Hi All! Do you have any resolutions or goals for language learning in 2021? If so, please post them here!
Personally, I'm going to be busy with other language related activities, like finishing my Tagalog Grammar book, possibly designing an audio program, and possibly starting to write a general language learning book. So I'll be pressed for time.
I will definitely maintain my existing languages though. And if I have time after all that, I'd like to start Portuguese. I'd like to learn it and vacation in Brazil, assuming travel restrictions will be dropped :)
As a free user, when you start a session you get the pop-up, but after you close it you will be able to click once on words to get a definition without getting the pop-up again. You should be able to click more than once, which changes the color, on up to 20 words per day. After 20 words, clicking more than once will bring up the pop-up again.
Sorry for the problems with Vietnamese. I was able to get it to work here. Could you try it again please, just to make sure? If it fails, please let me know your browser/os/device and we will try to reproduce it. (edit - I just looked at your screen shot, and I wonder if my passage is incorrect; I don't speak Vietnamese)
Hello everyone, this is an important announcement so please read. People who join Language Tools on or after June 1, 2020 will have to pay $5/month for a premium membership to use the Reading Tool in its fullest capacity. Current members, and those who join before June 1, will be free premium members for life. So please tell your friends, especially those who have been considering joining, that this is the best time.
Free members who join after June 1 and use the Reading Tool will still be able to read the text, listen to the audio and get click definitions, but won’t be able to download transcripts, import/export vocabulary, edit passages etc. For a full comparison please see the pricing page.
Not only is the reading tool extremely convenient for reading any article you want to upload, but we also have lots of material in the library, and it grows daily. Non-members can now browse the library without having to join: https://languagetools.io/reading
I still can't watch it, either on Youtube or in the Reading Tool
Oh, I didn't realize this was created by an OPLingo content creator; I thought it was just a normal member. My guess is that it got toggled to private after he imported it. I can't modify it; it's only good for reading now.
We used to have no limit, but that lead to long loading times for certain large shared public-domain texts. So we finally decided to put a limit on it. I written a ticket to increase the limit to 100kb, and to discuss breaking large texts up into individual passages. I'll ask the technical team what they prefer, but my initial thoughts are to break them into 100kb pieces, and put the entire audio file in each passage. Would that work for you?
Yes. Methods, meaning every little thing we do in the process of learning a language, are so incredibly complicated that it's probably impossible to say one is "the best". But there are lots of studies comparing various techniques (a much smaller subset of a method) that I find quite interesting. I don't agree with every conclusion I read, but they give me good ideas and answer questions I've had sometimes.
Wow - it’s been 2 years since I’ve written an entry, so here’s an update. Although I didn’t follow all the way through with my original plan above of doing spurts of several months in each languages, I was able to partially reach my goal. The good news is that I now speak all my languages at a level that I’m happy with, and I’m able to use them instantly on demand. The bad news is that I’m still studying them more frequently than I’d like to.
If you’ll recall, I want to be able to maintain the level that I now enjoy by studying a single language every other day. I study 9 languages, so the period between languages would be 9 X 2 = 18 days. I have been experimenting with the period as mentioned this post of mine in language-learners:
I'm maintaining 9 languages, all of which I believe are B2/C1. Some are better than others, and thus require less maintenance. I study Spanish/Thai once every 24 days, Japanese/Mandarin/Russian/French 12 days, Korean/Swahili 6 days, and Tagalog once every 2 days (mainly because I'm also writing a textbook for that language tbh).
Because of my time consuming writing activities, I'm not "learning" any new languages, so I'm experimenting with the optimal period for each language. How do I know when the period is too short? I struggle having an impromptu conversation in that language, and sometimes experience interference.
I'll relate an experience I had with Swahili. I learned the language 20 years ago to a B1 level, then dropped it completely for 17 years. Last December I relearned it for 3 months, with techniques I'd acquired since dropping it, to prepare for a trip to Tanzania, and reached a low B2 level. Tagalog, my newest language, suffered really bad in the mean time; terrible interferrence from Swahili. After coming home from Tanzania, I put Tagalog on a 2 day schedule and Swahili on a 12 day schedule. Tagalog recovered in about a month. 6 months later, Swahili was in pretty bad shape, so I switched it with Tagalog. After only 2 sessions, Swahili was fine again and started to interfere with my Tagalog once more. So I put Swahili on 6 days, and Tagalog 2. I'm fortunate enough to have the flexibility of changing my schedule to optimize these right now.
