Luis von Ahn on Learning Languages, Building Companies, and Changing the World (#135)

“The [common trait in] people that we have noticed are best at learning a language is that they have no trouble sounding stupid.” – Luis von Ahn Luis von Ahn (@luisvonahn) is an entrepreneur and computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University. He is known for inventing CAPTCHAs, being a MacArthur Fellow (“genius grant” recipient), and …

How to Learn Any Language in Record Time and Never Forget It

Preface from Tim Back in 2012, Gabriel Wyner wrote an article for Lifehacker detailing how he learned French in 5 months and Russian in 10, using mostly spare time on the subway.  That article went viral. But don’t run off! That was nothing but version 1.0.  This post gives you version 2.0 and more. He’s …

12 Rules for Learning Foreign Languages in Record Time — The Only Post You'll Ever Need

Preface by Tim Ferriss I’ve written about how I learned to speak, read, and write Japanese, Mandarin, and Spanish. I’ve also covered my experiments with German, Indonesian, Arabic, Norwegian, Turkish, and perhaps a dozen others. There are only few language learners who dazzle me, and Benny Lewis is one of them. This definitive guest post …

Some Languages I Really Enjoy

The Internet is mean! Wahhhhh… (photo: Storyvillegirl) Every time I stumble across a “Tim Ferriss claims to speak…” post regarding Spanish, Japanese, or whatnot, an orphaned kitten loses a small part of its soul. And then I cry. Granted, I’m no master hyperpolyglot, but on my best days, I can speak five languages to differing …

Random 4: Tim Ferriss and Kevin Rose on Y-Combinator, Language Learning and More

This pre-China trip includes the below: – Personal experiences with Y-Combinator, demo days, and pitching new ideas through avenues like YC. – Five things you can do as a new startup to get your ideas, app, or product in front of influencers. – Tweaking your website: per-user metrics, cost per acquisition, lifetime value of the …

Going to China, Language Reactivation, and Other Mischief

Greetings from Kunming, China, land of Pu-erh tea! I’ve been offline for a week and feel fantastic. Kevin Rose, Glenn McElhose, and I are up to no good and having a blast. The above video is the first of several to chronicle our experience exploring the incredible world of tea in China, so be prepared …

How to Learn Any Language in 3 Months

The Okano Isao judo textbook I used to learn Japanese grammar. Post reading time: 15 minutes. Language learning need not be complicated. Principles of cognitive neuroscience and time management can be applied to attain conversational fluency (here defined as 95%+ comprehension and 100% expressive abilities) in 1-3 months. Some background on my language obsession, from …

Why Language Classes Don't Work: How to Cut Classes and Double Your Learning Rate (Plus: Madrid Update)

Coffee shops vs. classrooms – who wins? (Photo: eye2eye) This is one of several articles planned as supplements to the original “How to Learn (But Not Master) Any Language in 1 Hour.” This piece focuses on acquisition of new material; for reactivating “forgotten” languages and vocab, I recommend also reading “How to Resurrect Your High …

How to Learn (But Not Master) Any Language in 1 Hour (Plus: A Favor)

Deconstructing Arabic in 45 Minutes Conversational Russian in 60 minutes? This post is by request. How long does it take to learn Chinese or Japanese vs. Spanish or Irish Gaelic? I would argue less than an hour. Here’s the reasoning… Before you invest (or waste) hundreds and thousands of hours on a language, you should …

How to Resurrect Your High School Spanish… or Any Language (Plus: Be on the CBS Early Show!)

Oktoberfest is good for reactivating German but bad for livers. ((c) Dave77459) How can you possibly maintain fluency in two foreign languages — let alone five or six — if the opportunities to use them are months or years apart? In 20 minutes, I leave from JFK for Iceland, then Scotland, and then a circle …