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.”
  • The power of phonetic patterns in languages.

Resources Mentioned in the Episode

  • Borgen: a Danish political drama
  • Nordic Noir: A genre of Scandinavian TV with dark themes, plain language, and morally complex plot lines.
  • Euronews: a smartphone app which includes video, audio & text in multiple languages, including English, Arabic, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, and Ukrainian.
  • The Polyglot Conference: A place for polyglots and language lovers of all levels to meet, laugh, and learn.

Learn More About Richard Simcott

Transcript

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