In previous posts, I've already described the process I used for my first month of Greek study, which has been mostly about getting comfortable reading and writing in the new alphabet, learning pronunciation rules, and learning some basic phrases.
I've already impressed my Greek coworker twice this month with the amount I've learned in a short time. And last week, I even had a very brief conversation — basically, an exchange of small-talk — with the man behind the counter at a bakery in Greek Town.
I'm off to a good start already! Without a doubt, having people with whom to speak is a huge key to success in learning a foreign language.
Now that my first month is done, the time for relaxation is over. For the next month or two, I'm going to charge through all the materials I can find, and do it as fast as possible.
Based on my results last year with a short Polish experiment, I'm going to give this method a serious chance. Starting with Colloquial Greek I'm going to read through as much material as possible, as fast as possible.
The idea is not to memorize every detail. It's not even to "study" or to successfully learn everything I see. Rather, I just want to understand each concept as I see it. If something doesn't make sense, I'll slow down, re-read it, etc. But as long as I'm understanding what I see, I'm going to keep going.
After going through the entire Colloquial Polish book in just 9 days, I found that in spite of not remembering every word I read, the grammar made sense, the conjugations made sense, even the constructions of words and prefixes made sense. I didn't get fluent, but I did learn in 9 days what might have taken several months otherwise.
Using this method, I was able to speak and understand Polish at a very basic level in just over a week. Could I get similar results in another language? Could I get even better results by repeating the process a few times with additional books?
We'll find out. The experiment begins now. If it works, it will change everything about how I approach language learning in the future.
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