The Secret to Learning a Foreign Language as an Adult


TIME

Answer by David Bailey, CEO of Spotnight, on Quora.

I’ve learned several foreign languages as an adult. I was able to learn French to conversation fluency in 17 days using the following techniques. Note that I had previously learned Spanish to fluency so this was not my first foreign language.

In summer of 2005 I stayed with a French friend in a tiny village in the Beaujolais region of France. No one in the village spoke English and, since my friend knew I had an ambitious learning goal, she refused to speak to me in English as well.

I set up a routine where I did the same things every day.

In the mornings, I woke up and wrote out longhand the regular and irregular verb tables for 1.5-2 hours. I managed to get through an entire pad of paper in two weeks. I still believe that writing…

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What 5 Things Can Make Sure You Never Stop Growing and Learning?


TIME

1) Keep Trying New Things

Having lots of hobbies is one of the secrets of the most creative people.

Via Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation:

Legendary innovators like Franklin, Snow, and Darwin all possess some common intellectual qualities— a certain quickness of mind, unbounded curiosity— but they also share one other defining attribute. They have a lot of hobbies…

Matt Cutts gives a great talk about how trying new things for 30 days not only helped him learn new skills but also changed him as a person.

2) Don’t Fear Failure

In Eric Ries’ acclaimed bestseller The Lean Startup he makes it clear that little bets, or “experiments”, are critical to moving a business forward in a safe fashion:

…if you cannot fail, you cannot learn.

Getting it wrong helps you get it right. Making mistakes is vital to improvement.

Via Where Good Ideas…

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What Does Apple Have Planned for Wearable Tech?


Gigaom

It’s Apple event time once again, starting at 10am PT Tuesday. Kevin and I will be covering the event live from the Flint Center for the Performing Arts at DeAnza College in Cupertino, just a few miles from Apple’s headquarters, and we invite you to hang out with us tomorrow.

This is probably going to be a big one: sure, there will be new iPhones, but the real interest is in Apple’s approach to wearable computing, which we’ll finally get a sense of with the demonstration of what we’re still going to call the iWatch for at least another day. [company]Apple[/company] is using the site of two very important events in company history — the original Macintosh launch in 1984 and the iMac launch in 1998 — for this event, and it’s even building some sort of multi-story structure on the campus as part of its preparation.

As we await…

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The Psychology of Writing and the Perfect Daily Routine


WP Writers Group

brainpickings-showup‘…Reflecting on the ritualization of creativity, Bukowski famously scoffed that “air and light and time and space have nothing to do with.” Samuel Johnson similarly contended that “a man may write at any time, if he will set himself doggedly to it.” And yet some of history’s most successful and prolific writers were women and men of religious daily routines and odd creative rituals. (Even Buk himself ended up sticking to a peculiar daily routine.)…’
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Seeing Through the Otherness of Others
Will you admire repulsive persons in the future?
“Maria Popova: This particular book explores the rather common experience of seeing someone as both frightening and repulsive until we get to know them — one manifestation of our broader, fundamental fear of the unfamiliar. Did you have such an experience yourself, either with a teacher or with another figure in your life, that inspired the book?

Peter Brown: When…

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Helping Entrepreneurs that Want Feedback on an Idea


David Cummings on Startups

One of the more common requests I receive from entrepreneurs is for feedback on an idea. Idea-stage entrepreneurs are always looking for external validation of their idea, and it’s often easier to talk to other entrepreneurs as opposed to finding potential prospects. My response right now is that I’m happy to help answer questions once they have 10 paying customers as my focus is on helping entrepreneurs get from 10 to 100 paying customers and not from 0 to 10. Yes, getting from 0 to 10 is where most entrepreneurs fail, but it’s also a good way to filter down to those that are making early progress.

Here are a few recommendations for entrepreneurs wanting feedback on an idea:

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7 Things the Most Interesting People All Have in Common


TIME

I’ve posted a lot of research from experts on getting people to like you, being influential and having great conversations.

What’s the best way to use all this information to be more interesting?

1) First, Don’t Be Boring

Sometimes the best offense is a good defense. Look at it like the Hippocratic Oath of conversations: Do no harm.

We’re all terrible at realizing when we bore others because, well, we all think we’re just fascinating.

The #1 tip for never boring anyone comes from Scott Adams: Be brief, be positive.

If you’re always to the point and stay upbeat, it’s extremely hard for anyone to accuse you of being poor company.

But sometimes you do need to speak a little longer to make sure things don’t get stilted.

The Art of Civilized Conversation offers another good tip: Is anyone asking you questions about what you’re saying?

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