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Listening comprehension you acquire must.

Listen you must!

Lately I’ve been getting emails from readers and other people who got their hands in my email address. Most of them essentially say: “Ramses, you idiot! Apparently you live in a dream world or you’re simply a robot. No one who is even remotely normal can sit in front of the TV for hundreds of hours, trying to understand just some bits and pieces and expect to get good listening comprehension without getting insane.”

First of all, I do live in a dream world probably and can be a bit mechanical. I don’t blame anyone for accusing me of this. However evil I can be, I’d not like to see anyone end up in a mental ward because of me.

You see, sitting in front of the TV without end and not understanding a thing is frustrating, I know that. That’s why I never did a pure TV Method diet, like never ever. And I’m not planning to do it. Also never ever.

So what is a good way to break into a language without using courses or going to class? Is that even possible? It is possible, my sexy readers.

Let me tell you a story. It’s about me, but continue reading anyway.  [click to continue…]

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Well sh**, you're about to abandon your L2!

Well sh**, you’re about to abandon your L2!

Ah, what’s the use of learning a language? I mean, is there even a use? You know English after all, so why bother?!

I know many, many, MANY people who learn languages… just so they can impress people and average looking girls with the amount of languages they speak (not that average looking girls aren’t people). Don’t get me wrong, language learning is fun. I love this whole process of getting my hands on native content, fresh sentences, natives to practice with (yes, I want to touch them), and optimizing everything. But is this a healthy state of mind? [click to continue…]

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Learn from Snoop

Let’s get practical about our objectively impractical hobby. Do you want to acquire a language? Are you thinking about paying a school to achieve this goal? Then kill yourself think again! Rather than spend your hard-earned money on boring, ineffective classes, I’ve got a foolproof method that will allow you to acquire both a new language and positive cash flow! [click to continue…]

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Science sucks

Lately I’ve been wondering why I lost motivation to continue blogging about language learning, and I think I have the answer: I was tired of arguing about language learning theories and about the science behind language acquisition.

The weird thing is, I took several linguistics classes in college and loved them. You know how you love to hug a puppy? That sickening amount of love. But arguing with strangers on the internet about how to learn a L2 the fastest and best way possible? Nope, that’s an absolute boner killer.

In my opinion, theorizing language learning takes the fun out of it.

[click to continue…]

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A-Line-In-The-Sand1

In the beginning I immersed in French and in Korean, and it was good. I experimented with all the popular and unpopular language acquisition methods, I lived, taught, and studied in Korea, I hung out with French people in Cambodia, I interacted with people from all over the world in my many travels, I’ve read plenty of 4chan’s /int boards, and I’m ready to put my head on the chopping block and give you the Good News:

Reading has no place in language acquisition.  [click to continue…]

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oneWeek one got off to a good start! I was able to make good progress on my goals and sneak in some extracurricular activities.

So what were my goals again?

Watch at least 60 hours of Spanish television within two months = 1 hour of television per day. I might bump this up to 100 hours of input if I feel the need.

Read four books within two months = 1 book every two weeks = 21 pages per day (if I read books of around 300 pages each).

What were my frustrations and what really well? Sit back and read on!

[click to continue…]

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Resurrecting el español

Ramses returns!

A lot has happened since I stopped posting almost two years ago. After graduation I was busier than ever. I found a job which wasn’t even close to the field I studied, so my education began from scratch once again.

Now, two years later, an amazing job opportunity has found me and this December I’ll fly out to Málaga, Spain to start working at a big software firm. This is so freakin’ cool I can hardly comprehend it. I mean come on, I’ll be living in Málaga for the next few years!

Working for some evil tech company is okay, but living in Spain again will be absolutely epic. The thing is, I graduated from college two years ago and since then I’ve hardly used any Spanish. Have I now forgotten Spanish? No, but it isn’t perfect either.

To get ready for my new job I need to get up to speed with Spanish, pronto.

[click to continue…]

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Me, but less sexy

Hey party people,

Yeah, I know, the site has been sitting idle for a stupid long time. Ramses is busy doing whatever Dutch people do (drugs, taking growth hormones, being snarky, listening to bad electronic music, etc.), and I’ve been busy with my experimental foray into learning an L3 at a university. I was going to write a scathing article about exactly why and how much it sucks, but I’ve changed my mind. It won’t convince anyone of anything, it’ll just dig the trenches even deeper on each side. Rather than saying why someone is wrong, I think I’ll just keep doing what’s right, and anyone is free to come along for the ride. Life’s much easier this way, and oddly enough I think this actually helps more people see the light. [click to continue…]

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Borrachero

TLD Booster Packs
Collections of 10 essential / useful / fun links for your L2!

ESSENTIAL

  • Series Yonkis – Basically has all the shows you’ll ever want to watch.
  • Tele directo – More and more Spanish broadcasting stations offer live streaming. If that’s your cup of tea, this page is a great portal to start.
  • Taringa – An Argentinean site with pretty much any content you’ll ever be interested in. Also contains quite a few links to shows and music.
  • Marca – Seriously, being able to talk about sports is essential in Spain. Marca is simply the go-to place for everything that comes close to being labeled a sport.
  • El País – If you don’t know El País and study Spanish you’ve probably been learning it under a rock. Essential stuff to read, with a capital E!

USEFUL

FUN

  • xkcd en español – The best webcomic for geeks, but then in Spanish.
  • Subcultura – More comics. In Spanish, of course.
  • Univision – For all you yanks who happen to be telenovela lovers. For everyone outside the US, use Mediahint to get access.
  • Antena 3 – One of the biggest television stations in Spain with a great website that enables you to watch some of the best shows in Spain.

Add your best Spanish sources in the comments!

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There are worse things to be.

So my sister used to be a nurse. She quit because she hated living in a world of blood and piss and feces, which I find ironic because she loves Sex and the City. A neat thing about nursing is that it’s a job that, for whatever reason, draws a large pool of attractive, international young women. One of these attractive young women I met was Russian; I think her name was Xenia Onatopp. Xenia spoke English like a native, and barely had an accent. She must have read lots of English books and possessed at least an intermediate writing level given her near-native spoken fluency, right? I bet she was highly literate…right?

[click to continue…]

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