LinguaTrek - language learning http://www.linguatrek.com/taxonomy/term/29/0 en "I translated all the words, but I still don't understand!" http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2013/04/i-translated-all-the-words-but-i-still-dont-understand <div class="diag align-right" style="float: right; width: 160px; margin: 10px 0 10px 10px"><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/sites/www.linguatrek.com/files/imagecache/Large/image/2013/03/reading.jpg" rel="lightbox"><img src="http://www.linguatrek.com/sites/www.linguatrek.com/files/imagecache/Small/image/2013/03/reading.jpg" alt="Girl reading" title="Photo by Rachel Sian" /></a><div class="caption"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/28658690@N00/274158994">Photo</a> by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/rachelsian/">Rachel Sian</a></div></div> <p>I learned Polish primary by <a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2010/12/harry-potter-the-book-that-taught-me-polish">reading and listening to Harry Potter</a>. When I encountered a word I didn't know, I looked it up in the dictionary and made a flashcard.</p> <p>There's more to it, but that's the short version I usually put in my blog articles and videos. You can find the <em>whole story</em> in <a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/subscribe">my free ebook.</a></p> <p><strong>Many other people have tried similar methods with other language and have also been successful!</strong></p> <p>However, occasionally I get emails from people saying:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>I started reading Harry Potter in language X but your method doesn't work! I translated all the individual words but the sentence doesn't make logical sense and isn't understandable.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>(BTW, I've been trying to turn all the advice I regularly give over e-mail into articles on my blog, so I can just send links and <a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2012/03/email-problem-i-need-your-help">write fewer e-mails</a>.)</p> <p><strong>Read more for my response!</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2013/04/i-translated-all-the-words-but-i-still-dont-understand" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2013/04/i-translated-all-the-words-but-i-still-dont-understand#comments language learning mailbag Tue, 02 Apr 2013 17:30:00 +0000 David Snopek 248 at http://www.linguatrek.com How to find motivation that is POWERFUL enough to succeed! http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2013/02/how-to-find-motivation-that-is-powerful-enough-to-succeed <div class="diag align-right" style="float: right; width: 160px; margin: 10px 0 10px 10px"><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/sites/www.linguatrek.com/files/imagecache/Large/image/2013/02/valentines.jpg" rel="lightbox"><img src="http://www.linguatrek.com/sites/www.linguatrek.com/files/imagecache/Small/image/2013/02/valentines.jpg" alt="Girl with bow and arrow" title="Photo by martinak15" /></a><div class="caption"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/64636777@N03/6877840433">Photo</a> by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/martinaphotography/">martinak15</a></div></div> <p>I've written many times (because it's sooo important):</p> <blockquote> <p>The only way to fail to learn a language is to give up!</p> </blockquote> <p>Learning a language takes a lot of time and effort. Along the way there will be days when you want to give up!</p> <p><strong>In order to prevent that, you'll need strong motivation.</strong></p> <p>Not a weak, external motivation like getting a good grade or finding a new job (although, those can help you get started). You need truly POWERFUL, internal motivation.</p> <p><strong>But what if you don't have such a motivation (yet)?</strong></p> <p>I get lots of e-mails from people who really want to learn a language, but don't think they have the type of motivation necessary to succeed.</p> <p><strong>Luckily, it's possible to find motivation powerful enough to succeed... on purpose!</strong></p> <p>Today, I'm FINALLY going to explain one of the techniques that I've been recommending over e-mail for years.</p> <p><strong>Read more to find out what it is!</strong> </p><p><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2013/02/how-to-find-motivation-that-is-powerful-enough-to-succeed" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2013/02/how-to-find-motivation-that-is-powerful-enough-to-succeed#comments language learning motivation Tue, 19 Feb 2013 15:00:00 +0000 David Snopek 244 at http://www.linguatrek.com Get over your fear of speaking in a foreign language (without leaving your house!) http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2013/01/get-over-your-fear-of-speaking-in-a-foreign-language-without-leaving-your-house <div class="diag align-right" style="float: right; width: 160px; margin: 10px 0 10px 10px"><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/sites/www.linguatrek.com/files/imagecache/Large/image/2013/01/fear.jpg" rel="lightbox"><img src="http://www.linguatrek.com/sites/www.linguatrek.com/files/imagecache/Small/image/2013/01/fear.jpg" alt="FEAR" title="Photo by wilderdom" /></a><div class="caption"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/wilderdom/266650346/">Photo</a> by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/wilderdom/">wilderdom</a></div></div> <p><em>Have you ever tried to speak in a foreign language ... but your mind just went blank?