OU EST JOHN CONNOR!!
Hi, I’m Matt and I’ll be your guest blogger today. I’m going to tell you how I study languages and why it’s totally fun and awesome and how you can be like me in every way except two or three. Take what you want from it, hopefully it helps someone somewhere somehow. If for some reason you don’t like what I’m putting out here, just drop me your phone number so I can collect call you and get your information. I’ll Fed-Ex overnight you some Johnson & Johnson no-tears baby shampoo quite promptly (because I’m a gentleman), and follow up by impregnating your nearest female relative (because I’m a gentleman).
THE METHOD IN A NUTSHELL
Unchain your gluttonous cravings for visual and auditory satisfaction. Feed the beast until it’s Jerry Springer-caliber obese. All the media I experience every day is in French. “But what does that mean” you (me) ask (myself)? I’m glad I asked!
I disconnected my cable and threw my DVR into an industrial strength meat grinder, then hooked up an old laptop to my television, along with a massive external hard drive. This laptop is packed with French television and films (both dubbed American media and original French media), and is connected to the internet so I can acquire new media at will. Something about watching films and movies on a television is much better than watching them on a computer screen (and much more likely to happen). I also hooked up a remote to my computer so it actually feels like I’m watching TV. With this setup I’ve watched hundreds and hundreds (and hundreds) of hours of French video. I watched Lost in its entirety, three seasons of Battlestar Galactica, 24, How I Met your Mother, and countless episodes of The Simpsons. Every time I think of a movie I wanted to see but didn’t get around to, I watch it in French (Rambo II, Zombieland, Adventureland, etc.)
OH HELL OUI
I deleted all English music from my computers and dumped all of my CDs at a friend’s house, so now all I have is French music I’ve purchased/downloaded. This means my iPod only has French music and podcasts, which means my car only has French music and podcasts, which means at the gym, on walks, anytime there is audio it’s in French.
When on a computer I recommend checking out Grooveshark. I created a free account and told it all the French music I like and now whenever I log in I just hit radio mode and BAM free unlimited new French music. Easy.
As for my house, I have constant immersion. It’s a two-story house: upstairs I have a portable iPod stereo that I just keep near me (it fits in one hand for easy transportation). In my room, in the study, in the bathroom, wherever, that sucker is always whispering sweet French nothings into my ear. Downstairs I have an iHome stereo with an iPod permanently stationed on it, so I just hit power and it releases audio throughout the first story throughout my duration there. So that covers my house, my car, and any time I’m outside with an iPod.
HOW I STUDY
I don’t. Get over it. I don’t read French, I don’t take classes, I don’t do anything other than watch a butt load of French TV and get drowned daily in a sea of French audio.
Q: Does it work?
A: Yes. Case in point: I have never taken a French class or studied it at all in any way. When I first started all I heard was *blahblahblahMERCIblahblah*, but now I would place myself around 70% comprehension of whatever I’m watching/listening to. I went back and watched the first episode of Lost (the first show I ever watched in French) and was amazed – nay, FLOORED – by how much I had learned. Suddenly I understood nearly everything everyone was saying, whereas the first time I watched it I had no idea what people were saying. The other day at a Japanese market I heard two French people behind me talking about which kind of sushi was better, and knew what they were saying. This stuff is magic I tell you, MAGIC!
Q: Are there faster ways to learn?
A: Maybe. Probably. But there certainly aren’t easier and more pleasant ways to learn.
Q: Am I having a killer time learning French?
Q: Does your bike have pegs?
A: Yes, and I take it off sweet jumps.
Q: Do you speak French?
A: Negative. I’ll speak when I feel like speaking. Right now I’m like a super high-functioning baby. Or a seriously-retarded adult. It’s probably a little of column A, and a lot of column B.
Q: I’m out of questions.
A: Your sister is now carrying my child.
BYE, TOUT LE MONDE!
That’s all, folks. Let the passive-aggressive (and aggressive-aggressive) attacks commence NOW!
I’ll be on my sofa watching re-watching Lost (aka Les Disparus) and hoping the ending doesn’t completely suck floppy donkey balls again.