from the world's big
Don't worry about grammar rules at first. They'll only trip you up.
- Learning a language can be a tricky process, but it's important to remember that it is a process.
- Having learned 20 languages so far, Canadian polyglot and LingQ founder Steve Kaufmann's advice is to not focus on the grammar. Constantly thinking about the rules while attempting to speak only makes it harder.
- Investing time (often several months) into listening, reading, and practicing words before trying to speak a language will help you feel more comfortable with it. You will make mistakes, but you will learn from them and people will be patient with you.
According to a man that knows more than 20 languages, the key is to start in the middle.
- Canadian polyglot Steve Kaufmann says there is indeed a fast track to learning a new language. It involves doubling down on your listening and reading.
- By taking the focus off grammar rules that are difficult to understand and even more difficult to remember, you can instead develop habits by greater exposure to the language. Kaufmann likens the learning process to a hockey stick.
- In the beginning you make major progress as you climb the steep hill of the hockey stick, whereas the long shaft of the stick is the difficult part. Because you're not seeing day-to-day changes, you might lose motivation. So, stay the course by consuming content that interests you.
There are ways to engage with someone with whom you don't agree.
- When you have pre-conceived ideas about a group whose views oppose your own, you risk closing the door to meaningful discourse before it begins.
- "When you demonize those who voted against you then there's no chance of a democratic debate," argues Yanis Varoufakis, former finance minister of Greece and founder of DiEM25. "You've lost it completely. Then you go into a state of civil war."
- Varoufakis says that there are two ways of approaching a difference of opinion: external and internal critiques. Focusing on internal critiques as the more fruitful method, Varoufakis explains how using logic to work through one's assumptions to see if they lead to the same conclusions can open up a pathway to conversation.
White people must seriously examine how they've managed to get through life without caring about racism.
- You can't jump over the difficult personal work required to examine your role in racism's presence in our society, says writer and consultant Robin DiAngelo.
- Relying on easy answers from people around you won't solve the problem. DiAngelo compares this to your doctor delivering a diagnosis without an explanation. Wouldn't you take it upon yourself to learn about the ailment? Racism should be treated the same way.
- Receiving feedback with grace, reflecting on it, and seeking to change the behavior should be the modus operandi for all white people. This process should not be revolutionary.
Now is the perfect time to take up a new language. Self-motivation and commitment are key to mastering this fun and useful new skill.
- Canadian polyglot Steve Kaufmann has learned parts of 20 languages. He's come up with seven tips to help anyone attempting to learn a new language in their spare time.
- First, you must commit the time and keep motivated. If you don't enjoy the process of learning a language, you probably won't get very far. Maintaining a positive attitude is key.
- The sense of achievement in mastering a language is a profoundly positive experience. Focusing, at first, on vocabulary rather than grammar will help you in the long run.