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Moses McCormick’s admirable achievement

 Language Learning Forum : Lessons in Polyglottery Post Reply
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laoshu505000
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4320 days ago

121 posts - 231 votes 
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 41 of 221
04 March 2009 at 5:56am | IP Logged 
Yea you're right about that. Sadly enough, I'm going to have to decrease my hours of study due to some other things that came up on my schedule. I will probably only get 3 hours of study now.

You're right about the material. If you don't have the right resources for learning a language, it can be a pain. I'm sort of having that problem with Georgian right now. I have some resources, but they aren't adequate for me to obtain the level which I'm aiming to obtain in this short period of time.

I've never tried those older courses you've mentioned.I'm sure they must be just as good as the modern ones.

Moses McCormick
1 person has voted this message useful



jondesousa
Tetraglot
Senior Member
United States
goo.gl/Zgg3nRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4768 days ago

227 posts - 297 votes 
Speaks: English*, Portuguese, Japanese, Esperanto
Studies: Latin, Mandarin, Spanish

 
 Message 42 of 221
07 March 2009 at 2:10pm | IP Logged 
Hi Moses,

Thank you for the reply. I really appreciate your suggestions for journal use. I have begun implementing it into my studies.

I would like to share with you the resources that I use to study Japanese, but I think a little history would be worthwhile too. I am currently 27 years old, I began studying Japanese about 2 years ago; however, I had never studied a language previously so I feel that I was at a disadvantage as I had no idea how to approach studying languages.

My reason for choosing Japanese (in hindsight, not an easy first foreign language to learn) was because of my interest in the Japanese martial art Iaido. I have been studying it for about four years now and have been wanting to learn Japanese to both communicate with other practitioners as well as to read some literature on the art written by old masters all written in Japanese.

My journey began with a book called "Japanese for Busy People 1" and Pimsleur Comprehensive Japanese 1, 2, and 3. The Pimsleur series helped immensely with my pronunciation and when I went to Japan last year on a business trip, My hosts were seemingly very impressed with my accent. Japanese for Busy People was a good starting point, but it definitely was too simplistic a book. I then stumbled across Japanese for Everyone, which is a much more comprehensive introductory study book. It took me about 6 months to get through. I then stumbled across James Heisig's "Remembering the Kanji" which I used in conjunction with the Reviewing the Kanji website "www.kanji.koohii.com". This helped me to learn to write and understand the meaning of many kanji and has helped tremendously with my studies.

Since then, I have been using Anki as a flashcard software along with the material from iKnow (www.smart.fm) where I am practicing my listening, reading, and writing skills, mostly to learn new vocabulary and kanji readings. I also have been listening to the lower intermediate and intermediate podcasts from Japanesepod101.com. I am also frequently found listening to Crystal Kay, Utada Hikaru, orange range, etc. on my Ipod.

Things seem to be slow going, but I put an average of 4-5 hours per day studying (I also study Italian and Esperanto), but I wonder if my learning methods are still too coarse and inefficient at times. I definitely would appreciate any help via suggestions etc. Also if you could mention the specific resources you have used for Japanese as it may help me to better focus my attentions to achieve fluency more rapidly.

After I have improved my Italian and Japanese, I am hoping to start learning Brazilian Portuguese and French. At some point, I would like to learn Russian as well.

One other question, when you are studying a new language with a new script, do you generally use a romanized version of the script right away to get started quickly (as in Teach Yourself Japanese where no kanji/kana are used), or do you generally try to find resources where you are working directly in the new script? I have only worked in kanji/kana in Japanese and I wonder if that has been to my detriment.

Thanks again,

Jon

Edited by jondesousa on 07 March 2009 at 10:57pm

1 person has voted this message useful



laoshu505000
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4320 days ago

121 posts - 231 votes 
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 43 of 221
14 March 2009 at 3:37am | IP Logged 
Dear Jon,

Thanks for your reply.

