Ask Luca – Post a Question – Weekly Q & A

Ask Luca Your Language Learning Question

In upcoming, weekly videos, Luca will answer questions posed by you!  All you need to do is post your question in the comments below.  Please be patient, Luca will get to all the questions over time!

*For Course related questions, ask those in your course Group or ask the teacher directly in the box on the right sidebar.  

Ask your question in the Comments below

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Gabriel

    Hello Luca!

    I’ve been using the shadowing technique to improve my spoken English. But, When I record myself shadowing a non-fiction audiobook and then listen to it, my accent is very heavy and I have very poor speaking skills, but when I record myself shadowing the recitation of a poem or storytelling, my speaking skills are so much better. I even think my accent is close to the one of a native speaker of English. That’s probably because the rhythm and stress are more exaggerated. So I decided to use the shadowing technique only with poems and fiction stories. Did I make the right decision? Or shadowing non-fiction audiobooks will have some benefit for me?

    Just one more question, I always hear that repetition is key, does that rule apply for shadowing too? Should I use shadowing with the recitation of the same poem, with the audio of the same short story over and over again or it doesn’t make any difference if I never use the same shadowing material again?

    Thank you.

  2. princesvalgabriel

    Olá Luca, estou aprendendo alemão e tenho algumas dificuldades para entender o alemão falado, o que eu posso fazer para melhorar isso? creio que atualmente eu esteja em um nível B1 =)

  3. Daniela Avendaño

    Hello Luca! First of all I’d like to say how much of an inspiration you are to me and that I really admire that even though you have acheived so much, you are still a really modest and down to earth guy.

    Now, my question is this: how much of a break should one take between learning two languages? I’m almost done with french at the Alliance Française and I’d like to learn my fifth language by myself (probably arabic or german, I haven’t decided which I’m going to commit to first). I decided that from now on I want to teach myself the languages that I’m interested in so this will be a new chapter for me. I’ve always been a rather commited and active learner even though I have studied with traditional methods but I always get to a point in which classes bore me and I don’t benefit from practicing with my classmates because I advance at a much faster pace. Having said that, if I’m going to teach myself a language, I’d like to do it properly. I thought about taking 4 to 6 months after I’m done with french but the prospect of learning arabic or german is so exciting that I don’t know what to do with myself.

    What do you think is best?

    Thank you in advance. Greetings from Costa Rica.

    1. Luca Lampariello

      Hi Daniela!

      First of all, sorry for the late reply and thanks for the nice words =)

      Deciding when the right moment is to learn a language is tricky.

      Let me give you a few rules of thumb.

      1) Make sure you have achieved at least a B2 level in the languages you are learning/have learned before tackling another one
      2) Establish a clear date in time of when you are going to start the new language and commit to learning it every single day, no matter what
      3) Plan beforehand how much time you are going to dedicate to your new language project
      4) Create a clear maintenance strategy of the languages you already speak
      5) Establish priorities: the new language you are learning should come first

      I have been giving very detailed coaching lessons on how to do this and I love it =)

      On a side note, you have given me a very good idea for a new article.

      And there is a course on this very same page which deals exclusively with the problem and challenge of managing a bunch of languages while learning others

      If you have any other question or doubt, I am here, and I promise I will get back to you faster than I did before =)

      Luca

  4. jake.hunwick

    Hi Luca,
    I’ve been studying a low-resource language: Sgaw-Karen. It is spoken by less than a million people and has virtually no materials aside from text-books with no audio (There is some audio but it is quite limited), to make it harder, Karen is a Tibeto-Burman language and has tones; six tones. How would you recommend learning a language without (or with very limited) audio? Can it be done?

  5. Teruko Dixon

    Hi Luca,
    I am currently taking the bilingual translation course and I am in the process of learning Spanish. I am using Assimil Spanish with easy as my language tool however, I have a question related to the process. According to the program, I will spend 5 to 6 days on one of my lessons. Should I wait until the 6 days are completed to begin another lesson or do you start another lesson while you are still working on a previous lesson?

    Tee

    1. Luca Lampariello

      Hi Teruko,

      I have already replied to you in the specific section Module 9 – Day 6.

      For questions related to courses, please write inside the single sections of the course =)

      Luca

  6. Ugo de Felice

    Ciao Luca,

    prima di tutto complimenti per la piattaforma, è magnifica!
    Volevo chiederti: è possibile calcolare la distanza fra italiano e greco? Nel matcher che hai caricato purtroppo non c’è (anche se forse un’idea me la sono riuscita a fare, considerando le valutazioni delle altre lingue).

    Un saluto.

    Ugo

    1. Luca Lampariello

      Ciao Ugo,

      grazie per le belle parole e scusami per il ritardo della risposta, sono ancora in viaggio

      Per quanto riguarda la tua risposta, ti posso dire che, studiando greco da ormai 4 mesi, direi che si colloca nella zona intermedia. Non è una lingua né molto distante neanche particolarmente vicina all’italiano per una serie di motivi.

      Ha una scrittura diversa ma relativamente facile da imparare – come il cirillico.

      La parte un po’ più complicata sono i casi e ovviamente i verbi.

      L’intonazione ed in parte l’articolazione di alcuni suoni è simile allo spagnolo, ma le vocali sono simili alle nostre.

      Tutto sommato non è una lingua difficile per noi italiani, anzi e moltissime parole vengono dal greco quindi sono simili da assimilare.

