Author Topic: Learning a language in six months-Watch  (Read 2700 times)

Offline mallu

  • Linguist
  • ***
  • Posts: 117
  • Country: in
Learning a language in six months-Watch
« on: April 16, 2014, 12:19:37 AM »
Learning a language in six months.Watch this video.
Very interesting

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0yGdNEWdn0

Offline lx

  • Global Moderator
  • Linguist
  • *****
  • Posts: 164
Re: Learning a language in six months-Watch
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2014, 04:48:32 AM »
That was quite interesting actually. I groaned at the start because it seemed to be one of those typical TED talks that always promises to tell you how to do something but just ends up throwing endless worn out clich├ęs at really skips on the useful info. Don't get me wrong, this talk was still full of that but I found some of the stuff he said at the end to be quite like how I forced myself in foreign languages, especially the 'one box different path' method. I don't even remember if at some time in the past I learned it and applied it and it became unconscious, or if it was something I had thought about and decided to try.

Having said that, six months still seems like a pretty short amount of time and I don't buy that for a second. Not that it isn't possible, but the average person doesn't have that amount of time to dedicate to such a goal. I don't like the way he discounts the learning that is useful from reading how a language is organised. It's like he takes that principle that language books are horribly old fashioned and representative of school learning that needs to be abandoned (which has some merits) but a lot of people take it and completely wipe out the need for any sort of rule-based learning. I think as linguists we are more disposed to the usefulness of such methods because we like learning facts in such a way, but there are just too many ways that a learner's confusion could drag on for months trying to uncover some rule in the language that five minutes in a good language description could clear up in an instant.

Anyway, I always take TED talks with a pinch of salt because they really aren't suitable for explaining complicated learning methods or really multi-faceted issues in such a short period of time, so they dispense with the complications and give a somewhat false pretense to the topic they purport to want to explain. However, if it gets people interesting and provokes them into giving language learning a shot, then it has my support (though in my mind this is understood as the-end-justifies-the-means).
« Last Edit: April 16, 2014, 04:50:10 AM by lx »

Offline Corybobory

  • Global Moderator
  • Linguist
  • *****
  • Posts: 138
  • Country: gb
    • English
    • Coryographies: Handmade Creations by Cory
Re: Learning a language in six months-Watch
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2014, 12:53:32 PM »
I had a lot of the same reactions - I found it interesting, but 6 months even with all the methods he outlines still seems a bit short, since there is so much time needed to apply it all successfully. I would have apreciated a bit more explicit examples of applications of the method he was talking about, just so we don't automatically nod along with the theory, but aren't mindful of what the practise would really look like.  But I thoughts there were some good pointers - one that stuck out to me was when he said to tolerate ambiguity! This is a good tip I think - just take as much and use as much language as you can, but don't halt the big steps because you are hung up on the small details.  Allow yourself to make lots of mistakes :)

I was hoping this might be a time lapse video of someone learning a language and showing their progress over 6 months though.  That would be fun to watch!  If anyone's starting learning a new language, you should give it a try and post it in 6 months for my entertainment ;)
BA Linguistics, MSt Palaeoanthropology and Palaeolithic Archaeology, current PhD student (Archaeology, 1st year)

Blog: http://www.palaeolinguist.blogspot.com
My handmade book jewellery: http://www.coryographies.etsy.com

Offline lx

  • Global Moderator
  • Linguist
  • *****
  • Posts: 164
Re: Learning a language in six months-Watch
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2014, 12:56:39 PM »
I'm not sure if we ever mentioned it on the old forum, but there was a show on UK TV last year I believe that looked at random people's skills and assigning them tasks based on their responses and you got to follow a young guy's journey to learn - I believe it was - Turkish, over a few months and then have a live TV interview at the end. I should be revising for my exams now but if I find the link I am definitely going to watch it again tonight because it was just that interesting/fascinating the first time. I'll edit back if I get a link (or even just the programme name).

Got it. It was Arabic. Link.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2014, 01:00:30 PM by lx »

Offline Corybobory

  • Global Moderator
  • Linguist
  • *****
  • Posts: 138
  • Country: gb
    • English
    • Coryographies: Handmade Creations by Cory
Re: Learning a language in six months-Watch
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2014, 02:29:18 PM »
Aw the videos not available in my country :( Sounds fascinating!
BA Linguistics, MSt Palaeoanthropology and Palaeolithic Archaeology, current PhD student (Archaeology, 1st year)

Blog: http://www.palaeolinguist.blogspot.com
My handmade book jewellery: http://www.coryographies.etsy.com

Offline lx

  • Global Moderator
  • Linguist
  • *****
  • Posts: 164
Re: Learning a language in six months-Watch
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2014, 02:30:24 PM »
Aw the videos not available in my country :( Sounds fascinating!
You're not in the UK anymore?

Offline Corybobory

  • Global Moderator
  • Linguist
  • *****
  • Posts: 138
  • Country: gb
    • English
    • Coryographies: Handmade Creations by Cory
Re: Learning a language in six months-Watch
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2014, 02:34:39 PM »
That's strange, I am!  I'm refreshing... hmmm... it says Youtube GB in the corner...
BA Linguistics, MSt Palaeoanthropology and Palaeolithic Archaeology, current PhD student (Archaeology, 1st year)

Blog: http://www.palaeolinguist.blogspot.com
My handmade book jewellery: http://www.coryographies.etsy.com

Offline lx

  • Global Moderator
  • Linguist
  • *****
  • Posts: 164
Re: Learning a language in six months-Watch
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2014, 02:36:02 PM »
Well, I actually thought it would just work. In the UK you can use the official Channel 4 website to watch it here (Episode 3): http://www.channel4.com/programmes/hidden-talent/episode-guide

I'm in Iceland so had to go via YouTube. Hopefully that will work!

Offline kidvisions

  • Jr. Linguist
  • **
  • Posts: 10
  • Country: tn
Re: Learning a language in six months-Watch
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2014, 03:33:34 AM »
I am too very sceptical to the idea of being able to learn a language in 6 months. You might be able to pick up part of it, or learn how to say/ respond to certain things but languages are way too complicated to learn in just six months. Also, it depends on your definition of "learning to speak a language", well if you are just talking about the act of producing meaningful utterances, then yeah 6 months could be enough but will you be able to actually grasp the whole system with which the language functions? Will you be able to think in the language? To write and read complex work?
Saying that you can learn or become fluent in a language in 3 or 6 months is ridiculous. Those who claim that it's as easy as that are basically saying that all the hard work and the time I spent learning French, English and the energy I am spending to learn German and Russian are a complete waste of time.

Offline malata_ej

  • New Linguist
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: Learning a language in six months-Watch
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2015, 12:01:47 AM »
6? unless those languages are related ([korea, japanese], filipino languages [tagalog, cebuano], indian languages, germanic language etc) then that is just impossible. and even each language has certain uniqueness to each other that needs years (def. more than a limited time) to master.

maybe it has got to do with certain personality traits (some types of personality can learn languages better- like in MBTI: INFP's etc. or that person is a rare genius with a hellish aptitude for finding certain patterns in each language and using them for memory and cognition usage.

but if it is possible... tell me the secrets sensei! notice me senpai!!!!