What To Expect
These are the stages you can expect to go through as you learn a brand new language with Hello Pal:
In the beginning, you’ll just LISTEN and REPEAT. You’re mainly memorizing the sound of the phrases, and repeating them as you record the phrases to others.
At this stage, you don’t have much understanding as to what you’re saying, and what each part of the phrase actually means. But hey, you’re actually speaking the language, and the message is getting across!
2. Getting the Basics
After a while of speaking the same phrases over and over again to many different people, you’ll find that you’ll start remembering how to say what you want to say and when you want to say it, without needing to use the Phrasebook for those phrases!
Now you’re able to say a few phrases to foreign natives who you next meet in real life, like saying hello and introducing yourself. You’re now able to instantly ‘break the ice’ with foreign people you meet.
3. Expanding Your Bag of Tricks
Once you start experimenting with modifying phrases using the Vocab List function, you’ll start to pick up new key vocabulary, and quickly multiplying the number of phrases you know how to say, and slowly building up confidence in your language ability.
“I love to eat pizza.”
“I love to eat ice cream.”
This allows you to add more variety and color to what you say, and be more specific in capturing what you wish to express.
“I’m very hungry.”
“I’m quite hungry.”
“I’m a little hungry.”
As you continue using the vocab lists, not only will you expand your vocabulary, but you will also get a better understanding of the structure of the phrase, and which words mean what.
By paying attention to the literal translations, you’ll get an even fuller understanding of what each part of phrase actually means. As this understanding grows, you’ll be able to construct brand new phrases yourself by combining different parts of phrases you previously learned.
“My father is an accountant.”
“I love you.”
→ “I love my father.”
Furthermore, you’ll start to notice patterns of speech and how phrases are usually structured. For example, if you’re learning Japanese, you’ll notice how similar it often is to the way Yoda speaks in Star Wars! This recognition will help you in constructing new sentences using the correct sentence structure.
5. Being Competent
Phrasebooks are like training wheels — you won’t need them after a while.
As you become more and more familiar with all the phrases and vocab in the Phrasebook, and your understanding of the language grows, you will find yourself relying on the phrasebook less and less.
Even when people use words that you’ve never heard of, you are already able to express your lack of understanding, ask for clarification, and understand the answer.
6. Reading / Writing
As you become a competent speaker of a language, you’ll also start to pay more attention to the written language, especially with languages that use non-Latin characters like Chinese. Here, the transcriptions of the language (such as Chinese pinyin, like “nihao” for “你好”) will play a crucial role.
Improving your ability to read would help tremendously in situations such as travelling abroad. Being able to write would also help you communicate with others during times when using audio is not convenient.
7. Maintaining / Improving
The learning of a language never really ends! However good you get, there’ll always be more to learn if you wish to take your language skills to an even higher level. From here it’s just a matter of regular conversations with native speakers of that language.
In fact, language can be forgotten to a large extent if you don’t regularly use it, so you’ll want to practice it regularly with others, even if you are happy with your current level.