Online Language Learning

Mi #23f: 11:26. Busuu HQ
(Photo credit: teoruiz)

Fortunately, Internet exists today and it helps a lot in our daily activities. The internet is also a tool to learn language nowadays. There are several language learning websites or forums. For instance, Busuu, iTalki, Livemocha, and LingQ. Language learning has become so much easier and more efficient with the existence of the internet and websites, as well as forums.

You just need to register to the website and start to find a language partner or take language lessons. You can chat or talk on Skype. You even can submit your writing composition or audio assignment to be corrected by native speakers. It is so easy to find native speakers or people who are learning the same language with you.

Google Translate



I just found an interesting article from Yearlyglot about language learning, which is using Google Translate. I know that Google Translate cannot always be reliable, but at least it helps in some circumstances. So, the idea works in this way: You will first need to make friends with the native speaker or people who are fluent in the language that you are learning. Write a composition in your language and translate it using Google Translate into the language you are learning. Then, you will learn from the corrections given by your native speaker friends.

Translate Back and Forth between Languages

welsh lost in translation roadsign funny
(Photo credit: DrJohnBullas)

You may translate a text from a foreign language into your native language in order to understand the meaning. If the translation is good, you may get the meaning. Otherwise, it will give you confusion. This is caused by the differences in grammar, including sentence structure, terminologies, and the cultural aspects behind the foreign language.

Before translating back and forth between languages, you need to have the knowledge about those languages. Translating to your native language may be easier; however, you need to use the proper grammatical rule and word when you translate into a foreign language. Some languages share the same word for different meaning. You should be aware of the confusion that may exist from those languages. 

Is Memorizing Effective?

(Photo credit: Expemo)

In the middle of my chat with a friend yesterday, she told me that she is struggling to memorize a list of English words. It came up to my mind about the effectiveness of memorizing as a way of language learning. Honestly, I did that before when I was at school. There was a joke of people memorizing the words are only when they are facing the exam. They will forget what they have memorized after the exam.

Is Writing Better Than Typing ?


I just realized about the importance of writing when I was practicing Chinese characters writing as part of an assignment from my language teacher. I always type the Chinese characters rather than writing them. Then, I realize that even though I can type the Chinese characters, I am lacking of writing ability.

Written Chinese characters do not give you a clue about the pronunciation in Chinese. You put the phonetics and choose the correct Chinese character when you type. On the other hand, when you write a Chinese character, you write the character without any phonetic.

Reading Chinese Text


When I was searching about learning Mandarin on the Internet, I found a very brilliant tip in reading Chinese text. This technique can be applied only by those who know Traditional Chinese phonetics (注音 zhuyin) So, here is the technique:

1. Go to Wazu site to find several Chinese font types.
2. Scroll down and download.

Steve Kaufmann's Secrets

Steve's YouTube Channel

You can find Internet almost wherever you go nowadays. It becomes the part of our lives. Internet is a great tool that you can utilize in your language learning process. You can find audio and video about language learning online and keep in your computer or any media devices. YouTube is one of many websites that play a great role in learning language. There are so many videos that have been uploaded about learning language, from tips and trick to the multilingual speakers (polyglot).

Watching Cartoon

(Photo credit: Diet And I)

I have just realized one little but important method, watching cartoons. Watching cartoons can be an effective way in language learning. Cartoons are targeted for kids, although there are a few cartoons for the grownups. Apart from cartoons, you can also choose kids TV programs. They usually have lighter topics; hence, they use simpler language in order to let the under-age viewers enjoy.

First, Forget About Grammar!

Chinese grammar by Fourmont, 1742.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You may have heard an advice not to learn grammar in the beginning or not to focus too much on grammar. This is obviously true because learning grammar may not keep you motivated. Moreover, grammar may cause boredom because of its abundant rules. It does not mean that grammar is not important. In fact, grammar is the foundation to build a perfect structure of sentences. You will learn about the grammar as you are learning to construct sentences. It will not be fun to spend too much time with grammar, instead of the cultural aspect of the language. You should be able to find a way to make your language learning fun. This will keep on motivating you in the progress. Good luck!

The Polyglot Project Interviews

(Photo credit: David Mansaray)

"The Polyglot Project", a collection of story about language learning was published in 2010. It comprises personal experiences, from learning methods to learning advice, of language enthusiasts and polyglots around the world. All of them gathered and contributed their time and efforts for this remarkable book.

Interviews

David Mansaray conducted interviews with ten amazing contributors of the book. They are listed as the following:

Learning by Doing

Girls learning the American Sign Language.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Language learning requires practice, practice, and practice. Continuous practice helps to improve your language ability rapidly and learning by doing is one of many good language learning methods. You may use the word or phrase that you have just learned in writing. And you may realize that you will need new words or phrases to complete the writing. Hence, there are two things that you can learn simultaneously — able to form sentences and to learn new word or phrase.

Use It Now!


I have been wondering about how the best way to start language learning is. Then, I did a small research by watching videos, browsing online, going to the library and I finally found out the way. Language teaching method at schools usually requires students to memorize words repeatedly. I find this way less interesting and less effective because students will tend to forget them quicker, instead of remembering them. 

Book Collection


Apart from playing guitar, another hobby what I have is collecting foreign-language books. Does it sound interesting? I have 11 languages so far, besides English, Chinese, and Indonesian. I got some of the books by exchanging with friends and some are free. I am glad to have kind friends that helped me in collecting books. I am certainly looking forward for more books.

The 11 languages are listed in the following:

Playing Around with Languages


Studying in the international program has let me experience the feeling of being in an international society, where students come from more than 60 countries around the world. The international program benefits me a lot in terms of language. I have learned that some countries in the northern Africa have Arabic or French as the official language, there are 11 official languages in South Africa, and Afrikaans is similar to Dutch as Swazi to Zulu or Xhosa. I have also learned that people in Haiti speak Haitian Creole, which is similar to French as well as learning about Pidgins, Creole, languages of countries in the Pacific Ocean, and many more things that are interesting.

Happy New Year 2011

(Photo credit: Wikimedia)

I hope that everything will be better in this New Year. "歐趴" or "All Pass" to all my classmates in the final exam next week.

Happy New Year 
Selamat Tahun Baru !!!
新年快樂 !!!
新年快乐 !!!
sen lin fai lo !!!
laimīgu Jauno gadu !!!
새해 복 많이 받으세요 !!!
unyaka lomusha lomuhle !!!

Your language is not in the list? That's because I don't know how to say it. :D How do you say "Happy New Year" in your language? And what is the next language you will learn? Thanks for reading this article. Share it with your friends if you like. If you have opinions, please leave a comment or send me a private message. Remember to subscribe this blog to be the first one to get new updates.
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