</em></p> <p><em>Then afterwards the words simply came to you?</em></p> <p><strong>You are not alone!</strong></p> <p>Fear of speaking a foreign language is sooo common that psychologists have even given it name: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_language_anxiety">Foreign language anxiety</a>.</p> <p>According to linguistic Stephen Krashen - one of the foremost experts on how humans naturally learn languages - this anxiety has a strong <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Input_hypothesis#Affective_filter_hypothesis">negative impact</a> on your ability to use a language!</p> <p><strong>If you want to actually speak in the language you are learning, you will NEED to get over this fear.</strong></p> <p>However, it's almost never addressed directly in language learning courses!</p> <p>Today, I'm going to give you some tips for getting over your fear of speaking (without even leaving your house)!</p> <p><strong>Read more to find out how!</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2013/01/get-over-your-fear-of-speaking-in-a-foreign-language-without-leaving-your-house" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2013/01/get-over-your-fear-of-speaking-in-a-foreign-language-without-leaving-your-house#comments fear of speaking language learning Wed, 09 Jan 2013 15:00:00 +0000 David Snopek 226 at http://www.linguatrek.com Discover the PERFECT language learning goal for 2013! (3 simple questions) http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2013/01/discover-the-perfect-language-learning-goal-for-2013-3-simple-questions <div class="diag align-right" style="float: right; width: 142px; margin: 10px 0 10px 10px"><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/sites/www.linguatrek.com/files/imagecache/Large/image/2013/01/2013.jpg" rel="lightbox"><img src="http://www.linguatrek.com/sites/www.linguatrek.com/files/imagecache/Small/image/2013/01/2013.jpg" alt="Dog with 2013 hat" title="Photo by HackBitz" /></a><div class="caption"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/78341294@N00/8326634109">Photo</a> by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mgewalden/">HackBitz</a></div></div> <p><strong>Happy New Year! I hope you had a great holiday season. :-)</strong></p> <p>You may have noticed that I haven't published any articles for a few weeks. Instead I've been relaxing and reconnecting with friends and family. I've also been reflecting on my successes and failures from the previous year and <em>thinking about my goals for the new year.</em></p> <p>Like many people, I have tendency to set many, overly-ambitious goals for myself that are impossible to achieve. <em>Have you ever done this?</em> ;-)</p> <p>That's why this year I've decided to systematically choose only ONE PERFECT language learning goal. To be "perfect" it should:</p> <ol> <li><strong>Make a big difference</strong> in my language learning journey, and</li> <li><strong>Be <em>actually</em> achievable</strong>.</li> </ol> <p>In this article I present <em>three simple questions</em> that I used to choose the perfect language learning goal for me in 2013.</p> <p>Don't make any more empty promises to yourself!</p> <p><strong>Read more and use the same questions to discover the perfect goal for YOU!</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2013/01/discover-the-perfect-language-learning-goal-for-2013-3-simple-questions" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2013/01/discover-the-perfect-language-learning-goal-for-2013-3-simple-questions#comments language learning New Year's resolution Tue, 01 Jan 2013 15:00:00 +0000 David Snopek 224 at http://www.linguatrek.com Why my motivation failed (and how you can avoid the same pitfalls!) http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2012/12/why-my-motivation-failed-and-how-you-can-avoid-the-same-pitfalls <div class="diag align-right" style="float: right; width: 160px; margin: 10px 0 10px 10px"><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/sites/www.linguatrek.com/files/imagecache/Large/image/2012/12/failure.jpg" rel="lightbox"><img src="http://www.linguatrek.com/sites/www.linguatrek.com/files/imagecache/Small/image/2012/12/failure.jpg" alt="Statue with head in hands" title="Photo by Alex Proimos" /></a><div class="caption"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/34120957@N04/4199675334">Photo</a> by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/proimos/">Alex Proimos</a></div></div> <p>Motivation is probably the most important ingredient in successful language learning.