Meet Maneesh Sethi. Maneesh is a friend, an inventor, and a fellow language learner (he has been a DJ in Berlin, and spoken on stage in Italian, among other things) with a very particular passion… For years, he has been obsessed with solving the problem of maintaining motivation that we all face in trying to […]MORE
Last summer, a huge publication asked if I would write an article for them about How learning languages will help you chat up girls. … As nice as it would have been to be in that big magazine, I said no thanks. Then, since it was just before the World Cup, they made me a […]MORE
One of the most popular posts on this blog is my 29 life lessons learned in travelling the world (for 8 years straight). I’ve personally been to a couple of dozen countries, but then there are people like my friend Chris Guillebeau. He has been to every single country on earth! I’ve met Chris on […]MORE
It’s the feeling of stagnation, like sitting around and waiting for something to happen because you know you’ve been putting in the work.
It’s what happens when you feel a huge rush of demotivation because you’re really tired of studying this language every single day and not seeing much of a return for it.
Benny Lewis has definitely hit them before and so have thousands of other language learners.
BRICK WALLS. At the end of the day, some get through them and some don’t.MORE
Karen who runs Immersia offers these words of encouragement – I love seeing the same realizations from such a wide range of people, and am happy to share hers with you today, especially since she has such an interesting and different background. Over to you Karen: ——— I was born in the Ukraine and my […]MORE
My philosophy in language learning is, always has been, and always will be to Speak From Day One.
But for many people, this is terrifying! And because I have been talking so much about how effective I’ve found using Skype and language exchange websites, or in-person meetings early on in a language project to chat with native speakers right away, I’ve been asked a lot of questions about what to do if you’re too shy to speak from day one.
So today I’m going to answer these questions.MORE
“Japanese is really freaking difficult.”
“Japanese is really freaking vague.”
“Japanese is really freaking illogical.”
These statements have three things in common.
What a whirlwind few months! Rough start, but a good first two months Back in September after announcing my Japanese project, I jumped in and started speaking spontaneously my first weeks, and was able to share a prepared speech pretty confidently. But I quickly ran into a hitch of being desperately sick, just when I […]MORE
Let’s be honest. I can take it. Americans aren’t exactly known for our foreign language ability. Often, we speak English and we simply expect the rest of the world to do so as well. There are many reasons why this problem has developed, but that’s not the purpose of this article.
As with all stereotypes there is both a bit of truth here as well as many exceptions. I’m an American diplomat (or Foreign Service Officer as we’re officially known) and it is not only helpful in my job to learn foreign languages, it is required.MORE
Tomorrow I’ll be updating you on my Japanese project, but until then though, I want to share this excellent video by my friend Scott Young, who has guest posted here and whose Spanish project I introduced you to 3 months ago. This video was edited by Vat, who was also learning Spanish intensively. It’s an […]MORE
People are always asking me which courses I use for my language learning projects, and what books I recommend, as if product choice is some huge determination in how successful you will be in learning your target language. What if it’s really just throwing money at the problem?
The solution isn’t to get as many courses as possible either – I ran a survey a while back, the results of which showed me that people who buy less materials are actually MORE successful in language learning!
Rather than spending time figuring out which courses work best for them, they just pick one, work with it and use it, while focusing much more on some kind of interaction with real natives (or native content) to improve their level. Your energy is better spent on doing something active with your language, not with your product/book research.MORE
Note: While I was initially aiming for 3 months, unfortunately preparations for my published book took up all of my time and I had to end the project at this 2 month point. Summary of the project is given here, but this video below represents the end point of the 2-months that were intensive in […]MORE
Speaking a language is a skill. Like any other skill, if you really want to get good at it then it’s going to require practice. For languages that means lots of time talking, meeting new people, socializing, getting out there and making mistakes. If you’re an extrovert that all sounds great.
But if you’re an introvert – that’s terrifying.
Introverts and extroverts just don’t function the same as each other. As a result, trying to force an introvert to study like an extrovert or vice versa is never going to work as well as finding a learning style that’s tailored to how that person learns best.
Thankfully if you’re on the introverted side of things, all is not lost.MORE
Ever since my viral post about the 29 life lessons learned in travelling the world for 8 years (over 2 years ago), I’ve started to get more and more questions about finding love on the road. How can a long term traveller have a girlfriend? What about leaving a wake of broken hearts behind? And […]MORE
6-8 hours a day of complete focus and efficient learning, for 6 days a week, is the ideal and what I aim for, but so far it hasn’t happened. I’m going to see if I can get a new wind and make this next week the most efficient one yet to balance out the previous week.
While I realize many people think that I have the absolute ideal conditions any language learner could dream of, of “no responsibilities” and an uninterrupted 12 or so weeks of non-stop Japanese learning, the fact is that it will get interrupted. That’s life.MORE