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14 Tips for Learning Languages (+ 14 language video)

Which language should you pick? How to stay motivated? Is it bad to learn more than one language at once? How to memorize vocabulary? How to keep improving when you're already at a high level? ... I get a lot of questions about learning languages. Here are my top 14 tips in a handy list. Watch the video below in order to hear me expand on each idea. To make it more interesting, I have recorded each section in a different language, 14 languages in total.

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Learning Foreign Writing Systems

I love learning foreign writing systems so I developed my own method for it. It involves teaching each letter one by one and immediately practicing it by reading words that are recognizable even in a foreign script, for example city and country names, international words, loanwords and so on. The order of letter introduction is optimized so that even if you only learned 2 or 3 letters, there are already words you can practice reading and with each new letter you get tons of additional reading practice.

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Lernu la Ukrainan alfabeton

Mi ĵus remalkovris kurson kiun mi verkis antaŭ la IJK en Kyiv. Ĝi instruas la cirilan alfabeton por la ukraina lingvo tiel, ke Esperantistoj povos poste legi afiŝojn, menuon de picejo, stratindikojn kaj similajn aferojn. Jen ĝi:

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Did You Fully Experience the Polyglot Gathering?

The Polyglot Gathering 2015 just ended and I again had a lot of fun organizing it. If you attended the event, here's a fun non-authoritative checklist I created in order to figure out whether you fully experienced the event ;-) Check off what you did.

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Progress since January this year

8 / 30 Foreign books read, i. e. excl. German + English
568 / 750 Total hours of lang. study

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

Language Plans for the Summer

The Polyglot Gathering was a huge success. It's inspiring to be among so many people who love languages. I never took that for granted, because in my hometown near Düsseldorf I often felt like a freak for wanting to learn a lot of languages. Well, if I'm a freak, there are hundreds of them and we're getting stronger. ;-)

What I found particularly motivating was to see people who are way better than me. Sometimes I get discouraged: at 13 languages (admittedly some of them quite weak), is it really possible to go much further? Can I hope to bring more of them to fluency? Read more...

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Take-Aways & Results of my 90-Day Hebrew Challenge

I just completed the Hebrew Add1Challenge - I have now studied Hebrew for 90 days (plus a few days non-intensively outside the challenge) and 85 hours total. I think my results are quite good, for having started from scratch. Watch them here.

I also write about everything I took away from this challenge, everything I learned about how to learn languages. Doing this intensely really helped me notice some things.

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Summary of 2014

2014 was a very successful year for me. Here's the big summary, including how many hours I spent on which languages, how many books I read, and all my biggest successes of the year.

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