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

  • Published on Nov 20, 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 • 17 230

  • Jonathan Hernandez
    Jonathan Hernandez 18 hours ago

    Cuantos idiomas habla este sujeto del vídeo ?

  • Aodhan O'Donnell
    Aodhan O'Donnell 23 hours ago

    I just wasted 20 minutes, doesn't even serve the purpose of a sleeping pill

  • Aodhan O'Donnell
    Aodhan O'Donnell 23 hours ago

    What a boring man

  • Mari Anna
    Mari Anna Day ago

    I want to learn Korean in order to watch Korean dramas without English subtitles...

  • Darwin Kalenor
    Darwin Kalenor Day ago

    If I had social skills I'd have had a "language parent" a long time ago...

  • Abdulwahhab Dowd

    I don't understand what he means by Vietnamese is 30% Mandarin and 30% Cantonese. Is he referring to similarities or like the language is full of loan words?

  • Zoltan Theil
    Zoltan Theil Day ago

    ...but why is he shouting?

  • Black Blue
    Black Blue Day ago

    find principle first

  • Jason Rouleau
    Jason Rouleau Day ago

    ah sorry that wasn't drawing LOL

  • Amelia Johnson
    Amelia Johnson Day ago

    Very interesting...confirms why we are spending more time on TVclip also.

  • Kristin Cook
    Kristin Cook Day ago +1

    is it just me or did he skip principle 4?

    • Abdulwahhab Dowd
      Abdulwahhab Dowd Day ago

      No actually he didn't principle 4 is physiological training according to some other comment on this video

    • Abdulwahhab Dowd
      Abdulwahhab Dowd Day ago

      Lol yeah I think he did xD

  • Monica Caamaño
    Monica Caamaño Day ago +1

    I’m tired of listening to him! Breathe please!
    Good speech though.

  • 歩行者
    歩行者 2 days ago

    I probably understood about this video.
    I don’t have foreign friends and I don’t have enough courage to talk to foreigner in internet or real because My English is so bad…
    From now on I don't afraid of mistakes and try to listen English everday.

  • Eve Hemingway
    Eve Hemingway 2 days ago

    I have been with my vietnamese partner for 3 years and have a 2 year old. We are currently living in Vietnam and my toddler has started to speak vietnamese. It's just now where I am finally starting to pick up the language because I need to know what my son is saying. The tool part of this presentation makes so much more sense now

  • Divina Ledwith
    Divina Ledwith 2 days ago

    i was reading good very well that is

  • Divina Ledwith
    Divina Ledwith 2 days ago

    Ir hoy want to les that englesh hoy cant is on you that is about that

  • I'm a person 2
    I'm a person 2 2 days ago +2

    Instructions unclear, I took me 12 years just to learn to say taco in spanish

  • ruth fournier
    ruth fournier 3 days ago

    The best way to learn another language is to have a relationship / lover where English is their 2nd language. This way you teach each other and learn thru ❤.
    I speak spanish but not fluently. I have a hard time with the verb part but it takes time. Listening to Music 🎶 in the language you want to learn helps too and asking questions is EVERYTHING. Also adding subtitles en Espanol is a good way.

  • Baruk Ha Shem YHWH
    Baruk Ha Shem YHWH 3 days ago

    What a LOAD of RUBBISH

  • E. H.
    E. H. 3 days ago

    I'm usually a bit suspicious when people claim that they are "fluid" in a language or speak "like a native". I've heard plenty of people going on and on about how they are polyglots and fluent in several languages and have tons of advice for other people, how to learn, how to study to be as successful as they (supposedly) are, and then you hear them speak it and they make basic beginner mistakes or have really thick accents. I have met very few people who can speak multiple languages really well, and those were usually not the ones boasting about it.

    • Sarabi Eventide
      Sarabi Eventide Day ago

      My thoughts exactly! I've found that the best speakers are the ones who are still constantly working on improving. Having lived in China, I've met plenty of expats "fluent" in Chinese. They could speak fast and get their point across, but their accents and grammar mistakes made them barely comprehensible.

  • Jonny Carson
    Jonny Carson 3 days ago

    He definitely hammered down on the gas when he got up there, very interesting

    • mark contracting
      mark contracting Day ago

      All over the place, he should learn to stay on subject

  • Jhon Mendoza
    Jhon Mendoza 3 days ago +1

    Thank you very much, I'm learning English :)

  • 24starchild
    24starchild 4 days ago

    absolutely ridiculous...guy needs to get some cardio going on for himself. The breathlessness was highly distracting...

