Lampariello with some details on how he found his BDT method

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Lampariello with some details on how he found his BDT method

Postby Kraut » Sat Aug 13, 2022 9:40 pm

https://www.lucalampariello.com/master- ... e-learner/

Interesting that he used colloquial language texts first and did the translations all by himself. Today it is very tempting to just translate from L2 to L1 with the help of Deepl thus skipping the desirable effort of working through the text with your own brain.
Together with David Allen Martin (Translation Cubed) we now find two of the major teaching polyglots using this method.


How I Learned 10+ Languages with the BDT

/.../

One day, my parents hired an English tutor to come and work with me at home. This tutor taught me that language was not just some boring school subject, but rather a means to learn about and explore all sorts of interesting things, like movies, books, and—of course—people! This began my fascination with using natural, authentic language content to learn languages. This fascination would eventually lead me to the epiphany that would help birth the Bidirectional Translation method!

One day, I decided to start learning German on my own. As much as I liked authentic content at the time, I had no idea how to start learning German that way. So, instead, I went the traditional route, and tried to learn the language the old-fashioned way, using dictionaries, and an old grammar book. Boring!

Eventually, I became so disillusioned that I nearly gave up. Fortunately, before that could happen, I stumbled upon a commercial for a German course on audiocassette which claimed to teach the language using natural, authentic dialogues, spoken by real Germans. Eureka! This was just the kind of interesting and natural language content I needed to get started as a beginner. These dialogues represented German as it was spoken in real life, so they were infinitely more interesting than any verb tables or word lists.

As I went through the content day after day, I noticed something interesting: if I took the German dialogues and translated them into Italian, I could memorize words and phrases much more easily. Better yet, if I translated my Italian translation back into German a few days later, I ended up remembering even more!

Gradually, I found that this system of taking natural dialogues in German and translating them in two directions wasn't just helping me remember words and phrases—it was helping me think in my target language! Following this system, I went through every single German dialogue available in my audio course. Within a year and a half of starting German, I found that I was able to have natural, comfortable, and confident conversations with German people.

At the time, I was worried this could have been a fluke. So I decided to try it again, but this time with Spanish.So I purchased a Spanish audio course, and applied my new bidirectional translation method to it. Sure enough, I reached fluency within one year!

/.../
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Re: Lampariello with some details on how he found his BDT method

Postby einzelne » Sat Aug 13, 2022 9:46 pm

TL/DR: "I bought an Assimil course."
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Re: Lampariello with some details on how he found his BDT method

Postby Le Baron » Sat Aug 13, 2022 10:02 pm

One day, my parents hired an English tutor to come and work with me at home. This tutor taught me that language was not just some boring school subject, but rather a means to learn about and explore all sorts of interesting things, like movies, books, and—of course—people! This began my fascination with using natural, authentic language content to learn languages.

Strange. It's a completely different story to the other one he originally told about his language bug being ignited by a polyglot grandmother. He also said he spent hours and hours watching foreign TV.

This guy has unfortunately gone down the path of creating sales letters. What a disappointment.
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Re: Lampariello with some details on how he found his BDT method

Postby Kraut » Sat Aug 13, 2022 10:15 pm

einzelne wrote:TL/DR: "I bought an Assimil course."


I think he recommends it, the way to go if you are really at a zero level and incompetent at translating.
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Re: Lampariello with some details on how he found his BDT method

Postby leosmith » Sun Aug 14, 2022 3:41 am

Lampariello is an amazing polyglot, one of my favorite. But a few issues.
1) Bidirectional translation as a language learning method has been around for centuries, and I think he actually pointed this out in one of his old blog posts.
2) It is yet another example of a method that does not work well for "hard" languages (languages very different from ones that you already speak). I tried it for Russian, and it was pretty bad. I posted some question about it on his website, which were not answered (totally understandable, considering the huge volume of questions there). I later noticed that his Russian level, at that time, was nothing like his other languages. Last time I heard it, it had improved considerably, but I remember another post or video where he eluded to the method not working as well for Russian. So that made me feel a little vindicated. I'd like to point out that Russian is in the same language family as his other languages. Although he lists Mandarin and Japanese as some of his languages, they are not nearly as good as his core languages, and it is likely he used other methods to reach those levels.
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Re: Lampariello with some details on how he found his BDT method

