What is the hardest language to learn? It’s a question I’m asked often. Here I reveal the answer from my experience and give advice and tips on how to get the most out of your language learning, even if that language is a tough one.
Tag Archives: Language learning
21 August 2016
Many of us are watching the Olympics in Brazil. Despite all of the bad reports that we always get in the lead up to any Olympic Games – some British newspaper called the 2010 Vancouver Winter games the worst Olympics in the world ever, then there were all the problems with toilets in Sochi and now pollution in Rio – it looks like actually things are proceeding swimmingly, so to speak.
People ask, if I go to Brazil, can I communicate? What language do they speak? First of all, some may not know that Brazilians speak Portuguese. There’s no Brazilian language, there is Portuguese.
14 August 2016
Good language learners notice what is happening in a language. They notice the sounds of the language, and the structure and the vocabulary. They notice as they listen and read. They notice when they use the language. How can we train ourselves in the ability to notice, in order to become good language learners?
8 August 2016
Hello everyone, a few weeks ago I had a great conversation via Skype with Lindsay Dow. I wanted to share the transcript from that video here:
Steve: Hi, Lindsay. I’ll let you have a glass of water because you’re going to be doing a lot of talking. I’m very happy to be able to talk to Lindsay Dow of Lindsay Does Languages and maybe you can start by explaining what it is that you do.
Lindsay: Okay. Thank you very much, Steve. Hello, I’m Lindsay, as Steve said. What I do is quite a mixture of things. I teach languages, I teach English, French and Spanish, but I also learn them myself…
1 August 2016
Last week I spoke with Benny Lewis the Irish Polyglot, famous globetrotter linguist and general cheerleader for language learning around the world who has touched many people with his enthusiasm.
We talked about the Polyglot Conference in Montreal that we both attended and gave talks at, as well as language learning in general. I had never been to one of these polyglot symposiums before. I prefer to call it the Language Festival “Festival de Langue”.
24 July 2016
Language learning is an endurance sport, and we all need a little encouragement along the way.
If you’re in a rut, struggling to move to the next level or just need a gentle push to start your study session for the day, let my Tao of Language Learning set you on your way. “A good traveler has no fixed plan, and is not intent on arriving.” – Laozi
If you are learning a language, listen to it, observe it, quietly, until you notice the patterns, phrases and words.
18 July 2016
As someone who speaks 16 languages and has had a successful business career, language learners often ask me: if I learn another language, what can I do with it? What are the benefits of learning a second language for my career? What is the relationship between languages and work or a career?
The biggest benefit of speaking languages I’ve seen in my career is that it increased the opportunities that came my way. You do have to have other things working for you too, of course. You have to have other skills, like knowledge of a specific sector or market, the ability to do business and the ability to be a reliable, energetic person in any number of fields.
4 July 2016
Learning French and Spanish were quite instrumental to me getting involved with language learning. You’ve got to do what you like and I always emphasize that in language learning. You’ve got to like the language. You’ve got to like what you’re doing. You’ve got to put in the time. Reading is still the most effective way of building up your vocabulary, and then when you are confronted with the need to speak, slowly the words start to come out.
27 June 2016
About nine years ago I started learning Russian and if it has proven anything, it is that learning a language is a long, long road. It’s also an enjoyable road because you never get to the end of it. If it ended I’d be unhappy, so I’ve been at it a long time. Let’s trace why I even started with Russian.
19 June 2016
French was my first love when it comes to languages. In fact, there’s an expression in French: “On revient toujours a son premier amour.” It means you always go back to your first love. I love French; I love all the languages that I learn, but I have a special affection for French.
I highly recommend learning French for beginners. There’s a whole world that you can access so much better if you speak French. The language is spoken in other countries like Canada.