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Question: Just a curious question for learners.

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Author Photo by: Bituingmaykinang
Jun 20 2020, 7:10pm CST ~ 2 weeks, 1 day ago. 
Question: Just a curious question for learners.
 
When you ask people "how to learn Tagalog" and people say "watch movies/listen to music", does it really work? I mean this in a more "absolute" sense than using these are "exercise materials".
 
I can see how this works for children because they are sponges, but I am not sure with adults. My feeling is, adults at least need some grammar explanation to get them started
 
When trying to learn Spanish, simply listening to music and watching movies/shows do nothing. I at least need some grammar guidance. Is it the same for Tagalog learners particularly when trying to learn how the focus works?
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Author Photo Nick
Jun 20 2020, 10:57pm CST ~ 2 weeks, 1 day ago. 
Knowing grammar is really helping.
 
Media is good for getting a feel of the sound of the language, but I only picked up random words.
 
I need to learn grammar to decode and break down the sentences. My only language is English so until I was explicitly told to learn about focus I was lost.
 
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Author Photo akosikoneho Badge: SupporterBadge: Serious SupporterBadge: VIP Supporter
Jun 20 2020, 11:21pm CST ~ 2 weeks, 1 day ago. 
@Bituingmaykinang Will leave a longer answer to this tonight, but... from what I've seen from my expat friends who just binge word lists and broken foreignerese conversations... the answer is no. They talk like cavemen.
 
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Author Photo Nick
Jun 20 2020, 11:49pm CST ~ 2 weeks, 1 day ago. 
@akosikoneho I've been really at this for only a month and if I didn't know the rules for conjugating verbs (I'm still learning and it's killing me!) I wouldn't even know where I am going wrong.
 
It's like the Dunning-Kruger effect, you don't know what you don't know, until you do know what you don't know, then you can know what you don't know, you know?
 
I think once I decided to focus on grammar instead of just learning words, my understanding really improved (it's still bad though!)
 
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Author Photo Bituingmaykinang
Jun 21 2020, 1:28am CST ~ 2 weeks, 1 day ago. 
@Nick
 
This is what I thought. I asked this question because I've been browsing the Tagalog subreddit and an Indonesian asked how to start learning Tagalog and most responses were "watch movies" or "listen to OPM".
 
I used to watch a lot of animes in Japanese with subtitles but I know zero Japanese beyond the "lonely planet" phrases.
 
@akosikoneho
Can't wait for your story.
 
It also does not help that the internet is littered with "Tagalog has simple grammar", "there is no conjugation in Tagalog". It's even more odd if these phrases come from foreigner-owned blogs/sites. Their knowledge of the language (even at the basic level) become suspect. Hahaha
 
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Author Photo Scrover
Jun 21 2020, 4:07am CST ~ 2 weeks, 0 days ago. 
I would agree that before one decides to start jamming hours of content down their brain to learn any language from, they should have a strong foundation in Tagalog.
 
Definitely one can create an approach which is primarily based on ACTIVE listening and reading in the language (and you'll see polyglots like Stephen Krashen, Steve Kaufmann etc do this). However, I think just jamming listening material into your brain probably won't do much good unless you've got a point of reference to start with (like grammar explanations, a bilingual dictionary).
 
In other words, saying "In order to learn a language from scratch, you should just do XYZ activity" is in my opinion like giving a person a jigsaw puzzle without all the puzzle pieces.
 
I've personally been jamming around 160 hours of active (not passive) listening and reading into my system into the past two months, and it's been a blessing to be able to do it as my primary learning strategy. However of course, a foundation was required for this which involved things like grammar explanations etc.
 
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Author Photo Diegocorry Badge: SupporterBadge: Serious Supporter
Jun 21 2020, 8:00am CST ~ 2 weeks, 0 days ago. 
@Bituingmaykinang At one point in my life I was fluent in the Ilonggo language (spoken in Negros Occidental and Iloilo City). I learned the language solely through dialogue, first with my language instructors and then with my colleagues, friends and neighbors. Hence, I am firmly convinced that the only way to really learn a language is through interaction with native speakers. Yes, I did learn some grammar, but only because I was interested, not because I needed to. Movies, TV, radio and music all speak at you, not with you. They may be somewhat helpful in developing an “ear” for the language, but not for the actual learning of it; and by “learning” I mean the ability to communicate and interact with other humans using their language.
All this being said, I can certainly sympathize with learners who are perplexed by the concepts of focus and aspect. I think I would be discouraged in a heartbeat if I were trying to learn Tagalog without my background in Ilonggo. The beauty of this website is that it does provide every tool available for learning Tagalog short of actually providing discourse with native speakers. My advice for learners then would be to use everything this site has to offer; but, in addition, hook up with a native speaker.
 
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Author Photo AMBoy Badge: SupporterBadge: Serious SupporterBadge: VIP Supporter
Jun 21 2020, 12:28pm CST ~ 2 weeks, 0 days ago. 
I think you need before, not that I'm qualified to be teaching anyone anything in language, but if I were to take a Tagalog rookie under my wing here is what I would current prescribe for them:
 
AMBoy Mastery Method for Learning Tagalog ™

1. Complete a course like LearningTagalog.com to full mastery (do nothing else) and listen to Pimsuler almost passively during this time, focus on the course.
2. Flashcard to mastery the entire top 3000 words
3. Start reading/watching compelling content with the reader tool system (basically it's you and a dictionary). (This could be books, movies, music, anything you can get with Tagalog subtitles)
4. Take unknown words from step 3 and flashcard them to mastery (also made easy with reader tool and Tagalog.com)
5. Move mastered flashcards in to a SRS system (Anki is popular but I use Supermemo now) and do these everyday along side step 3
6. Perform steps 3,4,5 for x amount of time, or better, for a lifetime. At some point it wont be much work at all and SRS system will keep everything you have learned committed to memory.
 
