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HOW TO LEARN LANGUAGES EFFECTIVELY | Matyáš Pilin | TEDxYouth@ECP



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Last summer when I was alone in

Tallin Estonia, I had to face a challenge

this challenge was the simple phrase and

many others like it "Tere tulemast"

I presume none of you speak Estonian

I take that as a no so and I was in the

same situation as you are right now

back in the last summer, because I never

spoke Estonian, never read Estonian book

never watch an Estonian movie,

never actually seen Estonian song or met

anybody from Estonian

I had to act quickly, I had to be able to

day one single spot, be able to

understand what the barista was saying

when I was ordering my coffe,

be able to understand what the passport

security person was asking me at

the airport, when I was coming to Estonia

I was living Tallin, I had to be able

to comprehend the language, to comprehend

it at that very single moment, and this

experience reised the question.

How can one learn a language in a very

limited amount of time, comprehend it,

be able to act with it, be able to work

with it , to meet people with it

and most of all progress in it.

I attended to talk last september which

was right above this issue

it was held by a polyglot, she was from

Slovakia and was willing to talk about

how he/she is learning, how she was

learning and is still learning to this

day new languages, she told us of people

that spek six, ten, twelve, sixteen

languages even they devote their whole

lives to this idea of being able to

comprehend every single one of them,

or as many as they could, and if you were

thinking that there is a magical way,

some magical secret which she told me,

I have to disappoint you there is no

single super method.

The polyglots all of them worldwide agree

one thing there is no way one fastest way

how to learn a language, it has

to be personal, you have to be able

to choose a personal way and find it,

and find your language through

a personal personal way and modify it

as much ass you possibly can to suit you

to suit your type of learning.

Some people prefer stuck thier head for

vocabulary and to fill it with words and

phrases until they head bursts

some of us prefer to watch a movie

to talk with a person in a pub

or like me when going back from the

librer working in a essay for six hours

till dying morning meet a drunken

Frenchman and talk to him in play French

and practice as much as I can.

There are many ways, some people even

prefer those video games that you know

your phone's you know the memorizes and

those kind of things

I'm not much fan of that

but that's a personal thing again

today what I'll be presenting to you is

something differente, it is or these are

four points which are intrinsic to our

learning, which are building blocks of any

learning of any language you will ever do

doesn't matter if it's a Chinese,

if it's Arabic if it's Hebrew, Estonian,

French, Spanish, any language will so ever

these four things: message, importance,

observation, comprehension all amount of

the same thing the same goal learning

a language effectively and they all are as

you'll soon find interconnected.

You can not just focus on one of them,

you can not just focus on importance

and hope that you will through

this relevance to who you are

you´ll be to able to learn quickly

or similarly you can not just focus

on comprehension as we do in our

schools nowadays, we focus too much

on memorizing vocabulary

or learning phrases about whatever thing

that there prescribed by the booklets,

but that´s not how you learn a language.

I´ll get into them more later once the

progress through the talk.

The first one is message

some of you this might seem a bit bizarre,

but would I be my message, it is well

you´ll see yourselves.

This sentence in in Stonian

since you know we speak Stonian

I´m not going to be asking what actually

means but does anybody or rather

let me read it, I´m not fluent Stonian so

just like be ready with me so.

Speaking Stonian

Now still you have no clue what this

actually means, I don´t presume that from

some magical learning of

some broken Stonian magically speak or

learn, understand this one phrase but

already you can see that there is

yah twice and because language is

logically structured, you are able

to deduce that, probably because also

these two works are the same endings

this one, and this one and then

these two then maybe that means end and

already in less than 30 secconds you

understand one word in languages

you´ve never seen in your whole life,

and through progressing like this,

through making these small steps you´re

able to actually learn it.

What if I put another sentence here

in a language of some of you speak,

maybe more that some of you,

maybe all of you.

But certain that is more familiar,

because we are anglephone,

francophone society,

so most of us presumably and,

what if I put another, one which

all of us speak, in English.

This is how you learn a language,

once you find the meaning, the message

behind a sentence you´re able to acquire

the language, there are signifers

in a language, which all help you to build

a logical structure of this set language.

When you understand the message,

you unconsciously acquire language,

this doesn´t mean that by understand one

phrase from the charter of human rights

from the United Nations you understand

Stonian or French or English

for that matter.

It simply means that you will have

the bulding blocks with which you

can build the learning,

you have this, the logical structure which

build on this language.

Then you have importance,

every language, no matter what it is

has to be useful to you,

has to be relevant to you,

has to be something you enjoy.

When I was in school many years ago,

in my elementary school I was forced to

study Spanish, I hate it,

I couldn´t stand it.

Nothing against Spanish,

nothing against that

It was just simply didn´t enjoy it

I could´t learn a single sentence.

When I was in Italy for my .....

Edinburgh residential trip, I decided

to study Italian and I was like yes,

I´m gonna learn this language and I failed

because I was not able to enjoy it,

because I just didn´t enjoy,

and actually from the one trip,

I had more from Swedish,

because I met a Swedish friend that

I´m still in talk in contact to this day.

It is this enjoyment is relevance to you

that is important.

It has to be relevant to ours education,

something that you want to learn

because you want to progress in your life.

