language learning

How to use Warren Buffett’s 5/25 rule to learn a foreign language

The 5/25 rule comes from a piece of advice that Warren Buffett gave to his personal airline pilot. They were talking about the pilot’s career when Warren told him to make a 25-item list of his professional goals. Maybe it’s true. Maybe it’s just a legend. But whether the story is real or not doesn’t …

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How to use Tim Ferriss’ fear-setting exercise to finally learn a foreign language

Tim Ferriss has an unusual approach when it comes to learning a foreign language. But that’s not what I want to talk about here. In 2017, he was invited to speak on the main TED stage. The name of his talk was Why you should define your fears instead of your goals. Tim has used …

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How I’m absorbing German – A minute-by-minute chronicle of week 1

I started absorbing German one week ago. And I decided to time everything. I’m singing a song? Time it. I’m looking for resources? Time it. I’m writing my first German lines? Time it!   And here it is in this post. Everything I did this week, minute by minute. I divided my days into several …

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How to find songs to absorb a foreign language

I love singing! Not that I’m a good singer or anything. It just puts me in a good mood. That’s one of the reasons why I crafted my language learning method around music. In this article, I tell you exactly how to find songs in a foreign language.   The translator Go to Lyrics Translate. …

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How to absorb a foreign language with music

I love traveling. And I love connecting with people I meet abroad. That’s why I love learning foreign languages. For me, learning a new language is not about textbooks, flashcards, endless lists of vocabulary, and weird grammar rules. For me, learning a new language is about communication. It’s about relationships, and meeting people you connect …

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How to find YouTube channels in your target language

The best way to absorb a foreign language is to get continuous exposure. Create an immersion environment. No problem when you’re traveling. But easier said than done at home. Where do you go to get into full immersion mode? My favorite place online to get immediate immersion is YouTube. Hours and hours of quality free …

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How I’m going to absorb German – Day 0

It’s time for a new challenge. German has been on my mind for a while now. I was born and raised in France, and Germany is one of our close neighbors. Yet I never got to learn the language. Three years ago, I completely failed at learning German. I started learning some vocabulary with a …

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How to maintain a foreign language

Language learning is a sport. And like any sport, if you stop playing for too long, you’ll lose your professional status, and end up as an amateur. Yet you don’t always want to play like a professional, at an intense level. Sometimes you just want to take it slow for a while. Sometimes all you …

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Audio + Repetition = Communication

My language learning method revolves around music. And I love it. In fact, I created it this way to make sure I enjoy the process of absorbing a new language. I love singing, and music makes your target language sticky. But I don’t think my method is perfect. I don’t think it’s the best (or …

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Own your craft – Slight accent vs heavy accent

Learning a language is not about writing and reading. It’s not even about speaking and listening. Sure, all these skills matter. But learning a language is about communicating. Learning a foreign language is about connecting with different people. It’s about discovering foreign cultures. No one cares whether you are fluent in subjunctive. Your goal is …

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Why you have an accent when you speak a foreign language – IPA 101

A team of scientists have shown that babies can distinguish any human sound. But then they lose this ability. Their brains build neuronal connexions only for the sounds of the language(s) they are exposed to growing up. Remember the last time you decided to start jogging again? Or when you started going to the gym? …

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How to plan your language learning routine

You may think that learning a foreign language takes time. And you would be right. But it probably takes less time than you think. All you need is some discipline. It starts with a clear vision of what you want to achieve. Then you have to spend time every week, or even everyday, practicing your …

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Follow the white rabbit

Before you lie two pills. A blue one and a red one. Take the blue pill, and you will end up spending way too much money on useless apps, softwares, and textbooks. To be fair though, you might become an expert at conjugation patterns and other obscure grammar rules. But you will get nowhere in …

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How I’m learning Brazilian Portuguese – a minute-by-minute chronicle of my first week

I’m learning my fifth language, and I decided to document every minute of it. In this post, I describe what I did every day to learn Brazilian Portuguese (← I’m going to say only “Brazilian” instead of “Brazilian Portuguese” from now on). Disclaimer: I’m French, and I also speak Spanish and Italian. So I expected …

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What Gary Vaynerchuk can teach you about language learning

Learning a new language is always a challenge. Even when you have already learned languages before. Sometimes you want to try a new method. But this method doesn’t fit you and it’s not working. You lacked self-awareness… Sometimes you want to learn a new language fast. Too fast. And you’re frustrated with your results one …

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3 lessons from Arnold Schwarzenegger to learn any language

Mr. Olympia. Hollywood actor. Governor of California. Three different areas (even though we could argue that they are all related to exhibition and entertainment). Three huge accomplishments. And a lot of hard work. Arnold Schwarzenegger was born in 1947 in Austria. He came to the US at the age of 21, speaking broken English. And …

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How to learn Italian online for free

Learning a new language can be tough. Learning a new language can be expensive. Learning a new language can be overwhelming. Especially when you’re just getting started. You see all these resources, all these apps and you don’t know where to begin.   Once upon a time there was a guy. An Italian guy from …

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