Tips for learning language

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SilenceMonkey
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Tips for learning language

Post by SilenceMonkey »

I find this blog called Hacking Chinese has some awesome tips for how to learn foreign languages, not only chinese!

hackingchinese.com

Does anyone else have favorite sources for language learning tips?
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Hazel
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Re: Tips for learning language

Post by Hazel »

What a wonderful journey to be on! I'm currently learning Tibetan.

Biggest language learning tip is to set propper expectations. Language learning takes years and years.

Second biggest piece of advice is to distinguish between learning a language and time spent learning about learning the language or language golfing.

In the end like buddhist practice you just got to do it :-).

Happy Pride month to my queer dharma siblings!
Punya
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Re: Tips for learning language

Post by Punya »

Hazel wrote: Tue Dec 08, 2020 6:03 am
Biggest language learning tip is to set propper expectations. Language learning takes years and years.
Yep. I have to keep reminding myself it's a marathon, not a sprint.
Hazel wrote: Tue Dec 08, 2020 6:03 am
Second biggest piece of advice is to distinguish between learning a language and time spent learning about learning the language or language golfing.
Also agreed. There are efficient and inefficient ways of learning language though.

I'm still finding the tips in the book mentioned in this thread very useful.

https://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=36186
We abide nowhere. We possess nothing.
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PeterC
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Re: Tips for learning language

Post by PeterC »

You have to think in the target language. Don't allow everyday thoughts to be expressed in your native language. This means you have to limit yourself to simple thoughts for a while, or learn a lot of vocabulary very fast.
Arnoud
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Re: Tips for learning language

Post by Arnoud »

I haven’t read it yet but I recently bought a book called Fluent Forever which is supposedly very helpful.
SilenceMonkey
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Re: Tips for learning language

Post by SilenceMonkey »

PeterC wrote: Fri May 07, 2021 11:14 am You have to think in the target language. Don't allow everyday thoughts to be expressed in your native language. This means you have to limit yourself to simple thoughts for a while, or learn a lot of vocabulary very fast.
Mmm, yeah. I found that when learning language, the language needs time to incubate in the mind. So it's best not to go back to your mother tongue or engage with another language during this incubation period. Best if you can cut off all contact with other languages and fully immerse yourself, but that can be tricky to arrange. Speaking or listening to a different language tends to reset the brain, reorienting it to the new language. So if you want to stay in an mental atmosphere of immersion, after you interrupt your target language (eg. chinese) with english, you can then do the same by interrupting english with chinese. This can get you back on the road.

I also find this is true with Dharma and non-Dharma. We can interrupt the flow of non-Dharma with Dharma itself.
SilenceMonkey
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Re: Tips for learning language

Post by SilenceMonkey »

Thanks for the book suggestions!
Punya
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Re: Tips for learning language

Post by Punya »

Arnoud wrote: Fri May 07, 2021 12:20 pm I haven’t read it yet but I recently bought a book called Fluent Forever which is supposedly very helpful.
Yes, that's the book I'm reading. It has a lot of really useful ideas.

In terms of electronic flashcards, Quizlet seems to have the best Tibetan resources. There are quite a lot of Tibetan sets. Some are geared to particular language programs and some, of course, are better than others.

The Tibetan Language Institute also sells physical flashcards focused on classical Tibetan. They have a short video on Youtube explaining the best way to use them.
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Punya
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Re: Tips for learning language

Post by Punya »

PeterC wrote: Fri May 07, 2021 11:14 am You have to think in the target language. Don't allow everyday thoughts to be expressed in your native language. This means you have to limit yourself to simple thoughts for a while, or learn a lot of vocabulary very fast.
Immersion language learning does seem like the ideal. Unfortunately none of us are going to get to visit our target countries anytime soon. Esukhia offers Tibetan immersion online, but at a cost.
We abide nowhere. We possess nothing.
~Chatral Rinpoche
SilenceMonkey
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Re: Tips for learning language

Post by SilenceMonkey »

Punya wrote: Fri May 07, 2021 8:24 pm
PeterC wrote: Fri May 07, 2021 11:14 am You have to think in the target language. Don't allow everyday thoughts to be expressed in your native language. This means you have to limit yourself to simple thoughts for a while, or learn a lot of vocabulary very fast.
Immersion language learning does seem like the ideal. Unfortunately none of us are going to get to visit our target countries anytime soon. Esukhia offers Tibetan immersion online, but at a cost.
Esukhia is pretty cheap, I think. Online classes in Dharamsala usually go for $5/hr, which is better than you'll find elsewhere.

It's also possible to find a random Tibetan and ask them if they want to do language exchange, or know anyone who does. Often they will. If you're affiliated with a tibetan center, maybe the local tibetan lama or khenpo would have friends with Dharma training who want to learn english and can talk with you about Dharma in Tibetan.
PeterC
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Re: Tips for learning language

Post by PeterC »

Punya wrote: Fri May 07, 2021 8:24 pm
PeterC wrote: Fri May 07, 2021 11:14 am You have to think in the target language. Don't allow everyday thoughts to be expressed in your native language. This means you have to limit yourself to simple thoughts for a while, or learn a lot of vocabulary very fast.
Immersion language learning does seem like the ideal. Unfortunately none of us are going to get to visit our target countries anytime soon. Esukhia offers Tibetan immersion online, but at a cost.
Don’t have to go abroad to do this
Punya
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Re: Tips for learning language

Post by Punya »

