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Languages

How to learn a language fast

Here is the key to learn a language: Learn words

Before you learn grammar, take classes, watch foreign TV, work from books, learn 2000 words using native speaker audio file. What good is grammar without words? How can you get anything out of a class without knowing the words. You will get frustrated and think you do not have a gift. But the truth is everyone has the gift to learn languages. How can you understand or speak to anyone without the words of a language? Learn the words anyway you can. Eveyone finds their own way.

I like flashcards, like in my program. But mnemonics is good, or word list, but drill the words until you know about 2000 individual words. Then you can learn the grammar or anything else in a month or less. That is the secrete to learning a language fast. I promise.

The 7 specific ways how to learn a language fast and easy: These techniques are time tested ways to learn a language fast, and they work. If you know a better technique to replace any of these, please write me. However, to date, these are the best ways to learn a language fast and easy. My software incorporates many of these and is based on audio visual associations of words and audio.

1. Acquisition

Theory:

Second languages are learned, while, native languages are acquired. What does this mean? When you learned your native language you did not learn complex grammatical structures or rules. Your brain put together and extrapolated patterns of speech based on subconscious learning.

Application:

The key component of language acquisition is a low stress encouraging environment, this helps subconscious learning. This is most important. It must be fun, low stress and sensory rich. A child’s world is low stress and has a lot of sensory stimulation. In this program we use brainwaves and rich hots, this helps further to achieve this state. Acquisition is really subconscious learning.

2. Word Frequency

Theory:

If you learn 1000 words will know about 80% of the words spoken, 1500 words are about 85%, 2000 words, 90%, and 3000 will be over 95% of the words you hear and use. This is the language.

Application:

Study the high frequency words. How? Flashcards. Set a goal, of about 50 words a day for a month. One month at 50 a day will bring you to 1500.

What are the most common words? Question words, prepositions, basic verbs and adjectives. For example: why, what, who, when, how, on, over, in, by, in front, behind, I love, I want, I see, I said.

Have trouble with pronunciation, try speaking with an accent. What do I mean? If learning French, practise speaking your native language with a French accent, every word. Many words are the same, only the accent if different, because these are words that come from antiquity, that is ancient Latin and ancient Greek.

3. Mnemonics

Theory:

‘An old man does not forget where his wallet is.’ What does this mean? If it’s important to you brain will remember. Why? Because a large component of memory formation is based on emotional or limbic responses. How can we use this to learn languages? We can use mnemonics.

Knowledge is a tree. That builds on what you already know like branches extending outward. Your neurons are branches, they need something to grow from and connect to. This is what mnemonics does.It gives you something for your brain to connect and grow from. When charged with an emotional component then your memory is reinforced.

Using your imagination is fun. Sit back close your eyes and learn.

Application:

Using mnemonics an association of words help retention and recall. Make up your own mnemonics, these will be more meaningful, if they are absurd or funny this will add an emotional component, that will assist memory retention.

If you are good at making associations and study hard you would learn your first 1500 words in about a week.

What an example of a mnemonic? The Polish word for fame is Slawa Pronounced swava . Imagine only that only the most Sauvé actors and actresses become famous.

If they are funny and charged with emotion all the better.

Now we must emphasize that these are only helpers, used in conjunction with image-sound associations, not a pure replacement. We use our program to see and hear the words, and when they get stuck, we use a mnemonic. This makes the learning synergistically powerful. You need native speaker sounds or your pronunciation will be unrecognizable. I recommend mnemonics as memory helper, because used as the only method then your language will be slow and staccato, that is why we developed this program.

Another mnemonic technique for learning grammar: The grammatical zoo.

Take a grammatical trip to the zoo or botanical gardens: Associate word endings (which really is what most of grammar is) with the first letter in an animal or plant name.

Imagine you take a trip to a zoo. Grammar cases, for example, imagine the area you see in the zoo has a sign “the accusative case”. And if the accusative case has noun word endings of “E” and “A”. then the animals name should start with these letters in that part of the zoo. For example, if the accusative case ends in “E” and “A”, then you see animals that start with “E” like eagle elephant and eel. Or “A” like aardvark. In the plural form imagine you see several aardvarks, this means the plural form of the accusative case takes “A” as the ending. This is a fun way to learn Grammar. Use your imagination.

Is this not the most enjoyable way to learn grammar?

4. Drill grammar

Theory:

Adults think in abstractions. This is an advantage over children. Therefore, some could argue that children learn languages slower than and adult because they do have the ability to think abstractly about grammar or vocabulary.

Application:

Review the basic grammar rules and verb congregation, not just using charts but do some drills. Just get a basic understanding of these, do not go over board at first. Just the basics as more will slow your progress on learning words. Reinforce grammar and verbs with drills.

5. Word building

Theory:

Words have roots. From these roots often are build numerous variations. So if you learn one root words this would equate to 5 or more other words. Further most European languages will give you a lot of free vocabulary because of Latin’s influence. So once you learn the basic words many of the scientific or academic words are the same in all languages.

