Language learning resources
Speak from Day One video course + Language Hacking Guide
Buying endless courses, software or even a plane ticket will not help you ultimately speak a language. Only practice by speaking, ideally from day one, can lead to spoken fluency. The contents of the Speak from Day One video course, coupled with the Language Hacking Guide describe precisely what I do to learn to speak a language so quickly. Click here to see a video of me speaking 8 languages to introduce the guide and to read more about it!
As well as being well worth investing in if you want to get serious about speaking your target language quickly, sales of this guide are also the main support to keep this website alive, so I appreciate it when people check it out!
I’ve partnered up with Campus Customs to create a customizable t-shirt that allows you to write text in your target language on the back to let the world know what language you are learning, while being a high quality t-shirt and remaining affordable.
In using this t-shirt, I have already had random opportunities to practise several languages with people in the street, in totally unexpected places!
The front of the t-shirt can say “Cunning Linguist”, “Polyglot” or “Language Lover”, and you’ll see me wear this t-shirt in many of my videos! See here for the video intro and a look at the options.
Learning With Texts
The completely free tool for practising reading your target language is included on this site. A full explanation and video tour of how it works is here, or you can type fi3m.com/lwt to go directly to the sign in / registration screen.
Consultation call and language coaching
If you would like to talk to me directly for some language learning advice, or a consultation call regarding any other aspect of the work I do, then check out information on the Consultation page.
I don’t give these myself, but I do get nearly all of my private lessons on italki. Click here to connect with my profile, and do a search for natives of the language you want to learn. You can either get free exchanges if you teach them your language, or you can get affordable private lessons via Skype. See my full review of italki here.
Best blog posts
If you check out the site map you can see a chronological list of all blog posts that I’ve written, as well as a specific list of each mission that I’ve blogged about. Otherwise use the Google search tool on the right of this site for a specific topic.
Generally, people have specific things holding them back so I took the time to write an incredibly detailed post of the Many reasons why we don’t learn languages, and their answers. Each answer links to relevant blog posts that dives into that setback in much more detail.
The links below are Amazon affiliate links.
My language book recommendations
I get asked all the time which book or course I recommend for some given language. If you search my site for “review of…” you’ll see me discuss many famous (and sometimes expensive) language products, and I plan to eventually cover as many of the other major ones as possible in future, however I can’t say that any of the expensive ones are that fantastic.
The best thing by far is to speak to people. I discuss how to do that in the Speak from Day One videos & Language Hacking Guide. Included in the guide is a list of conversational connectors; some interesting phrases to help you get your language flowing. However, other books that I do recommend you start with to get your most important content needed to fill your sentences and understand others include:
- Travel phrasebooks. I’m a big fan of Lonely Planet‘s series (despite not being much of a fan of their guidebooks) as they are very cheap and cover a very wide range of typical basic phrases you will need. This is an excellent start to getting you into the basic flow of speaking by starting with the essentials, and they have a couple of pages giving a (very superficial) glance over grammar. Learn these phrases and use them immediately. Check out the full list on Amazon.com to find your target language.
- My favourite books for actually getting a nice overview of the language, with grammar and vocabulary covered in as efficient a way as possible with good prioritisation, are (add the name of your language to the search on these pages) Teach Yourself and Colloquial.
- For some more in-depth grammar, I always go for the “Comprehensive Grammars” series. No pictures, no storylines, just pure grammatical explanations and done so very clearly and exhaustively. Only recommended for when you have a good flow of the language and are ready to tidy it up. Never start with a grammar book!!
While all of these can help give the language some foundation in your mind, only consistent practice (yes, even before you have learned the majority of the basics) will let you get into a useful flow that will allow you to learn quickly. If you want my most concise summary of all for how to do that, make sure to check out my TEDx talk!