Has to be relevant because of your family,

your friends, if you find enjoyment in it.

It has to be relevant because of your job

maybe you have a job in I don´t know

Ireland or Stockholm and you need to learn

the language to be able to work with it,

and like me maybe it´s through

the travels because being international,

this what this whole day is about,

means that you want to open yourself

to other opportunities.

For me that means to see different

cultures in different worlds and as a part

of that, you have to be able to speed

the language at least some degree.

Languages are tools just like

any other part of our lives,

they can be used in some meaningful way

once you find this what this

meaningful way is you´re to able

to learn much faster and therefore

chooses languages useful to you.

Now on to observation and this is probably

the part that I think might be one the

most important simply because

it can be so easily.

This photo was taken when I was also

last summer walking to the Mont Blank

in between France, Italy and Switzerland

and when I took it I was jus crossing

the Italian-French border

I juts came from a little refugee on the

French side, and was walking up the

mountain to cross the Italian side and

in the same day I spoke French and Italian

My French is by no means good but I´m able

to talked with it, Italian is much harder,

but still I was to able to comprehend

the people ask for a bed and a

dire situation not be forced

to sleep outside and wind and

freezing cold because they´ll be not

being enjoyable at all.

And from it I realized that there are

two key things, that you have

to be actually immerse yourself in

a language to some degree,

you cannot just stand set at home

and hope the language will come to you

that the knowledge that you are able

to do with will actually come to you

some like that, you have to be actually

able to put yourself there

to pay attention to observe

how people are doing, how they speak,

how they emote and hopefully from that

build up your knowledge and this is

actually a key thing

and I think people should start doing this

you should be look for something called:

parent speaker

Now this is what I learned during the talk

about the polyglots back in september,

it is an idea that when you´re

speaking a new language

you´re like a baby,

you have don´t know how to

actually operate language,

you´re just put in a world we´re

all adults speaking in a foreign language

and you´re hoping to crack grab grasp

a meaning about it, grasp something that

you can´t know it´s a world that

you can´t understand,

what you need is a parent speaker,

somebody that will speak to you in

the same level, will help you learn

new words and will actually correct you,

will actually give you advice

how to speak better and will now

diminish you in any sort of way.

That is key because when you´re able

to practice you speaking you´re learning

in that sense that you learn faster

because and this is actually gonna be the

very next slide I think afterwards so

I´m gonna quickly get this sorry for that.

When you actually learn a language through

comprehension, through observation

you are able to then speak the language,

and this is one of the most

important things

because how else would you

communicate with people especially

when you want travel, you need to be able

to act on your knowledge .

You have to be able to actually

find somebody that you can talk

to an equal sense

and you have to be able to listen a lot.

People don't want to listen

they revert back to English

they revert back to to their natural tongue

because they are scared

don't be scared

this gonna sound like a great cliche

don't be scared to make mistakes,

make them.

They're gonna be corrected by people

and you gonna learn from that.

And now the other thing that

I was hoping to talk about

Comprehension.

And this thing can be slipt into two parts

memory and comprehension or knowledge

And I feel like nowadays in schools

what we do is we just stuff our heads

with vocabulary until they explote

we shouldn't be do that because

memory or knowledge is in comprehension

like for example I know one sentence in

Irish

speaking Irish

does it mean I speak Irish by no means

I don't even properly know what the

sentence means but I know that it's Irish

I have that one piece of knowledge but

I couldn't say I comprehend the language

by no means whatsoever and

that's the issue

we force ourselves to learn

complex vocabulary that is nor

relevant to us.

We force to stuff our heads with words

that don't be are any meaning and that

will never probably use ever in our lives

we don't actually focus on

comprehending them

comprehending the structure

and the sentences to actually using our

existing knowledge from other languages

from my maternal tongues

to actually progress further.

We should be doing that

we should be trying to learn

with use of our existing languages

we should be using a native tongues

we should be using our abilities to speak

from they one

we should be looking at actions more than

words or nouns .

When you learn what it means the word

to hurt it's still more useful than

actually what it means what the word

arm is it

You can be like hurt but what do we do

with it an arm it doesn't work like that.

Actions are more important than words

and this sort of progress is somenthing

that's key for learning a

language effectively.

So I presented to you today is

four principles and some key points

some things that maybe you've heard

some things that you that maybe

we're new to you

the parent speaker probably .

All these things are essential

you can remove one and hope that

the others will come with it

or that you focus only on one of them

and completely disregard the others

it is important to push yourselfs

to your limits

to go out there and this is gonna sound

like a great cliche once again but

to push yourself go out there

and actually experience the language

firsthand.

No school, no institution no book can ever

give you that

and just only very end I would like to

dispel one last thing that I've been told

in past that I've heard people tell me

or people tell other people,

that it's talent that's required that

for being able to learn languages

you need talent you need to be able

to have this magical skill with things

that you're born with, it's no true

anyone can learn language

anyone I've known when they push

themselves hard enough

they're able to speak a language

some people are far superior to me

and ther are probably hundreds and

millions alike that.

But it is that thing that you push

yourselves that differentiates you

from other people

this push.

So don't be scared to push.

Thank you.