Luca Lampariello’s method of Bi-Directional Translation

Thank you Peter for reading my comment and my profile. Unfortunately, I hadn’t updated my profile section in quite a while, but the languages have stayed the same.

Yes, the languages I ended up learning were based on a mixture of interest and requirements for my graduate degree. I see you have also learned various languages, according to your profile, equally (if not even more) inspiring, as I believe you can probably speak most of the langauges you have studied. Most of the languages I ended up learning were strictly for writing. The only two I can speak well are English (my native language) and Chinese (although this is still needing improvement).

I think it is very cool you are also interested in Hebrew. At the time I was trying to read some Modern Hebrew on LingQ, it had only just started as a Beta langauge, and the resources were rather weak. I suppose now they are much better. I wish you the best of luck with your language journey, my friend.

-Cody C.

I can’t verify what he says so it’s speculative to me.
My own experience speaks to a gap specifically around speaking.
I’m not really trying to learn speaking so I don’t focus on it.
But that means my speaking is generally pretty poor. That’s true in my L3 and my L4 I’m working on now. My L2 I’m pretty good at speaking because I made the effort to acquire speaking skills.

So if I may speculate, I think it’s not an unreasonable assertion to make that if you reverse translate from your L1 to your L2 it will brute force your active vocabulary. I don’t know what effect that will have on your passive vocabulary but it could be substantial. Or irrelevant. I don’t know. And my L2 was 20 years ago so I don’t really remember.

What I do know is that if I want to bring my L3 and L4 speaking up to the same level as my listening comprehension I’m going to have to put effort in. Maybe Luca’s method is the way, maybe it’s not.

Interesting debate.

EDIT: One thing I will say. Luca’s pronunciation is hella good. The first couple minutes of listening to him in the following video I thought he was an American. I was blown away when he said he was an Italian. Even after noticing that yeah he’s making some mistakes in pronunciation here and there after several minutes to me he sounds like someone who immigrated to the US or Canada when he was a young teen. His accent is that awesome. How to improve your accent and pronunciation - Interview with Luca Lampariello - YouTube

Interesting. Thanks for sharing.

Hi, t_harangi!

I´m sorry for the late reply! I had to work non-stop on some IT projects for the last three weeks So, I didn´t have time to write anything on the LingQ forum.

" we need structure and discipline and good habits, that’s why I usually recommend Assimil to most people who are starting out "
I agree Assimil´s approach is great. I recommend it myself all the time.
But simply picking a method, tool / app, book, etc. without knowing what you are doing and why you are doing it should never be the first step on the learning journey [to avoid a misunderstanding here: “You” refers to (independent) first time language learners, not to experienced language learners who already have several languages under their belt. ]

Instead, “successful” learners spend a considerable amount of time learning about language learning / acquisition in general. Unfortunately, many learners (beyond language learning!) don´t do this! They often rush ahead completely blindly, without really knowing what they are doing and why they (should) be doing it:

  • “Oh, just give me a smartphone app!”.
  • “Oh, just give me some phrases to memorize so I can reach a B2 level in no time.”
  • “Goals? What kind of goals? I just want to be fluent.”
  • “I’ll just attend a language class once a week”,
    etc. etc.
    The result is (way too often) a complete mess of half-knowledge (and that’s a euphemism!), bad habits, no plan/structure, no goals, etc. - and a lot of “excuses” for inadequate results and failures.

Good teachers / coaches know this - and act accordingly.

“these list of “devil in the details” questions you ask are retroactive,”
Of course. I´ve spent decades learning / teaching practical skills (languages, math, and a bit of programming). And these questions are the result of what I´ve tried out myself (as a learner), what I´ve read in the (academic) literature, and what I´ve tested as a teacher.
No independent first-time learner is able to ask (and answer) most of these “devil in the details” questions. Ortherwise, he / she would already be an advanced learner :slight_smile:

However, people (companies) pay professional teachers / coaches because they should know this stuff.

Especially the whole “strong Why?” thing you often bring up. I never had a “why?” it has always been “just because.” I’ve learned three languages just because I felt like it.
All learners I had in teaching languages, math, or programming needed these practical skills for very specific purposes (tests, exams, their work, studying at a university, etc.). So, the “why” was obvious. Unfortunately, it wasn´t always a “strong” why so some of them tended to give up very quickly when things became “uncomfortable”…

“Just because” isn´t a good reason for most learners because many of them will give up quickly as soon as they realize that they have to invest a lot of time, energy, and money to really master a challenging skill. So, you may be the exception to the rule :slight_smile:

“as we feel our way along and course correct from time to time”
When you´ve spent enough time on educating yourself beforehand, you don´t “feel” your way.! Rather, you “know” what you´re doing and why you´re doing it!
And, of course, you always correct your course because that´s how self-directed learning works.

