Steve Kaufmann is a hyperpolyglot who has learned more than 20 languages (!!!) and the founder of LingQ, an online language learning platform that helps you acquire languages using content you love. He was my second guest on the Language Mastery Show way back in 2009, and returns 13 years later to offer new insights and encouragement for independent language learners.
LMS S4 E5 – Slow Chinese Founder Andrew Methven on Learning Chinese Through Chunks, News & Internet Slang
Andrew Methven is the creator of Slow Chinese 每周漫闻, a weekly newsletter that helps Mandarin Chinese learners immerse themselves in authentic, colloquial language via interesting stories and news events handpicked from Chinese media, social media, and TV. Instead of learning the stilted and stuffy language of Chinese textbooks, Andrew’s excellent newsletter trains you to understand the way people really speak and write the language today. In the interview, Andrew shares how he first fell in love with Chinese, differences between Mandarin between Mainland China and Taiwan, and his top tips for language learners.
LMS S4 E4 – Hack Chinese Founder Daniel Nalesnik on How to Master Mandarin & Find the Fun in Language Learning
From full-time Mandarin immersion at Peking University and Shanghai’s Fudan University to years of independent study online, Daniel Nalesnik has spent the last 13+ years on a mission to figure out the most fun and effective way to learn Mandarin Chinese. The result? The creation of Hack Chinese, a powerful spaced repetition tool designed from the ground up just for Mandarin learners, unlike generic SRS apps that struggle to properly handle Chinese characters, tones, etc. In our conversation, Daniel shares the lessons he’s learned, what he would do differently if he started from scratch, and how new language learners can get started.
The short answer? It depends. It depends on your goals. It depends on your level. And it depends on how much time and discipline you are willing to invest.
LMS S4 E3 – Author Scott H. Young on How to Apply His “Ultralearning” Principles in Language Learning
Scott H. Young is a Canadian writer, programmer, entrepreneur and metalearning expert. He is the author of the best-selling book “Ultralearning: Master Hard Skills, Outsmart the Competition, and Accelerate Your Career,” and has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The BBC, Popular Mechanics, Business Insider, and Lifehacker. He has applied and refined his principles in a number of accelerated learning challenges, from completing MIT’s four-year undergraduate computer science curriculum in just one year, to spending a year abroad in four countries with a “No English Rule,” to a one-month at-home challenge to learn Macedonian, his wife’s native language.
In this episode of the Language Mastery Show, I share three more tips for building the three foundations of mastery: 🧠 Master Your Mind — Realize that mastering a language is more about psychology than ability. ⏱ Master Your Day — Make language learning your primary focus. 📍 Master Your Environment — Decide not to decide by making your target language the default.