Hi everybody I want to know how do you learn languages?

I started reading nursery rhymes and child stories.

Hi - I’m learning Mandarin. I suggest you test whatever method you pick to see how fast you are learning new material. Choose a method that helps you learn new material at the fastest rate. The method below is the one I found is the fastest and most enjoyable. This method assumes that you have a good English translation. Unfortunately, LingQ does not have a lot of text with English translations except for the beginning lessons. I would use LingQ more if it did.

  1. Read thru mandarin and annotate text - e.g. put english over words I don’t know. If the word has 2 characters - then
    I’ll put the appropriate meaning of both characters. A word can have many meanings so you use the English translations to pick the most appropriate meaning. I think spending time just reading without any audio is also useful.
  2. Listen to Mandarin while reading my annotated text. If I don’t know the word - I can quickly see the meaning
    I do this several times to try to learn the new words
  3. Listen to Mandarin while reading the English. I shadow while I listen. (search in Youtube for “foreign langauge - how to shadow” to learn how to shadow. I think it is very important that you know what is actually being said. I used to not do this but you end up with just a vague idea of what is being said or incorrect idea of what is being said. I believe that this shadowing helps you with speaking. Different parts of the brain control speaking and listening. Getting your mouth moving to pronounce these words is useful. Learning new words is important but it is also important to be able to understand longer and more complicated sentences immediately.
  4. This is the final step and basically a test. Listen to audio without any help. Do you understand everything? If not, repeat this step or repeat steps 2 & 3. There are some words I skip over because I think I’m never going to use them e.g. names of people.

The end result you are looking for, in my opinion, is to listen to text and to immediately know what it means.
A vague idea is not good enough. You only have seconds to get the meaning so steps 2 & 3 are to help you improve your performance.

I like to pick material that is fairly long e.g 100 pages and material you find interesting. This is because with longer material you get used to the speakers style and you hear a lot of related words. e.g. a biography on some sports figure is going to give you a lot vocabulary around sports. Biographies, I think, tend to have some common elements - e.g. there are a lot adjectives describing people.

For Mandarin, I picked the 6 biographies written by Grace Wu.
She has a paperback with Mandarin & pinyin. Then you can download PDFs with the English, vocabulary lists etc.

My method focuses on listening mostly & and some reading skill. My strategy is to get to fluency in listening first. By fluency, I mean that I can understand most conversations I hear. This is a strategy that Steve has suggested. Trying to get to fluency in reading, writing, listening & speaking will take too long and you might give up. If you can get to fluency in listening, you can use that skill to help you with fluency in other areas. For example, talking to somebody is going to be much easier because you now understand everything that they are saying.

I suggest you try different methods and see which one gives you the fastest results.
I doesn’t matter what the experts say - what matters is what works for you.


I’m used to remember words with app then reading books.

I like to read and listen over and over the same content, save new words and watch videos on youtube. Yes, I’m just using LingQ for it.

Hugs from Brazil.