Info

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
RSS Feed
I Will Teach You A Language | Weekly Motivation and Language Learning Tips to Help You Become Fluent in Any Language
2017
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2015
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April


Categories

All Episodes
Archives
Categories
Now displaying: February, 2017
Feb 27, 2017

In today's episode, I talk to Jonathan Levi from The Superlearner Academy about accelerated learning techniques.

Episode Summary:

  • Jonathan's difficult learning background at school
  • The story of how he first encountered speed reading
  • How to get amazing results on your MBA
  • What is accelerated learning?
  • The core principles of rapid skill acquisition
  • How to apply memory techniques to language learning

Resources In Today's Episode:

The Superlearner Academy is currently offering a FREE TRIAL to all new students. What would use these skills to learn? Click the link below to claim your spot:

Also mentioned:

Start speaking today:

I’d like to thank iTalki for supporting the show. To claim your free lesson and start speaking today, visit: http://iwillteachyoualanguage.com/italkishownotes

Superlearner Academy - Free Trial

To claim your free trial at the Superlearner Academy, click here.


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!

Feb 27, 2017

Danilo asks: "How should I get started learning Japanese?"

Episode Summary:

What happened to me:

  • I learnt to say a bunch of things, but never really understood the language
  • I never spent enough time listening
  • After moving to Japan, I continued studying, gradually building up my knowledge, but it took forever
  • It wasn't until I began speaking very often that I really began to crack Japanese, and become comfortable with it's logic

My suggested plan of attack:

  • Avoid lessons at the start, unless you can find a good teacher
  • Choose a textbook you like and work through it, focusing on the dialogues
  • Learn hiragana and katakana immediately
  • Once you've completed your textbook, look for an iTalki tutor, and set up 2-3 speaking sessions a week
  • Do as much listening as possible!

Resources In Today's Episode

Start speaking today:

I’d like to thank iTalki for supporting the show. To claim your free lesson and start speaking today, 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!

Feb 23, 2017

Fletcher asks: "Can I adapt the traditional memory palace technique?"

Episode Summary:

  • What is a memory palace? (The story of Simonides)
  • Choose a building you're familiar with
  • Take words you want to remember
  • Place them around the room
  • Create mnemonic with location + action
  • Practise recalling the words by walking through the memory palace sequentially

Two key features:

  • Location - create a mnemonic using the location itself (e.g. the sofa)
  • Recall - practise recall by walking through the memory palace

Fletcher asks if you can substitute the building or room, for the handlebars of a bicycle...

  • You can do anything!
  • The key to making the memory palace word is vivid imagery, so if that works for you, then great!
  • Make sure you think about the key elements of location and recall.
  • Try out your variation technique and compare it to the more traditional memory palace

Resources In Today's Episode

Start speaking today:

I’d like to thank iTalki for supporting the show. To claim your free lesson and start speaking today, 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!

Feb 22, 2017

Arnie asks: "How can I stop translating in my head when people speak to me in French?"

Episode Summary:

  • See episode 87 for a previous answer to this topic
  • Translating in your head is a very common problem
  • There's no quick fix I can give you, only some encouragement and a helpful way of thinking about the problem
  • To state the obvious: When you understand what's being said in French, you have no reason to translate
  • Therefore, the more you improve, the less you translate
  • This is good to remember, as it helps you realise it's a gradual process
  • For me, translating tends to be a grammar issue
  • My Cantonese right now - often I'll understand something in Cantonese, with no translation. Sometimes, I'll come across a sentence that's grammatically different and I'll need to translate it in my head in order to make sense of it. This dies away over time, as I improve.

Key points:

  • Spend more time listening and reading
  • Grow your vocabulary
  • Start using monolingual dictionaries
  • Do more of your daily activities in French

Some deeper approaches to studying:

  • When you learn new grammar, focus on grammar patterns, not individual verbs
  • With these new grammar patterns, try to get into the head of a native speaker, and feel the way an idea is being expressed - the attitude or feeling - rather than focus on the English translation
  • Work with full sentences in your study, not single words

Today's Quote:

  • “You don’t learn a language, you get used to it.” – Katsumoto

Start speaking today:

I’d like to thank iTalki for supporting the show. To claim your free lesson and start speaking today, 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!

Feb 17, 2017

Sonia asks: "What's the ideal language learning environment?"

Episode Summary:

  • There's no such thing as the ideal, or best, language learning environment
  • Learning to speak a language is heavily linked to affective factors - your feelings and how you react to the environment around you
  • You can be very analytical, and conclude that complete immersion after a minimum of study is the "most efficient way"... but only if you're happy in that environment
  • When I look back on my language learning story, my success has been heavily linked to my environment (e.g. Spanish friends in London vs isolation in Japan)
  • The question I ask myself most when I learn languages now is: "How does this language make sense in the context of the lifestyle that I enjoy?" (e.g. In Hong Kong I didn't have great working conditions, so my language learning suffered as a result)
  • If your French is still low-level, you still have a lot of work to do. You can do this naturally through speaking with people, or you can do it through formal study (or some combination of the two)
  • Isolating yourself in rural France is a big gamble, where you and your personality will determine whether you succeed or not
  • The question is not: "Is this the best way?" The question should be: "Is this the best way for me?"
  • I don't know what your commitment to staying in France is, but don't be afraid to follow the path that makes you happier - life is about more than language learning
  • In your specific situation, I would accept the reality that interacting socially is hard, and seek out a language partner or tutor (e.g. iTalki) who can help you get dedicated practice and build up your confidence
  • It might seem perverse to pay someone to help you while you're in France, but it might be a smart move.

