Learning English: a geeky way

    Good night, imperceptibly for me passed in the morning.

    I am writing under the influence of that post, also written under the influence . Yes, again and already beginning to bother, but I just can not resist. I want to describe my personal, somewhat non-trivial, not at all claiming to the method and method, but nevertheless - the way of learning English. And some thoughts and conclusions that I drew much later.

    For a start - a little intrigue. I, alas, I did not pass various toefl and yelts, but reading of professional literature and listening comprehension does not cause any problems for me. How did I learn English myself to a quite tolerable level? The thing is, I just ... never studied English!

    Story of my life

    No seriously. I will not describe all the details, but I think it is important that: I gave up any bullshit like Skulte early enough, I didn’t write “London from e Capital of May Heart Inglish” (almost), I didn’t sing these moronic sweet songs, I He did not bow at the feet of " tongue bearers " I almost immediately involuntarily developed a disgust for everything connected with “English”.

    Not least because of the wildly clumsy stereotyped, methodical and decorative canvas that repeats from time to time. I don’t care that half the globe speaks English, all the topics will be about London, the Queen, the Thames or a cab. Go to the bookstore, remove from the shelf any cheap textbook, phrase book, courses on DVD. So, look at the cover, there are at least four of these things: a smiling girl in an academic hat, a flag of Great Britain, the Elizabeth Tower , a herald or a beaver in a red uniform, a London cab , an omnibus, a red telephone booth. I guessed? Bueeee.

    Well, what do you say,you are an old fart and in your 90s there was just shit like cassettes with songs. Well, you are not lucky to be born then, but now we have a duolingua, YouTup and a trip to Schengen every weekend, what's the problem? I know that there are more opportunities now. But junk more. All these dictionaries-dictionaries differ only in the presence / absence inside the mat and transcription in square brackets. All these courses on the disc do not give the level of knowledge more than school. And memo vidosiki will not help you much. But I am not discussing this now, but the very approach to learning a language. So, there is a slow millstone millstone, giving oligophrenic vocabulary in exchange for the complete destruction of the motivation to the "English". But what else is in the 90s?
    ... right, game consoles to the TV.

    Step one: simple English without prompts

    And this is the narrowest segment of media content that came in handy. Narrow in terms of what is now called "localization." And vastali bashi from pepada yagodnogo . It was all on TV, and no one will transfer the cartridges to the console. And thank God! A great way to learn the language in the same, her mother, a game form!Starting from what is interesting, what they say villains turtle ninja. Finishing with the fact that in the briefings of the Urban strike missions it is necessary to quickly figure out what to do, in conditions close to the battle ones. And in Theme Park and Aerobiz - there is already a nonlinearity, a serious game economy and a lot of text. In short, at 9 you already learn not just new words, but quickly perceive an unfamiliar text, until it escapes from the screen, 16-bit animation is like that.

    What are games? That's right, repeat. Repeating tasks, passing, you assimilate the entire text, you recognize unfamiliar words, and you begin to pay attention to another, to the construction of phrases.
    And here I want to note a very important thing. Maybe the “sense of language” is inherent in me and not very large percentage of other people, but you after all note in the sentences their complexity or subordination, the introductory words and the turn of speech? Is it possible for you to comprehend poetry of high style, in the phrase of this prisoner? Vooot, while elementary-textbooks hesitantly tread on the spot, teaching you short phrases, simple sentences, then the turning point comes.

    The moment when people take these words and phrases and mold phrases in Russian from them - with its grammar and sentence construction. And there I want to mark a very important thing, they translate the first sentence of the previous paragraph. Why are there - the creators of the textbooks themselves mold such empty phrases in order to screw up something new in thisparagraph word. The fact that no one expresses such constructions in reality does not bother anyone. Worse, people generally start saying something like “I so love you” after that and still sincerely offended, how is it wrong?

