Headaches galore. Russian is even worse. This is one of the reasons I continue to put it off. All the above from just sentences! Here are two more: I must give it to him. I want to give it to her.
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These two are to see if auxiliary verbs exist, or if the end of the each verb changes. Learning the variations of a half dozen verbs gives you access to all verbs. If these auxiliaries are expressed as changes in the verb often the case with Japanese instead of separate words Chinese, for example , you are in for a rough time in the beginning. If possible, I will have them take me through their alphabet, giving me one example word for each consonant and vowel.
Think Portuguese is just slower Spanish with a few different words? Think again. I recommend you get some ice for your mouth and throat first. The Russian Phonetic Menu, and…. Reading Real Cyrillic 20 Minutes Later. Chinese fails since tones multiply variations of otherwise simple sounds, and it also fails miserably on phonetic systems.
If you go after Mandarin, choose the somewhat uncommon GR over pinyin romanization if at all possible. Long story short, this is because tones are indicated by spelling in GR , not by diacritical marks above the syllables. Picking your target is often more important than your method.
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Thanks to Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration. Like Liked by 6 people. The more ways or options you have to learn languages, the higher the chance is that you find a way that you like and this helps you to increase your speed of learning. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on how to learn a language, it increased my language learning skills. Like Liked by 1 person.
Great post Tim! Good point about being selective in choosing a language first. I have decided to learn Spanish in 3 months.
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After those 3 months, I will go to Spain and live for a week without speaking english. And videotape some pickup videos where I hit on spanish girls in spanish. Not meaning to generalize, either, but there seems to be generalities needed. I was reading information on Euskara Basque this week for example, in preparation for a trip to Northern Spain in December. I myself have been reading your blog since a client told me about reading your book.
Granted, people with a 4-hour work wee often have more time on their hands that other businesspeople may not have — but these 4-hr people may not have the finely-tuned multiprocessing mind that you so obviously have. In short, your brain runs very hot and at extra speed.
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Back to the languages — I have just returned from almost 5 weeks in Shanghai, where I picked up a modicum of Chinese, probably a combination of Mandarin and Shanghainese and odd-assorted dialect pronunciations thrown in. I never fully got a handle on the language because its permutations were so vast — who was speaking what language? I have even spent the last week back here in the states getting some things translated into Chinese — weeding through Mandarin and Shanghainese idioms to recreate the feelings of the phrases.
Your brain works on overdrive, Tim, and at least there are a few of out there sometimes on the same page with you! Like Like. I live in China, and have done for some years. I currently live in a small city of about 1 Million about 3 hours drive North East of Shanghai. The city is part of a bigger city. Both languages have similarities but they are not the same.
Likewise in Shanghai; one area will have a similar language to that of another area but not the same. The phonemes will be different and the grammar too, but the meanings will be very similar. Those similar languages will be thousands of years old though affected by cultural changes, i.
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A person native of Shanghai could master all of the Shanghai languages providing they heard them from early youth but if not they would not and would need an interpreter as is true of all local languages of the world. Putonghua is bridging language of which local variations exist for local bridging purposes such as in a big city as Shanghai or Beijing or the biggest of them all, Chongqing. In Shanghai the most common language will be Putonghua as the people speaking it will be non native residents of Shanghai as Chinese cities have a majority of non native residents. But, living in Shanghai one will find that the local Shanghai language is very common and many people trying to speak it creating even a greater number of local dialects.
Such is true in any country. To really grasp Shanghainese you really need to go live there and find the common denominators of it, that is, the most common usages of it in a range of geographical locations. I have found that to be true in the 4 large Chinese cities I have lived in; Qingdao, Zhengzhou, Shenhzhen, and Hong Kong, over 7 years.