Lýdia Machová, a language mentor, teaches people how they can learn any language by themselves. In this upbeat, inspiring talk, she reveals the secrets of polyglots and shares four principles to help unlock your own hidden language talent — and have fun while doing it.
Here is the full text and summary of her TED talk titled “The Secrets of Learning a New Language”.
I love learning foreign languages. In fact, I love it so much that I like to learn a new language every two years, currently working on my eighth one.
When people find that out about me, they always ask me, “How do you do that? What’s your secret?”
And to be honest, for many years, my answer would be, “I don’t know. I simply love learning languages.” But people were never happy with that answer.
They wanted to know why they are spending years trying to learn even one language, never achieving fluency, and here I come, learning one language after another. They wanted to know the secret of polyglots, people who speak a lot of languages.
And that made me wonder, too, how do actually other polyglots do it? What do we have in common?
And what is it that enables us to learn languages so much faster than other people?
I decided to meet other people like me and find that out. The best place to meet a lot of polyglots is an event where hundreds of language lovers meet in one place to practice their languages. There are several such polyglot events organized all around the world, and so I decided to go there and ask polyglots about the methods that they use.