    And seeing on the screen simple in terms of turns and terminology, but a long and coherent text, I reinforced this inner sense of the correct construction of sentences. The habit of a normal text was formed - and the triggering of the internal “something is wrong here” if I started writing words and sentences incorrectly.

    This is all so far sounds far-fetched, dubious such benefits from sixteen-bit ...
    However, time also does not stand still.

    Step Two: Difficult English with Tips

    What happened next? The first computer games. At that time I didn’t have Internet yet, so again the sources of knowledge of English were scarce. But the range of tasks has expanded. The main nostalgic feature of those years for me is the Operation Flashpoint game series.

    The game with an open world, a realistic model of injuries and injuries and dozens of vehicles (dozens of units - how do you like this, English ??), carefully traced and functional, ahead of its time, was another important feature: an abundance of cutscenes and scripted moments with dialogue. Localization was present, but only text. And it turned out to be important and timely at the same time.

    After all, the plot text was no longer those prefixed short messages and descriptions. These were full-fledged script episodes and scenes, with voice-over and voice-overs and dialogues, long, dramatic, pathetic - exactly what you need in 13 years. I watched them avidly and it seems that many still remember almost by heart.

    Rebellious Soviet colonel invades independent republic

    In addition to the wonderful example of “Russian English” (not so much by accent, but by the grammar of sentences), there are subtitles in the video. They are in English, and I had in Russian. But it was precisely the pathos of speeches, funny accents and constant repetitions due to constant pereprokhozhdeny made me remember all these dialogues almost literally in English. But there was a lot of this text there - broad social topics, colloquial speech, jargon, special military terms. And if something was not perceived by the ear - Russian subtitles were to help. And it should be noted, not only in this game. And not only in games. In fact, it was still far from the torrents, and even to Kazyy. Therefore, what kind of Windows got to anyone, by any crook, it was like that. I had English language. And you need to improve your computer literacy, and most programs like banal photoshop with Korela were also not localized. In general, each computer turned on turned into a real one, his mother,immersion in the language environment .

    Leave the computer. At that time, DVDs were widely used. And what did a well-released DVD film allow? It’s right to choose a soundtrack and subtitles. And now you are changing with classmates movie discs, and a special style - to say that you watched the movie in the original! (Teachers at this time with expression and aspiration tell how the queen in London rides cabs, and a second before your fuse and fantasy ends, you are stopped, put five and lagged behind for a long time). Well, what if you don’t say, but really see the film in English, and even with English subtitles? Well, perhaps, watching movies without the support of Russian subtitles is still difficult, you start reading and not watching. But in games, the language of subtitles ... I'll go switch!

    Step three: yes ... just English!

    In general, the gaming industry itself pushed its disregard for localization to the transition to the original language. The famous “WASTENED” me passed, because I respected the GTA franchise and bought a licensed disc, but I did not avoid other at least thrash translations, like “duck under” (meaning “sit down”, “duck under”) or opening NFS to music from "Beware of the car" (localization !!!). Therefore, approximately since then, I have been avoiding Russifications in games, even in the incentive by inertia.

    And if the experience of playing in GTA III was related to the first stage, and the phrase “in the Red Light District” that was pronounced in five seconds? brother "had to be perceived immediately, then in the fourth part the box of English subtitle was a conscious choice. Learn the dialogues, characters, slang, humor, get into the atmosphere of the game, live with its characters and speak their native language. Megabytes of the text of the dialogues and descriptions of missions, random conversations, advertising, banter, parodies, full-fledged language environment. Fortunately, cinematography, saturation, and simply the scale of computer games have grown by an order of magnitude, and I am still grateful for ticking up classic intro games a decade ago.

    My cousin!

