Sunday, January 4, 2015

15 Polyglots share what they've learned about Language Learning


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Yes you can be, with the help of this informative and entertaining blog written by Kerstin Hammes, a native German speaker fluent in several languages. Her posts introduce readers to new ideas, offer motivational tips and review resources and techniques. She takes special care in detailing her own experiences of learning to speak and write in foreign languages. Her engaging writing style is a powerful magnet that draws in the reader. There’s a reason why she’s gotten so popular – readers really profit from her vast experience and savvy advice.

The Babel Times

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Point your mouse toward the Babel Times and you won’t be disappointed! Read about Emily’s thrilling quest to learn all of the official languages of the United Nations (plus German) to native-like fluency. This is something she hopes to achieve by her 35th birthday which will take place in 2019. In blogging about this mammoth quest, she provides lots of language learning guidance and interesting personal experiences and insights. There are also reviews of native content such as books, movies and music. Posts are filed under two categories – “Language Learning” and “Living Abroad.” In the latter, there is lots of information about moving to and residing in a foreign country.

Lindsay Does Languages

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Lindsay Does Languages arrived on the internet with a bang in 2014, a colorful, entertaining and informative blog devoted to all things language learning. The site is operated by UK native Lindsay Dow who speaks several languages including French, Spanish, German, Dutch, Italian and Portuguese. There are tips, lessons, reviews of apps and other tools and lots of guidance on how best to learn languages. Just as digestible as the words is the blog’s layout. It is very easy on the eye with good use of pictures and graphics. The reader is instantly drawn to her prose style which is informal but thorough, and her videos are as entertaining as they are instructive.

Loving Language

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Richard Benton loves languages so much that he can speak four of them fluently (Russian, Ukrainian, French and German). He’s proficient in three more and has a basic level in an additional two. Pretty impressive stuff! With a PhD in Linguistics and Ancient Hebrew, as well as several years of university level teaching experience, he has a lot of wisdom and knowledge to impart. He writes engagingly about his own language learning experiences while at the same time providing a few helpful tips. There are also inspiring articles infused with the joy that is gained from speaking a foreign language. If ever you feel frustrated at your progress, or are downhearted at not being able to speak as fluently as you think you should, a detour to Loving Language will rekindle your desire to learn.

Fluent Forever

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Fluent Forever offers an immense collection of language learning riches to happily spoil the student. Classical singer, author and language expert Gabriel Wyner started Fluent Forever to give language students a big step in the right direction on their path to achieve fluency in their target language or languages. His posts are informed by the learning methods he developed when gaining fluency in French, Italian, German, Russian and Hungarian. Gabriel’s writing style is fresh and engaging and his articles cover such topics as hacks for difficult to pronounce words, efficient ways of learning vocabulary and reviews of language learning resources. There’s a lot of good stuff to dive into here as the archive goes back to March 2012.

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Berlin-based Judith Meyer speaks 12 languages including Latin, English, Indonesian, Mandarin Chinese and her native German. She has created a fascinating blog full of magnificent material and useful advice that are filed under two principle categories – “Language Advice” and “Personal Posts.” Some of the articles are related to specific languages, such as “How to Memorize Chinese Characters” while others are applicable to the student of any language such as “How to Find Time to Learn Languages.” Judith’s posts are well structured and formatted, easy to read and loaded with lots of great points that are succinctly made.

The Linguist on Language

 37 Amazing Polyglots Who Are Happy to Show You How They Do It
Steve Kaufmann is a former Canadian diplomat and co-founder of LingQ, an online language learning system. Until the age of 17 he could only speak English, but today he can speak 12 languages and shares his passion and enthusiasm for language learning via the Linguist on Language. He writes about his experiences and offers tools and resources that the language student will find useful. Articles vary greatly in length, from a single short paragraph to lengthier pieces, and many of them feature videos of Richard speaking directly to camera. Most are in English, but a handful of posts and videos are in different languages.
One of the most exciting aspects of this blog is the 90-day challenge, a period of incrementally increasing learning. Richard originally developed this to improve his Korean fluency. Although it is now over, readers can delve into the archive to watch videos, read articles and learn lessons from his experience. The challenge was shared with some of his followers who also scaled up their target language learning progress for 90 days. In fact 2,684 people took part and the most popular languages studied were English, French, Spanish, German and Russian.

How To Languages

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With article titles such as “How to Think in Your Target Language” and “Stuff that Didn’t Help My Language Learning” you know you’re in for an exciting and enlightening time with How To Languages. The blog is run by Bill Price who describes himself as a “fanatic language learner” and this enthusiasm comes across in his lively articles and videos. Throughout the site, there is a plethora of tips and guides that demonstrate how best to learn a language, any language. There are also language myth busters pieces, exercises, success stories and lots of food for thought.


