Clugston's "German Volume Method"

Okay, there are interesting books out there, yes. I’m not really interested in reading German literature. I’d rather read German history or something but non-fiction books are too high level.

Anyway, it’s not about ignoring German culture or something… or not wanting to read or listen or whatever. I just think reading and listening is too slow.

Look, every time I sit down and learn a new programming language (well – this is a bad example, I can learn practically any language now in a matter of days… but lets say this was 10 years ago)… I can read and read and read a lot of example code, but for me it doesn’t stick until I sit down and actually DO something and experiment with the language.

Edit: Actually… a better example is reading an algorithm book. I can study an algorithm all day… but until I actually do my own implementation and think through the problem… I can’t learn it.

Again – I’m only talking about my experiences. I’ve talked to many people who can learn just by reading and listening. But it’s not for me

@ spatterson

"Look, every time I sit down and learn a new programming language (well – this is a bad example, I can learn practically any language now in a matter of days… but lets say this was 10 years ago)… I can read and read and read a lot of example code, but for me it doesn’t stick until I sit down and actually DO something and experiment with the language. "

I am certainly no master computer hacker, but I do often have to use and edit astrophysics codes written in languages I am not at all familiar with. At the moment, I am using codes in C, C++, and Fortran, and most of what I do is using IDL (my native tongue). I have never sat down and studied any of these languages and I am sure that if I was able to read an entire textbook on a specific language, I would learn almost nothing. When I want to write Fortran code, I just Google the commands that I need, or copy bits of what are already there and edit them. Of course, the codes I use are written by astrophysicists, and not computer hackers, so are written in a significantly simplified way and usually it is obvious what each line of code does.

You astrophysicists need to be introduced to Python. It’s better than beer. Just import antigravity and you’ll be flying. xkcd #353.

A lot of people talk about Python, but so many codes are already written in IDL and most of us don’t want to change. I know older professors who still do everything with Fortran 77. The fact that we all use IDL is a huge problem for us actually given how expensive it is and I hear the price is going up!

By the way, I just want to point out the Python is a scripting language.

Maybe you can convince Steve to learn it.

You don’t know how important it is, til you can do it spatterson. Everyone speaking English is a complete cop out and I’ll tell you why. When I speak German, I’m still at a level where its a bit of an effort, not work per se but my personality (in English as it were) takes it time sometimes in coming out. Unless all these Swiss have perfect native level English, it’s probably the same for them. In so much, you don’t really know people unless you are speaking to them on their terms.

I never, ever thought I’d be at this level in German and I work in an all German environment every day. I’m by no means perfect but it actually scares me how far I’ve come without really doing a lot. About this time last year I started in Lingq btw, maybe a bit earlier.

Switzerland can be tricky, just like the south of Germany, I feel for you there, when it comes to Dialekt. Berlin is crying out for programmers due to the start up boom here. Moneys not as good, but the life is great and your Deutsch would probably come on leaps and bounds due to hearing everyday German as you think its meant to be said!

Good luck mate.


You must of been in a bad way to hand over $50 to your man there. Put the time in, put it in early, or like so many people I know here, you will just give up.

Umm Omad, I’m not sure if you read my posts… but you may want to re-read them. I’m not sure where you came up with the “complete cop out” part, since that would imply I just said “the hell with german, I’ll speak English” I alluded that I really DIDNT have to learn German to survive… but that it would make my life easier.

As for the Swiss, yes nearly everyone I meet (in my age group 20-30s) is basically natively fluent in English. The official language at work is English and they’re not going to stand around waiting for me to construct sentences and work through a conversation when everyone could do it in 20 seconds in English. I don’t have time for that.

No thanks on moving to Berlin. Why would I leave paradise?

As for the $50, like I said, it’s not a big deal for me. That’s the price of a cheese burger and a beer here. And you don’t know me, so don’t assume I’ll “just give up”

Sorry man I think a few of the things I said there came out a bit more pointed than I would have liked. I actually wanted to say “maybe” give up etc.

One of the things about actually learning another language is realising others shortcomings in yours. You would be surprised at how limited the English is of some people you imagine to be fluent because you can have a quick talk.

It’s interesting you say you don’t need it to survive. But then, you become that guy then really. English isn’t spoken by everyone, I know in my own experience I don’t particuarly like being in a bubble of my own construction, I am certainly frustrated when not understanding. You don’t need it overnight, but if you plan on staying in Europe for any length of time then…well, you do need it, maybe. As I said, I know plenty here without a word…they get by and all but I found it a bit galling when they assume every time in a mixed crowd we must speak English. It becomes a bit of a self fulfilling prophecy really.

Personally I was sick of giving Germans the satisfaction :slight_smile:

Again good luck dude and I apologise if that came across arsey, certainly was not my intention. Honestly, I did a bit of time in Switzerland…and would find it extremely difficult to learn Hoch Deutsch there. So good luck again with it.