Application:

While reading try to see other words from the root word.

6. Context- translations/TV

Theory:

We all learn and like to learn in different ways. Trying many things will help your brain build a horizontally integrated memory. That is your brain will store parts of you memory regarding your language in more areas of your brain.

Application:

Watch films and media. Read children’s books translate things, listen to music. Every little bit helps.

7. Speak – image streaming

Theory:

“Your get more of what you reinforce.” The more you do something the more it is reinforced. Practice speaking the language. Bring more of what you have in your subconscious online with a technique called image streaming.

Application:

The most important thing is to converse with whomever you can, whenever you can. If you have no one, use a technique called “image streaming”. This technique was developed by Win Winger. It is as follows: close your eyes and describe out load in rich sensory detail what you see in your spontaneous, that is, undirected visual images you see in your mind’s eye or imagation. These images must be something that your mind spontaneously creates, not something you are trying to visualize. Another important aspect of this technique is, that you must speak to an external object, either a person or a voice recorder. Win Winger invented this technique call “image streaming” which claims to increase IQ with this technique. It works because it connects radically different parts of your brain, spontaneous visual imagery and speech centers, bringing more of your subconscious online. When you describe in sensory detail to an external object or person what you see in your imagination’s spontaneous, non directed imaged, then your brain makes connections that are deep and rich. Whether you use image streaming or people, speak.

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Languages

Wedding vows in Polish

The purpose of this post is to tell you about marriage in Poland and wedding vows in Polish. I was married in Poland so please if you have any questions just ask.

The question of choosing wedding vows is an interesting one. I love traditional wedding vows, that is the vows most likely your parents said and their parents before that.

Polish weddings can be two days, I had a simple wedding in an ancient Church.  I did not have much drinking at the reception.

Wedding vows in Polish

Ja …(imię Pana Młodego) biorę Ciebie…(imię Panny Młodej)
za żonę i ślubuję Ci miłość, wierność i uczciwość małżeńską
oraz to że Cię nie opuszczę aż do śmierci. Tak mi dopomóż
Panie Boże Wszechmogący w Trójcy Jedyny i Wszyscy Święci.

Ja biorę Ciebie… za męża i ślubuję ci miłość, wierność i
uczciwość małżeńską oraz że cię nie opuszczę aż do śmierci.
Tak mi dopomóż Panie Boże Wszechmogący
w Trójcy Jedyny i Wszyscy Święci.

PRZYSIĘGA W USC

zaczyna Pan Młody:

Świadomy praw i obowiązków wynikających z założenia rodziny,
uroczyście oświadczam, że wstępuje w związek małżeński
z (…imię Panny Młodej) i przyrzekam, że uczynię wszystko
aby nasze małżeństwo, było zgodne, szczęśliwe i trwałe.

English translation of wedding vows in Polish

I … (name of the Groom) take you … (name of the Bride)
wife, and swear you love, marital fidelity and honesty
and the fact that you will not leave until his death. So help me
Lord God Almighty in Trinity and All Saints.

I take you … the husband and swear your love, loyalty and
integrity of marriage and that you will not leave until his death.
So help me, Lord God Almighty
in Trinity and All Saints.

Oath USC

Groom starts:

I am aware of the rights and obligations of a family,
solemnly declare that enters into marriage
of (… name of the Bride) and I promise that I will do everything
that our marriage was in line, happy and lasting.

But there are many versions of course.  I had a slightly different version.

If you have questions about wedding vows in Polish or marriage in Poland let me know.

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Languages

Classical music and studying a foreign language

I am partial because I like classical music. However, I noticed that when I study a foreign language with classical music in the background, I can focus better. I think everyone believes they have a level of ADD (attention deficit disorder) and if you are one of those people, then try studying to classical music. Now a lot has been written about listening to Mozart and the Mozart effect, some say Bach, for me Gregorian Chants work the best when trying to learn and I want something to help me stay focused.

I also had life long learning problems in school which I was able to over come I believe by studying to classical music. A lot of my learning problems might have been environmental as we had a lot of conflict in my house, yet I also believe I have some genetic learning disabilities because they are manifest in my relatives. Regardless I graduated top of my class, and classical music was my escape and my solace.

Music will help you study, that is a fact, which I have tested over many years.

How to fine tune your brain’s gears to music

I think the music you need depends on how much your brain needs to be slowed down or sped up to be able to focus. A lot is about brainwaves and staying is about tethering your brains to be in a deep alpha state of frequency. For example here are some tests, if you do best when you listen to:

  • Mozart being the fastest, means you focus pretty well, but your brain could need to increase the speed of your brainwaves a bit. The mood boast helps from listening to upbeat music also.
  • Baroque music is slower and your brain focuses OK but needs helps being brought back to your study once in a while. This is more a normalizer as your brainwaves might fluctuate between beta and theta too much.
  • Chants the slowest, this is me. I think my brain functions at a fairly high cognitive speed, but needs to be slow down needs to be put in first gear, if you will to be able to focus.