</p> <p>I frequently get comments to my articles and videos complimenting my perseverance and motivation in learning Polish. But even now, I sometimes have problems with my motivation!</p> <p><strong>I don't like to fail. Nobody does! Especially not publicly. :-)</strong></p> <p>However, sometimes you can learn more from the failures of others than their successes. It's easy to believe that someone was successful because they are "special" or have an ingrained talent. It's important to see their failures too!</p> <p>Which is why I'm going to share a personal story with you about how my motivation failed - very recently, a few weeks ago.</p> <p><strong>Read more to find out how you can avoid the same pitfalls and renew your motivation!</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2012/12/why-my-motivation-failed-and-how-you-can-avoid-the-same-pitfalls" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2012/12/why-my-motivation-failed-and-how-you-can-avoid-the-same-pitfalls#comments language learning motivation Tue, 04 Dec 2012 15:00:00 +0000 David Snopek 222 at http://www.linguatrek.com Listen to my FREE audiobook about language learning in Polish! http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2012/11/listen-to-my-free-ebook-about-language-learning-in-polish <div class="diag align-right" style="float: right; width: 160px; margin: 10px 0 10px 10px"><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/sites/www.linguatrek.com/files/imagecache/Large/image/2012/05/nll-fauxbookstack-pl.png" rel="lightbox"><img src="http://www.linguatrek.com/sites/www.linguatrek.com/files/imagecache/Small/image/2012/05/nll-fauxbookstack-pl.png" alt="Cover of my ebook" title="" /></a></div> <p><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2012/03/our-big-announcement-we-need-your-help">Back in March</a> I decided to write a FREE ebook about language learning for YOU, the subscribers of my blog, in order to thank you for your support over the years.</p> <p>I planned the content based on over 1500 survey responses and HUNDREDS of emails and comments. By the time it was finally <a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2012/05/natural-language-learning-my-free-ebook-is-finished">published in May</a>, I can honestly say that it <em>really</em> was FOR YOU!</p> <p><strong>In the introduction, I write:</strong></p> <blockquote> <p>This ebook is for people...</p> <ul> <li>... who have spent years in traditional courses but still can't order in a restaurant, watch a movie without subtitles, or have a casual conversation with a native speaker.</li> <li>... who think that their course was too fast, too slow, or too boring.</li> <li>... who think they don't have a talent for learning language. (But, in truth, no talent is necessary! What you need is a good approach!)</li> <li>... who want to take control of their language learning journey and study using a method that will help them achieve their goal efficiently!</li> </ul> <p>In short, this ebook is for <em>normal</em> people who want to learn a language. It's not for language experts or polyglots.</p> <p>It's for the majority of <em>us</em> who have tried in vain to learn even one foreign language. Or for those who successfully learned one foreign language, but the process was so slow and painful they're looking for a better way to learn their second foreign language.</p> </blockquote> <p>Today, I'm happy to announce an <strong>updated Polish translation</strong> and an <strong>audiobook version in Polish!</strong></p> <p>Read more in order to listen to the introduction and find out how to download the full audiobook (or PDF, EPUB or MOBI)!</p> <p><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2012/11/listen-to-my-free-ebook-about-language-learning-in-polish" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2012/11/listen-to-my-free-ebook-about-language-learning-in-polish#comments audiobook ebook language learning Tue, 13 Nov 2012 15:30:00 +0000 David Snopek 218 at http://www.linguatrek.com Let's read in a foreign language! (a group project) http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2012/10/lets-read-in-a-foreign-language-a-group-project <div class="diag align-right" style="float: right; width: 160px; margin: 10px 0 10px 10px"><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/sites/www.linguatrek.com/files/imagecache/Large/image/2012/10/dogreading.jpg" rel="lightbox"><img src="http://www.linguatrek.com/sites/www.linguatrek.com/files/imagecache/Small/image/2012/10/dogreading.jpg" alt="Dog reading" title="Photo by Francisco Martins" /></a><div class="caption"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/65768710@N00/2200198472">Photo</a> by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/betta_design/">Francisco Martins</a></div></div> <p>Recently I've been so busy with Bibliobird and creating <a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2012/10/real-life-in-the-usa-our-product-for-learning-english-has-launched">our product for learning English</a>, that I had to put my Polish learning on hold.