Ten Commandments of Kato Lomb

Kato Lomb is a professional translator from Hungary, fluent in many languages. For all those who master this or that foreign language, she formulated 10 commandments.

1. Practice the language daily. If there’s no time at all, then at least ten minutes. It is especially good to practice in the morning.

2. If the desire to study weakens too quickly, do not “force”, but do not quit. Think of some other form: put the book aside and listen to the radio, leave the exercises in the textbook and leaf through the dictionary, etc.

3. Never cram, do not memorize anything separately, out of context.

4. Write out out of turn and memorize all the “ready-made phrases” that you can use as many times as possible.

5. Try to mentally translate everything that is possible: a flashed billboard, an inscription on a billboard, snatches of conversations overheard by chance. It is always a rest, even for a tired head.

6. It is only worth learning firmly what is corrected by the teacher. Do not re-read your own uncorrected exercises: after repeated reading, the text is memorized involuntarily with all possible errors. If you study alone, then learn only what you know to be correct.

7. Write out and memorize ready-made phrases, idiomatic expressions in the first person, singular. For example: “I am only pulling your leg”

8. A foreign language is a fortress that must be stormed from all sides at the same time: by reading newspapers, listening to the radio, watching undubbed films, attending lectures in a foreign language, working out a textbook, correspondence, meetings and conversations with friends – native speakers.

9. Do not be afraid to speak, do not be afraid of possible mistakes, but ask that they be corrected. And most importantly, do not be upset or offended if they really start to correct you.

10. Be firmly convinced that by all means you will achieve your goal, that you have an unbending will and extraordinary ability for languages.

Kato Lomb proposed a simple formula that determines the result in language acquisition:

time taken + interest = result
or, if you clarify it a little:

(time taken + interest) / shyness (fear of making a mistake) = result