• 3 Months to language success?

    Ever wondered what those three month language courses are really like? You know the ones, where it basically says "pick up this book and through osmosis of the mind you will learn a new language to get you by, in only 3 months".

    Ok so maybe not through osmosis but you get the point. The fact is, there is a premise upon which these books sell you this idea that you can garner a basic understanding and practically speak the language within 3 months of picking up the book, being disciplined and trying hard to learn.

    So I thought, how hard/easy can it be to learn a language from a book?

    Um pasteis por favor
    So I am setting myself a challenge. To learn Portuguese (I'll explain why in a second) from the Hugo 3 month course guide - with CD's. At the end of the three months, I will attempt to write a 200 word post in Portuguese - probably on how to book a hotel room and order dinner.

    So why Portuguese? 

    I speak Italian fluently, have a business fluency in French and Spanish and mother tongue English. (I know some basic Hungarian, Russian and Ukranian - the later came about due to my Grandparents fostering a Ukranian child who couldn't speak a word of Italian).

    I have a little knowledge of Portuguese due to watching the football league. But also, later this year I will be an assistant football coach to for a few days in Quincho/Cascais and Lisbon. It would be nice to be able to speak to some locals in the area and not seem such a tourist, but overall, I thought, why not set yourselves one of these challenges.

    So basically, the set has been ordered, and I'll give you a progress report. Where I will find the time and how I will get on will be a mystery to me as well, but by 07/05/12 I hope to have accomplished something.

    The only rules are...
    Rules are simple, how the book says you should learn, i.e. dedicated amount of time, and grammar exercises etc, that's how I'll do it.

    So, I expect a few people I know in Portugal to be getting random messages off me in Portuguese as a test, in advance I apologise. 

    2 comments → 3 Months to language success?

    1. Anonymous said... 12 March 2012 at 11:22

      How was the first month? Are you finding it difficult to motivate yourself with the CD approach? I have battled with myself for years to learn either French or Spanish...can't decide! and never have the time, finances or motivation to join a class as such or have the opportunity for full immersion! so CD seems a viable option, i'm just skeptical

    2. I have found the last 10 days a little harder admittedly. Not been able to find the time, but I have had a few health issues so I just want to rest.

      The most important thing is to keep at it. Find the new motivation, go over material and keep pushing. Instantly you'll start to realise that you will be understanding more than you thought you did. It's a case of plugging away. But if I can do it, anyone can.

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