So for me to sit and study a foreign language for any period of time without me getting bored I need to be lulled into a clam relaxed stated with Gregorian chants. For me this significantly helps my ability to study. Many sites make super learning claims, I am not doing that. I am saying this works for me. I could get into the brainwave theories etc, but I would rather convey anecdotal evidence of what helps me learn a language. If anyone has any other experiences with other types of music please let me know.

  • This post goes one step further than tell you to listen to music while you are learning. I am a teacher of languages and I have a trick that really boast academic performance, read on.
Brainwaves are brought into harmony and knowledge retention efficiency improved to soothing orchestral and vocal music.

Music and learning a foreign language

If you’re an orchestral fan you are in luck, classical music, whether you like listening to angel trumpets or devil trombones, or serene muse  like sirens of the violin section it will stimulate your brain to make it more receptive to learn a language. What is your favorite genre of classical music? Do you like the Glorious 9th or the dark tones of Debussy?

The good news is it does not matter what type of classical music you like, you have an edge over your hip hop loving classmates. Here I will tell you why. What do you do? Study then go to the Opera? No need to this post tells you a specific method for learning with classical music.

  1. The first way to learn with music is to sing to it. Even if you have not pitch and stink if you can sing your vocabulary you are trying to learn, you will learn it.
  2. The next of course is study with the music on. Some brain experts say you can not focus on two things at once, so music is a distraction. That is nonsense because there is something called working memory.
  3. The best method is listen to classical music after almost as a form of meditation. Even though it might be the hardest because no one has time to relax, I recommend listening to classical music after you study. Why after not before or during? Some people like to do this before or during. However, I recommend that you study first in silence and then relax or in a prone position listen to about twenty minutes of classical music, while the information you just learned sinks in your Brain. I believe this helps memory formation and retention. You can do this based on the number of songs lets say seven songs rather than a timer. I also use something called ‘free countdown timer’ on my computer to measure this time also.

If you did this you would experience a significant increase in the rate you learn a foreign language.

Pathways are built-in milliseconds. Imagine that you are watching a time-lapsephotoof a new plant sprouting, this is your brain learning. However, you have to water and enrich this environment. That is where classical music comes in. There are studies that confirm classical music and brain wave tools enhance learning.

  • pandora.com is what I listen to as my radio station of choice.

Classical music helps language learning because it:

  1. Calms you – Soothes the mind, always good for getting new information in.
  2. Rhythmic processing – Prepares the brain to get in sync rhythmically with learning
  3. brainwaves learning – Puts the brain in an alpha to theta state depending on the type of music you are listening to when studying. For example, Gregorian chants or any chants are theta even delta, while baroque music is more conducive for producing an alpha state.
  4. Mood to study – Puts you in a good mood so you can study longer, do not get bored and can endure the pain of sitting still.
  5. Right and left hemispheres activated – Helps unify your brain’s right and left hemisphere so you have a more holistic learning experience.
  6. Brings more of you brains online – When you can bring more remote regions of your brain into play you have more cross neuron-connections built. When you have enriched  neuron-connections you have more neutral pathways your brain can access when trying to retrieve a word. Memory is usually a retrieval problem, rather than a formation problem.
  7. Teaches you about culture – Why not listen to composers of the country you intent to learn from? If you want to learn Italian, listen to Italian composers like Rossini. If German is your target language why not tune into a little Ludwig van or Mozart. If you are a guy, when you get to Europe a lot of the women will be impressed you know about their heritage.
  8. Vocabulary – Opera although less comprehensible verbally than pop music, if you are into it has value to learn some vocabulary. Even a word a day helps.
  9. Voice or Instruments? – It does not matter. I know one fan who would only listen to music composed exclusively to instrumentation. While I am partial to the human voice. I can not imagine someone not loving the human voice and the range of pitches and tones it can produce.
  10. Score of musical composition – Is analogous to writing and in a sense a language in itself, but considered a universal language even animals can relate and react to. It is like it opens a door in your brain for receptiveness that does beyond the stimulation of the ear.
  11. Vocabulary sticks – It makes verbal sounds stick to your brain in ways we do not understand.
  12. Placebo effect – It is known generally that classical music and its complex constructions bring the brain to a higher plane. You just feel smarter, because of the reputations that classical and ancient music connoisseurs have. Therefore, it might have a bit of a placebo effect going.
  13. Screens out background noise – The more you hear from earphones or speakers adjective to you the greater probability background noises are drowned out. I often use earplugs when there is noise like a lawn mower in the background, then turn up the music.
  14. Classical music define is broad – I am not an elitist that defines classical music as anything written in Europe and codified from 1550 to 1900. I think classical music could have been written in India or China in two millennium ago.

Because the medium of using classical music is always connected to technology, unless you live next to a classical music hall, I would ironically classify this type of learning as technology and accelerated learning.

