Ted talks

does anyone else use the ted talks to improve their language their studying? it has helped me alot listening to the different subjects in my target language with or without subtitles

I do after someone on the forum mentioned them. At first I took the Russian translation of a talk in English and made that into a lesson on LingQ even before the technical change on LingQ which enables one to take things directly from Youtube with a single click. The only difficulty was that some of the transcipts didn’t have the texts divided into sentences with the first word capitalized. This is a BIG handicap in Russian (at least for me) since word order doesn’t necessarily follow that of English. Thus, It can be really hard to figure out where a sentence begins – and thus which words go with what clause without capitalization and punctuation. (The transcripts lack commas too. This is not a problem for me in Spanish since word order in the latter closely follows English. I can generally figure out a Spanish TED transcript without punctuation and capitalization.)

Anyway, with the Russian transcripts, i went through the tedious job of removing time stamps and separating sentences before I transferred the TED talk into a lesson. (I copied and pasted the TED transcript into Word, added punctuation and made the font larger and then copied it into a lesson. While time-consuming, it made using the text as a lesson FAR easier.

WIth my recent refreshing of my Spanish, I have now been listening to some TED talks in Spanish. As I noted in my post about the importance of active listening, I am trying to stick to things that have audio in the target language. TED talks in spoken Russian are too difficult for my purposes, although I can read them ok. By contrast, I can listen to a TED talk in spoken Spanish without relying on the Spanish transcript and those are the ones that for now I’m using.

In short, in answer to your question, TED talks have lots of interesting topics but I think that they are most suitable for those at the advanced intermediate and higher levels. If you can find talks with audio in your target language that you can understand, that’s a great plus!