  • ASMR Lab
    ASMR Lab 4 days ago +1

    Lonsdale seems to have a lot of repressed energy. I hope his heart stays healthy.

  • Bryan Sullo
    Bryan Sullo 4 days ago +47

    Him: Immersion doesn't work.
    Also him: You need to surround yourself with people who speak the language and "soak your brain in the language".
    Me: 🤔

    • Lumdrop
      Lumdrop 2 days ago +2

      In the first case he was showing how a person can be immersed in a culture and never learn the language. I for example, live in LA in a mostly hispanic area where you'd assume I'd just pick up the language. I didn't understand a word of it until I started actively studying a few years ago. Lonsdale was just showing that there aren't simple fixes you turn on and off like a light switch. THis is the same reason a lot of language teachers suggest avoiding "passive listening" practice, like listening to music and shows in the background while you're busy with other stuff. Because it isn't an active effort to comprehend, it conditions you to hearing the language as background noise and tuning the it out and actually makes it harder to understand because of that.

    • Mohammed Mansuri
      Mohammed Mansuri 2 days ago

      @flytii exactly!

    • flytii
      flytii 3 days ago +3

      you totally missed his point of "per se."

    • Ela Karel
      Ela Karel 4 days ago

      the examples of immersion he gives are not real immersion, expats live in expat ghettos, so do migrant workers (at least most of them)

  • jj1993 ch
    jj1993 ch 4 days ago

    I did learn english in few time! Any tips: 1 read and watch series,movies anything in english 2 nothing is impossible for learn a second language

  • AMaDDeR HaTTeR
    AMaDDeR HaTTeR 4 days ago

    Wow!! I've watched SO MANY "How to" language guide vids... I mean DOZENS ON TOP of DOZENS of videos!! I kept learning the best way I could if the videos failed me... One year later, no... I am not where I WANTED to be by now with this language... Through trial and error I am still kind of fumbling around... But what I HAVE learned, the things that became "permanent tools" are MANY suggestions that are right here!! There are ALSO a few I had not stumbled upon yet, and am now VERY eager to try out!! Best language learning vid YET!! INCREDIBLE! WISH I would have found it last year!! Thank you very much!!!

  • Laura Sarahs - Music Filter

    I learned english with my favorite tv show because I couldn't wait for the translation. In around 6 months I became the best in english in my class from being the worst. Let`s say I almost did watch more tv than sleep (it didn't end with one show).
    Now I want to learn chinese because I LOVE some of the historical/fantasy shows (50-80 episodes seasons).

    So I believe getting good in 6 months if you have a bit of basics is possible. I just need classes in the beginning.

  • uncabral
    uncabral 5 days ago

    I am totally fluent in English with a strong hispanic pronunciation, it took me about a year in California, with no school or clases, just hearing good radio, reading, going out and all with pleasure. I am also fluent in French, took me 4 months in France and Switzerland, still my pronunciation is very strong but they understand me well. I can understand Portuguese easily (Portugal and Brazil) and since they understand my spanish well I don't need/want to speak it. All this I did on my own without knowing this good points from the video. I am now learning Greek and Russian and I think I will improve practicing these 5/7 pointers. Russian is not that easy but Greek is amazingly easy for us spanish speaking people. I have explored Mandarin but didn't went further. On Korean I learned how to read and write, it's a most wonderful and easy system! To speak or understand it is a different business and I don't think I would go into it. I want to master Greek.

  • Steve Davenport
    Steve Davenport 5 days ago

    I think he is presenting a valuable tool for language acquisition. Nonetheless, some folks have limited neural pathways(aka talent) for language learning as adults. Work as hard as they may, they will most likely never achieve native fluency in a foreign language.

  • duygusal şair
    duygusal şair 5 days ago

    thanks good guy

  • texx8205
    texx8205 5 days ago

    How can one learn a language? Certainly not by wasting your time watching videos like these as that's your time wasted. It took him more than 12 minutes before he got to the first point and even after that his conclusions were nothing new.

  • 執行人ファルチェ


  • Alamgir Hossain
    Alamgir Hossain 5 days ago

    You are absolutely crazy.

  • J Pendragon
    J Pendragon 5 days ago +9

    It's a shame he didn't give part of the presentation in Cantonese or Mandarin to demonstrate his skill. Or even an example of how one would apply this to a specific language. It seemed the entire process was advocating for immersion, anyways.

