I recently asked myself a lot about how I shall learn a language because this is, what I am currently doing.

To answer this, I mainly was catching-up ideas and opinions from my teachers, colleague educators and language student friends. During that, I tried some recommended methods, reflected if they help me achieve the goals in the flow that I like and kept the one that worked for me the best.

I feel that now I have enough experience with the methods to recommend a combination. I call this combination of methods: my strategy. Although I can`t say that I will use this strategy without any doubts, I finally feel that my progress is fast enough that it`s more likely that by changing the strategy, I will lose more time than when I simply keep going.

By saying “learn a language” I have two different things in my mind: The first one is to learn a completely new language where I have no knowledge yet. For me, this is Cantonese, while it`s important to mention that I`m just learning the spoken language: I am not learning Chinese writing and I`m using an unstructured way of phonetic spelling but since I had my classes with the Yale system it is oriented on it. The second language is English. Even if my skills in English are good for discussions I want to practice since I have spoken with my friends and family mainly German and Polish until I become 20. For both levels, I want to mention here my strategy while I will start with Cantonese and end with English.


My focus in Cantonese is to remember some basic words or phrases… to minimize confusion I will not add “or phrase” anymore but it is always implied when I use “word”.

Temporary digital notebook

When I find a new word, where I see myself using this in the future, I write it down. The rule is that I must get clear that I can write down the pronunciation of the word in the new language and in my own. My suggestion is to use a digital one because when I get multimedia, I want to keep track of this too. I also keep track there about art in the language like games, movies, songs, books etc. The most important idea of this digital notebook is to see it as a temporary memory, so the words here must be moved to flashcards and to the notebook with categories. Usually, I get inspired or motivated so although there is no rule almost every art is leading to a conversation with partner, family and friends, and this is improving how quick I remember the new word from it because it is a nice memory. While I play, watch, read or listen I try to write new words down with the rule mentioned in this chapter, but afterwards, I am deleting the multimedia.


Since the idea of flashcards is so common, I will not make a huge in-depth explanation, but I feel that it`s important to mention that I memorize with them just for a couple of minutes every day, I am looking at the word in my own language (so I try to remember the new language by looking on my own) and I use 5 COLORS. Let`s say I have made a list of new words on flashcards:

1. I will take a “good amount” as my first goal. I must get a “big piece” of this “good amount” correct to go to the next “good amount”. In the beginning, all flashcards are WHITE. I will firstly look at every card once, in both languages.

2. Now I start to remember the new language and if I am correct the flashcard becomes YELLOW and if not it`s ORANGE now. Next to those colours, I am using RED and GREEN. That`s it for the first time.

1b. On the following days, I am using alternative steps. Until the “big piece” is GREEN. I start by looking at every RED and ORANGE card once in both languages.

2b. Now I try to remember and if I am wrong with an ORANGE one it becomes RED. The levels should be clear now:


There is just one chance every day to move a card. If a card is GREEN I assume it`s “in the brain” and I am not learning it anymore. When I get a RED card wrong, I must ask what the reason is: In my experience, it is usually a word where I don`t have a good context yet or too little connections. That`s why the media are so important and the method with categories in the next chapter will help me here too. I can also try to change the order of the flashcards because when similar cards are closer, I can use this to my advantage. The only open question at this point should be how we estimate the “big piece” and “good amount”. I really think I can continue here with the cooking metaphor and say that it`s up to your taste and how hungry you are. The only rule I follow is to change both when I have fewer level-ups than level-downs.

Notebook with categories

Writing in a book with categories is necessary because it is important to make connections from word to word. The important habit is really the writing because it is one way how I can actively use the words. I am additional using categories like “nouns”, “verbs” or “phrases”. So, I use one page for one category, write down in a category the words that fit. Each with translation. It`s necessary to write down the context where I consumed the word. This context can be the art mentioned above but also a smalltalk is a context or a sign seen on a particular trip.


Now I will mention my strategy for the language I used to learn in school and in university since 5th grade, which I used in Ireland and in Hong Kong on an everyday basis and sometimes in Germany or Poland when I met international speakers. The focus here is to learn new Business English vocabulary but also to improve my writing. Mainly I use here a digital notebook and a normal notebook, but here without categories.

