Language Learning Tips with Hyperpolyglot Tim Doner | How to learn languages better


– So Tim! Can you give us a
little bit of the background about how you came up the idea of making the viral
video and how you learnt all those languages so quickly? ‘Coz twenty in such a
short space of time was pretty … – Sure I mean I think is problematic to say that
anybody can really speak twenty languages and I think that’s been
something I’ve tried to emphasize a lot in the last couple of years with
everything I’ve done in the media and online but either way I originally got the
idea because I used to go around New York studying languages I still do to a
certain extent and I travel a fair amount – So how did you actually go about learning the languages because I saw obviously the documentary was made about you that
you went around New York chatting to people from different ethnic backgrounds
in their store but how did you actually learn the bases in the beginning – I think
that differs from language to language. Something that helped me out a lot of that
I studied Arabic very seriously early on and a lot of languages and I’m
interested from in the Muslim world have a huge Arabic vocabulary so in a lot of
ways if you learn in one word, it’s actually like you’re learning the same
word in 10 different languages so to speak right which makes understanding a
lot easier once you get the basics of grammar. It’s the same thing if, for
example, if you know French really well it gets much easier to understand a
language like Portuguese or Spanish at least one has written yeah speaking can
be a bit of a disaster but either way I would say the thing that helped me out
the most was I mean besides interacting with native speakers and embarrassing
myself … I played little memory games and things like that. I actually talked about
this a lot of my TED talk. Memory games like you know if you assign physical
spaces to a vocabulary word and you try and integrate words with your spatial
memory, it can actually help you remember things and learn things at a much
faster rate. – Awesome! And can you give us an example, like a concrete example? – Sure, ok. – Let’s pick something around us – Sure! – Tree? Since there’s one just there! – Ok. Well, here, let’s say you want to learn the same word in five different languages, right? Let’s say one word for book and sometimes it can get kind of tough especially when you’re learning all of them once you might confuse things a lot. So,
for example, we’re standing in a park right now. Behind me is a tree over there is
another tree. A lot of trees. It’s Denmark! And behind there is a white building
essentially so if you take a second and think through that in your mind Ok there’s tree number one then there’s
grass then there’s a cement path there’s another tree and finally there’s a white
house at the end. If you basically assign every point in
your spatial memory a specific vocabulary word and imagine yourself walking
through that space and pointing out the words on the different trees, it becomes
a lot easier to memorize or to recall, at least for me. So we might say I don’t know the
first tree is “Книга” and after that the grass path is “书” which is
Chinese for book and after that it might be “本” which is Japanese for book. And then the tree beyond that is “كتاب” in Arabic and maybe after that it’s “סֵפֶר”
in Hebrew and I can do those backwards right so then going from the white
building it becomes “סֵפֶר”, k … “كتاب”, “本”, “书” and then “книга” – Ok and this allows you to remember the words in all the languages that you want just by walking
through it – Well it’s one strategy – So it’s a great mnemonic tip, yeah? – Exactly! – Awesome! Did you employ any other methods for learning grammar or …. – Like for example, I remember when I was first studying Swahili and opened a text book, there was a conversation that went along
the lines of [Swahili] [Swahili] right? If you
know anything about Swahili basically, the word “jambo” is like a problem or
something like that so the way they talk to each other or greet each other is to
say or “do you have a problem?” “No, I don’t have a problem”. “Do your Mom or Dad have a problem?” “No, they don’t have a problem!” – So then you get it in all the different context – Exactly! So in that scenario too even if you don’t know even if you’re not given anything
more than the fact that it’s a problem, right? You can probably figure out from
the context. Ah! This one refers to “I” and you just change the first part of the
word then it becomes “you” and then it becomes “they” and already right there you have a very basic pattern of how Swahili grammar works, right? You
change the suffix as a prefix at the beginning and you can start modifying things to
refer to different people – That’s a very clever shrewd way of just observing the trend. – Exactly! Right, so again if you’re listening to over the course of a conversation you
can hear people use words in different contexts. If you’re trying to figure it out
on your own, it makes it a much more engaging experience, right? You might say the same thing with Russian cases … I don’t know … “я читаю книгу … книги” Same idea, right? So that even if you
don’t know all the cases off the top of your head you can tell from the certain
context all this one here is genitive and this one’s accusative. – You don’t even have to know the labels in fact you just know that’s supposed to change. – Perfect! – So you can start to crack that puzzle and use those things as codes if that makes any sense. – I think they are two great tips for people about how to really approach learning grammar and vocabulary. Tim! Thanks a million for the help. So if you haven’t subscribed to my email list yet then go do that right now there is a
link in description below this video and if you have a friend who you think would
also enjoy watching this one forward it on to them! You’ll be doing both
of us a big favor so until next time it’s “Au revoir!”, “Arrivederci!”, “Slán libh!”, “Auf Wiedersehen!”, “La revedere!”, “Tot ziens!”, “¡Hasta luego!”, “Fins ara!”, “До побачення!”, “Hej då!”, “Até logo!”, “Пока, пока!”

21 Replies to “Language Learning Tips with Hyperpolyglot Tim Doner | How to learn languages better

  1. It's easy to say for someone who had the opportunity to do it!
    Golden life. 💸💸💸💸💲💲

  2. When you speak french than it's more easier to speak Portugese and Spanish he says… That's because It derives from the same origin and that's latin. Unless like German, Dutch and Flamish, these languages derives from Germanic origin.
    One word in at least 12 languages, the word "idiot". In french: idiot, dutch: idioot, flamish: idioot, swedish: idioot, german: idiot, english: idiot, danish: idiot, african dutch: idioot, albanian: idiot, Bosnian: idiot, cebuano (Austronesian language spoken in the Philippines): idiot, czech: idiot. And there are more other countries! Of course you could use another word instead "idiot" in every language. Strange that its almost the same word, in italian it's idiota. There's an "a" at the end of "idiot", So how could this be and there really much more countries with that word! Another quick example: the word "stoel" in American english means chair, but also in dutch and flamish. How did this germanic word ended up in America for example? Because of the dutch colonists. They brought dutch words to America and around the world in fact.

  3. Look-tim doner does not speak half of these languages at even an intermediate level. Languages are his hobby, nothing more. His Russian is awful, and im willing to bet his other category 4/5 languages are even worse

  4. That's very nice.
    I can speak Thai,Someone want to learn thai ,I am originally of Thai
    My Skype : freen2561

  5. Great tips! I'm learning Swahili to be a missionary. I think it's also best to go to the country at some point. After one is about B1 or B2, I'd recommend. My Swahili is somewhat basic to be sure. Beautiful language! Yes, definitely have fun with it! You'll go much further!

  6. I love the different ways people greet in different languages. Like how are you? How is your health? Do you have a problem? What's happening. Or, what's the news?

  7. Hmm majority of the video he is almost out of frame. The shot could've been wider if he didnt want to stand too close to the host.

    And why are there so many comments saying he doesnt look handsome anymore Haha I think he still is just not in the nerdy handsome teen way anymore. More in the genuinely charming intellectual adult way.

  8. It is a little strange that the video says "Copenhagen, Denmark" when they are actually standing in Odense, Denmark.

  9. What is that? I was born in Azerbaijan. Azeri language is close to Turkish. So I know Azeri and Turkish language pretty well. But i went to the Russian sector(school, university), so Russian language is my mother tongue. I've learned English by myself, now I am speak English pretty well. I am muslum. Muhammad(peace be upon him)is my prophet. The Quran was sent in Arabic so I learn Arabic. Its not easy to learn Arabic. But he speaks all off this languages and even more. Its unbelievable….

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