    Yes, it's already gone. The Internet also pulled itself up and enriched with its capabilities, only ... it turned out that by and large, the basis of the language has already been laid. Yes, the vocabulary is skewed toward the names of automatic weapons and computer terms. But is this a problem? You are already quite intuitively building phrases, you perceive text, speech - what more do you need? Build vocabulary "meat"? To learn speech turns, expressions, a sense of style, to use times and articles correctly? Welcome to the cinema and literature. "Harry Potter" from the fourth book read exclusively in the original. And with reading books in English - the principle is the same as with games. Begin to read, and continue, despite the fact that you do not understand. Then you begin to understand the context, the construction of phrases. You do not need any tedious writing out the words, memorizing them. Just read and everything, critical words can be peeped in the dictionary, and then they will again fall in the text and be remembered again. Gradually, the book captures, new words come into use, you get used to the speed of speech, building phrases, and after hundreds of pages you begin to read English fluently, this is how to learn to swim, you just need to believe that the water will keep it afloat at the very end.

    But with the movie, I would have slowed down, for one reason. Cinema is very ... cinematic, or something. A good movie fully conveys many of the details of the characters and places, including the pronunciation.

    Anecdote to the topic
    Cop: You’re driving on the wrong side of the road.
    Driver: Sorry, I’m English.

    Well, you probably know each other with the correct Soviet British Pronunciations when you listened to those tapes when they were young, where they talk about fights about clots, and then, with smiling voices, sing some sugary song. Now imagine that the same thing is said, having filled his mouth with a hamburger, and get a typical American pronunciation. If the same person drinks a barrel of bourbon, you get rednekEnglish, and if you shoot him with a shotgun jaw - Australian English. Therefore, all sorts of feature films and TV shows do not always help you in mastering the language, especially in the initial stages. Pronunciation, manner of speech and just too characteristic play of actors can affect the perception of their replicas. If you do not understand and skip at least a quarter of what is being said, you will overload yourself with the work of isolating meaning from the context, you will no longer receive pleasure from the process. This may simply discourage, deprive of motivation, as well as poorly written clumsy textbooks and courses. But there is a way out.

    Documentaries. For me, the real find was documentaries. Several advantages at once: firstly, it is interesting, like computer games, the main thing is to choose for oneself the topic; secondly, a relatively clear and clear English voiceover (if there is an interview with a German or a Hindu, then yes, more difficult), and thirdly, it fixes the text with a visual line, this is important. Listening to tapes and other files "stopitsotodin language driving" you do not have other clues, except for the audio series, you yourself have to imagine the subject of discussion, and the video series in the film does the work for you, helping learning: this is a transmission, this is a bee dug up the ancient reptiloid manuscript.

    For me personally, the documentary series “Investigation of air crashes” was very interesting. I watched it at first in Russian, but not all the series were available. Then I found many episodes in the original, even lying just on Youtube. And at some point, remembering the next episode, I caught myself thinking: I do not remember what language I watched it! Here it is - that very moment, that level of perception of a language, when understanding is no longer on the linguistic, but on some general-conceptual semantic level, and through which linguistic means the information came to the brain becomes unimportant.


    So, what conclusions can be drawn from this story? I made for myself the following:

