I can read, but can´t listen... comprehension
I am certainly not an expert concerning language learning, however what you described is very characteristic when learning a new language. In my experience, you have to listen, and listen and then listen some more to develop your ability to comprehend what is being said. Steve Kaufman, the creator of LIngQ has a wonderful assortment of You Tube videos that addresses your concerns. You might want to check them out. Best of luck on your journey.
I can't recommend watching shows (without subtitles) highly enough.
Most other media has the native speakers using a public speaking mode which is very abstract and well pronounced.
But you get something out of dramatized speaking you don't get in other media. How people really speak (or a close approximation of it) in lived interpersonal experiences where it's much harder to parse out words and phrases. And using all of the little words and phrases people use in everyday speech. I call this "interpersonal speech"
I would continue to read and listen simultaneously. And then listen only to content that you have already read. I had that problem in French and now I read novels in French and follow up with the audiobook since I am already familiar with what I will hear.
Whichever manner in which you practice listening/watching, listen/watch to media 3-10xs more than reading. Steve even recommends this. I use LingQ very little, maybe 15 minutes a day. It's for my intensive reading to prime my recognition of words and phrases in my immersion.
LinQ isn't to teach you the language, it's to make the media you use comprehensible. If used too much, it'll make you too reading dominant and fussing over knowing words.
Absolute great response and I actually find myself reading on here while playing the youtube video it goes with trying to listen and follow along.
Or read first then listen to the audio or watch the video. I think almost everyone wants to speak the target language the most afterall.
Unfortunately listening and reading are not the same thing. They both have to be practised to a minimum level until you can get cross-pollination.
Watch some relatively easy youtube videos for an hour a day for a couple months: something like "slowly spoken portuguese" or "news in portuguese read slowly" or TPRS portuguese.
After about 100 hours of that your listening should be better.
What is cross-pollination?
in this case cross pollination refers to how the combination of reading and listening helps your comprehension and sense of the language. I find reading at the same time as listening helps me to hear when one word ends and the next starts and also gives you a sense of how phrases run together
Reading and listening are just fundamentally different skills. Being able to listen/speak but not read (being illiterate) is possible. But the reverse would also be possible, being able to read but not understand spoken language at all. They're separate things. You need to listen more to get better listening comprehension (you literally don't know how the language sounds unless you've listened to it. There's no reason to expect you'd understand spoken language if all you've done is read) and read more to get better reading comprehension. If you can't understand spoken language, use the usual method: find simpler spoken language to listen to that you can understand to a degree and gradually get more complicated as you progress, ie the whole comprehensible input idea (i+1 etc). Having the transcript can be useful to help you know what you're listening for, but don't focus on it too much, you're trying to improve your listening skills after all. It can also be helpful to find some stuff you like to listen to while driving or walking, forcing yourself to only listen, since as adults many of us tend to be visually dominant.
After you've reached a certain level in both, you'll be able to learn a word from reading, and then when you hear it the first time, you'll understand it more-or-less right away (or learn a word from listening and then you'll know it right away when you read it). Or if you know how the writing system works, you'll be able to say a word you've only read before (of course, this will depend on the script and how "phonetic" and regular its rules are), that's what's meant by cross-pollinate.
After about 400 hours of listening to a lot of different things in Spanish (usually watching Netflix shows while reading the subtitles), my listneing comprehension was a lot better.
Repeatedly listening to the same thing over and over again has worked for me. Whether it's a show (right now it's Extraordinary Attorney Woo) or individual sentences while editing time stamps.
I think I've "watched" Extraordinary Attorney Woo at least 30 times. Sometimes I put it on and listen to it as I would background music. I find it much less helpful to watch a new Kdrama every week or so.
The difficult part is trying to find something you can tolerate watching so much, over and over again.
I found that the more complicated something is, the more tolerance I have to listen to it a lot of times. I think this is because every time you listen to it again, you 'discover'/remember something new. There are obviously more interesting topics and less interesting ones, depending on your interests.
Personally, I prefer to relisten to podcasts or such over TV series because they have a higher word density. For instance, an average English TV show has about 80 wpm, whereas a podcast has maybe 150-160 wpm. If you are doing hundreds of hours of listening, it really adds up in the end.
Also, I find, if I increase the playback speed, it makes me concentrate harder and I also get less bored.
"long winded actors and movies with the most dialogue" 🤣
Netflix kdramas are great for word density since they often offer "Korean - audio description." It was originally developed for blind people I think but it's also GREAT for language learners.
Not all shows will offer audio description. For Extraordinary Attorney Woo, Korean audio description appeared months after an episode premiered, after Netflix knew that the show was a hit.
I think you mean deaf people?? 😅
Hmm . . . I guess I'll try to watch more Korean crime shows. I'm already reading Korean detective/crime novels (a genre I never did read in English until recently).
You want to be looking at the right graph, but keep in mind, these are genres in English, so their conventions probably don't completely cross over to other languages. The general idea is to focus more on conversation-dense TV series or movies. You can probably intuit which TV series have a high amount of dialogue. If you want to be a bit more detail-orientated, you could always import a few episodes into LingQ to check the total word count and go from there.
But, as you see, all genres are still significantly lower than a podcast or 'talking head' YouTube video at 150-160 wpm.
Personally, I watch TV series for fun, but my mobile playlist is full of podcast episodes or 'talking head' YouTube videos.
