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TAC 2014 - dEhiN - Page 8 - UniLang

TAC 2014 - dEhiN

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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby dEhiN » 2014-10-03, 3:04

Time for a quick update:

Lately I have started using my blog again. It's called Language Is Life. I started the blog at the beginning of this year, but then stopped updating it for several months. I am now trying to write a new post every day.

I also recently started a challenge called #100DaysofLanguageLearning. The idea is that for 100 days you write something in your target language. I have decided to take the challenge, but to it for French, Spanish, and Portuguese. You can read my blog post on it here.

Today (October 2) was the first day of the challenge, for me. You can read my first post here.

I may include in future updates (on here, my TAC) further links to my posts for the #100Days challenge. However, so as not to constantly double post, if you would like to follow my progress on the challenge, feel free to subscribe to my blog. You could also do the challenge for yourself, and post it here (if you have your own TAC), or on your blog.

And if you do follow my challenge, and at any point are able to correct any mistakes I make, I would very much appreciate it. Feel free to leave a comment on my blog, or reply to my TAC here on Unilang, or PM me, or let me know on Skype if you are part of the UL Skype Chats, or... (heck you could even pay to have the correction written in the sky if you feel so inclined :D).

But on a serious note, I'm excited about this challenge. It will be a stretch for me, since I don't plan to just post one sentence in each language. I also am going to try and write something different in each language. So we'll see how it goes.
Je veux parler toutes les langues dans le monde!

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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby księżycowy » 2014-10-03, 14:24

I'm tempted to give the 100 Day thing a try for French. :hmm:
þūhte mē þæt ic gesāwe syllicre trēow on lyft lædan lēohte bewunden bēama beorhtost.

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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby Meera » 2014-10-05, 17:45

DeHin how do we do the #100day challenge? Do we do it here or on twitter, fb? And can it be a language you are still a beginner in or can you do it for any language? And can you do it for more than one?
अहिंसा
TAC 2015:  (hi) (ja) (ar) (fr)
Loves: (bn) (ta) (id) (tr) (ur)

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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby księżycowy » 2014-10-06, 11:11

I'm not dEhiN, but I think it doesn't matter. You can probably do it anyway you want for any language(s) you want.
Though this is the first time I've ever heard of this challenge, so I don't know for sure. :P
þūhte mē þæt ic gesāwe syllicre trēow on lyft lædan lēohte bewunden bēama beorhtost.

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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby Meera » 2014-10-08, 16:55

księżycowy wrote:I'm not dEhiN, but I think it doesn't matter. You can probably do it anyway you want for any language(s) you want.
Though this is the first time I've ever heard of this challenge, so I don't know for sure. :P


Oh okay, I think I'm gonna do it :P
अहिंसा
TAC 2015:  (hi) (ja) (ar) (fr)
Loves: (bn) (ta) (id) (tr) (ur)

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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby dEhiN » 2014-10-08, 19:34

Hey Meera and księżycowy, sorry I didn't respond sooner to your questions (well, really only your question Meera).

Yeah, afaik you can do it for any language (or languages) and using whatever you want. So you could do it on here, on a blog, in a journal, on fb, etc. I think doing it publicly is probably better so you can get feedback and corrections.

Though to be honest, I recently gave up the #100Days challenge! :cry: I posted about it on my blog, but basically I've been focusing too much on French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, and Italian in the last few weeks. So my other languages - especially the 12 I started in August - have been suffering.

I guess I could do the challenge for just French. But for now I want to get back to spending equal time studying all my languages. Maybe in a few weeks or a month, if I find a good way to juggle 20 languages, I will try the challenge again.

księżycowy wrote:I'm tempted to give the 100 Day thing a try for French. :hmm:

Go for it! If you do it here, on your TAC or in a thread on the French forum, you'll definitely get a lot of feedback which will greatly improve your French. If you do it somewhere else I think you should try and get some native French speakers to regularly check what you write and correct any mistakes.

Meera wrote:Oh okay, I think I'm gonna do it :P

Cool! Which language(s)? And where are you going to do it - on your TAC, in a (the) language(s) forum(s), or somewhere else? If it's a language I am learning, I can use your writings to try and improve my reading!
Je veux parler toutes les langues dans le monde!