    • There are no objective reasons and criteria for "misunderstanding" of the language. We all know some language to some extent. Knowing how to pronounce letters and words correctly, you can read them. PERCEIVE. This is the main thing. Try to look at any letter as a set of sticks and circles. Except you can't do it with “O” or “I”, “M” or “R” will automatically sound in your head. Do you understand what I mean? Having managed to isolate a word, to pronounce it, you “recognize” it. To understand what it means to attach to the subject is already a matter of technology.
    • The rules of grammar, punctuation, construction of sentences, tenses are only a set of laws, a way of classification. You do not need to know this to perceive the text. These rules are the algorithm, and the person is the neural network. Has your mother spoken in Russian in two years or in Russian ?? So, even before knowing the rules, you could formulate requests, build phrases and simply began to SIMULATE THE SPEECH of parents, and any other language can begin to learn in the same way.
    • Language needs to be studied, not learned . Only by using it out of necessity, having the opportunity to repeat, having positive reinforcement, you will progress. Nothing prevented me from going from “simple phrases” to listening to speech in films in two years, not eight. I can learn to learn the forms of each verb at times in a tabular form and I could even sing songs up to the 11th grade, getting for this valiant work assessments of different degrees of success. Giving texts of the “capitel of the great britn” level even in a non-core university is a crime.
    • Starting to learn the language of complete, coherent texts, you need to continue its active reverse engineering. Do you notice certain sequences of nouns and verbs? So they say so, and not otherwise; find out why. Do you notice different forms of words? So this is some kind of rule: cases, gender (s) ??, times. Finally, just unfamiliar words? Try to understand the context or google.
    • But one thing is important: the language should become more complex, and the crutches that support you in its understanding should be gradually removed. In my case, this somehow coincided so well, but I do not advise you to sit at computer games. This is just an example of how the brain was loaded all the time: first, quickly perceiving completely unfamiliar words, then, in meaning and context, with essential help of simultaneous translation, processing complex texts with audio and visual reinforcement, finally, surrounding yourself with the target language, having help tools only “native” subtitles, and then without them, only with the possibility of repetition and contextual reinforcement of meaning.

    At last

    Yes, of course, I was a goof, and I have no right to say that I grew up on some computer games. The textbook Skulte is also not so terrible, if you use it not as a mandatory program, but as one of the sources.

    All I want to say is that “living” language and its active “reverse engineering” from my point of view is much more effective than learning the rules. You need to go from a natural interest to the form of writing -> to the rules, and not vice versa. That makes sense. In textbooks, the language is dead, alas. And yet - only when you get into an unfamiliar environment, your analytical skills are included. An incomprehensible text awakens them. When everything is chewed at the levels “this is”, “dog”, “cat”, the analytical skills are disabled. You study the associative connections between words, meanings, and rules, and while reading, try to get them from memory, but you didn’t learn your native language at all.

    At the very beginning level, if you have just started learning a language, the illustrated dictionaries help a lot. It is simply interesting for the child to look at them all the time, but in principle they serve an important purpose - visual reinforcement of memory. It will be harder for you to memorize just letters and their correspondence to letters, as it is presented in a regular dictionary.

    Naturally, the rules are needed. When you want to learn them, refer to the quality textbook. I had this blue Raymond Murphy English grammar in use. The textbook itself is in English, which shakes the head well. The basic rules and important turns of speech are there. You can pry into the answers to the exercises, just be honest with yourself - understand to the end why the phrase is built this way and not otherwise.

    The textbook Stewart Redman "English vocabulary in use" is constructed in a similar way. In English, more complex things are explained in English, but not in the form of tables or stupid rhymes, but in the form of the teacher’s communication with the reader and illustrative examples.

    As soon as you like, try listening to the language in addition to the text, but not pure audio. As for me, there is nothing better than a documentary: interesting, much is clear from the context, shown in detail and well read. And most importantly - there is no feeling that you are being held for a fool who does not know how to connect two words. All in an adult and honest. But you can try a well-known movie or series. Again, the main thing is that you know the context or translation of the replicas well. There should be no “falling out” in the meaning of phrases and words that you suddenly ceased to perceive.

    I would not advise focusing on songs, as there are many expressions and metaphors overloaded with deep meaning, well, or is it just rap, for example. But it is useful to rehearse something loved, looking at the text (they are absolutely everyone’s googling nowadays), this is an important step in the perception of the language. Ideally, you should stop hearing "little money, a long bumblebee" in the tracks that you regularly listen to.

    Perhaps the most important thing: learning a language in an educational institution kills motivation because it punishes for mistakes. And mistakes are mandatory in learning a thing, this is the subject of further study of the language. Each mistake is the subject of your own analysis and consolidation of the new rule. In no case do not be afraid when learning a language to make mistakes or appear stupid in front of an English-speaking interlocutor. “We all do dumb things. That's what makes us human. ”

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