I Learned Portuguese in 7 Days (My Method)

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

Postby lusan » Fri Mar 19, 2021 12:49 am

Le Baron wrote:Magic shortcuts are lies and fantasy.

Nicely said!
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Re: I Learned Portuguese in 7 Days (My Method)

Postby s_allard » Fri Mar 19, 2021 1:00 am

Well, I guess I made a mistake. I did read the title of the thread that said "I Learned Portuguese in 7 Days (My Method)". I assumed that was what we were talking about. Now I realize we are talking about something else. I should have read the title properly. My bad.
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Re: I Learned Portuguese in 7 Days (My Method)

Postby Raconteur » Fri Mar 19, 2021 1:04 am

Le Baron wrote: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.
Another childhood story, since we're sharing :lol: . When I was a kid we lived in a pretty multicultural neighbourhood. My grandad had a shop, and for whatever reason learned many curious phrases in languages that his customers spoke.

So he would ask one customer about his health in Korean, and then share a proverb in Yiddish or Ukrainian. I don't know if he did this for fun, or to win over some new customers... either way, it usually made people happy to hear this old Pole say (or attempt to say) something clever in their language.

Odd thing is, he never claimed to speak Korean, and definitely didn't sell people seminars (or books) on his amazing method. I guess he wasn't "slick" enough with the marketing, oh well...
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Re: I Learned Portuguese in 7 Days (My Method)

Postby einzelne » Fri Mar 19, 2021 3:35 am

s_allard wrote:I'm planning to do something like this in Russian


I wonder if you (or anybody else for that matter) would be interested to demonstrate your progress: in 7 days, in 3 months, in 1 year etc. But not in the form of another flashy video with lots of jump-cuts and computer graphics but an old school livestream with a native speaker (or, even better, a bunch of them) who would discuss with you some random topics — not the same old tedious 'how I learned the X language' story but the stuff real people actually talk about in their everyday life — politics, TV series, news, gossips, vacations, hobbies, recent evens in their lives etc. (This actually could test how much you can do with just 300 words.)

Naturally, we rarely, if ever, see such videos on YouTube. I wonder do they even exist... There are of course the videos with mock exams for different language certificates but they're but a pale copies of real experience.
Last edited by einzelne on Fri Mar 19, 2021 4:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I Learned Portuguese in 7 Days (My Method)

Postby s_allard » Fri Mar 19, 2021 3:51 am

I don't think I could do a real-time video any time soon but I am planning a trip to a language school in Russia for late this year. I could probably do a journal or a blog for something like a week. I think it's a great idea. What I would really like to do before then is to take a 7-day period and devote something like 5-6 hours a day to learning Russian but this will be impossible before December.
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Re: I Learned Portuguese in 7 Days (My Method)

Postby Cainntear » Fri Mar 19, 2021 10:09 am

s_allard wrote:I don't think I could do a real-time video any time soon

Not wanting to speak for anyone else, but I kind of think that was einzelne's point.

The guys you're defending are using their slick marketing and sophisticated video production to make something massively misleading because no-one is going to be able to make live chat videos worth watching in anything like that space of time.

This is the other side of the "caveat emptor" -- there is pretty much nothing out there that shows realistic achievements, but there's lots of us writing about realistic and unrealistic achievements, and that is not just negativity -- it's the other side of the story.
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Re: I Learned Portuguese in 7 Days (My Method)

Postby rdearman » Fri Mar 19, 2021 1:26 pm

Personally I don't believe a lot of the "talking head" videos of people speaking. Because honestly I could do a video speaking in Mandarin or Setswana no problem. But the thing that would trip me up is if I had to paraphrase something a native speaker was saying to me. Because I personally believe that comprehension is the real skill. A parrot can repeat phrases, but they don't understand.

If someone did a video saying, "my learn in 7 months method works, and I'll show you". Then took unrehearsed questions from an audience in the target language, I'd buy their snake-oil, and the lizard paste too.
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Re: I Learned Portuguese in 7 Days (My Method)

Postby s_allard » Fri Mar 19, 2021 2:00 pm

Cainntear wrote:
s_allard wrote:I don't think I could do a real-time video any time soon

Not wanting to speak for anyone else, but I kind of think that was einzelne's point.

The guys you're defending are using their slick marketing and sophisticated video production to make something massively misleading because no-one is going to be able to make live chat videos worth watching in anything like that space of time.

This is the other side of the "caveat emptor" -- there is pretty much nothing out there that shows realistic achievements, but there's lots of us writing about realistic and unrealistic achievements, and that is not just negativity -- it's the other side of the story.