What do I do in my maintenance sessions? Conversation, reading some text that also has audio, watching part of a movie/TV show. I write (scriptorium) in my languages that have different scripts. With my weaker languages I may also study grammar, write an essay, etc. I typically spend 2-3 hours total.
The chart shows the current period vs the goal. Although it doesn’t look too bad, my goal is to study 3.5 times/week, but the current periods above require me to study 9 times/week! On the plus side, I’m doing it and it’s working fine because I’m stuck at home now. Also, as those who follow me know, the total hours I spend studying per week, 18 to 27, is a light load for me. I still have a goal, though, of studying only 10 hrs/week, because I will be able to maintain that even during my most extensive travels. Reaching that goal will ensure that I have all 10 languages where I want them to be for the rest of my life. It’s my dream.
And there’s more good news. I have messed around with the learning periods to ensure that no language deteriorates, and the combination above works really well for me. But actually, I feel there is a very gradual improvement going on in most if not all of my languages. The most noticeable of these has been French. Here is a note that I sent to a friend last week:
I told my last French teacher that my French sucks because I stopped studying it daily only one year after starting it. I've been saying this out of habit and realized that it wasn't true as soon as it escaped my mouth. This was at the beginning of our conversation, and she said "No way. Your French is great. It's at least C1 if not C2 up to this point." I said that's because we hadn't talked for long, and we continued to talk. At the end of the lesson she told me she thought my level was at a very minimum B2 but probably better. Now I'm regretting not having started my remaining European languages earlier, since they take so little effort to improve in.
The remaining European languages that I’m talking about are Portuguese, German and Italian. I am very tempted to start Portuguese now, because I have the time. But I will likely wait until I have finished the final re-write of Tagalog Lite (my Tagalog Grammar book). Here is a note I wrote to my proofreader about the book:
I finished the first re-write, but decided to create a word frequency list for colloquial Tagalog using the 110 six-minute conversations I have on this site and do a final rewrite based on it. The list is back from my freelancer and being tweaked by me now, so I should start the final rewrite shortly.
I spent a huge amount of time on the first rewrite (500+). I’m guessing the final rewrite will take at least 300hrs, and then it will be time to go through review/editing, do all the new audio recordings, flashcards, etc., which will probably double that time. It’s a big job, and if I don’t do it now it may escape from me.
However, I may compromise. After getting into a rhythm writing the book, I may feel that I can afford spending 2-3hrs a day studying Portuguese. I may need to reduce the maintenance on my other languages to pull it off; that remains to be seen.
Is there supposed to be audio when clicking on Thai words in the Reading Tool?
We are limited to what Google provides us with. And for some languages, like Thai, although Google Translate has audio, the version that we are allowed to use doesn't. I don't know the reason for this discrepancy, but I will write a ticket to have the technical team check if there has been an update recently.
In the US, the "Southern" accent is sometimes considered to be unsophisticated. Historically it was spoken in southern states, like Texas, Alabama, Georgia, etc. But the accent is quickly morphing into a more homogenous accent that seems to resemble the west coast accent (at least to my ears).
I noticed that several passages in the library, made from videos imported from youtube, did not have any text. I investigated, and found out that importing auto-generated text from youtube videos was broken. I wrote a ticket, and our technical team found that google had changed their page structure, and they fixed the problem. Sorry for any inconvenience that caused you.
I stumbled upon this last month and thought I would share it. It’s a video of a chart showing the number of speakers of the most spoken world languages as it changed from 1900 to 2020.
I’m definitely a language nerd. Although it’s very straight-forward, I find the video really interesting. This is in part due to my desire, beginning about 15 years ago, to be able to speak to most people on the planet in their native tongues. So I’ve kept my own informal chart over the years, showing which percentage of the world’s population I can talk to.
The chart in the video is different, but it’s cool that I can speak 4 of the top 5 languages. I also think it’s interesting how certain languages have changed rank over the past 120 years. For example, English surpassed Mandarin about 6 years ago.
Another thing I noticed is that Wikipedia finally updated their List of languages by total number of speakers. For instance, they’ve put English first. And they’ve finally admitted that Swahili is spoken by nearly 100m people, making it 14th overall. They always used the number of native speakers before, rather than total speakers, due to lack of data I assume, so it was way down the list. There are still obvious problems though. They are only listing 45m Filipino speakers. I don’t know where that number came from – there are 110m Filipinos, and probably 99% of them speak Filipino. Oh well; at least they’ve made some progress.
