heart. After about an hour I tried to demostrate to my SO what I've accomplished and it didn't go so well as an hour before. Till the evening I basically forgot the whole dialogue. And now the twist: the next morning I woke up and spoke out the whole dialogue by heart, with the intonation and all, without stuttering, fully automatically. I would really appreciate, Paul, if you elaborated on the topic of shadowing in a separate video, because I got excited to discover this technique and all the instant benefits of it.
Benjamin Hansen
Cool approach. I've studied language a little over the years and have come across some interesting or different ideas. Some people don't try to translate the target language into their native language while learning a new language. This way they get use to thinking in the target language and skip over the translation idea. This saves time in translating while speaking or thinking in the target language. Some people feel that learning to speak is more important than leaning to read, so the focus is on speaking first and this to me seems right unless you need or really want to know how to read a new language right away, but often the way something is written is not how it is pronounced.. Motivation is also really important, find a way to get motivated and stay motivated to learn. Also, have a goal to your learning - this way you can map out what you want to know and know when you have reached your goal, other wise you may learn bits and pieces but never really tie it all together. Total immersion is best when learning anything really - especially language. Just a few things I've encountered over the years.
A thesaurus helps a lot, you nourish your vocabulary quickly.
Chakra Khan
I think the intention in shadowing is great. But, just pausing to repeat will ensure you didn't compromise either what you heard, or the sounds that you are making, to focus on both.. there's no way you'll digest the most subtle nuances of sound, that may characterize the very target language if you're making sounds at the same time you are listening. Also, neither of the previous ideas could replace the value of recording yourself. I use the same software to repeat and slow stuff down(a tiny bit) that I would to imitate or transcribe music. Not to be an accent nut, but it improves listening comprehension more than any technique offered by any language learning program I've seen
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
Daniel Bedoni
Thanks for the tips! In my case, I prefer to buy an introductory course such as Teach Yourself series or Colloquial series, and then I study it a little bit everyday, without being in a hurry. I also make flashcards, but I prefer to use a small notebook for that. Anyway, I'm curious: how many languages can you speak? Thanks again and have a nice day you too! Hugs from Brazil!
David T de Castro
Duolingo taught me to say 'The horse eats rice\
Dmitry Private
I love your channel.\nI have been learning French for a few years. I watch a lot of youtube and subscribe to News in Slow French. I do use shadowing technique; although until I heard the term from you, I didn’t know that this is what I was doing :). I did use anki before but stopped; became lazy. I need to re-start. I strongly believe in the spaced repetition (Pimsleur method). I have learned Spanish pretty well although I still have to have Spanish sub-titles on when watching the movies or series. English is my second language but I have lived in the USA for most of my life; so it is like a second native. I wish I were young, as you are, so that after French I could take up another language.
Drew Northup
FWIW, the method used by the Anki app is similar to that long used to successfully teach Morse to wireless operators the world over.
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 \
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.
I like ANKI. You can use it for other things than languages, including technical subjects like radio. I know you can download other people's decks but for me it works best when you make up your own card decks, which becomes part of the learning process. If you play the guitar and can find some good folky type songsters then learning by singing is good. You need songs that tell a story, not those with repetitive chants. I think Duolingo is a useful supplement and I find it helps me a bit with grammar and sometimes forces me to listen more closely.
Gemala Cempaka Hapsari
Thanks to your other video (didn't remember the title) I learned about italki. I found some interesting teacher (and some are not interesting at all) but I have choices of teachers with italki. I brushed up my German (getting better little by little although I still make a lot of mistakes but gaining confidence to speak German during 30 minutes with very limited English vocabs only when I don't know the German words), trying to be better in Japanese but kanji gets in the way. Now I'm learning Norwegian and loving it. I have to say that your video change my life. I'm also passionate about foreign language and the ability to get to know some languages from your channel (that I didn't even know it existed before) is wonderful.\nI haven't tried your method (with anki) but that sounds interesting. Unfortunately (or should I say fortunately), I drive to work and it takes only 10 minutes. Oh, btw my mother tongue is Bahasa Indonesia. Selamat belajar Bahasa Indonesia, Paul.
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!
Griffin Seannery
I just laughed at that Indonesian Linguaphone dialogue, it is so 80s (or maybe early 90s) style Indonesian speaking style.
Hoàng Kim Việt
Just one word: Wonderful! :-0
Indra Herdiana
What? Buaya bergigi emas?\n\nI'm an Indonesian native but I don't know that thing. :(
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 Toney
I am on disability due to liver issues that I've had since I was in my teens. My wife works and so I spend a lot of time at home with my two cats and one dog. As such, I started changing things I normally would say to them in English (such as \
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 Johnson
I learned 3 languages fluently starting when I was 23. I don't come from a bilingual family nor did I grow up in a linguistically diverse environment. The way I became fluent in these languages at an older age was by doing pretty much exactly what he's saying in the video. It's pretty incredible, I was shaking my head in agreement for almost every tip he was giving. I've been doing \
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 \
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.
