Language Hack #1 – Audiobooks with transcripts

This post is the first in a new series of hacks that will massively accelerate your language learning.

What’s it about?

Foreign language audiobooks are great learning tools. Combined with a matching transcript they become incredible resources. Today I’m going to show you how to use audiobooks to hugely boost your language level.
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THE definitive list of Japanese language audiobooks

As I discussed here, an audiobook together with the corresponding  transcript is one of the best ways of improving your proficiency in a foreign language.

For whatever reason, the Japanese are not big fans of audiobooks. I have spent a great deal of time looking around for good quality materials in Japanese, but usually ended up frustrated by how scattered the resources were.

The following list is therefore an attempt to bring together all the Japanese audiobooks that I could find.  Many of them are free. I have provided links to the audio file, transcript, physical book or e-book wherever possible. Enjoy!


Natsume Soseki “Yumejuuya” (1 hour 14 min)
Audio (free with Audible trial)
Transcript
Translation
E-book

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The big list of Chinese language audiobooks

As I discussed here, an audiobook together with the corresponding  transcript is one of the best ways of improving your proficiency in a foreign language.

This is the list of audiobooks in Chinese that we were able to find so far. Most come together with the transcript.


Fortress Besieged “Fortress besieged” (14+ hours)
Audio (free)
Transcript
Book

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4 ways to find interesting Japanese content to read for the Kindle

It’s one thing to learn Japanese but another to find interesting content to read in the language. In a previous post, I wrote about the Kindle Paperwhite and its significance for Japanese learners.

Since then, Amazon have made some progress in harmonizing much of the Japanese Kindle Store with the Amazon.com site. This is great news for Japanese learners around the globe. It is now possible to access Japanese language titles without all the previous hassle. From classic novels to manga in the original, there is a lot to choose from.

So how can you find some good content to read in Japanese?

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Book review: 500 Basic Korean Verbs

In any language, verbs form the vital medium for effective communication. Korean is no exception. Its tricky verb conjugations and challenging grammar present tough obstacles for learners. 500 Basic Korean Verbs is an invaluable reference that breaks down 500 of the most common Korean verbs. I recommend that all serious students of Korean pick this one up.

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4 tips for a better self-study experience

In this installment, I share some pointers to give you a better study experience for learning languages. This isn’t gospel, just our informed opinion after having studied Asian languages for over a decade. Feel free to follow the parts that vibe with you and discard the rest. With that caveat in place, let’s get started!

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The multi-front attack for conquering a new language

We have already established that studying on your own is best, but what’s the optimal way to dive into a completely new language?

The secret lies in attacking the language from many different angles. This is not an original idea. In fact, I borrowed it from a personal hero of mine, Barry Farber. His method works!

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Assimil: An underrated gem for Asian languages

As far as I’m concerned, Assimil is one of the best kept secrets in language learning. They offer materials for a number of Asian languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian and Thai.

I was first introduced to Assimil by Professor Arguelles, who claims to have extensively used their courses to achieve a grounding in a multitude of languages.

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