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I speak 20 languages. I've been learning languages for over 50 years and I've tried all kinds of approaches. I talk about my experiences, my approach to language learning, what I enjoy about learning languages and all manner of other topics related to language. If you love languages, or think you would if you hadn't been discouraged by past experiences, this is the podcast for you. Anyone can learn a language. You just need the right attitude and the right approach!
 
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Once you're past the first "discovery" period in a language, you hit the plateau. You feel you're not progressing. You need to vary things up, in order to keep going. One approach is speed LingQing.Steve Kaufmann
 
Make sure you have a tutor who has the imagination, the wherewithal and the resourcefulness to keep the conversation going when there’s a lull. A tutor who comes up with a new subject, a new question, something to keep the conversation going. This is key.Steve Kaufmann
 
Enthusiasm is such an important factor in language learning, and there are few more enthusiastic than YouTuber Rupa Sensei. I caught up with Rupa to find out how and why he is inspiring English learners.Steve Kaufmann
 
There are two stages in language learning: the initial intense study of a limited number of words, and the later more extensive approach to learning in order to acquire the up to 10,000 words needed to function at a professional level. These two stages make up the upside down hockey stick.Steve Kaufmann
 
It’s easy to get caught up in the negative as a first time language learner: I keep forgetting the words, I can’t speak, I’m just not getting it. You need to maintain a positive attitude and believe you will get there. Keep on putting in the time and you will improve.Steve Kaufmann
 
Of course there are objective factors when it comes to being a successful language learner, but there are some subjective factors too. In this video I discuss the characteristics I believe set language learners up for success.Steve Kaufmann
 
Writing is an effective way to improve language skills. You have time to look things up: words, verb and noun forms, conjugations, declensions, phrases, etc. You have more time to work on your output than when you’re engaged in an oral conversation.Steve Kaufmann
 
Learning is about much more than schools. This is especially true for language learning. A major ingredient for success is enthusiasm, on the part of the learner and the teacher. My chat with Alberto of Italiano Automatico.Steve Kaufmann
 
Grammar or correct usage is usually the first goal of language instruction. For me it’s the fifth goal, after acquiring words, reading, listening, and speaking with mistakes. It’s only then that I focus more on grammar.Steve Kaufmann
 
Olly Richards of storytelling.com and I compare notes on the technology we use to set up for our videos. Language learning has become more easier through technology, but making videos for YouTube has become more technically demanding.Steve Kaufmann
 
The goal of language learning, for most people, is speaking. But, for me, it isn't the first goal. A strong passive vocabulary, good reading skills, and good listening comprehension are earlier goals that enable to become a good speaker of the language.Steve Kaufmann
 
Ukrainian was my third Slavic language after Russian and Czech. Relationships between languages of the same language family are interesting. Discovering the individual histories and cultures behind these languages is a major motivator.Steve Kaufmann
 
Reading helps enormously in acquiring new words, and in achieving some level of comprehension for what you hear in a new language. It is harder to for me remember words just by hearing them. Seeing the words written gives them form, definition.Steve Kaufmann
 
The number one goal in language learning is to acquire words. The number of words you know is the simplest measure of your knowledge of any language. We acquire words mostly incidentally, not deliberately. That is at the core of LingQ.Steve Kaufmann
 
My 7 language learning goals:1. Acquire words. Passive vocabulary is the best measure of my potential in a language.2. Read a lot. Reading is easier to understand than listening. I may read new material or re-read old material, but I read every day.3. Listen everywhere. I listen every day, either repeatedly as a beginner, or more extensively as I p…
 
Francesco’s story is typical. A passion for languages and a passion for the culture of his homeland, Italy, took him from his background in economics to creating an online presence helping people learn Italian via videos and podcasts.Steve Kaufmann
 
I love French for its history and cultural influence. For English speakers, or speaker of other Romance languages, the amount of familiar or recognizable vocabulary is a major advantage to learners, despite the occasional "false friend".Steve Kaufmann
 
Will John of Goluremi Languages is an American polyglot and professional soccer player, who has played in many countries. He grew up in the "heartland" of America. He credits his mother for his interest in languages.Steve Kaufmann
 
Ancient Greece and Rome had an outsized influence on the culture of Europe, and even the world. We may call their languages dead today but they were living languages for much of recent history.Steve Kaufmann
 
Can we learn several languages at the same time? Are we better off to focus on one? It all depends on your goals and personal preferences. You will progress faster if you focus on one language, however you will give up the chance to explore other languages during that same period.Steve Kaufmann
 
Daria teaches Russian and looks for learning material that is of interest to the learners. Learn Russian with Star Wars! More important than insisting on correct grammar, especially in the early stages.Steve Kaufmann
 
When we start a new language, we're excited to discover new sounds, new words, new structures. Early there is a sense of achievement as what was just noise is starting to become meaningful. Certain words repeat often enough that we learn them. But after a few months, we start to feel we're stuck. It's the doldrums. What can be done?…
 
The difficulty level of any language depends on the learner. How motivated is the learner to acquire a certain language? Is he or she confident of their ability to acquire the language? To a confident and motivated learner, no language is really difficult. In fact, the learning process becomes its own reward.…
 
In acquiring a foreign language, reading is often underrated as a goal, and as a learning activity. When I learned Chinese, over 50 years ago, I did a lot more reading than I’m doing now in Arabic and Persian. Today I rely on the audio to help me read. In 2022 I plan to focus more on reading, even in sentence mode, but without the constant help of …
 
We often hear that speakers of certain languages have trouble losing their accents, speakers of English or Slavic languages, for example. Iryna sounds Mexican, both in English and Spanish, yet is a native speaker of Russian and Ukrainian. Best to avoid generalizations.Steve Kaufmann
 
I hitchhiked in Italy in the 60's, getting by with French and Spanish. In the '70s I got a Linguaphone Italian course. I avoided the exercises but listened over and over again, occasionally reviewing the grammar explanations. That was it until I discovered the power of audio books.Steve Kaufmann
 
When I learn a language I'm curious about the culture. However, I first need to get a sense of the new language using subject matter familiar to me. More exotic details of the culture can wait. Unfortunately these are often included in beginner texts.Steve Kaufmann
 
Many people need English for the workplace, including immigrants in English speaking countries. To learn the technical language mine the many publications, articles, YouTube videos, podcasts etc. from the Internet for the words and phrases you need to learn.Steve Kaufmann
 
Shadowing is a language learning technique developed and popularized by polyglot Alexander Argüelles. The idea is to repeat what you hear while listening in order to improve pronunciation and speaking. I have not used this much in the past but want to give it another try.Steve Kaufmann
 
I started learning German before the age of the Internet. I'd had some exposure as a young man, but during a month between jobs, in 1987, I really went at it. I found second hand German readers, and I went at then, massive comprehensible input.Steve Kaufmann
 
In my latest video I talk about how much my interest in history has influenced my language learning. It has been my inspiration, my source of interesting content, and represents much of the time that I have spent learning these languages. And just about all of them my interest in history sustained me.…
 
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