You have decided to learn another language.
You are ready to take the process seriously, and you resolve to stay devoted, despite the difficulty of the task before you.
Perhaps, in the spirit of MGTOW, you have decided to forego popular avenues of instruction, such as the classroom or computer-assisted learning software, and have chosen a more independent and analog method for learning a foreign language, like hiring a personal tutor.
You are going to face a unique set of challenges. As a language teacher and tutor myself, and as someone who continues to learn new languages, I would like to offer my professional and unique perspective to those of you wanting to fly solo, as I do.
But rather than foresee your challenges, which are unique to your learning style, your place of residence, and the language you have chosen, I have chosen instead to offer you five specific tasks to undertake during your linguistic journey.
These are the methods that have so far worked for me, and I share them with you.
1. Hire two (2) native speaker tutors
This should go without saying, but make sure they are native speakers and not someone who merely learned the language.
I eventually found my ideal tutors by posting on Facebook, specifically through language groups I had joined. Other avenues I suggest are Craigslist, college campuses, and local expat groups that speak your target language.
This recommendation that you hire two separate tutors is so that you can accomplish two separate goals: sophistication and cool.
The first, an older, well spoken, and educated native speaker, will help you with the majority of your learning needs. These include pronunciation, reading, grammar, vocabulary, and distinctions of formality (something that ‘Merican English lacks, not surprisingly).
It is with this tutor that you will be able to practice expressing yourself specifically and accurately, and he/she will also be the person with whom you will complete three of the four remaining tasks below.
The second, a younger, popular, and attractive native speaker, will help you break some of the rules you learned with the first–albeit with linguistic credibility–and you will also take this opportunity to learn slang, humor, and a general sense of “what the kids are saying.”
This tutor can be male or female, but the part about being attractive and popular is important. Learning how to talk to young, beautiful women in a foreign language is going to impart a universal type of charm that will help you in other areas. You either need to practice with that demographic or practice with the type of person that attracts that demographic.
If your motivation to learn another language is so that you can use it specifically to game foreign women, then this is an imperative component of the process, and power to ya. However, winning the favor of a woman or group of women has never been nor shall ever be the underlying motivation of my biggest undertakings.
I guess it depends on what kind of man you are.
Although I often find myself living like a Player or Asshole, my personality is much more suited to the Hobbyist type, hence my refusal to place the V at the center of my endeavors.
The point remains, regardless of your motivation or personality type, getting to know how the young and charming utilize a language is going to help you in the long run in many ways.
While I don’t have the space to enumerate those ways in detail, I will say there’s something to youthful energy that permeates your personality and heightens your Game.
The second tutor brings that energy into the learning process. The first tutor helps you cultivate decorum and sophistication. Talk like a thug, or speak like a gentleman. The more versatile you are, the better.
2. Focus on themed vocabulary
This is a self-explanatory method that public and private schools utilize ad nauseam, but I have found it to be effective when approached properly.
Learn introductions. Learn greetings. Learn colors. Learn about clothing. Learn about food.
Break it up into units, and focus on each unit until you reach relative mastery. Make sure your themes are based on real-world situations that you expect to encounter. I live in a city that has a large community of Russian speakers who host many cultural events throughout the year, and there is even a small Russian grocer not far from where I work. As a result, I have chosen the following themes to study in-depth for several months:
Greetings and introductions
What I do and where I live
Shopping for food
Shopping for clothes
Places in the community
Events and invitations
By learning vocabulary and statements that pertain to the above situations, I equip myself with language that I can use immediately. Many of my conversations have been repetitive, almost to the point of boredom, but that is how one develops a second-nature for something. Wax on, wax off.
“Always look eye”
Since you are not in school and at the mercy of a one-size-fits-all curriculum, you have the liberty to proceed at your own pace. Move on to a new theme when you are ready, but not a moment sooner.
The key is to build confidence and skill in a very specific area before moving on to another area. That is how I became successful learning Spanish, and it has worked well for me learning Russian.
3. Craft personalized statements
Have your elder tutor create–so that you can memorize–a list of statements that give specific information about your world.
