Language

A complete archive of all of my posts about language learning.

language

The Danger of Perfectionism

Posted by on 2:15 am in Advanced, Beginner, Chinese Learning, Intermediate, Mindset/Mentality | 3 comments

The Danger of Perfectionism

CHINA UPDATE: I’m back in Australia! I was in Nanjing for just over 5 months at Nanjing University. It was a phenomenal experience, my Chinese improved immensely and I had a ridiculous amount of fun. I find myself continually daydreaming about the time I spent over there. I did quite a lot of travelling and feel like I have a good grasp of what the country is all about and what it stands for (and yet there is infinitely more to learn). —- Perfectionism is a quality that many people possess – maybe due to a lifetime of...

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8 Ways To Win The ‘Language Power Struggle’

Posted by on 4:10 am in Beginner, Chinese Learning, Intermediate, Learning Techniques | 9 comments

8 Ways To Win The ‘Language Power Struggle’

What is it and why do you need to win? A ‘language power struggle’ is the term that has been unofficially been adopted to describe the phenomenon where two people from different linguistic backgrounds, each learning the other’s tongue, engage in a battle of wits to determine which language will be used for the exchange. As a quick disclaimer, I still think that it’s important to be respectful when trying to win this battle. No need to be a dick. The general rule should be that, out of general decency, the person trying to speak the...

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December Challenge!

Posted by on 5:55 am in Advanced, Beginner, Chinese Learning, Intermediate, Learning Techniques, Mindset/Mentality, Motivation | 7 comments

December Challenge!

Okay, so the short answer is that I failed. The long one is that I succeeded. What? Turns out, December ain’t a good month for doing a one-month challenge. I mean, if you’re an obsessive and goal-oriented person like me, then every month is one-month challenge month. However, at least in Australia, you basically have to write most of December off productivity-wise as it signifies the end of a year of school, university, work, whatever, and so everyone is out and ready to party. It’s also the start of the Australian summer – this is bad news...

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Guest: Highlight on Chris Kamp: Australian, Accredited Translator and Fluent Mandarin Speaker

Posted by on 1:31 am in Advanced, Beginner, Chinese Learning, Intermediate, Learning Techniques | 2 comments

Guest: Highlight on Chris Kamp: Australian, Accredited Translator and Fluent Mandarin Speaker

My name’s Chris Kamp. I’m a student at the University of Queensland doing a dual degree in Law and Arts (majoring in Japanese, which I don’t speak terribly well). I started learning Chinese in 2010, before taking a year off to live in Harbin in Northeast China, where I learned to speak Mandarin while trying not to freeze to death. I now work part-time as a freelance translator. I’m also currently the Vice-President for Education of the Australia China Youth Association at UQ. If you’ve been learning Chinese (or any other language) for any...

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How To: Get Audio Flashcards For Anki Using ChinesePod

Posted by on 1:20 pm in Resources | 6 comments

How To: Get Audio Flashcards For Anki Using ChinesePod

Audio flashcards are an incredible resource for learning languages. They turn listening and reading activities (which are passive) into active ones. Unsurprisingly, you need passive activities to improve your passive language ability (for example, your listening comprehension), and your need active ones to improve your active language ability (producing the language). The size of your your passive vocabulary can be very different from the size of your active vocabulary. I’m planning on doing a couple of posts in the next few weeks about...

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How Long Does It Take To Learn A Language?

Posted by on 1:20 am in Chinese Learning | 12 comments

How Long Does It Take To Learn A Language?

Hey guys! Today I wanted to address one of the most asked questions by language learners, and potential ones. This is, of course, the question of “how long does it take to become fluent in a language?”. I remember well that when I was learning my first language (French) I was constantly asking myself and everyone around me this very question. I would spend a lot of time googling things on the internet, or by annoying Luca Lampariello or Steve Kaufmann with emails. It’s strange, really, that there is such a burning desire...

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On Comprehensible Input

Posted by on 9:25 am in Advanced, Beginner, Chinese Learning, Intermediate, Learning Techniques | 1 comment

On Comprehensible Input

Hey guys! Sorry it’s been a little longer than usual since my last post – I’ve been extremely busy lately! Aside from being a full-time University student, I’ve also been running my own company (or trying to) and doing a lot of work for an organisation called ACYA (Australia-China Youth Association or 中澳青年联合会) for which I’m a Vice-President of the Monash University Chapter. In fact, I’m writing this post from the plane! I’m on my way home from the ACYA National Conference that was held in Brisbane. I met an amazing bunch of people, including...

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Speech On Language Learning

Posted by on 5:21 am in Chinese Learning | 0 comments

Hey guys! So a couple of days ago I had a great privilege of speaking at Suzanne Cory High School, which is a selective entry school form years 9-12. Selective schools are great environments (I went to one myself) and are inspiring places to be in. They seemed like a good group of kids. If you’re interested, give it a listen! Click Here to listen to the speech. Dan P.S. Let me know if that link doesn’t work for some reason, but it should...

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The Secret To Learning Foreign Languages

Posted by on 9:00 am in Beginner, Chinese Learning, Intermediate, Learning Techniques, Mindset/Mentality, Motivation | 14 comments

The Secret To Learning Foreign Languages

You lucky devils. Today I have decided to share with you all the one true secret that I believe is essential to learning a language. Sure, knowing this information alone won’t be enough to learn a language, but you also can’t learn one without knowing this rule. Surprisingly, it is quite logical when you think about it. However, I think that this secret is, unfortunately, largely absent from traditional language teaching in schools and the like, despite the fact that, unless they are native speakers, every language teacher knows...

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Why Simplicity Is Almost Always Better Than Complexity

Posted by on 12:43 am in Learning Techniques | 0 comments

Why Simplicity Is Almost Always Better Than Complexity

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Leonardo Da Vinci So it’s been a couple of crazy, jam-packed weeks for me since I finished semester. I’m on holidays from University for a month at the moment. Before I get into the nitty-gritty of this article, here’s a brief rundown of what I’ve been doing with myself (apart from learning Chinese). I’m gonna take the liberty and pretend like you all care, since, like, it’s my blog and I can write whatever I want! Working on my own business. Yep. In...

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