read a page of the dictionary

85 tips for language learners
  1. You like a language, learn it. Don’t give up on learning it only because it’s not popular, “useful” or your friends don’t like it.
  2. Sticky notes, sticky notes everywhere. If you can’t remember a grammar rule or a word/structure, use sticky notes.
  3. Study daily, even if it’s for 5 min or less.
  4. Learn the first 100-300 most common words, they are like everywhere.
  5. Duolingo, Memrise and Forvo are the holy trinity for every language learner; everyone uses them at some point.
  6. HiNative will save your ass when you have questions.
  7. “Hakuna matata mais quelle phrase magnifique” Disney is your friend, sing disney songs to improve your pronuniation.
  8. Also, watch disney movies. You know the story already so you can focus on the language.
  9. Watch movies with subs in your target language.
  10. Write daily a short text about whatever you want, even about your socks. In 1 month you’d have learned a lot of new vocab.
  11. Talk, talk, talk. If you aren’t a soial person, talk to yourself, to your pet, to a wall; it doesn’t matter. Just force yourself to think in your target language.
  12. If you are busy, Semper is a good app for learning vocab while doing your daily activities.
  13. Use your target language for basic stuff like counting, groceries, complaining etc.
  14. Change your settings on social media. Many people learned English through twitter, facebook, tumblr etc. This can work for other languages too.
  15. Change the settings of your phone too. You use it 24/24, you know what every thing does there so you could learn the name of those setting in your target language.
  16. If you lost motivation, take a break and remember why you started.
  17. If you hit a plateau, that’s most probably because you don’t know enough vocab.
  18. Understand that your progress will be slow after a while. Accept it and keep going.
  19. Lang-8 is a great place if you want natives to correct your texts.
  20. Langblr community is amazing, if you need any advice/explanation, ask a langblr.
  21. Try out many resources but choose a handful that you’ll use daily.
  22. If you don’t know a word in your native language, you don’t need it in your target language.
  23. Accept the fact that you can’t translate every word one by one. There are special structures, word order, particles etc. your target language might not be as your native one.
  24. If you’re bored, look around and name in your target language what you see.
  25. Try to find a language/motivation partner. You will support and help eah other.
  26. You’ll make mistakes, love that! That means you’re learning and you’ll have funny stories to tell in a couple of years.
  27. If you don’t remember a word, make a mnemonic or write it with your other hand; you’ll focus more then.
  28. Learn words in context; you’ll remember them easily after. Clozemaster and WordBrewery are 2 great sites for this.
  29. When you want to read if you are a beginner, choose a book you know. If you are an advanced learner, choose a new book.
  30. Find online a native to talk to. Tumblr is full of natives and langblrs will love to help. Another choice is to find a chat group.
  31. For slang words check out the youtube comment section. Twitter is a good alternative though.
  32. Don’t waste money on fancy programs. Some can be found for free and some aren’t so good as they claim they are.
  33. When you learn a new word, try to make a couple of examples in your head.
  34. Read articles. They use simple structures and actual expressions; also, they aren’t boring.
  35. Youtube is your friend, don’t be afraid to use it. Watch movies in your target language so you can get used to how real people talk; most programs/apps speak slowly and they try to make themselves clear but that’s not real life.
  36. You’ll have an accent; don’t worry, it will go away after a while.
  37. Age doesn’t matter, everyone can learn a language; you can be 5 or 50, the only difference is how you learn.
  38. Don’t just learn, revise as well.
  39. As a beginner you will translate everything from your native language and that’s okay. People will correct you and you will learn.
  40. If you like to read fanfiction, read it in your target language and use the ReadLang extension when you don’t know a word; it’s faster than google translate.
  41. Beware of those vocab lists you see on tumblr. Not everything might be right.
  42. Flewent is an extension that translates a certain % of what you read in your target language. It’s a fast way to learn new words while doing your homework or whatever.
  43. Prepositions are a nightmare to everyone. To have a more pleasant life, try to find a list with verbs and what prepositions they require.
  44. Children songs are catchy, use them to learn vocab faster.
  45. Pay attention to false friends. They might look the same with a familiar word but they have another meaning.
  46. Try not to learn 2 languages at the same time, especially if they are from the same family. (e.g. French and Spanish)
  47. If you decide to study 2 languages at the same time, try to study in different places and use different colors for your notes.
  48. You learn faster if you use your target language than if you learn Nth vocab lists.
  49. Try to avoid making the same mistake until it becomes a habit.
  50. Idioms can impress anyone but don’t start learning them too early or too late.
  51. If you have to learn irregular verbs, try to find patterns and part them in groups.
  52. Hard work beats talent but when it comes to learning a language, there’s no one who has talent. There are people who have a good memory or can figure out patterns but that can be improved so no need to worry if you progress slowly.
  53. Don’t compare yourself to someone who studied a language for years. Everyone progresses in their own way.
  54. Everyone has another method, if it doesn’t work for you, it’s not the end of the world. Just experiment and figure out what works for you. 
  55. Classes are a waste of time, don’t think to pay for one.
  56. Try to learn vocab that interests you. You’re a Harry Potter fan? Learn magic terms. You like cooking? Learn cooking terms. etc.
  57. Flashcards are a nice way to learn vocab. Make some and study them before going to bed.
  58. Learn chunks of vocab, not single words. (e.g. Buy a bottle of milk; Brush your teeth; Wash the red car.)
  59. Learn cognates.
  60. Use the diglot weave technique. Basically you  insert foreign words into a sentence of a language you already know
  61. Taking breaks is fine but try not to take a break of Nth months.
  62. Decide what skill you want to improve first. You can never improve everything equally so try to focus on what you need/want the most.
  63. Set a big goal (e.g be advanced in French) but remember to have small goals too. (e.g. read Harry Potter by the end of this season)
  64. Watch people talking. Join a chat and “spy” others if you don’t feel like talking yet.
  65. Associate word - image - sound. Don’t just learn plain words, if you learn the word for tree, think of a tree or search an image with one.
  66. Learning a language takes time, don’t expect to know it perfectly after only 1 week.
  67. Immersion is hella frustrating but it pays off in the end.
  68. Don’t study when you are too tired. You have many chances to learn nothing then.
  69. Find someone you admire so they can motivate you.
  70. Use a bilingual dictionary not only for finding specific words but just for the sake of reading.
  71. After you’ve read 1 page/chapter from a book, try to make a summary in your target language.
  72. When you read books, try to see if you can find the audiobook as well. (Youtube might have it) In this way you know the correct way of saying certain words.
  73. Try to make it fun. If it’s fun to have a schedule do that, if you enjoy more watching movies, do that. Don’t make your learning journey a burden.
  74. Break study time into smaller chunks
  75. Know your learning style.
  76. Try to have a notebook/diary/agenda where you write down what you did daily to improve.
  77. When you feel like giving up, think how many new stuff you have learned.
  78. Your attitude plays an import role. Try to avoid thinking how “difficult” a language is, instead think how good you will feel after you learn it.
  79. ReadLang and Linguarana have videos with subs in many languages, if you like learning with videos, give them a try.
  80. Anki is an amazing app with flashcards for several languages so you don’t waste time making them and they have a daily limit of cards so you don’t burnout.
  81. Physically writing down a word can help seal it in your memory. 
  82. Say new words out loud and pay attention to your pronunciation.
  83.  If your target language has another alphabet or a writing system, don’t be afraid to learn it. Take a couple of days and master it.
  84. Always have an app or a dictionary/notebook with you. While you wait for a taxi you can study a bit.
  85. If you don’t understand a grammar rule, search some articles about it, take 2-3 days to understand that concept.

