#Add1Challenge – Intro post from Mizuu

You know me, you saw my Personal Learning Plan, now I decided to add a little twist to it.

First I saw Lingholic (Sam) doing it, and then in short succession everybody seemed to jump on the bandwagon of awesomeness: Michał, Eriko, Richard… so why shouldn’t I?

#Add1Challenge is basically a community that challenges you to add 1 language to your reportaire by the end of 2013. I thought that not only will I gain additional motivation to keep up with my PLP, but also meet some new people fascinated by foreign languages. Since yesterday, when I published the video, even though I am not a part of the Facebook group, I received messages, subscribtions and genuine encouragement. Feels great!

Also, some people are taking on the challenge with languages that I teach – Polish or Japanese, so I’ll be able to help! I’m superhappy.

My planned winter semester starts in less than a week – on Saturday, so I am also anxious and excited, slowly tackling down MOOCs, to get into the spirit.

I want to share one more project with you, Rachel AKA Moosader is a beginner esperantist and she started to make short animations to help others learn or teach the language. The first episode, “Saluton!” (=Hello!), is below, with my Japanese and Polish version of subtitles in it, so everyone can enjoy it (other people contributed other languages :D)! Please subscribe to her channel and get new episodes delivered to you!



Not Getting Jokes In Your Target Language? Try Jokes ABOUT That Language!!

Some people thought that my last post was pretty dim, when I actually wanted to give some optimism and hope to the community. So today I though about a video compilation post of my favorite comedy routines on language. PLEASE, if you have more share them with me in the comments, via twitter (@kantanda) or e-mail!


Japanese group Raamenzu on Americans learning about Japanese culture and language

Adam Hills on Australian accents (and other nations visiting Australia…)

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How To Make a Polyglot’s Brain Explode

I had my weirdest multilingual experience today and I absolutely have to share. But first: background story.

The person who made my brain explode was Danny Gong. Danny is an Asian CODA from New York City. For those of you who know me a bit already, CODA is like the holy grail of sign linguistics. For those of you who don’t know what I do – CODA is derived from the phrase “Child Of a Deaf Parent”. CODA are bilingual but in different modalities – signed and spoken.
A couple of years ago Danny moved to Japan and set up Deaf Japan company, a school teaching people ASL (American Sign Language), JSL / NS (Japanese Sign Language / Nihon Shuwa) and English. His mastery of Japanese was next to none, so he started from learning JSL first – that really helped him before he could talk, read and understand anything.
From his online presence emerges a wonderful, bright man. He’s just… awesome.

How I cam across him? By this movie. And I was flabbergasted for a while.

My brain couldn’t cope. I know all of those language and I don’t know if you have noticed – they are three of them.

(2) SPOKEN – Japanese
(3) WRITTEN – English
(protip: spoken and signed Japanese have different grammars!)

This is by far the most bizarre feeling I ever had. Each of the modalities was bombarded with different input and my brain wanted to keep them all in place analyzing the quality of each translation pair between (1) and (2), (2) and (3) as well as (3) and (1). Totally eerie…

…has someone ever made experiments like that? Showing polyglots 3 different languages through three different modalities at the same time? Gosh, it feels funny…


If you are worried by the amount of posts at this blog you can also keep up with what I do through Google+, twitter or my other blogging projects like: 1 Habit At A Time (1HAT; on lifehacking in English), Bo W Ryj! (personal blog, in Polish) or Mizuumi’s Soup (tumblr-like digital scrapbook for quotes, pics and videos). I promise I’m getting back to blogging here as well.

Rotating – a quick and awesome life hack for language learners

Please, bear with me, there’s only 2 days left till the defence of my thesis! In the meantime, I’d like to share a quick language hack with you which I call “rotating“.

I bet most of you, especially those knowing multiple languages, have huge piles of language materials like magazines, textbooks, foreign literature, phrasebooks, grammar guides, various workbooks etc. Most of you already know, that working with just one of those is impossible and ineffective. Therefore each day you pick a book or two to gain some knowledge. You already know you must vary the books to make the process of learning more entertaining for your brain to stay awake. If you have more than one language you want to master, you also need to pay more or less equal attention to all of them.

But how do you know you use your language learning materials in a balanced manner? There’s this quick and easy life hack I came across lately. I call it rotating. Originally it’s used to keep eye on your wardrobe. At the beginning of a period (be it a season, a month or a year) you put all your hangers with hooks facing in one direction and if you wear something and put it back into your wardrobe, you hang it with the hook facing the opposite direction (visual explanation to that can be found, for example, in this short movie). In the end of given timeframe you know which clothes went untouched and therefore can be donated, sold, swapped or burnt ;D.

You can a similar thing with your materials (doesn’t work for digital resources, though). Put all your books and materials in a certain way – for example, face up with spines on the left. Then set a timeframe – a week or a month sounds sensible. Each time you use a book be sure to rotate it 90 degrees from the way it has been put before. If you make use of a certain publication very often, you can then turn it face down and make one more loop (let’s call this a long loop). On the other hand – if the timeframe is short you can just flip each book that was acted upon downwards or rotate it 180 degrees (let’s call it a short loop).

Being consistant with such a system will tell you at a glance which book have you touched and which you seem to be reluctant to study from. Reflect upon the reason – is it there just in case and it’s too hard for your level now? Put it elseware to get rid of guilt of not reading / doing it. Is it boring? Give it to someone who thinks he need it. Maybe you just overlooked it? Well, now you know!

Visual crib of how I see it.

Well, try it out! Any other brilliant life hacks for language learning? Let me know in the comments or via twitter!