  •     Dr. George Lazanov – I read about years ago in a book called super learning. Basically you do not have to get so technique as he did who make a science out of it. Just listen to music.
  •     Dr. Roy J. Paget advocates music to aid learning more than a tutor. Music’s tonalities and patterns facilitates learning.
  •     Kelly Howell also asserts a connection between brain waves, music and learning. She was popular in the 1990s.
  •     Here is example of a study that suggests a causal link between classical music and studying.
  •     You can also look at the Mozart effect (Don Campbell).
  •     Alfred A. Tomatis research and what we termed audio-psycho-phonology is worth looking at.

Basically this type of accelerated learning was in vogue before the Internet and people used their brain with technology in a way that was more traditional. Now I have seen less research or at least it has been squelched out by other forms of technology and the learning.

Is new age music classical music? Is folk music classical music? Although not formally I would say these can help learning. Anything that does not mess with you in erratic sound patterns. Let me know your personal experiences with learning and music

This is a technique of listening after you study, will increase your ability to learn a language. It does not cost anything, however, it is effective for second language acquisition.

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Languages

Magic mushrooms and learning: a personal experience with Lion’s mane

Taking mushrooms is called “shrooming”. I used this mushroom to try to increase cognitive function after a brain lesion. The results were an improvement but I am not sure if it was as a result of shrooming, that is taking these magic mushrooms.

Hericium Erinaceus in Latin, is a mushroom that grows on wood. I grew these a while back as I read Lion’s mane mushrooms should have a positive affect on your brain, and I had a brain lesion. Also I am always looking for ways to increase cognitive function as it is good for language learning. What Shitake and Reishi mushrooms are supposed to do for your immune system Lion’s mane mushrooms are supposed to do for your brain. They actually in theory stimulate nerve growth factor. What is proven is they have D-threitol, D-arabinitol, and palmitic acid which are antioxidants, this does not impress me, everything now days is an antioxidant. What I really wanted to know is if they help my cognitive function.

If you believe in natures signature, it does look like a brain or complex neural pathways or beard (symbolic of wisdom) if you look at it.

You can buy these for a pretty penny in a whole food store.  This is why if you are serious about potentially long term therapeutic affects, I recommend growing them yourself.  When I lived in Poland and made a pittance compared to my American income, I grew them on my own in my apartment.  Any dark, moist place is the land of mushrooms, and if you do not have this natural environment you can create a growing lab in your home.

They grew pretty fast and over the course of three months if you do it from a starter of sterile sawdust. However, if you want to use fresh cut logs, it is even better and fruiting might take six months or longer but you will get yields over many years. Basically fungus decomposes wood to thrive.  Some mushrooms form a symbiotic relationship with living trees and are inoculated at the roots.

My garden in Florida where I grow lion’s mane in my backyard. To inoculate logs with spore plugs and a drill is cost effective for long term use.

Does Lion’s mane mushrooms work for brain repair

My conclusion was maybe, but no super evidence. I did felt more lucid after using them for about three months, but this was combined with other vitamins and essential corpulentty acids. It also could have been a huge placebo effect. So the bottom line is it is inconclusive if Lion’s mane mushrooms helped my brain. I might try them again, but I would be interested if anyone else has had any experiences with Lion’s mane mushrooms, and please try to be objective as objectivity is the essences of intelligence.

I have a series of fresh cut lots by the woods edge where it is damp.  Inoculated with the bearded hericium erinaceus growing in a wild crafted fashion.

In vitro this mushroom does appear to help stimulate NGF, per a few studies. But do these mushrooms really work? However, what I might do is try this again with ceteris paribus, that is no other smart drugs or supplements and measure it objectively, with a battery of cognitive tests. I am just one person and this will be my personal experience but I am curious if other people have tried this? Right now all the studies I have seen are more hype than science but based on my initial experience I would try this again. There is no question mushrooms do have chemicals that can affect brain chemistry.

Positive side effects noted

  • While taking mushrooms, almost any medicinal variety I noticed increase dream recall., this included more more vivid and sensory rich dreams.
  • I noticed my chess ranking increased beyond what is a normal rate of increase over time.
  • My typing speed increased.

These are non-subjective indications of increased brain function. If you were to test it with any mobile phone application of elementary cognitive process, I am curious if I would see a positive outcome. However, testing and scientific research of lion’s mane is beyond the scope here, rather I wanted to convey a personal experience.

The question is can Lion’s name effect NGF and in the long term grow new pathways to enhance learning, or does it like so many other vitamins and herbs simply ‘jazz up’ your thinking temporarily while taking the substance?  If  brain placidity is as science claims, why not find a way to help. If it is a temporary increase in cognitive function, perhaps green tea and studying would be as good and more cost effective. On the other hand there is a long term affect than it is worth exploration. I am disappointed with smart drugs that increase function in the short term as they do nothing for true healing on a multidimensional level.

