50 languages! I guess my brain would be like a vegetable soup. 🙂 So far, I have attempted to learn 5 different languages (English, French, Spanish, Dutch, German) and I could only continue with 2 of them. Even I just know 3 languages, English, Turkish and French, I sometimes mistaken French words with English ones… For example, the other day I wrote “biere” instead of “beer” in a translation! 🙂 It was so embrassing though. As translators, it is our dream to know as many languages as possible, isn’t it?
However, there are some genius people who can speak more than 10 languages. I’m sure they get confused from time to time but it should be great to know that you can communicate millions of people! What a confidence! I came across an interesting article about learning languages. There are some tips from a guy who “knows” 50 languages:
One of the most famous language learners alive today is Alexander Arguelles, a linguist who has learned over 50 languages (some of them dead, admittedly) and has developed a couple of techniques that he shares with people online. You can learn all about his techniques on his website — he makes instructional videos available for free — and a lot of people swear by them.
Here’s his famous “shadowing technique,” where students listen to the language with simultaneously speaking it out loud and reading along with it in a book. Arguelles describes it like this:
The videos I have made about Shadowing demonstrate and discuss the proper form for using my technique of shadowing or listening to and simultaneously echoing a recording of foreign language audio that accompanies a manual of bilingual texts . . . In order to shadow most effectively, it is important to observe three points:
1. Walk outdoors as swiftly as possible.
2. Maintain perfectly upright posture.
3. Articulate thoroughly in a loud, clear voice.
He also recommends his “scriptorium technique,” where students write the language while simultaneously speaking it out loud. He writes:
In order to do this properly, you should:
1. Read a sentence aloud.
2. Say each word aloud again as you write it.
3. Read the sentence aloud as you have written it.
The whole purpose of this exercise is to force yourself to slow down and pay attention to detail. This is the stage at which you should check all unknowns in grammars or dictionaries.
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