A little while ago, we received a message from a user who was eager to know what other languages would be soon available at MosaLingua. After we exchanged a few lines with him, we found out he was from Myanmar and a huge fan of MosaLingua. However, it was when he thanked us for making it possible for him to obtain his results that we realized he was an amazing performer who had achieved a lot in a little time! His motivation to become a polyglot is so impressive that we had to know more from him and share with you his dedication to learn languages. Especially in a place where it is not always easy to find resources to study.
Hello Kyaw, it’s very nice of you to take some time to discuss your experience with MosaLingua. First of all, could you please talk a little about yourself ?
I’m Kyaw. My full name is Kyaw Soe Htet. I’m from Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). I am 21 years old. I am a fourth-year university student.
I studied Nautical Science at Myanmar Maritime University. I have been a Mosalingua user since November 2nd 2015 and I have to say I was impressed and became addicted to your app. I want to share a testimony about my language learning journey so that you can spread the word in the Mosalingua community to motivate other beginner users who want to quit early. This is a true story.
Thanks for sharing with the MosaLingua community ! Could you also talk a little about Myanmar and your life there, so the community knows more about your home country ?
Our country is a developing country and we’ve had democracy for 5 years now, prior to that we were ruled by a military regime. So our education is not as high as the other countries and language learning is a tough thing here. Burmese is our native language and English is our second language as we used to be a British colony. I come from a middle-class family. My huge passion after high school was to become proficient in at least 3 languages, as I was only bilingual, I could only speak Burmese and English.
I see, being bilingual was your initial drive to learn more languages. So how did you start your learning?
As part of my language learning journey, I started to learn Chinese as soon as high school exams were finished, which unwittingly become a useful language for my career. My friend who was in the same class as me told me to join the Chinese class at his home. At that time, Chinese dictionaries were hard to find in our country and there were no dictionary apps like nowadays. And as we knew Chinese was one of the hardest languages after Arabic.
Chinese characters were hard to memorize for me at first, but after 5 years of hard work, I was able to speak, read and write like a native. At that point I didn’t know that learning Chinese would open the doors to other world languages, and I gained confidence because I had achieved my goal which was to speak 3 languages. But later I found that 3 were not enough for me.
Learning Chinese was not enough ? That’s pretty amazing though ! So what were your goals back then?
I changed my goal to 7 or 6 languages as I wanted to travel around the world after I retired. After 2 years I finished high school, in the meantime I was learning Chinese. I was introduced unexpectedly to Spanish when an Argentinean Christian ministry member taught me a few language tips for about 3 weeks. After he had left, I lost hope to learn Spanish. Unfortunately there is no use for Spanish in our country, but I still wanted to give it a shot.
I searched and searched and finally found a French language school that offered French and Spanish. But the prices were shocking. For a Spanish beginner class A1, it was $150. As I was really eager to learn, I ended up taking it. But after that, for the A2 level, it was $170. The higher the level, the more you had to pay for it. So I quit early as soon as I realized it didn’t fit with my tight budget.
The school was actually good but I couldn’t afford it through to the end. That French school was intended for people who wanted to become French- and Spanish-speaking tourist guides. I’m an amateur learner so I made up my mind to do self-study.
It really sounds like it was pretty hard for you to find the proper resources to enjoy your passion. How did you cope with that?
Honestly, I lost my motivation again as I quit that school. Since then, I have fully understood how important motivation was for language learning. In short, my Spanish progress stopped for about 6 months until I found another useful app that regenerated my spirit to restart not only my Spanish, but also other languages.
During the time I stopped learning Spanish, I learned Russian and Japanese to please myself, as I had a basic foundation in Chinese, I was able to quickly approach Japanese. I hired a Japanese tutor but I was not satisfied with his teaching. Then I stopped learning Japanese with the tutor because I decided to do self-study as well with my iPad. I am learning Japanese with the Memrise app now. For Russian, my first teachers were also 2 Christian ministry members who gave free language lectures for about 2 weeks, but when they left I stopped learning Russian until now. I made up my mind to learn Russian again if I found a suitable app.
So you eventually started to study via your mobile device ? Has it helped at all with your studies at all ?
My big motivation for languages started again when I found an app called Duolingo which is a free app on the Apple App Store. Then I started to sample the app and I was addicted to that as well, I first learned Spanish from it and later I tried other languages like French, Portuguese, German and Italian. I found the app was very helpful to learn Spanish and French. But unfortunately, I was having a hard time memorizing German and Portuguese. Duolingo couldn’t help me out in those parts.
So I decided to continue searching for learning German and Portuguese. Fortunately, I found Mosalingua, and I was so glad that it was available for 4 languages that I was seriously learning. It was my blessed day to find an app like Mosalingua.
We are so happy that MosaLingua is also known and used in Myanmar ! What did you like about our app in the first place ?