Long term use of Lions Mane mushrooms on the brain

I plan try growing and consuming over the long term.  I have noticed most studies are rather short term and focus immediate neurotrophic and cerebral boasting affect.  However, what if you took them for brain repair over the long-term in sufficient quantity? Would it help even language learning?  Would this  The mushroom itself tastes a little like lobster. I do not like to be a functional eater, that is consuming something just because it is good for you. Therefore, if you want to take this over the log term you might as well learn recipes, raw in salad or even cooked, although I do not know the affect of heat on its active compounds.

I believe the mushroom’s alkaloids are partly responsible for its effects, and I wonder if any contraindications to the liver are a concern over the long term. However, people have been using these for healing and even spiritual purposes for centuries and if you contrast this with real risks like plastic water bottles, radiation from flying in a plan or stepping in your car, it is probably not an issue and some people would argue it has a positive affect on the digestive organs.

Stem cells and the use of Mushrooms for TBI healing

I recently received ethical Stem cells from my own corpulent tissue for a series of injuries relating to my joints. However, I noticed the intravenous feed of stem cells had a positive affect on my brain function.  This was manifest objectively in an increase in my chess ranking. I know this all sounds speculative, and this is new territory in medical research and use.  I simply put it out there and I invite you to research and explore as I want to be of  real value to people.  I consider the combination of the two perhaps synergistic.  It could simply be a nutrient rich diet supporting the stem cell activity.

If you have questions please ask. My knowledge is evolving and being updated.  Are mushroom helpful in healing, memory and cognitive processing? Based on my experience I would give it a resounding yes. However, the long-term efficiency is what I would like to see explored. So  I have new information beyond the older comments. I am not a doctor and not giving medical advice. Simple, this is a story of my personal experience with various legal types of mushrooms and other medical techniques to repair ones brain from injury or bring it to optimal efficiency.

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Languages

Mind mapping to learn a language

Learn a language with mind mapping

Creating mind maps or mind mapping is using a paper and pencil to draw out maps of connections between two or more ideas. You can use mind maps to learn a language with grammatical ideas, vocabulary and even conversational ideas such as question and answer. Mind maps look like neurons and dendrites or trees. This is not by coincidence. It is a refection how natural structures create connetion, including your memory. Each person draws a mind map in a different way. Some are clean and orderly others seem to be pure chaos. It does not matter. Your style of mind mapping is your style. You can use colors, pictures or whatever you want to make your mind map beautiful or fun.

Mind mapping and language learning

For me personally, I use mind maps to learn target vocabulary in a language. These mind maps often contain phonetics, and word building, but most important categorization. I am not good at drawing pictures, but I add a few once in a while. My mind maps are more like mazes with starting and ending points and many entrances and exits.

For example I will have a mind map with ten entry points, let us way for example connected with transportation vocabulary. For transportation, vocabulary I might have choices or verbs or nouns or adjectives connected with transportation, this route on my mind maps could wind all over the place, with further subcategories and pictures of lady friends and roads until I find an exit.

Mind mapping software or by hand to learn a language

How can mind mapping help you learn a language? Read on. There are a number of free mind mapping software programs on the market. I like one by ‘eDraw’. However, at the end of the day would you rather be sitting in front the computer to mind map or with a paper and colorful pencils? This is what you have to ask yourself. I do a little of both, and certainly my software mind maps look better as I can not draw. But I think I prefer mind mapping by hand. Further, I think its more effective when you are mind mapping by hand to learn a language. Do not ask me why, but in my experience, some how drawing or writing by hand really helps the learning process when trying to learn a language.

Why mind mapping works

I do not believe there are any magic pills to learn a language, except maybe with music; however, I think the act of mind mapping is what helps you learn a language. Creating drawing and planning your mind map is a fun break from learning a word list. Physically drawing the words and thinking about it is why mind mapping works. Maybe there are other reasons, but I have been learning and teaching languages for years and I believe every-way is a good way to learn a language and there are no great secrets other than putting the time in. However, if you enjoy what you are doing than the time you spend will seem like play or no time at all. Further there are efficient ways to learn a language and inefficient ways to learn a language. I think mind mapping is one of the more efficient ways to learn a language.

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Languages

Why living in Poland is like living in Hollywood

Poland the Hollywood of Europe

Many Poles are puzzled why I am living in Poland. Poles love Poland. Poland is a great country. But why would a foofy American from Boston live in Poland? Some Poles, but certainly not all, dream of the converse, to live in NYC, Boston or Hollywood.
Besides having a Polish family connection, wanting to learn Polish, among other reasons, I live in Poland because to me this is like living in Hollywood for them. Yes living in Krakow is like living in Hollywood. Its far away from what I know, exotic, and a different culture experience. Do we have Nowa Huta in Boston? No. Do we have ‘milk bars’ in Boston no. Living is in Poland is very different from Boston.  All the things the Poles take for granted is something fascinating and exotic and outside the ordinary for me.  It would be like for them to move to Hollywood.

