reply to post by MDDoxs
The answer depends upon the time in which you desire to do this and the amount of money you desire to spend.
On the free side (and in addition to any money you might spend on materials), do the following:
1) Listen everyday to at least 15 minutes of the native language on youtube (or elsewhere)...anything at all....any length...but do the same sample
each day. DO NOT TRANSLATE IT. The object here is to train your ear to hear cadence, tone, phrases and words-- even if they mean nothing to you. Over
time, through the other work you will eventually do, you may come to understand what you are listening to, but that is not the point of this
If you arrive at a point where you have memorized and can imitate successfully the sample, move on to the next sample. Again, you do not need to
translate these. That is NOT necessary.
2) Find a short written piece (500 words or less) in the target language. Short is better. TRANSLATE THIS word for word and identify the part of
speech a word relates to (noun, verb, adj, adverb...etc...) When you have done this, stick with the piece and begin to read it aloud until it sounds
conversational to you. DO NOT MOVE ONTO THE NEXT SAMPLE until you have fully memorized this piece. It does not matter if you remember what everything
means. The point of this exercise is to get your mouth moving in the target language. If you have selected a target language where pronunciation is
very difficult for you, use Google Translates audio feature, if available, to help guide you.
3) Next, Google the "Top 1000 words in" your target language for a list. Here is an example in
Translate these, say them out loud, categorize them by parts of speech, and memorize their meaning, starting with
conjunctions...adjectives & adverbs...then pronouns & nouns...then root verbs.
At this point, you are not doing any grammar work at all. THAT IS OK. The point of these steps is to simultaneously improve comprehension and to get
your mouth used to imitating the target language. THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT FIRST STEP, imo.
Most language teaching methodologies focus on grammar, and in my experience this is the fastest way to fail at learning a new language. Do the easy
work in steps 1-3 first. On your free time, passively listen (like you would to background music) anything in the target language, using a similar
resource to this one.
(There are other options, but I just quickly googled the first one that
Again, it doesn't matter that you understand any of it. THE KEY is simply getting your brain used to the sounds and getting your mouth to move in the
same way. IMITATE. IMITATE. IMITATE.
When you have reached a point where Steps 1-3 seem REALLY easy to you, then you can move on to the next steps. But note, you still do steps 1-3 in
addition to the remaining steps...
4) Find a website that discusses the basic grammar of the target language. Review several until you find one that seems clean, well organized and
doesn't list every exception to every rule. Once you have done this, begin to read through the material, but START with pronouns and verb conjugation
in the present tense. Skip everything else for now. LEARN the verb and pronoun combinations in the present tense only. Make the verbs TO HAVE and TO
BE first! Then work with the verb list you created in step 3 and conjugate the top twenty or so verbs according to the grammar rules of the target
language. After you have mastered this, go back and do this for the SIMPLE PAST tense and then the future tense. There are many more tenses, but focus
on these three first.
5) After you have accomplished Steps 1-4 and everything seems to be coming easily for you, you still wont be able to speak very much, but your
comprehension will EXPLODE. Now go back to the material you selected in Step 2 and begin to make the connections between what you translated and the
grammar rules you've been studying. Use these pieces as a guide to what you should read on in terms of grammar rules. Focus on the questions you have
concerning the most frequent examples of something you see.
6) At this point, you will have a much better sense of how to proceed in terms of what works best for you. Read more grammar... Listen to more
material... Move on to PAID resources.
Without a doubt, the two best and most available options are Michele Thomas and Pimsluer. They both have their strengths and weaknesses, but
together, they rock!!!
Michele Thomas is the best grammar teaching method I've ever seen. It's mind blowing how elegant a method it is. I simply can not say enough good
things about this approach!
Pimsluer is the best conversational phrase and pronunciation teaching method I've ever seen.
Together, these two paid resources alone will produce the fastest and most meaningful results for you!!!
There are other good materials out there, but those two are my favorites.
Finally, go to this website: How-to-learn-any-language.com
It has tons of good information for you on the subject of learning new languages. One of the best on the net, imo.
Finally, put yourself into as many situations where you are required to practice what you are learning. Frequently ask yourself how you would say
something in your target language when it occurs to you. WRITE it down and keep your pown personal log of these words or phrases. USE THEM frequently.
Will all of this make you fluent? Probably not. Fluency is something that happens over years with tons of exposure. BUT you will be much further along
than most teaching methods, imo.
But in six months with daily effort, you can get to be quite proficient and conversational.
The work will be really rewarding. Trust me.
edit on 14-9-2012 by loam because: (no reason given)