Cómo no olvidar un idioma

Ultreya, y buenos días a todos mis lectores.

Sin duda, un políglota tiene que enfrentarse a dos desafíos: aprender nuevos idiomas y conservar y no olvidar ninguno de ellos; porque si uno no usa el idioma que aprendió, lo olvida y… ¡mucho! Para dar un ejemplo, si uno no cuida su jardín regularmente, la verdura se daña.

Para no olvidar mi español, me escribo regularmente con un “pen-pal”, es decir, un amigo con quien intercambio dos idiomas: alemán y español. Yo siempre escribo en alemán y él en español. Además, hablo por lo menos una vez por semana con alguien en el idioma español. Puede ser un tutor o profesor de italki o alguna otra plataforma. También, siempre me corto el pelo en una peluquería española. Así, no olvido mis conocimientos en el idioma, y aprendo mucho más.

Entiendo que ya es difícil mantener cinco idiomas. ¡Imagínese diez! Yo, dependiendo de lo que signifique hablar, diría que hablo cinco a un nivel bastante alto, y hablo otros dos también, pero no con una fluidez increíble.

Mi consejo es: “Pasito a Pasito, suave suavecito” como dice Luis Fonsi en la canción “Despacito”. Viva el idioma. No sólo es aprenderlo y luego olvidarlo. Use el idioma a lo mejor dos o tres veces por semana. Los idiomas son herramientas increíbles para comunicarnos con los demás, y hay que conservarlos en nuestros cerebros, porque son un tesoro de la humanidad.

¡Hasta la próxima entrada! 🙂


Hello! 🙂
A lot of people ask me how I learn languages. What are the first steps that I take? Well, in this article I want to tell you how exactly I go about my sweeties.

1. I make sure that I’m motivated and that I like the sound of the language. If this is not the case, I will probably quit, so it’s important to know why you’re learning a language. Maybe I have a friend that speaks the language that I want to learn. This, for example, can be a major boost. Always know why you’re doing something, and then all hell’s going to break loose, in the good sense! 😉

2. I get hold of a language course and listen, read, work through the textbook and do grammar drills. I want to stress the fact that I do little grammar, I prefer listening and speaking.

3. I learn the most basic verbs to get started and conjugate them. For this I usually buy a book where I can find all the conjugations I need. I write them down and combine them with other words I’ve already learned.

4. I listen an awful lot. This helps me to get used to the rhythm of the language. For me that’s a key factor. I learn grammar by listening, mostly, I don’t like strictly grammar based approaches. When we learned our first mother tongue when we were children, did we do grammar exercises? No, we listened and through this activity we learned grammar. I listen to podcasts, YouTubers, interviews and other sources of audio input.

5. I make a lot of mistakes. Now, you might strive for perfection, but in language learning perfection doesn’t exist. There’s always more to learn. I myself strive for perfection, but to reach such a high level you have to make an awful lot of mistakes. It takes years to get to a level of perfection. I’d say after having lived 15 years in a country, you might have reached a native like level, unless you’re a beast and learn extremely quickly. But for most people, it takes years. It is impossible to not make mistakes. Let’s suppose your learning Japanese. Japanese has a completely different word order, so you will automatically make a lot of mistakes, although you’re trying not to. The language you’re learning is not yours yet, you’re not familiar with the grammar rules, so you will end up making mistakes and run across disappointments. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, it will happen and it’s absolutely normal. I try to make as many mistakes as I can. Of course, I don’t want to, but it’s a natural process. The more mistakes you make, the better you’ll get.

6. I revise the words that I’ve learned on a daily basis. I like to use a little book where I write them down and before going to sleep I read them out loud. Not only do I jot down words, no, I always like to see words in a context. So instead of just writing down the raw words, I create sentences. Luca Lampariello, my greatest inspiration, talks about the fact that only uttering or learning just one word is not the way it works. You have to see the word in a context. ,,Context is absolutely king in language learning”, he says. He also stresses the fact that reading is extremely important when it comes to learning a language efficiently. By reading you don’t only focus on one word, no, you see the whole and you’re basically applying the technique I just revealed, which is to see words in a given context. Check out his blog, you can read the article in English and German.

Forget it: the secret of remembering words

7. When I completed half the language course, or earlier, depending if it’s a language of the same language family as my mother tongue or to a language that I’ve already learned, I start talking to native speakers. At that stage, I’m still working with the book but mostly I spend time talking to native speakers or asking them how you could say this or that. I write down sentences and words that I think are important.

8. I vary my activities. Not only do I learn with books, no, with audio input, watching YouTube videos, watching movies, reading but most importantly I talk to people in their language, even though I make a lot of mistakes. I might also play Habbo in various languages, which is a virtual world, basically like Sims, where you can chat to improve your skills.

That’s it. It’s as simple as it seems. Happy language learning everyone! 🙂


Hello there! 🙂
I think we all agree that, when learning a language, one has to use a book or at least a pencil and a piece of paper. At the initial stage, this is necessary. Now you might say that you only want to listen to a language and learn words by listening, but I think orthography plays a huge role, especially when learning a language with another writing system.
I think that only learning from books is not the key to a successful language learning. Instead of only learning grammar, which you probably don’t like that much, vary your activities, or as Einstein used to say: ,,Stop doing what you did before and do something else.”

Here are a few examples:

If you like soccer e.g. why don’t you watch an interview of Cristiano Ronaldo in Portuguese?

It’s a great way to combine your vocabulary that you’ve already learned with a song! I don’t recommend rap, unless you’re at a advanced stage.

That’s what I love to do. Knowing more about cultures and accents is interesting! You can even find your future wife or husband from the country where the language is spoken.

Combine your knowledge with fun videos or movies. I myself have watched ‘Finding Nemo’ in over seven languages. If you’re learning French, I’d recommend ”Normanfaitdesvidéos” and ”Cyprien” on YouTube. I had such a great time watching their comedy videos! Search for their names, you will not regret it!

Read whatever you like. The best piece of advice I can give you is to read your favorite genre. Don’t read classics that you don’t like. Entertain yourself with texts that aren’t too complicated.

Alright, keep studying guys! Not only with books, no, also by applying the five points that I mentioned above! Good luck with your studies! 🙂


Hello everyone!
Now, you might feel disappointed as you continue to learn a language. You might feel like ”gosh, this is boring. Why am I doing this. Man, now I’ve got to study again, this is tiring.” When you reach such a point, you have to remind yourself why you’re doing this.

1. Motivation: Think of the people you’ll meet when you have reached a level that is equal to a level high enough to talk to natives. Maybe you’ll find a girlfriend in this country where the language is spoken, amazing friends or even a wife! Think of the moments that you will have, but if you quit, you’ll end up not knowing amazing people and even more disappointed.

2. Patience: Being patient can be hard, but the truth is that you can’t learn a language in a matter of a day. It takes time. Be patient and enjoy the process. Instead of working on your language skills twice a month, do it regularly. With that approach, you can learn much faster.

3. Consistency: Do a bit every day. You need to feed your brain. You can learn one word a day, review all flashcards at the end of the week and eventually get fluent in a short period of time.

4. Discipline: The word says it all. Be courageous.

5. Time: One thing, and I can hear this very often, is that people claim to not have time to learn a language. The truth is, it’s not about not having the time but to make the time. There are definitively several time slots in your life that you can use to learn a language.

I wish you all good luck with your studies and keep studying guys, it’s worth it! 😀