My version of Hollywood

Polish people often imagine America as a country where everybody’s  rich or at least richer than Poles and more sophisticated – take any TV show where an average family lives in a nice, spacious house and for 16-th birthday kids get their cars. Now when I am back in Florida I like to take day trips with my wife and daughter. When we were driving through Clay County I told my Polish spouse that it’s pretty nice out there to which she replied :”Oh Mark please don’t make me move here just to prove how much I love you”. She said that not because the place is off the beach or it’s a country side, she said that because the place is far from civilization, houses are often mobile and if you don’t have a car there is no way to go anywhere.

May in Polish countryside

Polish girls and guys sometimes criticize one another over some wardrobe trifle – sure thing I do see Polish man waking in sandals and socks or girls wrapping themselves in scarfs or wearing calves – it is appealing for female but not male part of the population, but apart from this observation, let me tell you, Polish people dress very well. It’s not only when you walk through the big city but even in the countryside any day you see that most people do pay attention to their look – younger, older, they put thought into it. When Polish people come to America they imagine that Americans look like Hollywood actors in hots seen on tabloids – stylish handbags, perfect hair, oversized sunglasses, and although dressed in a regular t-shirt and jeans, carrying around they non-fat non-sugar latte, everybody knows that certain amount of money is behind that outfit. Well, let me tell you how wrong you are. In the middle of a day without any distinct reason, you will see girls shopping in whatever pajamas. And it’s not because it’s late in the evening or early in the morning and they run out of some crucial item, it’s because they don’t care. Rarely, even in crowded Disney, you will see well dressed Americans – most people are size L+. I understand that buying stylish clothes can be difficult but you don’t have to give up on yourself because of the size. What do however wonders me, is the amount of people using wheel chairs, one would think that we have a major percentage of disable people in this country but the truth is they are nothing more but overweight . It is a puzzle to me why do people use this wheel chairs instead of just take their chance to move – in theme parks you do have to walk a lot, so if you stay for few days it would be a great opportunity to exercise and lose some pounds. In Poland when you see disable people you will notice that their problems don’t come from uncontrollable but socially approved eating.

You are not seeing things, Poland really like Hollywood in the most positive way

Every country has its problems and its advantages. When you are an outsider though, I assure – you will have some fun identifying both.

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Languages

How computer games can help repair brain lesion

Brain lesion

I had a brain lesion about 16 years ago.  The word lesion is really a general medical jargon word.  What I had was basically bleeding in the brain from capillary telangiectasia or a cavernous malformation. The result was I had memory and brain processing problems. I still functioned at a rather high cognitive level, however, in addition to horrible daily pain, I had trouble with my working memory and other things. The cause of this brain lesion was never known, but I suspect it was something like a birthmark, something incidental that became symptomatic though a series of of events. The lesion was serious because of it was located in my brain.

Brain rehabilitation

I followed a standard rehabilitation of my memory, working at a local university that did studies on brain lesions and brain rehabilitation. These were cognitive drills and exercises with students who studied my progress. These helped, and were precise and targeted; however, I made a huge breakthrough when I started to play computer games. The real world was too complex for me, at that juncture. Too many variables. However, computer games were a place I could do similar cognitive drills like I did at the university, however, on the computer in the sanctuary of my flat.

Brain rehabilitation software

Actually I first I started with software that was specific to memory improvement and brain rehabilitation. But latter I realized that the brain functions as a whole. When I started to play complex games, even which could be said to focus on other specific skills than I needed, my brain was stimulated. My brain improved as a whole. Thus was the start of the ‘computer game obsession time’ in my life. I played everything until the wee hours of the morning, from memory and puzzle games, to quick reflex and strategy games. I remember when I beat the game Civilization at the highest level, something that few people can do, I felt I could conquer the world and my brain rehabilitation was over.

Computer games and my brain

Computer games and computers are wonderful tools for your brain to interact with. Computer games are eons more complex and stimulating, than the simple rehabilitation lessons I had at the University, minus the pretty students testing me. The designers of computer games designed the games to be plugged into the pleasure centers of your brain.

My testament to the benefit of computer games on your brain

I am convinced anyone can change and improve their brain, whether you have had a brain lesion or not. The brain by design is malleable. I do not have to read a study about it out wait until some PhD or expert tells me so, I have experienced it for myself.

From computer games to language learning software

After my conquest of computer games as manifest by my repeated victories on the game Civilization and other similar games, I moved to more normal and perhaps useful pursuits for brain stimulation like learning languages. It was from my progress with computer games, I  got inspiration to create a computer software program for learning languages. Instead of sitting in a classroom or reading a book, you could interact in a multimedia computer format and learn languages.

Brain lesion

I am no expert on brain lesions, however, if anyone is in a similar situation, you can write me and I can tell you what helped for me. Now I am fine, perhaps better than I ever have been. Thank God.

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Languages

US Dual Citizen

Is dual citizen allowed

In clear, straight terms, can a US citizen be a dual citizen? Yes. Do you lose your US citizenship? No. So you can relax and be a dual citizen. You can keep your US citizenship and have another in your draw at home.