PART ONE - IPHONE

So this is my first post that isn’t a stupid text post or overly bright photo of my stationary, so I hope you’ll like it! It will consist of two parts, one for the ios apps and one for google chrome extensions. Feel free to send me recommendations!

bolded = favourite, cursive = apps I use every day

Note taking and co

  • Pocket - very useful app to save websites, articles, posts etc and read them offline.           
  • Keynote, Pages, Numbers - basics if you have an apple device. I actually like keynote better than powerpoint c:
  • Notability - Very popular app and it really is worth its money. Great for note taking, especially in class!
  • Evernote - On my phone for over 4 years now. The group feature is so great and I use it for preparing posts
  • Werdsmith - very clean and minimalistic app for writing, I use it mainly for creative writing.
  • Microsoft One Note - Simple app for note taking and making online notebooks.

Languages

  • Leo - a great dictionary in 8 languages. If you log in you can save problem words and make vocabulary lists.
  • Memrise - My favourite app to learn languages for free. I’m learning Japanese with it!                                                              
  • Duolingo learning languages for free is always fun and duolingo is so easy to use, it’s even more fun! I use it to practice my Spanish.

Studying

  • Forest - Who doesn’t know and love forest yet? It’s such a cute application and I use it when I have a long study day/night ahead.
  • Brainscape - My to go app for flashcards. It has a giant library and it’s easy to make your own. Honestly, I’ve been using it for 3 years now and I still love it.
  • Mindly - A very beautiful app to make mind maps. I use it for story ideas and school work.
  • MindNode - also an easy way to make mind maps.
  • Uberchord - learn how to play the guitar for free c: 
  • TheSimpleClub - videos, and tutorials of all important school subjects, mainly in German, I think
  • Notenapp - keep track of your grades - German 
  • Khan Academy - like the simple club but with a broader spectrum and in English.
  • Tide - promodoro app with nice background sounds & inspirational quotes 
  • Swifty - learn how to code in a very fun and simple way! 
  • Flow timer - another great promodoro timer (they are everywhere). I like the minimalistic look and nice colours.

Inspiration & Motivation

  • Vantage - Simple but beautiful designed calendar
  • Calm - Helps me calm down with breathing exercises backgrounds and sounds.
  • Elevate - games and exercises that help to keep your mind fit 
  • Pacifica - an app that helps with anxiety and mental disorders with a very kind community
  • TED Inspiring, interesting and motivating videos on a wide variety of topics.

Others

  • Textgrabber & Scanner Pro -  Essentials. Scans photos and grabs texts of pdf and other documents and converts them into word/text documents.
  • Sleeptown - From the makers of forest a very cute app that helps you keep a healthy sleep schedule. I try to use it but I forget it often, sadly. 
  • Tydlig - not free but honestly the best calculator you can have on your phone! Beautiful and simple it makes math so much more fun!
  • Spark - organizes your emails (even from multiple accounts) and notifies you if something important comes in. Very neat design.
  • Moon - cute app that shows the phases of the moon depending on the date.
  • Plant Nanny - keep track of your water intake by watering cute plants (they have something similar for walking and keeping track of expenses!)
what to put in a grimoire

Stuff that is relevant to you. Don’t waste time and effort filling out pages of astrology if you aren’t interested in astrology. If you are never going to use the page for that information, don’t waste the page on it. Don’t be worried about what other witches have in their book. This is your book, not everyone’s. And if you are planning on creating some fantastic book that you’ll pass down to your future witch children, know that the your first one probably isn’t going to be the one you’ll want to pass down anyway. Likely information you once thought was important you’ll later find doesn’t matter to you at all. Let your first book be the one you can mess up and explore in. You need room to learn and grow, not worry about every little detail of what you might be missing.