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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby Meera » 2014-10-08, 21:15

Thanks David! I think I will do it for Hindi and Arabic and maybe Japanese, Bengali or French. I''m not sure which one yet. I'll probably do it here and maybe twitter. :P
अहिंसा
TAC 2015:  (hi) (ja) (ar) (fr)
Loves: (bn) (ta) (id) (tr) (ur)

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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby dEhiN » 2014-10-09, 2:35

Meera wrote:Thanks David! I think I will do it for Hindi and Arabic and maybe Japanese, Bengali or French. I''m not sure which one yet. I'll probably do it here and maybe twitter. :P

Ambitious, like me - nice! I didn't know you had twitter; I closed mine a year ago, but I'm debating on reopening it (or rather, creating a new account). I imagine doing the challenge for Hindi and Arabic won't be so hard for you since your level is at least intermediate in both. For the 2 days I did the challenge, I found it difficult being a beginner in Spanish and Portuguese. French was a little easier, since I'm about high beginner/low intermediate. But even with French, trying to use longer sentences was difficult.
Je veux parler toutes les langues dans le monde!

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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby dEhiN » 2014-10-16, 20:33

Update time:

So I mentioned last update that I am going back to using a list. So far that hasn't happened! I have been practicing a few more languages beside French, Spanish, and Portuguese. I continue to practice German and I'm doing a bit more Japanese. I've also been learning some Indonesian and Tagalog. Tonight I'm going to a Polish Meetup, so that should be interesting! I am seeing good progress in French, Spanish, and Portuguese. Weekly exchanges in Portuguese and French/Spanish are very helpful.

To be honest I still keep vacillating between focusing on a select few languages or continuing to study many languages by doing a bit at a time in each. Or maybe, as Vijay has suggested to me, I can focus on a select few for a short while, and then switch the languages I'm focusing on. When I stop to think about it, I am somehow progressing in all my languages; at least I'm learning new things or maintaining what I already know.

I've also been focusing on trying to find a job. Hopefully I get one soon; I have an interview tomorrow. In regard to my languages, I'm hoping that once I have a job, I can focus my attention on language learning during the time I'm not working (and sleeping/eating).
Je veux parler toutes les langues dans le monde!

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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby Meera » 2014-10-17, 23:05

Hey David, I think you should pick a few of your favorite languages isntead of doing many especially if you are in the begining stages.Its really better to stick with a select few and get very good in them, instead of knowing only some phrases in twenty languages.
अहिंसा
TAC 2015:  (hi) (ja) (ar) (fr)
Loves: (bn) (ta) (id) (tr) (ur)

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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby IpseDixit » 2014-10-17, 23:12

I totally agree with Meera. 10 languages at a time seems an insane thing to do to me, especially if you are a beginner. :|

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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby Meera » 2014-10-17, 23:19

Yes, I think it is different when you are adavnced, for example if you are really advanced in Spanish it might be a good idea to then do Italian. Or become very good at French and then do Spanish. But the more languages you do especially at the begining stage the harder it will be to ever get fluent in it.
अहिंसा
TAC 2015:  (hi) (ja) (ar) (fr)
Loves: (bn) (ta) (id) (tr) (ur)

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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-10-18, 5:29

Still, I think it's great that you've managed to make some progress in your languages and to land a job interview on top of that! I wish I could say the same for myself. :P :lol:

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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby Meera » 2014-10-18, 19:59

vijayjohn wrote:Still, I think it's great that you've managed to make some progress in your languages and to land a job interview on top of that! I wish I could say the same for myself. :P :lol:


I wasn't saying this to diminish his success or anything. He has done a lot with languages, I'm just speaking from experience. It's nearly impossible to became high level fluent in ten languages at a time, even the polyglots savants on youtube have very bad accents and make common mistakes in the languages (the one guy who did Pashto was awful in it and he claimed he knew it fluently and was featured on BBC, I could barely understand what he said, his Hindi wasn't too good either I can't really judge the other languages). There was also another guy who said he could get fluent in languages very quickly and said he learnt Icelandic in ten days, they praised him on the show but in the comments on youtube it didn't seem like he was that good at all and they were more memorized phrases than him actually being fluent. There was a Lebanese guy who did this too, he studied 20+ languages but he was pretty bad at all of them. Even for myself I don't think I want to be fluent in over 20 languages the only ones I really care about are Hindi, Arabic (basically for school and French too but I'd be happy just being able to read it) and Bengali. I don't ever except to be fluent in Japanese, I just learn it for fun. Also if you know one language really well the others become easier to learn. I think a person can get fluent in many languages but it has to be over time, I think it is probably impossible to get to a high level of fluency in 10+ languages at the same time especially if you are a beginner in all of them. I think I'm just trying to say it's like the phrase, "jack of all trades, master of none." I wasn't trying to be mean or diminish his achievements I was trying to give advice from my personal experience.

