Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Language learning is training a neural net

with 4 comments

I realized something as I thought about my earlier post on Duolingo. I described how I listened to many different speakers and listened repeatedly, and then gradually I could filter out the noise (slurred speech, bad pronunciation, different speeds, different voices) and hear the actual content. It suddenly struck me that this is exactly how neural networks are trained to, for example, recognize cat pictures. And then — duh — I realized that of course it’s like training a neural network, since that is what the brain is.

That explains the need for repetition and various accents, and it makes me more patient because I no longer feel that I have to get it immediately, I just have to keep up the process as the neural network in my head gets trained and rewires itself for this capability.

Written by Leisureguy

27 April 2020 at 5:00 pm

4 Responses

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  1. You’re so right. I think the repetitive nature, either through yourself saying, reading, writing or listening to others is the key to success. Good luck with your studies!



    1 June 2020 at 6:07 am

  2. Thanks. It’s going well. I figured out a few more things as well.



    1 June 2020 at 8:15 am

  3. Exactly!! I agree completely


    Yash Jain

    3 June 2020 at 10:01 am

  4. @ Yash: I wrote more on this after having a bit more experience.



    3 June 2020 at 10:17 am

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