Luca method

Does anybody know about the Luca method of learning languages?

I know luca translates from his languages back and forth and writes down the text but after this he mentions quantity, does anybody know what luca does after the translation stage which lasts, is it 6 months?

It sounds to me like he tries something new with every language. I also don’t think he ever stops doing the translation cycle. One thing I know is that he likes starting out by using Assimil.

Ya I knew about assimil, thanks, interesting to know he keeps doing the translation, guess I can t go wrong if I keep doing it thanks you

He says he starts with Assimil, but he talks about doing teach yourself as preparation for Assimil. He doesn’t give a whole lot of details about his method, just a general description repeated over and over again. He is writing a book about his method, and offers expensive Skype tutoring sessions. I am guessing that he’s holding the details for his book. I would do the same thing in his place. This might be the first book by a polyglot that I’ll find useful for language learning methodology, so I’ll probably buy it.

In my opinion, the translation method is very useful and effective whenever you need it. Hence, Luca emphasizes the beginning stages of learning a new language. It really forces you think about all the little details of a language.
However, I know from other readings and comments by other polyglots that sooner rather than later you need to forget about translations in general and stay within your target language, i.e. to use target language dictionaries and grammar explanations. It’s painful at the beginning but the payoffs are enormous.

Instead of translating back and forth you could try summarizing the text in your own words in your target language. That would be a more effective writing exercise at an intermediate level I presume.

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@easydialect “I know from other readings and comments by other polyglots that sooner rather than later you need to forget about translations in general and stay within your target language, i.e. to use target language dictionaries and grammar explanations. It’s painful at the beginning but the payoffs are enormous.”

Imo, this is the opinion of some polyglots, and not at all a consensus. I’ve met and read about many successful polyglots who never use target language dictionaries and grammar explanations for example.

“I’ve met and read about many successful polyglots who never use target language dictionaries and grammar explanations for example.”

I have never done a German exam, so I could not estimate my level, but I can generally read and understand any German book that is put in front of me. I still find German-German dictionaries incomprehensible.

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I agree about dictionaries. As far as grammar books go, I prefer monolingual ones.

@Colin

If you want a German monolingual dictionary, there are some which are aimed at native speakers of school age and/or foreign adult learners of German.

For example: http://www.amazon.de/Langenscheidt-Großwörterbuch-Deutsch-Fremdsprache-Großwörterbücher/dp/3468490380/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1387197641&sr=1-1&keywords=langenscheidt+deutsch+als+fremdsprache

(The “Duden 10 - Bedeutungswörterbuch” is also pretty good for learners.)

I’m not so sure if translating from your target language into your native language and vice versa is very efficient .

The reason I say this is that I read in a book which was given to me by my English professor who is in charge of the practical course, that in order to translate it is not enough to know 2 languages , so you can imagine that it is even more difficult to translate when you’re a novice in your target language .

I have just now started this method to see if it will help spoken fluency with Mandarin. My translations from English to Chinese are word for word and so the result is pure Chinglish. ex: 你有什么数据来支持它吗? turns into “You have what data come support it?” Then I read the English aloud speaking Chinese…for words that I don’t really know, I write the Chinese characters next to the English. It’ll be interesting to see how it goes…I’m hoping it will make the syntax more intuitive and also get better at using words such as 上, 来, 起来 etc. in the right place/context.

After the initial Assimil period, he likes to find text on things that interest him, like history or whatever. He prints that out and reads it. After the initial stage he can handle a lot more quantity, more easily, so he does. It kind of becomes Steve Kaufmann-esque, but with more active use of the language, often through speaking with natives and translating into the target language.

Has anyone read steve’s book?

I’ve just bought Assimil for German and am planning to use Luca’s method in conjuction with LingQ. I’m hoping it will help me internalise the grammar more actively and quickly. I’m also planning on using shadowing. Would be interested to hear from anyone who has used Assimil or tried Luca’s method.

As with all sorts of methods, I tend to take a ‘pick-and-mix’ approach in the case of language learning resources - human or methods - given that I find it extremely hard to stick to any kind of routine for longer than, say, three months. After that, even the initially most attractive and efficient-looking method palls. Will I ever grow up?

As to @IAmAce’s question: I am sure a lot of people have read Steve’s book :slight_smile:

Edited for content and typo!

@debbielim
I used Assimil for Japanese, and I must say it’s a really nice process. As someone who usually uses SRS, it was nice to see a more “natural” process work so well. It taught me most of the important grammar pretty well, and built a sturdy base. It also really helped with listening comprehension, partly because before Assimil I didn’t listen to Japanese religiously. The voice actors for Japanese were really good, and I did a little of the Spanish Assimil and I really liked it too, so I’d say that if you do Assimil German you should be able to communicate pretty well afterwards. Not entirely fluently, although you will sound like, as someone else put it once, a “very cosmopolitan three year old”.

@IAmAce
I haven’t read it yet. I’m thinking about waiting until it only has about 1000 words that I don’t know, versus 5000, haha. Is it any good, is there anything worth checking out?

@sugoida
I had read that same comment about sounding like a ‘cosmopolitan three-year-old’! But I’m wondering at what level a three-year-old actually speaks exactly as I’m guessing that must be pretty rudimentary… I don’t expect proper fluency and I have read quite a few comments from others about being sceptical that Assimil can bring you to B2 level (but closer to A2/B1). I think LingQ is already really helping on the comprehension/listening side, so I’m hoping Assimil will help with my speaking via grammar.

I’d be interested to know what level you guess you would have reached with Japanese in terms of A2/B1 etc (though I’m not sure if these apply to Asian languages)?

Anyway, good to know that you thought the Japanese Assimil course was effective, as after my German is more advanced, I’m hoping to start Japanese.

Just a little word of warning to ‘false beginners’ - the first few Assimil lessons are painfully slowly spoken. I found that out some years ago when I did the online Swedish-French version (Swedish as TL). For me the few samples I’ve heard of the Swedish-German version were even worse. I also have part of a book-based French-Spanish course, thanks to Oxfam. The Assimil courses, conscientiously worked through, will certainly give you a running (?) start. The structure is very helpful but, I think, the eventual level of achievement depends a lot on determination and application. In combination with other resurces, B1/B2 seems realistic.

Thanks Sanne. Great to know you think it is possible to take yourself to B1/B2 if you extend yourself. I would just be really pleased if I reached that after a year, given the course is meant to be doable within 6 months. Thanks for heads-up about the slow speaking too. I admit I do find r-e-a-l-l-y s-lo-w speech frustrating and had about that with Assimil. Apparently the earlier generations of Assimil used more natural speeds (and better content) and so I bought a 1990s version hoping that it might be a bit better (though it probably won’t be). I’m looking forward to some structure as the one danger for me with LingQ is that I can find all the choice distracting and spend a lot of time playing around in the library!