       I think it's great that you have at least 4-5 hours to study a foreign language.I would consider that intensive study time. You could actually break that time up for studying the language and practice what you've learned with native speakers.

       I think it's good that you've used many resources for learning Japanese. Japanese pod is a very good site for learning Japanese. I like how they have things set up. I would definitely recommend that for those who are studying the language on their own.

       As far as my resources, I've used many resources like yourself. Japanese for busy people was one of them. I have to concur, the book was very simplistic. I've used Japanese Pod off and on a few years ago, but haven't really listened to the pod casts. Schaum's Japanese grammar is very good. I've used that and it's helped me a lot with some Japanese grammar.Usually after I learn something new, I try to use it right away so that it sticks. I've used chat rooms so many times for doing that and it's helped me tremendously. I would also find opportunities where I could practice Japanese with a Japanese person face to face.

       As far as script, I like to learn the script while learning how to actually pronounce it. I don't believe in learning a romanized script first, then learn the actual character.You should learn both the pronunciation and the character at the same time.

       I hope I didn't miss anything. I look forward to talking with you again. Take care.



      Moses McCormick








jondesousa wrote:
Hi Moses,

Thank you for the reply. I really appreciate your suggestions for journal use. I have begun implementing it into my studies.

I would like to share with you the resources that I use to study Japanese, but I think a little history would be worthwhile too. I am currently 27 years old, I began studying Japanese about 2 years ago; however, I had never studied a language previously so I feel that I was at a disadvantage as I had no idea how to approach studying languages.

My reason for choosing Japanese (in hindsight, not an easy first foreign language to learn) was because of my interest in the Japanese martial art Iaido. I have been studying it for about four years now and have been wanting to learn Japanese to both communicate with other practitioners as well as to read some literature on the art written by old masters all written in Japanese.

My journey began with a book called "Japanese for Busy People 1" and Pimsleur Comprehensive Japanese 1, 2, and 3. The Pimsleur series helped immensely with my pronunciation and when I went to Japan last year on a business trip, My hosts were seemingly very impressed with my accent. Japanese for Busy People was a good starting point, but it definitely was too simplistic a book. I then stumbled across Japanese for Everyone, which is a much more comprehensive introductory study book. It took me about 6 months to get through. I then stumbled across James Heisig's "Remembering the Kanji" which I used in conjunction with the Reviewing the Kanji website "www.kanji.koohii.com". This helped me to learn to write and understand the meaning of many kanji and has helped tremendously with my studies.

Since then, I have been using Anki as a flashcard software along with the material from iKnow (www.smart.fm) where I am practicing my listening, reading, and writing skills, mostly to learn new vocabulary and kanji readings. I also have been listening to the lower intermediate and intermediate podcasts from Japanesepod101.com. I am also frequently found listening to Crystal Kay, Utada Hikaru, orange range, etc. on my Ipod.

Things seem to be slow going, but I put an average of 4-5 hours per day studying (I also study Italian and Esperanto), but I wonder if my learning methods are still too coarse and inefficient at times. I definitely would appreciate any help via suggestions etc. Also if you could mention the specific resources you have used for Japanese as it may help me to better focus my attentions to achieve fluency more rapidly.

After I have improved my Italian and Japanese, I am hoping to start learning Brazilian Portuguese and French. At some point, I would like to learn Russian as well.

One other question, when you are studying a new language with a new script, do you generally use a romanized version of the script right away to get started quickly (as in Teach Yourself Japanese where no kanji/kana are used), or do you generally try to find resources where you are working directly in the new script? I have only worked in kanji/kana in Japanese and I wonder if that has been to my detriment.

