Monoglot Anxiety

Monoglot Anxiety

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The Lazy Italian Self-Study Experiment: Month 1

Or: putting German on hold was harder than I thought it would be

Elise Cutts

6-Minute Read

Banner for the lazy Italian self-study experiment: a sleepy cat hugging a book with a speech bubble containing an Italian flag

The 1st month of the Lazy Italian Experiment is over… and it was definitely a bit more “lazy” than “Italian.” Thanks to a last-minute vacation with my boyfriend’s germanophone family, I got very very excited about German again and pretty much let Italian fall away for 2 weeks.

The Lazy Italian Self-Study Experiment: Month 0

My goals and strategy for my first month of teaching myself Italian without lots of time

Elise Cutts

8-Minute Read

Banner for the lazy Italian self-study experiment: a sleepy cat hugging a book with a speech bubble containing an Italian flag

There are lots of language learning strategies and programs out there for beginners, and I think that most of them probably work—if only because they involve spending lots of time with your new language. But I’m lazy. And maybe you are, too. So if you’re wondering if it’s possible to learn a new language with no real plan and close to 0 focused study, you’re in the right place. Welcome to my silly experiment.

How to make better language flashcards by combining writing practice with spaced repetition

Write, get your writing corrected by native speakers, and turn your mistakes into flashcards

Elise Cutts

10-Minute Read

Picture of a woman's hand writing

Writing is one of my favorite ways to actively study German. It is great for vocabulary building and grammar practice, and in the absence of speaking opportunities, it is the only way to get practice with production skills. But beyond simply being a great way to practice on its own, writing is a key component of how I use flashcards and spaced repetition to learn German. In this post, I break down how to use writing practice to get more out of spaced repetition systems like Anki.

Booster Pack: German cooking verbs

A free Anki deck of 38 German cooking verbs. Images, audio, example sentences, color-coding, and cloze deletions for every word.

Elise Cutts

5-Minute Read

I’m a bad cook, so it’s difficult for me to follow recipes even when they’re written in plain English—let alone sputtered out rapid-fire in German as I try to handle knives and hot pans without maiming myself. But I’ve been cooking more with my boyfriend, and when he bothers to use a recipe all it always ends up as rapid-fire German sputtering even if it started out a written recipe. Clearly it was time to get to work on a flashcard deck of German cooking verbs.

10 great German science YouTube channels

Get your German language immersion with a side of nerdy awesomeness with these 10 German science YouTube channels

Elise Cutts

6-Minute Read

German science videos were some of the first “real” German media that I could understand. It might sound like a tough place to start, but thanks to the overlap between English and German scienctific vocabulary, science videos can actually be a great entry into authentic German content (especially if you’re a nerd like me). These 10 channels are a great resource for German learners or anyone else looking for awesome science videos in German.

Booster Pack: German tree vocabulary

An Anki deck of 45 free German flashcards all about trees. Images, example sentences, color-coding, and cloze deletions for every word—and now audio, too.

Elise Cutts

5-Minute Read

When we learn a new language, we focus on learning the words we actually need to communicate. But eventually, you might want to be able to get across points like “pine tree” without having to say things like “der Baum, der Nadeln statt Blätter hat.”

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This isn't another polyglot blog — it's a monoglot blog! Well, it used to be. At this point, I'm probably somewhere around a 1.75-glot, maybe a 1.80-glot on a good day. This site is all about learning to learn languages, written through the lense of my experience overcoming the intermediate plateau with German and starting from scratch with Italian as a self-taught former monoglot. If you're teaching yourself a language, this is for you!

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