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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.
  • I did not become fluent in five days in Prague. However, I improved tremendously. I am comfortable in Czech. I read, I listen and understand. I can take part in a conversation but stumble here and there. I will post a video of an interview next we…

  • Trip Log #4: Rio October 15 2018
    Visit LingQ: https://bit.ly/2CJPU29 My Blog: http://blog.thelinguist.com My Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/lingosteve My Twitter: ...
  • I studied Czech a few years ago so my statistics at LingQ for that language are not current. However, the statistics from my recent Polish challenge illustrate the fact that we can learn or add to our “known words” total well over 100 words a day. In fact in the case of Polish (since I know other Slavic languages) it is over 300 words a day. You can learn 100 words a day, if you are willing to put in the time.

  • Learning a New Language and Why Many Struggle has been transcribed from Steve’s YouTube channel. You can download the audio and study the transcript as a lesson at LingQ. Hi there, Steve Kaufmann here. Today I would like to talk about why I think so many people have trouble learning languages. Now, many of you have heard […]

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  • Trip Log #2: Buenos Aires October 4 2018
    Visit LingQ: https://bit.ly/2OxMXr1 My Blog: http://blog.thelinguist.com My Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/lingosteve My Twitter: ...
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  • Language Fluency and Speaking Different Languages has been transcribed from Steve’s YouTube channel. You can download the audio and study the transcript as a lesson at LingQ.     Hi there, Steve Kaufmann here. How do we get to speak in a language? I’m sure those of you who have been following my YouTube channel and who […]

  • Language Fluency and Speaking in a Foreign Language Part 1 has been transcribed from Steve’s YouTube channel. You can download the audio and study the transcript as a lesson at LingQ.     Hi there, Steve Kaufmann here. Today, I’m going to talk about speaking. How do we get to speak? How do we get to speak […]

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  • Link to my Arabic progress: https://imgur.com/a/bFn7OKS Visit LingQ: https://bit.ly/2DBwCgB My Blog: http://blog.thelinguist.com My Facebook Page: ...
  • How Hard is it to Learn Japanese and Can it You be Fluent in 3 Months has been transcribed from Steve’s YouTube channel. You can download the audio and study the transcript as a lesson at LingQ. Hi there, Steve Kaufmann here. Today, I’m going to talk about a subject that has come up before and that is […]

  • How to Tutor Languages: Let the Language Come Naturally has been transcribed from Steve’s YouTube channel. You can download the audio and study the transcript as a lesson at LingQ. Hi there, this is Steve Kaufmann here again. I just want to follow up on my last video where I said that language learning is a subconscious […]

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  • If anyone is interested in getting together during my visit to South America, here some available days. Buenos Aires, October 3-4 or 8-10. Rio de Janeiro October 13-17 Salvador October 18-19 Lima October 26-28 I will be traveling with my wife and another couple, so this will take some planning. If there are people who […]

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  • To learn any language takes an awful lot of motivation. So if the children of immigrants are motivated to learn their heritage language because they want to talk to family members, or because they are interested in that culture or identify with that culture, then by all means. Any motivation or opportunity is great when […]

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  • If you’re wondering how to learn a new language, content, meaningful content, compelling content, this is the key ingredient, as I have often said. You need the right content to get started and you need the right content to continue on your journey all the way, all the way to fluency. The nature of content […]

  • Visit LingQ: https://bit.ly/2wOaA4s My Blog: http://blog.thelinguist.com My Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/lingosteve My Twitter: ...
  • Of course, language learning success depends mostly on the learner. But what about external factors? What does a keen language learner need most of all?

    The answer is interesting language content. What constitutes interesting content will depend on each learner, and even on the changing interests of each learner. But the best way to learn another language is through interesting content, listening, reading and building up vocabulary.

