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How To Become Fluent In Chinese Quickly?

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studychinese
29 minutes ago, i__forget said:

Based on the response here, his " his Japanese is excellent overall".

 

Only because the general Japanese ability of foreigners in Japan is so low. If you actually understand Japanese you will notice that whenever he doesn't know the correct grammar to connect sentences properly he will just throw in a その~ and a ですね~ and start a new sentence. 

 

If I had to guess, Kaufmann knows about half of the grammar and vocabulary in this book.

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imron
1 hour ago, studychinese said:

Over years of hearing the same stuff and giving the same answers, one can become very proficient in a limited context.

This is a valid point that I had not considered, and I'll accept that he's likely more proficient in this area than in others, but I still think there's more going on there - just listening to the way he connects sentences and such.  Going by CEFR standards I'd say he's definitely at least B2, maybe better but agree it's difficult to assess without listening to him speak on other topics. 

 

Even at B2, that would put his Chinese above your assessment of his Japanese, though my Japanese is non-existent so I'm not in a position to judge.

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studychinese

Speaking of Kaufmann, I find him the least objectionable of any of the polyglots. He isn't selling snake oil telling people that they can be "fluent" in a language in a ridiculously short amount of time.

 

All we need do is look at 'the graveyard of the polyglots' - Japanese and Korean languages. Benny (for example) went to Japan to prove his hypothesis that you could be fluent in ANY language in three months and he crashed and burned badly. His crash and burn was so bad that he abandoned Japanese entirely. As I point out in this post to the extent that European polyglots actually become fluent in various languages, it is because those languages are similar to those that they have already studied (European languages). When it comes to studying East Asian languages a polyglot has no more advantages than a complete language beginner, all other things being equal.


What you have to ask yourself is if you would trade ALL of Benny's acquired language abilities for your own. I know I wouldn't. 

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imron

I wouldn't either.

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somethingfunny

Poor Benny.

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Lu
4 hours ago, studychinese said:

When it comes to studying East Asian languages a polyglot has no more advantages than a complete language beginner, all other things being equal.

This I disagree with. Sure, it's a mistake to think that just because you picked up Romanian in three months, you can pick up Japanese in three as well. But someone who has learned a language (through studying, not 'I moved to Spain when I was eight'... wait, I'm repeating myself.

On 26/08/2017 at 11:40 AM, Lu said:

It's true that their knowledge of other languages doesn't give them an advantage, but having learned other languages does. Someone who has learned a foreign language (and really learned, not 'I moved to Spain when I was eight and soon could talk with my classmates') has strategies for learning new vocabulary, knows that other languages have different sounds, can wrap their mind around new grammar, etc etc. Plus that they know from experience that a foreign language can be learned, and what kind of steps they have to take in order to learn it. I have the impression that for many monolingual Americans, learning a language is this impossible feat that you need a special talent for, and they wouldn't know where to start even if they wanted to learn one. Polyglots, whether real or self-declared, have a big advantage.

 

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studychinese
28 minutes ago, Lu said:

This I disagree with. Sure, it's a mistake to think that just because you picked up Romanian in three months, you can pick up Japanese in three as well. But someone who has learned a language (through studying, not 'I moved to Spain when I was eight'... wait, I'm repeating myself.

 

Didn't help Benny. And didn't help the other polyglots humbled by the unforgiving graveyard of the polyglots. And by the way I remembered what you wrote which is why I put in the qualifier "all other things being equal". 

 

For that matter the East Asian languages are different enough (Chinese root words rather than Latin or Greek, characters, grammar differences and particles) that the tricks they learned for European languages don't apply. So all they have left is good study habits which could easily apply to any non polyglot too. 

 

If we are talking about Benny, he may have even disadvantaged himself by having assumptions about language learning from his experience of studying European languages and trying to use that methodology to learn Japanese. All we know is that he failed. From what I can see from his last Japanese video his Japanese is actually WORSE than a monolingual foreigner that studied Japanese in a school setting for the same amount of time.

