I will start with a confession. I’m far from being a skilled polyglot like Benny Lewis, the Babbel brothers or Luca Lampariello. I still have a long way to go.
That being said, I finally found THE best system to learn ANY language without pain and without wasting years.
First, let me tell you my experiences with languages:
A hard beginning (2004)
I had to learn English as an average French pupil. I understood since the first year that we didn’t become bilingual in one semester. The school approach was terrible, like the teacher.
I understood why French people were so bad in English and for speaking foreign languages after school.
I had to speak English for the first time in Egypt. I was 13. I couldn’t speak with locals. I was happy to be barely able to enumerate my room’s number to reserve a deck chair on the beach or a table for dinner.
A revelation in high school (2007)
I had the worst English teacher when I attended high school. She wasn’t mean, but rather stupid, and she hadn’t any sense of pedagogy.
One day, she had the initiative to show us the movie Dracula in original version with subtitles. I was shocked.
I understood 85 % of the dialogues and the plot without trouble. Before, reading Harry Potter or watching French in English didn’t come to my mind.
So I decided to learn English alone. I started with videos on video games on Youtube. I should thank omegaevolution for his awesome channel.
After high school, I was barely able to answer simple questions, to introduce myself and to help tourists to find their way. Even Louis de Funès had a better accent.
I received a PSP for my baccalaureate. Some games were only available in English. It was a good thing. I wanted to practice my English by playing.
How I improved my English at the University (2009 – 2013)
I had the best English teachers. This time, their approach was more focusing on the speaking part.
The main subject remained business English. But I don’t remember having so many presentations, play roles, conversation workshops and pronunciation exercises.
I should also thank a former geography student from Oklahoma. She’ll stay my best English teacher. I hope to see her again.
Meanwhile, I kept improving my English with RPGs.
My English level marked improvement. I’ll always remember a long discussion with an animator in Tunisia, or the day I helped a German tourist with her boyfriend to find the closest Internet café.
My move to the next level (2013 – 2014)
My English level became to stagnate. I mostly learned English with video games and at the University. I still had grammar and pronunciation gaps.
So I decided to search and test a bunch of languages methods. I finally chose ABA English.
I made the mistake of using this method intensively for two months in the summer. So I understood that learning a language should be regular and progressive.
I finally reached a correct intermediate level.
A salutary encounter (October / November 2014 – July 2015)
I was quietly walking when I met a Korean tourist. I helped her to find her guest room. Then I accepted to be her personal guide for three days.
I had no choice to speak English with her. She only spoke Korean and English.
I knew since that moment I still had a long way to go before reaching a fluent level.
Afterward, I only practiced my English passively with movies in their original version on Netflix.
My English level stagnated again.
A revelation in Spain (August 2015)
The MosaLingua app for Spanish was very helpful. I learned the essential words and phrases to get by in Valencia’s streets. It was also my first week abroad.
90 % of the locals didn’t stop congratulating me for my Spanish – or Castillian – level when I used a few basic words and phrases, like to ask for directions. They asked me where I came from.
So I thought about the famous Nelson Mandela’s quotation: “If you speak to a man in a language he understands, it goes to his head. If you speak his language, it goes to his heart.”
I neither thought that speaking a language in a real situation would be so difficult. It was like driving after playing racing games for a long time.
Some locals wanted to tell me their life. But I was barely able to understand them at their natural speed.
So I decided to work on a languages learning system. It took about two years.
I didn’t choose the easiest way. I was struggling on parts like vocabulary, grammar, foreign alphabets learning, and characters recognition (in Chinese, Japanese, and Cantonese).
I also started a collection of phrasebooks and vocabulary books. Then I tried all kinds of languages learning apps and online methods.
An alarming fact in Hungary (December 2015 – January 2016)
I decided to go to Budapest for the New Year.
I was lazy enough just to know a few sentences like “Good morning!”, “Thank you!” and “Sorry!”. But I had an excellent phrasebook.
I didn’t want to learn Hungarian. My German level was lamentable too. So I spoke English as an average tourist. I didn’t have the choice.
