How to learn any language in six months | Chris Lonsdale | TEDxLingnanUniversity

  • Published: 21 November 2013
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    Chris Lonsdale is Managing Director of Chris Lonsdale & Associates, a company established to catalyse breakthrough performance for individuals and senior teams. In addition, he has also developed a unique and integrated approach to learning that gives people the means to acquire language or complex technical knowledge in short periods of time.

    Jan-21-2014 Update. The video transcripts are now available via the following links:

    English Only:

    English + Chinese Translation:

    In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Comments • 18 746

  • Daniel Bentley
    Daniel Bentley  5 hours back

    How many languages does this guy actually know?

    • Guo Fangjie
      Guo Fangjie  14 hours back

      am I the only one noticing the map of China is in lack of Taiwan ?

      • M Boaz
        M Boaz  23 hours back

        You skipped Principle #4...Principle #3 is just a title

        • Everyone has an opinion

          Be fun to agree to meet with someone on a regular basis and each of you can't speak the others language, and you have to figure it out along the way. And you're not allowed to learn outside of meeting that person

          • Arunas
            Arunas  1 days back

            Kto ponial sto govorit etot lektor, oni angliskij viucili i za 30 minut...

            • 杨贻柯
              杨贻柯  1 days back

              There's a typo in principle 3

              • YourEnlightenedFriend
                YourEnlightenedFriend  2 days back


                • Rui Albano
                  Rui Albano  2 days back

                  Six months? Impossible! To be really fluent you need a ten thousand words vocabulary. Too much words to learn, unless you have a photographic memory.

                  • zkhrv_ ek
                    zkhrv_ ek  1 days back

                    Maybe it’s possible when you’re doing nothing else but learning a language
                    Most people just don’t have time studying daily, however, reading books and learning new words every day can improve your language really fast

                • ALC ALC
                  ALC ALC  2 days back

                  Wait, so squirrels fly now? I think glide is the word, not fly. I'm english is my second language. Enlighten me if I'm wrong about this.

                  • CptDunsel
                    CptDunsel  1 days back

                    You are correct that they glide. But they are called "flying squirrels" in ordinary speech. After all, they do travel by the principles of aerodynamics.

                • Fortune
                  Fortune  2 days back

                  I know English n Spanish n learning french

                  • Roberto Pisano
                    Roberto Pisano  3 days back

                    Conversational abilities in 6 months? Very possible. Fluency? Only if your definition of fluency is generous.

                    • panshu t
                      panshu t  3 days back


                      • Pinoy Caregiver in Japan

                        i agree with action #1 listening eventhough you dont understand the meaning of the words just sink it in you brain the rhythm, flow and the.intonation . but the on the others its just common sense

                        • Kasia A.
                          Kasia A.  3 days back

                          so now, teach me to draw like a pro

                          • why ask why
                            why ask why  3 days back

                            Gawd this guy just rambles on and not to the point!. Suffocating watching this dude.

                            • Killian Dherment
                              Killian Dherment  3 days back

                              I'm french and I'll be in China for 3.5months this year as developer trainee .Would I be able to learn Chinese in 3.5 months ? xD

                            • Emily Bets
                              Emily Bets  4 days back

                              This is my favorite topic and content to watch. ❤🤯🧐🌝🌞

                              • gcal
                                gcal  4 days back

                                The lecturer may have thought he was being helpful however i thought he was just being too aggressive. Way Way too aggressive

                                • lou
                                  lou  4 days back

                                  Immersion helps when you are really in immersion but if you keep speaking your native language in the new country you'll never learn anything

                                  • Manuel T
                                    Manuel T  4 days back

                                    you don't begin work if you don't know how you will work.

                                    • Manuel T
                                      Manuel T  4 days back

                                      easy! by a system!

                                      • L'effet balle de neige

                                        This is the best TED talk I have never seen. Amazing conference! Il est excellent! Wow!

                                        • jose augusto pires de meneses

                                          Six months, if not living in the native country?

                                          • Allen Ellis
                                            Allen Ellis  4 days back

                                            How to record special effects in Pro Tools

                                            • Daphne VB
                                              Daphne VB  4 days back

                                              The “language deaf” thing is so true! When I first moved to the states I had a hard time understanding my English speaking friends in noisy environments, probably because my Dutch ears were deaf to English sounds.

                                              • CptDunsel
                                                CptDunsel  1 days back

                                                One of the things we are naturally "deaf" to in another language is the rhythm and word breaks. We write sentences with spaces between the words, but we don't speak them that way. Whatwereallydoisspeakalotmorelikethisandstringthesoundstogether. That's why speaking slowly and distinctly is so important when talking to a learner.
                                                You had to learn the rhythm to distinguish the words. Background noise increases the difficulty.

                                            • Luis Mata
                                              Luis Mata  5 days back

                                              Excellent,I've just learned english by watching this video.

                                              • Ok Liy
                                                Ok Liy  5 days back

                                                Why are there some bad reputations on this video? What is the reasons?

