Frequently asked questions for an experienced language learner


Last week I shared some FAQs for a long-term traveller, and taking a bunch of questions that readers have been sending me on Facebook, Google plus, twitter and the LHL email list, now I’ll discuss some language learning issues that people have been wondering about. Note that I discuss FAQs about the website and my […]


What will I talk about when my language level is so basic?


One of the biggest questions I get when I encourage people to just speak, no matter how bad your grammar is and how few words you know, is “What will I talk about?? They’ll just get bored and angry with me!” This attitude is quite strange because it presumes a level of rudeness of foreign […]


Why does the language have to be so weird?


This post was originally part of my introduction e-mails for the Language Hacking League (which you can sign up for on the right to get similar tips or links twice a month in your inbox after an introduction series). Considering how I use Turkish as an example (but you can apply this tip to all […]


Language Hacking tips for English speaking travellers (My TBEX talk)

Here it is! My first time ever speaking in front of such a large audience! The video is 30 minutes long and covers some tips and encouragement that I’ve mentioned on the blog at various times and which are covered in much more detail in the Language Hacking Guide of course. Since the audience was […]


Forgetting a language: Why it happens and how to avoid it


OK, so you have put in the time and can now speak a language at a confident level. But maybe the course that helped to get you there has ended, or your stay abroad is over and it’s time to go home. What do you do to make sure that you don’t forget that language? […]


How to think in a foreign language (it does NOT “just happen”)


This is a guest post by the author of Life by Experimentation, Zane, who quantifies the path to self-improvement.  He creates real-life experiments to assess everything from sleeping less to traveling cheaply in order to live a more productive and skillful life. He speaks Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, French and Arabic with varying degrees of fluency. […]


Steps to take to ensure you speak quickly AND learn grammar well


I’ve written about learning grammar in great detail before, but it’s worth mentioning again. This time I’ll attempt to give a concise summary of the steps I take in learning a language (skipping a lot of details obviously). Grammar: from the start, in the middle or never? The way I learn grammar has been very […]


Which language learning materials?

which material

Obviously, writing a language learning blog means that I get asked the question all the time about the best language learning course or materials to invest in. Since I can’t really say that any purchasable material particularly impresses me as a “must” for language learning, I like to try several ones on for size to […]


Communicating without words – my fun non-spoken train ride in India


Words. Who needs them? Of course, if you want a really high academic level in a language then learning vocabulary, by whatever way you do it, will get you there. Most exams will test you on your memory capacity for even some obscure words that you’ll never actually need in real life. And some people […]