I get what you're saying but podcasts are of limited use if you want to learn Korean speech levels and accents. Podcasters generally use the standard accent in a formal register and they do not provide enough of what a Korean learner needs.
A way you can increase the wpm by watching TV series is to use the Migaku browser add-on. I've never used it myself, as it does not support Italian, but I've seen some videos. They have a function, where you can increase the playback speed between subtitles and then watch at normal speed when they are speaking. So you would be alternating between 1x playback speed when someone is speaking and 2x or 4x playback speed, when no one is speaking (or not timestamped with the subtitle). Might be strange though. I don't know. Might be worth looking into as they support Korean.
Another way is to use Language Reactor and press the hotkey for 'next subtitle' and it skips everything in between. Similar to the right arrow key on LingQ to go to the next LingQ/New Word.
However, when I just want to chill out, I don't care about 'efficiency'. It's just chilling and watching a TV series, which also happens to be great language practice. So depends on how exactly you are watching TV series and your goal of it. When I'm doing more 'active' study, I'm a bit stricter on my material selection.
Food for thought.
Thanks for the suggestions. I have tried Language Reactor a number of times. But it's not great for Korean. Their dictionary is very limited and certain functionalities are not available. I keep signing up for their service hoping that they've made improvements . . . I'll try again next year, probably.
Migaku is something I've been meaning to try. We'll see. I expect that its dictionary will also be lacking.
What makes LingQ great after 2 years of constant use is having customized Korean definitions/translations. I think I've finally reached a point where reading is not such a chore.
@Tamarind Have you tried using Firefox's picture-in-picture mode for a Netflix/LingQ combo? I find it easier to use then Language Reactor and let's me keep everything in one place.
If the pop out button doesn't appear when you bring up a Netflix show, ctrl shift ] should get you started. There are more controls here: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/about-picture-picture-firefox
I haven't. Thanks for the suggestion. Will look into it.
Love the chart! I've never seen it before, but it seems intuitive. I've been learning languages through audiobooks for some time now, and my experience is that Gothic Horror is probably easiest genre to follow because the voice artists speak verrryyyy slooooowwlllyyyy Whereas understanding comedy in a foreign language is an advanced skill ;-)
Yeah, podcasts are great. There's another thing. It seems to be easier to understand a single person talking at you instead of folks talking to each other, so that's another benefit of podcasts. Obvs I'm not talking about Joe Rogan style podcasts with a bunch of drunk dudes having a laugh.
The JR podcasts can help for those barroom conversations =)
You need to have at least a few hundred hours of listening before it's decent. At 1.2M words read and 350 hours of listening, I can watch certain TV series in Italian for children/teenagers without any aid. To be good at listening, you need to do a lot of it.
At the beginner level, I had the following workflow of a lesson:
1. Read + lingQ New Words + look up forgotten words with TTS on + use Sentence Mode if the sentences are hard and use 'Translate Sentence'
2. Turn off TTS, switch back to Normal View, and reread the text with the audio playing looking up words you forgot
3. Reread while listening + looking up forgotten words
4. Listen to the audio while washing the dishes, walking, doing chores, in your 'dead time', etc.
I ended up listening to the Mini Stories maybe 15x each and lots of other beginner content 10x each over the course of several months to maybe half a year. I have always preferred to listen to the content after I have read it multiple times. To me, this makes more sense because I actually understand the story.
The way I think about it is to expose myself to new vocabulary through reading and reading while listening, where it's possible to look the word up in a dictionary, but to really drill the new vocabulary into my memory by relistening to the material. Obviously, you are also encountering the same word many times in other lessons too, but relistening to content you've read many times over does a lot of the heavy lifting.
As others have said, you need to do a lot more listening. A LOT...i.e. way more than you ever thought.
Are the things that you are listening to ones that you have read? i.e. is it just a difficulty in understanding spoken what you have already read? Or are you trying to listen to things you haven't read before?
Listen, a lot. If you think you don't understand, listen more.
The answer is easy. You need to listen more.
Depending on your level there's different things you can do:
Listen while reading
Listen then read then listen again
watch movies without subtitles - start with dubbed cartoons if too difficult (cartoons have very clear pronunciation )
Spend a lot of time doing all of this. I like to think of below table I saw below somewhere on the forum and in my experience so far seems more or less correct.
I'm having this problem a little now in spanish. Initially I was only working with videos and audio but then started reading A LOT because its just a faster way to pick up vocabulary. However, my comprehension tanked. I'm giving myself a little space to read more because its helping my speaking and language formation - just because my vocabulary has sky rocketed. But then I need to go back to listening intensely too and focus on comprehension. I know this is repeated a lot but just listen as much as you can. Its jarring at first because your brain wants to comprehend 100% of everything you hear and you just cant. but if you can past the initial discomfort you'll find that you can understand quite a lot.
Also on this app, when you start studying a new lesson try to listen a few times before reading the transcription and see how much you're understanding. Train you ears to lead, instead of your eyes. And especially for languages like portuguese and french where the pronunciation is quite difficult its important to link the written word to the actual sounds in normal speech. It'll take a lot of time, but you'll get there.
There are some wierd things happen to you when you stick at language learning. I don't know if you have noticed this one particular wierdness that has happened to me a couple times (once with french, once with russian). You stop doing everything for say a couple weeks. Then you come back. And somehow you understand more.
It's wierd. It's like your brain needed a rest to catch up or something.
I also feel like sometimes I think I'm better then I'm worse then I'm better again.
Language learning is wierd.
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