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#AskSteve

Over the years I have created a vast amount of videos and articles where I talk about language learning. Find them here.

For example, type "english" to search items about english.
  • Arabic is spoken by over 400 million native speakers on three continents. A powerful historical language, it has influenced languages in the region and in ...
  • Si vous voulez vraiment apprendre l’anglais rapidement, voici ce que vous devez faire. Le conseil fonctionne aussi pour d’autres langues. La seule différence entre l’anglais et d’autres langues est que la plupart des personnes apprenant l’anglais ont reçu beaucoup d’instructions en salle de classe, ce qui n’est pas souvent le cas pour ceux qui apprennent […]

  • 言葉の勉強は基本的に独学です。先生が行っても、いなくても、自分で勉強しないといけません、自分で新しい言葉に慣れないといけません。そ...
  • The most important task in language learning, in my opinion, is the acquisition of vocabulary. If we have enough words, we can make sense of what we’re reading or listening to and we can somehow express ourselves. Vocabulary is much more important than grammar. The grammar you acquire gradually as you become familiar with the […]

  • LingQ Language Gathering March 23 2020
    Mark, Eric and Jahrine from the LingQ Team join Steve as they all talk about how they use LingQ to learn different languages. Plus, lots of time for questions and ...
  • Schnell Englisch lernen March 19 2020

    Schnell Englisch lernen Wenn du wirklich schnell Englisch lernen möchtest, solltest meinen Tipps in diesem Artikel folgen. Diese gelten genauso auch für andere Sprachen. Der einzige Unterschied zwischen Englisch und anderen Sprachen liegt darin, dass die meisten, die Englisch lernen, viel Klassenunterricht hatten, was bei den Lernenden anderer Sprachen normalerweise nicht der Fall ist.   […]

  • You are unlikely to learn to speak a new language perfectly, but perfection should not be your goal. Your main goal should be effective communication. I am not perfect in any of the languages that I speak, but I can communicate. And whenever I communicate in another language I’m satisfied. I also know from experience that my ability to speak and to pronounce well will only improve with time, as long as I remain alert to what I hear and read, and how I use the language.

  • Is it worthwhile to invest time and effort into memory techniques in order to acquire vocabulary and learn languages? Does it deliver better results than simply ...
  • Korean vs Japanese vs Chinese, ever wonder what the similarities and differences are between these three languages and how should we go about learning them? To what extent can learning one help you with the others? Let me share my experience in learning these three Asian languages.   How I Learned Mandarin, Japanese and Korean […]

  • French was my first love when it comes to languages. In fact, there’s an expression in French: “On revient toujours a son premier amour.” It means you always go back to your first love. I love French; I love all the languages that I learn, but I have a special affection for French.
    I highly recommend learning French for beginners. There’s a whole world that you can access so much better if you speak French. The language is spoken in other countries like Canada.

  • We have to stay with it to succeed in language learning. It is too easy to be frustrated at our lack of progress. In this video I talk about three things that keep me ...
  • Languages surround us wherever we are and wherever we travel, like a limitless buffet of delicious morsels of food. We can choose to limit ourselves to a few or ...
  •   I have talked in the past about some of the major technical advances that have improved language learning, for example, mp3 technology. Fifty years ago I would listen to an open reel tape recorder in my room in Hong Kong when I was learning Mandarin Chinese and now my telephone has become a super […]

  • I'm really enjoying short biographical monologues, followed by "circling questions", in Persian. I would love to see the same in Arabic, and in fact for all ...
  • Moses McCormick, polyglot extraordinaire, has a humble good natured approach to languages and people that probably belies the concentrated effort needed ...
  • Good language learners notice what is happening in a language. They notice the sounds of the language, and the structure and the vocabulary. They notice as they listen and read. They notice when they use the language. How can we train ourselves in the ability to notice, in order to become good language learners?