For example: I live in West Austin, but I work in Central Austin. I work in a large office. I am a travel agent. (None of this is actually true).
Within the community language instructors, there are recommendations both FOR and AGAINST this method, and I would say that both camps have a point. In favor, you want to be able to give specific and thorough information about yourself, especially in regards to the most common questions people ask. Where are you from? What do you do? How long have you been studying X language? Why are you learning X language? If you are practicing, you will quickly figure out what questions people ask.
On the other hand, if you rely too heavily upon pre-constructed statements in order to express yourself, then you aren’t really learning the language. You need to be able think and speak on the spot, and past a certain point in the conversation your canned responses will dry up, and you’ll be standing there like an idiot not knowing what to say.
Find the balance. If you are new to the language, you need to have someone tell you what to say. Take that advice, and use it to your advantage.
4. Learn one (1) grammar concept at a time
This is where a firm hand is necessary with know-it-all tutors, especially amateurs. You don’t have to pay extra for expertise and experience if you know how to direct the flow of the sessions.
To illustrate, my elder tutor was recently teaching me how to buy clothing items in a store, along with being specific about the colors of those items. It just so happened that the first few examples were feminine nouns, so I decided to stay in that vein.
My tutor tried to include masculine nouns. I brushed them aside.
She tried to teach me how to say what I was currently wearing at the time. I said, “not today.”
I only practiced with feminine nouns and only with specific statements. After a few practice rounds, I changed from clothing to food, making sure to only cover feminine food nouns.
You see, the grammar concept I ended up mastering that day was the declension of feminine nouns in the nominative and accusative cases. It took the form of buying clothes and food, both of which fall under the general theme of shopping.
During my next lesson, I’ll practice with masculine and perhaps neutral words. And it will be easy. But I need to clarify something: your primary aim should never be to master the declension of feminine nouns in the nominative and accusative cases, per se, but rather be able to make the same statement multiple times with different words.
I need to buy a white shirt. Do you have a white shirt?
I need to buy a black fedora. Do you have a black fedora?
I need to buy cabbage. Do have cabbage?
I need to buy a beet. Do you have a beet?
What I accomplished in the above lesson is threefold:
1. I mastered a specific statement-and-question structure. (“I need X. Do you have X?”)
2. I learned new vocabulary.
3. I became naturally accustomed to the declension of feminine nouns in the nominative and accusative cases.
Notice the word naturally. This means my learning took place within the context of repetition and not as a result of cognition. The part of the brain that processes new habits is separate from the part of the brain that processes knowledge-based memories.
Of course, if you had read The Power of Habit from Roosh’s recommended book list, you would already know that.
5. Practice in the target language
This is task that will involve your older tutor the least. Certainly, you will engage in conversation and practice dialogue with the elder, but it is with the younger tutor that I recommend you converse the most.
“Target language” (TL) is the language you are endeavoring to learn. “Practice” means you speak and listen (and to a lesser extent read and write) in that language.
Be sure to hold your practice to the following standards.
1. Treat this as a role-play, wherein each person assumes a character in a given situation.
2. DO NOT BREAK CHARACTER until the mini-session is complete. If your speaking partner tries to break out of character, be firm and insist they play by your rules. Remember, this is your money at work.
3. Maintain a rule of 100% TL while in the role-play. NO ENGLISH.
4. At the end of conversation, seek feedback from your speaking partner. Ask what you did well first (always start with the positive), then ask what you could have done differently to make it better.
5. If time allows, repeat the conversation and make necessary changes based on your partner’s suggestions. Keep in mind the positive feedback so that you don’t try to fix what ain’t broken.
The best way to learn a new language is to speak and practice with a native speaker, and certainly the most effective way to accomplish such a goal is to travel to a country that harbors an entire populations of native speakers.
However, if you have personal obligations or financial limitations that hinder frequent travel, as I do, then seeking a personal tutor is a viable alternative. Adhering to the tips I’ve listed above will ensure that your money is well spent and that you will get the most out of any tutoring experience.