Which language are you most knowledgeable about and how do you recommend a beginner to learn it?

General discussion about learning languages
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SGP
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Re: Which language are you most knowledgeable about and how do you recommend a beginner to learn it?

Postby SGP » Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:35 pm

tiia wrote: Would recommend every German native to use at least some German based explanations, because they don't cover the extra hazzles English natives have to go through (pronounciation; you might know more about cases already).
Good point. And this isn't about books in German on Finnish only. It even extends to e.g. learning YourTargetLanguage in Spanish/Italian/etc. Because these are phonetic languages. And English, while it is very useful for international communication, is different. #GermanicOrigin #Runes #NormanRulershipOverEngland #YouNameIt

Some textbooks don't include the IPA letters, but only simplified pronouncation guidelines. And as Gabe Wyner said... "bawnjoor" (or however he wrote it) isn't too helpful when one wants to talk to the French.
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Re: Which language are you most knowledgeable about and how do you recommend a beginner to learn it?

Postby Phantom Kat » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:20 am

Chung wrote:. In the words of phantomkat on Reddit (I'm pretty sure that she’s also on HTLAL) when using this course:

On Jan. 16, ’19 in “What’s the best text book you’ve ever bought for your language?” phantomkat wrote: The dialogues are pretty boring, and there’s outdated words from the 80’s, but those exercises. They have you translating from both languages, answering and writing questions, filling in missing words, and straight conjugating sometimes. After every chapter of exercises I feel like I leveled up or something. They seriously make you practice those grammar points well enough to be comfortable.

The readings after every chapter are also pretty cool. They are more challenging, contain new words not in your textbook, but still use the grammar structures you have studied. They are great for reviews.

If you pair this up with another course (like Assimil) you really feel like everything’s clicking into place.


I wholeheartedly agree with the above. The readings after every chapter that she's referring to (and are a little more challenging than what you get in the textbook) are found in the workbook.


Didn't expect to stumble upon my name when browsing the forum early in the morning! What a nice surprise! :D I've scoured your learning log and started using many of the Finnish resources you recommended, especially Suomi Taskussa.
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Re: Which language are you most knowledgeable about and how do you recommend a beginner to learn it?

Postby Flickserve » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:50 am

Cantonese - a beginner would probably better off learning Mandarin. :D
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Re: Which language are you most knowledgeable about and how do you recommend a beginner to learn it?

Postby SGP » Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:07 am

Flickserve wrote:Cantonese - a beginner would probably better off learning Mandarin. :D
Never heard of one of them being more difficult than the other. Any reasons?
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Re: Which language are you most knowledgeable about and how do you recommend a beginner to learn it?

Postby Flickserve » Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:56 am

SGP wrote:
Flickserve wrote:Cantonese - a beginner would probably better off learning Mandarin. :D
Never heard of one of them being more difficult than the other. Any reasons?


Cantonese 6 to 9 tones when speaking. Mandarin only four tones.

Spoken Cantonese differs greatly from standard written Chinese. Mandarin less so.
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Re: Which language are you most knowledgeable about and how do you recommend a beginner to learn it?

Postby Axon » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:17 am

Flickserve wrote:
SGP wrote:
Flickserve wrote:Cantonese - a beginner would probably better off learning Mandarin. :D
Never heard of one of them being more difficult than the other. Any reasons?


Cantonese 6 to 9 tones when speaking. Mandarin only four tones.

Spoken Cantonese differs greatly from standard written Chinese. Mandarin less so.


While I certainly agree, I think it's kind of funny that public perception has shifted over time. A few hundred years ago, people were saying that Cantonese was easier to pronounce (and sounded better, too) because it had fewer diphthongs and fricatives than Mandarin. At that time, of course, Mandarin wouldn't get you very far in the south anyway unless you were talking to public officials, and even then writing things down would be the best lingua franca.
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Re: Which language are you most knowledgeable about and how do you recommend a beginner to learn it?

Postby Xmmm » Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:34 am

How to Learn Italian


1. Do an introductory course. Duolingo is fine.

2. Sign up for News in Slow Italian. Do about 200 of the articles (they are very short). As soon as possible, switch to the 'fast' version of the recordings (still slower than normal).

3. Get a Netflix account. Watch 500 hours of TV. Watch a scene with no subtitles. If you don't understand it, roll it back and watch it with Italian subtitles. If you still don't understand it -- and it's critical to the story -- you can roll back and watch with English subtitles. But you have to limit the English subtitles to less than 5 minutes in a typical 45 program, so choose wisely.

