Since January, I have been teaching myself the Tagalog language. This will be my second Filipino language to study as I can speak some Bisaya (Cebuano) from spending time in Mindanao. This summer, I will be spending a significant amount of time on Mindoro and I want to be able to speak with my dive instructors and divemasters in Puerto Galera as I work on my Divemaster certification. Everyone there speaks Tagalog and English.
This summer, I will be spending a significant amount of time on Mindoro and I want to be able to speak with my dive instructors and divemasters in Puerto Galera as I work on my Divemaster course. Everyone there speaks Tagalog and English.
However, this time I have modified how to learn another language by changing my mindset on how to better and more efficiently learn a second language. I now use the full features of Anki and Itakki.com.
Some of the tools I am using were not available when I studied the Bisaya language. I used Anki while studying Bisaya, but I didn’t use this app to its full potential. I now have a better understanding of how best to use Anki. I learned some of Anki’s advanced features while enrolled in my Mandarin language class this past year. I now add pictures and audio to my Anki Tagalog deck, and this had greatly helped with vocabulary retention.
I have since dropped Mandarin around January and have concentrated on Tagalog. Learning two languages at the same time requires full-time dedication and I don’t have that much free time. Plus, I think it’s better to concentrate on one language at a time.
I have already learned the pronunciation and I’m now studying the most frequent Tagalog vocabulary words. I got this idea from the Fluent-forever website. Currently, I know about 500 words and I am working up to the minimum 625.
I’m at the point now where I need to speak as much as possible. My wife speaks both Tagalog and Bisaya but I need more guidance in making sentences. Benny Lewis, on his site Fluentin3months , advocates that one should start speaking the language as soon as possible. I wanted to do this, but I find that if I have some vocabulary to work with, it’s easier to make some communication with another person. My goal is to speak and understand Tagalog by the time I get to Puerto Galera this June.
To help with speaking Tagalog, I have a language teacher and tutor on iTalki. These lessons have helped me in both my speaking and listening skills. I just have to speak as much as possible and try and remember the corrections. When I have a lesson on italki, I record the Skype lesson and put the completed sentences spoken by my teacher into Anki so I can review and remember. I used to use my Call Recorder utility which can slice up the recordings into sentences, but that took too long to edit and export as mp3’s.
What has worked best for me so far is the new app from Fluent Forever where you can record each sentence separately in order to place into your Anki deck. You do this by opening a special web page and Skype at the same time. By doing this, I can review the correct pronunciation and correct sentences every day on my Anki deck.
Another app I have been using is HelloTalk. I use this app on my phone to talk to Tagalog speakers. This app will be more useful when I can speak in complete sentences. Many Filipinos want help with their English, so we can help each other with this app.
If you’re serious about learning Tagalog, I recommend you follow this sequence: Pronunciation, select vocabulary, and speaking using italki. Learning a second language is not something someone can teach you, it is something you have to learn and practice on a regular basis.
I have my next italki lesson tonight. I hope to learn and speak as much as possible. I’ll be using all the above tools to get important content into my Anki deck. My next post I will have a video of how this went.