On August 28, 1963, The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., an American activist, humanitarian, and pastor gave what would become one of the most famous speeches of all time and a defining moment in the Civil Rights Movement. The masterful address, usually known simply as “I Have a Dream”, was delivered at the Lincoln Memorial in front hundreds of thousands of people who had joined the “March on Washington”. If you haven’t watched the speech in a while, please take a moment now to relive a bit of history and honor King’s memory. And for extra points, read the speech in 12 different languages.
Richard Simcott is an accomplished polyglot with impressive abilities in over 16 languages, a feat that led HarperCollins to call him “one of the most multilingual people from The United Kingdom.” Richard shares his language learning wisdom, tips, interviews, and super-sized doses of motivation on his popular YouTube channel and on his website, SpeakingFluently.com. In the interview, Richard and I discuss idiolects and dialects, the importance of making language ability a “need” instead of just a “want,” the fact that anyone can learn a language since everyone does, the key difference between casual language learners and accomplished polyglots, what languages Richard speaks and how he learned—and maintains—them, the advantages of learning languages in university, Richard’s language learning routine, the pros and cons of continuing to refine a language vs. pursuing a “new pretty flower,” the fact that language learning is technically a form of “over learning,” and the power of phonetic patterns in languages.
ideo is an especially powerful medium for language immersion given the clear visual context, interesting plot lines, and the inclusion of both listening and reading input for videos with subtitles. I don’t want to encourage people to spend even more time with their butts on the couch, but given the power of video in foreign language acquisition, I think this mode of language learning is well worth the sitting and snacking. I suppose you could always watch at a standing desk while eating broccoli instead of sitting and inhaling Cheetos. Okay, without further ado, read on to see my five favorite sites and tools for watching Mandarin Chinese videos online.