With that said, here is a list of ideas for what you might want to put in your grimoire. This is a collection of ideas taken from all over. Remember to fearlessly scratch things that you aren’t honestly interested in:

-A book blessing/protection to protect it from wandering eyes

-Your personal pages: a page about you and your goals for the craft, the day you decided to be a witch, your natal chart/zodiac info for you and/or your so/birth tarot cards or birth playing card, your craft name or personal sigil if you have one, any psychic abilities you have

-A page for your personal correspondences: your signature herbs/rocks/scent/sound/animal, your craft name/sigil

-A page for your familiar/s if you have any: their given/secret name, their sigil, info about when you met them and when they left/died, what they helped you with, what they like, how they can be contacted

-A portrait of your shadow self

-A list of your current witch tools, where you got them, whats special about them, how they were consecrated (if they were), etc

-An ancestor page: this could be your family tree, pictures of your deceased, locations of graves, etc

-Info about the plants/animals/rocks in your area

-The wheel of the year, if that’s applicable to you

-Esbat/Sabbat information if that’s applicable (personally I only observe the full moon)

-The monthly moon names if you observe the changing of the moon: you can google and see which ones speak to you, or since they’re outdated you can make up your own (for instance I have a Coyote moon because the coyotes howl outside my house, rather than a Wolf moon)

-Any rites/rituals/songs/poems/pictures/quotes/spells/recipes/etc that are important to you and/or your practice.

-A page to keep a list of all your active spells/wards/enchanted items

-Deity: history/picture/correspondence of any deity you are interested in, for secret witches you can have an altar for them inside your book, entries of your relationship/experience with them, family tree of the pantheon if applicable. Even if you worship an entire pantheon, you don’t need to have a page for everyone in the pantheon. And even if you are a secular witch, you can still make a deity page if you so decide.

-Divination info for the practices you’re interested in: history, correspondence cheat sheet, any spreads you think are important, record your readings, a pendulum board in your book if you’ll use it

-Sigils: how to create/charge, sigils you’ve found helpful

-Astrology: natal chart, zodiac info, calendar for planetary retrograde/moon phases/celestial events (meteor showers, etc)

-Cleansing, Protection, and Banishing methods

-Meditation, Centering, Grounding and Shielding methods/techniques/symbols/pictures

-Dreamwork: a dictionary of your personal recurring dream symbols, a collection of your dreams written/drawn

-Spiritwork: any spirits you are or have been in contact with and basic information

-Correspondences (remember to think about what your correspondence is and not what some list on tumblr tells you): herbs, rocks and crystals, animals,metals, moon phases, planets, planetary retrograde, colors, directions, your witch tools (this is mostly kitchen tools for me)

An index in the back for organization

‘Learning Russian has given me a whole new life’ Mary Hobson: It took me about two years [to read War and Peace]. I read it like a poem, a sentence at a time. English writer and translator Mary Hobson decided to learn Russian at the age of 56, graduating in her sixties and completing a PhD aged 74. Now fluent in Russian, Hobson has translated “Eugene Onegin” and other poems by Pushkin, “Woe from Wit” by Griboyedov, and has won the Griboyedov Prize and Pushkin Medal for her work. RBTH visited Hobson at home in London to ask about her inspiring experience. 

RBTH: Learning Russian is difficult at any age, and you were 56. How did the idea first come to your mind? 

 Mary Hobson: I was having a foot operation, and I had to stay in bed for two weeks in hospital. My daughter Emma brought me a big fat translation of War and Peace. “Mum, you’ll never get a better chance to read it”, she said. I’d never read Russian literature before. I got absolutely hooked on it, I just got so absorbed! I read like a starving man eats. The paperback didn’t have maps of the battle of Borodino, I was making maps trying to understand what was happening. This was the best novel ever written. Tolstoy creates the whole world, and while you read it, you believe in it. I woke up in the hospital three days after I finished reading and suddenly realized: “I haven’t read it at all. I’ve read a translation. I would have to learn Russian.” 

RBTH: Did you read War and Peace in the original language eventually? 

M.H.: Yes, it was the first thing I read in Russian. I bought a fat Russian dictionary and off I went. It took me about two years. I read it like a poem, a sentence at a time. I learned such a lot, I still remember where I first found some words. “Between,” for instance. About a third of the way down the page. 

RBTH: Do you remember your first steps in learning Russian? 

 M.H.: I had a plan to study the Russian language in evening classes, but my Russian friend said: “Don’t do that, I’ll teach you.” We sat in the garden and she helped me to remember the Cyrillic script. I was 56 at this time, and I found it very tiring reading in Cyrillic. I couldn’t do it in the evening because I simply wouldn’t be able to sleep. And Russian grammar is fascinating. 

RBTH: You became an undergraduate for the first time in your sixties. How did you feel about studying with young students? 

M.H.: I need to explain first why I didn’t have any career before my fifties. My husband had a very serious illness, a cerebral abscess, and he became so disabled. I was just looking after him. And we had four children. After 28 years I could not do it any longer, I had break downs, depressions. I finally realized I would have to leave. Otherwise I would just go down with him. There was a life out there I hadn’t lived. It was time to go out and to live it. I left him. I’ve been on my own for three years in a limbo of quilt and depression. Then I picked up a phone and rang the number my friend had long since given me, that of the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, London University. “Do you accept mature students?” I asked. “Of sixty-two?” They did. When the first day of term arrived, I was absolutely terrified. I went twice around Russel square before daring to go in. The only thing that persuaded me to do it was that I got offered the place and if I didn’t do it, the children would be so ashamed of me. My group mates looked a little bit surprised at first but then we were very quickly writing the same essays, reading the same stuff, having to do the same translations. 

