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Posted by
English N | Gaeilge TEG B2 | Français
6 days ago
Posted by
English | Chinese | Classical Chinese | Japanese | ASL | German
2 days ago
Posted by17 hours ago
Posted by
🇺🇸 N | 🇩🇪 B1 | 🇯🇵 A1
15 hours ago
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1 hour ago
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Posted by
🇺🇸 N | 🇩🇪 | 🇨🇳
1 day ago

What I mean by "game changers" in this case is something that caused a massive increase in the efficiency of your studies. This can be either a full-blown reworking of your entire method/workflow, or just a minor change to one aspect. The essential part is that you made progress much more quickly after making the change than before.

I hope this thread can be a good way for people to discover things that could be integrated into their own routine.

A few of mine that I have discovered over the past few years are:

  1. making audio cards in Anki. Took me an embarassingly long amount of time to figure this out, but I previously had issues with making flashcards out of sentences from audiobooks, YouTube videos, and podcasts...because it just took so damn long to transcribe what the people were saying. Now? Just get an mp3, toss it into Audacity, snip out the relevant portion, export, and boom. I spend hours a week making Anki cards, and now I can get many more done in the same amount of time. Not only is this literally several times faster, but it also gives you a little bit of listening practice, too.

(While reviewing the cards, that is. You would obviously get some practice while transcribing, too.)

2) the Pomodoro method. I personally find this method helps me stay focused while making cards in Anki. For those who are unaware, the basic idea behind this method is to spend a certain amount of time doing some task, then spend some time taking a break. Rinse and repeat a few times before taking an extended break. The canonical recommendation is to spend 20 (or 25?) minutes studying, followed by a 5-7 minute break, and do this ~3 times before taking a longer break. I personally study for 30 minutes followed by a 10 minute break, and again, try to do this about 3 times.

Not only does this help me stay focused, but because I also personally always feel pressure to be more productive/feel that I am not being productive enough, this method gives me a clear and concrete idea of how much time I am studying (at least for this one particular activity), and lets me be more at ease.

3) I don't know how to describe this one, but when trying to figure out some word in an audio that you can partially (but not completely) make out, many electronic dictionaries will let you just type in the parts that you do understand and try to figure out the rest. Chinese in particular is actually very nice about this, beause if you hear a fixed phrase (for example, a 成語), you can just type in the first letter of each character and let the IME figure out the rest. For example, if you hear the phrase 入鄉隨俗 (ru4 xiang1 sui2 su2), you can just type in "rxss", and 入鄉隨俗 will be one of the first suggestions.

For German, on, you can just type in the parts of a word that you did understand, put asterixes in between, and the site/app will show you all possible matches, from which you can then select whichever one you think you heard. For example, if you heard somebody say the word "einstweilig", you could enter (just as a random example) "*nstw*g" into This will then give you the options:

Dienstweg, dienstwillig, Dienstwohnung, einstweilig, Hofdienstwohnung, Kunstwahrnehmung, Kunstwährung

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This is a subreddit for anybody interested in the pursuit of languages. Whether you are just starting, a polyglot or a language nerd, this is the place for you!
Created Mar 1, 2010


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