  • Language Listening Strategy February 17 2020
    Listening is the most strategic activity in my language learning. I am confident that if I can understand what I hear, in movies, podcasts, conversations, etc., my ...
  • It may seem that Chinese and English language are worlds apart. When I started learning Chinese, this exotic quality was part of its appeal. Once you get into ...
  • 来月日本へ行きます、3月15日から23日まで、東京と横浜。お会いしましょうか? Learn a new language on LingQ: https://www.lingq.com Get my 10 Secrets of ...
  • I lived in Hong Kong from ’68 to ’70, two and a half years, but my main task for the first year there was to learn Mandarin. Thereafter I worked at the Canadian High Commission, mostly in English, or in Mandarin on my visits to China for the twice annual Canton Trade Fair. Also, although […]

  • Listening is the biggest part of my language learning by far. I am only able to do it while doing other tasks, otherwise I lose focus and feel like I want to do ...
  • When do we start speaking naturally in another language without translating from our own language? I think this is a gradual process. I discuss this topic with ...
  • Tips for Learning Russian February 4 2020

    I wanted give some important tips for learning Russian. First I’ll explain about the writing system, then some interesting things to remember about Russian verbs of motion, aspects of verbs and cases.

  • Do you ever get frustrated when learning a language? I know I do. Usually it is a matter of managing expectations. We are learning, however slowly, and the end ...
  • We need to listen a lot in order to learn a language. My goal, when I learn a language, isn't to be able to speak a lot at an early or even intermediate stage, but ...
  • 日本人が英語を話せない事はないです。今のビデオはBilingirl Chika のこのビデオに対する答えですです。https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gy__2hH5IWY Learn...
  • Breaking News –Special Report: A new way of recording and transmitting information has been discovered, even more convenient than mp3 technology. It’s called reading, yes, writing things down for others to read!   Someone commented on one of my recent YouTube videos where I said, in Japanese, that Japanese people who are learning English might […]

  • If we simplify the process of learning a language, it is all about acquiring words. Here I analyze my vocabulary statistics at LingQ and what they tell me about how ...
  • How long does it take to learn Spanish? How long does it take to learn any language? I hear these questions quite often. There is no simple answer. It is really up to you.  The US Foreign Service Language institute published some numbers about how many hours required to learn different languages. For Spanish the […]

  • Writing is sometimes not a necessary skill in our language learning, but it is always a great learning activity. When we write we take more care, we review what ...
  • 言葉の勉強のコツは、他にない、熱いです。 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Y56J7xXb5Q.
  • I was born in Sweden. I lived there until I was five. I imagine that I only spoke the Swedish language for that period. I have no recollection of transitioning from Swedish into English after we moved to Canada. My parents decided we would speak English in the house. My parents were actually from Czechoslovakia, […]

  • Lindie Botes is a remarkable, accomplished and also enthusiastic language learner. Check out Lindie's YouTube channel: ...
  • I had planned to do three languages over 9 months, Arabic, Persian and Turkish. I have now decided to focus on the first two. Arabic and Persian share ...
  • I studied Mandarin Chinese 50 years ago. It took me nine months to reach a level where I could translate newspaper editorials from English to Chinese and from Chinese to English, read novels and interpret for people, I did this in the age of the open-reel tape recorder, long before the age of the Internet, […]

  • The ability to pronounce well in another language can vary from learner to learner. I believe that our willingness to immerse ourselves in another culture, and the ...
  • 言葉の勉強の目標は楽しみです。 Learn a new language on LingQ: https://www.lingq.com Get my 10 Secrets of Language Learning: https://www.thelinguist.com.
  • Can We Sound Like a Native? December 31 2019

      Today, I’m going to talk about speaking like a native, sounding like a native, because it’s a discussion that showed up sort of in response to my latest video, which I did in Japanese.      Sometimes I study on LingQ using the computer. Mostly, however, I use my iPad because it’s more comfortable […]

  • To speak well, you need to just do it, with humility, not compare yourself, and make sure you pay attention to the language when you listen and read. Christine ...
  • How To Learn Portuguese December 24 2019

    Many of us are watching the Olympics in Brazil. Despite all of the bad reports that we always get in the lead up to any Olympic Games – some British newspaper called the 2010 Vancouver Winter games the worst Olympics in the world ever, then there were all the problems with toilets in Sochi and now pollution in Rio – it looks like actually things are proceeding swimmingly, so to speak.

    People ask, if I go to Brazil, can I communicate? What language do they speak? First of all, some may not know that Brazilians speak Portuguese. There’s no Brazilian language, there is Portuguese.

