David Mitchell

meetyourselfintherain

“Reise weit genug, du triffst dich selbst.”

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Anita Desai

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“Wo du auch hingehst, es wird irgendwie ein Teil von dir.”

8 Tips on how to master the 4 main parts of language learning

Learning a new language can be a positive or negative experience depending on how you do it. To completely have mastered a language you’ll need to be equally good in listening, reading, writing and speaking. Most learners are on different levels depending on their studying routine and their access to learning material.

Think of learning a language as a journey on a stairway. You have to take all the steps or at least every second or third to reach the top. You can’t just teleport yourself to a different level – you have to work hard to improve as you are progressing up the stairs. Here are a few tips that might help you accelerate that process.

Listening

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1. Get yourself some sort of media to listen to.

There are radio and television apps all over the app stores. Even if you’re just beginning to learn a language, simply listening to natives speak, is really important. You will be fluent much faster than everybody who studies books all day, since you will pick up many more words, phrases and just the sound and feeling of the language much faster than them.

2. Love YouTube. It is the best that has ever happend to you!

YouTube is a big community that has representatives of all countries and languages you can imagine. Firstly you will find a lot of native speakers of you target language that will get you used to the casual and colloquial part of the language. Secondly you can find tons of learning videos where people explain their language to learners. From grammar to podcasts to audio versions of Harry Potter books – YouTube has them all.

Reading

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3.Buy books in you target language that you have already read in you native language!

I tried to read Harry Potter in french, which I’m learning at the moment and I was really surprised about how much I understood oder could understand trough the context because I’ve already read the books in English.

4. Read parallel texts

These are really useful. You usually have a page in your language and then a page in the language that you are learning. Like that you don’t necessarily need a dictionary to understand what is going on.

Trough reading you also learn a ton of new vocabulary. Here it isn’t necessary to understand every word. Just look up the pronunciation of your new vocabulary, since it is tricky in some languages and you don’t want to memorize it the wrong way.

Writing

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5. Use platforms like lang-8 to get corrected by natives.

Lang-8 is a website and app, where you can post as you would on a blog. The only difference is that you don’t post in you native language but in you target language. Natives of that language can then correct you text and you can ask them about things you don’t understand. You can also correct texts of people that are foreign to your language.

6. Try out hello talk or similar apps

The principle of hello talk and similar apps is that you can text Natives of you target language as you would text on a normal messenger app. In the chat you have tools to correct the other persons mistakes. In comparison to lang-8 you can here practice the casual speech and you don’t have to write a big text but you’re rather having a conversation in a written form.

Hello talk can also be used as speaking or listening tool since you can also send voice messages. Since you get in contact with natives easy that way, you can also exchange contact information and continue learning over Skype.

Speaking

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7. Try the website and app Italki or similar sites

Italki is a website that helps you connect to native teachers of you target language. The teachers cost money but they can help you understand the grammatical concept or explain things that differ between languages much better than any grammar book. You can also connect with other students that study your language and then you teach each other. Just remember that Natives can’t really explain the grammar of their language to you, unless they are a teacher.

8. Talk to yourself

To become a better speaker of you target language you must actually speak it and here it isn’t enough to only do so at your lessons. Mumble to yourself while doing you work, look in the mirror during you bath routine and tell yourself how amazing  you are, record yourself on your phone and then listen to it and try to detect pronunciation or grammar mistakes.

When it comes down to it, you’ll need to invest a lot of time in a language to be fluent but following these steps might shorten the time in comparison to studying with a language book or vocabulary list. Learning a language isn’t easy, you’ll also need to understand the culture of you it as well. Languages represent an entire nation. It has developed so many little peculiarities that make it so beautiful. So once in a while try to act like a toddler that is being introduced to the magic of communication for the first time. That sparkle is most likely all you’ll need.

If you have any other study tips please share them with me. (^_^) I hope this helps everybody that wants to lean another language and is as passionate about it as I am.

10 tips on how to drive on the curvy road to success!

1. Be a safe driver!

This isn’t just important in traffic. Do things safe!!! If you are a a sportsman or -woman, if you want to lose weight, if you want to build a business etc, do it without hurting yourself. There might be others that do it differently, but you never now how long-term their success is going to be. Just remember this, HARD WORK ALWAYS PAYS OFF! Furthermore some things you put your body trough in the name of a goal, might actually end up killing you, so be careful. This world is dangerous.

2. Don’t get intimidated by overtakers

Yeah, don’t do that! There will most likely be people that do things faster than you. But remember that that doesn’t necessarily mean, that they do it better! Quality above quantity. Nobody wants a sloppy done job. Do your things your way at your pace!