David, my advice would be to choose maybe three languages you really like. Your top three favorites, and study these daily. One should be your biggest priority, make it a language you have use for but also a language that you love the culture too and the media and it is the most fun for you to do. Study these three for at least an hour each day using all the resources you can and listen to them as much as you can. There's no reason why you can't look at other languages too or take a small break for a day. Just think to yourself, I'm just listening to this language to see what it sounds like or to learn a couple of phrases, I have my whole life to learn, there's no rush. But those top three will always be your priority. Realize that learning a language takes a lot of time and practice, it does not happen over night. Also use a variety of sources, buy readers and grammar reference books, dictionaries, workbooks, newspapers, whatever you can get your hands on even if they are no use now, you will need to use them in the future. For example I collected Hindi newspapers and just read the same ones over and over again even if I didn't understand it. You should see them, they are all wrinkled with highlighter, notes in the margins.You need to immerse yourself in the language with whatever you can. This is almost impossible with so many languages. I read somewhere where there was a list of languages and beside was the number of hours of listening practice you need to be fluent. These numbers were high too, many of them in the thousands. And that is just for listening fluency!

I also recommend choosing three completely different languages for your top three. At one point I did Punjabi with Hindi, it was a BAD decision. I started confusing Punjabi and Hindi for example I'd be speaking in Punjabi and without realizing it I'd go into Hindi.

Sorry for the long post, but I'm hoping it will help you. This is just my experience so remember what works for you might not work for me, but in my honest opinion I think it is a very bad idea to learn ten languages at the same time.
अहिंसा
TAC 2015:  (hi) (ja) (ar) (fr)
Loves: (bn) (ta) (id) (tr) (ur)

vijayjohn
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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-10-18, 20:11

Meera wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:Still, I think it's great that you've managed to make some progress in your languages and to land a job interview on top of that! I wish I could say the same for myself. :P :lol:


I wasn't saying this to diminish his success or anything.

Oh, I'm sorry. I understand. I guess I just wanted to say something nice about that, too. :)

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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby IpseDixit » 2014-10-18, 20:27

It's nearly impossible to became high level fluent in ten languages at a time, even the polyglots savants on youtube have very bad accents and make common mistakes in the languages (the one guy who did Pashto was awful in it and he claimed he knew it fluently and was featured on BBC, I could barely understand what he said, his Hindi wasn't too good either I can't really judge the other languages)


Don't get me started on that :twisted:. 90% of YT polyglots are utter fakery, and they are so annoying when they say "I'm a polyglot" as if it was some sort of superpower given to them by divine grace. :twisted:, anyway I think the guy is Tim Doner. His Italian kind of sucks too and an Israeli friend of mine has told me that so does his Hebrew... I've also seen a few negative comments about his Arabic. BTW he's also been interviewed by the Economist! And I remember how self-confident and slightly arrogant he was, at a point the interviewer asked him "what are your plans for the future?" and he responded something like "I don't know, all doors are open, maybe I'll become an interpreter at UNO"... :ohwell:

What really unsettles and irks me is that you just need to upload a few videos where you claim to speak X languages, and you'll get invited on TV or at TEDx (as happened to another one that I cannot suffer, Benny the Irish polyglot) and who the hell cares about checking what these people are claming! Gosh this is where TV and other media have ended up?!

There was also another guy who said he could get fluent in languages very quickly and said he learnt Icelandic in ten days, they praised him on the show but in the comments on youtube it didn't seem like he was that good at all and they were more memorized phrases than him actually being fluent.


Daniel Tammet. I too have read negative comments about his Icelandic.
Last edited by IpseDixit on 2014-10-20, 11:51, edited 1 time in total.

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Meera
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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby Meera » 2014-10-18, 20:49

IpseDixit wrote:
It's nearly impossible to became high level fluent in ten languages at a time, even the polyglots savants on youtube have very bad accents and make common mistakes in the languages (the one guy who did Pashto was awful in it and he claimed he knew it fluently and was featured on BBC, I could barely understand what he said, his Hindi wasn't too good either I can't really judge the other languages)


Don't get me started on that :twisted:. 90% of YT polyglots are utter fakery, and they are so annoying when they say "I'm a polyglot" as if it was some sort of superpower given to them by divine grace. :twisted:, anyway I think the guy is Tim Doner. His Italian sucks too and an Israeli friend of mine has told me that so does his Hebrew... I've also seen a few negative comments about his Arabic. BTW he's also been interviewed by the Economist! And I remember how self-confident and slightly arrogant he was, at a point the interviewer asked him "what are your plans for the future?" and he responded something like "I don't know, all doors are open, maybe I'll become an interpreter at UNO"... :ohwell:

What really unsettles and irks me is that you just need to upload a few videos where you claim to speak X languages, and you'll get invited on TV or at TEDx (as happened to another one that I cannot suffer, Benny the Irish polyglot) and who the hell cares about checking what these people are claming! Gosh this is where TV and other media have ended up?!



