The Blog

Thoughts about learning foreign languages and news about PhraseMix.com

Finding Good Learning Material, Part 3

One other aspect of finding good learning material that I wasn't able to touch on in my last post is the issue of variety.

Let's say that you've found a great, convenient study method for building vocabulary and reading comprehension. You've found a good news site that provides video clips and an...

Narau yori Nareru - Learning Grammar

There's a phrase in Japanese that I love: narau yori nareru (習うより慣れる).  You'll sometimes see this translated as "practice makes perfect", but what I like about this is the way that it's phrased. Narau (習う) means "to learn".  Yori (より) is "rather than".  And nareru (慣れる) means to...

The importance of collocation

One of the most-overlooked aspects of language learning is collocation.  Collocation is the pattern of co-occurrence of words. In other words, it's which words tend to appear together.

Take a word like “cease”: there are certain set phrases that we associate with the word, such...

Japanese on tape - my fortuitous beginning

I think that I started learning Japanese in the best possible way.

I started in the 2-3 months just prior to moving to Japan. Without any really good reason or any idea what I was getting myself into, I had applied and gotten hired for a job with the now-defunct NOVA chain of English conversation...

Welcome to PhraseMix!

PhraseMix is a way to learn languages.  It is based on the idea that memorizing phrases is the fastest way to learn.  Here's why:

  • Learning words leaves out so much information.  Some words are used in polite conversation, others only at a bar.  Lots of words occur in pairs or...


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