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  • I just returned from four wonderful days attending the 2018 Langfest (#Langfest18) or Montreal Language festival. While these memories are still fresh in my mind I want to put some of my thoughts down to share with you.   Overall impressions Montreal is a vibrant city, and an old city for North America, or at […]

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  • I had lunch earlier this week with a college professor who is head of the Asian language department in a large university here in Vancouver. He told me that a majority of students who enroll in Asian languages quit after the first year. I was surprised to hear that. Then I did some research and […]

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  • Language learning is essentially a subconscious process. I saw these words in a LinkedIn post from a group I belong to that includes language teachers. The topic of discussion was how grammar instruction and error correction don’t have as much impact on language learning success as is traditionally imagined. This is a concept  that leading […]

  • Visit LingQ: https://bit.ly/2OsOYAQ My Blog: http://blog.thelinguist.com My Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/lingosteve My Twitter: ...
  • Langfest August 11 2018
    https://montreal.langfest.org/ Come and join me.
  • Visit LingQ: https://bit.ly/2MgGdMM My Blog: http://blog.thelinguist.com My Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/lingosteve My Twitter: ...
  • I'll be doing my first Reddit AMA tomorrow, 2PM Vancouver time. Be sure to head to r/languagelearning and ask me questions about learning new languages.
  • 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.

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  • I studied Mandarin Chinese 50 years ago. It took me 9 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 […]

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  • I often hear this question from adult learners. Sometimes my followers on Youtube, Facebook, or Twitter bring this up. In fact, not so long ago I had the following request from one of my followers.

    “I want to do some research on the problems of older language learners and see what I can do to help them.”

    I replied by asking. “What do you consider to be an older language learner?” His answer “over 40”.

  • Visit LingQ: https://bit.ly/2OcGUoI My Blog: http://blog.thelinguist.com My Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/lingosteve My Twitter: ...
  • The myth is that there exists a battle in language learning: introverts vs. extroverts, and that extroverts are the better language learners. I do not believe at all that you need to be an extrovert to learn a language. Language learning comes down to the three keys: number one, attitude. You have to be interested in the language. You have to like the language. You have to believe you’re going to achieve your goal.

  • Many people, even if they’ve only learned one foreign language, may only visit the country where the language is spoken once a year or once every few years, so it can be hard to maintain or improve those language skills. Not being able to maintain a language can lead to something many multilingual people fear: language attrition, or the weakening or loss of a language. In my case, I claim to have 16 languages, and so language attrition is a concern.

  • There are many reasons we might decide to try to learn another language. We might need the language for study or work purposes, to communicate with family or friends or to connect with the culture of the country where the language is spoken.

    I must admit, I am motivated initially just by the possibility of accessing a new culture, with all that that can bring me in terms of learning about another country, its people and its history.

  • They say “you are what you eat”. In the global information age, maybe it should be “you are what you can say”. Language, in its varied manifestations, is mankind’s defining achievement, and it also defines us. Language can be social, political, technical, practical, entertaining, sensual, philosophical, and much more. At the banquet of life, each language is another course. The better you can use languages, your own and others, the more you can enjoy the feast. At least that has been my experience.

  • What is the hardest language to learn? It’s a question I’m asked often. Here I reveal the answer from my experience and give advice and tips on how to get the most out of your language learning, even if that language is a tough one.

  • I can speak 17 or so languages to varying degrees of fluency. Some I speak really well, like French, Japanese, Mandarin and Spanish. Even in languages that I speak less well, like Swedish, German, or Russian, my accent is not too bad, people tell me.

  • Making mistakes in language learning is not only necessary, it is a good sign. If you are not making mistakes you are not trying hard enough to use the language.

  • Grammar rules, their importance and how we should deal with them, are a constant debate in in language learning.   Some people say grammar is a waste of time, that we can just ignore it. Other people say that you have to first learn the basics, as if that is possible to do.   I […]

  • I don’t think it takes any special talent to learn multiple languages. Some people may do better than others, but everyone can do it. Some may pronounce better, some may have a larger vocabulary, different people have different interests, but everyone is capable of doing it. It’s an extremely rewarding thing to do.

  • Traditionally, language learners have been divided into three groups: those who learn informally on their own, those who attend school, and those who do both.   In a classroom environment, the teacher can assign tasks to the learner and provide some overview and even coercion to ensure that the learner carries out these tasks, regardless […]

  • Conversation implies a two-way exchange of language. Therefore, reaching a conversational level implies quite a high level of comprehension of the language so that we can understand what is being said to us. That means in order to converse properly we need to prepare ourselves.

  • English Grammar 101 May 1 2018

    In order to speak English well you need to learn how words are used and how they come together to form phrases and sentences. Only a lot of listening and reading can help you learn this. You need to train yourself to notice how the words are used when you listen and read.

  • I have been asked to redo the recording for this podcast that I did over two years ago. Here it is again. This evening I have to give a short talk in Japanese to about 30 members of the Japan-Canada Chamber of Commerce. I am a Director of this Cha…