We have some interesting action started on this idea of easy introductions to the languages at LingQ in order to help people,
I have tried my hand at it. I have uploaded an easy introduction to French and Japanese for English speakers, and an introduction to English for Japanese speakers. These can found in the respective language Libraries.
After getting more feedback, I intend to continue, talking on one language issue at a time in each 10 minute discussion. The question is whether to focus on English and provide explanation in different languages, or to introduce other languages. On the one hand most people are past the beginner stage in English and so the need is less. And is it better for a native speaker to introduce his or her language, or a learner like me. Maybe it is best to have both perspectives.
I will follow the list of ten language issues that I put up on my blog some time ago, and which I am pasting below here. It just seems to me that if others want to try to do this for their own language, or for a language they have learned, it might make sense to follow a common order in introducing these language issues.
It is our hope that most listeners will stop listening to these before the end, and will want to get onto the target language itself. This is not a substitute for LingQ, it is a means to coax the more reluctant language learners (probably the majority) to jump in and enjoy the water, to immerse themselves in a new language using LingQ.
Proposed subjects of discussion for easy introductions. We could even take turns in different languages. Await comments.
Action (Verbs) a brief introduction
I ,you, he, she, it, we, they went
I ,you, he, she, it, we, they will go
I ,you, he, she, it, we, they gave
I ,you, he, she, it, we, they will give
say, come, am, have.
Who? (People) pronouns, nouns, gender, agreement, cases, prepositions
I am a man
I am a woman
Who are you?
I am your friend.
You are my friend.
I am his friend too.
Whose friend are you?
I am John’s friend.
To whom did you give the book.
I gave it to them.
Give Anne’s friend the book, give it to her.
Give John’s friend the apple, give it to him.
Everyone who lives here is my friend.
The people who work here are my friends.
Whose orange is this?
It is ours.
Is this yours?
No, it is his. It is his orange.
What? (Things) articles, prepositions,adjectives
What is it?
It is a car, a fast car.
Is it a house?
No it is not a house, it is a factory.
What do you want?
I want to eat the orange.
Give him the book now.
I gave it to him yesterday.
What do you like?
I like to eat meat.
What is that person’s name?
I don’t know what that person’s name is.
Which? relative clauses, comparisons
Which is your car?
This car is mine, that one is yours.
Which one do you like?
I like the big one, the one which you do not like.
Which is the best restaurant?
The restaurant which you go to all the time is not very good.
Which restaurant is closed?
The restaurant which you don’t like is closed.
When? (Time) words of time, clock, tenses,
What time is it right now.
It is 12 noon right now.
What are you doing right now?
Right now I am eating.
What time do you always eat?
I always eat at this time.
What time are you going to eat tomorrow?
I am going to eat later tomorrow.
What time did you eat yesterday?
I ate earlier yesterday.
Just as I was eating, she came in.
As soon as I saw her I said hello.
Since last week I have been sick.
Me too. I have been sick for a three days.
What time is it now?
It is three in the afternoon.
What time is it now?
It is 10 in the morning.
How? (Method and condition) prepositions, postpositions (Japanese), cases
How are you?
I am fine thank you.
How old are you?
I am ten years old.
How big is your house.
It is very big. It is the biggest. It is bigger than yours.
How far is it to the town?
It is far to the town.
How did you come?
I came by train, with my friend.
How did you learn to dance?
I learned at school.
How many and how much? ( Quantity)
How many children do you have?
I have three children.
How much wine do you drink everyday?
I usually drink three glasses every day.
How much money can you make?
I don’t know how much money I can make.
Why? (Reason,purpose and cause)
Why do want to go?
I want to go because I am lonely.
Why do you work?
I work in order to earn money.
I do not need to work. Nevertheless I work. There are many reasons.
Me too. Although I do not need to work, I do. That is because I like to work.
Even though I hate my boss, I still work every day.
Why? Because I need the money.
Where? (Location, direction) prepositions, postpositions, cases
Where are you now?
I am at the store, in Tokyo, near the restaurant.
She went to London from Paris.
Every day she goes from home to work.
Where is my book?
It is on the table, under the window.
Where is my chair.
Your chair is in the room, beside the light.
What if? (Conditions,requests) conditional, subjunctive, modals
If I had more money I would buy a car right now.
Last year, if I had had more money I would have bought a car.
If I like the new book I will give it to you, when I finish reading it.
Last year, if I had known what I know now, I would not have come.
I want you to know that you cannot stay.
I know. I hope you know that I am not happy about it.
Please don’t look so sad.
If I could stay I would be happy.
You cannot stay. Let’s go.
OK. Let’s go then.
May I? (Polite requests) levels of politeness, asking for things
Would you please tell me.
May I have this dance?
Excuse me, could you please…
I am sorry, I do not know