Language Diet

I’ve regimented my Turkish studies and in the past few days have honed this thing down to what I think is near perfection. I’ve also come to another conclusion that would have to be marketed to the right audience.

This book I’m reading, (or rather, taking note of) is not too dissimilar to Barry Farber’s book, with the exception of a few things. First, it’s far more regimented. Farber says “Here are the techniques: use them all day, every day, as much as you can as intensely as you can,” and Golly Gee, I bet that works, but for those of us that can’t pore over the intricacies of Korean pronunciation from nine to five, we need something a little more user friendly.

Hawke does just that. He says you need to use (  ) this much time per day learning x many verbs, x many nouns, and x many adjectives, along with useful expressions, synonym and antonym pairs, and conjunctions, etc per day. It’s about fifty something words (or phrases) (and one major grammar rule) per day, and he even gives you lists of the most useful so you don’t have to analyze the general worth of each word of your new language. (Granted, this book is a Universal guide, so it’s not specifically applied to any language, and you’ll need to do some tweaking [none for analytic languages][more for fusional][even more for agglutinative][tons more for polysynthetic]) to make it work for whatever you’re learning. Also, he does not AT ALL describe how to learn to read a foreign script, so if you’re diving head first into Arabic or Pashto, you’ll need to learn to read before going on his seven-day crash course in a language (did I mention Hawke also claims that with this method, you can communicate in seven days and be proficient in another 21? He does).

So what I did was this. I bought two really nice (sit-flat, meaning the rings will do just that) ½ inch three ring binders, 400 UNLINED 3x5 index cards, regular (square) size post-it notes, the medium bookmark size, the tiny size, and then the clear-ish “sign here” type ones, but they don’t say anything. I got two sets of dividers and some of the clear plastic protectors. I think that’s it. Anyway, I’ve set up a method where I’ve allotted his list (amended for my application of the language) to vocabulary lists divided up in the binders, and then made those into flashcards, written vertically with five sections (flip end over end and English matches the target language; far more efficient). I’ve taken the most useful or needed words and made them first.
Long story short is I have seven envelopes, (almost) all of them with their allotment of nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, conjunctions and grammar rule for the day all packed up and ready to be pulled out for that day of the week. Each of those seven packets needs to be conquered that day, and the previous ones reviewed/refreshed.

I’d be willing to get a packet like this together (for a [maybe not so] nominal fee) if someone wanted to learn something else. You’d have to give me a couple of weeks to gather each of the day’s notecards, allot the grammar rules, set it all on the computer so it can be printed on notecards/vocab lists (because my handwriting sucks) and get everything together, and it could even be halved into a two-week deal (because I’m having some trouble keeping my head above water with this thing. It’s a big deal, if that tells you anything) and made into a nice “Here’s your language in written form; stick it under your pillow for two weeks and learn Yoruba,” type situation. It reminds me of those “we’ll make your meals” catering companies. I’d definitely be willing to do that. Sound interesting to anyone, even if not for themselves. Just the idea???

I’m going to get a haircut… and practice my flashcards while doing.


Book Reader said...

Sounds exceedingly cool!! You will email me details and we will talk about it.

Affable Olive said...

You know your just because link. We both know someone that has that and has been tested by a doctor for validity.

Affable Olive said...

Good grief, I know you have C.O., but update man. I don't have the internet at my house and I'm still updating!

t said...

Wow, Poly. Your intense organization, down to the specs on the post-it notes, is very impressive.

On a similar note (well, only sort-of)I had this plan once to create a giant timeline on my wall. I hate, & therefore stink at, history so i figured if i could have a tangible/visual aid, it would help me put it all in place in my mind.

Maybe i'll still do it one day. I figure i'll allot 1/4" for every 10 years & just add events as i learn about them...

Studying the Daniel book inspired me. Only when I can link historical events to Bibical events/prophecy do they become interesting to me.