I’ve talked about using iMacros in the past. Basically, you click a button, a dialogue pops up and asks you “Which word do you want to look up?” and in 4 seconds, you have a Google Images link to the word, a Forvo.com recording, a bilingual dictionary entry and a monolingual dictionary entry. Magic. Typically, it’s a bit of a pain to set up, but in preparation for an upcoming workshop, I’ve decided to make it a lot easier.
Tips, tutorials and resources to aid you on your path towards fluency.
This is some early bookstore research for a bunch of foreign language dictionary reviews. I went to two large bookstores (The enormous Half Price Books and the equally enormous Barnes & Noble in Dallas) and wrote down the names of pretty-much every dictionary they had in every language they carried, and also noted whether they included pronunciation information (and if so, whether it was IPA, some formal system (pinyin, romaji), some random system they invented, or some terrible English approximation [Bawn-JOOR]). I’ve tried to provide Amazon links to as many dictionaries as possible.
Thanks to all who participated. Here are the (most important) word pairs that caused problems:
Scale: 1 – Sound the same (mit/mit). 2 – Very Similar (drücken/drucken). 3 – Similar (Pfüte, Pföte). 4 – Different (Pfeet/Pfit). 5 – Completely different (Meat/Mat)
First, the update: The book is chugging along, and will take substantially longer than I had predicted (and will be much better for it!). So far, I’ve gotten my thoughts, theories and research down on Memory, Pronunciation, Word Learning, Grammar, Vocabulary lists and Mnemonic Use, and the next step (aside from some remaining research and thoughts on Reading/Writing/Listening/Speaking) is reworking it into a friendly, clear presentation that’s an enjoyable book to read (and not a textbook). As we start cutting textbooky sections out of the book, I’ll be posting them here.
My current goal, aside from finishing the book, is to provide some high quality pronunciation tools here, because there’s just not very much available that’s easy to use and effective.
A reader who was getting a pretty good vocabulary base asked me how to start developing a base in German grammar, and I took the opportunity to write out a pretty complete reply. The principles should apply to any grammar you’re learning (and if you don’t see how, please post a comment or email me so I can make sure that I’m not missing something). Enjoy!
Recently, a reader asked me whether I had heard of the Assimil method, and whether I’d recommend it or not. I had never really looked into them, and now that I’ve done a bit of research, I can comment a bit.