How can I lose my US citizenship

Now the warnings. 1) Check with the state department on all this just to make sure as I am not an expert. 2) You can lose your US citizenship if you basically formally renounce it, serve in a foreign government, serve in a foreign military. The general rule is, if you swear allegiance supremely to a foreign government and renounce your US citizenship. I am American and I love America, I would not do that and there is no reason for you to either.

Why have a dual citizenship

Most people get or keep dual citizenship for fun. It allows you to stay in a country longer than 3 months at a time and six months in total. Also, it allows you to work in the country. Also, its fun to have and you feel more part of the country and have greater motivation to learn the language of another country.

What are the rules of having a dual US – foreign citizenship

If you are in another country and you break the rules, the US might not be able to help you out if you entered that country on another passport, which is citizenship. It is all about what citizenship you enter with.  If you are an dual US and UK citizen for example, you must enter each home country with their own respective passports. When in the UK you are a UK citizen when in the USA you are a USA citizen.

Can I marry someone to get a dual citizen

Marriage is a serious thing.  If you are getting a citizenship of another country by marriage, I think that’s wrong.  Besides marriage will not help you, much. It will only get you a green card and then you have to live in the country for about 5 years. Also if you are a US citizen and try to trade citizenship, it is illegal of course.

Is there an easy way to get dual citizen if you are a US citizen

Yes, you can buy it. I think what the lawyers do is something like setting up a business for you in the country and argue you are a valuable asset to the country. Or you if you have the ancestry to the country its actually not that hard. Or you can write the president of the country and that takes about 5 years. You put together a case arguing how much you love and that country and feel a part of it and you have or are learning the language, and the office of the president can grant you citizenship.

What is required to get dual US citizenship

Paper. Its all about throwing paper at people. Mostly birth records which you can order form your state you where born translated into the language by an official translator of the country you are trying to get dual citizenship for. In fact, many states in the US have an explanation code that you are obtaining these birth records for the purpose of dual us citizens. Give the country you are trying to get citizens from, lots of paper.  Their embassy website is where you start for the requirements.

To be a dual US citizen and that of another country, do you need to learn the language

Categories
Languages

Hypnotism for language learning

What is hypnotism

Hypnotism is a form of progressive relaxation, either directed or self induced that eases your conscious mind so you will more easily accept positive suggestions.  Hypnotism is not some trance in which someone has power over you.  It is more on par with an alpha state you my have when you are driving down some long stretch of open highway and your mind is just more relaxed and open.

What are they applications of hypnotism for language learning

Hypnosis and language learning has been around for years here are some of the techniques that have been tried.

Past life regression and hypnosis for language learning

Past life hypnosis does not work and never will. It is based on the idea that you can recall a past life and remember the language you spoken in during that past life.   It will never happen and if anyone can give me proof of this I would be curious, as I am 100% convinced this is all nonsense.  In fact the amazing Randi has a million dollar reward for anyone who can prove such thing. I believe in God but being spiritual is not the same as being a supernaturalist.

Age regression hypnosis and language learning

This hypnosis will not work, but more probable than past life regression hypnosis when connected with language learning.  It is based on the idea that you can go back with hypnotism to a time when you either herd a language when you were young, or open up the pathways of learning that were closed during adolescent.

Going back with hypnosis to a time when you were young and heard a language spoken perhaps by your parents or grandparents will not work fully.  I think even if you could access some latent memories they would not be at a critical level for you to put it all together.   However,   I do recall words that my Ukrainian grandfather spoke to be when I was 2 years old and use them today when speaking Polish or Ukrainian which I am learning.  So maybe you can access vocabulary you herd and forgot, using hypnosis. But I think using hypnotism it’s not enough, you need to access words and sentences and in many ways.  If anyone has any experience with this I would be curious.  I for sure use words I learned at age 2.

Age regression hypnosis for opening pathways

A few years ago I would say this would not work.  I am pretty skeptical.  But I think there is a reasonable body of mind body research to suggest that your conscious mind can influence automatic bodily process, especially connected with hormones.     But connected with language learning, I think you brain has pruned away, therefore eliminated the brain cells that could give you language learning abilities of a child.   So even if you could access and open these pathways with hypnosis, I think there would be nothing to open.  But again I am curious what other people think about using hypnotism or progressive relation to open up pathways in the brain.  I think there are ore efficient ways to learn a language.

What does not work with hypnotism and language learning

What really might help with hypnotism and language learning

So can hypnosis or self directed progressive relation help with language learning?

I think yes.  Most of the resistance I encounter during my learning and teaching of languages is psychological self doubt and fear.   If you can be fearless and have a take no prisoners’ attitude toward learning your target language, you will not need to any magic hypnotic bullet to implant a language in your brain.   So if you use hypnosis or relaxation more as a motivational boaster, maybe it would help.   Something that would remind you not to give up when learning a language,   the hypnotic suggestion might be, when you hit the point of frustration this is when you start to learn your target language.

