The secret to learning many languages

I have heard of polyglots, people who can speak many languages; but now there’s a new word for me, ‘hyperglot’, people who can speak ten or more languages. How do they do it? According to the BBC it’s easy; just ‘inhabit’ the language and culture (BBC, How to learn 30 languages). That means, try to become like the speaker from that place, and temporarily abandon your own mother language and culture. Build friendships with people from the target language / culture. “Resisting the process of reinvention may prevent you from learning another language so well, says Keeley, who is a professor of cross-cultural management at Kyushu Sangyo University in Japan” (BBC). In short, try mimicking people from the target culture is more effective than trying to hold on to your old self.

However, I think that there’s one more thing that’s vitally important: a willingness to try.

Coffee Talk. CC Anna Levinzon 2008,

Coffee Talk. CC Anna Levinzon 2008,

1 thought on “The secret to learning many languages

  1. There is tons of material avlailbae on language learning techniques. The field is known as second language acquisition. It is possible to do experiments in this field, but they tend to be very time-consuming and difficult to set up. One idea would be to do a survey of people on their experiences learning foreign languages.

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