Posted on Wed 19 March 2014

Language Learning - An Update

It's been quite a while since my last post, two and a half months to be more precise. Back then, I mentioned I was heavily relying on Spaced-Repetition Systems (SRS) for learning and retention.

In the intermediate weeks I found that with increasing competency in a language - after reaching a basic comprehension of at least 5000 words - SRS become less and less effective. At this point, I've completely stopped using Anki for Spanish; instead I'm listening to random podcasts on my way to and from work, as well as watching TV shows in Spanish. My comprehension seems to have gotten much better - I seem to understand pretty much everything for slower podcasts with pronunciation from Spain, though South American speakers are still a bit challenging.

I'm still using WaniKani for Japanese - almost 700 Kanji now -, though recently I've noticed reviews becoming more challenging, with words in 'Apprentice' hovering around 200. According to it's projections I should learn all it's (currently) ~1700 Kanji by October of this year, so hopefully I'll then be able to read the Manga I bought.

Additionally, I've recently started to learn Russian. I'm mainly using the Assimil textbook Russian With Ease, and so far it seems to be working pretty well. The basic idea behind Assimil is to listen to recorded dialogs in the target, at first without reading the transcription, then reading and speaking along. I also got the New Penguin Russian Course for good measure (and at 10 pounds it's really cheap anyway), mostly because I don't want to solely rely on a single book.

I will try to make these updates somewhat more regular, if only to give myself a way to track my learning process. If you have any good tips, please don't hesitate to share them.

Tags: languages, learning, life

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