Beginner with Questions

Hello everyone,

I have a couple questions about language learning, and using this site. I have been learning with Assimil for about a month now and I feel I have been learning a great deal. I have joined this site to get some additional input injunction with Assimil. When I study with Assimil, no matter how long I study one lesson,I feel like like it take a couple days for everything to sink in. For example, when I encounter a new lesson it feels impossible then when I go back to a week later it feels very easy and I’m able to understand greater than 90%. I saw a video or thread where Steve said that he definitely would not stay on Assmil for no longer than a month. I understand that he has a crafted skilled, but should I be going through the lessons a little faster than one per day if I’m spending 2-3 hours a day listening? I’m also curious about how fast should i get through some of the lesson on here as well. Should I aim for an estimated percentage known then just move on? I feel like that would kind of make sense since the new lesson do not stick right away. Also I’m getting hung up on the defining the words and finding the meaning. Some phase don’t seem to translate very well with the translator. Can you walk me through your thought patten when you encounter sentences that don’t seem to make sense?

Thank you for your help.

Hi and welcome to the site! I think what you describe above with delayed understanding is normal. I think you are right to move on to new material instead of trying to understand a greater percentage of the current material you are studying. In my personal experience, trying to get the material down before moving on just seems to slow me down. I don’t seem to learn that material any quicker (its probably slower actually) but I also don’t get to learn new material that I would have otherwise. New material also seems to help my understanding of old material. I think this was one of the hardest things for me to accept when I first started to learn my target language

As for your second question about translations I think my answer to that might go along with the previous question. You might just have to move on for the time being and not worry about it. If you’re having trouble translating a word chances are likely that it is something more like a sentence particle (think of - if, and, but, the, is, are, etc) than a verb, adjective or a noun. Things like verbs, adjectives and nouns tend to be easier to translate and the other stuff tends to be more difficult to define because the definition is more abstract/grammatical in nature. In my experience those words end up making much more sense after you get better at understanding how the verbs, adjectives and nouns of the sentences are used. So my suggestion is that early on worry more about the stuff you do understand and get the overall picture of what the text means. Later down the road you’ll have some “ah ha!” moments where the other stuff starts to make sense.

Hope that helps!

That was really helpful, Thank you.

I fully agree with cgreen’s answer. Welcome to LingQ!

@therightcoast - Glad I could help.

I’m almost a beginner on learning languages, so I think that my doubt fits here. I’ve started learning english about a year. But I’ve always studied english at the school. I never had sucess on the school, just like you, but I had a base to start to learn alone. Now I understand well what I listen and I can read everything. I have some difficult with write yet, how you can see.

My doubt is: how do I start with a language that I don’t know nothing about? Because with english I have knew a bit when a started, and languages like french (that I want to learn too) have words very like with portuguese (my native language). But what if I don’t know nothing about the language? What if everything is diferent for me, like japanese or chinese for exemple? How do I start?

I hope that you understand me, because I am not safe to write in english yet!