An acquaintance of mine would say in this context:
“But, Peter. You´re preaching all the time the “Lean Startup” / agile way. So, classical planning (which includes anticipation, plans, goal-setting, etc.) is obsolete, isn´t it?”

Well, it depends on the kind of problems we have to deal with.

  • Traditional “complicated” problems (in stable environments) can be solved with classical planning approaches.
  • In contrast, evolutionary and agile approaches with short time horizons, many experiments, etc. are a better fit for dealing with complex problems in volatile environments (a case in point: building an innovative startup).

Therefore, being “agile” is for professionals who “know” their stuff and have to deal with a lot of factual, social, and temporal complexity that can´t be reduced to basic (simple) principles (as is often the case with complicated problems).

In other words, “being agile” is not the same as just “feeling your way” and rushing forward blindly . Otherwise, “being agile” would simply be the same as “being clueless” :slight_smile:

"I do think you’re right in most of these questions are something we reflect on more retroactively when we autodidactively learned a language, and then might proactively consider if deciding how to acquire another L2. "
That may be true for some language learners.
But, my list of “devil in the details” questions was / is the result of my professional teaching. I asked many such questions because I needed them for creating a “structure” (a program, tests, etc.) for my students as fast as possible.

In other words: In a professional environment (esp. within companies) time is money. And you have to come up with something “viable” very fast. Just “feeling” your way isn´t good enough in this context.

Hi, aronald!

“For lots of language learners (like myself) the end goal doesn’t even have to be about speaking well and having smooth conversations.”
Hm, I´d say you or t_harangi (as language lovers) aren´t representative for the majority of language learners - at least not for the language learners I had to deal with in the past.

All of my students needed outputting activities, i.e. speaking and / or writing. Passive listening and reading comprehension weren´t enough for these target groups!

I think having a less efficient method that is more suitable to our personalities and more enjoyable is actually a better method even if the progress is slower.
This is similar to the “mantra” of many of my students (including their parents):
“We want learning success, but without ever leaving our comfort zone!”
And I would add: As soon as things get “uncomfortable” (in language learning, math, programming, etc.), you whine, you cry, you break down - and you give up, because that’s the way of the “comfortable” learner.

The mantra of the successful learner is instead:
“As a successful learner of challenging skills I do whatever it takes to succeed. And that includes getting comfortable with the uncomfortable”.

This may not be obvious when language learning is focused exclusively on developing passive reading/listening comprehension. But, it becomes apparent very quickly when trying to become good at math or programming. In these contexts, “comfort-oriented learners” drop like flies because their frustration tolerance is extremely low.

Focusing on “success” (instead of “comfort”) doesn´t exclude comfort, fun, pleasure, etc. completely. But, successful learners aren´t addicted to these aspects. This means: They don´t run away from “discomfort”. They embrace it.

For example: When students say: “Oh, you know. I´m not a reader. Reading is boring. Videos, TV, etc. are more suitable media for my personality.”
What they often really mean is this: “I have poor reading skills so that reading is an unpleasant experience for me that I want to avoid as much as possible.”
And that´s the way of the functional analphabet (à la Donald Trump).

In short:
Tell me, dear learner, how much pain, frustration, and discomfort you can stand,
and I will tell you how successful you will become at mastering a challenging skill.

ps, regarding steve’s pronunciation, it think it’s unfair to grade someone who is stretched across so many different languages.
My thesis is this: Steve´s poor pronunciation is a direct consequence of his “I don´t care about pronunciation” attitude.
Of course, pronunciation isn´t everything. And language learners shouldn’t be so obsessed with it that they won’t say a single sentence if the pronunciation isn’t “perfect”. Such a “perfectionist” attitude is simply nonsensical. But, a pleasant (non-perfect) pronunciation goes a long way in communication processes, esp. with native speakers!

And this includes that others judge you all the time:
They judge how you move.
They judge what you say, and how you say it.
They judge your facial expressions, gestures and hexis.
They judge the clothes you wear.

That´s all part of our daily impression management. within basic (nonverbal) communication processes:
“You know that others observe you. And you know that others know that you know that they observe you.”
That´s where psychology and the simplistic sender-receiver model of communication end - and socio-emergent sociology starts :slight_smile:

Have a nice Sunday

How can you have a nice Sunday on Sunday in Germany? It is curfew time :wink:
Everything is closed. If God forbids, you forget to do grocery on Saturday it is not even pleasant Sunday :wink: