To learn a language, you need to memorize a lot of vocabulary, and memorizing lots of vocabulary can be tricky. You’re faced with unfamiliar spellings and unfamiliar sounds, which makes foreign words significantly more difficult to remember than words in your native language. In this article, I’ll show you how to remember words more easily […]
Alphabets (and syllabaries) are the first barrier of entry to any new language. If you want to learn a language like Russian, you’re basically paralyzed until you’re familiar with its letters. But even if you’re learning a language with familiar characters, like Italian, you’re going to feel uncomfortable and wobbly at first; those familiar characters aren’t particularly […]
I’m an Anki nut. In some sense, I owe three of my languages to Anki. One of my favorite things about Anki is its flexibility; you can make flashcards in any way you choose. Once you’ve created and memorized a lot of flashcards (I recently passed 20,000 flashcards…geesh), you’ll start to notice that not all […]
We’ve covered grammar a few times in the past, but as I’m in the middle of writing the grammar chapter in my book, this might be a nice opportunity to go through grammar in some depth.
I’ve been fielding questions about my methods for Hungarian and how they might work for a less phonetic language like French, with multiple ways of spelling a single sound. Today, I made a 44-card sample deck for French, which you’re welcome to download and use as a model here. The sample deck includes 3 chunks: […]
Using the deck I made on Dec 21, it took me 9 days at <20 minutes/day to basically learn the sounds of Hungarian and the Hungarian alphabet. Total time spent: 4 hrs of deck creation, 2.5 hours of reviews over a 10 day period. This is working very well so far (and it’s a lot […]
A reader who was getting a pretty good vocabulary base asked me how to start developing a base in German grammar, and I took the opportunity to write out a pretty complete reply. The principles should apply to any grammar you’re learning (and if you don’t see how, please post a comment or email me […]
I keep addressing this question in various forum/comment discussions, but I should discuss it here, because it addresses a lot of issues in a lot of languages. The question is: How do I deal with a language that uses a pictographic alphabet like Chinese?