In each passage we show the following, all of which are unique:
Total known words for the language
Total known words for the passage (and %)
Total unknown words for the language (and %)
Total learning words for the language (and %)
Total words for the passage
After you click "I finished reading this passage", the total number of non-unique words is added to your "Total words read" stat on the statistics page. The know words and learning words stats in the statistic page are unique.
I can see if we can add total non-unique words for the passage to each passage. Since I'm going to ask about that, is there anything else about stats that you would like changed?
My first conversation class went really well yesterday. Obviously, I didn’t speak very well, since it was my first time. But even though I had less preparation than any of my previous languages, this was the best first conversation ever. I entered a lot of items in anki – 38. That may be the most ever, and it’s a rate I can’t maintain for long. That number needs to drop below 20. Maybe by the end on the week...
Also, after the lesson I immediately decided to stop Pimsleur. No need to even finish the first level – my time is better spent doing other activities now. In the past, I would have bought CDs for all three levels, total cost of over $300. This time, because of the subscription format and fewer lessons, I only spent $20!
Today, my second class also went well; 31 new items in anki. The teacher was not as good at conversation; I had to drive it most of the time, which is hard for a beginner. Some teachers just know how to do random conversations, and some don’t.
Understanding the language is the least of my challenges – I probably understood 90% of what she said today. But I yearn for the days when I will be able to speak comfortably, without wondering if I can just use a Spanish word for the Portuguese. I’m thinking about visiting Brazil a couple months from now. If I can get 50 hours of conversation under my belt by then, I should be fairly comfortable. I plan on just staying in one city, meeting language exchange partners and doing day trips for 1 month.
Things are going smoothly, at least compared to other languages. The first item on the list, the pronunciation guide, I mentioned in the previous post, and after several trial-and-errors, finally put it together.
Normally I go through all three levels of Pimsleur. There are actually five available for Brazilian, but I’m seriously thinking about stopping after level 1 (30 lessons). Pimsleur is much cheaper these days ($20/month), and it’s great for pronunciation and getting a foothold in a language. But they always simplify things and often talk in ways that are different from the way I ultimately end up talking. Imo, it’s definitely worth doing for a truly difficult language, but this will probably end up being the easiest language I ever learn (unless I decide to learn Esperanto in the future).
So what am I going to do instead of Pimsleur? Start conversation really early. Tomorrow, after only three weeks of study, I will have my first conversation lesson. I have already scheduled one lesson a day for a whole week. After that, I plan on taking them two of every three days. I’ll do what I always do – try to converse, write down the stuff I don’t know how to say, and the stuff I hear but don’t understand, try to memorize it before the next lesson, and load it in Anki.
I just finished reading the first LC Brazilian conversation, a series which I am still having created, but should finish with in less than a month. It was really easy for a first passage – I knew 85% of the words. But I forced myself to read it slowly and pronounce everything correctly out loud. Getting used to the pronunciation is going to take time, but now is the time to do it. It took me about an hour to read a six minute conversation; I could probably read it in less than 15 minutes if I wasn’t worried about pronunciation.
I will probably import the subs for the Easy Languages Brazilian Portuguese Interviews into the reading tool after that. I think they are a little easier and a less dense than LC Conversations, but they are natural conversations, and there are over 50 of them, so it seems like a good next step.
I will try to quickly complete the Teach Yourself course, as a way to quickly get my arms around the grammar. Unfortunately, there is no Michel Thomas for Brazilian, only European.
The Modern Brazilian Portuguese Grammar is a hard core, serious grammar. I plan to continue using it as a reference; it really isn’t designed as a course. I probably won’t ever work my way through it, for example.
The other resources, Netflix, Youtube, Anki and dictionaries are self explanatory. The internet is very convenient for learning languages.
This is for the reading tool. It pulls word definitions from Google Translate, but it will also have the option of giving you definitions from your favorite dictionaries. So if you have suggestions of dictionaries to add, please list them here.
I've been very busy with the changes to the site and the 3rd draft of Tagalog Lite lately, so I haven't been in the mood to update this log. But all is well.
To facilitate getting the book done, I changed to a schedule of language learning every morning for 24 days, then 7 days off. So roughly one week off per month. This worked really well for me. The one week off did not seem to damage my progress, but in fact allowed my brain to consolidate that 24 day spurt. In addition, after 3 cycles I finished the draft. Now the book is in editing.
So I have a lot of time on my hands. After climbing the walls and even toying with the idea of trying to travel during the pandemic for something to do, I finally decided to start Portuguese. So I needed resources.
