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Saturday, June 22, 2024
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TPOL The Polyglot: A Better Way to Learn Multiple Languages

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你好, مرحبا, Здравствуйте, hola, or simply hello.

In 2016, I wrote about my efforts to learn Mandarin, Arabic, Russian, Spanish, and English (see TPOL The Polyglot: How To Learn Multiple Languages). 5 years later I can still say, 你好, مرحبا, Здравствуйте, hola, or simply hello. Though I am far from fluent, I haven’t given up. Instead, I believe I have finally found the best platforms to improve my proficiency. Here they are:


HSK Level IV was my goal in 2017. That did not happen. However, since last December I have been using Yoyo Chinese which is the best and most comprehensive software for learning Mandarin (see Yoyo Chinese: Finally a Way to Improve My Mandarin).


The best way to learn Spanish is through Baselang. Tutors are available virtually anytime and lessons can be scheduled minutes before. There are dozens of different tutors which helps with listening comprehension. There’s also a regimented curriculum with different levels along with exams that will make sure that you stay on track.


Arabic has been impossible to learn until now. I switched to italki and found a tutor who is teaching me how to read and speak the Levantine dialect. I contrast this to the futile and pointless attempts of learning modern standard Arabic, something that no one in the Middle East actually speaks.


I also use italki for Russian and am slowly and unsurely making progress.


I continue to study each language for two hours a week. One hour is with a tutor and one hour is self-study. It is a glacial process but I continue to push forward.

a man leaning against a wall next to a body of water
TPOL the Polyglot

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