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I Will Teach You A Language | Weekly Motivation and Language Learning Tips to Help You Become Fluent in Any Language

Learning a new language? Get your language learning questions answered by polyglot Olly Richards, who speaks 8 languages and runs the popular blog - I Will Teach You A Language. Whatever's holding you back on the path to fluency, tune in twice a week to get your regular dose of language learning motivation, with Olly and other polyglot guests, such as Luca Lampariello, Richard Simcott, Alex Rawlings, Benny Lewis, Anthony Metivier and Jonathan Levi. Learn Spanish, Learn French, Learn German, Learn Italian, Learn Portuguese, Learn Arabic, Learn Japanese, Learn Chinese
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Now displaying: November, 2016
Nov 25, 2016

Tadeusz asks: "Do Chinese concepts of time differ from English?"

In this episode:

In this episode, I'm joined by Chris Parker. We discuss...

  • How to express time in Chinese
  • Potential confusion with English
  • Similarities in Cantonese and Japanese

Language Examples:

Before and after, not really front and behind

5 years ago - 5年以前 = 5 years before (not really front)

5 years time - 5年以后 = 5 years after (not really behind) (trad chars = 五年以後)

  • 前 = before or in front
  • 后 = after + behind
  • 上个星期 last week (upper week) (上個星期 trad chars)
  • 这个星期 this week (這個星期 trad chars)
  • 下个星期 next week (lower week) (下個星期 trad chars)

(for weeks and months)

For series of books or films etc:

  • 上 the one on the top - part 1
  • (中) the one in the middle - part 2
  • 下 the one on the bottom - part 3

or 上 first part 下 second part

  • 上下 approximately (upper + lower)
  • 左右 approximately (left + right)
  • 前年 - the year before last (before year)
  • 去年 - last year (gone/left year)
  • 今年 - this year
  • 明年 - next year
  • 后年 - the year after next (year after) trad=後面

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Start speaking today

I’d like to thank iTalki for supporting the show. iTalki is the best place online to connect with affordable and effective native speakers teachers and tutors. To claim your free lesson and start speaking today, simply visit:http://iwillteachyoualanguage.com/italkishownotes

Do you have a question?

Ask me your language learning questions by clicking here, and I’ll do my best to feature it on the show! Also, please subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.


Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the podcast! If you’ve got any comments about the show then please leave them in the “comments” section below! If you’d like to help me out, then I’d love it if you could…

  • Share the episode using the social media buttons around you
  • Leave an honest review and rating of the podcast on iTunes (click here to do that)

iTunes reviews in particular really help the rankings of the podcast and help me to reach other aspiring language learners out there! See you in the next episode of the I Will Teach You A Language podcast!

Nov 22, 2016

In this episode, I look back on the last 3 months of learning Thai.

In this episode:

  • What I've done since returning from Thailand
  • Is one lesson a week enough?
  • Learning two languages at once
  • Advice for a "minimum" time commitment

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Start speaking today

I’d like to thank iTalki for supporting the show. iTalki is the best place online to connect with affordable and effective native speakers teachers and tutors. To claim your free lesson and start speaking today, simply visit:http://iwillteachyoualanguage.com/italkishownotes

Do you have a question?

Ask me your language learning questions by clicking here, and I’ll do my best to feature it on the show! Also, please subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.


Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the podcast! If you’ve got any comments about the show then please leave them in the “comments” section below! If you’d like to help me out, then I’d love it if you could…

  • Share the episode using the social media buttons around you
  • Leave an honest review and rating of the podcast on iTunes (click here to do that)

iTunes reviews in particular really help the rankings of the podcast and help me to reach other aspiring language learners out there! See you in the next episode of the I Will Teach You A Language podcast!

Nov 10, 2016

Rana asks: "How can you learn a language without traveling abroad?"

In this episode:

  • Traveling abroad isn't necessarily a good thing
  • You can easily learn the basics of a new language from anywhere
  • Get a good textbook & take online classes
  • Plan a trip abroad later on, once you can speak
  • Longer-term, the mosts important thing is to stay motivated in your learning

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Start speaking today

I’d like to thank iTalki for supporting the show. iTalki is the best place online to connect with affordable and effective native speakers teachers and tutors. To claim your free lesson and start speaking today, simply visit:http://iwillteachyoualanguage.com/italkishownotes

Do you have a question?

Ask me your language learning questions by clicking here, and I’ll do my best to feature it on the show! Also, please subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.


Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the podcast! If you’ve got any comments about the show then please leave them in the “comments” section below! If you’d like to help me out, then I’d love it if you could…

  • Share the episode using the social media buttons around you
  • Leave an honest review and rating of the podcast on iTunes (click here to do that)

iTunes reviews in particular really help the rankings of the podcast and help me to reach other aspiring language learners out there! See you in the next episode of the I Will Teach You A Language podcast!

Nov 8, 2016

Dave asks: "How useful are word frequency lists?"

In this episode:

  • A small number of words account for a disproportionate amount of use in spoken language
  • But does it make sense to memorise the most frequent words?
  • What about nuance, or context?
  • Why a holistic approach is best - you'll learn those words naturally anyway
  • Frequency dictionaries can be useful for filling in gaps

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

The Science Of Successful Blogging - My talk from the Montreal Language Festival in Summer 2016. https://youtu.be/HhC0xbpI9QI

Start speaking today

I’d like to thank iTalki for supporting the show. iTalki is the best place online to connect with affordable and effective native speakers teachers and tutors. To claim your free lesson and start speaking today, simply visit:http://iwillteachyoualanguage.com/italkishownotes

Do you have a question?

Ask me your language learning questions by clicking here, and I’ll do my best to feature it on the show! Also, please subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.


Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the podcast! If you’ve got any comments about the show then please leave them in the “comments” section below! If you’d like to help me out, then I’d love it if you could…

  • Share the episode using the social media buttons around you
  • Leave an honest review and rating of the podcast on iTunes (click here to do that)

iTunes reviews in particular really help the rankings of the podcast and help me to reach other aspiring language learners out there! See you in the next episode of the I Will Teach You A Language podcast!

Nov 3, 2016

Syawal asks: "How can I enrich my vocabulary when speaking?"

In this episode:

  • Why we tend to use the same limited vocabulary when we speak
  • Syawal's English is already strong, so we're talking about finer shades of meaning and expression
  • How does a native English speaker enrich their vocabulary?
  • Extensive reading is the ultimate way to expose yourself to new linguistic possibilities
  • Combine that with memory techniques to make sure you don't forget the vocabulary

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

  • Master Your Memory - Learn to improve your memory, so you can easily memorise new vocabulary in any language and not forget it.
  • Why Your Spanish Is Stagnating...And What To Do About It! - A new article I've written for Huffington Post about dealing with the intermediate plateau. If you like the article, I'd be grateful if you could share it on social media, it's a great opportunity for me to be featured there!

Start speaking today

I’d like to thank iTalki for supporting the show. iTalki is the best place online to connect with affordable and effective native speakers teachers and tutors. To claim your free lesson and start speaking today, simply visit:http://iwillteachyoualanguage.com/italkishownotes

Do you have a question?

Ask me your language learning questions by clicking here, and I’ll do my best to feature it on the show! Also, please subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.


Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the podcast! If you’ve got any comments about the show then please leave them in the “comments” section below! If you’d like to help me out, then I’d love it if you could…

  • Share the episode using the social media buttons around you
  • Leave an honest review and rating of the podcast on iTunes (click here to do that)

iTunes reviews in particular really help the rankings of the podcast and help me to reach other aspiring language learners out there! See you in the next episode of the I Will Teach You A Language podcast!

Nov 1, 2016

Ashley asks: "How do you stay safe when doing language exchanges?"

In this episode:

  • Making connections is the real joy of language learning
  • My perspective as a man
  • It's undeniable that some people are looking for more - just like real life!
  • Just as in real life, you need to stay aware
  • Corresponding in advance, talking about the terms of your exchange, and trusting your gut is probably best
  • Beyond that, if you're meeting online (such as Skype), you're safe - just don't reveal any personal details
  • You could use a separate Skype name and Gmail address, but that might not be the foundation of a good friendship
  • If meeting face-to-face, it's almost certainly fine, just meet in a public place
  • However, I'm not best qualified to advise on this... leave your comments please!

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Start speaking today

I’d like to thank iTalki for supporting the show. iTalki is the best place online to connect with affordable and effective native speakers teachers and tutors. To claim your free lesson and start speaking today, simply visit:http://iwillteachyoualanguage.com/italkishownotes

Do you have a question?

Ask me your language learning questions by clicking here, and I’ll do my best to feature it on the show! Also, please subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.


Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the podcast! If you’ve got any comments about the show then please leave them in the “comments” section below! If you’d like to help me out, then I’d love it if you could…

  • Share the episode using the social media buttons around you
  • Leave an honest review and rating of the podcast on iTunes (click here to do that)

iTunes reviews in particular really help the rankings of the podcast and help me to reach other aspiring language learners out there! See you in the next episode of the I Will Teach You A Language podcast!

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