How I Learn Any Language in 24 Hours

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hey guys what's going on a Xiao ma okay

so first things first I know the title

flows I click baby I'm sorry but I

really do believe that you can actually

learn any language in 24 hours there's

no shortcuts to getting fluent in any

language you definitely can't get fluent

in a language of 24 hours but you can

definitely learn how to have a basic

conversation in any language in 24 hours

or less and I really believe this is

true I've done it with languages as

diverse as Korean and fuel needs and

this of course all runs totally contrary

to most language learning textbooks

which promote this myth you have to

endlessly drill tones alphabet stroke

order numbers whatever before you can

even get started speaking the first

first just because a lot of people have

been asking me I wanted to do a little

bit of an intro about like Who I am and

why I speak Chinese I get messages like

this all the time so wanted to talk

about that a little bit if you're not

interested in this part you can click

down in the description for the time

stamp to just skip all this backstory if

you're not interested so I started

learning Chinese in like 2008 it was a

cert in the summer after high school you

know so I saw this ad for this free

Chinese class and I was like yeah sign

me up that sounds great I grew up in New

York speaking only English but I was

just kind of always interested in

learning languages and so ended up in

college going to

with China for a year you know at that

point I had already studied one year of

college Chinese and so by the time I

went to China I wasn't really fluent but

I had some language under my belt in

China I took this class called Princeton

in Beijing which is like a super intense

immersion experience in Chinese like

that experience of doing that super

intense immersion Chinese class where

like they will literally kick you out of

the program if you spoke any English

after that I was probably able to speak

like basic conversational Chinese and

then I stayed on in Beijing for another

year by the end of that year I was

definitely you know fully fluent in

Chinese you know especially if you grew

up in America the way that we learn

languages here I think is really just

messed up and I think the people I think

that people don't understand like how

people actually like how people actually

acquire languages I think people spend

time learning like Spanish and stuff and

just from a textbook the way that I

learn Mandarin in China it was it was

through a combination of talking to

people and a lot of unki and a lot of

memorization you know I was in school

there to learn Chinese but I tried to

focus less on like the school aspect of

it and more the fact that I was in this

like crazy amazing country with all

these things that I had never heard

about and all these people that I had

never met and so I just tried rather

than spend most my time in school just

spend my time like with people having

like conversations and so I spent a lot

of time talking to spend a lot of time

hanging out you know I have a whole

other channel called re in Beijing which

I'll also link here where I talk about

like methods for language learning and

that sort of stuff so I definitely used

I definitely do a lot of memorization

and a lot of flashcards a lot of unki to

memorize Chinese but I would say the

main thing honestly was just really

trying to live my life just using as

much Chinese as possible to be honest I

don't really remember it like it's been

a long time since I first started

learning Chinese so I think the best way

for me to kind of explain how I

originally learn Chinese is how I learn

languages now which is just sort of a

refinement of that method you know

people say like oh man you learn

languages like oh it's gonna take you


like years whenever like guys I'm

telling you right now you can learn any

language and I promise you I guarantee

this because I know because I've done it

you can actually learn to have a basic

conversation in any language in 24 hours

and here's how you do it so you know how

most language learning textbooks will

just start out with like a whole list of

like you must first learn the totals and

you must first learn the alphabet you

have to first learn how to say all the

numbers and all the colors and all that

will fit that okay because that's not

how you actually start learning like

that's not how real people start

learning languages like how babies start

learning languages is like this the mom

says to them like hey baby do you want

some more milk or like here you can eat

this like the parents giving them basic

sentences they're not starting from the

house but they're not starting from

tones okay it's starting from basic

conversation how I learn languages is I

try to imitate like that baby way of

learning languages as much as possible

like I think to myself okay if I want to

have a conversation with somebody how

like how can I actually do that so I

have a list of sentences that I make

with any sort of language that I want to

speak like if I'm talking to a random

stranger in the street what's the basic

stuff that I need to say like hello I

can speak Korean then they say maybe how

do you speak Korean I say well I learned

it yesterday or like I learned it by

talking to my friend let's say I want to

go to the market right I wouldn't know

how to say how much is this right

I won't know how to say $1 I want to

know I say a dollar 50 I want to know

how to be able to say that looks tasty

you're like you know I really like

eating foods Oh needs food like I like

there are these things that I that I

know that I will need to be able to say

in a basic conversation and so what I do

is I have this list of sentences and I

just try to memorize them so so I I'll

go to a friend

who speaks that native language I think

it's best to do this in person with an

actual native speaker rather than rather

than like online somewhere just because

like you know in person you can ask them

for clarification like why is this like

this I think it's you can probably do it

online but I think it's easier if

possible to do it in person with a real

native speaker get them to translate all

the stuff that you want to say and then

