I am curious what languages and how many languages are you learning? I am also interested in learning new languages in my spare time, can you share some good recourse, and the way you learn languages?
In my experience, the biggest obstacle for learning language is the lack of resource, especially the minority languages, there are few or even no learning material you can find, like Burmese, Mongolian, Swahili…
The most App are crude and simple, they applied the same content to all languages, so the learning content is not specifically designed to the specific language, hence it’s not the natural way the native speakers speak, just mention some here:Duolingo, Rosetta Stone… And some App are extremely tedious like Pimsleur, Glossika…
I just found “Fairy Tales” series channels on Youtube, they are not language learning channels but cartoon channels for kids, however there are English subtitles, I have watched some of them and learned something, it’s not a very ideal learning material, because the content is a little boring, and the Eng subtitles are sometimes inaccurate.
If people can share your language learning experience and the resource, I will really appreciate it.
Yeah, it’s really hard. Honestly , outside of living in the country you want to learn the language of for a bit( or doing a program where you learn the language while you are in the country for a couple months), then the next best bet is 1. Apps(like you said, they aren’t the greatest at translating into natural native speaking, but then again you are just trying to learn the basics in those settings) 2. College language course taught by a professor( most colleges and Community colleges have language courses you can take , although it is limited to popular languages) 3. Depending on the language, you can find people who live near you to teach you. For example, there is a Chinese restaurant near me that also offers to teach Mandarin to people on the weekends. There are also a bunch of korean restaurants/shops near me that do the same. 4. Another options is to combine App learning with watching dramas/shows in the language of interest, but do it without subtitles and just watch. You will be surprised on what you begin to pick up on this way.
+1 to everything Ashton said. So far, I’ve learned four other languages to a high level & usually follow this course of action. 1) Learn to read the alphabet + day to day phrases you’ll actually use 2) If you’re not living in that country, have a recurring meeting or language exchange ideally as many times as possible during the week. I use iTalki.com. This forces you to get comfortable messing up. 3) Use Anki or Quizlet (i prefer anki) to memorize the most frequent 1,000 words.
Once you get that down, you’d be surprised how much you can actually communicate if you’re shameless about being not great at grammar. Then you can dive into grammar online and intentionally practice the edge of your understanding during speaking sessions.
No better feeling than surprising native speakers by fluently speaking a language you have no business knowing XD. It seems like a great hobby to keep your brain in top shape and fend off mental aging.
To be honest, I dabbled in listening to several people (amongst which Eckhardt Tolle) and found an Abraham Hicks recording on meditation and decided to give it a try. Very basic stuff initially - I literally counted my heartbeats back from 10 and then slowly up to 200 until I felt like I was in an altered state or outside of my body. She (Abe Hicks) gives a good description of how to do it and is very chill. It has energised me immensely and I feel very creative when I come out of meditation. It’s a fun hit for me. If I don’t do it I can tell as the day unfolds. Hope that explains.
I’ll note that domestic helpers for those in Hong Kong are inexpensive, hence it is common. Probably about USD 8,000 a year roughly assuming minimum wage - that’s about 3x the minimum wage in Philippines (I happen to know since I have remote Filipino workers paid around 12k or so a year partly because they live in Manila) not sure 10x is accurate.
However, au pair here in the US is actually comparable - they can be paid ~$4.35/hr effectively - only slightly more expensive if one understands exactly how to do it cost-effectively:
I’d also mention that we don’t use “toxic” cleaning chemicals or allow any household workers to use them - this tends to come back and bite you when it comes to VOCs (volatile organic compounds) - increases potential risk for dementia, infections (certain infections can actually increase the rate of the aging phenotype), atopy, and cancer substantially for those living there and breathing in clearly defined indoor air pollutants, not just cleaners.
These VOC containing products all vaporize and typically, anti indoor air pollution measures such as HEPA air filters do not capture VOCs and few people know which industrial ones work. That’s one of the specific exposures that are implicated in “sick building syndrome” as opposed to occupational safety data on professional cleaners.
There aren’t any super precise estimates but up to 60% of people report at least one symptom (these are obviously non cleaners who aren’t directly exposed to a single “toxic” cleaning chemical):
There are suggestive indoor air pollution recommendations and in depth exposure safety profiles by the EPA and American Lung Association but these are almost always not incorporated into any building codes.