</p> <p>I learned Polish <a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2010/12/harry-potter-the-book-that-taught-me-polish">mainly from reading and listening</a> to books in Polish - <strong>but it's been MONTHS since I've read anything!</strong> And back in June I canceled all my <a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/tags/language-exchange">language exchange</a> meetings because I didn't have the time.</p> <p><strong>But now that our product is released, it's time to get back to Polish!</strong> I just got a new book (and audiobook!) based on a recommendation from a couple Bibliobird users: <strong><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cylinder_van_Troffa">Cylinder van Troffa</a> by <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janusz_Zajdel">Janusz Zajdel</a></strong></p> <p>Over the next <em>four weeks,</em> I'm going to be reading and listening to it using the method I <a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2012/04/natural-language-learning-without-a-teacher">describe in my FREE ebook</a> while publicly sharing my progress.</p> <p><strong>Have you been thinking of reading and listening to something in English, Polish or whatever language you're learning? <em>Read it along with me and share your progress too!</em></strong></p> <p>Two of the biggest challenges in language learning are:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Getting started</strong> - it's <em>sooo easy</em> to procrastinate, and</li> <li><strong>Staying motivated</strong> - REMEMBER: <a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2011/03/the-three-ingredients-for-successful-language-learning">the only way to fail, is to give up!</a></li> </ul> <p>I'm hoping that if we do this as a <em>group project</em>, it'll be a great excuse to start NOW! And sharing our progress with each other will help to keep us motivated.</p> <p><strong>Read more to find out about my plan and how YOU can participate!</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2012/10/lets-read-in-a-foreign-language-a-group-project" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2012/10/lets-read-in-a-foreign-language-a-group-project#comments group project language learning Tue, 16 Oct 2012 14:00:00 +0000 David Snopek 212 at http://www.linguatrek.com How to learn technical (or any specialized) language? http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2012/09/how-to-learn-technical-or-any-specialized-language <p><em>(Don't worry, this is an article with language learning advice! But I just wanted to let you know that my paid product to help Poles learn English - "Real Life in the USA" - is going to be launched on Monday, October 1st. Learn more <a href="https://en.bibliobird.com/node/14452">here</a> and get a discount!)</em></p> <div class="diag align-right" style="float: right; width: 160px; margin: 10px 0 10px 10px"><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/sites/www.linguatrek.com/files/imagecache/Large/image/2012/09/technology.jpg" rel="lightbox"><img src="http://www.linguatrek.com/sites/www.linguatrek.com/files/imagecache/Small/image/2012/09/technology.jpg" alt="Room with lots of computers" title="Photo by ClintJCL" /></a><div class="caption"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/clintjcl/3109105564/in/photostream/">Photo</a> by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/clintjcl/">ClintJCL</a></div></div> <p>I personally learned Polish by <a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2010/12/harry-potter-the-book-that-taught-me-polish">reading and listening to the Harry Potter books</a> in Polish. While a fantasty book like Harry Potter is great for learning general language, it won't be the best choice if your goal is to learn specialized language instead.</p> <p>In <a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2012/04/natural-language-learning-without-a-teacher">my free ebook</a>, I explain that you should pick content to learn from that uses the same type of language that you want to learn.</p> <p><strong>While that's great general advice, many people have trouble implementing it in practice!</strong></p> <p>In fact, I've received the following question <em>so often</em> that I decided it was time to write a complete article about it:</p> <blockquote> <p>How can I learn technical language? I want to learn how to write computer programs and most of the materials and documentation are in English. Is it possible to use the same method you used to learn Polish?</p> <p>Of course, there are no audiobooks for technical literature. But you wrote that <a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2012/01/the-importance-of-listening">listening is extremely important</a>! How can I do it?</p> </blockquote> <p>It's definitely possible to find good reading and listening resources for programming - and most other specialized language!</p> <p><strong>Read more to find out how!