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Saturday 31st of May 2008 08:31:43 AM
Learn a new language today!: If anyone's interested in learning a new language, I have language courses for 15 languages - guaranteed to get you speaking a language in 6 months.

If you already know a language, I have consulting services to help you improve or advance your skills to near native results. Check out my site.

Languages available: Arabic, Basque, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Ukrainian

[color=red]Edit: no advertising if you have less than 50 posts[/color]

Saturday 31st of May 2008 10:27:00 AM
Six months starting from scratch? Come on! You know you CAN'T guarrantee that. Saying it just makes you sound as a liar. If we want teach a NEW language to someone who is interested, we should take a more serious approach. Even if you ONLY focus on the linguistic side (and forget about the cultural side), six months is an almost impossible task for most learners, no matter what method they follow.

EDIT: Be careful with your Spanish version for the Italian book (well... the one for the English book is exactly the same text).
Si utilizas este método...

Saturday 31st of May 2008 11:20:15 AM
I've been teaching languages for over 23 years, and the guarantee that I can teach anyone a language from the ground up has NOT failed. That includes teaching about culture. I never guarantee fluency, but I do guarantee conversational abilities to communicate on virtually any daily situation encountered.

Thanks for the heads up about the Spanish book. I'll let my translators know.

Saturday 31st of May 2008 12:01:40 PM
Yeah. But "conversational abilities to communicate on virtually any daily situation encountered" might be too vague... or really almost native.
Depends on how the guarantee works, I guess. What is fluency, anyway? *shrugs*

EDIT: *sigh* I SWEAR I don't want to be rude.
There is a typo on page 34.

Saturday 31st of May 2008 04:54:07 PM
This is spam. It'll be deleted soon, whenever the moderators wake up in the morning :p

But while we're in a discussion about it, you really should proof read the documents before publishing them. You have 'voy' defined twice in the verb list, at least one error in conversion to pdf (an extra A character after a period), and several huge generalizations. the "e" in spanish is not the e of bet, but more the e of cafE. It is ALSO the e of bet, but only when not stressed when the cafE e is said lazily (over time it's become the standard, of course).

You also focus on incredibly basic concepts in the first lesson while introducing several complex concepts. You overexplain the basics, which can nearly be inferred, while leaving the complex stuff barely explained (and therefore confusing).

Javier, the great thing about the guarantee is that it's impossible to not improve language usage. So, sure, in 6 months you'll be better than you were before. But that doesn't mean much, really, as you said.

Saturday 31st of May 2008 05:37:02 PM
Are there people who really believe in this? And do you really think that students should learn to introduce themselves in the intermediate level?
I read very carefully your English to Spanish version. As a beginner in Spanish language I have few questions:

Do you start a conversation by simply going to someone and asking him "Are you going to the hotel?" or "Let's go to the hotel."? Not even saying hello, good day or something?

In what part of the world is spoken this kind of Spanish you teach and how will I know how to pronounce H, V, Q, W, letter combunations like GUE, GUA, GUI, QUE, QUI?

Don't you think that by simplification and underestimation of the language you're showing lack of respect for the people speaking this language? This somehow comes to me only from the typing mistakes in your introduction and first lessons and saying that grammar points are not important.

2000 years ago, there were four great families of languages in Europe:
1. The Latin branch (which occupied most of Italy)
2. The Germanic branch, which occupied Scandinavia, some of Germany, and much of Central and Eastern
3. The Slavic branch, in Russia, almost exclusively
4. The Celtic branch, in many more places than it is today, such as Spain, France, England, and even Turkey
(Paul wrote a letter to the Galatians, Celtic Christians living in Turkey).
Congratulations! Hystorians are still arguing where did Slavs and Slavonic languages came from. What do you mean by saying 'great language families'? I'm not specialist in linguistics but where did you put the Greek languages branch - in Latin, Germanic, Slavic or Celtic language branch? Where are Paleo-Balkan, Baltic and all other language groups in Europe?

Therefore, native speakers of American English cannot understand the concept of gender, and may only become frustrated if they try to.
Again underestimation, this time of your own people!!! You should be ashamed of yourself!!!

You really picked the wrong place to advertise your lessons.
"They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it's not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.”

