Before a mission, a Shinobi must learn to recognize the language of a foreign territory. Living in his own village, he cannot practice the language and speak it like a native, but a Digital Ninja, he must make sure to learn it as if he has already lived in that place for a long time.
The training of a shadow warrior is not just about theory and physical training.
Learning a language is not based solely on study, but must be experienced.
Here are some digital Ninjutsu tools used by the Shinobi and inspired
by the method of “you don’t study the language, you live it!”.
This method is designed for those who do not have the opportunity to travel abroad often or pay expensive language courses
The Digital Tools of Shinobi
The first basic tool for mastering the ability to read, write, speak and listen to a foreign language is Duolingo.
This application has a free version that uses an
education system similar to Assimil, an intuitive assimilation method for language learning.
In fact, a series of sentences that have to be repeated are shown, with the relative translations to be composed, helping you to understand how to build the syntax.
This way you can learn basic vocabulary to juggle linguistic understanding.
Repeating these “done” sentences helps the head to think in that language.
This exercise should be done for at least twenty minutes a day every day.
In a previous article, I explained, that the ability to learn one or more languages as a child occurs thanks to listening.
In fact, it represents 50% of a person’s interaction skills during a conversation.
Therefore, we must train our ear, to recognize the accents, immersing our head in a “bubble of sounds”.
Luckily Radio Garden comes to our aid, available both for the web and for smartphones.
This web radio platform allows you to listen to live radio broadcasting all over the world, simply by moving its cursor.
Initially, for the first week, you should start with fifteen minutes, the second with thirty minutes of listening, and then move on to at least an hour a day after the first month.
This is because every 80-100 hours of exposure and study of the foreign language, it is possible to take a step up in understanding the four basic skills (Reading, Listening, Writing, Speaking) in the six levels of linguistic proficiency of CEFR.
I insist a lot on this point, because a passive listening of interviews, stories, short stories, news of at least two hours a day, allows you to reach a level every 2-3 months, obviously if you are constant.
Small measures to improve the Listening
Only “passive listening” is not enough, but some “active listening” technique must also be used.
Among these techniques or “jutsu” I suggest you:
- Shadowing: repeat everything you hear on the radio. The purpose is to make you acquire fluency, keep attention on the listened speech, and prevent the mind from wandering.
- Catch Keyword: Catch a word often repeated in the conversation, search for a translation on Google Translate, and try to compose a sentence of complete meaning and repeat it to consolidate it in the head.
With these two tools, you already have the opportunity to learn to juggle a survival conversation, during your missions, such as during travels, in Erasmus, or even in the office.
If you want to further improve yourself, this is the third tool that I consider
very useful and I have used it during my experience.
This application is available in different languages, and at the expense of an unattractive UX design, I found this tool very useful and functional for the purpose.
It was developed by Language Course.net
It is a Flash Cards app, or a sequence of images, with words to be memorized, by repetition, or compilation of words with related translations
It is divided into the six levels of the CEFR (actually five because from A1 up to C1), therefore, based on your level of linguistic knowledge, you can decide to learn the words according to your mastery, by downloading the appropriate package.
Having knowledge of many words will allow you to express yourself with greater nuances, and increase your ability to understand radio and read articles, thanks to the acquisition of passive vocabulary.
I suggest you try it out using an account to save your progress, because sometimes it may freeze
However, it remains useful for the purpose to learn an emergency phrasebook.
On the other hand, the children first began to repeat the words, and thanks to the visual aspect, they can guess their meaning, even speaking whole sentences.
Now it’s time to start the mission …
I started using the first two tools, two months before my departure for Malta, for a Mini-Erasmus project, since I had to reach a B1 level in order to participate in the program.
Since I found myself sharing the flat with only Italians, and unfortunately in Malta many people understand or speak Italian for historical and tourist reasons, I needed to speak English to improve.
So it was that I decided to combine business with pleasure, and my fourth tool for practicing Speaking came to my aid.
Well yes, although some of you may object to the validity of this trailer app, this dating service remains a valid alternative.
The organization of appointments allows you to write and improve dialogues in a foreign language.
Maybe you’re lucky and you could remedy an interesting evening.
I advise you not to underestimate it, and to subscribe to the Pro version, to be more likely to find compatibility and organize a meeting.
On returning home, you will have a lot of international knowledge to continue talking with or a hook for future travel.
I suggest you start your search at least a week before your departure, hiding your age and distance to increase your chance of success.
Use what you have learned, in your conversations, whether during a youth exchange, on vacation, or in business meetings to thus consolidate your active vocabulary as well.