I went directly to the url (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmaCZ_2aa_c), and it was private from where I am, so I shouldn't be able to load the video/text into the reading tool. This is expected behavior.
Are you saying that you can watch the video from where you are, but you can't load it in the reading tool?
It's an interesting read all right, but it's just one guy's experience. I'd like to see some studies and some actual empirical data before I take that 6-month break from Korean.
I didn't suggest you should take a six month break. I had years of study, thousands of hours, and an intermediate level in those languages before taking my breaks. In addition, I was feeling frustration, so the breaks were a good choice for me. After reading this article, you can decide for yourself whether taking a break is a good idea, and if so, how long.
This is for the reading tool. It pulls word definitions from Google Translate, but it will also have the option of giving you definitions from your favorite dictionaries. So if you have suggestions of dictionaries to add, please list them here.
You may have heard me say from time to time that if your highest priority is conversing in your L2, then conversation should be your most valued source for learning. I’m not saying it should be the only source, but pound per pound I believe it’s the best source.
To be fair, I think it does depend on what stage you’re in. Beginners may not have the skills required to do what I’m suggesting. Also, this stage goes by quickly and seems to be handled nicely by the wealth of beginner learning material out there. Advanced learners may already be very good communicators and everyday conversation might not tax them enough. In addition, they are much more likely to use native material to improve. The remainder is the period I’m talking about – the long intermediate slog. That’s when I suggest learners should really focus on conversation.
Here’s an example of what I’m recommending: taking notes during a conversation, writing down items your partner says that you don’t understand, writing down things you didn’t know how to say, and memorizing/reviewing these items before your next conversation. I’ve found this to be my single most effective exercise to improve my vocabulary and grammar in actual conversations.
But what about reading and listening? It probably doesn’t surprise you that I recommend reading transcripts of and listening to actual conversations. I think it’s more effective for improving your conversation than reading and listening to non-conversation items (news, books, TV scripts, text messages, etc). Don’t get me wrong – there is a time and place for reading and listening to those things and they are very helpful. I’m not going to get into the other items here; read and listen to everything but let the core of your method be conversations if your main goal is to improve your conversation.
The problem is – where do you get these conversations? You could have your personal conversations transcribed and recorded so that you could read and listen to them. That’s a good start, but it’s a pretty time-consuming task. Also, vocab/grammar would be limited compared to a conversation between two native speakers, so it may be better suited to the beginner period. And as I said above, the beginner period is handled pretty well with existing beginner materials.
That’s why we’ve created LT Conversations. These are conversations between two native speakers. We use a mixture of female-male, female-female and male-male for variety, but each conversation is between two native speakers and about six minutes long. We make 100 of these for each language selected, which gives you about 10 hours of reading and listening to actual conversations. I hope this will be enough to prepare the learner for real native material. To be clear, I’m not saying I expect the learner to understand native material completely after finishing LT conversations; my goal is that they will have the base needed to start to dig into native material designed by natives for natives. In theory, “learning” material should no longer be required.
While creating these, I had a hard time trying to figure out whether they were intermediate or advanced. I settled on intermediate mainly because it’s pretty much impossible to get people to talk to each other normally while covering the things I want them to cover, not talk on top of each other, not use loanwords and speak clearly without some reduction in difficulty. The voice actors tend to create some sort of script to satisfy all of my requirements, even though I’ve asked them not to. I could probably work with teams more closely and intensively to get a more advance product, but that would be more expensive and time consuming, so they are what they are. Good intermediate conversations.
Now I should mention that one of the sweetest things about these conversations is that they’re located in our reading tool already to go. Put your cursor over a word and a definition will pop up; click it and it will change state and color and you can add new definitions. This makes reading much more accessible. As I hinted above, this reading/listening is meant to be just a component of your learning method. I recommend that if you’re going to be memorizing and reviewing vocabulary and grammar you should get them from your personal conversations. But that’s not to say you can’t do it with these conversations - you can go into your own vocabulary database in the reading tool, manicure it, export it to anki etc, if that’s what you want to do. But I personally prefer to let the mouseover definitions and shading do the work for me, read as seamlessly as possible without too many interruptions, and put my memorizing and reviewing efforts into my personal conversations.
