Speed Learning Languages:
Ever since I was 12, I had a fascination about languages, how wonderful it would be to be able to converse with people all around the world!
However, it was during my University days in Australia that I started to truly appreciate this skill set. It was a real eye opener as I met many students from different parts of the World. Though all of them speak English to a high standard, it wasn’t easy to be fully integrated into their groups as many of them prefer to mix with people from either their same country or people who can speak their same mother tongue language.
My craving for this skill set grew enormously from then.
My attempts at learning a foreign language started with my amusement with the Japanese language where in my youthful days, comics and Japanese dramas were in the rave. In recent years, this trend shifted to the Korean counterparts.
I tried taking up Japanese lessons before while in Singapore and a short night course in Australia, but I still have much trouble communicating with others in that language. Fast forward years later to today, my grasp of the language shrunk to only greetings and “excuse me”. I believe it has to be the method of teaching and my own lack of patience when it comes to a long term commitment in learning an extra language. Truth be it, if there was any extra time, I would dedicate it to my University studies and projects, which seems to be a valid excuse, except that many others were able to cope with both their studies and learn an extra language.
Tim Ferriss in his blog post mentioned that language lessons doesn’t work that well and proposes another way of learning, learning the vital components and speak to natives. Sounds like the thousand light bulb experiments that Thomas Edison (photo from wiki above) is so famous for, make enough errors and correct them as you go along, wahla, a skill is learnt.
Sounds cool, seems logical, let’s do it!
Here’s a few fantastic free websites to learn the basics from, great thing is that they have the foreign language version, English version and YES, the voice version. Gosh, I’m loving BBC languages section.
BBC Languages – Speed Learning Languages
- Learn French Fast: http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/french
- Learn Spanish Fast:http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/spanish/
- Improving my Chinese Fast: http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/chinese/
- Learn German Fast: http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/german/
- Learn Italian Fast: http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/italian/
- Learn some Arabic: www.bbc.co.uk/languages/other/quickfix/arabic.shtml
- Learn some Russian: http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/russian/quickfix/
- Learn some Japanese: http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/other/quickfix/japanese.shtml
- Other languages: http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/other/quickfix/
Do you know of any other sources that encourages speed learning? Let me know in the comments and I’ll check it out. Let’s learn!