Postby Kraut » Sun Aug 14, 2022 2:00 pm

"Gradually, I found that this system of taking natural dialogues in German and translating them in two directions wasn't just helping me remember words and phrases—it was helping me think in my target language! "

You would not expect this effect of making yourself independent from your mother tongue via translation and reverse translation. But this is exactly what happens when I memorize my mini-texts (while and after BDT). I think of the steps in the plot and the Spanish comes quite easily. When I need repetition because parts of the story fade away, I read through the Spanish text again and all comes back without the help of Gerrman.
Last edited by Kraut on Sun Aug 14, 2022 10:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lampariello with some details on how he found his BDT method

Postby DaveAgain » Sun Aug 14, 2022 2:08 pm

leosmith wrote:Lampariello is an amazing polyglot, one of my favorite. But a few issues.
1) Bidirectional translation as a language learning method has been around for centuries, and I think he actually pointed this out in one of his old blog posts.
2) It is yet another example of a method that does not work well for "hard" languages (languages very different from ones that you already speak). I tried it for Russian, and it was pretty bad. I posted some question about it on his website, which were not answered (totally understandable, considering the huge volume of questions there). I later noticed that his Russian level, at that time, was nothing like his other languages. Last time I heard it, it had improved considerably, but I remember another post or video where he eluded to the method not working as well for Russian. So that made me feel a little vindicated. I'd like to point out that Russian is in the same language family as his other languages. Although he lists Mandarin and Japanese as some of his languages, they are not nearly as good as his core languages, and it is likely he used other methods to reach those levels.
I remember Blaurebel saying that the Russian:English pairing in Duolingo (which is/was translation exercises) didn't work well together, and that Russian:German was a better combination.
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Re: Lampariello with some details on how he found his BDT method

Postby garyb » Mon Aug 15, 2022 9:19 am

leosmith wrote:It is yet another example of a method that does not work well for "hard" languages (languages very different from ones that you already speak).

That's been my experience too (with Assimil in general, moreover, but in particular with bidirectional translation). Worked pretty well for other Romance languagues after French, but with German (which isn't even considered "hard" for English-speakers, but was still a completely new language for me) it just got very heavy-going and unproductive very quickly. But it made me feel a bit stupid, because the main description of the method was on a site aimed at Thai leaners (previously called "Women learn Thai" but that appears to have become part of another site, https://www.expatden.com/thai/part-one- ... languages/). I know nothing about Thai, but surely it's more distant from English than German...
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Re: Lampariello with some details on how he found his BDT method

Postby leosmith » Mon Aug 15, 2022 3:49 pm

garyb wrote:"Women learn Thai" but that appears to have become part of another site
Yeah, she stopped writing that, but it's still available in archive form. I can't imagine that method working very well for Thai.
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Re: Lampariello with some details on how he found his BDT method

Postby TeoLanguages » Tue Aug 16, 2022 10:15 am

Le Baron wrote:
One day, my parents hired an English tutor to come and work with me at home. This tutor taught me that language was not just some boring school subject, but rather a means to learn about and explore all sorts of interesting things, like movies, books, and—of course—people! This began my fascination with using natural, authentic language content to learn languages.

Strange. It's a completely different story to the other one he originally told about his language bug being ignited by a polyglot grandmother. He also said he spent hours and hours watching foreign TV.

This guy has unfortunately gone down the path of creating sales letters. What a disappointment.

I've been following Luca for years and, if I'm not mistaken, he refers to his grandmother as the person who ignited his thirst for knowledge (and curiosity), not as the one who made him fall in love with languages in and of themselves. But I could be wrong. Anyway, I must agree with what you said concerning him creating sales letters.
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