How do you learn a foreign language?

Hi, Couch.

I listening to podcasts (mp3) all days when I go to my job and use lingq. I like a lot too use flashcards in My city have many foreign people and I talk in languages a lot with them and my friends. I learning more Spanish, Italian, French and English.

I learning idioms because my world grow up (I can see many materials - like notices, videos etc and I can know many people, too) .

So I agree with the idea below:

You live a new life for every new language you speak. (Czech proverb).

I use various method to learn languages.

  1. I read or listen to interesting things without paying attention to new words. When reviewing them, I look up some words.
  2. To be familiar with special topics, I look up all the words before reading texts or read the translated ones.
  3. I sometimes watch television or movie in Internet.
  4. I learn new words and expressions in textbooks, then try to find examples including the words in different contexts, for example TV programs, movies, Information, short stories, etc.

I don’t know how many words I learn per day because the knowledge level of each word is various. Actually, I have some difficulty with remembering persons’ names or local cities’ names, etc.
It is very difficult to know how to use new words in a conversation or to increase new active words. The more we learn special terms, the less we have the opportunity to say them in a daily life.

It is also very difficult for me to decide to say how many words I remember every day although I can translate all the new words into my mother tongue or realize that “I got it” with Flash Card because each word has various meanings in different contexts.
When I find different usages of known words, I always realize that my previous decision to say in my heart that " I got" might be only provisional.

In conclusion, it is better to learn new expressions or new phrases (including unknown words) than to learn each word separately, especially when we learn how to use basic words. Because native speakers speak these phrases very fast without consider separating words too much.
Plus précisément des locuteurs natifs n’articulent pas des phrases, alors il serait préférable d’apprendre des groupes de mots afin d’observer comment natifs parlent très vite sans les articuler. C’est ce que je dois faire pour améliorer ma capacité d’écoute.

Farrago - I thought it was eating their hearts. My mistake…

@Imyirtseshem It is your Down Under conservatism. Here in Europe you just drink the blood. That’s all!

Sorry for saying too much.

      I guite agree with Steve and Imyirtseshem.     The words learn  incidentally  and  during a  indeterminable  length of time.....

Hello , I want to speak English,call me in skype.My skype is justina164.

It is only my option.
I think, that we know words only when we use it.
А little child hears a same word many times and He or She will remembers it.
Just his or her parents speak this word many times and little child remembers this word/

When we read text and a word there is seldom in it, we have to do not worry about remember this word.

If we use or read the word many times we know this word.


I consider a word known if I can recognize and understand it in context. My knowledge of this word will gradually grow. I will always have more words that I can recognize than words that I can use, always. There is nothing wrong with that. We cannot reasonably expect to be able to use all the words that we know passively. But the passive vocabulary is vitally important, otherwise we cannot understand a lot of what we hear and read.

I agree with Steve/
We really often understand words by context

To the OP, for lots more information on how to learn languages from experienced learners, you should check out Steve’s channel on youtube, and these too:
Alexander Arguelles - YouTube (my personal favorite)
Niels JL Iversen - YouTube
Anthony Lauder - YouTube
laoshu505000 - YouTube

Dear friends! Guess what I’ve recently discovered! :slight_smile:

I started to learn Latin again as an obligatory subject at my faculty. I used to be taught this language by a very artificial method. As you probably know, Latin is very inflective, there are several cases and so on. The method consisted in learning several charters with endings for each case and each gender so in order to write/read (and understand) sth during the test I had to write the charts once again every time, which meant this method was quite impractical.

Now I’m using a very smart textbook in which there are no charts at all! Every unit consists in a very simple and childish story in which there are meny similar and repetive phrases.

E.g. What is Rome? Rome is a city. What is Sparta? Sparta is a city too. Rome and Sparta are two cities. Is Italia a city too? No, Italia is not a city. Italia is a country.

and so on…

I’ve always thought that such simple phrases would be too boring to use them for teaching. Surprisingly, in my case the don’t bore me at al.l And that’s because yet in the beginning I realized that by a mere reading them I’m learning!

Normally we prepare some list of vocabulary and we are learning them by heart repeating every word several times. Unfortunately, we do the same when it comes to grammar, while the method of my new book in my opinion is the best way too learn such stuff. The reason is that we learn the grammar little by little but IN THE CONTEXT. That’s very important, because then I don’t have to memorize that e.g. case X is used for A,B,C and D, but instead I create connotations with the context so that later adequate cases come to me intuitively.

The other point is that you are more eager just to read something than sit down and cram some charts with grammatical stuff. I think that method doesn’t make us so tired.

What do you think?

We have lessons like this in our Library. Puntos de vista in Spanish, by Alsuvi comes to mind, as well as Practical Russian Grammar by Evgueny. Interesting content and many examples of different patterns is much or effective than tables and rules alone.

Vera’s beginning German lessons will work that way too. While she doesn’t ask questions in the lesson as in the above examples, she repeats scenarios from lesson to lesson so the learner gets a lot of repeat vocabulary and situations with a bit of variation to keep things interesting.

BTW there is an approach to language teaching where the teacher does exactly what you’ve noted above - only s/he does it orally in conversation with the students.

Another member here, Chalkbrd, uses that method, and it also is evidenced in her contributions to the English library here.