RBTH: You spent 10 months in Moscow as part of your course. How did you feel in Russia? 

 M.H.: I hardly dared open my mouth, because I thought I got it wrong. It lasted about a week like this, hardly daring to speak. Then I thought – I’m here only for 10 months. I shall die if I don’t communicate. I just have to risk it. Then I started bumbling stuff. I said things I didn’t at all mean. I just said anything. The most dangerous thing was to make jokes. People looked at me as I was mad. I hate to say it, but in 1991 the Russian ruble absolutely collapsed and for the first and last time in my life I was a wealthy woman. I bought over 200 books in Russian, 10 “Complete Collected Works” of my favorite 19th-century authors. Then it was a problem how to get them home. Seventy-five of them were brought to London by a visiting group of schoolchildren. They took three books each. 

RBTH: You’re celebrating your 90th birthday in July. What’s the secret of your longevity? 

M.H.: If I had not gone to university, if I had given up and stopped learning Russian, I don’t think I’d have lived this long. It keeps your mind active, it keeps you physically active. It affects everything. Learning Russian has given me a whole new life. A whole circle of friends, a whole new way of living. For me it was the most enormous opening out to a new life.

Me: This word is spelled ‘headquarters,’ not ‘headquaters.” You’re missing an ‘r.’

Client emails me a photo of a dictionary page.

Client: ‘Headquaters’ is right there. “The place or building serving as the center of command.” Are you telling me the dictionary is wrong?

Me: No, the dictionary is right. ‘HeadquaRters.’ See?

Client: Please fix all my documents to read headquaters.

Get the Freelance Guide for 2017
tsc books summed up (spoilers duh)
  • -tmi-
  • city of bones: what the fuck??? hot guy with tattoos??? my best friend is a rat??? mOm
  • city of ashes: family problems. umbridge 2.0 turns out to not be so bad. it's almost like the universe has something against simon lewis being human
  • city of glass: if you thought family problems were bad in the last book, oh boy you have another thing coming. actual incest happens compared to the previous incest-that-wasn't-incest. everyone is an asshole at some point except maybe baby max and yknow what happens to him
  • city of fallen angels: guESS WHOS BACK BACK BACK BACK AGAIN
  • city of lost souls: we can't even focus on the fact that clace is now happily incest-free because of what the shit going down. alec is insecure but we love him. poor amatis. alec becomes a hero yay
  • city of heavenly fire: a lot of people die. we get vague tid references and we meet mini emma and jules before the parabaDRAMA goes down. people walk in on other people doing things. we visit hell for a family vacation.
  • -tid-
  • ca: "i would literally rather be reading than doing any of this"
  • clockwork prince: more family problems also im crying and wow these parabatai are both gorgeous
  • clockwork princess: ducks and demon pox. lots of feels. tessa kicks ass.
  • -tda-
  • lady midnight: i swear that these kids were like 12 what happened why did they grow up and why are they so much cooler than me?? cristina is awesome and malcolm is not. we meet the angel that is kit. this is the book where people still thought Diana was irrelevant lmao joke's on them
  • lord of shadows: HI I DIDNT SIGN UP FOR THIS??? WHY IS MY HEART BEING RIPPPPED OUT OF MY CHEST IM CRYING LIKE EVERY OTHER PAGE except kitty that's cute. asH (morgenstern)? it's a really big damn book
  • qoaad: not even out yet but we're all probably going to die. but is clary?
  • -bonus-
  • tftsa: hi im Simon Lewis and im cool but i don't remember being cool anyways let's hear about waywood that shit is sad
  • the bane chronicles: glitter 💫 and a long line of people who aren't as cool as alec up till we meet alec. shadowhunters suck
  • tlh: we are all going to die wtf is happening with the family trEE?
  • codex: dictionary that you actually enjoy reading
  • twp: (chant this) KITTY KITTY KITTY (sing this) aaaaand a plus sized drusilla blackthorn with her own!! friend group!! yeS!!!
The Infamous INTP Conundrum

INTP: *studying from a German textbook*

INTP: what does this word mean? I’ll look it up quickly.

INTP: *learns several words from a dead language*

INTP: *watches a video about the neuroscience of imagination*

INTP: *contributes a definition to the Urban Dictionary*

INTP: *browses through their fandoms on tumblr*

INTP: *makes tea*

INTP: *forgets tea on the counter*

INTP: *muses over the human memory*

INTP: *researches the creating of long-term memory and ends up reading Wikipedia pages on the Hippocampus and neurodegenerative diseases*

INTP: *laughs at Wittgenstein memes*

INTP: Wittgenstein… it’s a Germanic name…

INTP: oh yes.

INTP: *looks up that German word*

Would you like to learn more Japanese while having lots of fun? Read visual novels!

I’m really new to this type of learning, since I’ve only just installed this setup, but if you like immersion this is a great way to learn. It comes recommended by a lot of people who have studied Japanese and then found textbooks a bit too boring, so they supplemented with a lot of visual novels.

First of all, if you you’re unfamiliar Rikaichan/Rikaikun addon for Firefox/Chrome, I really recommend installing it anyway. It’s a browser addon that lets you highlight words or kanji and gives you a hiragana reading and an English translation, plus the tense of the verb etc. Well, if you have a handle on basic Japanese grammar and want to try something new, you can use this addon to play visual novels (or anything really) in their original language! 

