Bonjour! C'est Oni à nouveau!
It is no secret (at this point anyway) that I am a language lover ten times over. I'm sure I've written about it a few dozen times. Or perhaps you've heard me speak on it. And while I am no expert or hardcore Polyglot: Est-ce que je me trompe pour mon amour des langues d'amour? J'espère que non.
I suppose this blog sort of serves as a gateway into my mind when I am alone - how fun is that? :)
If you want to know how I go about becoming "conversational" in languages in about 3-6 months without opting for Rosetta Stone (which I have not used by the way, though I've heard it has decent learning mechanics employed) then you're in the right place.
Duolingo, Memrise and a movie playlist of your choice in language of interest.
Here is basically how it breaks down:
Duolingo will get you an elementary understanding of how sentence structure is introduced in a new language, paired with repetition and these group forums that pop up when you answer a question, as well as computerized pronunciation of each word (which isn't the best), will get you off to a quick, albeit slightly too mechanic, start.
Memrise actually employs short clips of natives speaking whichever word you're learning which does help you train your ear to recognize different intonation for feminine or masculine words or just plain recognizing the way humans talk as compared to computers. It also uses the age old technique of flashcard repetition and once you learn a word they describe it as "planting a seed" which means every few days, weeks, months, you will have to return because the "seed" is your short term memory, returning commits it to your long-term memory.
Last but certainly far from least:
Choose a playlist of a few dozen movies to watch with subtitles and without while you learn. If you can't find the time to whisk yourself away to distant lands and live among the locals, movies by them certain help in a pinch. I promise this is an effective way to cultivate some elementary comprehension of the way people ACTUALLY talk (looking at you Duo with your robotic sentence structure - still love you
Speaking of movies, I'd love some company one of these days to watch some foreign films. Preferably a French film while eating French food - that'd be spectacular.
More next time!