Fluency in Five Days, sort of.

In October I will in Prague for five days. I hope to have a high degree of mostly passive vocabulary and familiarity with Czech and convert this to active fluency in five days. This is in line with ideas expressed by the great online polyglot Viktor Huliganov, about how quickly passive language knowledge can be converted into active fluency. Here is a video on the subject. There will be the occasional post as I approach the moment of truth.

10 thoughts on “Fluency in Five Days, sort of.

  1. You’ll be in Mr. James/Huliganov’s neck of the woods. Have you contacted him? Perhaps you can meet up. I believe he speaks decent check as well.

  2. Hello Steve!I???ve been learning English for 5 years now, making many mistakes on the way, but, I??still don???t have confidence to start speaking. But the problem is rather general and I??think it affects many people like me.I???m an introvert and generally have problems with joining a conversation. Such people and I share it, are great listeners and speakers especially face to face, but cannot chime in and follow others in conversation. They get bored quickly when the topic is not relevant to them. What???s more, many people can suck out energy from them.I know that I make many mistakes, but I don???t have difficulty in expressing myself when writing. But when I??have to speak, I??feel like my mind was empty, my sentences don???t make sense hence I??feel terrible.Dear Steve. Have you come across such people during your journey through learning languages? What advice would you give them?I often reflect that I never get to the fluency you are talking about in the movie.best regards and greetings from Poland!PSI??hope that you???ll pick up Polish sometime. ๐Ÿ™‚ You know Czech, Russian so you shouldn???t have any problems with Polish. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Expanding this a little to fluent in 5-9 days would be interesting. The reason for up to nine days is this: even the busiest person is generally able to find at least a week to take off every few months, and that gives up to nine potential days of full-time study (one weekend + five days + one more weekend). Five days is the minimum, seven days is possible when going to a country across the ocean (nine days – two for the trip there and back), and nine is possible when the country is close or you have set things up just perfectly where you live by arranging full-time immersion ahead of time by finding friends or hiring tutors who will speak to you for eight hours a day.What makes the idea interesting is that it fits in perfectly with people who work full time: while working one can put in a few hours of study a day at most, and continually prepare over the months for this burst of immersion either in the target country or in a perfectly arranged environment in one’s own city.

  4. Hello Steve,I hope that one day soon you will consider learning Hebrew. I love Hebrew and I am Jewish and a Hebrew linguist. I love studying Hebrew. Perhaps in 3 or 6 months you will be rather fluent in Hebrew and you could visit Israel and converse quite well with Israeli people. To prepare for your trip, you could go to synagogue on Friday nights and Saturday mornings to pray in Hebrew and speak Hebrew with the Jewish people, me included.Bye for now,Your friend Lyle Lexier604-408-9469

  5. Your no non-sense approach inspires me. I’ve been watching your videos for a few months and they had a profound impact on my way of doing things. Thank you.

  6. This is exactly what I’m doing with Swedish and French right now. I’m leaving for a long trip to France, Germany, Benelux, Denmark, and Sweden in a month. While I won’t know any German or Dutch, I’ve been studying French and Swedish for 13 months and 9 months respectively, and am hoping 7-9 days spent with Swedish or French speakers can "catapult" me to fluency (as you put it). It’s been my plan since I started language learning years ago, knowing that I would rarely be able to learn languages entirely in immersion for several months.After I accomplish this with French and Swedish, I’m brushing up on my Spanish, adding Turkish or Czech, and doing the same thing.But although 5 days might be enough to soak up the language, it’s a bit inadequate to absorb Czech culture, don’t you think?

  7. I’ve been learning Russian for quite some time now, and I am amazed at how crucial it is to actually talk to a native, in a real conversation. I’ve been slowly but surely attempting to expand my Russian vocabulary to a point where I would be comfortable in a conversation, but when I actually had a Skype conversation with a new friend of mine from Saint Petersburg, it was amazing how little I understood! It was depressing, however it was a wake-up call to really start listening. After a few weeks of either Skype calls or at least Russian/English instant messaging, I’ve significantly improved my Russian, and he has also improved his English. We have both commented on each other when we manage to correctly state a somewhat awkward sentence in the other’s native language, and we will both ask each other about things we find strange in our languages, such as the complicated tense system in English (I am, was, will be, have been, had been, would have been, will have been, etc.) or the similarly complicated aspects and verb prefixes in Russian.Over these past two weeks, I’d say that we both have made an exponential improvement!

  8. Bonjour monsieur Kaufmann,Je vous ??cris en fran??ais car j’ai pu constater que vous le parlez tr??s bien (beaucoup mieux que moi l’anglais, bien qu’?? force de regarder vos vid??os, je fasse bien des progr??s !).Je voulais vous remercier pour tout ce dont vous t??moignez : je commence ?? esp??rer ?? nouveau pouvoir parler une langue ??trang??re un jour…Je souhaitais ??galement vous signaler une ??mission de radio tr??s int??ressante que j’ai pu ??couter sur la radio fran??aise France Culture et qui portait le titre suivant : "Comment l’autisme favorise l’apprentissage des langues". L’invit?? principal est Joseph Schovanec, qui souffre du syndrome d’Asperger, et parle "environ" 15 langues… Je serais tr??s int??ress??e d’avoir votre r??action ?? ses propos (et peut-??tre d’avoir le plaisir d’un dialogue en vid??o entre vous et ce jeune polyglotte).

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