Learning Languages on Your Own - Konstantin Andreev

Högskolan Dalarna (Dalarna University College)

Konstantin Andreev

To save you guys some time, his tips start at 9m00s.

I mostly agree with the guy except his views on grammar and Esperanto.

I like his idea about implementing SRS using your cellphone’s reminder function. But of course it will be difficult for most of us who already have thousands of words on our lists.

I am actually more interested in his rather neutral English accent. It is even more neutral than most British accents.

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@edwin “…his tips start at 9m00s.”
opss, my bad. I forgot to mention it xD

@Imyirtseshem “Clugston just attacked the presentor for having a drink.”
I’m getting tired of that clugston guy… what he really needs is a quart of iodine in his thyroid gland (seriously)

I have just watched through this video and feel that there was little new here, and much that I disagree with. I may do a video on the subject. As to the idea that people wanting to learn a language should first get a small book on linguistics, or study Esperanto…

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I tried to learn Esperanto once to boost my overall language acquisition skill, but I could not get over the Ham Radio Syndrome.

What I mean is, like 90% of the time HAM radio operators talk, they talk about HAM radios.
Same with Esperanto in my experience.
Too much of the material and conversation is about… you guessed it… Esperanto…
Thats great if thats your bag, but I want to talk about other things like the sky, rainbows, bunny rabbits, the great depression, current events, rocks… anything else…

I still like the idea of the language and the strong community, and may try it again someday…but I’m having too much fun in other languages at the moment…so it wouldn’t be a good language tool for me.

"What I mean is, like 90% of the time HAM radio operators talk, they talk about HAM radios.
Same with Esperanto in my experience. "

I didn’t know that so many esperantists were also HAM radio enthusiasts :smiley:

As a side note, all the conversations between polyglots on youtube lately all seem to be about learning languages…

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“3. Google the words you know.”
I tend to do this a lot with sentences when I’m not sure if it is correct or something that a native will understand. When I look up sentences in Google, I check how many results that appear and where the most of (if not the entire) sentence is in bold. If I find that there are no results or if the words appear bold individually in different sentences, then I can come to the conclusion that it is said like that at all or the phrasing I used is not very common or something that one wouldn’t typically Google.

the idea of googling a word or phrase is a good one. It enables us to see examples of usage. However, very often we are not familiar with the context. I would suggest that using the examples in our Vocabulary page is more useful, especially for individual words. If you work on a list on the Vocab page, open up a word and look up the examples. As you proceed down the list, all the words will open up with the examples list there. I find this particularly useful for high frequency words or for words from a Tagged list.

Does anyone else do this?

I was amused by his suggestion to read a linguistics book, or study Esperanto, before learning a new language. No doubt a great idea if you are interested in those things, but more likely to turn people off language learning if they are not. And relatively few people are interested in those subjects.

I was also amused by his claim that “anyone who tells you don’t need to study grammar to learn a language, doesn’t know what they are talking about”. First of all, for most academic learners, like most of us here, the issue is not “grammar or no grammar” but rather whether grammar needs to be up front, a condition for learning languages, something we need to master first etc. or whether it is just one aspect of language learning, not worthy of being the centre piece, and better studied in bits and pieces, as we gain experience with the language.

For the majority of language learners in the world, the non-academic ones who just pick up the language on the street so to say, it does not matter much at all.

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Yes, Imy, it is positively enjoyable to review grammar, especially examples, after we have experienced the language.

It is like the article I post on my blog about the benefits of struggling a little with problems in school, rather than getting the formulas up front from the teachers.

I remember that my map of Sydney (during my recent visit)meant little until I had walked around, taken a few buses, and got lost a few times. Then I really was able to absorb the map.

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The “get a book on linguistics” and “learn Esperanto” suggestions aren’t as useful or motivating for people who have already learned several languages. At least not in order to “get familiar with grammar” (it’s a bit like “you should learn the ukulele before any other instrument”. Yeah right.)

Other than this, I liked Konstantin’s presentation.

Jeff, do you think that the “get a book on linguistics” and “learn Esperanto” suggestions are motivating for people who want to learn Spanish or Chinese and have never learned another language?

As a side note (sorry, I just watched the video), this guy has a very impressive accent (to go along with his extremely high level). There’s no way I could have guessed he was Russian if he hadn’t mentioned it in the first minute!

Yes he has Peter. He works in English and Swedish no doubt, but the key is motivation.

I have encountered many foreign professors at English speaking university who speak appalling English, poor pronunciation, poor word use, poor grammar. I heard one two nights ago.

“After learning around 7,500 French words, 173.7 of listening and approx 350,000 words of reading, I now really like doing a few hours of French grammar study.”

Seems a little late to me. A few earlier “Eurekas” would have saved you a lot of misunderstandings.

But if you have read 350,000 words, you should have read many passé simple, subjunctive, conditional, and many other verb forms. How can you understand them CORRECTLY? I hope you did not only trust the hints of other people’s LingQs or Google Translate - they are often wrong…