I could probably increase it about 25% without it being too annoying on desktop. I assume mobile is ok for you. I will also ask that the "used in sentences" text size be increased.
These changes are done. Also, you may not have know that split/join functions are available, but only if you're the owner of a passage. The good news is all you have to do to become the owner is make a copy. We are now showing the click/join buttons and prompting the learner to make a copy if they aren't the owner. Before this recent change we weren't doing that, so few people were using the functions. The functions are extremely helpful so hopefully more people will discover them.
Honestly, it's the right size for me now. I could probably increase it about 25% without it being too annoying on desktop. I assume mobile is ok for you. I will also ask that the "used in sentences" text size be increased.
Progressing a bit slower on Anki... i've been spending over an hour a day on it and it gets to be a drag. Anki is fun when you know the content, but when you run into blocks (I'm awful at numbers and dates)... and the same cards pop up over and over and over... it makes it not so fun. I'm considering suspending those cards.
Sounds like the right thing to do.
I've agreed to use teacher Abbey A. here on the website for one conversational class once a week for several weeks. Although she is Chinay her accent is very standard and she got approval from several users I showed her video to. I like her a lot, I've already had one class with her and we mostly discussed PH life but that was weeks ago.
Isn't she great? I've had a couple Chinese classes with her, and tons of Tagalog classes. She is always interesting to talk to, and low pressure.
Thanks for your suggestion! Learnlanguages.com is taken. But the problem with using "generic" terms like that is the traffic can get easily hijacked (intentionally or not) by the many other language learning sites out there. Judging from a google search of "Learning Languages", we would be competing with duolingo and rosetta stone - a competition that we can't win. That is why we are looking for something unique.
We are considering making it save everything except the text, title, audio/video. The tech team asked this: "Is there a reason ileri only wants language though? Maybe it's the only thing he/she keeps setting however it could be because they change the other things?"
We’d like your help in renaming Language Tools. We are rebranding to improve our SEO. Several people have pointed out that we are somewhat difficult to find with search engines, and that we show up well down the list.
We have a short list of names for you to vote on. But first I want to give you the opportunity to add to the list. You may post names here, or pm them to us. Here are the guidelines:
• Somehow related to language learning
• Available with a .com extension
• Available for cheap (not “parked” or “for offer”)
• Unique enough to rise to the top in a search
• Catchy enough to be easy to remember
I will give you all 1 week to submit names, then I will reveal the final short list and let you vote on them in a poll. You can post names in this thread, or pm them to us.
Mobile App Vastly Improved
After a lot of great suggestions from the community, and hard word from our development team, the reading tool is working really well in the Mobile App now. Here are some of the changes we made:
It was brought to our attention that our free plan for the reading tool wasn’t as generous in some areas as our competitors. Well it is now. Amongst many other things, a free user can now get unlimited basic word look-ups. There are still restrictions on enhanced word look-ups; here is a complete comparison of Free vs Premium features. Please invite your friends to try us for free.
Welcome to the forum Gregory! I think how useful corrections are, or what type of corrections we should use, depends mostly on our individual learning plans.
For example, I learn every facet of a language by myself, with the exception of conversation. My plan requires me to take responsibility for my own learning. To make progress using this method, I had to accept that I actually need to learn – knowledge will not be bestowed upon me. Amongst other things, this requires self-correction; I am constantly aware of (some of) my errors. So when I converse, I don’t like to be corrected. I’m already aware of errors I’m making, and having someone pointing out even more, or the same errors, doesn’t help me. However, sometimes we truly don’t understand each other, or I’m curious about some word or grammar, so I ask questions and take notes. In summary, self-correction and questions during conversation are all the corrections I need. More would be less efficient.
say a sentence in baby speak with incorrect grammar and pronunciation etc and then the person repeats it with the right grammar and pronunciation and then I repeat what they say
create a sentence and someone is instantly correcting something I just said, or interrupting me, and making me repeat everything
I dislike the first correction method you mention, and absolutely hate the second. But the first one may be really good for you, depending on your language plan. That correction method fits someone relying on another person to teach them vocabulary and grammar, or someone who doesn’t do/isn’t interested in self-correcting. I think most people like the first method; I’m an oddball haha.
when I uncheck the checkbox next to the languages to indicate that I am not actively learning them, I would expect the chat tab to not display the unchecked languages in the "Is Learning" column. I guess this is a bug/wrong behaviour. See pictures below Edit: I just realized that you can toggle them in the column itself, but I feel like both these settings should be the same attribute in the database, as they seem to have the same function
This isn't a bug or wrong behavior imo. At one time it was connected to chat, but now the check box is there only to display a language as "learning" under your avatar (forum and write & correct). Chat languages are toggled on/off in chat only. I have written a ticket to clarify the purpose of the checkbox, but there are more disadvantages than advantages to try to connect it to chat.
