The secret is that there is no secret. Just putting in the time, and getting lots of exposure to your target language. That said, getting exposure might seem intimidating if you don’t know how. But don’t worry, it’s actually super easy! Here we go…
How to Learn a Language, from someone who has been submerged in language-learning theory for years, has heard straight from the mouths of the world’s most accomplished polyglots how they did it, and has absolutely zilch interest in any personal financial gain from sharing this knowledge:
2. Use Assimil, if you really want to spend some money. Bonus: it costs about a quarter as much as Rosetta Stone. But you don’t actually need to spend any money to successfully learn a language! Just keep reading…
3. Find musicians who sing in your target language. Download their songs and put them on your mp3 player of choice. Get obsessed with them. Sing along even (especially!) when you don’t know the words and are just making sounds that vaguely resemble what the singer is saying. This part is not a joke: I am 100% serious about this.
4. If you like TV, watch a show in your target language with no subtitles. No cheating allowed. Turn off those subtitles. Make it a game: watch an episode and then summarize what you think the story line was. Then go look up an episode recap online and see how much you got right.
5. Think of it as learning what a speaker of your target language would say in a certain situation, instead of learning how to translate what YOU would say in that situation. For instance, to ask how things are, an English-speaking person sometimes says “How are you?” whereas a French-speaking person says “How is it going?” or even “How are YOU going?” Don’t try to ignore this weirdness – embrace it! Laugh at it, savor it. Get used to saying new and different things in the same old situations, and memorization will suddenly become a LOT easier.
6. When you talk, imagine that you’re mocking somebody – not necessarily in a mean way, but just doing an impression of them, poking gentle fun at the way they talk. If the person you’re imitating is a native speaker of your target language, your accent will instantly become miles better.
7. Read texts from day one. Don’t worry about “difficulty levels”. Pick up the hardest novel ever written in your target language! Open it right up with no fear and play a game called “How many words on each page do I already understand, or can I guess the meaning of?” Give yourself a reward (chocolate, a drink, a mini dance party in your room) for every full page you can get through in this way, regardless of whether any of your guesses were actually right!
8. I was gonna try to make this a ten-item list, but honestly there’s not much else you need to know. It doesn’t really matter what core resource you use (Assimil, FSI, Teach Yourself, Colloquial, Living Language, Linguaphone…) as long as it’s not Rosetta Stone. What matters, much more than the core resource you use, is the amount of exposure you can get to your target language – the padding to fill in all the cracks in your day when you’re not doing worksheets or translation exercises or whatever. That’s what this post is sneakily all about.
The secret-that’s-not-a-secret is regularity: do a couple of the items on this list every day without fail, even if it’s only for ten minutes, and after six months you will be kicking butt. I promise you that.
“The very rough story is this: Melbourne boy, out of both my parents’ houses at a young age, lived with my grandmother, drama teacher twisted me into doing this TV thing that I thought my mates were doing too. They didn’t, I did. Fifteen years old, out in the world, acting was all I had. It had a family-type environment, a bit of kudos, a successful period in my late teens, early 20s, the golden child and all that, but nothing was guaranteed, there were two years when I barely did a fucking thing.” HAPPY 48TH BIRTHDAY, PAUL BENJAMIN MENDELSOHN!
Persona Chart Series - Interpreting Planetary Persona Charts
Okay so throughout the Persona Chart series I will be explaining the interpretations of different components in the chart, I will be starting with planets since they’re the basics.
Interpreting the Personal Planet Persona Charts (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars)
Okay so the personal planets are very specific to us, they represent our personality quite a bit more than the other planets. When we interpret their persona charts, we look at them we look at them like separate people within us (like with the other planets).
Moon Persona Chart - Made up of everything that creates our emotional side.
Ascendant is how our emotional side is received
Sun is the main ego (same as our Natal Moon sign)
Moon is our deep emotional complexes
Mercury is how we communicate our emotions to others
Venus is how we comfort others/find our own comfort
Mars is the emotional drive behind our actions
Interpreting Outer Planets Persona Charts (Jupiter and Saturn)
While they’re sort of like the personal planets, Jupiter and Saturn are slow moving planets and would more so serve as archetypes, this being said there are only small differences in how they should be interpreted. I would recommend interpreting them more like themes in your life (Jupiter = The world is your oyster, Saturn = weights on your ankles that keep you grounded), rather than different personalities in you.
This way, the planets in the person chart will all relate to those individual themes in your life.
Interpreting the Higher Octave/Generational Planets Persona Charts (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto)
These three are far too abstract for me to regard them as tangible personalities but instead, I see their person charts as maps for the hard to find potential in us. Something the three of these planets have in common is spirituality and a higher existence. I would recommend using these person charts to study the talents you have regarding protest and the supernatural (Uranus), psychology and spirituality (Neptune) and sex and the occult (Pluto).
Note: They say it’s important to look at the Persona chart of your Natal Chart ruler because it can give us a lot of insight and can uncover secrets
female awesome meme → [2/5] female character of colour
∟ I have a lot of really useful talents, but none of them are particularly good for this competition. Like, I’m really good at making fun of people dancing, I’ve invented like 10 emoticons, I can walk up a ‘down’ escalator in like, 2 seconds, I can fit my body into really tiny places, I can not talk for like 2 weeks at a time, I can instantly tell if someone is fat or pregnant with 60% accuracy, I know every line from ‘Scream 2′, ‘ Hocus Pocus’, ‘Romancing the Stone’ and ‘Big Business’, I can pretend to scratch myself and actually flip someone off, I can sneak like 3 dogs into a movie theater, I can convince small children that I’m a witch, I can convince my grandmother that I’m not real, I can convince my Mom that I was adopted.
Delusional JLaw Fangirl:
Your blog is stupid. Jen has an Oscar and is about to win another and she's only 23. Where's your Oscar?
Well, I'm not an actress, so winning an Oscar would mean nothing to me. But you do realize that actors more talented than Jennifer like Cary Grant, Gary Oldman, Leonardo DiCaprio, John Turturro, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Laura Linney, Guy Pearce, Toni Collette, Jude Law, John Goodman, Viola Davis, Ryan Gosling, Idris Elba, Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain, Carey Mulligan, Joaquin Phoenix, Samantha Morton, Allison Janney, Peter O'Toole, Julianne Moore, Angela Bassett, Naomi Watts, Amy Adams, John Hawkes, Robert Downey Jr., Helena Bonaham Carter, Edward Norton, Peter Sarsgaard, Ed Harris, Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Cillian Murphy, Ewan McGregor, James McAvoy, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Shannon, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Maria Bello, and others HAVEN'T won an Oscar, yes?