I Learned Portuguese in 7 Days (My Method)

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s_allard
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Re: I Learned Portuguese in 7 Days (My Method)

Postby s_allard » Thu Mar 18, 2021 7:04 pm

Just a quick note to point to an interesting video on how polyglots learn new languages. It's fascinating how very different approaches can give great results:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROh_-RG3OVg&ab_channel=PolyglotGathering
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Re: I Learned Portuguese in 7 Days (My Method)

Postby Raconteur » Thu Mar 18, 2021 8:17 pm

s_allard wrote:To use a phrase I have used often, what is the fuss all about?
With all due respect, the "fuss" is outlined rather plainly on page 1. It's not a mystery.

You can agree with the premise. You can disagree. That's up to you. But either way, it's all there, I promise.
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s_allard
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Re: I Learned Portuguese in 7 Days (My Method)

Postby s_allard » Thu Mar 18, 2021 8:33 pm

I see the glass half-full. Instead of focusing on all the negatives, I try to see what I can learn in order to improve my own language learning. And I was pleasantly surprised by the video in question. Probably because it confirmed some of my own ideas. In any case, it was a more interesting experience than I expected after reading some of the posts here.
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Re: I Learned Portuguese in 7 Days (My Method)

Postby Le Baron » Thu Mar 18, 2021 8:40 pm

Half-full is as full as that glass is ever going to get. Fake optimism is so tedious.
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Re: I Learned Portuguese in 7 Days (My Method)

Postby Raconteur » Thu Mar 18, 2021 8:49 pm

s_allard wrote:I see the glass half-full.
That's nice. But please do note that the original argument in this thread was never: this one particular video is bad in every single way, and one cannot learn anything from it, or even enjoy it – discuss!

The video wasn't even linked.

Now, you could engage with the actual arguments I made (potential negative effects of unrealistic expectations on uninformed learners)... or you can keep arguing against a point no one here is making.
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Re: I Learned Portuguese in 7 Days (My Method)

Postby Cainntear » Thu Mar 18, 2021 10:39 pm

s_allard wrote:I see the glass half-full. Instead of focusing on all the negatives, I try to see what I can learn in order to improve my own language learning. And I was pleasantly surprised by the video in question. Probably because it confirmed some of my own ideas. In any case, it was a more interesting experience than I expected after reading some of the posts here.

I say the glass as half full when it's half full. Does saying a glass is 1% full sound better than saying it's 99% empty?
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Re: I Learned Portuguese in 7 Days (My Method)

Postby s_allard » Thu Mar 18, 2021 11:41 pm

Raconteur wrote:...
My point is this. As a community, we shouldn’t ignore (or worse yet, justify) these snake-oil salesmen. We should openly call out, criticize and yes, even ridicule their products. I would go as far as to propose that LLORG has an official “wall of shame” page for these types of online products, books, blogs, videos, etc. Finally, we should have a countermeasure, a page of voluntary testimonials from our own community, on how long it took confirmed first-time learners to reach B2 or C1 in a foreign language. What did it take to become “fluent,” warts and all – the real story, creating real expectations for newbie learners.

Any new learner joining our forums – writing that they want to become fluent in French and Japanese by next year, should be given links to both of these pages pages.

PS. Wouldn’t you know it, the author of the I Learned Portuguese/Italian in 7 Days videos now has his own "how to learn languages" course. Wow, only $89!

(Apologies for the long post, but this is something I feel very strongly about. It affected my learning journey, and I’m sure it is affecting lives of other first-time learners today.)


Snake-oil salesmen, a wall of shame, countermeasures, voluntary testimonials? Before I go down that road, I prefer to have a look at the specific product that provoked all this. And lo and behold, it's not that bad after all. I should point out that the title cleverly says "I learned Portuguese in 7 days (My Method)". It doesn't say "You will speak Portuguese in 7 days with my method". Sure, there's slick marketing here but if you follow the person's advice, you will learn some Portuguese. No need for a wall of shame.
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Re: I Learned Portuguese in 7 Days (My Method)

Postby mokibao » Fri Mar 19, 2021 12:14 am

Honestly who cares if someone sells a bad thing or says something wrong. Just don't buy the thing or give them attention. If people buy this stuff, that's on them; if they're happy with what they got, good for them.
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Re: I Learned Portuguese in 7 Days (My Method)

Postby Le Baron » Fri Mar 19, 2021 12:29 am

I think we all know what the main aim is of making you tube videos like this: to garner views, 'build' a channel. Who is going to click on: 'I learned Portuguese in 4 years with loads of effort and difficult motivation (which wavered at times) and a goodly number of materials'? They can't possibly be trying to show that you can learn enough useful Portuguese in 7 days to do anything other than perform a show in a tightly controlled scenario.

If any of this fake scientific method worked the non-profit departments for education would be putting it to work and saving all those years of expensive, long-winded teaching.

When I was ten my mother taught me to count to ten in Italian and other random things like 'happy birthday' and lots of other bits and pieces. Just for entertainment purposes. I didn't forget them, but it didn't make me speak Italian, didn't 'put me on my way' to learning Italian or any of that. If I want to learn Italian I'll have to start learning Italian and it's going to be longer than 7 days or 7 months and likely about three years to get functional. Magic shortcuts are lies and fantasy.
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Re: I Learned Portuguese in 7 Days (My Method)

Postby Raconteur » Fri Mar 19, 2021 12:48 am

s_allard wrote:Snake-oil salesmen, a wall of shame, countermeasures, voluntary testimonials?
Yup. Was there a question? Since you seem to be listing these as evidence of something, let's go through them one by one:

Snake-oil: is a euphemism for deceptive marketing. And when it comes to claims like "I learned Portuguese in 7 days" or "fluent in 9 weeks," especially from people who sell expensive courses or monetize views/clicks, I stand by it. I don't think the term is derogatory (disrespectful) when used in an accurate way.

Wall of shame: I already admitted this word choice sent the wrong message, and was not particularly helpful... many pages ago. So, once again, mea culpa.
Earlier I wrote:Perhaps "Wall of Dubious Claims" would be a better title :lol: . I'm more keen on criticizing what I refer to as the "narrative" of fast learning rather than attacking any individual.

In my original post, I've mentioned only one person/brand by name, and tbh I wish I refrained from doing so, as too much of the following discussion is centered around this person and their product (which was not my original intention).
Rather than shame, inform. A page deconstructing claims like the 7 day miracle, showing what is and isn't possible, would be helpful for inexperienced learners.

Countermeasures: yes, as in... measures which counter something. In this case the narrative of miracle learning (hacking, fast learning, just pay for my e-seminar and I'll show you how). Was this not clear? Why is it a negative thing to propose? Such a page would promote healthy expectations, which would hopefully allow inexperienced learners to set more realistic goals (and consequently, not lose hope when they don't start speaking like so-and-so in a week).

Voluntary testimonials: testimonials from experienced language learners about the beginning of their own journey - first steps in the world of language learning. How long did it take to learn their first foreign language well? what to expect? etc.

As you yourself pointed out, slick marketing is the name of the game...so why not collect some accounts, which are free from constraints of monetizing clicks/views or selling seminars? In other words, voluntary. Surely, you aren't against first-time learners getting a more transparent, comprehensive insight on language learning? Are you?

Before I go down that road, I prefer to have a look at the specific product that provoked all this. And lo and behold...

Lo and behold, you missed the forest for the trees, my friend. Back up. The point was not to criticize this one video (again, it wasn't even linked, you found it yourself). This discussion isn't meant to be about this one video or this one YouTuber or this one strategy or this one product.
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