      Insomma, per riassumere, è una lingua che ha una distanza media, affascinante e con una serie di caratteristiche che rende le cose relativamente agevoli per noi italiani. E poi la Grecia è bellissima! =)

      Ad ogni modo, ti ringrazio per le belle parole, stiamo lavorando duro per migliorare ancora di più questa piattaforma, aggiungendo altri corsi e migliorando tutto quello che possiamo migliorare =)

      Se hai domande specifiche sui corsi le puoi fare direttamente nelle sessioni specifiche, e per domande generali puoi scrivere qui e farò un video specifico.

      Ne ho registrati almeno 20 a Berlino e sono in uscita fra qualche giorno/settimana

      Se hai altre domande o dubbi sono qui e ancora una volta grazie mille per le belle parole =)

      Luca

  7. David

    Ei Luca, você é meu poliglota favorito ao lado do grande Steve Kaufmann
    A minha pergunta é: Como estudar a pronúncia alemã (sendo específico) logo no começo?

  8. sebycent

    Ciao Luca, I’m Sebastiano and my questions are the following: is it possible to reach fluency in a language even with only one hour a day or maybe less? in this regard, how can a person plan his/her time?

    How is it possible to learn and maintain other languages with little time? Maybe a lot of people struggle with doing this.

    Thanks

  9. Edgar marino velandia duarte

    hola luca.

    He cambiado de latinoamerica donde se habla solo espanol.
    Ahora me encuentro en suecia necesito dos cosas aprender ingles y sueco, lo del sueco he ido despues del trabajo y no avanzo, estoy estancado y preocupado.

    Como podrias ayudarme para salir del hueco que me encuentro. Edgar

  10. eliana.seltzer

    Hi Luca,
    In the past you’ve said that you like to only focus on learning one language at a time. When do you decide that you’re ready to begin learning another language? I’m very excited to start learning a third language, but I feel as if I could continue improving my second langauge indefinitely.

  11. Ryan

    Hi Luca,

    I’ve heard you say you typically devote two years to learn a new language. My question is how much time do you normally dedicate to speaking practice during this period? Also, do you use your bi-directional translation method for the entire two years?

    Thanks,
    Ryan

  12. fintanmcgee1981

    Hi Luca, you have always been very focused on 1 language at a time which is difficult for people to replicate especially when they have interests in several languages. I am trying to figure out if this is a discipline thing or if emotional intelligence is involved in terms of delayed gratification. Have you thought much about why people can’t seem to replicate your success?

  13. emanuela

    Hi Luca,
    I have just bought your course “Bidirectional Translation”. I have paid 149 euros and my order number is Order #19982
    I have received an email with the payment.
    But nothing works!
    and it is not listed in the courses available in my profile!
    It seems the course doesn’t work!

    1. Luca Lampariello

      Cara Emanuela, scusa il ritardo della risposta, sono stato fuori.

      Fammi sapere se il problema è stato risolto dal team tecnico, altrimenti lo risolvo io manualmente!

      Luca

  14. ale.barcellona

    Hi there! I always look at your website but I never asked question to you.
    Now I am studying Russian and English… I have a A1 Certificate of Russian language I mean Official Certificate from Russia… question is… my teacher said “Is impossible to have a B1 in less 2 years… what do you think ? How much time to learn a language easily and fast… ? thanks! 😀

  15. roundaboutDT

    Hello, Luca!

    I’ve been learning Spanish for almost 6 months and I’m still struggling a great deal with listening comprehension. It’s my weakest skill. I can handle myself pretty well when I’m reading, writing, and, to a lesser extent, speaking. I live in an area where Spanish is spoken frequently (Austin, TX, U.S.) and I’m surrounded by it daily. I communicate with Spanish speakers frequently, but I can only understand a fraction of what is being said.

    What can I do to improve my listening comprehension?

    Thank you! 🙂

  16. Derek Kwok

    Hi Luca,

    The one thing I am having the MOST trouble with is finding someone to speak to. I have tried numerous websites like iTalki, Hellotalk, etc. looking for language exchange partners. The annoying issue that I have encountered with ALL of them is the lack of committment. I am still unable to get people to talk on a consistent schedule. People either never reply to my invites, they never keep scheduled talks, or we talk for a week or two and they go MIA. Do you have any tips for finding better language partners? Should I just pay for a tutor on iTalki? I am trying to avoid it since I am tight on money, but I will budget for it if I must. I am much farther behind after a year studying French because I just haven’t had much consistent speaking practice at all.

    Thanks!

    1. Luca Lampariello

      Yes Derek, that can be a problem but there is a deluge of websites you can use to find a person. Do you know of any website that you can use in this regard? Have you tried to build a profile, contact some people, meet some people in real life, go to a language bar? Let me know =)

      1. Derek Kwok

        Hi Luca,

        Do you have any other website suggestions? I have tried Hellotalk, Tandem, iTalki, MyLanguageExchange, and a few others. I have built a profile on all of these websites and tried contacting people, but I have experienced the same issues as I mentioned.

        The problem with going to language bars and meeting people in real life is the city I live in. It is pretty small and is not very diverse. I tried looking at Meetup groups for French practice and could not find a single active one. So, I am basically stuck with trying to find language exchanges online until I move to a more diverse city.

  17. Len Larsson

    Luca

    I hav been unable to use the bidirectional translation course. I keep going around in circles back to to the intro video. It keeps telling me I need to do the previous Module – I don’t understand. I can find any content, just the blog discussion

    Len

    1. Luca Lampariello

      I have checked your profile and you are indeed registered.

      Can you please let me know if you still have this problem through a private message here?

      If the problem persists, I’ll ask the technical team to solve the problem ASAP

      PS: sorry for the late reply, will be faster next time =)

      Luca