If you will recall, I always start a language with learning the alphabet and pronunciation together. Unfortunately, I could not find exactly what I need to do this. But the good news is, I have decided to create a Portuguese pronunciation tool, and share it with everyone. It will be in the same format of the one I did for Tagalog, have text similar to this one, with Brazilian Portuguese, Sao Paulo accent, TTS.
I agree that listening to songs can be useful to learners. But I disagree about pronunciation, because singers often get "creative" with how they pronounce things. As long as you don't model your pronunciation after it, you should be fine.
Thanks for you support, chonccc! We were in the process of trying to increase attention when we were forced to change our name. Starting next month, we will give it another go. But spreading the word is always helpful!
If you make it so NO downward scrolling is necessary at all, just go to the next 'page' that would make your app better than the competition in my opinion.
That is our plan. In my defense, if you use the app as it was intended to be used (per the "work-around" above), scrolling/changing pages works fine. We are going to change it though because clearly it's not intuitive.
Regarding your other suggestion, we will try to implement it too. Thanks for your input!
In the android play store there is one review by C. G. Kelley and it completely sums up my feelings. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=kbt.languagetools.language_tools_app Please fix the android app. I want to use it.
We are going to redesign the app next month. As a workaround for the scrolling issue until then, you can scroll on either vertical edge. The design is to scroll to the bottom, then change pages by selecting the arrow heads. And to turn off a selected word, you can select a word further up on your screen.
Yes, absolutely. I am writing a book on Tagalog grammar now, and it has helped me a lot. To be honest though, I can't say for sure if it works better than spending the same amount of time doing "normal" studies.
That's amazing. I wonder what made you start your Tagalog studies.
Yes, absolutely. I am writing a book on Tagalog grammar now, and it has helped me a lot. To be honest though, I can't say for sure if it works better than spending the same amount of time doing "normal" studies.
Due to a potential trademark issue, we have been required to change our name. I know many of you like our current name, so I’m sorry to have to change it. This time we hired a branding professional, and rather than choosing a name similar to the current one, we have chosen one which we feel is a stronger brand – LanguageCrush.
You current members will have an advantage over future members – you will know why our mascot is an olingo. To save budget, we are not going to change the mascot for the time being.
Thank you for understanding, and your continued support!
I was once teaching Tagalog to a Tongan friend ( from Tonga, one of the Polynesian Islands). I have tried to use Tongan words to them but they corrected me and said that I was referring to their genital part. It was awkward.
"Figure out what you want to say, and learn how to say it." I read this on a Japanese language learner's forum many years ago, and it is one of the best pieces of advice I have ever received for language learning. The author meant that, instead of concentrating our efforts on learning lexis contained in text books and such, we should concentrate on things we really want to say. For example, I like to swim, so I want to know the words for the strokes, among other things. Some might say that this is advanced vocabulary and that I should wait to learn it, but for me it needs to be basic vocabulary. The lexis we learn should depend on us as individuals. No more frequency lists for me.
I think most people (myself included) have had fear of embarrassment at some point in their language learning. I have also had fear of not being able to reach a level where I can comfortably speak my L2. I don't get that feeling very often anymore, fortunately.
I was bad at Mandarin Chinese back in college and gave it up, but retrying it after learning Cantonese... Mandarin is soooo easy. You can actually hear what they're saying in distinct words! And they actually say what the text says they say. And there's a ton of learning material to work with. ...I still love Canto more, though. It sounds so good in my ears.
People are often surprised that discussion of money, or how much one makes, is somewhat taboo in the US. And it makes us pretty uncomfortable when we get labeled as "rich" - there is a negative stigmatism associated with that here.
The text in mobile version is really huge it would be nice if there are different font size to choose. It's also not easy to scroll without touching the text, I was thinking of subscribe if this problem is being sorted out
Hi Joy. We will discuss about the font size. Regarding the scrolling - are you talking about scrolling vertically? The pages are long, and we scroll vertically on either edge of the phone. There is no interference with text this way. At the end of a page, we advance to the next page by touching the rh vertical edge.
I tried using the phone app again and it seems that the freezinghappens when I select some text. I could not scroll. I could not do anything. Not sure if others experience this but hopefully this is not an isolated case. At this point I refresh everything and it's difficult to go bback where you left off.
I can't reproduce this. Could you make a video of it?