    • Abdulwahhab Dowd
      Abdulwahhab Dowd Day ago

      No the video wasn't about immersion it was about using the language to communicate

  • Agnes Cleary
    Agnes Cleary 5 days ago

    So if you don't have anyone you can speak the language with and don't have a "language parent"...then what? For much better info about language learning, check out the TedTalk by Gabriel Wyner, author of Fluent Forever.

  • Marthy
    Marthy 6 days ago

    Principle over President

  • Le Chat
    Le Chat 6 days ago +1

    I hope his talk was for free.

    • Le Chat
      Le Chat 5 days ago

      @Tadeos. Bennett
      Friendly greetings from sunny Slovenia :)

    • Tadeos. Bennett
      Tadeos. Bennett 5 days ago +1

      @Le Chat thanks for sharing . Good point

    • Le Chat
      Le Chat 5 days ago

      @Tadeos. Bennett
      I taught languages my entire life and all he presented is very old news and the information that seen here has near to no value at all. If you choose your words wisely you don`t need more than 300 words (not 3000) to be able to communicate in a foreign language on a simple level. How much time do you need to learn 300 words? Start today, work every day and you`ll be ready in weeks. And you`ll need someone who`ll help out with phonetics, reading and writing the first, let`s say 1-2 weeks. You don`t need 3000 words, no one does.

    • Tadeos. Bennett
      Tadeos. Bennett 5 days ago


  • Le Chat
    Le Chat 6 days ago +1

    That may work when you are learning a new language in its country.

  • bob733333
    bob733333 6 days ago

    Learn how to do what you are told and serve your government.

  • Charles Ray
    Charles Ray 6 days ago


  • Dk Co
    Dk Co 6 days ago

    si desea hablar español contácteme vía Internet and lets talk

    • Dk Co
      Dk Co 4 days ago

      @j k es como ponerse en contacto vía whatsaap o facebok para aprender el idioma, contactar significa hablar con una persona por medio de cualquier medio tecnológico existente y así poder practicar de persona a persona, ok no soy muy bueno con las definiciones pero es algo así.

    • j k
      j k 4 days ago

      ¿Qué significa contáctele via "Internet"? No entiendo ese método. Me gustaría conversación en español, también.

    • Dk Co
      Dk Co 5 days ago

      @Audrey Berns hispanoamerica es cada ves mas grande y mas personas en el mundo hablan español es un idioma muy enriquecido en cada país existen diferentes formas de hablar, en Colombia existen mas de 25 acentos y cada uno interpreta palabras diferentes como en el caso del mexicano y el colombiano.

    • Audrey Berns
      Audrey Berns 5 days ago

      Me gusta practicar mi español

  • 心和楽
    心和楽 6 days ago

    It's the best to learn by body.

  • 心和楽
    心和楽 6 days ago

    Language is catchball。
    Listening & Speaking. Mutual circulation ,grate and wonderful!

  • Nancy Alywahby
    Nancy Alywahby 6 days ago +2

    I want to learn to speak Arabic. I studied two college terms of Arabic and watch and listen to
    Arabic language TV. I need to take the next step and learn to speak. YES my spouse is
    native Arabic, didn't help me at all when I was trying to study it. I barely passed.

    • راشد الخنين
      راشد الخنين 5 days ago

      Really, I am so excited to see person learn my first language. I know , is something not new that person speaks Arabic because it is global language but I am really proud of you and keep going.

  • lord K
    lord K 6 days ago +1

    15mins I could have been studying a language

  • Lina Mockute
    Lina Mockute 7 days ago

    What is he talk me no speak London

  • yy oo
    yy oo 7 days ago

    don't use the American 'r' its jarring ! )) your own accent is GREAT!!

  • Mikhail Laptev
    Mikhail Laptev 7 days ago +16

    Hello (sorry my bad English)

    • Tan
      Tan 3 days ago +3

      Hello (English bad my sorry)

    • simon•560.435 Aufrufe
      simon•560.435 Aufrufe 5 days ago

      @Saraf Ohhhhh that joke failed

    • Saraf
      Saraf 5 days ago +3

      Sorry. (Hi my bad English)

  • Branco Sebastian Martinez

    I speak north pole and south pole.

  • English for communication الانجليزية من اجل التواصل

    i need your support with my new channel المرجو الدعم في قناتي الجديدة

  • Lisa Lili
    Lisa Lili 7 days ago +1

    I believe in yourself

  • gaijin
    gaijin 7 days ago

    I can speak in movie quotes, in Marspeak, navspeak, and coptalk. ヅ LOL

  • kyle watts
    kyle watts 8 days ago

    Awesomeness yes

  • Jari Kinnunen
    Jari Kinnunen 8 days ago

    Listen and listen again in kontext and find the keywords that brighten ( search engine style) to understand what matter is being spoken. When you see the same in text, you will learn to write it. When you start, you may understand 10% and it gradually increased to become easier. You eat your burden off during the trip.

