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30 votes
Accepted

Can one become fluent in a language without studying it formally?

First of all, we need to define what "study" means. A 1/2 year old is certainly studying the world, the movements our mouths make to pronounce words and sounds. The baby doesn't have access to grammar ...
Charlotte SL's user avatar
15 votes

Can one become fluent in a language without studying it formally?

I guess when you are not a child anymore what you mean by “without studying” is without resorting to a traditional method like reading grammar books or having a teacher. I do think it is possible to ...
Sassie's user avatar
  • 371
11 votes

Can one become fluent in a language without studying it formally?

The linguistics uses the term language acquisition to describe the process of becoming fluent in a given language. This term is selected to address the ambiguity of language studying or language ...
Alexander Galkin's user avatar
7 votes

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

The short answer is, yes. You could learn (to comprehend) a language just by being exposed to media and books. The longer answer is, yes, but... Books (and other language learning kits) provide a ...
callyalater's user avatar
  • 1,881
7 votes

Benefits of reading texts one does not understand well

The main benefit of reading texts that are at a significantly higher level than what you currently have, is probably in the classroom. When I was learning Chinese in Belgium, our teacher gave us ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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6 votes
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How can I sound more 'native'?

I think this article has a lot of good tips for you. Even though some of the tips are about accent, many of the tips aren't. And frankly, if you want to sound like a native, then accent is absolutely ...
AML's user avatar
  • 5,085
5 votes

Can one become fluent in a language without studying it formally?

I'm going to say both yes and no Babies don't study with intent. Meaning that they don't know they are studying. They also have nothing to fill their minds except learning how to communicate. People ...
gman's user avatar
  • 150
5 votes
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How to start recognizing tones and accents?

Since this question isn't a reference-request, I will answer from personal experience and Internet. The closest to a tonal language that I have studied is Japanese, which only goes as far as pitch-...
Hatchet's user avatar
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4 votes
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How to get most language learning benefits from frequent casual conversations with natives?

The most interesting approach I have seen so far is the FORCE Cycle, a strategy formulated by the Canadian linguist Keith Swayne. He described the strategy in a series of blog posts (with embedded ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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4 votes

Is it possible to learn a language without translation?

Practically, no, but with huge amounts of time and willpower, maybe. In Japan, for example, there is a small community of people from developing countries as well as Chinese people who largely learned ...
sambeaz6's user avatar
  • 136
4 votes

Can one become fluent in a language without studying it formally?

I understand your question as "can someone become fluent in a language with almost no (recognizable) effort. In order to answer your question, I have to tell you a story about myself. I'm not gifted ...
Aviadisto's user avatar
  • 141
4 votes

Benefits of reading texts one does not understand well

I can think of four ways that reading can help you learn the language. Vocabulary. Even if you aren't using a dictionary you will still learn new words from reading. You will be able to understand ...
Tesserae's user avatar
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3 votes

Can one become fluent in a language without studying it formally?

According to me, it's totally possible because an important part of citizens of a country speaks fluently their language without to know its vocabulary. The only thing that we have to do for speaking ...
John McFerrin's user avatar
3 votes

Can one become fluent in a language without studying it formally?

A really good way is movies with subtitles. For example, if you already know English and are trying to learn French, Get a French movie. Watch it with English subtitles. You're already picking up ...
Fiksdal's user avatar
  • 131
2 votes

Can one become fluent in a language without studying it formally?

I have a friend who learnt a language entirely by watching T.V. in it when he was young (by young I mean around 5-7 years old). The language was similar to his native language, but it was still ...
Noel's user avatar
  • 483
2 votes

How did Celine Dion learn to sing in perfect English?

In 1989, Céline Dion was sent to École Berlitz to work on her English. Also, she has written quite a few albums in English, that must definitely have improved her accent!
oldabl's user avatar
  • 181
2 votes

Take Spanish 3 (university level) or start self-studying?

The best advice in this situation is to do what has been most successful for you as an individual. There's no general rule that any language learner to follow because we all learn languages ...
fi12's user avatar
  • 9,147
2 votes

How to get most language learning benefits from frequent casual conversations with natives?

Q: You are a busy person who is already at or above the B1 level and you want to know what you can do when you are with a native speaker. (That FORCE answer by Tsundoku looks really good, but hard to ...
Boyd's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes

Is it possible to learn a language without translation?

It is definitely possible, but you need some half decent learning materials. French for foreigners in France and Belgium are exclusively taught without translation and it works fine. You learn the ...
Annette Flottwell's user avatar
1 vote

Learning a language without studying grammar

Personal preference Some people enjoy learning grammar and figuring it out. Others do not. This might explain some of your bafflement. I would not use dictionaries too much I would recommend reading ...
Tommi's user avatar
  • 3,501
1 vote
Accepted

Can a baby learn a new language by interacting with a foreign language speaker over skype?

Answering my own question: Looks like research has been done on this. From the paper "Skype me! Socially Contingent Interactions Help Toddlers Learn Language" by Sarah Roseberry, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, ...
user1583016's user avatar
1 vote

Benefits of reading texts one does not understand well

There could also be some downsides to reading things you don't understand completely. I teach English but I think it is pretty important that you accurately understand what you're reading in any ...
Ubu English's user avatar
1 vote

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

Yes This is a purely anecdotal answer. The first time I travelled to Romania a few years ago I made a local friend who was quite surprised to find that he was able to speak English. He'd never ...
hippietrail's user avatar
1 vote

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

It depends on the language, but for most languages, not completely. Especially with a language such as Chinese and Japanese, which has many complex features, you need to get a good learning book for ...
wythagoras's user avatar
  • 1,861

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