Have you ever wondered why some people speak only one foreign language and find it hard to learn, while others speak 10, 30, or more and learn languages quickly? Many people would tell you that it takes two or more years to learn one…Well, only if you are going to be a simultaneous translator. Don’t waste your time on ineffective things anymore. Let’s figure out how to learn a language in 10 days or less!
This article may be helpful not only for language learning purposes but for many other goals in life.
THE CHEAT-CODE LANGUAGE LEARNING APPROACH
Once I received an email from one blog I am subscribed to (by the way, it is about affiliate marketing), and the author shared his thoughts on hacks and cheat codes in video games compared to actions in life. He wrote that he used cheat codes when playing games and didn’t have to get angry every time at difficult levels, and then he discovered that affiliate marketing is like a financial cheat code for life, and then he promoted his coaching by comparing it to cheat-code too. As he said, either you choose a long way with extra mistakes, anger, frustration, anxiety, and self-doubt, or you pay for mentorship to a person who has already passed through it all, instead of you. This email changed my opinion on online paid courses and resources.
But stop…We want to know how to learn a language in 10 days, or even faster, so let’s do it! We need a cheat code. Imagine, you type a phrase on the keyboard and get fluent in Spanish, Russian, Japanese, or any other language AT ONCE.
Well, our brain is not so easily hackable as video games. However, we can reduce the time that we’re gonna spend learning new language hundreds of times! Our time is precious!
We NEED to find a loophole in the language-learning approach! Because we want to know how to learn a language in 10 days, not years!
LET’S LEARN FROM HYPERPOLYGLOTS
Let’s be honest, we want to get fluent quickly. We don’t want to spend over two years in one language. Our time is precious. And if there are people who speak over 10 languages while being young – we can do it too. I know one guy who is 18 years old and speaks 8 languages. We want to compare the traditional long-time learning approach and techniques of hyper polyglots.
One of these gurus is Dmitry Petrov – famous Russian polyglot, host of the TV show “Polyglot” (in Russian), author of a really GREAT language learning method, fluent speaker of 30, confident reader of 50, and simultaneous translator of 5 (or more) languages, and also university professor and writer.
His show “Polyglot: let’s learn English in 16 hours” has literally opened my eyes. As my first foreign language, English was hard for me, because I studied it for 10 years in school, and didn’t know how to use tenses, build sentences and connect words. I didn’t even gain my vocabulary for these years. But the first lesson of his TV show gave more than the previous 10 years. I thought that one must have inborn abilities for learning languages, but after this short course, I never felt so anymore. After English, I watched his show “Polyglot: let’s learn Spanish in 16 hours”. Also, there are emissions this show in Italian, French, Portuguese, German, Hindi, and Chinese languages, and he is the host of all of them. This method is an exact strategy for how to learn a language in 10 days or faster.
Another great resource on the Russian internet – is speakasap.com – this website has free lessons and paid courses. SpeakAsap is run by a woman who became a hyperpolyglot, she doesn’t have a profile education for that. I learned Polish, Czech, and Finnish on this website.
What do they have in common?
They use a similar learning algorithm. Let’s have a comparison:
What they DO:
Start with verb conjugation in the present, past, and future tense. How to say “I do, I did, I will do”, how to say “I am, I was, I will be”, and so on for all pronouns with many verbs. The verb is the STEM of any language.
Focus on grammar – only so we can learn how to connect words into sentences and phrases, instead of clueless memorizing a bunch of common phrases from a phrasebook. We want to speak the language but not just know how to order a burger. This is NOT writing grammar, but the structure of the language, it is about how the language works. While you learn this essential grammar, you memorize a lot of words along the way.
Talking from the beginning, on different subjects, using online chats.
Watch videos and listen to podcasts about subjects they are interested in. When you listen to something you are passionate about or have an interest in – you begin to detect words in speech faster, you know what you are listening about, and you’re listening to what you WANT to hear instead of reading a boring college course book.
[Optional] Get private classes in Italki or Verbling where one can learn a language face-to-face with a teacher. My recommendation – is don’t pay attention to the teacher’s experience. One without experience can be much better than an overeducated one, it depends on the person, a newbie teacher can be very passionate and understand you better. You can ask a teacher to teach you as you do with your learning plan. Remember that we’re pursuing fast results, but not traditional ones!
