I’m a huge Tolkien fan, and it’s not just because of his fiction. There’s no doubt that JRR Tolkien was a true language lover. While he is most famous for writing The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, those stories grew out of his avid construction of new languages, like Quenya and Sindarin. Tolkien… Read More JRR Tolkien on Learning Languages
Many of you have probably already seen it, but my guest post was published a few days ago on Lindsay Does Languages. I wrote about incorporating novel-reading into your learning routine. And hello to my visitors from Lindsay’s blog! So, I’ve been learning lots of new languages (although Tamil fizzled out after a couple of… Read More Learning Update + My Guest Post!
Or are they plateaux? Hmm. Whatever spelling you use, a lot language learners stumble when they reach the intermediate stage. There is a wealth of resources made for beginners– tons of fun, colorful flashcards, textbooks, and other courses. And beginners tend to be excited about this new project they picked up. It’s easy to tell… Read More Dealing with Plateaus as an Intermediate Learner
[This is my 50th post! Hot dog!] Old news– back in 2005 (I think) Daniel Tammet, an autistic savant, claimed to have learned Icelandic in a week for a documentary called The Boy with the Incredible Brain. Here’s the video if you haven’t seen it (you can find the whole documentary on YouTube): My Icelandic… Read More Can You Learn a Language in a Week??
Language learners want so badly to quantify their progress. I’ve experienced this, and I still do experience it. The pressure is real, and it’s hard to escape in a culture where it’s in vogue to acquire measurable skills that lead to something useful. I’ve got my gripes with this utility-only mentality. People shy away from certain academic… Read More Speaking and Writing? Not Unless You Want To!
Time and time again, I want to learn the smaller languages, ones that don’t happen to be popular in the U.S. or in most of the world. I’ve been dabbling in Latvian lately, and it’s such an interesting language. At first listen, I thought it sounded similar to Russian even though I was aware it’s… Read More The Unfortunate Inaccessibility of “Unpopular” Languages
I wrote about extensive and intensive reading a while ago, and I’ve come to realize that I do something very similar with my listening practice. Listening to your target language is incredibly important. I’ve heard so many language learners talk about how it’s so much easier to learn how to speak than it is to listen.… Read More Active vs. Passive Listening: How I Use Both to Practice Languages