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3. Slow down before curves and be prepared to step on the breaks

Now this is important. Just as you will get thrown out of the turn when you are to fast with your car, the same happens to you in life. If you only keep on going at the same pace without adjusting to you surroundings you will eventually hit a wall or fall off a cliff! To be successful you need to adjust to your road. When there is a cliff ahead of you, then don’t go straight. You might even have to take a 180° turn to find the continuing diversion of your personal road!

4. Listen to some music

Now this one is easy. If you are too focused on one goal, you might forget to actually live you life. Don’t do that. Life needs to be balanced and for a good balance you’ll need hobbies or interests that are separate from you goal. They will give you some distraction.

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5. Keep your eyes on the road but picture your destination in your mind

Every driver knows that you need to pay attention to the things that are happening in front of your car. The same is applicable to your goals.

Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.

-Robert Collier

Don’t forget about you destination but pay attention to what is going on in front of your nose.

Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.

Vincent Van Gogh

6. Take a break

Pause once in a while. Your body needs some rest. Nobody can withstand constant stress, pressure and demands. You only have one life so don’t break your body to achieve somethings that is supposed to enrich it. Take a day every week, or every month to tell your body and soul through actions, how much you appreciate it.

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7. Don’t forget where you came from

Don’t forget you roots along the way. Maybe there are some things that you wish to forget, but every painful and sad thing is just like all good things an important part of you life. You have learned and developed trough the things that have happend you, and you can fade you memory of them. But don’t forget them completely since they have formed you character and your personality to what it is now and they might prevent you from repeating the same mistake in the future.

8. Don’t run somebody over

Okay – so you might think this headline is funny but wait. It may be obvious that you don’t run people over with your car. But are you as generous in real life? Don’t be false or fake to attain something and don’t kick somebody out of the game just because it might be to your advantage. That’s bad style.

9. Pick up hitchhikers

This kind of relates to the topic above. Success isn’t always reserved for just one individual. Helping others progress might also help you. They may remember you help from before as well and return the favor when you need it. Join a community of people and support others. This will get you connected and eventually lead to your breakthrough.

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10. Be flexible

This might be one of the most important points. Be flexible. Don’t be too stubborn. If you want to be a famous runner but your better at triathlon then why not go for that instead. If it is a really similar field then you can deviate from you path a little. Success is what you take it for.

If any of you professional drivers have remarks on how to drive properly on the curvy road to success, please share the with me in the comments. (^_^)

 

10 reasons why solitude will change your life to the better!

Solitude – a word that has a weird feeling to it. I can’t actually determine whether it is good or bad. But if you voluntarily chose solitude it may benefit you in a very specific way:

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1. You can sort out your feelings

You may have just gotten out of a painful relationship or lost a family member. Maybe your crush does not return you feelings or you’re having a fight with your best friend. Whatever it is, it is painful and you need some time to think! Solitude can give you the peace you need to figure these feelings out. No person, other than yourself, can understand the things your heart tries to tell you. Give yourself the time to understand what is going on. That is the first step recovery.

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2. You can form an individual opinion

Do you get pressured easily – have people fighting over what you should do, without having a say. Solitude can help you form a view on something. When you are all alone you get the chance that nobody can interfere with your thoughts. Before you might have just agreed with an idea, now you get the change to figure out what you want and what you think, without the need to confirm someone else’s point of view or the possibility to not know your position at all.

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3. You don’t have to depend on somebody nor is somebody dependent on you.

You have time to not care about anybody but yourself. Everyone has to be selfish once in a while!

 

4. You develop independence from society

In solitude it isn’t important what society thinks of you. You can develop you body and soul independently and will live a happier life. Don’t force yourself to be someone you’re not!

5. You have time to not think at all

For a very long period of time you might have not had the chance to simply not care at all. Relax – lean back and forget about all the things that stress you out and cause your headaches.

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6. You can dream – and create new life goals

Did something come to an end and you are stuck and don’t know how your life is supposed to work out from now on? Don’t be scared – just give yourself some time by yourself and new ideas, new possibilities and new motivation will show up!

 

7. You find out who you truly are and develop some self-esteem

It is really important to know who you are. In solitude you don’t have to be ashamed about yourself. Look at yourself proudly and accept yourself for who you are. You are worth more than all that rubbish people have been throwing at you! Only if you have some self-worth you can look those people in the eyes and not feel inferior.

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8. You can recharge and be at one with yourself

Feel the calm energy refueling you and be at one with yourself and the earth. Remember that your existence is important and precious and that nobody can hurt you.

9. You realize how important some people are to you.

When you are far from home, or maybe just alone for a few hours, you realize what is truly important to you and who cares for you. You see who you should continue sharing your life with. Don’t let people that only bring pain and misery into your life.

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10. You get some distance and see things from a different angle

If you have some time by yourself, you are calm enough to look at different options. You realize that you view wasn’t that unlike somebody else’s and that you may find a compromise.

All in all solitude may have a rather positive and healthy touch.