EDIT: I added the second quote and commented it.

Saturday 31st of May 2008 07:33:24 PM
Languages available: Arabic, Basque, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Ukrainian

Seems like not only the Spanish version contains mistakes. I read the free French lesson and I found this:

- "Culture note: when greeting someone in French, it is necessary to use the title with the greeting"

> Totally FALSE. Hardly anyone does that.

- Três bien

> Tr[color=red]è[/color]s bien

- Comme ci, comme ça - so-so

> I have heard this twice or three times in my whole life. People tend to use "bof" or "ça peut aller" instead of comme ci, comme ça.

- Ciao mon ami.

> I wouldn't have included that. It's not even common.

Saturday 31st of May 2008 07:40:15 PM
I guess it's back to Rosetta Stone for me.


Sunday 01st of June 2008 12:36:24 AM
I find it interesting that I get all criticism and yet nobody asks me questions about why I believe I can teach a language quicker and better than the others. I’ve done it for 23 years. It’s 90% of those who already learned a language who are so critical.

Here’s some questions I have:
Has anyone noticed that the downloads are FREE SAMPLES? Just so you can get an idea of what the courses are about?

Did anyone read about the purpose of the beginner’s lessons before going into the intermediate lessons?

Has anyone asked me about the fact that I get more requests for the intermediate course than the beginner’s, therefore the meeting and greeting stuff is there?

Has anyone seen what materials are included with a language course – not just a few words and pictures?

And if you will also notice, the beginner’s stuff has what’s expected to learn so the student can get a feel for the language before going on. The intermediate and advanced courses go into the “bof” or “ça peut aller”.

A language course does not have to be difficult and confusing to learn. That’s what everyone believes. But it isn’t hard to learn a language.

Javier, I guarantee I can have you speaking, reading and writing Russian in 6 months. Besides, in your profile, ???? ?? ?????? ??????? ?????????, ????? ???! Will sound more Russian if you had it say X????? ??????? ?????????? ???????? ???! – I lived in Russia for 2 years in 1991 - 93.

djr33, I guarantee I can teach you to speak, read and write Arabic (any dialect) in 6 months

van4eto, I guarantee I can teach you to speak, read and write Spanish in 6 months.

Or even better, I will teach all three of you Xhosa in 6 months - guaranteed!

DON’T criticize my methods until you yourselves have used them in your studies.

Sunday 01st of June 2008 02:42:27 AM
One admin has "woken up in the morning" and expects the direction of this thread to change before it goes astray, otherwise he'll start by deleting the entire thread and move on from there. I'm nowhere near as patient as Mery with these things...

The general rule is that we don't allow "advertising" here in the forums. You are by all means encouraged to add your website to the [url=]LINKS (click here) section, any additional advertising will be deleted. This is not directed at you specifically, it's what we generally do. I'm leaving this up for now as it's already generated some discussion. Or, discussions about particular languages can by all means be moved to the appropriate language forums.

Any additional queries can be directed to myself or any other site staff.

Sunday 01st of June 2008 02:45:23 AM

First of all, you're tone is helping no one. Your diction makes you sound like you are trying to sell me something, which you probably are! And it is very irritating. If you want to be taken seriously here speak normally and get your ideas across without being so pushy. If you're not selling anything stop acting like it.

Second it seems Mery beat me here so I don't know where any of you are getting this info. But I suggest you have your "translators" double check their work because I probably would find mistakes.

Third if you are serious about trying to teach everyone for free. Then do not make promises, act a little less defensive and spastic, and understand that everyone here is smart and won't stand for nonsense. Members of Phrasebase know how hard it is to learn a language and don't appreciate it when you pop out of nowhere and act like we have stupid opinions.

Fourth if you cannot take a little constructive criticism then I seriously doubt your ability as a teacher. A teacher should not only be able to point out their students mistakes but their own as well.

Fifth and most importantly I doubt that you can teach me that quickly. Granted I do not know your methods but I personally believe that the only way to become that good that fast would be to go to that country and do nothing but learn the language. When you use promises like you will learn it in 6 months people won't believe you because that is the classic ploy used by unprofessional language programs that are scamming chumps. So I say to you, if your intentions are pure, to think about what your doing before Mery decides your a spammer and kicks you off of Phrase base.

