Nick Velasquez is the author of the new book “Learn, Improve, Master: How to Develop Any Skill and Excel at It.” In the interview, we discuss the core principles, strategies, and tools you can use to master any anything, may it be reaching conversational fluency in Japanese or remembering more of what you read.
Chris Vasselli is a programmer, passionate Japanese learner, and the creator of the Nihongo iOS app, my go-to Japanese dictionary and reading tool for authentic Japanese content. We discuss his language learning journey, how to acquire Japanese the fun, natural, immersive way, and why you shouldn’t fear the Japanese writing system.
Every so often we make seemingly small decisions that end up changing the course of our lives forever… For me, one such choice was taking an introductory linguistics class, which ultimately led to changing my major to Linguistics three years into an Industrial Design degree and launching me on a love affair that still consumes me to this day. I suspect that if you’re reading this blog, you too may be interested in linguistics, at least as far as it can aid your approach to mastering foreign languages. While a college degree in the subject can certainly help in this regard, the good news is that you can learn all the core principles you need from a small list of books, saving yourself four years and thousands of dollars! Read on to see the three linguistics books you need to understand how languages work, how they’re acquired, and how best to learn or teach them.
I am excited to announce that the brand new version of Master Mandarin: How to Learn Mandarin Chinese Anywhere in the World will be released on April 6, 2020 in both digital and print versions. There is still time to make a few changes and additions, so would you do me a quick favor? I am looking for insight on how I can make the book most useful for you. If you have a spare minute or two, let me know: ① What are you struggling with most in your language learning journey?, ② What do you find most difficult about Mandarin Chinese specifically? ③ What content, methods, resources, etc. do you hope I include? You can either leave a comment on the post or send me a quick email.
After many years of requests from Language Mastery readers, I am very excited to announce that today, the print version of Master Japanese is now available on Amazon for just $29! (Cue music and celebratory ninja dancing!) Master Japanese teaches you how to learn Japanese in a way that is both fun and effective, from the comfort of your own home, using my proven method called Anywhere Immersion. It’s not a textbook or course, but a complete guide that teaches you HOW to learn Japanese. Whether you have a business trip to Japan coming up, you want to be able to read manga in the original Japanese, or you want to wow your Japanese partner’s family with your Nihongo skills, I’m committed to helping you reach your goals, whatever they may be.
I recently started reading Scott H. Young’s excellent new book “Ultralearning: Master Hard Skills, Outsmart the Competition, and Accelerate Your Career.” Though the book is about metalearning in general, it’s loaded with principles that are extremely relevant for language learning. One particularly important concept Scott highlights is directness: “Learn by doing the thing you want to become good at. Don’t trade it off for other tasks just because those are more convenient and comfortable.”