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Randy Hunt is eager to learn a new language to fluency level every year. And he wants to bring you along with him for the ride. Strap yourself in and enjoy the trip! You may not want to learn a new language every 12 months, but whatever your language goals, there’s a large sack full of advice and tips for you over at Yearlyglot. Randy’s overarching aim is to become the citizen of the world he always dreamed of being. The articles are easy to follow and. while many are useful to every language learner, some are about a specific language. Randy’s enthusiasm and vast experience are among the blog’s key selling points, but so too are some of the attention-grabbing article titles such as “Brute Force Greek” and “How Can You Learn When All You Do is Study?” Clearly, there’s a lot of thought at work here.

Create Your World Book

 37 Amazing Polyglots Who Are Happy to Show You How They Do It
Harmonious pairings (such as ice cream and jelly, or the Wimbledon tennis tournament and strawberries) have been joined by a recent arrival – media and language learning. Susanna Zaraysky’s insightful blog has a unique selling point: many of the articles are focused on using music and media such as TV and radio to learn languages. As someone who has studied eleven languages and speaks eight of them, Susanna has a deep pool of knowledge from which to draw. Some of the posts feature her travel experiences and many include music videos and clips from her TV appearances and presentations as well as interviews with fellow polyglots. Among the blog category topics are the benefits of multilingualism, multilingual women and how to learn languages with songs and other media.

I Will Teach You a Language

 37 Amazing Polyglots Who Are Happy to Show You How They Do It
While there aren’t any super easy shortcuts to attaining real fluency in a foreign language, Olly Richards’ inspirational blog posts cover topics and tips designed to get you there quicker. He’ll help you reach your destination ahead of schedule, but nothing will be missed along the way. The polyglot can speak seven languages and his posts touch on principles for learning, personal experiences and salutary lessons. The crisply written articles are well-structured with short, sharp paragraphs, and they make good use of big images. Among the previous blog posts are titles such as “The Psychology of Speaking Another Language” and “8 Ways to Apply the 80/20 Rule to Language Learning.” Many of the articles attract comments and Olly is an active correspondent.
Language learning really isn’t any more difficult than acquiring any other skill, whether it’s playing the piano or cooking. A small amount of consistent daily practice, over time, plus a willingness to communicate and spend time with native speakers, is most of the battle.”
- Olly Richards


 37 Amazing Polyglots Who Are Happy to Show You How They Do It
Fun, compelling and incisive are just a few of the adjectives that aptly describe Lingholic. The exceptional blog is your regular fix of language learning treats from polyglot Sam Gendreau. There are priceless tips, valuable lessons, powerful strategies and expert advice that are drawn from his own experiences as well as conversations with other polyglots. Sam’s writing style is fresh and energetic with a nice lightness of touch. There is a lot of good material here with an archive that goes back to December 2012. Diving into the website will lead to such topics as how to think in a foreign language, memory strategies to supercharge your learning and what actors can teach us about learning a foreign language.

ultimate guide polyglot blogs 37 Amazing Polyglots Who Are Happy to Show You How They Do It
Whether you’re learning, teaching or actively using a foreign language, Wiktor Kostrzewski’s website is well worth bookmarking. This superlative blog is packed to the rafters with language learning solutions and inspiring and informative articles. Among the enticing standout features is a weekly collection of links to useful resources, glossaries, reading lists and the “Guerrilla Language Learning” online course. This contains lectures, live sessions and motivational tips designed to enhance the language learning experience. More than 2,000 students are currently enrolled! If you’re wondering about the name 16 kinds, it comes from the myth that Eskimos have 16 words for snow.

Language Mastery

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Whoever says language learning is tedious has obviously never looked at Language Mastery. This outstanding blog by John Fotheringham (who speaks Chinese and Japanese) has wrapped up a lot of knowledge into a neat series of blogs that help the language learner with advice, guidance, tips and strategies. They resonate with his belief that languages cannot actually be taught and that fluency is dependent on listening, speaking, reading and writing a language. The articles are thoughtful and comprehensive, packed with lots of useful information. Previous topics have included a look at the habits of highly successful language learners, reviews of language products and the obstacles that prevent people from becoming fluent. Some of the posts include John’s podcast interviews with other language bloggers, teachers, polyglots and linguists. They are unmissable treats!
We are all hard-wired to pick up the languages around us (even as adults) if you get enough input and output. The key to staying the course is actually enjoying the process by picking materials, topics, and activities that are inherently enjoyable.
- John Fotheringham

The Mezzofanti Guild

ultimate guide polyglot blogs 37 Amazing Polyglots Who Are Happy to Show You How They Do It
Looking for a smart and entertaining way to learn a new language? Well, park your brain by the Mezzofanti Guild. Applied Linguistics graduate Donovan Nagel speaks several languages including Korean, Irish Gaeilge, Egyptian and Classical Arabic. His personal goals are to learn one language each year and to help other language learners. He does so with plenty of informative articles such as “How to Improve Language Fluency When You’re at a High Level” and “11 Unmistakable Characteristics of a Damn Good Language Learner.”
The website has a clean and neatly-ordered layout with good use of white space, images, font and headlines. This helps to make it an easy read. The blog’s intriguing name comes from Giuseppe Gasparo Mezzofanti (1774-1849), an Italian polyglot and priest who spoke more than 35 languages.

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