Try flashcards for learning a foreign language
My name is Mark Biernat. I believed learning a foreign language was more about having a gift. I was wrong. Now I speak one of the hardest languages in the world and am learning others. I used a very simply method, flashcards. With my flashcards you can download a language directly to your brain in a few months.
Why use flash cards, aren’t they kind of retro?
I learned Polish with flashcards. They are simple and effective. They are not a gimmick. They work.
Where do I use flash cards?
Train, plane, beach, etc.
Why are my flash cards different?
These are visual flashcards. You will learn like a child with visual associations. On one side you have only an image, no translation, this is how a child learns though visual association. If you had English text it would go in your brain another way. This is where most language flash card producers go wrong. My flash cards work.
My cards are playing card size, they are large and colorful and clear, not small print or cheap paper.
My words are specially selected for conversational language, they are the words you need to know to learn a language in a week. I have studied etymology and linguistics, I give you the root verbs, the master verbs. Verbs that once you know, you can alter slightly and they become new words. This is called word building.
I give you phonics for the infinitives. I have found phonics are better than high tech or complicated things in learning a language.
My visual method of learning where you learn by images, beautiful images, is more effective than Rosetta Stone and a heck of a lot cheaper.
What is visual learning?
The majority of your brains sensory processing is connected to visual processing. My cards on one side have an image (with the English word in smaller print at the bottom which you can cover with your thumb when using) on the other side Polish or Russian or Ukrainian for example.
You will learn like a child, connecting the image with the new word, rather than translating directly. This is how you learned your first language. Most flashcards have huge English words and unclean images in terms of meaning or a useless concrete noun. With my visual learning flashcards you will start speaking in a week your target language. These flash cards for you will be radically effective, try it and you will see.
Why don’t most flashcards work?
Most flash cards focus on ridiculously useless words like ‘animals’ and ‘body parts’. Language is an abstraction and abstract words are what you need to speak and communicate.
For example, how many times a week do you use verbs (what my flash cards teaches you) vs how many times a week do you use zoo animals or parts of the body (the words most flashcards and programs teach you) in conversation? Think about this.
Why else are pictures important for flash cards?
Pictures are not only important for visual learning, but they teach you the meaning. For example, in English we have the word “get”, while in Polish you have about 30 different meanings for the word “get”. A picture is worth a thousand words. Your brain will see the picture and make the association, rather than having to figure out the context by reading sentences. This is another reason why word lists or none picture flash cards are lame. If you want to learn a language do it like you mean it. Try my flash cards. They work.
Why start with verbs?
Verbs are the soul of the language.
On the other hand, phrases are what most books and programs start with. Useless. Phrases and sentences are much too complex to learn at first. With phrases and sentences you will become frustrated and give up. Sentences are other people’s ideas. With verbs you will learn to create your own sentences. This is self expression. I do not know too many third year students of a language that have mastered all the verbs I give you. Why? they focus on the wrong words.
How long will it take be to start speaking my target language?
With my verbs you can express almost any idea in a week. You will not be fluent in a week but you will be able to express yourself, even if you sound a little funny. However you will be speaking your target language, expressing most ideas in about week. Can any book or school or program achieve that?
Learn my 200 verbs in the past present and future with “I”, “you” and “he/she/it” forms and it will be better than taking any language course, program or learning any pet phrases from a book. My cards have over 2000 verb forms, this is a good part of the language.
My flashcards have hundreds of words used in sentences.
Just try them, it will work.
What about nouns?
You will learn nouns anyway, once you know the basic verbs. Nouns are easy and fun to learn. Once you learn verbs, it will be like fill in the blanks or connect the dots the language will make sense. In contrast most people learn nouns first and not verbs. The result is they do not understand the sense of the sentences they hear, and get frustrated.
Further, the nouns people learn in programs are often useless at first. Examples of nouns most language programs start with are fruits, animals, days of the week, months, parts of the body etc. These words will not get you speaking the language. They are mostly concrete nouns you will just meet anyway, but not used everyday. You do not talk to your friends about farm animals and body parts.