Today's Quote:

I have been and still am a seeker, but I have ceased to question stars and books; I have begun to listen to the teaching my blood whispers to me. - Hermann Hesse

Start speaking today:

I’d like to thank iTalki for supporting the show. To claim your free lesson and start speaking today, 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!

Feb 16, 2017

Eleanor asks: "How can I maintain my Spanish after university?"

Episode Summary:

  • Learning vs maintenance
  • When is maintenance necessary?
  • Being realistic
  • Richard Simcott's approach (as described in Language Learning Foundations)
  • What I do personally to maintain my languages

Tips for maintaining languages at an advanced level

  • Reading books you like
  • Watching movies, TV or listening to podcasts
  • Attending events
  • Hanging out with friends
  • Studying in the language
  • Language exchanges using a foreign language (e.g. Spanish/Korean as a native English speaker)
  • Teach the language to others

Resources Mentioned In This Episode:

Start speaking today:

I’d like to thank iTalki for supporting the show. To claim your free lesson and start speaking today, 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!

Feb 7, 2017

Chris asks: "How should I start learning Cantonese, given that I already speak Mandarin?"

Episode Summary:

  • Cantonese is to Mandarin what Cockney is to English
  • It's a highly developed, unique language that is considered a spoken language
  • When Cantonese speakers write things down, they normally use standard Chinese

So what does this mean for a Mandarin speaker who wants to learn Cantonese?

  • At the risk of oversimplifying, your major task is to learn a large amount of Cantonese-specific vocabulary, including the different pronunciation and more tones
  • While there is more to it than that (different grammar structures, sentence particles etc), the two languages are close enough that your existing knowledge of Mandarin will transfer very well, help you notice any differences and slowly adjust
  • You won't have many new linguistic concepts to learn, it's more a question of getting use to the specific ways Cantonese speakers express themselves
  • It's not the same task as learning a Chinese dialect from scratch as a foreigner

What about the practical considerations?

  • Because you're going to get so much "for free", you should start by doing a lot of listening and let time do the work
  • Use resources where the audio comes with written Cantonese, so you can start associate the characters you already know with new sounds
  • I've been told the best Cantonese resources are written in Mandarin, so if you can cope, go with those!
  • Given your experience, I would spend a few months simply working through textbook dialogues and noticing as much as possible
  • To master the language, you'll need to arrange your life in a way that allows you to speak regularly (see episode 153) - your progress is going to depend on your ability to make those lifestyle changes

Resources Mentioned In This Episode:

https://youtu.be/3QRVpNbNzK8

Start speaking today:

I’d like to thank iTalki for supporting the show. To claim your free lesson and start speaking today, 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!

Feb 7, 2017

In this episode, I describe a terrible language exchange experience I had this week.

Episode Summary:

Great news! Full transcripts of each podcast are available on the show notes - that's here! Scroll down to find the transcript.

  • My terrible language exchange this week
  • Why it went wrong
  • What you can learn from the experience

Start speaking today:

I’d like to thank iTalki for supporting the show. To claim your free lesson and start speaking today, 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!

Feb 2, 2017

Chris asks: "Should I speak formally or informally in Turkish?"

In this episode:

  • Every language has it's convention as to when and where you should speak formally or informally
  • I've found myself resisting speaking formally in other languages, and I've always been curious why that is
  • What I've learnt is that my "default" is informal, because that's the way we speak English
  • Once you understand the cultural significance of formal and informal speech in the language you're learning, it will make your decision much easier

Japanese:

  • Ultra polite: omeshi-agari ni narimasen ka
  • Polite: meshi-agarimasen ka OR taberaremasen ka
  • Normal: tabemasu ka
  • Informal: taberu?

Spanish:

  • Tú is standard in most places for speaking to someone your age or below
  • But in Colombia, Usted is used within the family, as a cultural mark of respect and affection

French:

  • "Je peux vous tutoyer?"

The problem in your case may be that you're not using Turkish enough to develop a gut feel for what is appropriate...

  • Once you're using the language regularly, you'll get it!
  • Remember that speaking politely, but with a warm smile, can be extremely endearing and doesn't have to be stiff
  • Watch TV and movies and pay attention just to that
  • A good rule of thumb is to use the polite form
  • But it never really matters... you get a free pass as a foreigner!

Quote Of The Day:

Be polite; write diplomatically; even in a declaration of war one observes the rules of politeness. -Otto von Bismarck

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!

1