                                                • Richard Kaske
                                                  Richard Kaske  5 days back

                                                  people in the back can you hear me clearly? Keep it simple - Berg

                                                  • Le Piton
                                                    Le Piton  5 days back

                                                    great eloquence but big belly...

                                                    • Naruto Uzumaki
                                                      Naruto Uzumaki  5 days back

                                                      I can only speak english and my country language clearly

                                                      • Manju Roy
                                                        Manju Roy  5 days back

                                                        Let me start today with French

                                                        • 王宁
                                                          王宁  5 days back

                                                          The China map in the first slide is wrong, pls change it with the right one. Thanks

                                                          • Igor Sudorgin
                                                            Igor Sudorgin  5 days back

                                                            It works! Now I speak my dogs language!!!

                                                            • Zen Legacy
                                                              Zen Legacy  5 days back

                                                              I'll apply this to learn Spanish lol anyone out there wanna be my language parent?😶🤣

                                                              • Zen Legacy
                                                                Zen Legacy  1 hours back

                                                                @Muhammet Salih no entiendo, necesito aprender mas lol

                                                              • Muhammet Salih
                                                                Muhammet Salih  20 hours back

                                                                @Zen Legacy yo uso duolingo a menudo por dos meses pero solo practico las palabras

                                                              • Zen Legacy
                                                                Zen Legacy  21 hours back

                                                                @Muhammet Salih si solo se un poco que practico durante tres dias🤣

                                                              • Muhammet Salih
                                                                Muhammet Salih  21 hours back

                                                                @Zen Legacy yo también quiero hablar por es necesitamos práctica hola mi amigo

                                                            • Cpt Wouz
                                                              Cpt Wouz  5 days back

                                                              2nd principle 3 is actually the 4th. So he has a mistake in his presentation.

                                                              • Johnfuse
                                                                Johnfuse  6 days back

                                                                Excuse me but where exactly can you buy a flying car?

                                                                • hvac guy
                                                                  hvac guy  6 days back

                                                                  Google translator is a must!

                                                                  • sally colon
                                                                    sally colon  6 days back

                                                                    From a short experience, the easiest way is to be in the place where THAT LANGUAGE IS SPOKEN. As I live with the people in that place and listen to them talk while at the same time I struggle to talk in their LANGUAGE to communicate with them, I learned anyway.

                                                                    • Lets Build That App
                                                                      Lets Build That App  6 days back

                                                                      I feel like he glossed over one important detail which is the fact that you should also have an interest in the language, not just making it relevant. If you don't find any enjoyment out of things like listening to the target language's music or tv shows, you wont have much that takes you to the next level.

                                                                      • Kirsch kern
                                                                        Kirsch kern  6 days back

                                                                        Start at 5:50

                                                                        • mark mackenzie
                                                                          mark mackenzie  6 days back

                                                                          Just what I needed 😁

                                                                          • zamberr
                                                                            zamberr  6 days back

                                                                            if I watch 1k anime’s subbed, will I learn Japanese? hmm

                                                                            • Şeyda Yıldırım
                                                                              Şeyda Yıldırım  7 days back

                                                                              Thank you sir

                                                                              • 東舘くみ子
                                                                                東舘くみ子  7 days back

                                                                                • Tejo Singh
                                                                                  Tejo Singh  7 days back

                                                                                  I can speak 9 languages and i am amazed, i was using your technique for learning them...

                                                                                  • R E X
                                                                                    R E X  2 days back

                                                                                    Really nibba ..and what those languages are?

                                                                                  • Seth .Cartwright
                                                                                    Seth .Cartwright  4 days back

                                                                                    @L'effet balle de neige For sure :) I actually feel like I have a really good process for learning a new language now. I just haven't applied it or tested it... so I guess you can say I don't have a good process, haha.

                                                                                  • L'effet balle de neige
                                                                                    L'effet balle de neige  4 days back

                                                                                    He is great!

                                                                                  • L'effet balle de neige
                                                                                    L'effet balle de neige  4 days back

                                                                                    @Seth .Cartwright Thanks for sharing that.

                                                                                  • Seth .Cartwright
                                                                                    Seth .Cartwright  6 days back

                                                                                    I am a native english speaker, and have learned Spanish through four years of school, and Chinese from one year living in China. Two completely different methods of learning a language, and I nearly came up with this same process in this video. You need to think about words from the other culture's perspective, not your own meaning/translation, you need to master the accent to be expressive and show emotion, and you need to learn the most basic phrases to communicate. This is what I did to learn Chinese and I was very, very good at it within a year. I also had students teach me Chinese every week and did exactly what he said. We talked about the words I wanted to learn, the sentences I created, and I mixed up the words I knew to create more sentences and phrases and words. When you learn this way, you can even stop practicing the language for a while, and when you start practicing again, you will remember almost everything.

                                                                                • スズキイチロー168


                                                                                  • Lorena Florentina
                                                                                    Lorena Florentina  7 days back

                                                                                    This guy reminds me of my asthmatic history teacher..but his speech is amazing

                                                                                    • Grubby bum
                                                                                      Grubby bum  1 weeks back

                                                                                      Use your face muscles in unique ways for the language you're learning.