This reddit page has easy instructions for installing the whole thing. Basically you need Firefox, a text hooking programme (ITHVNR) and two addons for the browser; Rikaisama and Clipboard inserter. The text hooking programme “hooks up” the text from the visual novel. Then the Clipboard inserter picks it up to an empty browser page in real time. That way you can have it next to the game window and look up any unfamiliar words, expressions or kanji. You don’t need to keep opening up a dictionary like you would if you were to read a manga or a novel. 

since I was talking about languages headcanons, let me share an actual fav of mine: Yuuri actually started studying Russian when he first fell in love with Viktor (’s skating).

A starry eyed little Yuuri, glued to the small bulky television in the living room of the onsen, watching the recording of a young Viktor’s Junior World Championship in Bulgaria, his ponytail whipping around as he twirls and cuts the air in a perfectly executed jump; there’s nothing more Yuuri wants than to be like him, to know what this person made of starlight looks like inside. How can this beautiful angelic boy do what he does, how is it even possible to glide so effortlessly on the unforgiving ice when all Yuuri can do is fall and cry and bruise?

So he starts info dumping, collecting scraps of rare skating magazines, reading article upon article about him and interviews; but then again, there’s only a certain number of them that’s in Japanese, a little more in English, of which Yuuri’s knowledge is still wonky at best. Most of them are in Russian, because you know, Viktor is Russia’s prodigy, so of course. It’s not easy to find them.

Their dial up connection cable whirrs ominously and sucks money and energy, but he doesn’t desist, finds some approximation of a skating fan site with grainy images and pages and pages of minuscule writing, so much it makes his head hurt. Even then, he doesn’t give up. Yuuri is twelve, and stubborn, so he goes to the library and brings home a dictionary, sits down in front of their outdated computer and squints at the screen, flips through the yellowed pages and reads, painstakingly, his vision going fuzzy in between kanji and cyrillic. It’s not the best, but it’s all worth it when one day he realizes he actually can recognize some of the words without even cracking open the ratty dictionary.

When Yuuri is eighteen, he places his heart and dreams in Detroit. He slices himself open and drips red on the pavement of the rink, strips his feet raw and never stops thinking about the force that drives him, locks a wish too big to be contained into the small space between lungs and ribcage. He signs up for a Russian Language course.

When asked, he tells Viktor he had to choose an extra class to take in college. He doesn’t tell him about the little kid hunched over a shitty dictionary at two am begging to know more about his idol (he’ll tell him, a whispered confession in the middle of the night, but now it’s too much, too early). He doesn’t tell him that he knows exactly what he’s doing when he brings a tub of ice cream home and Viktor beams delightedly, exclaims “that’s my favourite!” Yuuri smiles, replies he had a hunch it would be. The old article is clear in his mind, a stolen piece of memory of a Katsuki Yuuri that wanted nothing more than to know exactly what Viktor Nikiforov’s favourite ice cream flavor would be, not knowing there’d be a time where it would become as simple as asking. Viktor laughs, makes grabby hands at it. “I love you,” he sighs wistfully, wrapping his lips around the spoon, and Yuuri flushes, takes a spoonful too, feeling incredulous and warm.

The wish that was trapped inside crawls up his throat and takes off in a huff, no more than a whisper. It has no use now, for it’s fulfilled, at last.

The ice cream tastes better than anything he’s ever had.

(It’s strawberry.)

8 Tips to Start Learning a Language

I’m sure someone has already written something on Tumblr (or anywhere else, for that matter) about this topic, but I also wanted to contribute my opinion to the discussion.

Here’s something I hear often: I want to learn [insert name of language], but I don’t know where to start!

That’s actually a good question: how do you even begin learning a language? There is so much to consider: vocabulary, grammar, special expressions, tone, culture, not to mention the four skills—speaking, reading, writing and listening. 

Yes, learning a language isn’t easy. However, it doesn’t mean that it should be boring or downright impossible. Plus, learning a language is one of the most rewarding cultural experiences: once you can understand and communicate in a language, you immediately become part of the people who use that language. They are no longer strangers to you, and you are no longer a stranger to them. How cool is that?

So here is my philosophy of language learning and some tips for those who wish to pursue a new language. Enjoy!

Tip #1: Understand Why You Are Learning This Language

Determine your goals first. Do you want to make new friends who speak that language? Do you need to pass a test to work/study/live in a particular country? Do you just want to impress your friends when reading phrases in that language? Are you about to travel somewhere on your vacation? 
Once you know what your goal is, you will know your priorities, too. If you just want to be able to order from a menu, you don’t need to buy a 400-page grammar guide. On the other hand, if you want to live somewhere longer than 3 months, you probably need more than just a grammar guide. So before you do anything, ask first: what is my goal? Why am I learning this language?

The rest of the tips are for serious learners whose goal is proficiency or fluency in a language.

Tip #2: Determine Your Strength

Are you naturally good at imitating accents? Then start by getting used to the sound of language through listening and repeating. Do you love reading? Then start with the alphabet and reading patterns. Are you a grammar nazi? Grab that grammar guide and dig right in! Are you good at memorizing? Find an app for learning new vocabulary and begin memorizing.
Whatever you’re good at, don’t be afraid to start there. Exploit your strengths!