um record them that's really important

you have to record what they're saying

you know for long-term memory retention

I'll put it into a system called funky

which is you know I've talked about this

before especially on my heart in Beijing

channel but it's just it's flashcards so

you know it has to English from the

front or whatever like native languages

and then the back is gonna be you know

the food Jodi Nia's Korean Spanish

whatever equivalent plus the audio right

see so and every time you click on the

flash card and it says hey in English

and you click on it and it's gonna flip

over and then it's gonna say in you know

in your target language it's gonna play

the audio of whatever the sentences I'll

memorize them and then I'll just go out

and practice it right on I know what I

need to say and then I'll just go and

try to use it okay hold on

so one thing I know a lot of you guys

are thinking right now probably is like

you're just memorizing these lists of

sentences what if somebody asks you

something that you didn't memorize right

like wouldn't that be weird so what I

try to do with these target sentences is

I try to like I try to memorize

sentences that I think are

representative of the language in some

way so I want to know how to say like I

like eating green foods if I memorize

that sentence I like eating Korean food

then you might be thinking well okay

you've just memorized one sentence but

you actually haven't memorized one

second so you've memorized the pattern

of speech you've memorized I like eating

Korean food but if you learn how to say

the word Chinese you now also know how

to say I like eating Chinese food right

you can all say I like eating American

food I like eating German food you you

have like a branch of all these things

and grammars that you've just memorized

you know a sentence pattern and you

haven't just memorized I like eating

food you've memorized I like riding a

bicycle maybe that works the same way

and so by osmosis

your brain is naturally gonna figure out

how to say other stuff

to say stuff other than what you've just

memorized don't just memorize words

don't just memorize like Apple or like

impaired like obviously at some point

you do have to remember as words or

learn words what's important is to

memorize patterns of speech memorize how

to say where is the park because then

you know how to say where's the bathroom

if you learn the word bathroom so try to

memorize these patterns and I've gotten

better and better at like learning which

sentences to memorize to give me a

better grasp of the language and then

another question you might have is like

but what about all that stuff in the

beginning like what about the tones what

about the alphabet like the characters

like what about the nub what numbers 1

to 10 isn't that stuff important my

philosophy is that the stuff that's

important you're gonna learn because if

you need to know it you're gonna learn

it so numbers okay do you need to know

numbers one to ten maybe you do and

maybe you don't if you're learning to

buy stuff in the marketplace you

probably do want to know the numbers one

to ten right in context of like how much

is this this two dollars right because

not every not every language is the

number two can be the same as two

dollars right so in a marketplace

context it might make sense for you to

learn numbers but maybe you don't care

about numbers so not important right

maybe you don't care about colors like

okay that's right what about tones right

if you're in Chinese like don't you have

to know how to say ma ma ma right so you

don't call your mom a horse or something

like that like the answer is like yes

and no it sort of depends like when I

was learning foo Joanie's which is a

which is a Chinese language which has a

very complicated tonal system there's

not a single resource on the Internet

that's gonna help you learn foo Joanie's

tones there's no website you can go to

that's gonna say this is tone one in foo

Tony this is tone to this is don't three

and practice it doesn't exist

right I just ended up memorizing my

friend said and just ignoring tones

right so for a while I was thinking like

oh how am I gonna memorize new journeys

tones in the end what I just did was

just ignored it I was just like all

right why can't memorize food renews

tones so what I'm gonna do is just

memorize how he said stuff read and just

learn everything naturally in context so

if you ask me the word foo Joe leaves in

foo Johnny's right which you are what

the tones are for that I don't know

maybe rising tone maybe there's a middle

tone maybe there's like a falling tone

um put UI

mid blow me I don't know but I just

memorized how to say it like that right

because I just listen to my friends say

that all over and over and I learned and

I just memorized him saying so I don't

really know the tones I just know this

is how my friend said it right and isn't

that how babies learn languages too like

babies are just sitting there like with

their mom telling them the word for

Chinese is jong-un right and the kids

not thinking or in Oh Joanne what sound

like first tone on that jaw or is that

like second tone on the wind or maybe

that's fourth oh like that's not what

the kids stick and the kids just like oh

my mom said Joel went to me a thousand

times so I have perfect tones of drum

line now because she said it to me a

thousand times so as far as writing yes

I admit my method does not work for try

and learn how to write like that's a

different beast you do have to spend a

lot of time just memorizing characters

and stuff it depends on what you're

looking to do like you know for me with

Chinese like it's just really cool to be

able to go out and speak to people in

the street and I do happen to be able to

know how to read and write Chinese I and

for me that's important because you know

I have lots of friends that I like to be

able to text and write to in Chinese you

know that's important to me but it's not

necessarily important to you and you

don't necessarily have to force yourself

into this paradigm that language classes

are saying well you have to learn how to

read and write you don't necessarily

need to write that's that's your choice

in your decision

I hope this answered some questions that

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