Learn 10 words a day

Lucien HAMM Vocabulary Tags: , ,
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Learning 10 words a day is easy and fast. It just takes about 15 minutes a day. Especially if you’re already familiar with the essential grammar.

 

In 6 months, you’ll learn 1325 words.

 

In a year, you’ll learn 3650 words.

 

You just need about 2000 words to speak fluently.

 

So you can reach a fluent vocabulary level in less than one year.

The main goal of any language

Lucien HAMM Success Tags: , ,
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A language is made to be spoken and to communicate with other humans. It’s that simple.

 

If your vocabulary knowledge isn’t perfect, it doesn’t matter. You can learn words and expressions every time you practice the language. You’ll always improve your vocabulary. Even natives do.

 

If your grammar isn’t perfect, it doesn’t matter. It’s not the most important. Locals will even congratulate you to speak their language at least. Not just a “catch-all” language like English.

 

If your pronunciation isn’t perfect, it won’t always be a problem. Having a strong accent doesn’t mean your pronunciation is bad. You don’t need to speak with a perfect native accent. Even native speakers have an accent when they come from another region.

 

If you can’t write the language, it’s not a problem. But you have to be able to read it at least to recognize and understand signs in the street.

 

The essential is to understand the speakers and to be understood by them.

Forget about your translator’s instinct

Lucien HAMM Translation, Writing Tags: , ,
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When we’re not used to learning new languages, we tend to translate a foreign language into ours. But it doesn’t work well most of the time.

 

A foreign language is called a foreign language because it’s a different language. Even if that language is very similar to another.

 

A literal translation doesn’t mean anything in 99 % of the cases. Some words and idioms don’t even have any equivalents.

 

The alphabet is different. Even if it’s basically the same. Just notice the differences between English, French and Spanish letters. Or between Czech and Slovak.

 

The vocabulary is different. At best, the words are the same in their written form. But they’re always pronounced differently.

 

The grammar is different. The syntax is not the same. The words order is not always the same either.

 

A human language is like a programming language. The way we code depends on the language’s concepts and its main philosophy.

 

It’s the same with a natural language. We have to think in that language to use it correctly.

 

So forget about your translator’s instinct.

 

Learning a language is learning to think in a different language.

 

Learning a language is learning to think in a different way.

Don’t rely on romanization!

Lucien HAMM Pronunciation, Writing Tags: , , ,
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If you want to learn a language with an exotic alphabet or characters, you have to learn the writing system. I know. It isn’t easy. Especially when we just want to learn to speak the language for a short trip.

 

But you can’t rely on romanization only. If you see letters in a foreign alphabet or characters in the street, you won’t be able to read and recognize them.

 

Otherwise, you won’t be able to think in the language.

 

It’s like if a Russian speaker learned French with Cyrillic transcription. A Chinese speaker won’t learn English or Arabic with phonetics characters.

 

Don’t worry about Chinese characters. Maybe they are hard to write. But there are basic rules to form them. 99 % of them are composed of 214 radicals.

 

Don’t worry about learning a new alphabet like the Arabic script or the Cyrillic system.

 

Just try to learn the two Japanese alphabets with the 2000 “required” kanjis. After that, any alphabet will be easy to learn.

 

You won’t learn Chinese with pinyin.

 

You won’t learn Japanese with romaji.

 

You won’t learn Korean with romaja. Moreover, the Hangeul alphabet is logical and easy to learn.

 

You’ll also install bad pronunciation habits. Not just because you’ll refer to your language’s pronunciation.

Time is just a matter of priorities

Lucien HAMM Success Tags: , , ,
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The lack of time is a usual excuse. When we don’t have time for a project, like learning a language or how to cook Italian food, we often have other priorities.

 

However, we have time to watch TV or to chat with friends and tell our life on Facebook.

 

You don’t have to spend 3 hours a day to learn a language. 10 minutes a day are sufficient.

 

Some sources will tell you to spends between 575 and 2200 hours according to a language difficulty. Don’t rely on it!

 

Just replace time-consuming (and uninteresting) activities by linguistic activities.

 

Did you know that an average person spend 3 hours 30 a day in front of a TV screen?

 

If you decide to get rid of it, you’ll win at least 3 hours 30 a day. In a year, you’ll win 1260 hours.

 

You’ll see. You won’t regret it. Between us, there are plenty of things more intelligent and interesting to do.

 

You can watch your favorite TV series in your target language in the original version.

 

You can read the news in your target language with Google News or websites like News in Levels.

 

You can also go out and meet real people from everywhere in a nice bar in your city.

 

Maybe you have free moments like the moment you wait for your bus, your turn at the supermarket or in the waiting room.

 

You can listen to a podcast in your car, read a book or use an app on the train, the bus or the metro.

 

You have so many free moments to practice your language. Even if you’re overbooked.

 

Time doesn’t have to be an excuse anymore. Time is just a matter of priorities.