Sunday, August 30, 2009

Shared Talk

Here is another spot I've found where you can chat in audio or text with foreigners who's language you are eager to learn. Sometimes the audio can lag and I've been asked if I have Skype because people like to go there because the audio can be clearer.
I don't know how I feel about having a bunch of people calling me on Skype whenever they feel like it though. So, that is something to consider. For the most part the audio is fine for me on Shared Talk, anyway. It does take some courage at first to jump into a chat, especially audio. There are people from all over the world to talk to.

I'm adding a video here that punctuates the usefulness of knowing another language. Some may have already seen it but here goes.

I had a great time on SharedTalk today. I'm gradually losing my mic shyness.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lingq and other items

I've found a nice program for learning the popular languages. See what you think: It is called Lingq and it really seems to be a wonderful way to learn.
I have just started on it this morning. I went through all 3 levels of Pimsleur and then Michel Thomas while on the road delivering auto parts. Then I started speaking to people. I am now able to carry on a half-decent conversation in French. I'm now going to French speaking meetings that I found on I recommend those along with Pimsleur and Michel Thomas. You can't go wrong as far as I'm concerned. I actually make a living translating so I would never steer you wrong. Don't forget to check out the free FSI language materials from a previous post. Well,
I'm going to go a little further with French on Lingq.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The French Meetup at La Madeline

Tomorrow evening is once again French Meetup night at La Madeline at 7:00. Looking forward to it much. What a nice group of people. I get so excited when I'm speaking French there. I have no concept of social manners during that time and have to be careful not to interrupt people. I see a few language blogs out there that I'd like to hook up with but I don't know if it is polite to just link without asking. I'll have to ask and see. I must give Tim Ferriss props for making me feel guilty about having lost some of my language learning zeal. I'm ready to be a Zealot! I enjoy listening to French programming right now on my WiFi radio. Many types are available but mine is a Pico by Sabre. I believe that it is manufactured in the UK. The quality of sound is just excellent. If you don't find your target language being spoken among those thousands of free channels I just can't help you.

I do find movies helpful for language learning. I get to hear more of a street version of the textbook language and find it enriching. In fact I guess everything is effective for me except childrens' books. I believe that an adult should just dive in to adult level material. By far my favorite book for rekindling language learning zeal is Barry Farber's How to Learn any Language (9780806512716). Give it a look. I don't have any book in my library that is so full of yellow hilight. Quite a jewel in my book!

Has anyone out there tried shadowing? Do you know what it is? Oh! While I'm at it I should recommend that you go to and see what language meetups there are in your area. Happy Hunting!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Some Free Treats

I am glad to be sharing more information with you all. I just wanted to pop in and tell you where you can find the exact materials used by the US Government to train their language career personnel. You can use your imagination to figure out what that means. Well here they are. They are a very full list of Foreign Service Institute (FSI) language courses.
These same materials have been repackaged and sold countless times and I see them in many bookstores repackaged as "original" material. I was trained by the Government myself using both the Korean and Thai courses from this list. They look so familiar when I look at them. They are a goldmine and they are yours. Have fun guys! Next I'll have some information about using mnemonics to help you learn vocab effortlessly.