  • Sultan Alamri
    Sultan Alamri 9 days ago +1

    I believe that the first and most important step to learn any thing is to have strong desire to do that....

  • Amira Safwat
    Amira Safwat 9 days ago +7

    The comments are more informative than the video.

  • Juan Peraza
    Juan Peraza 9 days ago +2

    As an experienced language learner and teacher, I can testify that this man is a charlatan. There are also people in the comments area who claim that you have to think in the language you want to learn. The truth is that you will always translate from your mother tongue into the target language unless the incoming information (input) is being acquired for the first time. For example, a French native speaker learning Cosmology in English. In this case, the French speaker will rely on the target language to express his ideas as he has acquired the information in a foreign language. Furthermore, as previously stated, you will always translate from your first language into the target language. Now, the difference lies in the method of translation used. There are two translation techniques; Literal translation and Oblique translation. The former is the most common one and the main reason why people can't speak the target language correctly.

    • Nina Stefanova
      Nina Stefanova 3 days ago

      @Juan Peraza well said

    • Nina Stefanova
      Nina Stefanova 3 days ago +1

      I speak 4 languages. You are right. Oblique translation is the way to go.

    • Juan Peraza
      Juan Peraza 7 days ago +2

      @Isha Thakor Let´s be friends. Let us hold hands and get caught in the rain.

    • Isha Thakor
      Isha Thakor 7 days ago

      @Juan Peraza bold move calling me a friend.

    • Juan Peraza
      Juan Peraza 7 days ago +1

      @Isha Thakor bye my Indian friend.

  • Farhia Abdi
    Farhia Abdi 9 days ago

    Im trying to learn arabic now it 7 month and im confused

  • Alexander Afanasyev
    Alexander Afanasyev 9 days ago

    Take Rossetta Stone course and you'll be there even quicker than 6 months. Alas, with any recomendation but one, you'll forget as you stop... Even if you start thinking in this language - you quit learning/using - you forget and have to start over again after 1, 3, 5 years.. There is one cure, but I'll keep it to myself. Alexander MERGE (the man who didn't forget the language after 12 years of non usage the language he learned himself without living/visiting the country that language was native to). See you one day.. )))

  • P A
    P A 9 days ago

    Learn to speak in Pidgin english. We go beach, we go eat, we go shopping you just learn a few vocabulary and repeat the same sentence. I hungry, I tired, I thirsty, I lazy.....Easiest way because I grew up in Hawai'i and learned Arabic while working in Dubai in 2 yrs.

  • J Roig
    J Roig 10 days ago +1

    Sorry but, 15 years of investigation and the conclusion is learn your new languages like babies learn their first one? I already knew that surrounding you from "friendly" native speakers and making the language useful from the beginning accelerates learning

  • Saif
    Saif 10 days ago

    I want to learn Portuguese

  • GatoNeko Pez
    GatoNeko Pez 10 days ago

    but listening without understanding is useless

  • Atheer Pro
    Atheer Pro 10 days ago

    I would like to speak english like a native speakers. Can anyone help me??🙁🙁

  • Supreme B
    Supreme B 10 days ago

    Amazing I’m trying to learn how to speak Russian

  • starcrafter13terran
    starcrafter13terran 11 days ago

    Helps if you have 3 different books on the language and when you need a change, switch books.

  • m.suleyman ülküseven
    m.suleyman ülküseven 11 days ago +1

    I can understand this video but i can not speak english fluently

  • VasIoO
    VasIoO 11 days ago

    I know 10 words in Turkish (bread, beer, one, two, three, five, come here, go away, hello, nothing) but when i was on a vacation in Turkey, walking in the park i heard someone saying "come here" in Turkish. I understood him and i turned around and he was actually talking to me and instead of No i answered him something like "nothing" but he understood me. I felt weird.

  • FroztyGaming
    FroztyGaming 11 days ago +3

    I can speak fluent sarcasm :D

  • K-pop fan
    K-pop fan 11 days ago +1

    This man is my inspiration to learning Spanish and German ❤️

  • Slipper Bae
    Slipper Bae 11 days ago

    Very well presented and very good useful information. Thank you!