Tip #3: Do Everything at the Same Time

Okay, this may sound weird at first, so let me explain. In language learning, the four main skills are interconnected: reading, writing, listening and speaking do NOT function separately. So, it’s important to start developing all of these skills as soon as possible. Don’t wait until you’ve perfected reading before moving on to speaking, and so on. That being said, you have to determine your own schedule for when to practice what. For example, Monday can be your grammar learning and practice day; Tuesday can be your speaking and listening day; Wednesday can be your writing practice day, etc. It’s up to you to choose when to do what. My tip for you: DON’T do more than two skills at a time. More than two at once is too confusing, even if you’re good at multi-tasking. Take your time: consistency and diligence will pay off.

Tip #4: But Start with Reading

Yes, you should write, listen, read and speak at the same time as early as possible, but in my opinion, reading should come first. Here is why I think so: if you know nothing about a language, the fastest and the most effective way to immerse yourself in that language is to learn the alphabet and the reading system. Reading allows you to: 
a) explore written and printed content at all levels
b) make native-speaking friends online and communicate with them via texting
c) practice reading aloud, developing speaking skills and proper pronunciation
d) start copying words and phrases, developing writing skills
e) learn new vocabulary words

Tip #5: Make a Native-Speaking Friend ASAP

Nothing motivates you in language learning like a good, funny, crazy friend! Finding a native-speaking (and I emphasize native-speaking, not a more advanced learner) friend is much easier than you might think. If there is a community of native speakers in your area, get out of your comfort zone and join them at community events or language classes, if they’re available. But I honestly like online language learning partners better because you can make friends more easily and start learning faster. I’d suggest these platforms/websites:

  • HelloTalk
  • Lang-8.com
  • Interpals.net

Of course, always be careful with meeting people online; but otherwise, this is a great way to make native-speaking friends. Oh, here’s another tip: try to find friends whose level of your own native language is very low—that way, you’ll be forced to use the language you’re learning, which is definitely a plus. Finally, be ready for lots of mistakes and corrections. Pride isn’t a thing in language learning, so forget it. The more willing you are to accept correction and learn from your mistakes, the faster you’ll get to that level when you won’t need too much correction.

Tip #6: Accept the Fact that This Will Take Time

Language learning takes time. Building a foundation will take anywhere between 2-6 months. Mastering a language can take years. So don’t be discouraged if you feel like you’re too slow: in a few months, you’ll look back and realize how far you’ve come. Again, consistency and diligence are key to language learning success!!

Tip #7: Don’t Spend Too Much Money

Here’s the beauty—and reality—of contemporary language learning: you can find everything you need without spending much at all. Why? Because most tools—grammar guides, listening exercises, sample readings by levels, language partnering platforms, etc.—are available online for free. So before you cash out, explore the web. 
This doesn’t mean that you should completely ditch the textbook. Some publishers offer printed resources that are extremely helpful: things like dictionaries, workbooks, flashcards, illustrated guides, etc. can be lifesavers. Just my advice would be to explore free online options before heading over to the bookstore or Amazon for more costly options.

Tip #8: Always Remind Yourself Why You Are Doing This

When you’re on the 200th page of a workbook, or when your native-speaking friend can’t explain a grammar rule, or when you’ve written out a word too many times to count but still can’t remember it in conversation… it’s easy to get discouraged. You’ll want to give up. You’ll think, “Why did I even get myself into this mess?” At those times, remind yourself of the reason why you began learning this language in the first place. Why are you doing this? What’s your goal? Has this experience been changing you? If yes, how? Those questions will help rekindle that fire and keep you going. And seriously, this applies to everything in life, not just language learning. So don’t give up just because you’ve reached a slump! We’ve all been there, and it’s about how you get out of it!

And of course, remember that no experience is a waste. The fact that you’ve started, that you tried, that you did your best, that you met new people (whether they stayed or not)—all this now makes up part of who you are and what you’ve been through. It’s worth it.

anonymous asked:

random but always relevant: you know how a lot of people go on about how viktor speaking russian in bed with yuuri would make him blush and be such a kink (which yes, same, and very important lol), but what about yuuri speaking japanese, either if it just slips out or if viktor asks him to, i just can't at yuuri whining 'kimochii' ('that feels good') or 'hayaku!' ('faster!') etc, as viktor tries not to come just from hearing yuuri's whimpering voice *eyes emoji*

On that first plane ride to Hasetsu, Victor split his time between telling the lovely old woman sitting across the aisle from him about how he was on his way to find the love of his life and tripping over his own tongue while he sounded out the words in the Russian-to-Japanese dictionary he’d picked up at the airport. The pages were crammed with chaos: alphabets broken and bent into new shapes, words that had fifty different characters with one meaning, L’s rolling into unfamiliar R’s that barely found purchase in his mouth. When he finally saw Yuuri, the declaration the kind woman on his flight had helped him prepare—Iしてるの君—had turned tail and fled, leaving him to take the coward’s way out by switching to English and rattling off something about being Yuuri’s coach. That night, ensconced in his little room, he read his dictionary from cover to cover by the light of his phone, whispering every word aloud until the first rays of Japanese morning crept in to goad him into getting off his ass and trying again.

His trusty dictionary has seen some things; its pages are crinkled and ripped, dogeared into deformity, and the cover threatens to just up and disintegrate if he so much as looks at it wrong. It’s been his only line of defense the past year, a wrecking ball wielded in the face of countless cultural barriers, and he knows it so well that he could probably recite every single word by page number and line. Except one.

