How I learned 5 languages without a single course
🖋️

How I learned 5 languages without a single course

Created
Aug 19, 2021 01:40 PM
Categories
Essay
VA
VA
Sources
Parent
Children
Due date
Last edited time
Nov 4, 2021 01:09 PM
Author
Dominic Zijlstra
Canonical
Created by
Description
To study vocab, don't memorize translations! Instead, create a vivid mnemonic story around each word, encoding its pronunciation, its spelling and its meaning. Make the story personal!
Duration
Featured
Featured
Hide Page Cover
Hide Page Cover
Last edited by
Publish on
Jun 13, 2021
Ready to Publish
Ready to Publish
Slug
Published to
About learning how to learn
About learning how to learn
Related to Time (Blog)
To decide what to learn, use the 80/20 principle. This means I learn the ~500 most used words in the target language.
 
To study vocab, don't memorize translations! Instead, create a vivid mnemonic story around each word, encoding its pronunciation, its spelling and its meaning. Make the story personal!
 
Then, use flashcards with pictures, not translations! Review at the optimal time with spaced repetition. On every review, visualize the story you came up with.
 
Next, learn grammar [...] gap sentences (answer: with). You can use the same sentence with different gaps to [...] all parts of speech (answer: practice).
 
Once you have the basics, the key to speaking fluently is mirroring. Find a person you like who is fluent in your target language. I used a uni friend for German, GF's for Portuguese & Chinese, colleague for French. A famous actor or cartoon character works too!
 
Pay close attention to how they speak, and try to mirror their way of speaking whenever you use your target language.

Sign up for our free email course and newsletter

Get high value superlearning tips, and stay up to date with our latest articles, podcasts and course offerings

Get Free Newsletter