Nice video! Did you know that you can use the youtube button on the menu to embed them?
I just watched part of it, but regarding pronunciation, the stress is always on the 2nd to last vowel in Swahili. Sometimes people will stylize words by putting stress elsewhere (like TanzAnia), but it's pretty rare. And for ki/vi nouns, singular/plural prefixes are either ki/vi or cha/vya, depending on the roots.
Hi everyone. As you know, the community voted to have German Conversations created. It took me a while to find voice actors, but we finally started it. Here is the first conversation - what do you think?
Big thank you to Leosmith and the team. I have really been enjoying studying with the Thai conversations posted so far.
Glad you like them! We actually have 65 recorded so far, but we are waiting for transcription. Usually one team does everything, but this guy didn't want to do the transcripts. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to have him record them though - his team and recording studio are much better than anyone else who submitted a demo.
Great videos Ali! I was very impressed with your Spanish level after 3 months. Of course I liked what you had to say about Swahili too. I "relearned" Swahili for 3 months around the beginning of the year. I did some lessons in Teach Yourself and Foundation but found myself coming back to Simplified Swahili again and again. It's the best grammar resource imo.
I realize you're not asking for recommendations here, but you might want to give one of our Swahili Conversations a try. They are intermediate but quite comprehensible according to several users. Imo they are more interesting and realistic than the short lessons I've seen.
I'm pleased to announce that we have completed 4 more languages (Tagalog, Mandarin, Spanish, Russian), have 3 more in work (French, Cebuano, Thai) and one in recruiting (German). Shout out to the teams for all their hard work!
There is quite a lot of discussion on the internet about the importance of pronunciation. It’s not necessary to have native-like pronunciation, but your pronunciation should be good enough so that a native speaker will understand you easily. I recommend really trying to sound like a native, within the time allotted for pronunciation in a well balanced language plan, and leaving it at that if you are easily understood. But try to be very honest with yourself regarding how well your pronunciation is understood. Recording yourself and sharing with others is a brutal but very good way to check your understandability. Fossilized pronunciation errors can be very painful to fix, so work hard on it in the beginning.
My experiences with Thai pronunciation. I’m going to talk about Thai now because I made lots of mistakes with it, and learned a lot about pronunciation in general in the process. I started using a textbook. The textbook explained pronunciation thoroughly, which is impressive because Thai is a tonal language with varying vowel lengths. They defined and used their own transliteration system too. The text came with audio, which was also pretty good. The text introduced the writing system gradually. I did the bare minimum regarding reading and writing. I didn’t even do the reading exercises in the back of the book. I had never learned a non-latin script before, and was very intimidated. Fortunately, I found the transliteration easy to understand. But I pretty much ignored tones and vowel length. When I listened to the audio, I didn’t really like the way the natives pronounced, so I just repeated the sentences in my own way. I went to Thailand for a long vacation, and was not understood at all. I was shocked – I’d been learning Thai for 9 months, and it was a total waste of time. This was all due to bad pronunciation.
I came home and decided to hire a Thai tutor. She helped me pronounce one vowel I was having trouble with. She stressed the importance of tones, and I was able to make three distinct tones without much effort. Unfortunately, there are five tones, and I still wasn’t distinguishing between long and short vowels. This was not the teacher’s fault. I still didn’t believe these things were so important, so I didn’t want to make the effort to fix the problem. The next trip to Thailand I was understood to a degree, but still frustrated. I could produce vocabulary and grammar correctly and fluidly most of the time, but I was only understood about half the time.
I returned home again. Over the next few years I got to where I was producing four tones, and doing a little better with my vowel length. I was understood most of the time now, but still had some very frustrating moments where I would say a sentence or even just a word that I knew was right, but got blank stares. This was not because my face is non-Asian. After analyzing things when I cooled off, it was usually a vowel length problem, but sometimes that missing fifth tone.