Justin Davis
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.
Kai Cyreus
I just watch subbed anime.
Kaiser Wilhelm
Can you let me subtitle it in Spanish?
I use Anki too. It's super awesome. I always talk to myself in my head about any topic Im thinking about in the language Im learning and if I come to the point where I dont know how to say it I ask a native speaker or look it up.
Kasey Wahl
I've been studying Mandarin for 6 months, the last two of which I have been living in China. My daily study regimen has been about 2-6 hours per day depending on my schedule. I use a cocktail of the HSK workbook (HSK 3 currently), Pimsleur's audio tracks, and Anki. \n\nI need to start doing shadowing! My reading has improved considerably since arriving in China, but listening comprehension and automaticity have still been huge barriers, in spite of hearing the language around me all day and speaking it when I can. Thanks for the helpful suggestions!
Kawaii Panda
Unpopular opinion : I don't like Anki
I learn languages basically by eavesdropping at work and having a really interesting mix of music on Spotify, it 100% does not work
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
Lord Henroriro
Thank you for this video, I can't rely on that green owl anymore
Lucas Matias
I guess this is the best way to learn any language as a salf-study. I use this same way and it fited on me perfectly. \nI use shadowing, aki and a lot of extensive reading.\nThanks for this channel.
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 \
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
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.
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!
There is the Lithuanian flag in the background!!
Nice use of the word 'gangsta'
Robert Chitty
For all that it's worth, Duolingo has taught me how to say \
S Parxz
I have used Anki for years, but not languages. It works on Desktop PC & Android. Excellent including sharing and downloading extra features. Would you consider publishing the Anki flashcards you make to your channel subscribers, so all can learn allot too ?
Shady Crzy
I still use Duolingo every day as a kind of warm-up. I'm an American living in Mexico learning Spanish so I have an advantage in that I have to use the language every day w/ native speakers. Having said that, I'm far from fluent. My current strategy involves reading Mexican cowboy comics. Every time I find a word I don't know, I look it up and put it in my Anki deck. My wife (Mexican) can finish one in about 30 minutes but it takes me a few hours... I've learned some good words this way but some of them are archaic and specific to cowboys and indians =P
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.
T Koo
Thanks a lot for sharing your learning experience and methods!\nI personally don't like Anki, and I'm skeptical to the spaced repetition approach, especially when it's in the form of flashcards of words with no contexts. I find the words never stick even I revise the decks of flashcards multiple times, and when I'm pretty sure I can recognize the words. The bigger problem is in recalling words in speech and writing.
Thiago Carneiro
I am currently learning japanese and since you have to worry about the writing system along with the spoken language, I use wanikani to learn kanji mostly and a little bit of duolingo as well
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.
Timothy Shoup
You should know that Duolingo has podcasts and short stories with question and answer sections. For putting the words in context instead of just straight translation.
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.
I learn Somali, even though it's resources is so small, I still want to overcome.
Yamen S.
I do use shadowing all the time when I learn new languages. However, I have to disagree with the \
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.
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 ^^
Hi Paul! I learn best by sight. I'm currently studying Russian and am, overall, doing well with it. I take a course online called Russian Accelerator. Mark (the creator of the program and the one doing the teaching) suggests flash cards, which I like. He's also a proponent of Contextual Learning. I appreciate this concept, but find it extremely difficult to do via audio only. Especially if I don't feel really confident of what I'm listening to. My biggest problem is that I can read and pronounce quite well. I don't understand what I'm reading of course. Also Mark has various native speakers in his lessons (actually he seems to only have 2 main people and a smattering of others). One of his native speakers is a woman whom I REALLY struggle to understand. I've never heard of Anki. I'll take a look. I have used Duolingo and like you, don't enjoy it much. And I've used Memrise.
“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.
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.
I did quite a bit of textbook learning, then reading content online (several languages). \nI started using Anki for vocab only, but recently I began to add sentences, so my sentence pool is now huge and my vocab pool is small. \nLast year I decided to add an audio component to my learning: listening and shadowing.\nTools that I have used: TY books and audio, Colloquial books and audio, FSI, Intensive book if available, Memrise, Anki, readlang, iTalki\nTools that I currently use: Anki, lang-8, lingQ, readlang, duolingo as a pastime and to drill a few sentences, iTalki occasionally
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.
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.
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