  • Mose Murakami
    Mose Murakami 11 days ago


  • Auntie Rose
    Auntie Rose 11 days ago

    I never said ' crazy' .
    ' how?'. I ask. ' show me'.

  • hisodesu1
    hisodesu1 11 days ago

    Complete nonsense

  • haris punnakkal
    haris punnakkal 11 days ago


  • Alex H Yong
    Alex H Yong 11 days ago

    I unknowingly was a language parent (16:04) to a French guy who was trying to refine his English! He said "For some reason, and I don't know why, I can understand you really easily compared to lots of other Americans." Thinking back on my style of communication with him, I was consistent with these 4 "parent" points, so that might be the explanation.

  • Szuti boy
    Szuti boy 11 days ago +1

    Just learn spanish, portugese and italian. They are very similar and easy to travel from one to the other. :)

  • VitaliAlejandro
    VitaliAlejandro 11 days ago

    If it's useful for someone, my advice is this:

    Write a diary about your personal things, your daily tasks, thoughts, in the language you want to learn. It helps a lot.

  • Crown Defender
    Crown Defender 12 days ago

    How many languages you speak Mr Chris?

  • Juan Lumen
    Juan Lumen 12 days ago

    Sobre todo el chino será así de fácil.

  • مصطفى الحسين

    thanks for you .it is a useful video about learning a new language.

  • aquamon
    aquamon 12 days ago

    His principles seem very logical but I did not apply any of these to learn French and be fluent in that language. I started at three however.

  • Javier delgado
    Javier delgado 13 days ago

    i love this video, i get some tips about learn a new language!!!

  • MrRicardobotti
    MrRicardobotti 13 days ago

    I could have never learn my own language in 6 months (and I was surrounded by it) let alone another language

  • Gabriel Cecconato
    Gabriel Cecconato 13 days ago +14

    The five Principles:
    #1. Focus on language content that is relevant to you.
    #2. Use your new language to communicate from day one.
    #3. When you understand the message you will unconsciously acquire the language. Comprehension is KEY!
    #4. Physiological Training
    #5. Psycho-physiological STATE matters.

    The seven Actions for rapid language acquisition:
    #1. Listen a LOT! (It does not matter if you understand or not).
    #2. Focus on getting the meaning FIRST (before the words, use body language)
    #3. Start mixing! (Get creative!).
    #4. Focus on the core (in English, 1000 words covers 85%).
    #5. Get a language parent.
    #6. Copy the face.
    #7. “Direct connect” to mental images.

  • Νικήτα Macopulu
    Νικήτα Macopulu 13 days ago

    With Tedx Talks I can learn learn English discovering more about learning itself. It is relevant and considerable question that we should answer because in our world the communication between simple people is not so developed and organized. But only new language is not solution of contemporary problems. We should be prepared to new cultures too, new people, new traditions and customs.

  • The King
    The King 13 days ago

    Congrats Chris, that is a huge discovery for now

  • Wilson Hishono
    Wilson Hishono 13 days ago

    I got it thank you sooo much

  • Play North
    Play North 13 days ago +9

    Clearly never tried to learn Polish Chris... ;-)

  • 立花冬子
    立花冬子 13 days ago +5

    It’s difficult to find the language parents.😣

  • 立花冬子
    立花冬子 13 days ago +1

    It’s difficult to find the language parents.😣

    • Mark
      Mark 10 days ago

      For what language do you require a language parent? I volunteer if it's English.

  • Jesus Man
    Jesus Man 14 days ago

    I´m an english teacher at a Univesity in the UK. Please DON´T THINK AT ALL THAT YOU CAN LEARN A LANGUAGE IN SIX MONTHS. To say a few words maybe but that would be a BEGINNER. Lo learn a language at an Intermediate-Advanced you will need a good teacher and about 1500 hours.

  • sachin sathish
    sachin sathish 14 days ago +1

    Superb man !

  • Kathy Marin Wohlfeld
    Kathy Marin Wohlfeld 14 days ago +4

    Yes, you were IN the country that speaks the language you are studying?! See the difference.

  • ArtisanTony
    ArtisanTony 14 days ago +6

    why did he not give one example of these guidelines? was he afraid we would learn something?

  • Mohammed
    Mohammed 14 days ago +1

    Very Helpful. Thank You Sir!

  • Việt Tạ Hữu
    Việt Tạ Hữu 14 days ago +2

    I need English to apply for my job in the future. I know English is one of the most important languages in the world.

  • jesner balag
    jesner balag 14 days ago

    "Hung" 🤣

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