It wasn’t until the last 2 or 3 years that I decided to make a serious effort to get my tones and vowel length straight. I stopped reading for speed. Now I read as fast as I can with correct pronunciation. I write now, because Thai is sort of phonetic, which means if I can remember how to spell it I can remember how to pronounce it. Why am I struggling so much? Because I’ve been learning Thai for over 10 years now. I’m roughly at the B2 level, and know thousands of words. So I’ve probably been mispronouncing well over 1000 words for many years. That’s called fossilization, and it’s time consuming and tedious to fix. But it’s not impossible. Last time I went to Thailand, I was well understood. I still have problems, but my pronunciation is much better.
So please work on pronunciation from the start. Avoid fossilization. I get this feeling of regret when I realize how good my Thai pronunciation could have been now if I had just cared in the beginning. When you do your pronunciation, follow the steps in Synergy, and make an effort to copy every single aspect of the sound. Of course you won’t have perfect pronunciation after these exercises, but caring about it from the beginning will make a huge difference down the road.
Chinese & Japanese pronunciation – an exception to Step 1 of Synergy. During your pre-learning research for Chinese or Japanese, you are bound to find out that you will have to learn thousands of characters. This is the type of “unique aspect” I was talking about that requires additional thought, or a different approach. Step 1 of Synergy requires you to learn the orthography while you learn the pronunciation of words. That would be very time consuming for these languages. I don’t recommend putting all other aspects on hold until you learn all the characters and their pronunciations. Instead, use transliteration (pinyin for Mandarin, kana for Japanese, etc). This is one of the few cases where transliteration is ok. Remember that, if the language has them, learning tones and their sandhi are absolutely required at this stage. Other than that, just follow Step 1. How you eventually integrate actual characters into your study plan will be left for another post.
Thai pronunciation – another exception to step 1 or 2? Thai doesn’t have an alphabet; it has an abugida. But that’s just a technicality. It’s fairly phonetic, so based on that it would seem logical that it wouldn’t take much time to learn. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. It’s unlike any other alphabet I’ve worked with. It consistently tops the list of the world’s hardest alphabets in the forum discussions I see. It’s unlikely that you will be able to read correctly pronounced single words with confidence in less than 50 hours of study. And reading sentences often requires that you know the individual words, due to the lack of spaces between words. If you don’t know where the word breaks are, you can’t pronounce correctly. I think a person who has successfully learned a language with a different script before could spend under 100 hours up front with Thai script and avoid using transliteration. But for all others, I recommend using transliteration at first, and weaning themselves off of it as they learn the script, vocabulary and grammar in parallel.
Does delaying speech lead to better pronunciation? As I’ve mentioned in other posts, you absolutely must listen to the correct native pronunciation before repeating it in Steps 1 and 2. Reading before listening is probably the main cause of incorrect pronunciation. So delaying speech until after you hear the pronunciation is critical. But I occasionally hear that you should just listen to the language, for several dozen to several hundred hours depending on the pundit, before doing anything else. And one of the benefits they claim the learner will get is native like pronunciation. I remember when I started learning Mandarin several years ago, several forum members tried to convince me that I needed to listen for at least 700 hours before doing anything else, otherwise my pronunciation would be terrible. Well, I didn’t do it, and my pronunciation is fine. Most of the people I read about who try this live to regret it. The few I have read about who do it and still believe it’s a good idea don’t claim to have significantly better pronunciation. Therefore, due to all its other benefits, I believe starting speech early, as spelled out in Synergy, is a better method.
Don’t model after songs or non-natives. When you are in the early stages of learning a language, you want to use standard native audio to model your pronunciation on. Although I have read lots of people recommend you start learning languages by listening to songs, I think it’s a bad idea. If singing is the main source of your pronunciation, then you can very easily develop the same kind of non-standard speech that you hear in the songs. This is especially true of tonal languages - singers change tones to match the surrounding lyrics and it's understood in the song, but people won't understand in conversation. Of course it’s ok to listen to target language music; just don’t use it to model your pronunciation on. Also, don’t mimic non-native or non-standard speakers in your formative stages if your goal is standard speech.