 

I'm not saying that a polyglot can't learn a language. What I am saying is that they are selling a bill of goods and it is proven in their deficient language abilities. 

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Wippen (inactive)

Why are we so upset with "polyglots" ?

Are we expecting perfection in every one of their languages or is it the perceived bragging? 

 

A bilingual person is usually not perfect in both languages (but we forgive that) and an interpreter can have a B language too.

 

In personally find it amazing how the polyglots appear to have neuro connections that allow them to separate so many languages and are able to shift between them with relative ease. Most people will suffer from language interference when trying to do that.   Personal favourites for having that skill are Richard Simcott, Luca Lampariello and Robert Bigler. Maybe Kaufman too.

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Lu
9 minutes ago, studychinese said:

For that matter the East Asian languages are different enough (Chinese root words rather than Latin or Greek, characters, grammar differences and particles) that the tricks they learned for European languages don't apply. So all they have left is good study habits which could easily apply to any non polyglot too.

Okay, I see your point. I still disagree though. Benny's Chinese is nothing to write home about and many others have done better without bragging about it, but for every Benny, there are countless people who didn't even try, or gave up before getting past the tones.

 

1 minute ago, Tøsen said:

In personally find it amazing how the polyglots appear to have neuro connections that allow them to separate so many languages and are able to shift between them with relative ease. Most people will suffer from language interference when trying to do that.

Would they? I thought a majority of the world's people is multilingual, which makes me believe we all have that neuroconnection (or potentially, at least).

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studychinese
18 minutes ago, Tøsen said:

Why are we so upset with "polyglots" ?

 

Here we go. 

 

*They are telling people that they can "learn" a language in three months, and that they will be "fluent". When someone fails to achieve that they will likely give up. 

*They have a definition of "fluent" that is personal and subjective. You would think that a "polyglot" would use the definition in the dictionary. 

*They refuse to take standardized tests and instead rate their own language ability. This is the Dunning-Kruger effect on steroids. 

*Most importantly they fail to meet their own standards. Almost all of them are fudging the amount of time that they spent on a particular language. 

 

Finally most of them aren't actually polyglots in my humble opinion. A person that is a beginner level in various languages isn't a polyglot. They could put these questions to rest by taking standardized tests, but no, the proof is only provided via scripted YouTube videos. 

 

19 minutes ago, Tøsen said:

In personally find it amazing how the polyglots appear to have neuro connections that allow them to separate so many languages and are able to shift between them with relative ease.

 

There are no "neuro connections". The mind seamlessly sorts the languages autonomically and isn't a skill particular to these polyglots. I speak 4 languages myself. 

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i__forget

@studychinese
You are frustrated because someone claims to be something they are not? Really? You are also obsessed with Benny, everybody agrees with you, he is a scam artist, now stop talking about him.
Not everyone is trying to sell you something. Whoever you like, subscribe to, if not move on.

On the other hand, judging whether Steve Kaufman is intermediate in Japanese or not, IS interesting. The guy is the old time champion of language learning. Let me tell you. If Steve hasn't managed to get passed the intermediate stage having lived in Japan for 10 years, with Mandarin under his belt already, then no one is the forum speaks Mandarin, they are all deluded. All the 1000s of Mandarin graduates? Deluded as well.

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studychinese
3 minutes ago, i__forget said:

You are frustrated because someone claims to be something they are not? Really? You are also obsessed with Benny, everybody agrees with you, he is a scam artist, now stop talking about him.

 

I gave detailed reasons why I have an issue with the polyglots, including but not limited to Benny. I will take a pass on your armchair psychology but I will direct you towards this.

 

4 minutes ago, i__forget said:

On the other hand, judging whether Steve Kaufman is intermediate in Japanese or not, IS interesting. The guy is the old time champion of language learning.

 

So?

 

5 minutes ago, i__forget said:

Let me tell you.

 

This is an expert witness, your honor.

