Passive vs Active

I think it is odd how when learning a foreign language, one can learn vocabulary passively or actively. This phenomena is very much evident when I read stuff written in Portuguese or Italian. I can recognize tons of words because they are words that share a Latin root with Spanish but as I try to memorize them to use them in my speech, they don’t stick the way I feel they should.

Interesting for sure.


I have learned a couple of things on my quest to speak  six to eight languages. The first is handles. Handles in foreign language learning, as I understand the term, are phrases very commonly used universally. For example, the phrase “if I had…” is used a lot in the English language and it is as commonly used in other languages. Another one is “if you like…”. So you learn these phrases in your target language and you can start conversing in that language in no time. Unfortunately, NONE of the books I have seen so far in ANY language, deals with these.

I first became aware of the concept of handles by watching a YouTube video by KiraPepelu.

The other thing I learned recently that may really accelerate my language learning is that by writing the target language, your brain learns the language actively and thus you can more readily use the language. Interesting idea and one that I believe to be true because one you write, you are in essence talking to your reader thus you are conversing in the target language.


I think once I feel comfortable with the languages I have set out to learn to fluency, I will pick a dying language and learn it as a way to try to delay that language’s demise. I recently read an article while waiting at the dentist’s office, about all the languages in the world that have but a handful of active speakers left. That would be cool.

Thank you for stopping by!


One thought on “Passive vs Active

  1. Why learn kanji first? If you have the “huevos” why not right? but I think kana is the way to go. Remember kana was specifically made to facilitate the writing of foreign words so why not use it the other way and learn synthax as well? I’m not sayin….I’m JUST sayin

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