As Forrest Gump says,

And that's all I've got to say about that.

P.S. Joe got here while I was typing away! :)

Sunday 01st of June 2008 03:27:03 AM
Originally posted by speakup

djr33, I guarantee I can teach you to speak, read and write Arabic (any dialect) in 6 months

I'd like to see that

Sunday 01st of June 2008 03:50:13 AM
I woke up before Mery /I'm sorry Mery, Joe, I'm one hour ahead/and I saw your FREE materials, read your purposes, also noticed some mistakes.

Something in your tone makes me feel forced to do something I don't want to. If you want to discuss your methods, ok, do it, but stop telling 'I guarantee' this or that. No one here says that learning languages doesn't have to be fun and easy. We're all doing this for fun. But for me studying languages is more like discovering - I want to know why something is said in one way or another, I want to know all those 'stupid' rules because I want to speak correctly. I somehow doubt that you can teach me that.

One reason why I wouldn't pay you to learn me Spanish or any other language:
You tryed to correct the Russian sentence in Javier's profile with this: X????? ??????? ?????????? ???????? ???!
My Russian is a little bit out of date but I'm pritty sure that it is far from grammatically correct. You didn't correct the real mistake, which is I believe is a typo, everything else is just like it has to be. I wouldn't show off that I lived 2 years in Russia.

/Joe, Mery, I hope I didn't overstep the bounds of good manners/

Sunday 01st of June 2008 04:57:30 AM
Originally posted by speakup
DON’T criticize my methods until you yourselves have used them in your studies.
You are right there. We can't criticize your method because we only saw the free samples. But it is the same for your potencial students, no?
The problem I have here is that you expect we believe only because you say so. We all know the internet is full of everything. From pretty good things to very bad things.
I thought the free samples were there to show the world the general scope of the whole course (or level), how it looks like, your approach, etc. As you tell me I am wrong about it, can you please explain how your method is and why is it so wonderful? Because I guess that is not a top secret. I might be wrong again!
and.. something that really doesn't have to do with the current topic... how did you learn the languages you speak? :) (this is out of my curiosity only)

EDIT: About my Russian thingy... can someone please give me a hand here? I don't even have a dictionary now. What is the problem with what I have? Thanks a lot for any help here (I know, I know. My little Russian is getting worse day by day!!!)

EDIT2: Not doing this just because I am a jerk. I am one, true, but this is not my purpose here.
On page 19
la pulso—pulse
But you had (correctly) stated before that pulso is a masculine noun.
On page 20
ENFERMERA: Buenos días Señora Gómez. Soy Sandra[color=red],[/color] su enfermera.
ENFERMERA: Muy bien. [color=red]E[/color]s ciento sesenta sobre cien[color=red].[/color]
You'll say I am extremely picky here, but I saw the vocative had been corerectly separated by a comma in previous sections. There are only typos, I know, but you should correct them, no?
On page 54
16—diez y seis
17—diez y siete
18—diez y _____
21—_____ y uno
22—veinte y dos
23—veinte y _____
24—_____ y cuatro
25—veinte y cinco
26—veinte y _____
27—veinte y siete
28—_____ y ocho
29—veinte y _____
mmm.. sorry, but this pattern doesn't work for 10s nor for 20s. It does for 30, 40, etc., but NOT here.
On page 29
schizophrenic - schizophrenic
You forgot to translate that one.
I see English speakers have problems dealing with the fact that in Spanish, names of languages, days and months are not capitalized unless they start a sentence (as expected).

On page 30
[color=red]¿[/color]Cada cuándo?
A typo, only.
Y ¿Cuándo necesita usted las muestras?
People normally deal with this case in two ways: They either have it as "Y, ¿cuándo..." or as "¿Y cuándo...".
On page 36
7. el pompis / glúteo
That one is VERY Mexican! :D But eventhough the DRAE lists it as masculine, I have NEVER heard it as masculine here. Always feminine. Where do they use it as masculine?

It is NOT to trash what you have. But I see you don't speak Spanish. I am just pointing out things you can improve and thus help your students.