The Swiss I work with are fluent. There’s no “maybe” about it. They went to university in English, they read technical books in English, they’ve written white papers in English, they sound American, and they know Family Guy and South Park better than I do. I don’t really care about the other people I don’t talk to.

"It’s interesting you say you don’t need it to survive. But then, you become that guy then really. "
“That guy” is not me and won’t be me. “That guy” is the English guy (Not to offend you Brits. If you need to- mentally insert “american” instead ) I work with that has been here for 4+ years and hasn’t learned a single bit of German.

Really I don’t know where this “the sky is falling, you’re going to be that guy” is coming from. I’ve switched from ‘sit back, read, listen, and enjoy’ to ‘full force gale’ (oh man that’s a good van morrison song)

I have a kind of fantasy, which goes like this: I speak German to a native, he/she replies in excellent English, and then I switch seamlessly to word-perfect Dutch…then drift back to German. (I reckon that’d give 'em the gas! :-D)

On reflection, I reckon the Clug’s method is probably closely based on the over-learning drill based courses developed by the DLI and FSI in America in the 1960s and 70s. (In fact, if I remember right, the Clug actually claims to be a graduate of DLI, doesn’t he?)

But why would anyone pay $50 for something which is available for free online?? (Most of the FSI courses are public domain.)

It would be nice to get any kind of an update from anyone who has tried using this method. I would be interested in seeing what kind of progress has been made and in which areas… or if anyone trying this method is simply doomed to burn-out.

The guy can barely write coherent English. I dread to see what this ‘method’ is. Also note that his ‘method’ is so good that he failed military school language class several times and is monolingual besides some choppy French/Spanish.

It’s probably a scam/rip off of someone else’s work. He’s done what classic internet marketers do when their product flops - move onto something else to try and sell people.

Oh you’re back on the let’s rubbish Clugston thing again? Well it was worth every cent I paid: I naturally acquired vocab effortlessly, and my fluency developed. His right brain exercises were fantastic, there were follow-up emails, and the group Skype sessions with him were very enjoyable. The only reason I stopped the method was because I developed peripheral nerve damage in both hands, so it was impossible to continue the volume of writing.

If you want to know the details, fork out the money yourself - but don’t bother If you don’t respect copyright and intellectual property laws…

Good for you.

And yes, i rubbish the guy because he is incredibly rude and arrogant despite not being able to write or speak his native language properly.

I like how you’ve said you acquired vocab ‘effortlessly’ but then go on to say that the sheer volume of writing is too much. Surely that doesn’t count as ‘effortless’ ?

Seriously Julz, so you highly rate Clug’s method?


Can you read? I didn’t say the ‘sheer volume was too much’ and it looks like you missed the significant mention of nerve damage. Perhaps I could have said ‘amount’ instead of ‘volume’. I have to constantly swap hands even when holding a telephone receiver, but can’t write with both hands, so work it out. One can’t write if the hand’s gone numb after a short period of time, even after a few minutes sometimes.

The ‘effortlessness’ of acquiring vocab in my case (and some others) happened incidentally, just like we may aquire vocab on LingQ ‘like magic’ with lots of reading and listening. The ‘magic’ is happening for me on LingQ right now.

Some of your various remarks on here mocking Clugston etc reveal your apparent immaturity, lack of empathy, discernment and ignorance of post-traumatic stress disorder effects on individuals - so I assume you’re quite young. After all, only an immature person would flaunt someone else’s alleged traumatic past online as you did in previous posts.

I liked it. Different ways of doing things can help for different languages or language stages, and for different times depending on the individual. Variety is the spice of life. I like to use Glossika in combination with LingQ, at the moment. Whatever we enjoy.

Yeah I’m a huge fan of Glossika.

(Maybe I should try Clug too? :-D)

Wow you must have been dragged up. What an insane lack of manners.

And yes i can read - you said ‘sheer volume’ suggesting that it’s a lot of work, so how the hell did you acquire vocab ‘effortlessly’. This and i KNOW his ‘method’ involves a LOT of hard work. Once again, hardly ‘effortless’.

I think you’re just very angry at the fact that you tripped yourself up.

As for his ‘post traumatic stress’ - if you could actually read yourself you will remember i highlighted it in order to have people go a little easier on him.

The fact that he can’t read, speak or write his own language well at all means i give him no credence as a ‘linguist’ or a language teacher and that is why i brought him up here, to add to the fact that he’s ruder than you and very insulting and derogatory towards everyone else that’s not himself.

Anyone in the martial arts world knows that he is nothing more than a guy trying to sell second rate products and i assumed his language stuff was the same owing to the previously aforementioned appalling English language skills.

Sorry if you love him so much that i touched a nerve but you’ll have to be a big girl and realise this is just a forum where i’m able to air my views, and if you don’t like it you should probably get a life.

Don’t bother responding and carrying this on - i have absolutely nothing more to say to you.