Learn the linguistics of pronunciation. I admit to knowing almost nothing about linguistics. In the past few years, having studied so many languages, I’ve begun to realize how helpful it would have been to know the linguistics of pronunciation. There are times when I’ve practiced a sound until I’m blue in the face, and still get it wrong. The idea that knowing the linguistic terms for a given sound, along with the audio, will allow the linguist to produce the sound correctly is very appealing. For example, I know what the term “aspirated” means. After producing and aspirated consonant, I can feel a puff of air if I put my hand in front of my mouth. I can’t after an unaspirated consonant. I learned that Thai consonants at the end of a word aren’t aspirated, and knowing that helped my pronunciation. Many Thais have trouble pronouncing English words that end in an aspirated consonant. When I explain aspirated to them, their pronunciation improves. I believe knowing some linguistics would be very useful to the aspiring (no pun intended) polyglot. Although I wish I learned some earlier, I hope to study it in the future.
I don't read anything aloud, because I've been doing input only.
I always encourage people to learn orthography and pronunciation together before they do anything else to capture their full potential in pronunciation. Reading before being able to pronounce correctly can fossilize errors, because even though you may not realize it, you are assigning pronunciation to words that may not be correct. Reading out loud is a great way to counter this; if you check your pronunciation, you are essentially preventing yourself from "cheating". And even after you get fairly good at pronunciation, reading out loud safeguards us from getting sloppy and subconsciously assigning incorrect sounds to words.
Good question. If you ask 10 people, you'll probably get 10 different techniques, haha. I like to listen to them all the way through, read all the way through, then listen again. Sounds similar to your method. When I read them, I always read out loud. You?
If I feel like working on my pronunciation, I will read a sentence, listen to the audio, and repeat if I was off. Sometimes I'll work through the whole passage doing that - I used to do it a lot with French, which has really confusing orthography (to me). But I haven't done it for a while.
I have some budget left for Tagalog conversations, so I need about 25 new topics. They should not be about sex, politics, religion or corona (too depressing, lol). Also, no duplicate topics. Here is what we have conversations for so far:
Tagalog Conversations 001 Trip to Boracay
Tagalog Conversations 002 Holidays
Tagalog Conversations 003 Tribes in the Philippines
Tagalog Conversations 004 Dating
Tagalog Conversations 005 Snakes
Tagalog Conversations 006 Trip to Palawan
Tagalog Conversations 007 Taking the Bus
Tagalog Conversations 008 Climbing Mt. Apo
Tagalog Conversations 009 The Market
Tagalog Conversations 010 Adobo
Tagalog Conversations 011 Banaue
Tagalog Conversations 012 Your Hometown
Tagalog Conversations 013 Physical Exercise
Tagalog Conversations 014 Animals
Tagalog Conversations 015 Gifts
Tagalog Conversations 016 Friends
Tagalog Conversations 017 Rain
Tagalog Conversations 018 Music
Tagalog Conversations 019 Leisure Time
Tagalog Conversations 020 Sleep
Tagalog Conversations 021 Popular Websites
Tagalog Conversations 022 Weekends
Tagalog Conversations 023 Flowers
Tagalog Conversations 024 City life
Tagalog Conversations 025 Noise
Tagalog Conversations 026 Family life
Tagalog Conversations 027 Photographs
Tagalog Conversations 028 Birds
Tagalog Conversations 029 Cooking
Tagalog Conversations 030 Dance
Tagalog Conversations 031 Shopping
Tagalog Conversations 032 Secondary school
Tagalog Conversations 033 Restaurants
Tagalog Conversations 034 Letters
Tagalog Conversations 035 Television
Tagalog Conversations 036 Radio
Tagalog Conversations 037 Travel
Tagalog Conversations 038 Bicycles
Tagalog Conversations 039 Weather
Tagalog Conversations 040 Movies
Tagalog Conversations 041 Clothes
Tagalog Conversations 042 Languages
Tagalog Conversations 043 Primary School Years
Tagalog Conversations 044 Visitors
Tagalog Conversations 045 Musical Instruments
Tagalog Conversations 046 National Parks
Tagalog Conversations 047 People's Ages
Tagalog Conversations 048 Computers
Tagalog Conversations 049 Meals
Tagalog Conversations 050 Drawing
Tagalog Conversations 051 reading
Tagalog Conversations 052 games
Tagalog Conversations 053 emails
Tagalog Conversations 054 transportation
Tagalog Conversations 055 telephones
Tagalog Conversations 056 sports
Tagalog Conversations 057 newspapers
Tagalog Conversations 058 housework
Tagalog Conversations 059 local parks
Tagalog Conversations 060 seasons
Tagalog Conversations 061 names