The notebook without categories

I can use the notebook for learning the English language similar to Cantonese but because I have much more known words, I am not using categories here because I think I will create enough connections just by comparison with the large amount of similar build words in our passive knowledge e.g. when the new word is “attempt” I will see that it`s built same as “empty” and that I have two “t”`s after an “a” like in “attention”. I believe that the categories help much at the beginning of language learning but later we are creating too long lists or too specific categories so it`s not easy to chunk. Like the strategy in the new language, I will also write down a translation but this time in my native language so German but I keep writing the context where we consumed the word.

Digital notebook

Very different from the usage in the completely new language this one is rather a copy of the notebook-without-categories. The reason to have this copy is the ability of digital devices to show the context with multimedia what is sometimes just better (I don`t have the context in digital form for Cantonese because even if my flashcards are digital already (on Google Keep) I don`t want to have any context there to have a higher difficulty; and since this is digital I decided that it`s just better for my eyes to use a hand-written notebook-with-categories. The third reason is that I have a limited practice time every day for language learning which is these days 2 hours for Cantonese and 1 hour for English and I just realised that the copying described in this chapter for Cantonese is just too much.) Next to the advantage of context with multimedia, I think another one is that it is handier because I have my smartphone always with me so I can make these digital notes also in the park. Finally, copying is also a habit that is very useful to actively use words.

Art Design Invention Social Spike Study

What needs a virtual world to help you to be creative?

I have the believe that games can help creators best when they define a fixed set of rules only when necessary. It should be up to the player to decide how to interact with all the locations and with the other players.

A simple design is also very good to help creators motivation because the target audience might be gamer but could be non-gamer as well.

I am not keen to find the perfect solution, but I will try to work on it.


Is programming with block professional ?

One disadvantage of block-based programming while comparing it to “normal” one is that while learning it you do not get prepared for a job.

Next to clarify if the argument is too weak there exists two other motivations to continue my research:

-The interest in academia for a better distinction in the definitions

-With visual programming students from low-income or/and non-technical families can learn without requiring keyboards and in particular (and maybe more important) keyboard writing skills

Please share your experience:


First Sci-Fi by Kepler: Somnium


Remote team management

Because of the current circumstances we could be forced to just work remotely to keep distance for long term and not spread the disease.

Fortunately, a software engineer team nowadays can work completely online. Supervisor and supervisee here exchange messages or files and met or will meet just in a call. In the last years there is evidence of a trend towards remote work. 39% of workers in the US worked some time remotely in 2012 vs. 43% in 2016 and 15% of these remote workers just had online contact in 2012 vs. 20% in 2016. From Gallup’s “State of the American Workpace” report in 2017 page 150 and 156

But which tasks will or should be changed in management (like reading body language to better understand your supervisee) while working online?

Next to this experimental study on the impact of the change to remote work in the Chinese travel agency Ctrip and that website I’m curious if there is more. Please share your experience and expertise:

Art Study

Epiphany on isolation


Art Design Spike

First concept art for Hunter

I want to give an update here on my cave art game: Additional to the idea mentioned in my previous posts, I decided to make skyscraper a second style element. The contrast is quite interesting and as I live in a city with a lot of tall buildings, I don`t have to spend a lot of time on research.

The question which still has to be answered is:

Why is the cave idle from the people in the city?

I learned: To answer with concept art you need some additional constraints to “stay in the track”:

  • Just the player`s agents are in cave art and everything else is not. This constraint is defining the game mechanics because the players agents are drawings so they are just visible on surfaces. The player `s agents therefore will become invisible when they not have a surface on their position.
  • The player`s agents are named Hunter.
  • The other characters are: Caveman (just visible in Cutscenes), Citizen (erasing drawings) and Animals (currency).
  • Lemmings is the main inspiration.
  • Hunting animals is the goal.
  • It`s a 2D game because I have more experience with them.
A caveman is protecting a cave while citizen are watching him
It’s haunted
Hunter walking from the cave to the skyscraper, but I actually forgot that I’m drawing to answer on the question^^
The person could be the reason. I have drawn the person first in 3D and then in 2D.
I tried to add an additional cave and I will use it to allow multiple spawning points.
To answer on my question: I will use signs with the explanation that this scared the citizen to go to the cave. Another argument to have signs in the game is that the hunter can be visible on them. To stick with my constrains it`s good to have additional surfaces, next to the caves, skyscraper trees and animals.

What do you think ?



Design Spike

First graphic design for a cave art game

Inspired by:


Professor Einstein API

I used the available API for this robot to run a “Hello World” program