May 23, 2016

How to improve your accent


A video with short tips about accent improvement.

Several people have asked me to post a video about how I go about acquiring a good accent in the foreign language I study. I'm not sure whether what I do will help everyone but maybe you will find some inspiration from what I do and adjust it to your learning style.

If you like the video, feel free to comment, share or subscribe.

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Song: https://soundcloud.com/beatchild/it-starts-with-the-bass-beat-tape-vol-2
Website: www.beatchild.com

April 21, 2016

Don't worry about making mistakes


I made a new video on my channel about making mistakes in language learning.

Don't worry about making mistakes too much and stay away from teachers who are too strict to beginners. This will all slow you down and create unnecessary stress and will lead you nowhere. Correcting mistakes is of course necessary but it is almost an art form. There is a time and place for every correction and talented and experienced teachers know when to correct a student.

April 16, 2016

Which language should you learn?

In one word: English

If you speak English well already, then: Spanish, Mandarin, French, Arabic or Russian

If you need to learn a language for work, then: learn the language of the country where you will be working, or the country at which your work will be aimed at.

If you'd just like to learn a language because you like learning languages, then: pick whichever language you are attracted to emotionally.


Learning languages has always been very popular. At least in countries where learning foreign languages is necessary. The most important language from where I come from to learn is English and if you would ask me, which language should you learn or work on for economic or career reasons, I would not hesitate one moment and say, you should learn English. The languages you should choose to learn however often do not depend on how much money you can make knowing them or by how much better your career prospects will be. Many factors are very individual and greatly depend on the reason why you'd might want to learn the language more than anything (obviously).

The reason

There are several reasons why you might want to learn a foreign language and usually it's one of the following:

April 02, 2016

Compound pictograms

A compound pictogram is a Chinese character used in Chinese writing, which combines two or more simple pictograms into one character in order to convey a more complex meaning. 看 for instance is a compound pictogram:


Some other examples of compound pictograms include:

投 to throw 
扌hand
殳 spear

March 14, 2016

Japanese weekend in Slovakia


A taste of modern and traditional Japan in a small eastern European town. A little glimpse at Japanese calligraphy, Haiku, Haiga, Bonsai, Matcha tea and how to make it, Samurai and Ninja (but these told the public not to film them:)

March 03, 2016

University research about expressing feelings in different languages - interview


I was approached by a university student who is doing research about how people express their feelings in different languages. This short interview will be a part of that research and I thought the questions in it were very interesting and wanted to share. Hope you enjoy.

What made you start learning languages?

I don’t actually know to be honest. I grew up in a multilingual environment, where most people around me spoke several languages and it was just natural to learn at least one or two for everyone I knew. I learned several languages as a child too and just continued learning as I grew older, because I liked being good at something and this was something I could do a bit better than others I guess.

How many languages would you say you speak fluently?

February 28, 2016

Pictograms

Pictograms are Chinese characters which really look like pictures of what they represent. 人 'person' for instance, is a picture of a person, 女 'woman' is a picture of a woman and 月 'moon' is a picture of a moon.


Woman

The problem with pictograms is, that since they consist of only a couple of strokes, at first glance it isn't always clear what they represent. The reason for that is, that they were created a long time ago (2500+ years ago) and they changed visually very much. When they were created, these characters resembled what they represented much more. 

February 24, 2016

My Books in Chinese - Part 2


Second part of the video where I talk about the Books in Chinese that I have in my library. 

Books in the video:

Ikebukuro West gate park 池袋西口公園
麻辣教師 GTO
麻辣教師 GTO 湘南14日
Lucifer's right hand 聖堂叛醫
Resident evil 惡靈古堡
Black Echo 黑暗回聲
那些年我們一起追的女孩
1Q84
今田一少年之事件簿

February 19, 2016

Chinese character types

Chinese characters look the same to us Westerners in the sense that they all seem equally complicated, but when we look closer, we find that there are actually many structurally different types of Chinese characters. Some of them are really pictures of whatever they represent, so for instance 人 'person' is really a picture of a person and 女 'woman' is really a picture of a woman. 

Then there are other types of Chinese characters, much more abstract and much more complicated, with fancy names like the phono-semantic compounds or derived characters and I would like to introduce them to you one by one. 


This series of articles will be an end result of a project which I have been working on for over three and a half years. I will be publishing a book on Chinese characters and wanted to give you a glimpse of what will be inside as well ask you for any comments or suggestions you might have to make the book as enjoyable and useful as possible. 

In line with my philosophy of minimalism and effectivisim, the book will be very clean and easy to use, combining the absolutely best modern Chinese character research with the best learner experience. 

A lot of time and effort has been put into transforming the complicated research data into easy to understand 'look once, understand immediately' chunks. No clutter, or lumping of information onto the reader. Just an enjoyable learning experience.

For more information and regular updates about this and my other projects feel free to subscribe to my mailing list

February 12, 2016

My Books in Chinese



A video about my Chinese language books collection. A lot of people have been asking me, whether I can read and write in Chinese. I tried to talk about it a bit in the video. Hope you enjoy:) 

Books in the video:

Deathnote 死亡筆記本
Emerging 致命病毒
Kendaichi Ichi Shonen no Shikenbo 金田一少年之事件簿
Bakuman 漫畫王
Gantz 殺戮都市
Monster 怪物
Black out 黑幕追緝
Biomega 生化禁區