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One Simple Method to Learn Any Language | Scott Young & Vat Jaiswal | TEDxEastsidePrep

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While few of us will ever take on the ambitious challenge of learning four foreign languages in a year, many of us yearn to be more proficient in another language. The secret to success as it turns out is simpler than you think. Scott Young is a blogger, speaker and author. He previously spoke at TEDx EastsidePrep about his project “The MIT Challenge” to self-test MIT’s undergraduate computer science curriculum in one year, using their freely available information. His most recent project was with Vat Jaiswal, traveling to four countries, learning languages, with the goal of not speaking English for an entire year. He writes about learning and self-education at his website, ScottHYoung.com. Vat Jaiswal is a graduate student, aspiring architect and filmmaker. His most recent project was with Scott Young on The Year Without English, where he traveled through Spain, Brazil, China, Taiwan and Korea creating four short documentaries on language learning and cultural immersion. He shares his work, including experimental time-lapse photography and an interview series with successful architects, at vatjaiswal.com This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx
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Text Comments (1244)
Cardi b Bacardi (10 days ago)
They list me at move to the country thing .. some of us have jobs , responsibilities, school, kids :(
Mister Reacts (1 month ago)
So, lets say I want to learn Russian, or Polish, or Swahili, I don't have any "friends" who speak those to help me. So, your method might as well be the most difficult. While I dont want to diss what you are saying, step one involved overcoming an obstacle Before I start. I that nukes it right there. So if we only used your method, instead of Lots of people raising their hands they had tried, there would be far fewer, because most of those people are trying to learn in isolation. And thus, if you can come up with something for those who want to learn in isolation, then you have something. Let me also add, that while this method may be great, it still requires TIME from other tasks in a person's life. Many start learning with good intentions then life gets in the way. After all, the 2nd language isn't putting food on the table. So, extraneous time drains need to go. And that means, the 2nd language learning for most. And that is something your method just cannot overcome. Otherwise, interesting approach. Thanks for sharing.
thePeziie (1 month ago)
An inspiring talk ever for language learner! Even the rule seems simple, it affects quite obvious.
Pawlok18 (1 month ago)
It starts being rewarding around C1 level lol
Popsi King (2 months ago)
9:00 also fluent in italian
Hardik Pandya (2 months ago)
I understand this “ No English Rule “ . I am learning German right now... What about grammar??? What about basic sentence structure?? I am totally agreed with you.. forcing yourself to speak it is the most efficient way... Waiting for your reply.....
Nickel Chrome (1 month ago)
In my view, putting oneself in a survival situation make more harm than good. If you picks up a mistake and makes it repeatedly, you can still get out and have you understood, but when you learn the language in earnest, you won't be able to get rid of it. This is especially true for German where there is a very precise syntax.
bruce wayne (1 month ago)
From various videos I have seen on this subject, I have gathered that they are pretty much giving you tips on how to effectively communicate in your target language so that the native speakers understand you. Even if you are speaking in a slightly lower level, they will still get the idea of what you are saying. Only in time will you be able to learn proper grammar and sentence structure. Certain native speakers will also be able to help you with the right way to say a certain word, or how to put together a sentence. Their tips will help you be able to be for the most part understood in the target language sooner. Not that you will know all the rules and are able to speak it grammatically correct. That will come with time, practice and other people helping you along the way.
Dixon Lin (2 months ago)
Thanks for sharing!
Language Learning Lover (2 months ago)
Thanks! I’m going to try it.
Tom Ate (2 months ago)
I did learn Spanish indeed that way they are proposed _(without knowing that this video exists, I founded only today)_ . I found a Spanish tandem and right after the start there were an only-German part (for the other person) and an only-Spanish part (for me). My no-German-rule I didn't break , but sometimes I cheated with English resources, e.g. to learn the Spanish grammar. But even this is not necessary. Now I try as a self-experiment to learn French only with French resources. No German-French-dictionary as little as possible. Rather I try to use definitions in French.There a lot of very good french sites in the internet to learn french. I'll we see if it works or not :D
In God We Trust (2 months ago)
Hello, I need someone to teach me English, I can teach Spanish
Lucía Albornoz (2 months ago)
Thank you! In my case is No Spanish Rule.
