3 tricks to learn languages like this champion

Matthew Youlden speaks nine languages ​​casually and gets along in at least ten others. We work in the same office in Berlin and I regularly hear it pass from one language to another like a chameleon that changes color. It is so polyglot that until recently I didn’t even know that English (British) was his native language. When I confessed to Matthew that I was struggling to learn even one language, he gave me some tips that proved to be very useful. If you think it’s impossible to become bilingual, read below and change your mind!

  1. YOU MUST KNOW WHY YOU ARE DOING IT
    It may seem obvious, but if you don’t have a good reason to learn a new language you will be less motivated to carry on your mission. Wanting to learn French to put on airs in front of one’s countrymen is not one of the best reasons. If the aim is to have a conversation with a native French speaker who you would like to know better, you will already have something extra. Whatever the reason for your interest, once you have chosen the language to learn, the essential is the commitment you will put in it: “Well, I decided that I want to learn this language well, so I will do everything possible to use it, read it, speak it and listen to it whenever I have the opportunity. “
  2. IMMERSE YOURSELF!
    Once you have made the decision to commit seriously, how do you proceed? What is the best way to dedicate yourself to the study of a language? Matthew recommends the maximalist approach: no matter what tools you use, the fundamental thing is to practice daily with the new language. “Usually I tend to want to absorb as much as possible from the beginning. Day after day I try to think in that language, write, or even speak for myself. For me it’s all about really putting into practice what I’m learning, whether it’s writing an email, talking, or listening to radio or music in that language. It is very important to immerse yourself as much as possible in the culture of the new language. ” Keep in mind one thing: the best training ever is to speak in other languages ​​with other people. Being able to conduct a conversation, however simple it is, is already an excellent reward, as well as one of the initial goals that help you stay motivated and keep your commitment to practice continuously. “I always keep one thing in mind: it is essential to adapt our way of thinking to the way we think in the other language. Obviously there is no single way of thinking for all people who speak Spanish, or Hebrew, or Dutch, but the point is to use language as a tool to build your own world around us. “
  3. FIND A PARTNER
    Matthew started learning various languages ​​together with his twin brother Michael (just think: they grappled with their first foreign language, Greek, when they were only eight years old!). Matthew and Michael received their superpowers from a typical sibling rivalry case: “We were very motivated, and we still are. If my brother realizes that I am doing more, he becomes envious and works hard to fight me, and vice versa – we understand that we are twins … “. Even if you don’t have brothers or sisters to keep you company on your language adventure, having a partner with whom to practice will always push both of you to take one step further and stay motivated.

How to learn English faster: 5 tips

Use these 5 tips on how to learn English faster as a starting point and you will master this beautiful language in no time!

  1. Read whatever happens to you at your fingertips
    Literary classics, paperback books, newspapers, websites, emails, social media updates, cereal boxes: as of as many terms that you already know. This helps you improve quickly, because re-exposing yourself to words you know gives you new examples within a context, thus reinforcing the words in your mind. for building your own vocabulary, especially in a language like English, with so many words! Anyway, don’t just read, what you have to do next is …
  2. Actively take note of new words
    This advice is recurring for a good reason: it works! When you learn, you are often so happy with a new word or phrase that it seems impossible to forget it. But trust me, not everything is impressed the first time. To counter this trend, get in the habit of carrying a nice notebook or using tools like Evernote. When you hear or read a new word or expression, write it down and put it in context, that is, use it in a sentence and write its translation. This saves you time, because when you return to that voice you won’t ask yourself “What was the meaning of this word / expression?”
  3. Talk to real people
    What does a language do if not for communicating? Of course, we human beings have become experts in communicating without having to open our mouths (thanks Whatsapp!) But when it comes down to it, the truth is that speaking a language helps to fix it in the mind much better than simply reading or writing it. Think of how many times have you heard someone say that they understand English, but cannot speak it. Many people who would like to speak English have turned this ability into an insurmountable barrier, which only serves to panic them. Don’t be like that. Look for native speakers for an informal language exchange, sign up for a language course abroad or take lessons online.
  4. podcasts or youtube channels (in English)
    Do you like humor? Politics? Blogs? To cook? With topics covering all conceivable interests, there is definitely a podcast or Youtube channel in English for you. Sign up for any of these and listen to them as you drive or watch them on the way to school. At first you may find it difficult to understand the accent, but insist and you will soon begin to understand what you hear (and also to learn many new words from native speakers!)
  5. Go abroad
    You know the best way to learn English is to immerse yourself completely, living and studying in an English speaking country! For example with a study holiday . It’s no secret that English is the most widely spoken language in the world and with a long list of countries to choose from, you can select your ideal learning environment based on the hemisphere, climate or city you prefer. What do you think of studying English in England or learning English in America or more exotic places like New Zealand, Australia or why not South Africa!