Cute girls, mathematics, language

From the all-powerful blog All Japanese All The Time (AJATT) by Khatzumoto-san:

Also must-reads are:

-10,000 Hours: Building Listening Comprehension
-Why You Should Keep Listening Even If You Don’t Understand

Shout out to Steve on the blog!

I wonder why LingQ doesn’t treat links well. Breaks up every link and you cannot actually click on them. :frowning:

I think you really like Khatzumoto’s blog don’t you? :smiley: That guy rocks :slight_smile:

LingQ breaks up long strings of characters otherwise the layout gets broken. We haven’t had time to deal with this issue programmatically and the easiest workaround is to insert a space every 50 characters. The best idea, when posting links on the forum, is to use an url shortening service like tinyurl or

Some communities are able to shorten the links by ending them with “…” after ~20 characters:… (while keeping the entire URL)

Where are the cute girls, or was that just to attract people to this thread?

It’s in reference to the fact that a cute little 4 year old girl that Khazumoto knows who’s a native speaker of Japanese speaks better Japanese than 99% of students who’ve had 4 years of the language at university, of course because she’s already listened to thousands of hours of Japanese and the university student probably hasn’t even listened to 500 in that time, attempting to refute the assumption that children are somehow ‘magical language vacuums’ and that adults can’t replicate this.

I wonder if people expected to hear that recent research shows that cute girls and math are the key to language learning?

That’s good then. I’ve already got a girlfriend and I don’t understand math one bit!

One thing that I didn’t like about the post was that it didn’t talk much about efficiency. It talked about listening to 10s of thousands of hours, but not necessarily listening to input that is comprehensible. I think that if the input is always, to some extent, comprehensible (at your level with LingQ or ALG or whatever), then I don’t think you’d need 10s of thousands of hours.

I really hope so :smiley:
I agree that sometimes it’s worth it to listen to whatever content you can find, but most of the time it’s important to listen to comprehensible audio. At least in my experience. I’ve listened to 600-700 hours of Spanish content (mostly comprehensible) and I think that by the time I achieve 2000 hours, I’ll be fairly fluent.
Btw, I like math :smiley:

Ya I’m not a big fan of listening to things I can’t understand at least 50% of (that’s low for some people, but most of what I listen to I understand at least 80% of), so I disagree with Khazumoto on this point. Not that I don’t think it helps, because I think even incomprehensible listening has at least an accustomizing effect on your brain’s ability to ‘hear’ a language, but I get bored really quickly if I don’t understand, and if I’m bored with something I’ll usually just do something else.

That’s great Balint! By the time you hit 2000 you’ll be pro all the way man:)

I’ve just read this article about the topic, you might be interested:

And I do agree with that it’s not good to listen to the very same content for ages - you have to push your boundaries to improve faster, and in order to do that, you need some words that you don’t know (yet). According to Krashen, this is the I+1 in practice :smiley: (where I is the current knowledge of the learner, and +1 is the unknow yet comprehensible input (from context)) OK, enough talk, going back to Spanish. :smiley:

Thanks David! :smiley:

Principles and Practice in Second Language Acquisition - great book:)

Steve’s YouTube video about Krashen and that book is what turned me onto LingQ in the first place!

“One thing that I didn’t like about the post was that it didn’t talk much about efficiency.”

My thoughts exactly. If it takes you TENS of thousands of hours to become proficient then you are doing something wrong. In the case of the four-year old Japanese girl she was presumably sleeping on the job for 12 hours a day, taking time out to play with dollies or listening to her parents talking about topics which were conceptually way over her head :wink:

1000 hours of EFFECTIVE listening should get you there. More or less.

We had a forum thread on this a few weeks ago with equations and everything. When I find it I’ll add it to the LingQ wiki.

My views.

Read and listen to things that are meaningful. What makes things meaningful? Three things…your interest in them, your ability to comprehend, and some help in deciphering them (i.e online dictionary or LingQ). You have to weigh the three factors to see how effective the reading or listening can be.

If you are not interested in the subject and do not understand - meaningless and ineffective.

If you are not interested yet it is easy to understand - meaningful and somewhat effective.

If you are interested and understand a little - meaningful and somewhat effective.

If you are interested, understand a little, and have LingQ to look up and save words -meaningful and effective.

If you are interested, understand most of it, and look up the odd words at LingQ - meaningful and effective.

By the way, a 4 year old child does not read literature, history books, the newspaper and discuss politics. At LingQ, depending on how much time you put in, you can reach that level in a few years, starting from scratch in any of the languages we offer.

My sentiments exactly. My point was that adults can do exactly what children can, and in less time, with enough listening. And if you are interested, understand most of it, save the words on LingQ AND use Spaced Repetition Listening, then it’s meaningful and highly efficient/effective. I don’t want to do hours and hours of meaningless listening either.

Spaced Repetition Listening works for those who like it. Time on task and motivation are key.

I am motivated to listen repeatedly to simple content, full texts, full contexts, when I start, and am more motivated to go on to new content when I am intermediate and advanced. I am not motivated to have some algorithm determine where I spend my time.

Algorithms: maybe not for language, but they work great for bathroom times…

Ya that’s why I like to do only a little bit of Spaced Repetition each day and the spend the rest of my time listening extensively to things that I’m interested in and motivated to listen to. It’s not something you have to do, I just find that it’s more effective for me, and I’d like to share that experience with others, in the hope that they may reap some benefit.

I read your post from November 22nd about what that language learning director said concerning the key factors in language learning (time on task, motivation and attentiveness - those who haven’t read it can do so here , and I agree that, in the end, these are the deciding factors in your progress.