Questions tagged [self-learning]

For questions regarding teaching oneself a language with minimal or no prior experience with it

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57
votes
9answers
1k views

How can I prevent myself from forgetting a language?

Many people forget languages entirely after enough time. I've become fluent in Spanish, but I haven't used it in over a year, and most of my family and friends don't speak it fluently. With all the ...
40
votes
5answers
1k views

How can I verify my pronunciation without a native speaker?

I've been learning Japanese for a short while, and it uses some sounds that aren't in my native language (English). (For example, the "r" sound, which has been described to me as a combination of "d", ...
21
votes
1answer
1k views

When learning a foreign language, should one focus on vocabulary or grammar first? [closed]

When I learned Spanish, I focused entirely on learning the grammar and conjugations before learning a plethora of vocabulary. As a result, I was able to speak properly given what I knew, but I often ...
20
votes
4answers
689 views

How can I expand my active vocabulary in a foreign language?

I’ve been learning a foreign language for 5 years. Now, I easily understand everything I read, I know lots of words and everything seems to be alright, but I still have a problem. My active vocabulary ...
18
votes
1answer
452 views

How can I develop an accent in a foreign language?

I have been teaching myself Italian for 2 years so far, and I still sound very foreign. When I am speaking Italian with someone else, it is difficult to imitate their accent properly, and when I try, ...
9
votes
4answers
221 views

First learn speaking and then writing OR both at once?

I am a novice to the Japanese language, and this question might have some opinion-based answers but I could use some advice. Should I learn to speak some basic words and sentences up to a level where ...
3
votes
2answers
97 views

How can I get over lack of learning resources in “minor languages”

Sometimes I want to learn a language but give up due to the lack of resources available. These languages tend to be the ones that very few people learn using English. In my opinion, one of the core ...
8
votes
1answer
195 views

How to choose an easy language to learn based on the languages that I already speak

We know a lot of great things that can motivate us to start learning a new language, boosting up our career, having a great travel experience, etc. But what would be some techniques that we can use to ...
4
votes
2answers
152 views

Latin, Italian, or French?

(I hope this is on-topic.) I am deciding which language to learn next. I am a native Spanish and fluent English speaker. My three options are Latin, Italian, and French. I would like to receive your ...
11
votes
6answers
286 views

How can I overcome fear and failure when speaking to native speakers of my L2?

I've been studying Russian language on my own for more than 1.5 years. And I'm still bad at it because of lack of speaking practice. I didn't study everyday as I also paused for several months so I'm ...
11
votes
2answers
244 views

Learn languages by memorizing rhymed poems

My native language is Portuguese and I had the initiative to read and memorize Os Lusíadas by Camões, the principal literary work in Portuguese. So I started to memorize the Divina Commedia by Dante ...
18
votes
2answers
203 views

What are effective ways to memorize sign languages?

I've learned spoken languages by writing words down, hearing them and remembering them, and working on websites. However, I don't see that helping if I learn a sign language. None of those techniques ...
11
votes
4answers
263 views

Improving a language at B1 level

I am learning Russian and English. I speak in English and understand everything most of the time when my friends talk. I understand about 60% of the words in movies and news. I also struggle with ...
9
votes
1answer
141 views

How can I improve the listening and speaking skill as a self-learner?

I learn any languages mostly alone, without any school or tutors (as it is insanely expensive and also quite inflexible). I learn it mostly online, starting wit apps like Rosetta Stone and Memrise as ...
21
votes
4answers
316 views

Is it possible to learn a language just by being exposed to media and books? [closed]

Say I want to learn to speak Chinese. Could it be possible to learn Chinese just by watching subtitled Chinese movies/tv and reading books made for children?
14
votes
1answer
113 views

How to get the most out of story-reading as a learning technique

I am going to look for a native speaker on Italki to practice my English in this way: First I get a story, which is new to me. This story is a little bit hard for me like I can understand 80-90 ...
13
votes
2answers
181 views

At which point in learning a language can one be able to grok the meaning of new words or grammar structures?

As a non-native English speaker I've recently noticed that I have the ability to grok the meaning of certain words thanks to the context and expectations of what is going to be said. The use of the ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

How did Cardinal Mezzofanti learn foreign languages?

Giuseppe Caspar Mezzofanti (1774-1849) was an Italian cardinal who also became famous for his language skills. According to his biographer Charles William Russell, he spoke at least 30 languages very ...
7
votes
1answer
65 views

Advantages of audio-only courses compared to more traditional ones

Are there any known advantage associated to follow an audio-only language course (like Pimsleur or Michael Thomas) instead a more traditional one? With "more traditional one" I mean those courses ...
5
votes
3answers
104 views

What types of sentences are easiest for beginners to understand?

What types of sentences are easiest for beginners to understand, presuming that the beginner has already learned the relevant meaning of all of the words contained in the sentence? Presume also that ...
5
votes
1answer
415 views

How to study to reach level B2 in German on my own?

I have reached level B1 in German with a teacher, but my finances do not allow to continue in the same way. How could I continue learning on my own to reach level B2 (in the CEFR) through internet ...
2
votes
1answer
127 views

What are the most effective ways of learning vocabulary of any language? [closed]

Vocabulary is the most important thing to become enriched in a language in my perspective. But for most of the adult learners of a language, memorization process sometimes seems very boring and hard ...
16
votes
4answers
314 views

Through which language can you learn the most other languages online?

Say I'm a native Tagalog speaker wanting to learn German. Seeing as how there's not an abundance of Tagalog --> German language courses online or in person (and that's an understatement!), I would ...
7
votes
2answers
117 views

Should I start studying Norwegian when living in Denmark and about to move to Norway?

I am, at the present, living in Denmark and actively studying Danish on the state-funded courses, using Duolingo, and other means like reading, following a lecture course and conversations. I will be ...
5
votes
1answer
85 views

What kind of Arabic is most commonly spoken in Qatar?

I am looking to learn Arabic and have found a wide variety of different versions. I wanted to know what version of Arabic is most commonly spoken in Qatar?
4
votes
1answer
52 views

How can you understand the pronunciation differences if you don't understand them even on minimal pairs training?

The minimal pair training seems to be the best way for adults to distinguish the sound difference on a foreign language that doesn't exist in his/her native language. According to Fluent: But it’s ...
4
votes
2answers
183 views

Is it possible to learn grammar through spaced repetition, and if yes, how?

Spaced repetition is mostly used for learning vocabulary, but learning vocabulary is not all there is to learning a foreign language. Grammar also needs to be acquired, one way or another. Since doing ...
2
votes
0answers
45 views

How to learn Malayalam without any resources

I've been interested in learning a language called Malayalam. The problem is though, there is a complete absence of any well-written comprehensive Malayalam textbooks or grammar guides for English-...