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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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I Will Teach You A Language | Weekly Motivation and Language Learning Tips to Help You Become Fluent in Any Language
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Now displaying: December, 2017
Dec 29, 2017

 Todd asks: "How can I speak more Spanish with my girlfriend?"

Episode Summary:

See Episode 029: I'm learning my wife's language See Episode 137: Love and language learning

  • IWTYAL team member Dave's home language routine
  • Luke's experience in Hong Kong
  • You need willingness on both sides, so first establish that it's there
  • Dedicated time will help
  • Don't see you partner as your teacher...that leads to trouble!

Resources Mentioned 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: https://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!

Dec 27, 2017

 Massoud ask: "I'm worried about what will happen if I learn German. What should I do?"

Episode Summary:

  • You may have a language learning dilemma and not know how to resolve it
  • It's always best to discover the answer yourself rather than rely on others
  • You don't have to commit for life!
  • Try setting trial periods, and give it a shot
  • If it's not working out, you can always change your mind

Today's Quote:

“I've had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.” ― Mark Twain

Start Speaking Today:

I’d like to thank italki for supporting the show. To claim your free lesson and start speaking today, visit: https://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!

Dec 19, 2017

 In this solo episode, Olly discusses whether immersion is all it's cracked up to be.

Episode Summary:

  • Immersion is always held up as the "holy grail" of language learning
  • Definition: Spending all day every day in a native-level environment
  • It's not all it's cracked up to be
  • Survival bias is at play:
    • Katzumoto: 10,000 hours of Japanese
    • Gabriel Wyner: 8 weeks in Middlebury
    • Your friend who went to China and was fluent in 3 months
  • Immersion only works if you are able to go full-on enough, for long enough, and stay positive enough to make it to be successful... not practical for most people
  • As a study strategy, it leaves a lot to be desired:
    • You don't understand anything
    • There's no structure
    • Not enjoyable
  • My experiences with real immersion were not good
    • Paris, Japan, Egypt
  • Immersion is much more effective when you can already hold you own
  • Theory of "Comprehensible input"
  • What's the opportunity cost?

Resources Mentioned 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: https://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!

Dec 16, 2017

 In this solo episode, Olly discusses whether listening to "slow audio" is useful.

Episode Summary:

  • News in Slow Spanish-type sites are becoming increasing popular
  • With Yabla you can slow down the audio
  • But are these helpful, or dangerous?
  • There are only two reasons you won't understand something spoken:
    • 1) You don't know the words/grammar
    • 2) You can't understand fast speech
  • If you slow down what you're listening to, you're not helping your listening, because it's not natural, and lacks the features of fast speech
  • It simply gives you more time to process the information, i.e. think about the words used
    • But is this the best way to learn new vocabulary... listening to slow, unnatural audio?
  • This = confusing / misunderstanding the problem, and can severely limited your ability to cope with real language
    • Listening to stuff at your level (comprehensible input)
    • Listen at natural speed, and use the transcript to help you understandInstead, solve the problem of not understanding fast speech by:
  • I do sometimes slow down audio (Speater app), but it's always when I'm listening to stuff that's too hard for me
  • Caveat: Slowing down audio could be useful at the very beginning

Resources Mentioned 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: https://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!

Dec 12, 2017

 Raffy asks: "Should I be concerned about my accent?"

Episode Summary:

  • Accents are a highly personal topic
  • I inhabit a world in London where virtually everyone I meet has an accent
  • Your accent is like your personality, and something you should be fiercely proud of

Resources Mentioned 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: https://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!

Dec 8, 2017

 Mark asks: "How should I start learning Mongolian from scratch?"

Episode Summary:

  • Get a strong foundation in the basics first
  • Work your way through a textbook
  • Listen to the audio
  • Don't get distracted by other tools

Resources Mentioned in Today's Episode:

  • Blue Snowball - A great entry-level microphone that I used for episodes 75-229
  • Shure MV5 - My new mic (what you can hear on the episode today
  • French Foundations - my new book that teaches you the basics of French in two weeks

Today's Quote:

I know how to learn anything I want to learn. I absolutely know that I could learn how to fly the space shuttle because someone else knows how to fly it, and they put it in a book. Give me the book, and I do not need somebody to stand up in front of the class. - Will Smith

Start Speaking Today:

I’d like to thank italki for supporting the show. To claim your free lesson and start speaking today, visit: https://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!

Dec 1, 2017

Dave and Anja ask: "Does alcohol help you become more fluent?"

Episode Summary:

  • You often drink alcohol in social situations
  • Social situations are best possible environment for improving your speaking
  • Shyness and social anxiety often prevent people practising their language
  • To the extent that alcohol helps you feel more at ease, it may well be beneficial!

Resources Mentioned 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!

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