Hello fellow language learners. I am working on an online magazine type thing for language learners, and I am looking for some content from people on the internet. What I would really like to know is what is the first thing you do/did or have done when starting a new language? I would like to use any answers as quotes in the magazine, so please write them clearly and concisely. You may write them in any language you want, but please include an English translation. Also, at the end please include your first name (or a nickname or online alias, as long as it's some type of name) and the country you live in. Thank you so much in advance.
The first step is to learn how to greet people and how to pronounce all the sounds. The best way to learn pronunciation, for me at least, is listening and repeating sounds seen in basic words, or through music. You always have to know how to greet people in different languages; how else are you going to start a conversation if you can't say "Hello!"?
Also it's better to at least understand how the writing system works before you dive in, if you have to learn a new way of writing. You don't have to learn every character in Chinese by midnight but at least know the rules of writing a character correctly and why pinyin has all those little marks on the vowels. With language the slow and steady often win the race to fluency, especially early on.
Zoë/Zeta from the USA.
I already know Japanese and am starting Portuguese, so I have a general sense of what methods work best for me. I find a so called"multi-track" approach works best for me. In other words, do two or more courses at once, plus native media.
For Brazilian Portuguese I'm using Duolingo, Rosetta Stone (free from my public library), LyricsTraining.com for listening comprehension, talk radio via Tunein.com or http://radio.garden and some Portuguese lessons in Japanese from YouTube for double the language practice. After I become more proficient in Portuguese I'll likely switch to making flashcards in Anki, changing the display language of the devices and websites I use from Japanese to Portuguese slowly one by one, and work on finding some Brazilian TV shows and books I like.
YozakuraHime from the US.
The alphabet. I always begin with the alphabet. (With the exception of Chinese of course XD). ~ Julia from Germany :)