I Learned to Speak Four Languages in a Few Years: Here's How - Deepstash
I Learned to Speak Four Languages in a Few Years: Here's How

I Learned to Speak Four Languages in a Few Years: Here's How

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I Learned to Speak Four Languages in a Few Years: Here's How

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Four-Step Method for Language Learning

  • Gabriel Wyner used this method to learn four languages: Italian, German, French, and Russian.
  • There are four stages to each language.
  • The stages will take different amount of time for different languages and depend on how much time you have available per day.

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Stage 1: Learn the Correct Pronunciation of The Language

  • Time: 1-2 weeks (or longer for languages that have a new alphabet that will take some time to get comfortable with).
  • There are a few routes to learn pronunciation.
  • Learn the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) for the English language first.

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Stage 2: Vocabulary and Grammar Acquisition

  • Time: About 3 months
  • This stage involves two different time commitments: building your vocabulary and grammar flashcards and reviewing the deck.
  • Using frequency lists to guide your vocabulary acquisition.
  • Cover all the words in a 2000 word frequency list as a foundation and add any specific vocab you need for your own interests.
  • Most people's eventual goals will be ~2000-6000 words, plus around 1000 grammar cards.

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Stage 3: Listening, writing and reading work

Use Anki, a free flashcard program that runs on smartphones and every computer platform, to practice thinking in the language directly.

Once you have a decent vocabulary and familiarity with grammar, you can start writing essays, watching TV shows and reading books, and talking (at least to yourself!) about the stuff that you see and do. Every writing correction gets added to the Anki deck, which continues to build your vocab and grammar.

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Stage 4: Speech

Once you can more or less talk (haltingly, but without too many grammar or vocab holes) and write about most familiar things, find some place to immerse yourself in the language and speak all the time.

The more intense you can make it, the faster your brain will adapt and learn how to put all the info you learned in stages 1-3 together quickly enough to turn into comfortable, fluent speech.

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