 

5 minutes ago, i__forget said:

If Steve hasn't managed to get passed the intermediate stage having lived in Japan for 10 years

 

Most foreigners in Japan never get past intermediate level at all. 10, 20, or 30 years doesn't matter. Generally if they don't pass intermediate within 3 years in Japan they won't progress past that at all. As for Steve's Japanese ability, it is what it is.

 

7 minutes ago, i__forget said:

with Mandarin under his belt already, then no one is the forum speaks Mandarin, they are all deluded.

 

Japanese isn't Mandarin. Mandarin is a language that is daunting at first, but gets progressively easier. Japanese is the inverse - it starts of relatively easy, and then progressively gets more difficult as the more advanced grammar is exceedingly difficult for an English speaker. That is why there are many foreign speakers of Japanese that are beginner to intermediate level, and very few at an advanced level.

 

11 minutes ago, i__forget said:

All the 1000s of Mandarin graduates? Deluded as well.

 

These people took standardized, internationally recognized tests, unlike the polyglots who only use self assessment to gauge their ability levels.

 

The question is why YOU are so invested in this. I have found that when the polyglots are questioned on their actual ability or credentials, there are always people around that become hostile to the person that is asking questions. In my opinion it is because they are personally invested in a particular strategy extolled by the polyglots in which they can learn a language without truly putting in the effort required. Anyway, I am not stopping you from doing your thing so there is no need to impute bad intentions into my posts.

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Balthazar
1 hour ago, studychinese said:

I speak 4 languages myself. 

 

Wouldn't that make you a polyglot?

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studychinese
8 minutes ago, Balthazar said:

Wouldn't that make you a polyglot?

 

Technically, but as I am in bad company calling myself a "polyglot" is tantamount to labeling myself a charlatan.

 

之を喩へば比隣軒を竝べたる一村一町内の者共が、愚にして無法にして然も殘忍無情なるときは、稀に其町村内の一家人が正當の人事に注意するも、他の醜に掩 はれて湮没するものに異ならず。

It is not different from the case of the righteous man living in a neighborhood of a town known for foolishness, lawlessness, atrocity, and heartlessness. His action is so rare that it is always buried under the ugliness of his neighbors' activities.

 

From "leaving Asia", a call for Japan to eschew its backwards neighbors and join the West.

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i__forget
58 minutes ago, studychinese said:

The question is why YOU are so invested in this.

No, not invested at all. Just happen to admire Steve for the things he has achieved.

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Tomsima

If it really was the amount of time he says, then I think Steve's chinese is great all considered. He speaks with tones, that's more than I can say for my first year. His study method is clearly effective.

 

As for getting angry about the polyglot trend, I am all for it. The more people who know the actual ability of a 'polyglot' (eg. Can tell you how their chinese is without the additional 'i can't speak it but it sounds legit' comment) and call out the bullshit, the more likely people can find informed and useful ways to study another language.

 

I can't stand the sentence 'im not a language person' just as much as the 'i could be fluent in any language in 3 months if I wanted'.

 

For reference, I studied Nepali, Tibetan and mandarin at the same time at the very beginning under false guidance from 'polyglots' before just sticking to Chinese: I really really wanted to believe they could effortlessly speak all languages at C2 kind of levels, and that it was all possible within a year…

 

 

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Wippen (inactive)
3 hours ago, studychinese said:

The mind seamlessly sorts the languages autonomically and isn't a skill particular to these polyglots. I speak 4 languages myself

I admire your ability to switch between your four foreign languages just like that. I am working on developing that skill. You saying everyone can learn it is a great encouragement.

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Wippen (inactive)
24 minutes ago, Tomsima said:

really really wanted to believe they could effortlessly speak all languages at C2 kind of levels, and that it was all possible within a year…

That is the impression they leave albeit between the lines :-)

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studychinese
7 minutes ago, Tøsen said:

I admire your ability to switch between your four foreign languages just like that. I am working on developing that skill. You saying everyone can learn it is a great encouragement.

 

Don't worry about "developing" that skill. Your brain will handle it like it handles breathing, heartbeat, and other autonomic functions.

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