I quickly understood that only a few people spoke English correctly out of the touristic zones. But I was in an international and touristic city.
If I made an effort to speak Hungarian, I think people would be warmer. I would have a better experience.
So I realized that every human on Earth still doesn’t speak English, despite its international position.
The day I (finally) decided to act (March – June 2016)
I attended a web and mobile development training for three months. I met a brilliant student from Russia and Algeria. He advised me to attend linguistic events in my city.
You know what? I regretted I hadn’t had this initiative a few years ago.
I met people from everywhere. I mostly practiced my English and my Spanish.
I keep practicing my English (and other languages) like that.
My last revelation in Germany (December 2016 – January 2017)
I went to Wiesbaden for the New Year. I took the challenge to speak German 95 % of the time.
I was pleasantly surprised because I was able to get by there. I had a strong French accent. Some locals even started to speak French with me. But I played the game.
I ended up considering German as an amazing language. I didn’t have this awful and aggressive language – only spoken by Hitler and the Nazis – vision anymore. (I know what I’m talking about because I watched the whole seasons of The Man in the High Castle meanwhile.)
I finally broke this cursed “My German always sucks” straitjacket.
I found German people very kind and welcoming, mostly when we try to speak their language.
This trip would have been my last revelation about languages practice in real life.
How I became passionate about languages?
A new language is a new opening on the world. Learning a language is adopting a new way of thinking. It’s also a new way to understand our world better.
A new language also allows us to understand our native language and our culture better.
My life started to change when I began to understand English. It’s like if I received a key to open a new door to the world.
Some people asked me why I didn’t study languages at the University. The answer is simple. I didn’t want to waste years to become another translator, interpreter or languages teacher. It’s not my goal at all.
I prefer helping people to learn new languages to allow them to open new doors to our world.
The way I work
It’s good to know how I work if you plan to became a new fan of this blog.
My only social networks
The only social networks I use (officially) are Twitter and Google+ (except for Viadeo and LinkedIn for professional purposes, and still…). So I don’t use Facebook, Pinterest, Vine, Instagram, and so on.
I prefer focusing my time and my energy on writing, not in social network marketing or community management.
My blog format
I’ll essentially publish written content.
I’ll also write every article in English. Not in French or another language. I could write in my native language. But I want to share my content with an international audience. Not only a French-speaking audience.
I know I still have to improve my English before reaching a bilingual level. I mean, speaking and writing in English as if it were my language.
I also published my first book about languages learning in French. But a new – and enhanced – English version is coming.
I won’t be present on Youtube because the video is not my format. I don’t want to be seen as a Youtuber either.
Most of my articles will be languages examples. I want to show you with my experiments that no language is impossible to learn with an efficient system and good tips.
My publication rhythm and length
I deleted dates on my articles because I don’t want to rely on dates or a specific rhythm. I consider that stressful. I just want to publish my content as I want.
I also prefer writing short articles.
I allowed comments to answer your questions and to discuss with you. I’ll only accept comments in English. I’ll also moderate them and you should know why.
I’ll also be thankful to you if you notice mistakes. I use Grammarly to correct my writings before their first publication.
My other writing projects
I also have a Wattpad account. I’ll mostly publish novels in my spare time.
I am very independent. I hate being directed by people – especially lecture givers and fools – for a personal decision.
I just want to live MY life as I wish. I want to live for my passion, starting with languages learning, self-improvement, and travels.
I learn a language for me with a real interest.
I don’t learn a language for a “better” job.
I don’t learn a language to please some people – who can’t even speak a single word of it – because they tell me doing that. In such cases, I do the exact opposite. It’s like a donkey who refuses to obey.
I travel to a destination because I find it attractive. Even if I should admit that external advice influences me more or less.
I attend a linguistic event in a bar – mostly in my city – because I feel like it.
I choose my frequentations carefully. I don’t want to hang out with fools. I prefer to be alone instead.
I tend to separate my professional life and my private life.
I’ll be always glad to meet former colleagues, classmates or teachers again. But only the good ones, of course.
My last word
I hope the content will help you in your languages learning.
Good luck! 😉