The Fastest Way to Learn a New Language: The Solar System Theory

[Music] i want to share with you a different way of looking at language learning and an adventure that it took me on [Music] i feel very strongly that the way languages are taught traditionally in school is immensely frustrating and it's very inefficient it is my belief that language learning can be exciting and truly mind-expanding that is the inspiration behind all of my language adventures so i'm going to draw out how i visualize this and explain as i go along to conceptualize how i see language learning how i see this whole process this is a significant investment in terms of time and energy it is not easy to learn a language and i think the more concrete we can turn something that is abstract and potentially overwhelming the easier it becomes to break it down to understand what's going on to make progress and by far the most important of all to enjoy the process first and foremost i think what is lacking is a clear explanation as to the mechanics of language in general how language works these are universal concepts that apply to all languages no matter what you're learning or what you speak this is a reflection of human nature really how we use language it changed everything for me and how i saw languages when i finally saw things clearly through this lens take it or leave it it's up to you the way i have always traditionally visualized language is like a solar system where we have concentric circles building out now this is not new but there's a concept essentially that we need to take into account here which is word frequency some words are used a lot more than others words and phrases so for example a word like the or a or and those are very very common words in english and they're used a lot more often than a random word like dolphins or horses for that matter not that those nouns are not important but they're used less often than the can you imagine trying to have an entire conversation without using the word the it'd be difficult what we're trying to do here is rank by importance and everything gets ranked so with this concept of language okay this solar system we're going to build this out in terms of word frequency where the most frequently used words are at the very center okay ranked by frequency of usage and as you build out it's less and less commonly used words so this circle here represents the top 10 percent of words used in the english language or any given language all the way out to the final circle now a couple things to keep in mind here first of all these exact words will look differently depending on the language and how it's structured and how it's used so the top 10 of words in english are not going to be necessarily exactly the same as in spanish for example and there's a level of personalization that's going on here in that that top ten percent of words that is used by any given person is going to be a reflection of how they think and their vocabulary and their life and their interests so your top ten percent isn't necessarily exactly like my top 10 in english i always felt during my exchange year in france where i did become fluent in the language that my vocabulary in cuisine in food in general was weak it wasn't as good as it could be it was because that year i didn't spend a lot of time cooking so my cuisine and food vocabulary is probably ranked lower than somebody else learning the french language uh to become a chef i would imagine their cuisine and food vocabulary is much higher much more important probably in the top 10 or 20 percent now here's the thing i just built this out this solar system that represents a language in terms of evenly spread out circles but that's not actually how this works what we need to do here is a weighted representation of word frequency of how often words are actually used in terms of how much space they take up in the solar system what this should actually probably look like is the inner circle is much much larger okay takes up a huge percentage of the total solar system because that top 10 percent of words actually accounts for well over half of all language use in the language and then the next circle takes up a another large percentage of the solar system but much smaller than the first circle and then smaller and smaller and smaller this is actually how language works this is known as the pareto principle also commonly known as the 80 20 rule i've talked about this before this applies to so many different domains in life if you're curious about this idea i highly recommend you look further into it because i've actually used this law of the universe of nature in how i organize my life in where my time and energy goes how i can sort of maximize what i'm doing i feel like you got to give yourself every possible advantage that you can so let's talk about takeaways from all of this i think it's very powerful to approach language learning in terms of prioritization what is the top one percent of most frequently used words and expressions what is going to take me the furthest in terms of comprehension in terms of self-expression especially in the beginning to get the boat offshore this can of course expand out to eventually fill most if not all of the solar system right that's the goal but it doesn't all have to happen at once in fact i think that's why it can feel so overwhelming to get going with the language it's actually incredible how much coverage you can have on a language with a very small set of very commonly used words and expressions there's a lot of research about this out there that i will link to down below so that's it you have my secret you can now go out and apply it to whatever language that you're learning really have nothing to hide here i take such great joy in seeing other people share my passion for languages so please like use this however you see fit if you feel lost about how to go about this i worked for four months with my friend johnny harris to create a language learning course to answer all questions that you may have we went way way more in depth into this way of approaching language and between the two of us we shared all the tools and techniques that we have to learn to memorize to go through this entire process to navigate the choppy waters of learning a new language i'm honestly really proud of how it came out it contains everything i know about language learning up to this point the reason i charge money for it is just because of the amount of effort and energy and research and time that went into making this happen so i'll link to it down below if you're interested i made a lot of language learning materials available for free on my website and all you have to do is sign up to my newsletter which is also free and i'll send it to you the thing that i always go back to is that language is experiential it is something that is meant to be used i only learn languages to connect with other people and to understand their way of seeing the world and living life it is really not about lists of words or tables of conjugation so in the spirit of capturing what excites me about languages i wanted to share a little adventure that i went on a few months ago with a belgian friend of mine this is for the love of travel and exploration and it would have never been possible had i never learned french on a road somewhere in southern portugal the light is just ridiculous right now i mean ridiculous and with my belgian friend greg gregoire gregory just i don't know greg that cooks basically uh i'm gonna attempt to learn how to drive uh stick for the first time ever so we'll see we'll see how that goes i don't think it's super complicated but i'm uh we'll see how things go before i dive in though i do want to talk briefly about the sponsor of this video morning brew my new big thing is newsletters i think that's probably the reason why i mention mine so often it's because i think i'm coming to realize that it is an amazing way to reach people and to share ideas and that i think is why it's growing so quickly morning brew is like the tech finance version of what i'm doing i found that it's a way less intrusive less distracting way of getting distilled down information on what's going on in the world this is one of my many solutions to spend less time on social media i feel like i'm learning from it it's well written interesting and free and it helped me follow along with the whole gamestop saga for example the newsletter goes out daily monday through saturday so if you're interested in tech business or finance consider checking it out it takes like 15 seconds to sign up and i'll link to it down below i read it so thank you morning brew for sponsoring this video now on to my adventure [Music] manual [Music] foreign [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] um [Music] is just but [Music] foreign is wow wow [Music] [Music] [Music] and then came the dogs all in all i'm gonna need a lot more practice to feel comfortable driving stick but this is a really great start [Music] you

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