Philip Buckley (3 months ago)
hey where is your one simple method...
Philip Buckley (3 months ago)
the foundation to a language is the verb....learn two verbs...to be, and to have....as well as a few pronouns, and the five questions wh, what where when and how...and you are off to the races....and vocabulary....numbers and diagrams...
Chandler Thornton (3 months ago)
bs you did not learn mandarin and become nearly conversationally fluent in 3 months lmaoooo
Tim Allen is a scumbag (4 months ago)
Screw my marriage career and mortgage. I’m going to move to brasil.
YouAwakeYet (4 months ago)
Plain and simple, it takes 100 percent dedication
paulo miko (4 months ago)
Zezé di Camargo fala inglês muito bem.!😅
Lilian Baliero (1 month ago)
Vc já ouviu o Zezé de Camaro cantando em inglês?🤐
B An (4 months ago)
Thank you! I will start this next week. :-)
Thomas Reedy (4 months ago)
So they learned through osmosis? How many times does the color violet come up in conversation, in a context that you understand in three months? Enough so you can speak it when needed? No, the traditional learning methods are still required. Immersion helps with speaking and listening but they totally glossed over vocabulary building and grammar.
KaMo (4 months ago)
The reason that American businessman these two guys were talking about didn't learn Korean even though he was living in Korea for 20+ years, was married to a Korean woman, had kids with that woman, is because he spoke in English with his wife and did everything in English, which ruined his chances of learning Korean. Yes, he was hearing natives talking to each other and was listening to them (probably, I don't know a thing about this American guy, just speculating), but he wasn't speaking Korean himself. If he was trying to speak Korean from Day 1, he would have been fluent in under a year. 100% exposure and immersion with your target language is the key to fluency ONLY if you try to actually use and speak it.
amaru g (4 months ago)
so i'm just here watching tons of this videos on how to learn languajes instead of actually studying lmao
Melissa (4 months ago)
I'm native from Ecuador (Souht America) and speak Spanish, but I want to teach English. Somebody who want to teach me English and I can to teach Spanish? :D
Magda Chang (4 months ago)
Excellent...good job. Thank you
salmank 17 (4 months ago)
Who want to be my friend in learning French. I'm beginner. We can be partner. Please comment below.
PinkFurryHat (5 months ago)
I really wanna learn japanese because of my heritage. And french because its so pretty. I did some basic rosetta stone with both and took some japanese classes but need to restart learning them. Goal is japan in june. But we will see.
Marko Dejanović (5 months ago)
Good tip. I'm learning german and I'll try this method. Thank you, guys
SaxNFrass Nation (5 months ago)
I thought it was normal to speak more than one or two languages, the rule in my house is speak every language that makes up your dna, speak tsalagi our tribal language but we have a little blood from neighboring tribe so know basics in chickasaw too, habla espanol, fala Portuguese, know basics of Arabic cuz small percent of family before mixed with Arab ppl, drop of Irish so Gaelig and for fun Korean and mandarin, but wolof is the language some friends from the Gambia so speak it also mandinka so get basics in that but friends from 2 other tribes are like family so know those,its a lil of what seems allot but it's great and everyone can learn and im wanting to study Vietnamese, so the neighbors probably think we have a packed hostel for tourists ,they must hear all the changes in vocal tone, everything, but agreed don't be scared to speak up in a different language and be happy it's not mandatory like in this family lol,
OSCAR D (5 months ago)
I have no fear of speak my language target, I fear of not have a topic to talk about, I have difficult time trying to find a topic even in my own laguage. I have hard time to find the correct words to express myself in my own language too. I think is because my social anxiety. What did the guys do to find people who where willing to interact with them in the countries they visited?
Daniel de Oliveira (6 months ago)
The polyglots LIVED in the countries whose languages they speak best. When that's not the case, is an EXCEPTION. Yes, there is much hypocrisy in the "polyglot community". They always talk about books and courses etc, and, as an afterthought, as if not important, there is the information in small letters: "I lived there (the country in question) for one, two years". There is even a guy the sells books teaching about how to be "fluent in 3 months" HAHAHAHAHAHAH.
