When should I start listening?

When should I start listening?

I would personally wait until 2019. It’s better that way.

Maybe you should learn the alphabet first before you worry about listening. That said, you can put audio on an mp3 player and play it on the bus or wherever suits you. Even if you don’t understand it all it helps in learning the pronounciation, although if you use audio that you have already read the text form of you can surely gain more from it.

I’ve been learning languages (both very seriously and not-so-seriously ) for a fair old while now. One suspicion that has been gradually crystallising towards a realisation, is that we learn words (and maybe phrases or whole sentences) before we learn to attach any coherent meaning.

If I think about my little nephew when he was first learning to talk, he would say things like “I wanna do it! I wanna do it!” I simply don’t believe he was in any way analysing this as first person singular subject pronoun, the verb “want” followed by infinitive “do”, plus object pronoun. No, he’d listened and imitated, and just “knew” that making the sound “eyewannadoowit” means…well…what it means!

I wonder whether we would do pretty well to start listening to target languages at day one hour one; whether we should try to internalise whole chunks of language even before having any clear or detailed understanding of what they mean??

I think we should. My French has been badly held back by having read for 95%+ of my learning activity and not doing enough listening. I’m now having to put in massive effort to catch up and being able to read something at native speed and understand it completely, but not understand the same message when it’s spoken is very annoying.

For my next language from scratch (Norwegian) i’m going to listen for about a month before I do anything else. I have a few cognates saved here already but i haven’t read through anything properly or even tried to understand anything yet and so we’ll see how it goes with the ‘just listen more’ approach.

Listening should start day one. Listening is the fundamental skill. Listen every day.


I agree with a few other people on this thread. Next language, my experiment will be to start just by listening to podcasts and watching TV/video in my target language, starting first with beginner material. I’m going to try it for about 75-100 hours before I start seriously LingQing. But first, my 20,000 words in Spanish.

Steve says he listens more than anything at the beginning. However, he said in his videos he doesn’t do that to the exclusion of reading, but rather what he reads he will then listen to SEVERAL times as a general rule. I listen to it, then listen again as I read.

in the next few days I will hopefully reach my 10.000 mark before Christmas once I have reached this I am going to really try and give tv series / movies a try I started watching a random series in Spanish Yesterday with Spanish subtitles and there was defiantly some scenes where I could understand 100% and some scenes in which I could understand nothing, I keep thinking to myself if only I have my words doubled or tripled.

LingQ provides many tools to develop listening, reading and speaking skills simultaneously that seem to be underutilized by users, judging from the discussions. For example, learners need not limit “reading” to doing so silently in their head. While this reinforces the visual recognition of words, it does nothing for one’s pronunciation or listening comprehension. This is especially true for sound combinations that are very different from one’s own native language which may be hard to pronounce or for sounds in the target language that may be difficult to distinguish because they do not exist in one’s native tongue. Without physically practicing the new sounds oneself, it is difficult to improve one’s own pronunciation or comprehension. The two skills are interrelated.

Particularly for those at the beginner and intermediate levels, it’s very effective to read lessons OUT LOUD after hearing the native speaker do so. It is also helpful to pronounce the word or phrases in the review exercises after you’ve heard the audio of it, deliberately trying to improve your own pronunciation. One step further is to pronounce the word/phrase without visually “reading” it. During the first read of a lesson, one can focus on the meaning of the new words. Once you’ve made lingQs, try focusing on your pronunciation and – in some languages such as Russian and French – on connecting one word to the next as native speakers of that language do. (I myself found it hard to focus on comprehension and pronunciation at the same time but others may have a different experience. It does get easier at higher levels.) The more you hear and try yourself to mimic native speech, the better your own comprehension will be, in addition to improving your own pronunciation of course. They are connected and reinforce one another.

In addition, the dictation exercise on LinggQ specifically targets comprehension in limited chunks which is very effective. For example, at first I use the multiple choice and cloze exercises until I know the meaning of the lingQs to level 3. Then I switch to just the dictation exercise. This really hones my listening skills as well as writing/spelling. I’ve been doing this for several months and it has dramatically improved my comprehension because I am practicing comprehension of unfamiliar short phrases. When I later just listen to the lesson without reading it simultaneously, I find that I readily understand it.

Yet another useful LingQ tool is that, on the iPhone or other phone, it is possible decrease the speed to .75 when first listening to a lesson if needed. When the lesson is understandable at that speed, one can return to 1.0 (normal speech). Similarly, one can listen to videos on Youtube by slowing speech to .75 in “Settings” if needed.

When babies first learn their native language, they babble, using a wide variety of sounds. (Interestingly, babies from all over the world babble in the same way at first.) Over time, they limit the sounds they produce to those they hear in their environment and those which are reinforced by their families. Thus, listening to a target language in movies, even with subtitles in one’s own language, is helpful in getting one used to native sound combinations and especially helpful in learning short, common phrases. Keep in mind that it is not necessary to only watch a movie with subtitles in the target language OR in one’s own target language. Instead, you can switch back and forth to whichever subtitles are more comfortable and helpful to your learning at that moment. For example, you could watch films with target language subtitles at .75 speed but those with English subs at 1.0.


@Herman_Hedning ,
hello sir, I bought a CD for my son. However, recently I found an interesting thing that a friend said that I can rip my CD, I googled a lot and knew that CDA is not an audio format. CDA is a file extension for a CD Audio shortcut file format, which doesn’t include any audio data, so I was confused. I searched a page which said Convert CDA to MP3 Online? Falsehood! (the page Convert CDA to MP3 Online? Falsehood! Two Valid and Effective Methods to Convert CDA to MP3) Oh, but Google recommends many ways to do such thing, what the hell???