What they DON’T do:
Learn the rules of pronunciation. It is not necessary at all (at least for non-tonal languages). Yes, it is no joke. All you need is to read a quick instruction on how to pronounce some sounds that your native language doesn’t have, and how to read some combinations of letters. Many textbooks have over 20 pages fully dedicated to the pronunciation of each letter – this is a too-long way, and pronunciation gets mastered along the way. Many language schools love to spend whole classes on pronunciation, while hyper polyglots have already learned all tenses and are starting to practice.
Memorize common phrases instead of learning how to actually build them. There is an exception – stable expressions (idioms) – those phrases can be only memorized.
think that it takes more than a year to master a language.
Look for answers on how to learn a language in 10 days without spending even a little time during these days.
PARKINSON’S LAW IN LANGUAGE LEARNING
There was a satirical article in “The Economist” journal in the 1955th year, published by Cyrill Nortkot Parkinson, in which he formed a law based on his working experience – “Work fills the time given for it”. It means that a task scheduled to be completed in one year is gonna be completed in one year (if completed at all), and what is scheduled to be done in 10 days – is gonna be done in 10 days, and it can be exactly the same task.
Let’s suppose that you aim to learn 300 words in one month. You will learn it in one month or rather forget about this goal in one day. OR, you aim to learn 300 words in 2 days – maybe you will not learn 300, but you’re gonna memorize tens of words anyway because you stay focused and see the deadline!
This thing is called “Parkinson’s Law”. Think about it, think about how to learn a language in 10 days by applying this law to learning really fast.
WELL, HOW TO LEARN A LANGUAGE IN 10 DAYS?
First of all – follow the tips mentioned above. First of all – verbs and tenses, then all other parts of speech that your target language requires you to know. That’s that simple, don’t complicate things! Remember Parkinson’s law, it is very important!
Also, if you want to get really fast results – participate in online chats like hellolingo.com. (UPD: this website no longer exists) This service helped me A LOT when I learned languages.
Moreover, I met some friends, one of whom I met in the Czech Republic and we drank beers together. Hellolino is an online chat for practicing languages in real-time, this service is created by the author of SharedTalk – a closed service where I started to practice my English. Also, there is an alternative – Whatsapp/Telegram groups, there are many of them, and you can find them in Facebook communities for your target language.
Set the goal to speak your target language in 10 days so you may be focused on this goal and you will absorb much more information because you see the deadline. But if you aim to one year later – you may forget about it in two days. Set the short period of time. Even if you can’t talk in 10 days, you will absorb a lot, more than in one month of traditional learning.
May Parkinson’s Law be your cheat code.
Find something that makes you PASSIONATE about your target language. I knew Spanish for many years, and I knew how to form sentences and keep small talk, but I didn’t have a motive until I started to learn Salsa and Bachata dancing with a Cuban instructor. I started to listen and have conversations in online chats, and in WhatsApp groups.
You need to know only the 400 most common words to be able to speak and keep a conversation.
FROM MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE… HOW I
LEARNED POLISH IN 1 HOUR
In the summer of 2015, I traveled to Europe. My first destination was Poland. And I opened Polish lessons on speakasap.com (in Russian) and learned many words and all the necessary tenses in just one hour. The next day I arrived in Poland, and some people to whom I talked told me “Dobrze mowisz!” (You speak well!).
I did the same thing in November 2015, when I learned the Finnish language because I wanted to study in Finland.
Well, I was not accepted to the university that I wanted to study at (but now I don’t regret it at all), and despite the studies being conducted in English, I learned Finish because it would be vital for living there. I learned essential grammar including grammatical cases (there are about 15 of them in Finnish, but they are easy). The next day after the exam I went to Vilnius where I met some Finns in my hostel and spoke in Finnish with them when we went to a pub and got drunk.
TIM FERRIS’ FAST LANGUAGE LEARNING EXPERIMENT
For those of you who don’t know who Tim Ferris is – he is the author of the book The 4-hour Workweek and really passionate life hacker. He definitely knows how to learn a language in 10 days, and moreover, he learned the Tagalog language in 4 days and gave an interview on a live stream on Tagalog TV. In this video he shares his experience of this experiment:
AS A RESULT
Definitely, in 10 days you probably won’t be a professional translator, and won’t be very fluent. However, it is entirely possible to be able to speak, keep a conversation, and be able to talk about many subjects. And you will have what you’d have only in 2 or more months with the traditional learning approach. I assume that now you know how to learn a language in 10 days or faster, so give it a try!
Author of lessons
LearnningTree is an educational technology firm where we help people learn languages by making them easier to learn. It is headquartered in New Delhi, India Reach us at Info@learnningtree.com or @learnningtree