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The Future of Norsk Experiment

I still haven't written everything about my experience, my insights, and my hypotheses. I still hold in my head the readiness to discuss the most important aspects of Norsk Experiment, which are very subtle and difficult to put into words. The thing is that my reports focus on my behavior rather than on the actual mental processes that I was going through. Therefore the reports are sometimes very shallow and do not reflect the really meaningful discoveries and personal enlightenments that I have acquired in the course of applying my methods to learning Norwegian.

The same goes for the follow-up experiments conducted by my Apronus partner Michal Stanislaw Wojcik. His results and his personal enlightenments gained by learning Finnish, Icelandic and French in a Norsk-Experiment-inspired way so far remain undocumented and the only people who are currently benefiting from MSW's experiments are me and him.

One of the questions raised by Norsk Experiment is whether the following scenario is realistic:

  1. Doctor Lernus doesn't know the Gargantish language at all.
  2. The Gargantish language is completely different from and has no common word-forms with any of the languages that are even dimly present in the awareness of Doctor Lernus.
  3. Doctor Lernus starts learning Gargantish and from the first contact with this language he keeps to the principle of not using any other languages to help him learn Gargantish.
  4. After some reasonable time Doctor Lernus can fluently understand texts written in Gargantish.

Since the Finnish language is a good candidate for a Gargantish language from the perspective of speakers of other European languages I propose to refer to the question raised here as The Finnish Puzzle.

Obviously, The Finnish Puzzle has not been resolved by MSW learning Finnish because he had given up the project after two or three weeks. Deciphering the Finnish language by reading Finnish texts is such a challenging task that in order to actually commit oneself to such a task a man has to be faced with a prospect of a reasonable financial reward because otherwise the need to care for his daily living and his family takes precedence and such a project must be dropped. I am still in awe of my partner's determination to devote as much time as he did to reading Finnish texts in the special analytical mode resembling cryptanalysis.

The Norwegian language is so similar to German and English that my success with deciphering Norwegian is almost irrelavant to the study of The Finnish Puzzle given that I already know English and German.

The Finnish Puzzle is a philosophical problem whose solution has little importance for practical learners of foreign languages. But Norsk Experiment has also raised many other issues which may be vitally important for those who are looking for effective ways to learn foreign languages:

These are important issues for language learners but they still haven't been fully explored. I encourage all language learners to share their experience and learning methods and to demand more information about the Norsk Experiment and its follow-ups conducted by Michal Stanislaw Wojcik.

We believe that the best way to look for the truth is to be engaged in an atmosphere of dialog and discussion. With our readers' contribution we want to maintain an exchange of thoughts and we hope for a process of evolution of thoughts getting closer and closer to the truth about effective methods for learning languages and, in fact, for all kinds of learning.

[Norsk Experiment mailing list]

If you want to stay in touch with Norsk Experiment you can subscribe to my mailing list so that you will be receiving email messages from me informing you about new reports. The future of Norsk Experiment depends on the interest and contribution of its readers.

Michal Ryszard Wojcik [contact page]

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