AFP 28 – Victor Berrjod: Asian languages and gold listing!

Victor Berrjod was somebody I met in Berlin at the polyglot conference and he impressed me because he knew four or five Asian languages to quite a high level.

To me it's always impressive when Europeans dedicate themselves to languages outside of Europe. What was more remarkable was that he had brought along a book of his vocab memory method, designed originally by David James, and when I saw page up and page down of Chinese characters with explanations, I knew Victor was the real deal.

In the episode we discuss his language learning history as well as his ways of learning a language, which includes the gold-list method for vocabulary and some practical tips and advice for learning tonal or character-based languages. Well worth a listen if you are into or want to get into learning Asian languages.

A podcast curse?

10169206_10152307324835867_311921381_nIt seems like the Podcast is suffering from a curse! Last week my episode with Anthony Lauder was delayed several times due to unforeseen events outside of my control, and this week it seems like the same is playing tricks. I have been trying to get Victor on the podcast for a while, but as he lives in the dark countryside of Norway his connection to the internet is not stable enough to do the recording. He was kind of enough to go to his mother's house and do a recording with me last week.

What I didn't realize was that my iTalki lesson with my Russian tutor was very soon after, so immediately when we started recording I noticed the clock and this made me kind of rush things, which immediately had an impact on Victor as well. A few days later I re-listened to what we had recorded and it was not really great. We jumped from topic to topic and too many tangents and unnecessary explanations meant that the episode was far below the quality I envision for this podcast.

I decided to cut it and ask Victor if he would be generous enough with his time to come back, and thankfully he said yes. But the disasters did not stop with that. We sat down and we recorded what I thought was an amazing episode, only to find that the recording had been corrupted, or somebody had forgot to turn the recorder on, I'd like to say the former happened. Either way, we recorded AGAIN and this is what came of it.

I really enjoyed this episode, after it was done, because we had been given 2 warm-up recordings to kinda zone into what was important in the first, one might even say we distilled the podcast into what you see today.

The Episode

Show Notes

In this episode you will hear about:

  • Victor's language learning journey
  • How a friend getting him into Japanese started a passion for Asian languages
  • What technique he used to learn over 4000 Chinese characters in a year
  • His tips and tricks for people learning Asian languages
  • His future plans for language learning
  • and much more!

Resources mentioned in the Episode

Note: I've removed most of the resources from this section, as I always had Anki/Memrise etc. here every week. Now I will only put resources here that are very exclusive to the episode. For any other resource please go to the resource page for more information.

  • Uncle Davey says:

    Vidunderligt. Tusind tak kære drenge, for at have givet i opmærksomhed på denne ydmyge metode.

    • Chris Broholm says:

      Tak! Glæder mig til at se dig igen I fremtiden, måske på podcasten :)?

      • Uncle Davey says:

        Hvem er fremmester, du eller David Mansaray?

        • Chris Broholm says:

          Fremmester? 😛 Hvis du spørger om jeg synes min podcast er bedre end David’s: Det synes jeg da, helt upartisk :))

  • 我的媽媽骂一匹馬。 @Victor, can you think of a simpler way of saying the same thing…would the meaning come across by eliminating the pronoun and the classifier?

    • Victor Berrjod says:

      I think 媽媽駡馬 is as short as you can get it.

  • Daniel says:

    I’m not sure I understand what his Japanese goldlist looks like.
    If he wants to learn 日本, would he write 日本 on one line and the reading にほん on another, making it two entries?

    • Victor Berrjod says:

      I would indeed make it two entries, but this way:

      1. 日本 —— ニホꜜン
      2. 日本 —— Japan

      (Maybe three to include ニッポꜜン.)

      • Daniel says:

        Oh hey, the man himself! Thanks for the reply. 😀
        When checking if you remember the answers, do you hide the answer when looking at the keyword, or do you look at the answer and trust your judgement about whether or not you remembered it?
        My goldlist has only the kanji, no translation or reading, but I’m finding it way too difficult. Going to try your approach.

        • Victor Berrjod says:

          I don’t cover anything, but read through the words until I see one that I think I know. It’s usually easy to tell if I knew something or just caught a glimpse of the meaning.

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