I know! I think most of these polyglots just memorize set phrases or have them posted to their computer so they can say them. It really makes me so mad, most people put tons of work in their languages and these guys are like "I learnt it in ten mins and can say two phrases look at me I'm so talented". It's so annoying. I can't believe these tv and media sources don't have anyone there who can speak these languages before they interview them. It really is a slap in the face to people who work hard on languages and spend years perfecting them. I have more respect for someone who is learning two or three and are really good at them and ask for help on them then these polyglots who act like they are given superpowers. I cant stand Benny either, it's impossible to learn a language in three months, I don't care what anyone says you cannot be fluent in three months. And "i'll get a job at uno?" Does that even make sense, I'll get a job at one? lol
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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby IpseDixit » 2014-10-18, 21:10

Whoops, I always forget that the United Nations is not called UNO in English (that's to say United Nations Organization). :oops: My bad...

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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby Saim » 2014-10-18, 22:54

I don't get this hate towards Timothy Doner and Benny Lewis. They're not Ziad Fazah, they're not claiming to be savants, nor are they claiming to be better at language learning than anyone else - both of them deflect claims that they're talented or geniuses and focus more on their method of learning and consistent practice. In fact, the entire point of Benny's blog is to give advice to "normal" people so they can do exactly the same thing. Benny's not the most accomplished polyglot out there, and more to the point, he's not supposed to be - the persona he's developed in his blog is focused on encouraging other people to learn languages, not to exaggerate his own achievements. He tries to debunk the typical myths people use to justify not learning languages - "I'm not talented", "languages are hard", "languages can't be learned quickly", etc.

As far as Timothy goes, when I see his level of enthusiasm I can't classify him as anything but a fellow learner. Once again, he doesn't talk about what languages he knows as if they were some badges taked onto his shirt, his original viral video is captioned "A sampling of the languages I've been studying recently. I'm clearly better at some than others, so any critiques or advice would be great". Here we see an emphasis on the actual process and love of learning.

On the topic of "fluency in three months", the title is indeed hyberbolic but I think it serves to give "normal" people the kick in the pants they need to stop wasting their time and realise that they need to wise up and actually use the language a lot of they want to learn it. Keep in mind also that fluency has a pretty broad range of definitions - we could take about something like "basic fluency" (which would correspond to a B2 on the standardised system), "advanced fluency" (C1) and "near-native fluency" (C2). Furthermore, if the language is closely related to one you already know well, it's fairly easy to develop conversational fluency (being able to converse on a wide range of topics without slowing people down that much) but your speech will still be full of interferences from the other language. In this case this corresponds to what Benny did in jumping from Spanish to French to Italian.

That said, I agree with you that it's better to focus on a couple of languages at once. In fact, if you want to learn several languages the most effective way to do it is definitely one at a time - although I think you might be surprised to hear that Benny also agrees.

You should see them, they are all wrinkled with highlighter, notes in the margins.


This is definitely a great way to go about it in the beginner and intermediate stages. This reminds me of some of my old word docs analysing Spanish, Dutch and Hindi song lyrics. :lol:

Your top three favorites, and study these daily.


This is key. I've realised that if I want to go anywhere I have to pick some first priority languages that I study at least a bit every day (in this case Hebrew and Punjabi), and then the rest is when I have free time (always Romance or Slavic, hence closely related to languages I already speak very well, otherwise I would just get totally lost).

I started confusing Punjabi and Hindi for example I'd be speaking in Punjabi and without realizing it I'd go into Hindi.


Keep in mind that this can also happen if you have an advanced knowledge of one of the languages but don't practice it often. It's all about using them. Four or so years ago I even mixed Spanish and Serbian because I didn't speak Serbian often (I would respond in English to my mother even when she spoke in Serbian, and I hadn't been to Serbia for a while).
Last edited by Saim on 2014-10-18, 23:50, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby IpseDixit » 2014-10-18, 23:32

In fact, the entire point of Benny's blog is to give advice to "normal" people so they can do exactly the same thing


That's exactly the problem! Honestly, considering his arguable results, I don't think he's in the position to advice anybody. BTW I've just checked out his channel and I've found out he's also written a book! By the title of "fluent in three months" (therefore a misleading title if you say that "fluent in three months" is not really the true purpose)! And its ad seems quite pretentious to me. Anyway IMO this is the crucial point; as long as you just have a YT channel it's not that much of a problem of course, but when you become some sort of guru of polyglottery because of that, well I do find that kinda irritating and almost offensive. I mean, pedagogy is a serious discipline and I don't like how he's banalizing it.

As for Tim Doner, I would say it's mainly fault of the media which have acritically taken for true the claim that he speaks 20+ languages and have put him on a pedestral, and I have a hunch that his ego has gotten inflated by all this media attention.


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