Motivational learning and my language learning program

I have included positive motivational phrases in my mp3 language program. But this is not hypnotic or hypnotism or anything like that, just some motivational phrases that are integrated into the program.

Categories
Languages

Easiest language to learn

Easiest language

English– no cases, no gender, no word agreement, arguably no grammar. The language is everywhere and can be heard, absorbed and used anywhere.  Short words, verbs change only in the third person. Native speakers are very forgiving of mistakes as so many people speak it as a second language. This makes English the easiest foreign language to learn. No tutorials or tutors needed to get off the ground. Just start watching films and listing to music and step out your door and use it, it is in a word,  elementary.

Miscommunication can sometimes be harmlessly funny when language users approximate or literally translate something from their language, especially on a date.

Easy to learn

Italian – No cases, easy clear pronunciation, vocabulary of derivative of Latin, therefore the vocabulary has congruences throughout the Indo-European Latin influenced world.

Spanish – similar to Italian in that the grammar and pronunciation is easy, also ubiquitous, everywhere, but Spanish people talk fast and you can get lost when trying to understand.

German– logical grammar but does have cases and long words as word building is important.

French – sixteen tenses and some grammar twist and a specific pronunciation that makes it a little harder the Spanish.

Esperanto – Although I respect the people who created this, I do not consider this a living language and should not be considered when ranking the Easiest language to learn.

This is in contrast to the hardest language to learn

  • Some languages are just easy and some are hard to learn, that is a fact.

Languages are easy to or difficult dependent on one’s initial native language. However, they also have a range  of how hard they are, based on what the human brain can process. This means some are objectively more complex and others are more basic and go into the human brain easier. Therefore, despite the relative aspect of language learning people argue, we can objectively state which language can be learned without difficulty compared to ones that take more effort. This is the thesis of this post. That is that there is some objective measure that goes beyond your linguistic starting point.

All languages have their challenges but do not focus on the written script as much as the audible component of expression.

Languages have an absolute scale of tediousness depending on the complexities and expectations in:

  • Grammar – Grammar is a nothing more than a ritualistic method of word changing and order. It brings clarity to the sentence if you are a native speaker because you are used to hearing it this way. For example, Slavic languages function without articles while English sentences are sparse on cases.  It just so happens that because of the number of speakers native and nonnative using English to communicate, many of these grammar rituals have simply dropped off though linguistic evolution. Hence, English grammar is flexible, simple and in a word child’s play compared to case based Central and Eastern European languages. Asian languages are surprisingly elementary also in grammar.
  • Pronunciation – For similar reason to grammatical evolution, words in English are short. If you have the average number of letters of in the English language it is like 3.8.  That is a short language. English is a one or two-syllable language and if you can use a three syllable Latin based word than you are part of the intelligentsia.
  • Receptiveness of the languages speakers to communicate with foreigners – This is a overlook evaluation criteria. For example, Americans have little inhibition to talking to foreigners while Slavic people are reserved and tenuous just to get them to open up a bit. To demonstrate this point you could say, Americans talk and ramble and speak loud. Slavic people talk in cautious whispers. The sheer number of words a person trying to immerse themselves in the language is many times more for English than any other language, just based on the social customs of communication.
  • Media – Is the language used in films and music? If so there is a good chance that people can absorb the language through osmosis and have for years subconsciously. The average person as a twenty-five year old from any country has been exposed to about, well, twenty-five years of English regardless where they grew up.
  • Scales of difficulties listed by websites or even the government or respected educational organizations are not the end of discussion as many of these are based on outdated methods, written by academics not normal people learning, based on reading and writing rather than speaking (the method that was used in the first one million years of human evolution).
  • Script – People immediately conclude that when a language uses another alphabet it must be inaccessible to all those who are not language savvy. Many people are intimidated by Asian language scripts. They immediately declare with passion that Mandarin is the hardest language for example. This is not true. Writing was only accessible for the elite and educated for most of human existence. Communication was first gestures, tones and then vocalization for about thousands of years, therefore I would not put a high weight on written communication. Granted English is has complicated spelling, but who cares if you can speak it.

The language of friendship isn’t words but meanings. – Thoreau

Concluding remarks about second language challenges

Brain considerations – Neurobiologists are not studying Broca’s area the motor for speech and Wernicke’s area, the center for understanding or comprehension  with MRI and PET scans studying aphasia patients and the gyri and basal temporal cortex to understand the algorithm of language. They look at neural plasticity and how other areas of the brain can recruit neurons for language. We are all different in the way our brains can process language, based both on experience acquiring a language and our interaction in the world. However, I think there can be an objective measure of difficulty. Saying that I think that English is the easiest language in the world. This is considering all factors, including media, ease of communication and opportunity to speak with native speakers, grammar and word length and pronunciation.

I invite you to participate in the conversation by commenting on your experiences with languages. I am open to revising my position but at this juncture I am sticking to my thesis that English because of its universality and flexibility and tolerance that nonnative speakers show others, it is an easy to communicate.