Why learning a foreign language can change your life

English-speakers have the great luxury of knowing the most in-demand language in the world.  When Europeans are sitting down for business or for recreation, the common language spoken is often English.  The same is true in Africa and in Asia.  So, if you are a native speaker of a language that many people around the world wish to learn, you might ask yourself – why would I learn a different language?  There are dozens of reasons, but let’s focus on four of them.

Work and travel opportunities


Speaking another language opens doors to visit other countries and parts of the world that wouldn’t be open to Continue reading

10 tips on how not learn a language

Are you tired of learning a language? Tired of the same advice about language learning?

Don’t worry, I have the solution!


  1. Study only grammar

Why waste your time talking, listening, reading the language when you can just study grammar? Study only grammar and you will, probably, have more knowledge of the language grammatical structures than any native speaker will! And, who doesn’t want to know more than a native? Continue reading

Confessions of a Polyglot: demotivation

I don’t know about the other polyglots, but I can’t keep myself motivated all the time while learning a language.

In June, I had a big problem to keep me motivated to study German. Like everyone else, when I start to learn a language I get very excited, I search for thousands of information about the language, materials and methods.

Learning a language is to know a new world. Despite the difficult task ahead of us, every little step is a big step forward. By learning a word, you have improved 100% in your language. Every word learned is a victory. The feeling of understanding for the first time a word in a sentence and after a sentence in context is indescribable. However, the better you get, the lower the returns.

Suddenly, to understand a phrase is normal, to read an article is no longer difficult. You are not fluent, but manages to get by in the language. The language is no longer a novelty for you. Your curiosity fades, you become fascinated with some other language, focused on some other task, goal or challenge of your life and gradually abandon the language. The result? Days, weeks or even months without studying the language.

pexels-photo-66143 rollercoaster

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Benefits of learning a foreign language

Need a little motivation to study? Here are some reasons why learning a language is beneficial.

Brains of bilingual have better executive function

What does this mean? The brain of bilinguals performs better on certain tasks that require planning and problem solving. This happens because the bilingual is forced to change languages constantly; this constant change requires the brain to pay greater attention to its surroundings, making it more efficient over time.

For more details: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22464592


Monolingual develop Alzheimer’s signs earlier than bilingual does. Being bilingual can delay up to 5 years the development of the disease. That is, learning a new language is more effective against Alzheimer’s that most of the available remedies.

For more details: http://www.neurology.org/content/75/19/1726

full brain

Changes your view of the world

Bilinguals have a different view of the world, literally. In the study below, it was shown that bilinguals perceive colors differently depending on the language they speak.

For more details: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=7961273&fileId=S1366728909990046

Improves memory

One more benefit to the brain, children raised as bilingual have better memories than monolinguals.

For more details: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S002209651200166X

Improves job prospects

Research has shown that bilinguals in the same function as monolingual earn more. And the international expansion of companies makes people who speak more than one language more attractive to the job market.

Tourism and open-mindedness

In addition to facilitating communication in travel, speaking another language opens your mind to new things. Humans of course get uncomfortable when they are in a different environment and experience new things. However, people who speak more than one language are naturally more receptive to what is different.

In short: speaking more than one language improves your mental health, making your mind sharper. It improves the prospects for a good job and salary, and open your mind to the world! Do you need more reasons to learn a new language?

Multilingual Movies – Part 2

“Plurality of languages: […] It is crucial 1. that there are many languages and that they differ not only in vocabulary, but also in grammar, and so in mode of thought and 2. that all languages are learnable.”

Hannah Arendt

Hannah Arendt

Languages: English, German, Hebrew, French and Latin

The film tells a part of the biography of the famous Jewish philosopher of German origin Hannah Arendt (Barbara Sukowa). Established in the United States, she is already a respected intellectual when she offers to the New Yorker magazine to cover the trial of the Nazi Adolf Eichmann. She follows the trial in Israel and then publish five articles in the New Yorker. However, by putting the articles that there was collaboration of Jews in Nazi logistics, Arendt is heavily criticized, especially by the Jewish community.

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KISS Principle – How to achieve goals

I have maintained a minimum routine of studies in the last month, even though the number of hours I study has been below my expectations, but it has been something fairly constant with some minor flaws in the routine. As you can check on Twitter, I have studied almost every day. Some days, my strategy failed because one of the following reasons: work, fatigue and family obligations.

This is the first time I study almost every day. Last year I used to study French for longer periods during the weekend (3 or 4 hours a day, making a total of 6 to 8 hours per week). According to the Twitter (where I was unable to register my studies a few times), although I’ve been studying almost every day, I’m maintaining more or less the last year’s amount of hours of study, sometimes less.

And, despite some famous and experienced multilingual say that one hour of study per day is enough, for me isn’t. My goal is to achieve fluency in French and Spanish (C1/C2 level) until next year. To achieve my goal, I believe I have to at least double the number of hours I practice per day.

I learned that every time I have a goal it is best to draw a simple plan and start acting immediately. So over the next month I’ll make this simple test:

  • Waking up half an hour earlier.
  • Sleep half an hour later.
  • Studying, at least 2 hours during weekends and holidays.

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” – Albert Einstein

Explaining my study routine

As I said in my last post, since Monday (10/07) I’m putting what I’m studying on twitter to anyone curious.

Materials and Methods



For grammar I use a book in the traditional form.  A book with a lot of exercises to fill blanks and verb conjugation.

I am currently using the workbook “Diccionario práctico de gramática “.

Some materials I use: FSI French, DVDs in Spanish, Ipod and grammar books.

Some materials I use: FSI French, DVDs in Spanish, Ipod and grammar books.


To improve my level of understanding I do the following activities:

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Study Log

Since last week I’m trying to keep record of my studies to keep control over my studies and to keep me motivated and is working perfectly!!

I’ve tried keeping records before, but it did not work. Before, I used this great chart I found on the HTLAL forum and was made by ChristopherB. The table is great, especially to record how many hours I study, but does not let me put exactly the material I used, as you can see below:

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