Sunday 01st of June 2008 05:29:24 AM
djr33, I guarantee I can teach you to speak, read and write Arabic (any dialect) in 6 monthsAs FaWzY said, I'd like to see that. In fact, I may take you up on it.
I'm certainly skeptical, but in learning languages there's very little than can actually hurt acquisition, and will help, to some degree.

However, I ask:
what time commitment would there be in that 6 months?
I don't have 6 hours a day to devote, at the moment.
what kind of arabic do you teach? MSA? Egyptian? something else?
I'd need to be competent in MSA and Egyptian to really be effective MSA to read, and Egyptian to communicate with most of the arab world (since most films/tv/music are from Egypt and people understand that, generally, from what I hear). And, wouldn't hurt to learn a bit of whatever other dialect I'd need for any particular region.
You ask us not to question, but all you do is fast talk and avoid the questions we ask. If there is some sort of method do your madness can you at least hint at it?
Maybe you have really figured out some secret, but all I hear/see is fast talk, sloppily put together materials and generalizations.
Surely, being a businessman, you know that asking questions first is typical, rather than just paying you a bunch of money and hoping for the best.

The other big problem I have with your materials is that you seem to assume we are bad at language learning and linguistics.

Certainly we all have some weakness and the "easy" way will be helpful there. However, dumbing down everything in the lessons makes them sorta annoying.

I inferred that Spanish uses punctuation marks at the start of sentences, and though I haven't done it all that much (only when writing something formal, or trying to be correct), I would never, now, make a mistake if I'm trying to use perfect grammar.
How is a lesson of "write these sentences as questions" supposed to help me?

Surely, having taught for so long you know that people learn differently.

For example, for those of us (albeit a minority) who have some familiarity with linguistics, a side note of an IPA chart would be immensely helpful. Sure, it might confuse others, but you can just put a note, "if this helps you, look, but don't worry if you don't understand yet."

And, most importantly, about us being cold in receiving this, consider your approach you show up at the forum with only a few posts and start not only advertising your services (paid services, nonetheless), then also expect us to believe everything you say (and become defensive when we don't).
Considering you ARE replying to the thread, that's a good start.
But why are you here? Do you want input on your methods? Do you want, at least, a discussion of your methods and to get the word out about how they work? Or are you just here to fast talk and advertise?

Finally, please give us a bit more info about your methods. The ONLY accomplishment of the free samples is to hold our hands, make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and say "oh, wow, I just spoke [spanish]!"
While that's fun and all, having been giving exceptionally basic molds and a very limited range of expression, that's not difficult at all. Certainly if, as is implied, the rest of your program is equally easy and we progress at a rapid rate toward fluency, that's wonderful. But it feels rather like a gimmick to instill self-confidence, one fueled by your method, and only your method. Good sales technique for the unaware, but those of us who do know what's going on... you gotta give something more for us to believe you.

How do these very basic bits of info help, in the end, to being able to understand a language in full when it is unlimited in potential situations and expressions?

If nothing else, I know that language cannot be taught as a list.

EDIT: Just tried to add your IM contact info for both MSN and Yahoo to my accounts. Both returned errors. Either you refused the requests, or the screennames don't exist.

Sunday 01st of June 2008 06:00:48 AM
First of all, I'm going to apologize to Joe and to all other administrators, moderators and Phrasebasers for my behavior. It's just that the past ten years or so, I mention learning a language in 6 months and all of a sudden I get barraged by unhealthy criticism without the critic even trying to look at the course. So, I apologize for that "knee-jerk" reaction. But I still stand by my guarantee.

As for the free online samples, you're right, I wil take them down and upload actual lessons (first and second lessons) so the method can be seen. The only thing is, the course also has audio and video CDs - I'll see how I can incorporate them into online downloads.

I should be more aware of the forum rules and keep them in mind - after all, I read them when I signed up a few years back. So I will do my best to abide by them.

For djr33:
My screen names do exist, but I use Trillian for my IM as I have students contacting me from different chat programs. And having 5 or 6 different chat programs running eats up system resources :-)

And I will be explaining my methods in the next post.

Sunday 01st of June 2008 06:51:36 AM
I didn't mean that you weren't online, but that I got an error when trying to send a request to add you. You shouldn't have to be online for that to occur.