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anonymous asked:

Hey, I've seen your list of book reference, but it seems to cover basic stuff. I'm on my way to finish N4 level, could you recommend books that cover a more advance stuff? But not too advance though. thanks bytheway. Keep up the good work

Recommended References for Intermediate Japanese Learning

Not sure if you use TRY! books which we recommend previously, but it was one of a very recommended book to follow. >> Check out the details of this book set

For people who already finished the N5-N4 version here’s the next level version

TRY! N3 grammar with CD
500 Questions for N3 Practice + grammar review

TRY! Japanese JLPT N2 grammar with CD
Shin Nihongo 500 Mon for N2 Practice + grammar review

• TRY! Japanese JLPT N1 grammar with CD
• Shin Nihongo 500 Mon for N1 Practice + grammar review

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Grammar Dictionaries

If you haven’t get the wonderful Yellow Dictionary of basic Japanese grammar, we recommend you to get one.

It’s an important book so you can learn in-depth about the grammar you encountered in Try! or while learning with other book. But it won’t be enough for N2 - N1 level. You will require the Intermediate and Advance version for them. 

You don’t have to buy them all together though. If you’re in N5 level, buy the yellow one. If you’re in N3 level buy the blue one, and when you get to N1 get the red if you feel you need more references.

…………………………………………

If you don’t like the Try! self taught class system combined with the Dictionary of Japanese Grammar and would just like to learn Japanese by screening/reading through one book, this Japanese: A Comprehensive Grammar is a book that should be able to fill your need.

This very thick book will guide you to understand basic stuff to intermediate stuff. This book cover basic stuff such as number and counting and how to make questions with particle か. You could say that this book able to replace TRY! N5 - N3, but will not be able to replace the Dictionary of Japanese Grammar mentioned above. Try to check out the full index and some explanation in the sample page!

*Don’t buy the kindle version of this book since it’s just a blurry scanned version. You need to get the real book!

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Vocabularies Dictionary

You will need a good dictionary to help you read/watch through Japanese books/movies for practice. The best and most complete Japanese-English dictionary you can found is the Kenkyusha green goddess dict.

But with more than 3000 pages and its price tag, you better get yourself the casio ex-word 9800 series which got more or less same price but with high functionality and portability. Yes, this denshijisho series is one of the type that hold the digital Kenkyusha green book. You can buy any version as long as it’s the 9800 or 10000 series. But here’s a link below to make your search easier.

(Model D) XD-K9800 // (Model U) XD-U9800 // (Model K) XD-K9800

Quick spec: Touch screen/Jump function/Kenkyusha (the only dict you need)/Handwriting input/Function to make notes/100+hours on 2AA rechargeable battery. Note that it’s made for Japanese. To be in safe side, you should be around N3 level to be able to navigate/figure out how to use it.

>Click to learn more about denshijisho (electronic dictionary)

Kenkyusha Pocket Dict: Though not as complete, there’s also the pocket size of kenkyushadict. It’s portable and much more affordable!

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In-depth Kanji learning

• KODANSHA kanji learner’s course

This book will give you the historical story and made up mnemonics for the over 2000 kanji characters to help you learn it, write it, completed with sample usage. It’s a must have book in your library.

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In case you missed it, we’ve cover books for basic level here:
https://easy-japan.tumblr.com/post/156172892948

Hope it helps! Happy learning! 。゚✶ฺ.ヽ(*´∀`*)ノ.✶゚ฺ。

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Links:

CrunchyNihongo - Easy to Learn Japanese Lessons Site
Get our easy Japan lessons on your facebook timeline

ついさっき小説をすっかり読み終わりました。第二次世界大戦の最後の頃、雍子は朝鮮から逃避して日本へ帰国の話です。日本語がよく上達した気がします。多い単語や漢字とかを習いました。本の全ての言葉がわかるのに、私が衝撃に受けます。でも読むのが難しったです!シェークスピアの作品を読むみたいに多い単語を調べなくていけなかった、ただい一つのページを読むのに時間がかかりました。でも、私の改善が発揮します。他の本を読み始めると、以前より辞書で調べる回が少なくなった、もっと早く読むのはできます。自分を誇りに思います。

I just finished the novel a while ago. It’s about Yoko escaping from Korea returning to Japan around the end of World War II. I feel like my Japanese has improved. I learned lots of vocab and kanji. I’m shocked I understand all the words in the book. But reading was hard! Like it was reading Shakespeare’s work I had to look up a lot of vocab and reading just one page took time. But my improvement is showing. When I started reading another book I looked up in the dictionary less than before and I can read faster. I’m proud of myself.

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06/04/17 • Dead beauty

Don’t accept flowers from people you’re not certain of having a future with. You will end up pinned down by the memories of a possibility that never was. You will be haunted by the beauty of the flowers pressed between thick books, as if hiding from the reality of a past you cannot even face ahead.

Don’t accept flowers from people you’re not capable of enduring for a lifetime.

To the boy whom I wrote this for, I hope you don’t read this. I do not want to let you know that I held such thoughts about you. You were definitely good, but being good will never be enough for a person who does not want to accept flowers anymore. I hope you get to love yourself, and get yourself a better person than I was.

I was looking for some journals—which are in the photos—in my bookshelf and then I remembered having pressed flowers between the pages of my Merriam-Webster dictionary. The words above are true for me and I was looking for a healthy way to post this and tell people what I have recently learned, without letting the giver know about my thoughts—he deserves better than this.

Anyway, can we now focus on the blank journals I found? They’re very pretty and I can’t wait to write beautiful things on them.✨

Make sure to follow us on There’s An App For That for more app recommendations and reviews!