Julianna Lin (6 months ago)
From personal experience of learning languages (although learning foreign languages has always come easy to me and because I love to learn in general - Spanish, Mandarin, Taiwanese, and Levantine Arabic)), I completely agree with your methods. Learning by necessity and using translator tools is one of the fastest ways to learn.
I am a native speaker of Spanish and I can help those who want
Gérard Lefrançois (6 months ago)
The problem is on learning. People dont know how to learn and the teacher dont know how to teach.
Mom Westmoreland (7 months ago)
Films and music work for me initially, then I find someone I can speak with. If not..I speak the language to my dog. Also just beginning to use the "as you sleep" methods. WOW...The binarual sound waves in the background? Reach the language center of my brain I think. I wake up "thinking' in the language I'm studying. This really works for the "let's talk" side. Now...reading and writing? Another issue lol.
Pat Ludwa (7 months ago)
What are you supposed to do if you can't go to the country?   Try and speak the language to my wife who doesn't speak it?
Andrey Nikolayev (7 months ago)
Hello guys, Awesome video. But did you actually learn foreign words, how did you memorize them?
The direct study of English vocabulary or any language's vocabulary really works. Study words and phrases at the right level and you will have success.
Mandi Formoso (7 months ago)
I sat in the plane flying to Italy and made a promise to myself that I would never say 2 phrases - “I don’t speak Italian” or “do you speak English” Because English was NEVER on the agenda I have now far surpassed all my Italian friends here that speak English. Had I even spoken English to them on Day 1 it would be almost impossible to then switch. If I had to do something like go to the doctor - the night before I would learn all the phrases I needed and then use them - biggest thing I learned was that if you use your new vocabulary in context you remember it. I agree with everything these guys have said. I also studied basic grammar from a book, used Pimsleur, Michele Thomas, flashcards and YouTube native speaking videos. I am nowhere near fluent (Italian grammar is diabolical!) but I have been here 1.5 yrs and go about everyday life and social life with no problem.
갓후 (7 months ago)
wow. simple and fantastic method to learning languages. I am korean. These people have good pronunciation and speak in korean well after 12 weeks.
Shamim Ahmed (7 months ago)
Hi, I am from Bangladesh. I want to learn English. Can anyone help me to learn English.
Krzysztof Kaliński (7 months ago)
Is the "No Enlish Rule" the same when you try to learn English?
Corey Graham (7 months ago)
I don't see how you can learn a language without using your mother tongue unless the target language was using Comprehensible Input (see Stephen Krashen's lectures and TPR).
goldeneddie (7 months ago)
One simple technique to start mastering any language right now: stop messing about on YouTube watching videos about learning language and just do something - ANYTHING - that directly exposes you to the language. Even YouTube videos! ;)
Neodymium (7 months ago)
some languages are easier to learn, some are not, so I think the 3 months it is not enough
Tom Ate (2 months ago)
I don't think that is what they said and is not the point that they made. Of course it takes way longer to dominate a language. I guess in my case it takes more ore less 3 years to become fluently in everyday conversations. And still that doesn't mean, you speak perfectly. Maybe that will take 3 more years. But at least you feel comfortable in that language. I guess that 3 month only refers only to the time which it takes to get in the comfort zone :D And if you learn only at home three days the week it needs more time.
beedoo mnmn (7 months ago)
لماااااااذا لا توجد الترجمة باللغة العربيه Why these video not translate in Arabic 😩😩
Rbigraff (8 months ago)
You need some words to get started. There may not be person to speak with that speaks the language you are working on. I studied Russian in school. I have no friends that speak it.
Brittni Renaud (8 months ago)
It’s virtually impossible to even go a few days not speaking English let alone a year when you live in Canada and nobody can speak anything but English around you😕
Pink Magic Ali (8 months ago)
Makes sense if you think about it. What I feel people never think about is the fact that when kids are learning they have no choice and they are completely looked after and no one yells at them for saying it wrong (well sometimes but it usually involves abuse). If I lived in a house where someone only speaks Greek I’m going to learn it out of necessity.
k patel (8 months ago)
Jaiswal improve your voice quality.
Maliny Moon (8 months ago)
Following raw food diet will help you!
