Transcript:

Hello everyone, welcome back to the channel, and I’m Israel. And surprise, surprise: this is actually my first video that is mainly in English.

So, today we’re going to have a slightly different kind of video, because I want to do a sort of live demonstration of my own language studying method.

Recently I saw that Easy Polish made a new video about winter in Poland. I love winters, and I love Poland, so I’m really excited to watch this video.

If you don’t know Easy Languages, they are a group of very amazing channels that make videos for people to practise listening to everyday language.

They used to do a lot of street interviews, but of course, because of the pandemic, they can’t do that now, so currently they just mostly film themselves talking about various topics about different areas of vocabulary, and most importantly, they always have bilingual subtitles in the target language and in English.

I absolutely love these channels and I recommend you check them out. They have a large variety of languages.

Throughout this video, you’re going to see how I watch their videos, what I naturally do when I watch them, in order to teach myself efficiently.

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bear drinking beer

Let’s face it: German adjectives are unnecessarily complex.

If you’ve reached that part of your German studies, you’ll be nodding in pain and frustration at this statement. If you haven’t, come back when you’ve had a glimpse of it.

Alternatively, here’s an overview: there are three kinds of declensions, depending on what is being referred to; each declension includes an ending for 4 cases, 3 genders, and 2 numbers (singular/plural).

It really seems like this was designed to mess with learners. But since German is a natural language, not the creation of a madman, there has to be a reason for this mess. Throughout history, German speakers have collectively decided that this makes sense and is necessary.

I don’t know what that reason is, but I have some guesses myself. And my own justification has been immensely helpful for me to remember these complex endings. Now, I’m going to tell you why that is, and how to remember the endings without learning by rote.

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Subtitles in English and Hebrew.

Late last year, I decided to turn my ‘dabbling’ in Hebrew into a serious learning project.


Time flies, and it’s been a few months since I last spoke Hebrew on my channel. At the time, my level was still quite basic, so I relied on a script.
Within these few months, I’ve made myself busy with plenty of other things—the podcast, for one—so I haven’t spent a lot of time on learning.

Nevertheless, I am now at a level where I’m comfortable speaking freely to the camera. What did I do and how did I get here?

You also get a glimpse of my new home in this video!

A brain with words inside.

Let’s just say you wanted to be fluent in a foreign language. Like, very fluent. Like, native speaker fluent. Capable of talking about any subject they can.

Obviously, that’s an ambitious goal. Native speakers, too, vary greatly in their ability to discuss various subjects. My recent conversation with Luke Truman revealed that he knows more scientific terms in Cantonese than I do. Meanwhile, I am probably capable of talking about music better than most English native speakers.

But there are things that most native speakers who’ve had an average education can talk about: mathematics, plants, common illnesses, political structures, history…cooking…

These aren’t things that language textbooks cover. Language course gets you from a complete beginner to a conversational level, where you can survive in the language. There is still a gap between that level and being able to read any newspaper with ease. You need things that native speakers learn in school.

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Subtitles available in English and Cantonese. German transcript below.

Ich bin heute auf eine deutsche Seite gestoßen, die versucht, die Beziehung zwischen Kantonesisch und Mandarin, oder dem Begriff Chinesisch, zu erklären. Spoiler Alert: diesen Artikel finde ich total Quatsch. Er behauptet, Kantonesisch sei ein Dialekt von Chinesisch, und Mandarin sei Hochchinesisch.Diese Art Kategorisierung ist ganz politisch motiviert, und von einem rein sprachwissenschaftlichen Standpunkt ist sie sehr problematisch.

In diesem Video werde ich versuchen, als ein Sprachenliebhaber, ein Amateursprachwissenschaftler und ein Sprecher von drei sinitischen bzw. chinesischen Sprachen, zu erklären, was ein Dialekt in diesem Zusammenhang wirklich bedeutet, und abgesehen von der Politik, was Kantonesisch eigentlich ist, und wie man überhaupt diese Sprachen betrachten soll.

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