I hear their Spanish in Spanish... but when I respond it is mentally in English which is slowing me down and making me speak Spanish in an awkward way
This is pretty normal - it's something that reduces with practice. The other one, forcing yourself to translate to english before responding in spanish, is less natural. I did this a bit for Japanese before I realized how futile it is. I think relaxing and not worrying when I didn't understand everything helped me get over it quickly.
Thanks very much for the videos! The ease is not impaired in any way. You are having problems because you are assuming OPLingo behaves like LingQ, and it doesn’t. Our pages are long, so you scroll down until you get to the bottom, then advance to the next page by clicking the arrows. Their pages are so short they require no scrolling; you just swipe to the right to advance to the next page. If you try to swipe to the right on OPLingo, you will select text – you should select the arrows to advance. Word and phrase selection are different too. I’m curious how their system works with videos, especially in landscape, but barring that it appear that both systems work fine; they are just different.
Ok, I see what you are talking about now. You said audio, but I see you were looking at a youtube video passage.
Yes, right now you have to scroll back up to get to the video to pause the audio. I have written a ticket to make the video float, so you will not need to scroll to get to the video. The downside is that in landscape there will only be room for 2 lines of text to read at a time. But if that is an issue, you can switch back to portrait.
When you are scrolling by sliding you finger up or down the edge of your phone, there should be no text getting highlighted. I cannot recreate this – could you possibly make a short video and post a link here (or pm me if your prefer)?
The line break issue is personal preference. We import the subtitles, or any text file for that matter, with the same line breaks. If you want all line breaks removed, please consider using a free online tool for that, like this one.
Regarding the location of the player, we've gone back and forth on it a few times and decided to leave the whole thing floating. So no scrolling is involved, which is why I'm surprised by your post. Are you using the app? If not, it's available here. If you are, then please tell me your device/OS.
Regarding scrolling, there should be a margin on both sides of the text to allow you to scroll without selecting text. Again, I wonder if you are not using the app.
I use the vocab export function almost daily, and it is still working for me. Can you tell me specifically what you are trying to export, so that I can try to recreate the issue? Also, please tell me your OS and browser. You may pm me with this info if you prefer.
This topic demonstrates why I stopped using the words "fluent" and "fluency" - it seems they have an infinite number of definitions, depending on who you talk to. I use the CEFR to talk about approximate levels, and variations of the word "fluid" to describe how freely I can speak. But ymmv.
Oh wow! I hope they can record a usual conversation, like talking about usual things and not about speaking different languages. It would be interesting how the words will fit coherently.
This is actually a good point. Many of these polyglots do really well when the topic is languages, but more than likely not as well with other topics; we don't see "usual conversations" nearly as often.
I think it's a matter of personal preference, provided you can get enough conversation practice with non-tutor native speakers. For example, I prefer to study everything but conversation on my own. If I were immersed, I would converse with locals a lot.
I wholeheartedly agree with immersion being a sure-fire way to learn
That's interesting. I think that being immersed while studying a language gives one a big advantage over not being immersed. But I also believe immersion by itself does not guarantee success in language learning. For example, in any foreign country, you can find large groups of expats who make little effort at learning the language, and as a result don't learn much.
Hi Khalid, and welcome to OP! Much of what you ask is personal preference, but I will give you my thoughts.
What do you think is the best way to use this platform to gain more vocabulary most efficiently... How do you guys learn words which are tagged as 'learning', through flashcards or through exposing yourself to the word as you read more?
I believe all seven pillars of language learning (conversation, listening, reading, writing, vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation) reinforce each other, and I like to have a good foundation in all of them. Since it is such a big part of the language, some learners prefer to let the other facets do the work and learn vocabulary by exposure. In addition to exposure, others, myself included, like to spend a certain amount of time studying vocabulary explicitly by using SRSs (flashcard programs), lists, paper flashcards, etc. I find I can learn vocabulary faster this way, but there is a cutoff line – I don’t like to spend more than 25% of my study time with my SRS, but ymmv.
While the other features of the site will help you learn vocabulary through exposure, if you want learn it explicitly I would recommend the reading tool. After reading passages, you can export the vocabulary you are learning and put it in an SRS or just memorize the list. The combination of doing a lot of listening and reading and memorizing the “learning” words yields great results ime.
Do you think it's best I import videos from youtube or read the book already imported by other students...Do you prioritise content with audio over books ... with the massive amount of content out there, it's hard to know which ones will help me expand my vocabulary and understand conversations a lot quicker.