Tagalog Conversations 062 gardens
Tagalog Conversations 063 teachers
Tagalog Conversations 064 art
Tagalog Conversations 065 archeology
Tagalog Conversations 066 internet
Tagalog Conversations 067 food
Tagalog Conversations 068 fruit
Tagalog Conversations 069 evenings
Tagalog Conversations 070 mornings
Tagalog Conversations 071 Parties
Tagalog Conversations 072 Swimming
Tagalog Conversations 073 Writing
Tagalog Conversations 074 Plans and Goals
Tagalog Conversations 075 Going Out
Tagalog Conversations 076 Vegetables
Tagalog Conversations 077 Advertisements
Tagalog Conversations 078 Driving
Tagalog Conversations 079 Time
Tagalog Conversations 080 Neighbors
Tagalog Conversations 081 plays
Tagalog Conversations 082 magazines
Tagalog Conversations 083 collecting
Tagalog Conversations 084 subsistence farming
Tagalog Conversations 085 colors
Tagalog Conversations 086 flying
Tagalog Conversations 087 the ocean
Tagalog Conversations 088 meeting people
Tagalog Conversations 089 painting
Tagalog Conversations 090 concerts
Tagalog Conversations 091 science
Tagalog Conversations 092 outdoors activities
Tagalog Conversations 093 handmade things
Tagalog Conversations 094 numbers
Tagalog Conversations 095 happiness
Tagalog Conversations 096 meat
Tagalog Conversations 097 children
Tagalog Conversations 098 Mosquitos
Tagalog Conversations 099 toys
Tagalog Conversations 100 weddings
Tagalog Conversations 101 Typical Mistakes (mistakes that foreigners make in the language and culture)
Tagalog Conversations 102 Taste in Media (How people's personal taste in media has changed over time and how it compares to broader trends)
Tagalog Conversations 103 Home/Car Disasters (for example, the times a machine ate your money and gave you no coffee, something got stuck despite you pushing the right button, car broke down, door got stuck, heating didn't work, etc)
Tagalog Conversations 104 Clothes and Shoes (for example, what type of shoes do you want, what qualities do you want from the skirt you're looking for, etc)
Tagalog Conversations 105 Food you Like or Dislike (what it is, how it is different from something else, etc)
Tagalog Conversations 106 finding a house (renting vs buying, getting approved, etc)
Tagalog Conversations 107 Funny stories from one's own childhood or a family member's childhood
Tagalog Conversations 108 Philippine Dogs
Tagalog Conversations 109 Market
Tagalog Conversations 110 Work Experience
Tagalog Conversations 111 Role of woman in society (any changes over time)
Tagalog Conversations 112 National impressions (opinions on neighbouring countries eg Indonesia, Japan and perception of immigrants from these countries living in Pinas)
Tagalog Conversations 113 dating and romance (bad dates, how the met a partner, breaking up etc),
Tagalog Conversations 114 worst job, easiest job
Tagalog Conversations 115 Scandals (well known national stories of business leaders or celebrities that fell from grace)
Tagalog Conversations 116 Big Moments (Famous moments in the country that you remember when they were a kid or an adult and what it was like to live through that at the time for instance some national sporting triumph, flood etc.)
Tagalog Conversations 117 Pm2.5 (What can be done to prevent farmers from burning? They are poor and it is cheaper and easier for them do it so they won't stop unless the punishment is severe or if there are rewards for doing it safely. What should be done?
Tagalog Conversations 118 Relationships with Foreigners (How do most thais view pinoy/foreign relationships?)
Tagalog Conversations 119 Auto Fatalities
Tagalog Conversations 120 Change 3 things (If you could change any 3 things about modern pinoy culture/society/government what would they be)
Tagalog Conversations 121 Scams in the Philippines (that tourists should be aware of)
Edit: Many people are nominating languages that are already in work. To see which languages are in work, check here.
Also, many people are nominating languages that are already nominated. To see which languages are nominated, look at the list on the bottom of this post.
Would you like to have 100 natural conversations, text and audio, in the language you are studying? We have created these already for several languages; see if yours is here already. It is a time consuming, costly process to make these, so we are adding them slowly. I selected the last group of languages based on how busy the language is at LT – how many passages have already been created, and how many users are studying it. But this time I’ve decided to let you users vote a language in. First, please nominate one (1) language by posting below. After a week, I will make a poll and ask you all to vote. Good luck in advance!
Nominated so far:
Edit: polling has started here. It was pointed out that I forgot Persian, so I added it after the poll was created.