How can you make your target language sound more vivid in your head?

General discussion about learning languages
sporedandroid
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How can you make your target language sound more vivid in your head?

Postby sporedandroid » Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:43 am

When I was studying Icelandic I often got annoyed it just didn’t sound all that vivid in my head. I’m mainly concerned about vividness because I think it would help me not get languages confused with each other. I also want them to just have more personality inside my head. I listened to a lot of Icelandic music, but probably didn’t have enough listening practice or practice in general. I was a teenager with questionable study habits! I don’t know whether my vocabulary was just small, but I think I had iffy listening comprehension. Listening to the radio just hurt my brain. It did sound pretty vivid to me in my head when I went on a trip to Iceland. It’s pretty obvious why that would happen. But naturally after years of studying it, it lost its vividness. As a teen I also listened to a lot of Finnish music. I had no desire to learn Finnish, but I still listened to a lot of Finnish music. I think for while I even listened to Finnish music for five or six hours a day. Even though I got sick of Finnish music, Finnish still sounds very vivid in my head. Since I had no desire to learn Finnish, I didn’t listen to much spoken Finnish.

For Hebrew I have trouble with getting that same vivid sound. Since I need to listen to music in order to be motivated to study a language I did find some Hebrew music I enjoyed. I did listen fairly obsessively for a year, but probably not as obsessive as I was with Finnish music. I also tried avoiding looking at writing to see if it would help, but it didn’t. Right now I think I do a decent amount of listening to spoken Hebrew, but it still sounds hollow to me. Despite me noticing progress in my Hebrew listening comprehension. I still don’t understand everything on the radio, but I seem to understand better than I could understand Icelandic radio and it’s less mentally painful to. I can’t study from the radio because I don’t think it has any transcripts where I can look up unknown words. One thing that seemed to help with vividness was contrasting it with other languages or doing shadowing. When I listen to Icelandic now, I notice some breathiness to it that I didn’t notice as much before. When I did a bit of shadowing for Turkish it was interesting how different it felt compared to other languages. So now I’ll never get Turkish words confused with other languages. Not really planning on studying Turkish, but it was fun to shadow it. I dabbled in Danish for a bit. I never got it confused with Icelandic. Maybe because I used to copy Danish sounds for fun.
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Matt
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Re: How can you make your target language sound more vivid in your head?

Postby Matt » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:13 pm

Personally, I think the best way to make language vivid is to use it. Listening practice is good, but it will not get your heart racing like trying to have a conversation with a beautiful Icelandic woman or a French academic. Since this is not easy (and will hurt your brain for a while) most people shy away from it. Yet it will give you listening practice and speaking practice in an interactive and fun experience and really most of us are learning a language to speak and be spoken to. Good luck and stick with it.
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Cenwalh
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Re: How can you make your target language sound more vivid in your head?

Postby Cenwalh » Sat Jul 13, 2019 3:42 pm

I read once somewhere that someone shadowed a full length audiobook, and that really gave them a strong "head voice", I've been too lazy to try it myself though.

I think if I were going to do it, I'd go for a book with a narrator who has a similar voice to me.
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DaveAgain
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Re: How can you make your target language sound more vivid in your head?

Postby DaveAgain » Sat Jul 13, 2019 4:23 pm

Cenwalh wrote:I read once somewhere that someone shadowed a full length audiobook, and that really gave them a strong "head voice", I've been too lazy to try it myself though.

I think if I were going to do it, I'd go for a book with a narrator who has a similar voice to me.
I did something like that. I parroted (offline shadowing?) a french audiobook. The voice in my head during silent reading certainly started to sound a lot more french.
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sporedandroid
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Re: How can you make your target language sound more vivid in your head?

Postby sporedandroid » Sat Jul 13, 2019 8:32 pm

Cenwalh wrote:I read once somewhere that someone shadowed a full length audiobook, and that really gave them a strong "head voice", I've been too lazy to try it myself though.

I think if I were going to do it, I'd go for a book with a narrator who has a similar voice to me.

I downloaded a fan made Harry Potter audiobook. I’m not sure if my voice is similar to her’s, but she seems to be about my age which might be good enough. A lot of female Hebrew voices I hear sound older than me.
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