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Luis Fernando F e Klock (8 months ago)
I am looking for a Native American (USA) language partner. I'm Brazilian and I'm learning English. if you want to learn Portuguese from Brazil and want a language partner let me know. my skype is: luisfragaklock
Justine Goals (8 months ago)
I'm just trying not to learn... rather feed the curiosity and have fun
Tushar Shete (9 months ago)
I am in Mexico from a month .. it's very tough for me to have a conversation with people in Spanish..
Freddy Frog (9 months ago)
As a professional FOREIGN LANGUAGE COACH and having travelled the world I will say this, the reason why people don't learn another language is: 1. The person cannot commit seriously. 2. The person takes classes but doesn't practice. 3. The person never bothers to to fully emerge in the culture. 4. The person needs friends in that language so that their new language becomes meaningful. 5. The person needs to go to a place where that language is spoken actively. 6. Make language learning fun. Don't make it a task. 7. Keep notes. Put up flash cards all over your house. 8. Write in your target language. Keep lots of notes. 9. Listen to songs. Lots of songs. Listen to films, radio shows, plays. Listen listen listen. 10. Don't let one day go by without working your TARGET LANGUAGE.
Maritza Diaz (9 months ago)
Diogo Cruz (9 months ago)
zezé di camargo
Etienne Sugihara (9 months ago)
I agree with both of you a hundred percent this is the first time that I see that this is going to works thank you both so very much!
Machine Service (9 months ago)
I am a beginner of Spanish, I can speak Chinese and English if anybody can teach me Spanish as a partner, or I can teach the Chinese and English
Maureen Maddy (9 months ago)
I'd been a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter day saints or commonly known as the Mormons. During my assignment to mindanao, i learned Cebuano language in just One and a half month. Bisayan people noticed my fast improvement in Cebuano and these are the techniques i used to learn to speak Cebuano quickly. First, I really didn't care about the grammar. I set my mind that the more mistakes I make the better i would learn the language. Second, i listened very carefully to the native speakers, i studied out in my mind how they pronounce words and how they put the words together. 3rd, I would use the phrases and new words i heard over and over until it became natural to me. 4th, I would always ask members and investigators to correct my speaking. I learned a lot from them and last but not the least, I would always talk to children. Children are the best teachers, it is because they will not make fun of you when you make mistakes and that they will give you honest feedback. P.s. Learn the vocabularies and phrases you need in your everyday conversation.
ScRiPtEaZe (9 months ago)
Its the same for everything. Getting on stage, riding a bike, driving a car, etc. You just have to do it.
Bugsy Bugs (9 months ago)
This isn't practical for most of the world's population. We can't just pack up and move to a country whose language we want to learn. How about a method for learning a language for those who can't travel to that country??????
G. BadrichIndian (10 months ago)
great motivation for me guys as I stopped my Spanish and regretted that I made a grave mistake of not having a spanish woman I wanted and quit. 35 years later and I am using your method. thanks
Luis Angel (10 months ago)
i am going to do it..!
Lucia Reynal (10 months ago)
Can anyone inform me which method is it? Where can I find more information? Any website?
Mike Stone (10 months ago)
The no English rule is the only way to learn.
SAMUEL FERNANDES (10 months ago)
Hello everyone! From brasil! I'm learning English and I need someone native speaker in English, for practice with me. I can help you with Portuguese.
독일언니 German Eonni (10 months ago)
I have to say their Korean sounds very good for 12 weeks of learning! Natural and pretty good pronunciation .. especially compared to many people who have lived here in Korea for years and years..!
mohamed manouni (2 months ago)
I want to leran Korean language an you help
am m (10 months ago)
or just move to chinatown...come on, this was the opening snoozer act, right
Alexander Castle (10 months ago)
the no english rule is fkin nice tho
Ditto Blue (10 months ago)
I will try this to learn Hindi, I need to learn it to communicate with my in laws. Thanks for the video I hope it works for me .
dave d (10 months ago)
To learn a language you should... PRACTISE???????? Amazing! These guys are Einstein-level geniuses!
Bob Texan (10 months ago)
i would be happy with just being able to afford to go to 4 other countries for 3 months ....
Talk Talk (10 months ago)
So inspiring!
许绍坚 (10 months ago)
Oh, several simple sentences being spoken out from your mouth by you guys can prove that you can speak a foreign languange...LOL! You know what, 我唔埋单!
