For example I study my target language only a few hours a week and I attend a lesson of my Danish course every week but I’m thinking in my foreign languages allmost all day long when I’m not busy doing something in German and I have a polyglot lifestile that means that I do for example my cooking by using foreign language recipes. If I do a study session of two hours this is much for me.
I wouldn’t worry too much, buddy! As well as your native language, you also have an excellent level in both English and German: In the brave new Europe those two languages may well be all that you will ever need to know…
I think that Steve has a particular accent in all his languages. Not that that’s a problem, of course.
The translation of the verb “подходил” in this content would be “treated” or “saw in some way”, not “arrived”.
I don’t question Steve’s ability to minimize his accent in any language if he would decide to work on it. He has made some guidelines on how to do it himself. In the meantime, I don’t think that it’s that much important to do: having an Asian accent is quite alright, just as any other one. I’ve just mentioned the presence of it to illustrate the Tim’s case.
@Imyirtseshem and Rank:
Thanks, guys, you cheered me up a bit! Maybe I shouldn’t compare myself to the very best polyglots in the world. I will keep on polishing the languages I know and try to learn the rudiments of some other that have always fascinated me, but I think I will stop worrying about other language learners… I’ll try to devote more time for my language studies and see if it helps.
@Imyirtseshem: You’re probably right, especially that I’m not surrounded by like-minded language lovers in the real world. To my friends I already “speak a number of languages well”, even if the number is relatively low comparing to real polyglots and “speaking a language well” is such a subjective phrasing…
@Rank: I guess English would be enough to get by in the whole world, but I can’t resist the temptation to delve into other languages as well…
@Vonk hmm… That is really not an easy kind of thing to grasp and lay out in words. For instance, could you tell why does one’s Spanish accent sound Spanish?
But if I had to use one word to describe Asian accents (East Asian, I mean), I would probably choose “mildness”.
For Western Asian accents (Arabic, Persian, …, Tim’s ;)) it would be the word “glottal”.
Customic, I’d be interested in talking/chatting with you on Skype at some point. I know your English is quite good and I’ve probably got nothing much which I could help you with there, though it would be nice to be in contact with up-and-coming polyglots. Plus, Polish is the next language which I’m learning. It’s us who will be the next wave of Steves, Luca and such. Luca has been learning languages for 20 years. That was surprising. I’ve been doing it for 4 1/2, with my first 2 years being mostly experimental.
@Imyirtseshem: “…It’s us who will be the next wave of Steves, Luca and such.”
That’s one interesting way of looking at it! (And it may be absolutely true - if you guys are into hardcore language learning for the long term :-D)
However for me the mission is more about limiting and reducing the number of languages on my list. In the past I have been somewhat afflicted with ‘Linguamania’, but I reckon I’m basically a person who would be much happier being C2- in two or three foreign languages, rather than fighting up to B2+ in scores of languages. (Once you get past C1 level, the “learning” that you do is increasingly just a matter of reading for pure pleasure, I find.)
But to each his own I guess.
You should try to keep yourself from thinking like that.
Your comment reminded me of your last writing.It was very interesting:)You have an excellent improvement in Turkish,and I’m exactly sure,you’re quite succesful in your learning process.You needn’t hurry.
Rank, I think that I will have no problem reaching C1+ in 5 languages over the next 7 or 8 years. Let’s see how that goes…
Once you get past C1 level, the “learning” that you do is increasingly just a matter of reading for pure pleasure, I find.
Once you get past B1, I would say. At least, that is my experience with German.
That’s very interesting, Eugrus. May I ask which German books you started reading when you were still at B1 level?
(Personally I found that I struggled VERY hard with German literature - even with popular fiction titles - untill I was B2+ or C1- But maybe you were working with ‘easy reader’ editions of literature, specially designed for language students?)
Drei Kameraden von Remarque. Original one - not adapted for language learners. And yeah, “struggled” is a right word, but I could still follow what was going on (I had read this novel in my native language about four years before that). I understood it just fragmentarily (was not a LingQ user then and didn’t look up words), but I think, such reading helped me a lot to improve. That was on my 5th or 6th month of learning German. In fact, can only tell that I should have started with newspapers earlier - they are normally easier to read, than novels and doing so would have given me motivation, which lacks a lot when you have no access to “real” content. Do not know, why didn’t our tutors at Goethe-Institut Moskau ever tell us, that it’s a right thing to do. However, about a half of my B2.2 group at GI today still ignores doing any reading except of with what is in the Kursbuch.
Now, as I am on the B2 level, Remarque’s novels are almost an easy reading (especially, when reading them on LingQ), so, I am starting to go into legal textbooks and Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch. As for now, it is a hard kind of content for me, but dealing easily with my professional content is my final goal, so I am glad to start doing what I am up to and, of course, this time LingQ helps me a lot.
Yes, I would say Remarque is quite good reading for students of German. Many people here in the UK have to read “Im Westen nichts Neues” if they take German at school, I believe. (That was also about the second or third German book that I read entirely from cover to cover.)
I’ve heard Im Westen nichts Neues as an audiobook recently, but my favorite one from Remarque is Arc de Triomphe -)
@Rank and Eugrus.
I agree about Remarque. As I understand it, Arc de Triomphe is part of a loose tetralogy about German WW2 refugees. The other three novels of the tetralogy being Liebe Deinen Nächsten, Schatten im Paradies und Die Nacht Von Lissabon. I read and enjoyed all four of them (a couple of years ago), but Liebe Deinen Nächsten and Schatten im Paradies were my favorites.
During that time I also enjoyed reading and listening to an audiobook of Der Richter und sein Henker by Friedrich Dürrenmatt.
My general level of German comprehension was not then (and is not now) very high, but the novels fascinated me and engaged me to high degree so that I understood more than just the gist of them. Enjoying those five novels convinced me that Steve is right to say that having fun is the most important ingredient of language learning.
I agree. However I would also advise people to start by reading the German translations of well known popular fiction titles - especially if they have read the original version at some point in the past.
(If I remember correctly, the very first German language book that I read right through was their translation of “Murder on the Orient Express”!)
I’m currently listening to “The Portrait of Dorian Gray” in German, and reading the original at the same time. After I’m done, I’m going to listen all over again while reading this time in the German translation. Let’s see how it works out.
He speaks arabic pretty good … and has a good Egyptian dialect
I think he is talented