In contrast, verbs are the soul of every language. Every sentence needs a verb, not every sentence in a language needs nouns. For example, you can use ‘it’ or ‘that’ at first instead of a noun. Once you learn my verbs you will be able to start to read books in your target language. My verbs are specially chosen for communication.
Don’t some programs give you verbs?
If other flashcard programs give you verbs they are verbs like ‘jump’ or ‘smile’ and other verbs of physical action, which the authors of the programs use as they are easy to illustrate, but they are not essential for day to day survival. Further, verbs of physical motion you can explain to your listener by acting out, but abstract verbs are harder to convey and this is what you need to know. Words and verbs in other programs seem nice but they will not get you speaking your language. If you want to speak a language in a week you need my words. My verbs are ‘all hands on deck’, learn a to speak a language in a week words.
Remember most verbs that are useful are abstract. I give you only the most useful verbs.
Why more is not better?
Master the basics. Others programs give you way too many words like 2000 (many of the words you will not use or forget), I have boxes of these flash cards at home and I do not use them (along with many language books and programs). Piles of flashcards is not what you need. You need just the right amount with a few verbs tenses. You will learn these words well. It is better to master the important words, than a lot of words poorly.
You need words that will be used in day to day conversation. Learn my 200 verbs and the language will come together. Actually each card will has over 10 new words if you include conjugations, so I give you lots of things to learn. It is better to master the basics well then lots of things poorly. This is why I created my cards in this way.
What about verb books?
Not too helpful. I have never know anyone to learn a language from a book; however, I have know many people that have learned a language with flashcards.
Books have too much information and are not in a drilling format. There is a book 301 verbs. Most of the verbs in there I would never use, really. I give you past, present and future in “I”, “you” and “he/she/it” forms. Again the exact words that you need to know.
What about electronic flashcards or word lists?
My personal experience is they are not very effective. Great for the seller or easy content for their website, but learners do much better with real flashcards, not lists or online tutorials. You can not learn a language from lists or grammar tables. You need to be active, like flash cards. You need visual learning.
Real flash cards are relaxing to use. Programs and online learning means your will be staring at a computer screen, this hurts my eyes, further computer screens have erratic patterns of light, not good for the brain to learn. With my flash cards you are not staring at a computer screen. My flashcards are simple and it works. I do not learn well on the computer maybe my eyes or brain does not like to take information in this way.
Similarly kids can not learn a language from audio cds, why? Kids need concrete things (like physical flashcards) to learn. If you want to learn a language, try my flash cards and you will see the difference. Phonics are better than cds. This is my personal experience.
What about expensive programs?
Some programs are very pricey and gimmicky, If you are going to pay that much you could get a private tutor for a year. Throwing money at a problem does not fix the problem. Buying expensive programs will not teach you a language. On the other hand, just try to learn my words I give you and you will be on your way to speaking a language, then try to read books and you will see the sentences will start to make sense.
Memory and flashcards that is the connection?
Most memory problems are a recall not a formation problem. Flashcards train your brains to extract the information from your brain in a flash.
What is the price?
My flashcards are the best product on the market hands down. If you want to communicate in your target language in about a week, it is worth it. Go for quality. It is about the price of a meal or what you might spend on soda in a month, but learning a language will last you a life time.
Who am I and what is my connection with languages?
I stink at languages. But I love learning them. Therefore, I have been able to learn Polish and I am learning Ukrainian and Russian then next Chinese. For me learning a language is more about knowing the right method. I have taught languages in Europe for many years and have had personal experience with learning disabilities and neuroscience. I sincerely want to learn. I wrote this program for all those who do not feel they have the gift for languages.
I created these flashcards because I know what it take for a normal person, not a language genius, to learn a language. I will also have software and and mp3 program where you can learn a language with music. But right now I have flash cards, they are simple and they work. Give it a try. Thank you.