I was attracted to the price at first, only $5 for each app, as I had spent $150 for only one Spanish beginner class, I felt so sorry about it. Now I had a chance to get 4 apps for less than $50, then later I became unwittingly addicted to them. It is easier to spend $20 for 4 apps for a person with a tight budget like me, I was so fascinated. As soon as I used it, I was even more impressed.
At first the app introduced me to how it worked to memorize the words, explaining short-term, long-term memories. Honestly, I didn’t trust it at first but after 3 days of use (only 3 days) I made a lot of progress. I have already done 219 Spanish flashcards, 133 French, 30 German and 100 Portuguese in just 3 days.
To be honest, I now can easily remember German words, before I was afraid of German. I learned around 60 new Spanish words, 50 French words, 30 German words and 60 Portuguese words after I used Mosalingua within three days of my first use.
Wow, this is a lot ! How did you manage to learn so much in so little time ?
I stuck with the review session during the first of my three days of use, that’s why I could remember that much in 3 days. And then I spent 2 hours for each language each day and after spending 24 hours for 4 languages, I made that huge progress within 3 days. Not only language learning, I also got a full understanding of how my brain works. After 3 days of sample usage ( I’m really satisfied with the system that Mosalingua used), I managed to teach myself 3~4 hours a day for my language learning and I started to work on the 30 days chain challenge.
After 75 days I completed the 30 days challenge twice and I learned around 4500 cards (believe it or not) at an average rate of 45 cards per day (average of 10 cards from each language per day) .I hardly missed my review session (a crucial thing). Everyday in the morning, I started my review session just after I had my breakfast so that I could remind myself what I had learned the day before. I learned new cards in the afternoon and at night time before I went to bed. I work out 3 days a week and eat a balanced diet to nourish my brain and body. I didn’t take vitamins tablets or other (special) supplements for the brain (just the natural way). One important thing for an easy memorization (I guess this is my secret) is meditation. I meditate at least 10 minutes a day to enhance my concentration on what I’m doing .
And while learning those 4 languages, I felt interested by Italian and I started to learn Italian as well just after I had learned 1000 cards (856 cards in my long-term memory) in Spanish. There is an old saying in our Burmese proverbs “do not underestimate the droplets of rain as it could fill the river after a sufficient amount of time” meaning “start small and win big, you just need sufficient time. ” I stood by this proverb and I learned little by little, slowly and steadily, now I am really enjoying what I achieved.
I was motivated by all the stories of the founders of Mosalingua (I really admire all of the founders). Mosalingua is like a virtual teacher that accompanies me along the journey of my language learning. I would love to see the Russian version of Mosalingua (if it could be possible) as I want to learn Russian again, this time with the Mosalingua method. I would be truly thankful if you developed a Russian app.
I attached some photos of my progress on my iPad to prove that I am not making up stories. I hope my testimony can encourage all the amateur learners who lost their motivation or had problems marching forward towards their goals.
We are very happy that we managed to inspire you in your endeavor. We are in turn very inspired by your achievements. What would be your advice to our community to help them achieve their goal ?
The message I want to give everybody is “never give up until you get your goals, in my opinion language learning requires 3 Ps which are passion, patience and practice.” I am writing this not to boast about myself but I want to let everyone know that to achieve success in language learning, we need a proper system like Mosalingua. And all the pennies I spent were worth it (more than worth it). Thank you, Mosalingua.
Thank you so much, Kyaw. And keep up with your studying! 🙂
Appendix: Kyaw’s learning schedule using MosaLingua
Kyaw follows this saying from Winston Churchill and plans his learning ahead
From Monday to Saturday
Morning part (after breakfast )
Review session around 20 min for each language (Spanish, French, German, Italian and Portuguese)
Takes around 2 hours.
Afternoon part (after lunch)
Learn around 10~15 new words from each language
It takes around 2~3 hours. I take a 5-min break between each language.
(if I have to go to class or somewhere, I learn in the evening or at night before I go to bed)
I usually work out in the evening for about 50 min (3 days a week). After that I take a shower and have dinner.
After dinner, I rest for around 1 hour. (I don’t learn new words at night if I learned in the afternoon to prevent my brain from overloading ). Then I read a Chinese book (any kind) so I don’t forget my Chinese. Sometimes I read Japanese grammar books or Russian grammar books to familiarize myself with them even if I am not focusing on them yet
I make a special plan for Sunday as I’m free the whole day.
Sunday special plan
Morning (after breakfast)
As usual 20 min review for each language
Afternoon part (after lunch)
I learn new words but with an increased amount. 25 cards from each language. It takes around 4 hours. But I do not learn 4 hours straight , I take a 10-min break between each language.
As I have plenty of time I write down and memorize some difficult words that I need to practice more. If I have some spare time, I try to memorize approximately 5 Russian or Japanese words.
I don’t work out on Sunday. So I usually study just one hour after dinner. I learn only 5 cards from each language. (I reduce the amount as I learned so many in the afternoon.) After that I read some books if it isn’t too late. I usually go to bed late on Sunday. (I learn or read grammar books until midnight.)
No Chinese on Sunday.
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