Thanks again,

Jon

1 person has voted this message useful



Akipenda Lugha
Diglot
Groupie
Canada
Joined 4242 days ago

78 posts - 82 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Swahili, Sign Language, Spanish

 
 Message 44 of 221
15 March 2009 at 6:50pm | IP Logged 
Hi Moses! I enjoyed watching your Swahili video. We're at about the same level though you've got an edge over me for vocab. Have you spent time in East Africa? I've spent 5 months there which was great for my Swahili, but I've been finding Swahili speakers (often Congolese who also speak French, which is nice) in my city in Canada, so I definitely still have opportunities to practice.
1 person has voted this message useful



laoshu505000
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4320 days ago

121 posts - 231 votes 
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 45 of 221
15 March 2009 at 10:00pm | IP Logged 
Akipenda Lugha wrote:
Hi Moses! I enjoyed watching your Swahili video. We're at about the same level though you've got an edge over me for vocab. Have you spent time in East Africa? I've spent 5 months there which was great for my Swahili, but I've been finding Swahili speakers (often Congolese who also speak French, which is nice) in my city in Canada, so I definitely still have opportunities to practice.


Hello there,

Thanks for viewing my video.

Actually, I have yet to visit East Africa,but inshaallah, I will get a chance to do so. Where are you originally from if you don't mind me asking.

Moses McCormick
1 person has voted this message useful



Akipenda Lugha
Diglot
Groupie
Canada
Joined 4242 days ago

78 posts - 82 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Swahili, Sign Language, Spanish

 
 Message 46 of 221
16 March 2009 at 12:40am | IP Logged 
Hi Moses, I’m a Canadian mzungu living in London Ontario. I study international development and a couple years ago I got a chance to spend a few months in Kenya working in a pretty small town. Then December 2008 I got to go back to Tanzania for 2 months. When I first went to Kenya I didn’t think too seriously about learning Swahili but by the end of it I had a good grasp of tourist essentials. Since then I’ve self-studied and my return to Tanzania was great fun and great practice. Personally I love the region, people are very friendly, its safe (especially Tanzania), and the pace of life suits me. I want to return either to do a masters thesis, to work, or just to see old friends, so I’m going to keep up the study, though I’ve taken on learning Spanish and upping my French in the mean time.

I’m curious, when do you decide on a language to learn? Being in Kenya, beginning to learn the grammar, and desiring to return became my motivation to continue studying, but if I haven’t visited somewhere and don’t know people who speak the language I don’t think I’d be moved to begin studying the language.

1 person has voted this message useful



jondesousa
Tetraglot
Senior Member
United States
goo.gl/Zgg3nRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4768 days ago

227 posts - 297 votes 
Speaks: English*, Portuguese, Japanese, Esperanto
Studies: Latin, Mandarin, Spanish

 
 Message 47 of 221
23 March 2009 at 12:38am | IP Logged 
Hi Moses,

I have another question for you regarding your study habits. I am curious if you use flashcards or SRS (spaced repetition software) of any kind. If you don't, how else to do you handle long term memory retention of langauage information (ie vocabulary,etc).

Thanks,

Jon
1 person has voted this message useful



laoshu505000
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4320 days ago

121 posts - 231 votes 
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 48 of 221
24 March 2009 at 7:25pm | IP Logged 

Hello there,

Sorry for the late reply. Well, I've never really been a fan of flash cards, but that could be a good way for learning vocabulary. Usually what I do is, whenever I think in the language, I would always have some words I wouldn't know so what I would do is look them up in a dictionary real quick then practice them, using them in my own sentences. If you do this, you should try and get a dictionary that has good examples on how to use this particular word. As I mentioned before, writing journals can also build vocabulary.

One program you could also use as a supplement is Rosetta Stone. I believe Rosetta Stone is a bit overrated, but it's good for vocabulary. I hope these are good suggestions. Take care my friend.

Moses McCormick











jondesousa wrote:
Hi Moses,

I have another question for you regarding your study habits. I am curious if you use flashcards or SRS (spaced repetition software) of any kind. If you don't, how else to do you handle long term memory retention of langauage information (ie vocabulary,etc).

Thanks,

Jon



1 person has voted this message useful



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