4. Start reading. You can kindle books in Italian by shopping at amazon.it -- it will ultimately direct you back to purchase at amazon.com but you'll see more reviews and selection at amazon.it

5. Watch 500 hours more of TV. No subtitles.

6. Get a tutor at Italki for informal conversation. Once a week is enough.


At this point you'll actually be pretty good at Italian (B2ish), except your grammar will still be a bit shaky. If it bothers you, study a grammar book to your heart's content. Otherwise, watch more TV and read more books.


This same method will work for Russian as well, but takes six times as long ...
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Re: Which language are you most knowledgeable about and how do you recommend a beginner to learn it?

Postby garyb » Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:28 am

Xmmm wrote:3. Get a Netflix account. Watch 500 hours of TV.


I like your method, but how does one find 500 hours of Italian TV on Netflix? Last I checked, it had two native Italian series with one season each which are both on the challenging side (Suburra, Baby) and around ten films. I recently looked for series dubbed into Italian since I'm trying to get the most out of my account, and I checked a dozen or so Netflix "original" series from the last few years but none had Italian audio. I'm actually considering cancelling my account since Italian's my main focus at the moment and there's so little content. There might be more choice if you can access Italian or US Netflix, and perhaps I was just unlucky in my choices, but it still seems like quite a challenge.
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Re: Which language are you most knowledgeable about and how do you recommend a beginner to learn it?

Postby lavengro » Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:41 pm

garyb wrote:
Xmmm wrote:3. Get a Netflix account. Watch 500 hours of TV.


I like your method, but how does one find 500 hours of Italian TV on Netflix? Last I checked, it had two native Italian series with one season each which are both on the challenging side (Suburra, Baby) and around ten films. I recently looked for series dubbed into Italian since I'm trying to get the most out of my account, and I checked a dozen or so Netflix "original" series from the last few years but none had Italian audio. I'm actually considering cancelling my account since Italian's my main focus at the moment and there's so little content. There might be more choice if you can access Italian or US Netflix, and perhaps I was just unlucky in my choices, but it still seems like quite a challenge.


I don't know about Netflix in your part of the world, but I found using "audio in Italian" in the search function to be the most productive approach, rather than other search terms referencing Italian such as "Italian Movies," "Italian TV," etc. In Canada, quite a bit of sometimes unexpected stuff has the option of Italian audio (and subtitles), including a number of Netflix productions such as House of Cards, Birdbox, Black Mirror, Maniac, Narcos, Ozark, Stranger Things, Bodyguard, The Crown, Grace and Frankie, The End of the F***ing World, etc.
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Re: Which language are you most knowledgeable about and how do you recommend a beginner to learn it?

Postby Xmmm » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:04 pm

lavengro wrote:
garyb wrote:
Xmmm wrote:3. Get a Netflix account. Watch 500 hours of TV.


I like your method, but how does one find 500 hours of Italian TV on Netflix? Last I checked, it had two native Italian series with one season each which are both on the challenging side (Suburra, Baby) and around ten films. I recently looked for series dubbed into Italian since I'm trying to get the most out of my account, and I checked a dozen or so Netflix "original" series from the last few years but none had Italian audio. I'm actually considering cancelling my account since Italian's my main focus at the moment and there's so little content. There might be more choice if you can access Italian or US Netflix, and perhaps I was just unlucky in my choices, but it still seems like quite a challenge.


I don't know about Netflix in your part of the world, but I found using "audio in Italian" in the search function to be the most productive approach, rather than other search terms referencing Italian such as "Italian Movies," "Italian TV," etc. In Canada, quite a bit of sometimes unexpected stuff has the option of Italian audio (and subtitles), including a number of Netflix productions such as House of Cards, Birdbox, Black Mirror, Maniac, Narcos, Ozark, Stranger Things, Bodyguard, The Crown, Grace and Frankie, The End of the F***ing World, etc.


As lavengro says, searching on "audio in Italian" helps. You can also change your base language to Italian and pick up a few more entries that way also.

I don't watch too much authentic Italian TV because RAI geoblocks me, but on Netflix I've seen: 72 Most Dangerous Animals: Latin America, Wanted, Bad Blood (what life is really like in Canada and Speakeasy tries to cover up), Frontier, several seasons of House of Cards, Dirty Money, Rotten, Godless, Bodyguard, Secret City, American Crime Story, etc. There's a lot.

The situation for FIGS is basically TV paradise. For Russian, I have to go to YouTube and watch episode #1 of four different bad series in order to find something like невский or Ленинград 46.

Oddly enough, Netflix has a ton of stuff in Turkish -- not only real Turkish shows, but even a few dubs. And the real Turkish shows usually come with closed captioning.
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