Learning With Texts

Recently, Benny the Irish Polyglot moved his public installation of Learning With Texts (LWT) to a new server. LWT is an application that lets you copy text from a text file and then learn a foreign language using the application.

It may not be your cup of tea but this approach can be used in tandem with other methods or by itself. It certainly appeals to me.

Anyway, as I was reading Benny’s latest post on his blog, He said that LWT is an open source project that can be downloaded from Sourceforge. In other words, you can install your own version of LWT on your computer!

Benny explains the reasons why you may want to install LWT on your computer.

If you are not technically proficient, you can ask a techie friend to help you with the install but the instructions were relatively straightforward.

At any rate, I installed LWT on my computer and I am stoked! You can learn ANY language you want using this method, provided you can get your hands on some text written on your target language (and with the Internet, that is 99.99% possible). I’ll keep you posted on what I find out.


Português novamente

Este fim de semana, eu tive a oportunidade de falar com um Brasileiro. Tentar falar com ele foi uma coisa muita interessante.  Eu percebi que eu não sei muito vocabulario. Esta é uma grande desvantagem para mim. Eu penso que a razão por esto é que eu falo Espanol e eu penso –erroneamente, que eu sei muitas palavras em português. Eu devo de estudar mais!

Eu sinto que talvez eu posso falar português melhor para o final do ano mas preciso estudar mais. Tenho a intenção de dar mais esforço para os meus estudos. É uma grande oportunidade ter a amigo do Brasil para praticar e eu não quero perder esta oportunidade.



After 12 days of studying Portuguese, I produced my first video where I speak only Portuguese. It is exactly what one would expect after studying a foreign language for only 12 days but I understand now that one must speak the target language right away. It is a magic that I cannot explain. Once you break that initial barrier, once you overcome that initial inertia, the language you’re studying becomes a living thing. It’s amazing.

Anyway, I will post a link to the video as soon as the captions are done processing. I just began messing with captions so they are not perfectly timed. My videos in the future should be better in that respect.

Another thing you must do when learning a foreign language, is find a group of like-minded individuals. It is an excellent form of moral support. I highly recommend you look for the #add1challenge by Brian Kwong on YouTube. The first challenge is a tremendous success, near 100 people signed up for it and Brian formed a special group on Facebook where everybody posts updates and such and other people encourage you and give you tips.

Unfortunately, due to some misunderstandings on my part, I had to leave the group and continue on my own but there is no doubt in my mind that Brian is onto something with the challenge.

So, I am excited to see where I am this time next year. I fully expect to be at a mid level with Japanese and be completely fluent in Portuguese. After December 31st 2013, I am going to tackle Italian and French in preparation for the Polyglot conference in October 2014. I have the feeling that I can add 8 languages next year and be at a least at a mid level by end of the year. I say this because at least 3 of the languages I’m shooting for are Romance languages (Italian, French, and Romanian) and one is a close cousin to English (German). After struggling with Japanese, I have a sense that other languages will be easier, mostly because I’ve acquired better learning tools throughout the process.

Thank you for stopping by!

The #add1challenge

Well, the first week since I joined the #add1challenge has come and gone.  The #add1challenge, in case you haven’t heard, was created by Brian Kwong and it is designed to bring together a bunch of people who are trying to learn or improve a foreign language for the purposes of supporting each other.

I have put in the work with Portuguese and I plan on making my first Portuguese video this weekend to post it in the FB group on Monday.

I was struck by how many people from Latin America are participating, especially from Mexico. Also, I think it’s interesting that many of the participants have been studying their target language for a long time and are seeking to apply themselves more to their studies. I think that the people who are starting from scratch are in the minority in the group.

It will be fun to see how every body does in their final update and how many people will consider their goal achieved.

I need to go through all the participants and reach out to all the Portuguese learners. It takes a village!

Thank you for looking.