PeterC wrote: Sat May 08, 2021 1:06 am
Punya wrote: Fri May 07, 2021 8:24 pm
PeterC wrote: Fri May 07, 2021 11:14 am You have to think in the target language. Don't allow everyday thoughts to be expressed in your native language. This means you have to limit yourself to simple thoughts for a while, or learn a lot of vocabulary very fast.
Immersion language learning does seem like the ideal. Unfortunately none of us are going to get to visit our target countries anytime soon. Esukhia offers Tibetan immersion online, but at a cost.
Don’t have to go abroad to do this
I probably just need to understand the methodology better. Is there a book or a website you can recommend?
We abide nowhere. We possess nothing.
~Chatral Rinpoche
PeterC
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Re: Tips for learning language

Post by PeterC »

Punya wrote: Sat May 08, 2021 4:25 am
PeterC wrote: Sat May 08, 2021 1:06 am
Punya wrote: Fri May 07, 2021 8:24 pm

Immersion language learning does seem like the ideal. Unfortunately none of us are going to get to visit our target countries anytime soon. Esukhia offers Tibetan immersion online, but at a cost.
Don’t have to go abroad to do this
I probably just need to understand the methodology better. Is there a book or a website you can recommend?
No book or website.

It’s very simple, though hard at first. Just do all your internal dialog in the target language. When you hear someone talking, translate that into the target language. When you want to say something, think it first in the target language. You need a vocabulary of a few thousand words to do this, but you can’t really do much in any language with less than that
Punya
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Re: Tips for learning language

Post by Punya »

PeterC wrote: Sat May 08, 2021 10:09 am
Punya wrote: Sat May 08, 2021 4:25 am
PeterC wrote: Sat May 08, 2021 1:06 am

Don’t have to go abroad to do this
I probably just need to understand the methodology better. Is there a book or a website you can recommend?
No book or website.

It’s very simple, though hard at first. Just do all your internal dialog in the target language. When you hear someone talking, translate that into the target language. When you want to say something, think it first in the target language. You need a vocabulary of a few thousand words to do this, but you can’t really do much in any language with less than that
Thanks for taking the time to explain further. It does reinforce my previous language learning experience and it's good to highlight it. I did find a few online articles as well. Like you say, best done when you have a reasonable vocab.
We abide nowhere. We possess nothing.
~Chatral Rinpoche
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FiveSkandhas
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Re: Tips for learning language

Post by FiveSkandhas »

This is a good way to dip your toe into things if you are a relative beginner. It presumes that you have at least some ability under your belt. It's especially good for those who might have some proficiency with modern Chinese characters (either through knowledge of Chinese or through knowledge of Japanese kanji) but can't read classical texts:



Also recommended for the beginner:
"One should cultivate contemplation in one’s foibles. The foibles are like fish, and contemplation is like fishing hooks. If there are no fish, then the fishing hooks have no use. The bigger the fish is, the better the result we will get. As long as the fishing hooks keep at it, all foibles will eventually be contained and controlled at will." -Zhiyi
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Tips for learning language

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Although I have learned to speak enough Spanish and Mandarin Chinese to converse effectively, I have never reached a point where it is truly spontaneous, where I don’t have to translate it I my mind first, where I am directly “thinking” in that language. I’m not sure everybody can do this. It reminds me of playing a musical instrument in that regard. Some kinds I can just play a tune on. Others, I have to consciously tell myself what to do next for each note.
My son is very clever with words and also enjoys learning different languages. But he has - disability which causes a difficulty with expressive speech, even in English. It’s just hard for his brain to put together a full sentence.
I think, learning a foreign language can be challenging for a lot of reasons we don’t fully understand yet.
EMPTIFUL.
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SilenceMonkey
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Re: Tips for learning language

Post by SilenceMonkey »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Sat May 08, 2021 2:01 pm Although I have learned to speak enough Spanish and Mandarin Chinese to converse effectively, I have never reached a point where it is truly spontaneous, where I don’t have to translate it I my mind first, where I am directly “thinking” in that language. I’m not sure everybody can do this. It reminds me of playing a musical instrument in that regard. Some kinds I can just play a tune on. Others, I have to consciously tell myself what to do next for each note.
My son is very clever with words and also enjoys learning different languages. But he has - disability which causes a difficulty with expressive speech, even in English. It’s just hard for his brain to put together a full sentence.
I think, learning a foreign language can be challenging for a lot of reasons we don’t fully understand yet.
I think you're probably right... To effectively learn a language would probably require understanding our own psychologies. And some psychologies may be more well-equipped to learn language, for one reason or another.
FiveSkandhas wrote: Sat May 08, 2021 11:29 am This is a good way to dip your toe into things if you are a relative beginner. It presumes that you have at least some ability under your belt. It's especially good for those who might have some proficiency with modern Chinese characters (either through knowledge of Chinese or through knowledge of Japanese kanji) but can't read classical texts:
Maybe we should add onto these the John Kieschnick series (offered free):
https://religiousstudies.stanford.edu/p ... t-writings
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FiveSkandhas
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Re: Tips for learning language

Post by FiveSkandhas »

SilenceMonkey wrote: Sat May 08, 2021 9:02 pm


Maybe we should add onto these the John Kieschnick series (offered free):
https://religiousstudies.stanford.edu/p ... t-writings
Wow.

That's fantastic!

:anjali:
"One should cultivate contemplation in one’s foibles. The foibles are like fish, and contemplation is like fishing hooks. If there are no fish, then the fishing hooks have no use. The bigger the fish is, the better the result we will get. As long as the fishing hooks keep at it, all foibles will eventually be contained and controlled at will." -Zhiyi
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