Yes, domestic helpers are very inexpensive here and are a big help. I hate cleaning products with a passion and we do our best to ventilate the house when cleaning. I should try to buy the best cleaning brands for health, but its hard to evaluate the local Chinese brands.
It sounds so cool that you learn new languages by watching dramas/shows without subtitles, have you ever tried to learn a new language when your Language Proficiency Level is in A1-A2? I mean I can learn new English phrases by watching dramas/shows without subtitles, because my English CEFR Level is roughly between B2-C1, but can you learn a new language without subtitles when your level is in A1-A2? If you can acquire a new language by this way, that’s amazing.
+1 to everything Ashton said. So far, I’ve learned four other languages to a high level & usually follow this course of action
Sorry but who is Ashton?
Thanks for sharing your learning strategy, I love the way that you just memorized the most basic 1000 words, then you stopped memorizing more vocabularies, instead, you went straight to meet native speakers to talk with them, you are so brave, I never tried that, I will definitely try that next time.
iTalki looks like a good place to find native speakers, do you have any tips of choosing teacher? tips of how to have a good conversation time with teacher? or anything else should I pay attention to?
I am so envy that you have surprised native speakers by fluently speaking their language, I wish I can surprise native speakers one day too.
When I’m at an A1/2 stage, I can start to pick up on basic phrases and interjections from watching shows. Just hearing the intonation of a new language is useful for training your ear to recognize the sounds.
As for iTalki, take a look at the reviews, watch the intro video, and try out a few different teachers. I’ve had tons of great experiences on the platform.
Best of luck on your journey! Life is (hopefully) long, so plenty of time to learn lots of languages
Most of these personal experiences habits etc are from young to middle age people. I am a 79 year old female . I spend a large portion of my day reading about longevity and I often watch or listen to podcasts on health. I have an eye disease so I only have peripheral vision. I believe hobbies are a must for cognitive health, I play golf 3/4 times a week( someone watches my ball) I recently bought an electric organ and I’m taking lessons online, it’s quite exciting moving up to the next stage.
Since I found a book called ‘A Lazy Man’s Way To Riches’ 40 years ago , I learned how to meditate very deeply. I know this sounds crazy to some people but through the teachings of that book I have had a wonderful healthy wealthy lifestyle, because I meditate about several things a day, to go deep in meditation I imagine I am going down 10 steps, I close my eyes and see steps that I descended at some time, I see my self taking each step down towards a deep state of meditation. I then implant suggestions like, ‘ I have the youthfulness if 15 years ago, or, I feel 15 years younger. Through my implanting of suggestions I have been guided to improve my health and happiness. Such as, this site, the sauna we have with Ozone, the integrative doctor I found for IV treatments, etc you can use meditation to bring everything in your life that you require , wealth, health, happiness, it only takes deep thought and visualization . If I told you what I have achieved throughout my life by just visualizing what I want as I already have it, you would not believe me.
I am English, I lived in Cyprus for 6 years and the first thing I did was learn the alphabet, I could read within a few weeks but didn’t know what I was reading but then I went to Greek lessons twice a week, I was able to have a full conversation within a couple of months, before this I had property in Spain so I studied Spanish, this has helped living in Florida as Mexican, which is very similar to Spanish is widely used. Before that, I spent many holidays golfing in France, so I bought a course of tapes and was soon able to get by in French for travel, booking restaurants etc. I believe that if you have a need to learn a language it is much easier
It varies but you have to ‘feel’ the depth of your meditation, I have been close to elevating my mind out of my body at times. It takes very deep concentration . It feels similar to when you are in a dream world, like staring into space, only your eyes are closed . It used to take me 20 minutes to go deep into my subconscious but after a few months I could get to the place for optimal implanting of suggestions in less than 5 minutes. . The feeling is somewhat like hypnosis . I hope that helps there is nothing more powerful than the mind .
This is a good thread that didn’t pop up for me until now. I’m surprised at the people who didn’t comment here. I wonder why not. Thanks for all the ideas. I do almost none of these things but have long wanted to start. I am now making an effort to work on stress which I have pretended didn’t bother me most of my life.
I have adapted to aging by improving my lifestyle a bit at a time to maintain consistent performance. Diet and exercise have come a long way. Once I decide to do something, I do it. As long as I do not ever give into cravings or the little voice that says “why work so hard”, I eventually develop a habit that is self sustaining.
But managing stress does not come of trying harder. This one will take a different approach. Thanks for the ideas.