FreeTutorial [360] (11 months ago)
I'm inspired! Thanks.
Game Key (11 months ago)
Will playing Counter-Strike go or other communicative game from a Chinese server without speaking English help or would it be to advanced to jump into? secondly dose learning the alphabets and written part help understand verbal communication?
Freddy Grice (11 months ago)
These guys are full of pop. I'm a native Spanish speaker and I'm fluent in Brazilian Portugues. My wife is from Brazil. They don't speak either language even remotely well
Sibabrata Bandyopadhyay (11 months ago)
I do not recommend Google Translator or any online machine translator while learning languages as they work well for French, Spanish and English, but not for other languages
Windows Sucks (11 months ago)
The audio quality
Kelt Dockins (11 months ago)
Hahahaha... that audience looks so disengaged...
Mark Wilson (11 months ago)
Come on now everyone. Lets be really honest. Most people don't learn another language regardless of method because 1. It involves WORK and that means effort and time. 2.A nice idea to impress yourself or others but will you use it?? Probably not. You need a reason to learn languages. If you really wanted to learn a language you would stop every other activity and get on with it. Most people do too much,think too much,are too busy and don't really need to speak another language. If you are lazy minded its not going to happen easily.
Taylor IP6SP (11 months ago)
The statement always speak the language you want to learn is only useful if you know someone else who also wants to learn the same.
Maikind K. (11 months ago)
Taylor IP6SP not true. My people are native to German, and we all *prefer* it to English. If you want a thing badly enough, you'd be surprised what becomes possible. I am no great lover of English; I am native to it, and I became good at it out of spite! Now when I hear people say I need to use it, I make them eat their stylistically and gramatically incorrect words😂
Maikind K. (11 months ago)
Taylor IP6SP not true. My people are native to German, and we all *prefer* it to English. If you want a thing badly enough, you'd be surprised what becomes possible. I am no great lover of English; I am native to it, and I became good at it out of spite! Now when I hear people say I Need to use it, I make them eat their stylistically and gramatically incorrect words😂
crashxxx (11 months ago)
16 Min, boils down to "Dont speak English", make mistakes, that's ok
Osamede Nnadi (11 months ago)
Thank you!
Mike Ryan (1 year ago)
great, now fix your volumes, editing. thanks.
joshep usio (1 year ago)
i m from morocco an i m looking for someone to practice english.
Ri Shu (1 year ago)
Hey guys if you don't mind ..please try to finish your videos in 8-10 minutes
desmondjr johnston (1 year ago)
Wang Vince (1 year ago)
The guy you find must be able and patient enough to correct you. Otherwise, your mistakes will be reinforced by using them over and over again, and they will be very hard to be corrected in the future.
Ghetto Lacaba (1 year ago)
Step one: start rich. Step two: make sure you live in the first world. Step three: travel the world. Now learn your new language!
Gana Mbanwei (1 year ago)
Thanks Bro i feel you just gave me something worth millions of Japanese yen
Ted371 (1 year ago)
Charlena Smith (1 year ago)
Hello,would this method be effective when texting a friend too? Should I text my friend using Hangul instead?
Lorraine Best (1 year ago)
I think this worked because you had each other to talk with. I wonder how this would have worked if you had been on your own.
Simon Tolson (1 year ago)
No real research here for this method! And who can afford to live in the country for a while!!!
Joana Rangel (1 year ago)
Why would you go from Spain to Brasil to learn Portuguese when Portugal is right next door to Spain and where the language originates from...
Anasuyah Pather (1 year ago)
This was excellent that kyou. I have been trying to learn Tamil for 20 years and have gotten nowhere. Definitely going to try this method
Fabio Luiz da silva (1 year ago)
Congrats for your lecture! I believe that's a great method, BTW, I'm gonna use it a little different, I'm Brazilian and I'll try the No-Portuguese Rule,Will it work? Let's see, success ever !! Obrigado !!
sidearmsalpha (1 year ago)
Find yourself a girlfriend that speaks the language you want to learn. 😎
Bluce Cloud (1 year ago)
I can speak Korean and Mandarin and I have to say that their Korean and Mandarin at week 12 are quite at beginners' level and it's hard for me to get what they say

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