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7 Ways that Computers Changed How We Learn Languages

If you are learning a language today, chances are that your study sessions are looking vastly different than they would have even 10 years ago. This is a part of our daily life that has been radically transformed by the digital age.
The revolution came in 7 waves:

  1. digitalization
  2. multimedia
  3. auto-correction
  4. social integration
  5. personalization
  6. gamification
  7. computer language teachers

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6 Tips for Working with a Tutor

Skype language tutor
Spending a lot of time actively using your target language can do wonders for your progress. At the beginner level, a tutor is the best investment you can make. So without further ado, here are my tips for having a successful language tutoring experience:

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Which Language do Polyglots Choose to Speak Together?

This question came in on Quora just when I had spent three days with two of the greatest polyglots alive: Professor Alexander Arguelles and Richard Simcott. Both know more than 30 languages. We had also organized a polyglot dinner where people could speak 10 languages on average. All in all, I was in a unique position to answer this question and had a lot of fun doing so.

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The Perfect Language Course

What would your requirements for a perfect language course be? I have spent a lot of thoughts on this question. If I could dream completely free from the constraints of existing books and audio courses, here's what I would value:

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Progress since January this year

17 / 30 Foreign books read, i. e. excl. German + English
705 / 712 Total hours of lang. study

(This is manually updated, so not always up to date)

Practising 13 Languages

In 2010 I had the idea to record a yearly video of myself speaking all languages I could remember, switching rapidly from one to the next, as the ultimate test of speaking ability. Then I could compare my ability from one year to the next. Obviously with enough preparation anyone can appear to be fluent in any language on video, even a language they haven't studied yet, so in order for this to be a good indicator, the rules would have to be no preparation, no edits, no cuts, no retakes.

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What do Polyglots do for Fun?

This year I organized my first major conference: the Polyglot Gathering in Berlin. It turned out a study in how polyglots like to have fun, with nearly 230 participants from 35 countries coming together for 4 days of program. Until now, I had only organized smaller meet-ups or done minor work for bigger conferences (like organizing the "JES al novuloj" scholarships for the Junulara E-Semajno). Then, Richard Simcott suggested at last year's Polyglot Conference in Budapest that there may be no European polyglot event in 2014, and I decided to pick up the slack.

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Results of 2013

My original goal was to do 700+ hours of language study this year and read 50 books (30 in languages other than German/English). Instead, I only managed 643 hours of language study and 32 books (22 in languages other than German/English), so I am quite disappointed in myself.

My final list of books:

Book 1: "B.A.f.H. - Das Neueste vom Bastard Assistant" by Florian Schiel
Book 2: "Το ταξίδι στη χώρα που δε βλέπουν τα μάτια..." by Αντώνης Καλογήρου
Book 3: "Io Alessandro" by Steven Pressfield
Book 4: "L'Irak du silence" by Marie de Varney

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