  • People talking about themselves makes excellent intermediate language learning content. Learn a new language on LingQ: https://www.lingq.com Get my 10 ...
  • How I deal with the inevitable language learning plateau, where I feel I am not making any progress. Study this video on LingQ: ...
  • 英会話よりも理解力 December 17 2019
    会話するよりも理解することが大切。 Learn a new language on LingQ: https://www.lingq.com Get my 10 Secrets of Language Learning: https://www.thelinguist.com.
  • Successful language learning doesn’t depend on the study and grammar nor writing tests like TOEIC and TOEFL, although these are popular in Japan. What is needed is sustained engagement with compelling and comprehensible input, as well as a little encouragement. This is what A.J. Hoge of Effortless English provides. Here is an interview I did […]

  • There is far too much emphasis on speaking in language instruction. We should focus in comprehension first. Watch this video as a lesson on LingQ: ...
  • If we focus on reading in the language we are learning, we will always have the opportunity to interact with the language, to refresh our skills and to learn ...
  • Language learning depends mostly on three factors, the attitude of the learner, the time available, and learner’s attentiveness to the language. If we assume a positive attitude on the part of the learner, and a reasonable and growing attentivenes…

  • There are so many different kids of Arabic: Egyptian Arabic, Levantine Arabic, Iraqi Arabic, Gulf Arabic, North African Arabic, Hassaniya Arabic, Najdi Arabic, ...
  •   Some people will say, geez Steve, you used to say you should focus entirely on one language. I did used to say that, but a number of things have changed.   I have come to realize that the more you focus on one thing, you try to nail one thing, you stay with one […]

  • The Definition of a Polyglot November 26 2019

    As people who speak multiple languages, polyglots like to use those languages; we like to see how we do. But there is an element of performance. Are you better than me? Am I better than you? For some people that’s fine. I think a lot of us are very happy, in fact, when we hear somebody speak better than we do.

  • French was the first language where I was able to transform myself into a fluent speaker of another language, other than English. I love listening to French when it is spoken well. I think acquiring good French pronunciation is one of the challenges that French learners face, and so I would like to offer a […]

  • I want to talk about blogging and podcasts as a means of enriching your language learning content, variety and, particularly, as a step from beginner material to the more difficult, more demanding material. I recently did a “Streak with Steve” live stream video. We’re encouraging people to commit to maintaining a streak at LingQ, so […]

  • For the last week I’ve been studying Serbo-Croatian. We have the Serbian mini stories at LingQ, so I’ve been at it for a week. I’m going to try to speak, obviously, when I’m in Croatia. I’m going to try to understand. That’s why I’m trying to learn as much of the language as I can […]

  • Today I want to talk about English, the most widely-studied language in the world with the largest number of second language speakers. It’s become the international language of communication, business, even science. So, lots of people learning English. I think lots of people are stuck at a level in English where they would like to […]

  • I want to talk about learning three languages at the same time or several languages at the same time. How do we keep them, how do we not forget them and what do we do when we do forget them?  I finished my three months of Turkish. I went from zero to the level that […]

  • Today I’m going to talk about the pace — the amount of time, with what intensity we study languages and things that influence that. I’m going to start by confessing that I haven’t been doing much Arabic learning the last little while.  First of all, the reason for that is I had a new floor […]

  • I have previously talked about whether people are vocabulary builders or vocabulary memorizers and I sort of said that memorizers spend a lot of time with Anki decks or lists and try to nail down vocabulary and that is a large part of their language learning. Vocabulary builders prefer to let the vocabulary accumulate through […]

  • Today I want to talk about how language learning has become so much easier today and how it’s going to continue to become easier. First of all, LangFest was a great four or five days for me in Montreal. It’s such a wonderful bilingual city, multilingual city. The people at the conference, of course, there’s […]

  • I’m going to stray a little bit from my usual focus on language learning and I’m going to talk about education, in general. I’m going to talk universities and, specifically, refer to the strikes that we’re experiencing here in Canada in the Province of Quebec where university students have been striking for weeks now in […]

  • Because learning languages is a big part of success, people who don’t enjoy learning languages are less likely to be successful. You can’t force yourself to do something that involves your emotions, involves a commitment to sort of imitating another language and culture and getting outside of the comfort of your language, one that you’re […]