I agree that there’s tons of good material out there for Spanish! I don’t know what your level is, but I recommend Language Tools Spanish Conversations to most learners, especially those interested in conversation, because these are actual conversations between native speakers, audio and text, and that is exactly what they need. Learners find them more comprehensible than most native material – that is just a trait of conversation.
That being said, I do love real native (short) youtube videos, with transcripts, about things I am interested in, but they are normally much harder to understand.
And yes, use material that has audio (or video) whenever you can. I also recommend reading out loud all the time too, because it reinforces your pronunciation. You can check your pronunciation as you go by using tts.
how much content did you get through (in words, etc) before speaking in the language was second-nature to you (B2/C1)
If you are asking how much reading is needed to get to B2/C1, it depends on many things, maybe the most important one being how much time you spend on the other pillars, especially conversation. As I said earlier, I like to be well-rounded. I typically converse more often than other learners. I’m sure I read less than most learners who don’t start conversing until they are advanced.
I’m looking over your suggestion more carefully, and thinking it is unlikely we will be able to do it at this time due to lack of budget. But I may be wrong – let me try to clarify some points.
First, you probably know about the following, but I want to make sure you are aware of what the current tools can do, in case it happens to be enough for you. You can create a passage (I think you are calling them lessons in your post) and make it public. If you do, others can read and copy it. They can edit their copies and save them publicly. We also have write & correct, where native speakers, or others, can correct an essay that you post. It redlines and can show before and after versions. Regarding showing others how to join and use OPLingo, there is a FAQ and videos for all functions. Regarding translations being context specific – are you translating at the phrase level? That would make them less likely to depend on context. I often translate a whole phrase, if a single word definition doesn’t appear to work, just to get that single word definition. Also, a few passages have full translations. There is place for them on the RH side.
Next, going through your post and asking questions.
Reading each other’s passages; are you suggesting creating a new category of passage – not public or private, but “team”?
Inviting members – are you suggesting creating a new button on the profile page – not friend, but “team member”? And that’s how you would create your team?
Checking to see which words are giving people problems – how would this work? Some sort of a note system like google docs?
Checking each other’s translations – are you talking about full translations, or words and phrases? And like above – how would this work?
Finally, who do you think would use this? Unless I’ve misunderstood, it seems like something for teachers only. Do you think individuals would form teams to write or translate passages? Or is it to create subs or something? I ask because I can’t see myself doing this – that doesn’t make it wrong, but to implement this I want to feel like there is a demand.
Imo, it's not a bad article. There isn't really anything in it that's clearly wrong, and most of it is solid, though pretty standard, advice. That's a bit of a relief to me, as I've read a lot of "how to learn a language" articles that are full of bad advice.
There were a few things I found a bit odd though. She stated polyglots are those who can speak over 5 languages, as if this is an agreed upon fact. It's actually highly debated.
At one point she hints around that one shouldn't study grammar explicitly, which is also highly debated.
Finally, she quoted one of the "experts" as saying how fast you learn a language depends on how you define fluency. This comes from Benny Lewis (the Irish Polyglot) who confused us all with that logic, so it did not surprise me to see the expert she quoted was part of his team. What Benny really means is how fast you learn depends on what your final goals are in the language. But instead of just telling people that, Benny wants them to define the level they want to achieve as "fluency". They are to work towards it, and when they achieve it, tell everyone that they are "fluent". You may be wondering why anyone would advise that. The answer is simple - that is what Benny has done, and how he established his brand in the industry: "Fluent in Three Months". He would study a language for three months, then claim to be fluent. Of course, very few people who actually knew the language he learned would agree with him on that. Ultimately, he got tired of people telling him he wasn't fluent. For several years he changed his tune and claimed the "fluent" in "fluent in three months" was just a goal, and not necessary to achieve. Then he published a book on language learning with the system of creating your own definition of fluency mentioned above, so that everyone can achieve "fluency" in three months. Strangely enough, in that same book, he states that most people accept B2 (upper intermediate) to be "fluency". I say it's strange because it conflicts with his advice to make up your own, and it is a much higher level than he achieved in any of his three month attempts. Lol, sorry to go so far off topic; I'm not a Benny Lewis fan, but that doesn't necessarily reflect on the article.
Hi gman. We can discuss this, but are you aware that there are many online and offline tools for converting such files to text files? If you google it, you will see what I mean. That would probably be more effective than copy/paste one page at a time.
If you enjoy using our app, can you please review it here? Unfortunately, due to some strange, low reviews our overall rating is low. But the main issue is just a lack of normal reviews, so your input would be much appreciated.
