Now that I’ve spent a few days listening to the audio files and doing the best I can to make sense of the Hindi sound system, it’s time to go on with …
Learning my ABCs
I have the Byki software on my laptop all ready to go. The first thing I want to do is click the “Alphabet” tab* so I can take the sounds I’ve been listening to and associate them with the letter that represents them. I also checked around online and found a site that goes through each letter in the Hindi alphabet. NOTE: when you hear the sound with the associated letter or character, write it in your learning notebook for later study or review – click here to see how I put it in my own learning notebook.
As you go through this step, it’s important that you repeat the sound while looking at the letter. This will associate the letter and sound together in your memory. Make sure to say it in a normal speaking voice – whispering it will lower the quality of your speech.
If you are working with an alphabet that is Latin-based, you should be able to get through this part quickly. But for other languages with different scripts and characters, it will take a couple more days to get things where you can comfortably get by. Practice makes perfect.
Vocabulary – Before You Know It
Now it’s time to do what the Byki software is made to do – help me learn new words and phrases. I have opened an account with Transparent Language Online so I can access the program anywhere I have an Internet connection.
First, I’m going to click on the “Byki Quick Start” tab, and it will give me about 15 simple phrases. Just like the software on my laptop, the buttons I need (including the SlowSound button) are all there. So I’m going to be taking a couple of days to go through them. NOTE: I usually write the words or phrases in my notebook too, which will not only allow me to learn how to write them, but it also helps them to stick in the memory faster – something I’ve discovered over the years.
There are about ten Quick Start lessons for Hindi, so I’ll be busy with those for a couple of weeks. But I’m not going to stop with those, and I hope you won’t either.
Learning Doesn’t Have To Stop
As I mentioned before, learning a language will take time and effort. But it doesn’t have to be a burden and it doesn’t have to stop when closing the book or shutting down the computer. I look for things like games online, or a chance to get on Skype and Facebook to meet up with other speakers of Hindi.
The trap here is I don’t want to obsess and look for something every waking minute. I know my limits – if I can’t do it at the time I want, then I’ll set it aside until I can. NOTE: Make sure to do something at least once a day in language learning. I carry a pocket-sized dictionary around to look up any words that pop up, and read the notes in my notebook to keep the material fresh in my mind.
The best part of the Byki software is you can also get the app for your mobile device, then use it for learning and review anytime, anywhere. I recommend it for reviewing while waiting in line at the movies or the bus stop, in the doctor’s office, etc.
When is a good time to review?
Good question. I always take the time to review what I’m learning. In fact, that’s one thing I will say is mandatory – review often. When is a good time for review? This is what I do and I recommend that you do the same:
When I get ready for bed, I brushed my teeth, put on my pajamas, and make sure the house is locked up before I’m ready to get under the blankets. I will also take my notebook and handy dictionary and look over the things I’ve written from that day’s lesson. I will not concentrate on learning the information, but will carefully read it over to be sure I understand what I’ve written. If there’s anything else that came up over the day, I’ll also write it in to expand what I’m learning. Maybe I’ll glance at past lessons for good measure.
I won’t take more than 15 minutes for this nighttime review. After I finish the review, I turn off the light, and go to sleep. NOTE: I guarantee you will remember that material in the morning and if there are any problem areas, they will become clearer to you when you go back to it again.
- Go through the alphabet and learn the sounds associated with the letters. Say them aloud and write notes in your learning notebook.
- Learn the very simple words and phrases – not more than 20. Take your time learning how to say them. Don’t worry about 100% perfection – you just want to communicate for now. Write them in your notebook for later review.
- Play games in the language, or find friends on Skype or Facebook. Look for a community where they speak the language you’re learning and mingle with them.
OTHER THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:
- Make sure to do something at least once a day in language learning.
- Carry a pocket-sized dictionary with you.
- Read the notes in your notebook.
- Go Mobile – get the Byki app for your mobile device.
- Review often – no more than 30 minutes.
DO’S AND DON’T’S
- Do not obsess over 100% perfection – 50-75% is fine.
- Do not finish learning after closing the book or turning off the computer.
- Know your limits – if it can’t be done now, wait until it can be.
- If you are getting confused or frustrated, walk away and stop learning for the rest of the day.
I’ve been mentioning a “language learning notebook” in many of my posts and now here’s the opportunity to share it with you. I designed this book over the years to help me see where I’ve been in my lessons and where I’m going. Click the link below to download it and print for your own use. Go ahead and print as many as you need, preferably each time you begin a new lesson..
Learning Notebook – Download a Copy
*Not all languages will have an Alphabet tab. So if you don’t see one, then don’t worry about it.