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Jul 28, 2016

How to: Learn Another Language - Quickly

Most adults find learning a new language to be particularly difficult. In fact studies show that the number one way to increase your odds of picking up a new language is to already speak a couple languages. But don't lose hope! There are still some streamlined ways to get yourself self off the ground and immerse in a new culture's way of communicating...   

created at: 07/24/2016Check out this article Becoming a Man of The World: How to Learn Another Language at the Art of Manliness. With the exception of one bizarre paragraph pointing out that most polyglots throughout history have been men (and skipping over the historically gendered gap in education and mobility), this is a great article with some key tips to examine before diving head-first into a new language-learning program. As a quasi-polyglot myself (I can read/write Latin and Ancient Greek, and can kiiiiiinda speak Spanish and Lakota), I can vouch for some the ideas and resources here that have helped me, since I grew up only knowing English. 

Have you ever learned a new language (particularly as an adult) in a short amount of time? If so, what language was it and what were the best resources you used?

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Joke Mosk on Aug 03, 2016:

Hi, I had to learn the Portugese language, for I was going to move to Portugal for three years. I went toa three weeks course in Zwijndrecht (Holland). The teacher was a portugese lady, who spoke better English than Dutch. So I learned the language mostly through the english language.... Because I was packing to move, rent out my house and had to co-organize my sistsers' wedding in the meantime, I ended up sqeezing the portugese course in only ten days. I had the base and the knowledge of many words in my head when I moved; the real learning and speaking came once I lived in Portugal. Best regards, Joke Mosk, Someren (Holland).


bruno on Jul 29, 2016:

Holy anonymous commenters! Use your name, folks, don't be afraid. @anon-1 - "near native fluency in Feminist Apologist"? Relax, dude. I think Justin's point was just that the men/women paragraph was just a little weird/out of place.


As @anon-2 said, it's just kinda strange to point out that men have historically been better at language-learning, when it's pretty obvious that the historical recorded has always been horribly skewed (well, at least until yesterday, maybe). I'm sure there were millions of extremely intelligent, polyglottous women throughout the years who just didn't make it into the history books because ...  they were women.


I love AOM and think they do a great job; no "feminist apologist" takedown intended (or needed).


Anonymous on Jul 28, 2016:

Your statement misses the point, "Anonymous." There is no study which I know of which has evaluated polyglots (simply a person who speaks several languages) according to sex. Given that "famous" women have, historically, been royalty, and given that royal women were traditionally married to other royal males in different countries, it actually stands to reason that these women were more likely to be polyglots than the men to whom they were married. Further, back in the day when the "MRS" degree was sought, one component was that a woman had to read, speak, and write in several different language so that she could not merely translate for her husband but could set his international guests at ease. Thus, it is actually more likely that women who ought to be regarded as "famous" were polyglots--but we don't know about it because we simply did not bother noting women for anything other than beauty for many centuries (Jackie Kennedy, for example, was famous and a polyglot--but try to find that on a website which lists polyglots). Let me put it another way--if someone wrote a book about "womanliness" and noted that more women are famous for their parenting (which they quite likely are), the underlying implication being that women are better parents, I expect that the fathers in the readership would be annoyed. It is bizarre to bother noting that men are more famous than women, even for qualities which women were more likely to have, because men have in general just been more famous. We know that already. It really makes a man look pretty pitiful to bother noting that men are more famous historically for a particular quality--seriously, what does that have to do with "manliness" today? I would think that a "manly" man would not need to lean on a skewed historical record to feel good about himself.


Anonymous on Jul 28, 2016:

Justin, you sell yourself short; you also appear to have near native fluency in Feminist Apologist.  Mr. Lewis points out in his article a factual statement--most of the "most famous" polyglots in history have been men.  He does not attempt to belittle women, or imply that women are incapable of mastering several languages; he merely points out that in the annals of existing historical record, male polyglots hold greater notoriety.  As has been also noted repeatedly throughout history, one can create their own opinions, but not their own facts.  That you are so quick to snipe at Mr. Lewis' article because of your personal discomfort with a fact that injures your delicate 'gender fairness' sensibilities resoundedly demonstrates that, were you ever asked to write an article for a website of such tenor as "The Art of Manliness", you would likely spontaneously combust from the massive internal explosion of SJW angst and pointless vitriol.