Rather than turn this thread into another sideshow with the usual cast of characters, I really prefer to concentrate on the subject at hand. We all know that in the world of independent language learning, there is a long tradition of publishers and more recently internet entrepreneurs making all kinds of wild claims about their products. I have in front of me an old Russian Teach Yourself method with two cassettes. According to the back cover of the book, « By the end of the course, you’ll be able to cope with a whole range of situations and participate fully and confidently in conversation » Not bad for $12.95

And we also know that the vast majority of people who buy these products never use them to the end and fail miserably at learning the language. The plain truth is that learning to speak a language well at an adult age when there is no compelling reason and when you are outside the country of the language is very difficult.

There are two sides of the equation here : the product and the user. There all kinds of products out there with lots of marketing. I really don’t see a big problem of misleading or dishonest claims. Nobody says « You are guaranteed to learn language X ». It’s more like « We believe our method or product, when used properly, is the best way to get great results ».

Is this any different from how tooth paste or perfume is sold ? The real question is what works for you. What we have to do is cut through the hype and see if the products resonates with us. It’s like choosing a tutor on Italki. Every tutor makes great claims. Which one is right for you ? There’s only one way to find out : do the leg work.

Is Glossika with its « smart technology, adaptive learning algorithm and structured content » best for you ? Or maybe Olly Richards’ story books approach ? Or Rosetta Stone that so many people like to belittle ? Or Gabriel Wyner’s Fluent Forever ? Etc.

All I can say is that enough people seem to like each of these products. I know some people that swear by Rosetta Stone. Even Idahosa Ness’s now reimagined Mimic Method which I found very interesting but rather limited has its fans.

On the user’s side of the equation, it’s a question of finding the right fit. Most of us cobble together our own personalized solution based on trial and error. That’s why I always look past the marketing fog of these commercial offerings to see if there is anything I can learn. That’s exactly what I did with the I learned Portuguese in 7 days video. And I liked it because uses an approach that is close to what I have used to reach the Spanish C2 and the German B2 certified levels. But this is not for everybody.

So I don’t really see the point of getting worked up over the marketing hype. I think time could be better spent seeing if there is any real value in these offerings.
Last edited by s_allard on Fri Mar 19, 2021 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I Learned Portuguese in 7 Days (My Method)

Postby Cainntear » Fri Mar 19, 2021 2:26 pm

s_allard wrote:Rather than turn this thread into another sideshow with the usual cast of characters, I really prefer to concentrate on the subject at hand.

I don't understand this statement. You're following the usual pattern, but suggesting that it's others (me?) that's doing that. You're continuing the line that you'd started down, repeating essentially the same things you've already said, and are declaring that by doing so you're keeping this on-topic.
We all know that in the world of independent language learning, there is a long tradition of publishers and more recently internet entrepreneurs making all kinds of wild claims about their products.

Yes, we all know this. But the point several of us are making is that we feel that the influencers are making wilder claims about inferior products. You are free to disagree with that, and I invite you to do so, openly and directly. In that way, you would be showing us why you think we're wrong, rather than simply telling us that you think we're wrong.

There are two sides of the equation here : the product and the user. There all kinds of products out there with lots of marketing. I really don’t see a big problem of misleading or dishonest claims.

We know that you don't -- that's clear. Some of us do though, and if you want us to come to agree with you, you should discuss what our concerns actually are, so that we can better understand your point of view.

On the user’s side of the equation, it’s a question of finding the right fit. Most of us cobble together our own personalized solution based on trial and error. That’s why I always look past the marketing fog of these commercial offerings to see if there is anything I can learn.

And that's nothing that hasn't already been discussed. Several posters on the anti-influencer side here have already stated that the issue is not that this marketing is harmful to those of us in the language learning community, but that they're potentially harmful to people currently outside the language learning community, because they do not yet know enough to make that informed judgement for themselves.
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Re: I Learned Portuguese in 7 Days (My Method)

Postby Raconteur » Fri Mar 19, 2021 2:46 pm

Cainntear wrote:We know that you don't -- that's clear. Some of us do though, and if you want us to come to agree with you, you should discuss what our concerns actually are, so that we can better understand your point of view.

...

And that's nothing that hasn't already been discussed. Several posters on the anti-influencer side here have already stated that the issue is not that this marketing is harmful to those of us in the language learning community, but that they're potentially harmful to people currently outside the language learning community, because they do not yet know enough to make that informed judgement for themselves.
For me, if there is one key takeaway from this entire thread, it is that it is impossible to debate this issue (any issue, really) with individuals who are not interested in actually engaging the subject matter, no matter how plainly it is stated.

It is much more convenient to prove how wrong someone is, and how right we therefore are, by valiantly fighting an army of straw men. Or by dismissing the core argument altogether as "hating," "jealousy" or most recently: "sideshow with the usual cast of characters" (whatever that means).
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