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Renat Shiryaev
Renat Shiryaev

Polyglot: How I Learn Languages [WORK]

By the way, if you're thinking about learning a new language, but don't know where to start or which course to choose, take my course find quiz to find the perfect language course for you! All of the included courses have been recognised and endorsed by first time language learners and polyglots alike.

Polyglot: How I Learn Languages

By translating into your target language, you learn vocabulary quickly. You have to look up the right words and since you are using them in a coherent sentence, you memorise them more quickly than if you were to learn them without context.

Same goes for translation between languages. You apply what you're learning by forming sentences, thus creating language. Even if you're taking the sentences directly from a book or text, the translation part is performed by you!

Richard's go to method when starting a new language is lots of reading and writing. This is especially the case for languages that are similar to languages he already knows, which nowadays means most languages he studies!

Instead of learning grammar, in theory, she learns it by applying it through exercises. Hence, she doesn't always know the theoretical concept of grammatical rules but she does know how to use them through analogy.

For example, he realised over time that flash cards to learn words are not his thing. He prefers to learn words in conversation by asking his speaking partner to provide a translation and by using the word right away.

Gabriel Gelman is the founder of the German language learning blog Sprachheld. He regularly interviews top polyglots around the world on their language learning journeys and strategies.

At first, Benny collects a few words and phrases from the language he wants to learn. Then he goes to the country where the language is used and starts speaking with people there, making thousands of mistakes in one day. He simply gathers more vocabulary as he practices over and over again.

Most classes in schools or language courses focus on reading, learning vocabulary, and grammar which keeps students in their comfort zone. But nothing in your language learning will help you progress faster than speaking. Even when you make lots of mistakes at the beginning.

Remember, half an hour every day is much better than 8 hours on Sunday. We all have a life so fitting little bits of learning into your existing schedule is way more realistic and enjoyable than trying to squeeze in a long learning session at once.

I believe that these 10 things that polyglots do differently are crucial to learning languages. And if anyone (whether they are talented or not) copies these strategies, they will definitely succeed.

For some people, the goal is to learn not just one but many languages--often just for the sake of learning. These people are called polyglots, and the way they approach foreign language learning can serve as an inspiration even for those who never intend to become one.

Whereas someone who is multilingual might have had no choice but to learn several languages growing up, polyglots are fascinated by words and linguistics, and harness that interest to make the learning process more of a passion than a pain. As Steve Kaufmann writes on his blog The Linguist, the magic formula for foreign language learning is [motivation + time] / inhibition.

Software engineers collect programming languages, and the more they collect, the more familiar they become with the nature of code and the easier it becomes to collect more. In fact, many programming polyglots are also linguistic polyglots, and vice versa.

Just as music could be considered a language in its own right, programming can too. In that sense, if you have experience in one area--either language learning or coding--you might have a leg up in the other.

Some polyglots claim to have dabbled in over ninety different languages. There are even polyglot clubs and international conferences for polyglots, such as the Polyglot Conference Global, and events throughout the year in different cities where polyglots come together to connect over their shared love of languages.

Lomb, who by her own account was proficient in 16 languages, attempted to explain teacher-driven language learning with an old Hungarian joke. The joke states that coffee in Budapest has no coffee substitute but no coffee bean, either. It therefore also has a mystery: What makes it black?

Lomb provides an overview of her own experience with languages, both as a means of survival and personal pleasure. She recalls teaching herself Russian in the bomb shelters of wartime Hungary, and her first attempts to communicate with Soviet soldiers. She took advantage of the political situation to offer her skills as a Russian interpreter, and the rest is actualfactual history. Needless to say, she had a very interesting life, but in How I Learn Languages she seems to genuinely care about making life more interesting for the rest of us, too.

Polyglot: How I Learn Languages is an inspirational language learning book infused with a memoir by Kató Lomb, one of the most renowned autodidactic polyglots of the 20th century. In this book, Lomb, a fluent interpreter and/or translator of 17 different languages, divulges her passion and methodology for learning foreign languages. In Polyglot, Lomb emphasizes the importance of reading as a fundamental building block for language learning and the significance of personal motivation and overcoming inhibition in the language acquisition process. While explaining her mechanisms for language learning, Lomb simultaneously provides examples and insights from her own language-learning journey as a testament to this method. In examining her own studies, Lomb not only provides the reader with a straightforward methodology for autodidactic language learning but also the realization that successful independent learning of another language is achievable.

Although she sees reading as the mechanism with which to learn a foreign language, Lomb argues that the most important factors for successful language learning are motivation and overcoming inhibition. In Polyglot, Lomb provides a personally developed equation to explain the relationship between motivation, inhibition, and language acquisition (176):

Using her language learning experience, Lýdia mentors people to fluency by helping them focus on enjoyable methods that work for them. Lýdia is also respected for creating and running the annual Polyglot Gathering.

Steve can communicate in twenty languages, and is a YouTuber in addition to being the founder of, which enables you to learn languages through engaging content. Steve has said in the past that he was not very good at learning languages due to the rigid teaching methods employed by schools, which led him to join a polyglot club and develop his own methods instead.

In addition to being an incredible language learner, Luca also uses a rare but interesting bidirectional translation approach to learning, and shares his advice for mastering accents on his blog and YouTube channel.

Lindie documents her language learning journey on her website and YouTube channel, where she reveals tips and methods to inspire others in the language learning community. She shares messages for people to enjoy language learning, and use languages as a way to grow in confidence, not fear mistakes, and enjoy an enriched life.

Olly Richards is the creator of the popular website and the podcast of the same name. He is also the creator of the StoryLearning method, which led him to write books of short stories in multiple languages to help learners develop their grammar and vocabulary naturally.

By diving into his website, you will find out how languages helped Olly discover the world and truly live his best life. In our interview with Olly, he gave us a number of tips he used to learn Italian fast, with a heavy focus on input through stories, and speaking with a tutor every day.

Benny is known for making learning a new language fun. On his website, people can take a variety of courses that throw them head-first into learning the language. Benny also highlights his personal experiences in his blog posts and bestselling book. His approach to language-learning involves hacks and methods that get you speaking quickly.

Kerstin Cable has presented at many respected events and institutions, including the Polyglot Gathering, Polyglot Conference, and Langfest. Kerstin has stated that she believes that learning a language should not just be for the super-smart, rich, young, or privileged.

Since writing his book, he has used this systematic approach to teach languages with the support of the Fluent Forever app. Gabriel has used the Fluent Forever approach to help language learners internalize the basics of languages in around fourteen weeks.

We can thank Ikenna for motivating young people interested in languages with his passionate, funny, and informative YouTube videos on language learning. He also documented his experience and his Fluency Made Easy (FME) method in his e-book of the same name.

Lindsay dedicates her time to inspiring independent language learners and online teachers, with courses on how to make language progress stick. Her podcast Language Stories showcases languages and culture around the globe.

Michel was a highly secretive person and although he knew many languages, it was not clear exactly how many. After he survived imprisonment in a number of Nazi concentration camps in World War II, he went on to move to the U.S., where he invented his own language-learning system. Michel Thomas passed away in January 2005, but his system and resources are still popular among casual learners and language schools today. has helped many self-taught language learners through the years, and continues to be a valuable online resource. Simon has said that he was not taught a foreign language as a young child and did not start studying his second language until he was about 11. 041b061a72


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