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on 23-Jul-2018 (Mon)

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I encountered three basic keys to language learning: Learn pronunciation first. Don’t translate. Use spaced repetition systems.

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The first key, learn pronunciation first, came out of my music conservatory training (and is widely used by the military and the missionaries of the Mormon church). Singers learn the pronunciation of languages first because we need to sing in these languages long before we have the time to learn them. In the course of mastering the sounds of a language, our ears become attuned to those sounds, making vocabulary acquisition, listening comprehension, and speaking come much more quickly. While we’re at it, we pick up a snazzy, accurate accent.

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The second key, don’t translate, was hidden within my experiences at the Middlebury Language Schools in Vermont. Not only can a beginning student skip translating, but it was an essential step in learning how to think in a foreign language. It made language learning possible. This was the fatal flaw in my earlier attempts to learn Hebrew and Russian: I was practicing translation instead of speaking. By throwing away English, I could spend my time building fluency instead of decoding sentences word by word.

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Japanese Language Resources
FULL LIST AND LINKS: Fluent-Forever.com/Japanese
Grammar Book: Eri Banno et al., Genki: An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese
Phrase Book: Yoshi Abe et al., Lonely Planet Japanese Phrasebook
Pronunciation Trainer: Gabriel Wyner, Japanese Pronunciation Trainer
Frequency Dictionary: Yukio Tono et al., A Frequency Dictionary of Japanese
Thematic Vocabulary Book: Carol Akiyama et al., Japanese Vocabulary

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#fluent_forever #languages
Language Book and Resource Recommendations
Get these now:
  • A good grammar book.
    • Get one that you like and fits your level.
  • A phrase book.
Consider these:
  • A frequency dictionary.
    • These save a lot of time.
  • A pronunciation guide.
    • These can be software or books with CDs.
  • Dictionaries - bilingual and monolingual.
  • A thematic vocabulary book
    • These arrange the words in your language by theme (words about cars, food, medical words, etc.)

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Five Principles of Memory
  • Make memories more memorable.
  • Maximize laziness.
  • Don’t review. Recall.
  • Wait, wait! Don’t tell me!
  • Rewrite the past.

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