List Making, Time Management & Reminders

Studying / Flashcards

Reference

Educational Distraction / Brain Training

Health / Concentration

Other

* = favourite

Cinderella

(In celebration of 100 followers! Love you guys so freakin’ much <3)

In a talk, you tell Tony about how you needed to take care of your alcoholic father and couldn’t remember him reading you any bedtime story.
He decides you need to know how it feels to be taken care of.

Relationship: Father!Tony x Daughter!Reader (no incest.)
Characters: Tony Stark; Mutant!Reader
Word counting: 800+
Notes: A bit of Angst, bad childhood, childhood memories, Tony is actually a very good father. Reader is a… Reader. 

This is a part of the Who is In Control series and happens around a month after the prequel (and 10 years before the actual chapters) . See the Masterlist and read the story

Y/N = Your name
Y/F/C = Your favourite colour
Y/L/F/C = Your least favourite colour
Y/H/C = Your hair colour

Originally posted by disnyedreamworks

Originally posted by iwantcupcakes


Tony watched as Y/N read a book, completely focused on its words and pages.

They’ve been together for a month and a half, and he was still learning a lot about her. Her favorite color was Y/F/C and her least favorite color was Y/L/F/C. Her favorite season was spring – because it wasn’t too warm nor too cold –, and least favorite was summer. She didn’t have a favorite food yet, because she loved food in general, and she ate like a frigging bodybuilder.

Also, she had a huge dictionary of curse words she had learned on the streets, but never used. (Thank God, because he didn’t know what he’d do if she did.)

Y/N had no idea what she wanted to do in the future, so she was interested on everything he would show her. Of course, Tony was always showing her something about engineering, but he was trying not to put pressure on in that department. He didn’t want to make her feel like he had high expectations for her future, but wanted the girl to feel free to do whatever she wanted to.

Her powers were a thing he had to learn how to deal with during in their first week. When Y/N had a particular bad nightmare – she had nightmares often, but didn’t tell him –, she could turn her room upside down in a blink of an eye. Once he had woken up to the sound of her windows and closet door slamming several times, only to find all of her books spread on the floor as well as some pieces of furniture and decorations in the wrong places.

“What are you reading?” He finally asked.

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[App Review] — HelloChinese

Hello, everyone! I’m glad to be back <3 Two weeks of grad were intense—classes from 9am to 6pm, plus readings and homework and projects and just generally studying for usually about three hours (or more) each evening before getting up to do it again the next day. Yesterday morning we had our exams, and now the first 20% of my master’s degree is complete :)

ANYWAY! Today I bring you… Chinese??

My blog is pretty much totally geared toward Korean lately, but I haven’t given up on Mandarin! I actually use a few different language exchange apps and sites to chat with native speakers, so even if I’m not actually doing book study, I can get a little practice here and there. However, I have lately been using this app, HelloChinese, to get a little more practice in, and to shore up my basics. I’ve been using it for a bit now, and even used it to get in some short practices during downtime after grad classes, so I figured I would tell you guys how I’m feeling about the app.

(The hamburger isn’t part of the opening screen; that’s just my Chinese dictionary app!)

HelloChinese is set up sort of like Duolinguo, if you’re familiar with that structure. There are different levels that you progress through, from absolute basics and up, though there are shortcuts you can take, sort of to test in to a higher level so you can skip things you already know. I decided to start from the bottom anyway (though I didn’t do the pronunciation part; you can go straight into basics without doing that if you already know how Pinyin works). Each topic starts with a little intro page you can read for some cultural background on the topic, and then you get into learning. New words and grammar are presented with audio and images, and you can choose if you want to see just Pinyin, just the characters (my choice), or both together. Also, blessedly, you can choose to use either traditional or simplified. I love traditional characters, so I was really glad I wouldn’t be forced to use simplified <3

As you progress through each part of the lesson, you’ll be presented with a variety of questions, including vocab-picture matching, translating vocab or sentences, writing characters, and even speaking questions! The individual little lessons are short, but they pack so many activities into them that I feel like it’s a really good, effective format. My favorite thing is actually the final lesson of each topic, which is purely speaking. It judges fairly harshly at times (and I, being a perfectionist, keep retrying each sentence until it judges all of my characters as correct even though you can move on without that), but that certainly isn’t a bad thing if you really want to nail your pronunciation and tones. The only thing that’s a bit disappointing is that if you choose to redo the level, which you can at any time, the questions never change. It would just be nice if it could use the lesson material to build new sentences for each time you try.

There are some other little features outside of the main topics and lessons, but I honestly don’t mess with them much and just keep trucking on forward. You can download the lessons for offline learning, and there is a training function in which you can play games using coins earned from completing lessons. However, you can only play one unless you pay to unlock all of the games. Another feature is word, character, and grammar cards. When practicing those, you can choose specific topics to include or exclude, or you can just do all of them together.

To sum it all up, I really enjoy this app for working on my Mandarin! The progression from basic topics and onward is smooth, you can choose the character set you want to use, and it has good speaking practice and flashcards. It would be nice if the speaking exercises were mixed up a little, and if the games were free, but eh, I guess the developers need to make money somehow! If you’re looking to get into learning Chinese or just need a way to fit some quick and easy practice into your busy day, I would recommend HelloChinese :)

As always, happy studying~

2

🌸 favorites • may 2017 🌸

hey guys! i’m doing this new thing on my studyblr where i’ll feature my favorite stationery, books, school suppplies, etc. that i’ve used during the past month. for this month, i only have four items since i don’t have school yet so i haven’t had the chance to try out new products :-( i promise i’ll be featuring more since june is ~back to school season~ in the philippines hahaha!

in the meantime, these are the stuff i bought and used for the month of may:

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