Sunday 01st of June 2008 06:52:12 AM
The methods I employ depend on the learning style of the student. You can either fill out the VARK questionnaire ( and let me know the results, or you can tell me how you learn best (hands-on, listening or lots of reading) and the lessons are customized to your learning style. Or you can choose the "generic layout" of the lessons that incorporate the different styles into one.

As for the lessons, they are designed to help the student learn in smaller, more managable chunks, rather than trying to force feed you tons of information all at once. There are plenty of practice exercises to help reinforce what is being learned. Also, during the lessons, there are real-life things (ads, forms, pictures, newspaper articles, etc) to let you see how the language is used in real life situations.

The audio CDs are used like a teacher/tutor speaking to a student. It's not just a listen-and-repeat type thing. The books and CDs are used together - therefore the sparse look of the lesson pages. The CDs also have the spoken examples of the language when needed, and oral quizzes are used to test listening comprehension. Clips of foreign newscasts and music are also included.

The video CDs are not available for all languages I offer. They are not my videos, they are used with permission by the Five College Center for the Study of World Languages. I use them so the student can see and hear how the language is used in day-to-day living, and maybe pick up the nuances of colloquial language use.

How long do I recommend? The intermediate course has 18 lessons. If you can take about 1 hour a day 7 days a week per lesson, you can finish all 18 lessons in 3-4 months. But even then, I know that's pushing it. If you can do 10 days per lesson, you can finish the course in about 6 months.

Do I believe this method works? Yes, I do. I've taught literally hundreds of people different languages - some in six months, some in about a year.

How many languages do I myself speak? Well, I studied over 50 since 1977, with varying degrees of competency. But besides English, I am fluent in German (my mother's native tongue), and can hold a conversation in Ukrainian, Russian and Spanish. I have slowly been improving my knowledge of Arabic and Japanese when time permits.

Any other questions :-)

Sunday 01st of June 2008 09:01:34 AM
But I see you don't speak Spanish.

Not perfect, but I can get my point across. I am learning it as my wife is from Guadalajara and her parents don't speak English.

Sunday 01st of June 2008 09:38:33 AM
Ah, vaya. Lo mencioné por lo de los números. Ése sí es un error grave. Los demás pueden pasar como errores tipográficos, pero NO ése, puesto que parece que la actividad estuvo expresamente diseñada para enseñarlos así, de la manera incorrecta.

What's on the videos? Like... acting out some dialogs by natives? Or... something different?

Sunday 01st of June 2008 07:05:24 PM
What's on the videos? Like... acting out some dialogs by natives?

Yes. They have people doing comon things (meeting someone, using the phone, etc.). They are recorded in the native lands, so it's not like someone in the USA talking a foreign language. The dialogs are not scripted for the most part. Some obviously are. In fact, here's the page for the Mexican videos:

I find them pretty useful for listening to actual, colloquial conversation. and see what mannerisms are involved with the conversation.

Tuesday 17th of June 2008 03:22:13 AM
He wants to cheat us!
¡Nos quiere estafar! :p

Tuesday 17th of June 2008 04:06:48 AM
????: In what way am I trying to cheat anyone? I've been doing this successfully for 23+ years and never cheated anyone.

Tuesday 17th of June 2008 05:05:38 AM
Hmm... I've got a new question.

Since you aren't fluent in most of the languages "you" teach, then how do you do that?

Almost everything you've said is personal, like "I've been teaching for 23 years," but that can't be the case [for that many languages at least], so I assume you mean your company.

So.... how's that work? Hire people? How do you check their work?

Tuesday 17th of June 2008 09:28:23 PM
Well, you are correct in that I'm not fluent in most of the languages I teach. But since 1978 I have studied over 50 languages, and can hold a conversation in many of these languages. When you get as much exposure to languages as much as I have, you get to see and understand how languages work, how to put them together, etc., even if you don't know them at the start.

As an example, let's say I want to make language lessons for the Xhosa language.

