Recently-added language posts

How I Shall Tackle a 15min Vietnamese Conversation in 90 Days

I have decided on my next goal: I want to be able to have a 15 minutes conversation in Vietnamese in roughly 90 days from now. Right now I know zero Vietnamese: not even the pronunciation, not even "hello". However, I have experience succeeding in language challenges. This is my action plan:

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14 Tips for Learning Languages (+ 14 language video)

Which language should you pick? How to stay motivated? Is it bad to learn more than one language at once? How to memorize vocabulary? How to keep improving when you're already at a high level? ... I get a lot of questions about learning languages. Here are my top 14 tips in a handy list. Watch the video below in order to hear me expand on each idea. To make it more interesting, I have recorded each section in a different language, 14 languages in total.

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Learning Foreign Writing Systems

I love learning foreign writing systems so I developed my own method for it. It involves teaching each letter one by one and immediately practicing it by reading words that are recognizable even in a foreign script, for example city and country names, international words, loanwords and so on. The order of letter introduction is optimized so that even if you only learned 2 or 3 letters, there are already words you can practice reading and with each new letter you get tons of additional reading practice.

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Lernu la Ukrainan alfabeton

Mi ĵus remalkovris kurson kiun mi verkis antaŭ la IJK en Kyiv. Ĝi instruas la cirilan alfabeton por la ukraina lingvo tiel, ke Esperantistoj povos poste legi afiŝojn, menuon de picejo, stratindikojn kaj similajn aferojn. Jen ĝi:

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Did You Fully Experience the Polyglot Gathering?

The Polyglot Gathering 2015 just ended and I again had a lot of fun organizing it. If you attended the event, here's a fun non-authoritative checklist I created in order to figure out whether you fully experienced the event ;-) Check off what you did.

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Your Native Language is Esperanto??

I produced a short film! It's an interview with 6 native Esperanto speakers from different countries and they talk about how they wound up speaking this artificial language as their mother tongue and how this affects their lives. Fascinating!

If you have more questions for them, they will be doing an AMA on Reddit later today, or you can ask on Quora.

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My Add1Challenge & Hebrew after 21 Days

When I was at the first ever Polyglot Conference in Budapest, there was an amazing lecture by Anthony Lauder. He revealed the mathematician's approach to becoming a polyglot who speaks 9 languages: Speak 8 languages, then add 1 His home truth led to the Add1Challenge, which I'm now using to learn Hebrew. This post contains a video of me speaking Hebrew after just 21 days, among other things.

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Hangout about Language-Learning

Do you have questions about language-learning for which you'd like to know the answer? I just did a Hangout for participants of the Add1Challenge where they could ask all kinds of questions related to their learning.

Watch the video!

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How I Spent 700+ Hours on Languages Last Year

After publishing my Summary of 2014, a lot of people have been asking me how I managed to spend 749 hours on languages last year. This is my answer.

To achieve a goal like this, you need three things: tracking, obstinence and inventiveness.


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Duolingo: Esperanto coming soon!

Have you heard of the latest language-learning website that's sweeping the globe: Duolingo? It was founded by Luis von Ahn, previously best-known for creating Captcha, those boxes on the Internet where you have to type a mangled word to prove that you're human.

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