It's a mix of both worlds, the idea of listening to garbage you can't understand for hundreds to up to 20,0000 hours doesn't fly with me.
 
1. Study hard, complete a basic course.
2. Then take on the massive (COMPELLING) input, but do it actively with purpose
3. SRS to keep it fresh, goto step 2
 
I'm no expert, and I've not completed Tagalog journey but I really believe in what I've laid out here. I don't see how any one could go wrong with this system.
 
The number one thing is compelling content, which is pretty easy to find in most major languages, but lets be honest in very small supply in Tagalog. I suspect many foreigners attempt that crappy reedit advice and quickly get discouraged when they can't find anything interesting to watch.
 
I'm jealous that you are learning Spanish, a huge language with endless resources.
 
Actually if I were learning Spanish I would probably complete a solid online beginners course and then buy these two things right away:
 
Baselang:
 
$150/month - Zero to conversational guarantee in 1 month, and literally unlimited live Spanish tutoring. This is amazing, I would hit this so freaking hard! If there were such an option for Tagalog I'd sign up now, I'd potentially pay maybe even double that amount.
 
baselang.com/online/ grammarless/
 
(lol yeah I hate this stupid grammar-less buzzword but its infected all language courses. )
 
LingQ:
 
This is the reader tool but for all other languages.
 
This is just what I would do, I have more money than time (and well I just like using money to get an edge), but what do I know.
 
I suggest you find someone who speaks excellent foreign Spanish and then have them evaluated by a true native speaker (and beyond the bs basics). If it all checks out, find out what that person did and do the same.
 
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Author Photo Bituingmaykinang
Jun 21 2020, 1:12pm CST ~ 2 weeks, 0 days ago. 
@Diegocorry i think for people who's first language is a Philippine language, exposure can bring them to a conversational level. I can pick up some grammar patters in other Philippine languages than I'm not heavily exposed to. I guess that's how similar Philippine languages are
 
But I think basic grammar explanation will be needed for people who speak a different language family
 
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Author Photo Bituingmaykinang
Jun 21 2020, 1:12pm CST ~ 2 weeks, 0 days ago. 
Thank you for your insights everyone!
 
Feel free to keep the discussion coming
 
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Author Photo Bituingmaykinang
Jun 21 2020, 3:17pm CST ~ 1 week, 7 days ago. 
I'd like to add that some "internet polygots" can have suspect knowledge on languages.
 
LangFocus is entertaining but when he did a Tagalog and Indonesian comparison, he made it as if Tagalog has only actor and object focus. He's not wrong, but he's not entirely correct either. Actor vs object focus is just the tip of the iceberg
 
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Author Photo AMBoy Badge: SupporterBadge: Serious SupporterBadge: VIP Supporter
Jun 22 2020, 6:36am CST ~ 1 week, 6 days ago. 
I'd like to add that some "internet polygots" can have suspect knowledge on languages. LangFocus is entertaining but when he did a Tagalog and Indonesian comparison, he made it as if Tagalog has only actor and object focus. He's not wrong, but he's not entirely correct either. Actor vs object focus is just the tip of the iceberg
 
@Bituingmaykinang
 
Even the great "Steve Kaufman" has some very cringe worthy videos where its apparent he doesn't know as much as he claims. He refuses to take any tests to prove his level. Internet "Polyglots" are mostly a commercial enterprise similar to pinoy baiting, lmao. They all have something to sell (or need the views).
 
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Author Photo Bituingmaykinang
Jun 22 2020, 6:39am CST ~ 1 week, 6 days ago. 
@AMBoy LangFocus even uses "kita" instead of tayo. Kita might be used in some dialects, but not in standard Tagalog. It's like the Cavite Nakain vs Kumain. Lol
 
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Author Photo BasicallyMatt
Jun 22 2020, 12:24pm CST ~ 1 week, 6 days ago. 
To add to what AMboy mentioned earlier on flashcards. I highly recommend you create your own flashcards. Focus on the root words for verbs and also put general phrases that you can simply change the object E.g "Hand me the the BLANK", "Id like to order BLANK". Also practice asking questions such as "where is the BLANK" etc. The goal is to make speaking as simple as possible. If you can master general phrases speaking can be hopefully a little simpler. Wish everyone the best. Kaya mo 'yan!
 
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Author Photo Bituingmaykinang
Jun 22 2020, 5:42pm CST ~ 1 week, 6 days ago. 
@BasicallyMatt I speak Tagalog. I'm just curious if learners really learn when other foreigners (and also Filipinos) tell them to "listen to music" or "watch movies" or "memorize phrases" when they ask how to start learning Tagalog without encouraging learning the basics of the grammar.
 
I personally think this doesn't work (I watch Japanese animes but I still know zero Japanese) for adults, unless people are content with "pidgin Tagalog" and speaking in a limited context.
 
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Author Photo BasicallyMatt
Jun 22 2020, 8:18pm CST ~ 1 week, 6 days ago. 
@Bituingmaykinang From my experience, Ive been listening to music in tagalog for months and it has not helped me at all. I don’t personally learn words from music. However it is fun to progressively understand More and more of songs that you listen to.
 
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