I am surprised when people say that little output is required to get good at conversation. To my way of thinking, if I were to wait until I was so good at reading and listening that conversation only required a little bit practice, assuming that would be possible, then I would have done it wrong. Here are my reasons.
Listening is difficult. However, listening during conversation, a real native activity, is significantly easier than listening to other real native activities/materials. To not allow conversation at an earlier stage would be to restrict myself to less comprehensible material, or to non-native material. I find comprehensible real native activities/materials more interesting, so not conversing at early stages would be a minus for me.
My primary reason for learning languages is to converse with native speakers. It’s my main motivation. Forcing myself not to converse would dampen my motivation. You see a lot of articles these days implying that if you don’t have motivation, you can just manufacture it. That doesn’t work for me, at least not for something that is going to take thousands of hours. My motivation is strong, but it is finite, so I avoid doing things that dampen it, such as delaying conversation.
I chose option 1, lots of input and lots of output. You might be wondering why I didn’t choose 3. I’m not sure I could pull off 3. I feel that becoming good at reading, while much less time consuming than listening or acquiring the necessary vocabulary, is extremely convenient, if not required, for language learning. I can’t imagine trying to visualize words, study grammar, do flashcards, etc. without having passable reading. And many of my languages use non-roman scripts, which require much more time to get comfortable with ime. So while I might, in theory, get enough listening via a lot of conversation, avoiding reading would probably significantly stunt my learning.
One last thing regarding conversation. Although I start it early, I do not like to start it from day one. I could probably exchange greetings or something, but attempting a one hour conversation (standard length for me) with no previous knowledge would be frustrating to myself and my partner. I find that 2-3 months of self-study gives me enough of a base to jump into one hour conversations. I suck at first, but usually in a few weeks I feel that I have a “useable” level. And of course, the comprehensible listening practice that I get during conversation is a big boost to my learning from that point on.
I already write a couple of times on different topics (or forums) on my learning experience and methods, so, if you are interested you should check it out. I don't want to write the same thing over and over again everywhere, so I wouldn't spam the site. :)
This is a good question. Most accomplished language learners will agree that to learn a language one needs massive exposure and practice. However, the language learning community is somewhat divided as to whether one should study vocabulary explicitly or just glean it. Although I firmly believe that we assimilate most of our vocabulary through exposure and practice, regardless of which path we take, I also believe that studying it explicitly speeds up the process and allows us to reach a higher level than gleaning alone.
Imo, if you struggle with retaining vocabulary, you are a prime candidate for studying it explicitly. What I mean by studying it explicitly is making lists or flashcards for words that you have already encountered and wish to retain, and having daily sessions where you glance at translations and try to recall the words. And modern technology makes this easier. For example, you could use the reading tool here to read in your target language, then download a list of unknown words to review or load into a flashcard program.
On the other hand, struggling with vocabulary is completely natural. It takes time/exposure/usage to be able to recall words, and there are so many of them that this one of the most time consuming parts of language learning. So you might actually be doing better than you think.
A compromise between explicit study and no explicit study, again lies in the reading tool. When you use it to read, you can look up words effortlessly, just by mousing over them (or clicking on mobile), which is like having a little micro-review exactly when you need it. This is much more convenient than the old days, when you had to stop and break out a paper dictionary to look up unknown words. I must confess that I am addicted to the reading tool, haha!
Per this article, adults can learn languages to a high level nearly as fast as children.
One popular belief about language learning is that if you start learning it as an adult, rather than as a child, it will be much harder to reach a high level. It turns out that it is harder on the average, but not much, and there are plenty of adult-starters who perform as well as child-starters.
I found this article (and the study it references) to be very interesting because it covers native-like fluency, rather than just the lower levels, and tests people with decades of experience. In fact, very few learners reach this level in less than 10 years.
Another thing that is mentioned is learners can reach a very useful level in a language in a year or two. Although it will take over 10 years to be native-like, you can get 80% of the way there in 20% of the time (80/20 rule).
I hope that the results of the study will encourage adults to stop thinking that they cannot learn a language, and start learning!
What's the meaning of the OP in OPLingo? (I'm sorry if you already metion it I haven't found the explanation, also, English is not my native language so i don't know if it is a "thing" in English jejeje
Also, that little animal is Ollie the olingo. I think you have olingos in Colombia.
It is always OK to make private passages. To share passages in public, you cannot violate copywrite. If they state specifically that it is ok to repost, or if it is in public domain, then you can share it here. If not, you can ask them for permission and wait for approval to share it. Otherwise, please keep it private.