1. Buy a "Teach Yourself Xhosa" book (or something similar)
2. Find/buy a Xhosa dictionary
3. Read through the TY Xhosa book, using the dictionary to look up or learn new words.
4. Look for and buy a college level book on the Xhosa language.
5. Read through it, noting any differences from what the TY book says, and what to expand on.
6. Take an existing lesson template I have in my files and see about using the books to translate in Xhosa and make actual lessons.
7. Find a native Xhosa linguist or translator, have them proofread the Xhosa text and see if it's okay, making any necessary corrections.
8. I then format the lesson text to the template.
9. Print the lessons/books
10. Bind the books
11. Distribute them.

By the time I get the Xhosa lessons finished and ready for distribution, I myself will pretty much have an intermediate knowledge of Xhosa.

I mentioned I've studied 50 languages. That is possible since language families are useful for studying more than one language at the same time (i.e. I learned German, Dutch, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian at the same time back in 1984). I will say yes, there is a difference in "studying" a language and "learning" a language. But in my case I studied the languages with the intent to learn them, to converse in them. So when I travel throughout Europe or Asia or anywhere else, I'm not carrying a dozen phrasebooks, dictionaries and grammars with me.

Everything I said is personal because it's just me. I am the only person in Young's Language Consulting - well, my wife helps out sometimes. No employees, no interns, etc. As I mentioned above, I temporarily hire translators or linguists once in a while if needed, but they're not permanent employees. I create the lessons, print them, bind them, and create audio CDs.

Now, please keep in mind, you have no problems learning through Berlitz, Pimsleur, Michel Thomas or Cortina, etc. Compared to these, 23 years is fairly new, but did anyone think to try it out? Of course, my books are not in Barnes and Noble, but that doesn't mean it won't work.

Learning a language requires keeping an open mind. So if an open mind is not maintained here, I will not answer any other questions, nor reply to this thread. You can e-mail me, or PM me.

Wednesday 18th of June 2008 03:42:17 AM
But since 1978 I have studied over 50 languages

Like we say in Spain: "Aprendiz de todo, maestro de nada"... It means: "Learn many things, and be able to do anything" ;)

Wednesday 18th of June 2008 06:31:21 AM
By the time I get the Xhosa lessons finished and ready for distribution, I myself will pretty much have an intermediate knowledge of Xhosa.

So, basically, what we're paying you for is a summary of materials we could buy on our own, from someone who has no particularly knowledge of the language in the first place, just what is in those materials that as I said we could buy ourselves?

So, then, the only thing we are really gaining isn't anything about the language itself, but your method for summarizing it. Thus, you are good at the act of learning languages, so we can use the way you've figure out. So why not write a book about learning languages? I'd consider buying that.

Btw, Avaldi, here's a more literal translation: "Student of everything, [teacher/master] of nothing."

Wednesday 18th of June 2008 05:55:03 PM
Originally posted by speakup
Learning a language requires keeping an open mind. So if an open mind is not maintained here, I will not answer any other questions, nor reply to this thread.
What does "an open mind" mean to you? Believing in every word you say without having any doubts? In this case I'm sorry but my mind is closed. Living in a post-communist society made me extremely critical and suspicious about everything which is not proven. You keep acting like insulted schoolgirl and will probably not answer but I have few questions and I think you should consider them in your future advertising campaigns.

Could you please explain which part of your method is just yours? The template? The videos are not yours, you're not fluent in the languages you "teach" so you can only copy/paste examples, grammar and exercises from the books you use or, worse, to compose your own interpretation of these examples, etc. which I dare to doubt are not correct. I saw this in the free Spanish lessons and they are not checked by native speaker, I am pretty sure about it.

How do you expect people to pay you for something which is not perfect in any aspect?

How can you "teach" and take money for something you don't know and at the same time say that you don't try to cheat anyone?

You also didn't mention who's recording the lessons on CD's. You?

djr33 I don't agree for one thing - people are paying for what they can find on the internet, sometimes even free of charge and with better quality. We have thousands of phrase-books on the Bulgarian market, obviously written by people who have intermediate or lower knowledge of the language they "teach". So here I don't see anything exceptional besides the agressive aproach and I-'ve-been-teaching-languages-for-23-years thing.

Wednesday 16th of July 2008 01:57:21 PM
Wow, what a jerk off that guy is!
I hope you banned HIM for good.

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