</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2012/09/how-to-learn-technical-or-any-specialized-language" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2012/09/how-to-learn-technical-or-any-specialized-language#comments language learning specialized language Tue, 18 Sep 2012 15:00:00 +0000 David Snopek 204 at http://www.linguatrek.com How to find a language exchange partner http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2012/08/how-to-find-a-language-exchange-partner <div class="diag align-right" style="float: right; width: 160px; margin: 10px 0 10px 10px"><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/sites/www.linguatrek.com/files/imagecache/Large/image/2012/08/searching.jpg" rel="lightbox"><img src="http://www.linguatrek.com/sites/www.linguatrek.com/files/imagecache/Small/image/2012/08/searching.jpg" alt="Man and boy searching for something" title="Photo by ll.wynn" /></a><div class="caption"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/23045955@N02/3267952345">Photo</a> by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/23045955@N02/">ll.wynn</a></div></div> <p>Two weeks ago <a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2012/08/4-tips-for-effective-language-exchange">I gave some tips</a> for starting a <em>language exchange.</em></p> <p>Language exchange is where you communicate (either <a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2011/02/immersion-tips-how-to-meet-natives#language-exchange">in person</a> or <a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2011/11/how-to-practice-speaking-over-the-internet">over the internet</a>) with a native speaker of the language you are learning, who is also learning your native language.</p> <p>In the comments, <a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2012/08/jak-prawid%C5%82owo-rozpocz%C4%85%C4%87-wymian%C4%99-j%C4%99zykow%C4%85#comment-2870">someone wrote</a> (translated from Polish):</p> <blockquote> <p>It's easy to look for more language exchange partners if your native language is English. After all, the whole world is learning that language. What to do if no one wants to learn Polish (<em>ed: this commenter's native language is Polish</em>). I don't think I'd find even one Swede who wanted to learn Polish.</p> </blockquote> <p>I've heard this opinion expressed many times before - basically every time I bring up language exchange.</p> <p>I agree it's harder if your native language is less popular. But it's definitely still possible to find someone online!</p> <p><strong>Read more for three tips on how to find a language exchange partner online!</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2012/08/how-to-find-a-language-exchange-partner" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2012/08/how-to-find-a-language-exchange-partner#comments language exchange language learning speaking Tue, 28 Aug 2012 15:00:00 +0000 David Snopek 200 at http://www.linguatrek.com Speaking strategies: Respond to everything! http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2012/08/speaking-strategies-respond-to-everything <div class="diag align-right" style="float: right; width: 131px; margin: 10px 0 10px 10px"><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/sites/www.linguatrek.com/files/imagecache/Large/image/2012/08/onthephone.jpg" rel="lightbox"><img src="http://www.linguatrek.com/sites/www.linguatrek.com/files/imagecache/Small/image/2012/08/onthephone.jpg" alt="Girl talking her cellphone" title="Photo by Eddy Van 3000" /></a><div class="caption"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/23566085@N00/4034975331">Photo</a> by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/e3000/">Eddy Van 3000</a></div></div> <p>In the <a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2012/04/3-steps-to-speaking-a-language-fluently-ebook-excerpt">introduction</a> to <a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2012/05/natural-language-learning-my-free-ebook-is-finished">my FREE ebook</a>, I mention that developing <em>speaking strategies</em> is a very important step in reaching "fluency" (although, I'm <a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2010/11/lets-stop-saying-fluent-fluently-and-fluency-too">not fond</a> of that word!) in a foreign language.</p> <p>But unfortunately, this wasn't the topic of the ebook so I didn't discuss it then - which is why I'm trying to focus on it on my blog now (see <a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/tags/speaking-strategies">previous articles</a>).</p> <p><strong>Some situations are more difficult to speak in than others!</strong></p> <p>Two of the most difficult are:</p> <ul> <li>Over the telephone, and</li> <li>In group of native speakers.</li> </ul> <p>Even though I've been learning Polish for over 5 years, I <em>still</em> personally have trouble in both of these situations. But the strategy I'm going to give you today helps tremendously!</p> <p><strong>Read more to find out what it is!</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2012/08/speaking-strategies-respond-to-everything" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.linguatrek.com/blog/2012/08/speaking-strategies-respond-to-everything#comments language learning speaking speaking strategies Tue, 21 Aug 2012 15:00:00 +0000 David Snopek 197 at http://www.linguatrek.com