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 • 19 141

  • Dwight Hickey
    Dwight Hickey 50 minutes ago

    Hurried & loud. I now have a headache. Calm yer tits, and slow down.

  • Loya Frostwind
    Loya Frostwind 9 hours ago

    Darmok and Jalaad at Tanagra

  • Loya Frostwind
    Loya Frostwind 9 hours ago

    To quote Nitro Swimming; 1) Be Patient 2.) Don't get frustrated 3.) Practice.
    You don't need talent, but having a musical ear helps. If you are tone deaf, language learning will be more challenging.
    You can learn a lot of new words/phrases from context alone.

  • Вячеслав Опалев

    найнтин фаусентс пипл ху сет дислайкс - дид нот мастеред дыс тухникьё! ))

  • chen haiqiang
    chen haiqiang 13 hours ago +1


  • Susan Apollo
    Susan Apollo 21 hour ago

    I want to learn Italian so bad

  • Tia Chronicles
    Tia Chronicles Day ago +1

    Personally, it would've been a more solid presentation if he spoke some Mandarin so I know he's not just putting theories together to make it make sense... Just a thought!

  • Revoswathead
    Revoswathead Day ago

    You have to eat,live,and sleep the 2nd language.

  • Amine Farah
    Amine Farah Day ago

    Love how intersting ted's talks are

  • Hardline Company

    Not everyone is able to fly in another country without speaking one word of the language. Some people are introverted. They can't just speak to someone without speaking his language.

  • D Mann
    D Mann Day ago

    amazing stuff bravo

  • Khải Nguyễn
    Khải Nguyễn Day ago

    i dont think to soak your brain in a language without understanding is a good idea! you wont remember any thing if you don't understand it. i had tried and got nothing, but tired! i also really impressed with your example of vietnamese. i dont know how can you conclude that Vietnamese = 30% mandarin + 30% Cantonese?? although Vietnamese borrows many word from the 2 languages but the sound is very strange to the original ones, beside the sentence structure also different in some points. therefore, there are no way to understand 60%. just like a french and an English talk to each other. no one understand any thing!

  • Effective Reading Instruction

    does this cat know the stats on squirrel flying? every one who has invented a new guilder suit has died in the process

  • Diloar Hussain
    Diloar Hussain Day ago

    I have been trying to learn English language since I was 6 years old.I can speak and communicate .But not properly.

  • lokenath Rajput papon

    I m very poor in English
    I don't know how to start & continue my conversation

  • Stefan Ritter
    Stefan Ritter 2 days ago

    Why is he so angry? Maybe because he learned german? :D

  • Antonio Gidi
    Antonio Gidi 2 days ago

    This video is nonsense mixed with common sense. Horrible TED!

    His examples are pathetic.

    A person studied for 8 months how to type in Chinese and didn’t learn anything. Then, one day she needed to do some work quickly and in two days learned how to type in Chinese. Seriously? The 8 months of training was not helpful at all?

    He says immersion “per se” does not teach you a language. The example is people who live in a country and don’t learn the language. But they are not immersed in the language: they are with other people who speak their original language. Then he explained how he learned Chinese: by immersion, living in China and talking to Chinese. But it was not by “immersion per se”. Was it a different type of immersion?

    A woman studied English for several years and came to the US and didn’t know how to understand English? Of course, she learned only written English.

    Body language means different things in different culture. He doesn’t understand that.

    15:00 “HE calls glue words?” Everyone call them “glue words.”

    I speak 5 languages and learned them in the traditional way: classes and immersion. There’s no avoiding that. Yes, you can learn a language in six months if you live in the country!

  • bahrta sai
    bahrta sai 2 days ago

    unless it's Esperanto, don't count on it. You may learn a lot of vocabulary, but you won't "learn" a language (as in being fluent).

  • iButton Smash
    iButton Smash 2 days ago

    Why is this guys body at 4xspeed? 😅

  • Blitherithicus
    Blitherithicus 2 days ago

    It takes eight minutes before this guy gets around to stating the first principle of learning a new language. So just skip to 8:00.

  • Francesco Botta
    Francesco Botta 2 days ago

    I like his presentation very much and he has many great points to remember but why he talk likes he's yelling? Maybe he should smile more? Lol

  • Vlad Tepes
    Vlad Tepes 2 days ago

    more enthusiasm than many put into their natives.

  • mahesh mudhol
    mahesh mudhol 2 days ago +1

    I can speak 51 language

  • Nilton Kenneph
    Nilton Kenneph 3 days ago

    It's been 5 - 6 months since i decided to learn englisth at home By myself and i must say that this video was what motiveted me to start it To get the first step in direction of a better life. I also must say that i know that my english grammar isn't the better But It helps me a lot It helps me to express my ideas clearly. I lived this period of time while learning english thinking about get it perfect but I've also learned that the perfection doesn't matter Just get the first step and it will become possible.

  • Julio Palacios
    Julio Palacios 3 days ago

    Thank you for this video. For years I’ve been trying to learn Spanish. I will make it like survival and use my family to learn. Thank you sir.

  • Luis Lopez
    Luis Lopez 3 days ago

    Action 5/Second rule: What does he mean with find a language parent who doesn't correct my mistakes?

  • Sono2
    Sono2 3 days ago

    To be fluent in 6 months you would need to learn about 230 new words per day (and not forget them) - This guy is a clown.

    • Sono2
      Sono2 3 days ago

      Doesn't matter. That's not enough to comprehend much of an actual language. I already know 5000 words in a language, and im no where near fluent. Also, 98% is not true. If by 98% he means saying "hello, i am hungry, I like food, my favorite food is apple" ...Then year, but that is not fluent or suitable for a real conversation.

    • Michael Hurwicz
      Michael Hurwicz 3 days ago

      According to this video (14:10) 3000 words gives 98% coverage of everything you are going to say in daily communication.

    • Sono2
      Sono2 3 days ago

      3000 words is not fluent.

    • Michael Hurwicz
      Michael Hurwicz 3 days ago

      If you learn 500 words a *month*, you'll learn 3000 words in 6 months.

  • Riley Delaney
    Riley Delaney 4 days ago +1

    I want to learn lots of languages. German, Samoan, Hawiian, and French. Thanks for the help.

  • subscribe me
    subscribe me 4 days ago

    Great sir

  • Potato Nugget
    Potato Nugget 4 days ago +1

    so he wasted 10 minutes rambling and the other 8 was just obvious advice that literally anyone that's learning a language knows while pretending to be some "great human advancement like flying cars". he also said that "imersion doesn't work" and "you won't learn by going to the country" but he learned by going to the country and immersing himself and ALL of his advice was just immersion

  • Mandy Olcak
    Mandy Olcak 4 days ago

    📲*00212645752301* *Whatapps*📲
    سـمـعـت🧏‍♂️ كــثــيــر مــن الـشـبـاب يــبــحــثــون عــن طــريــقــة فـعـالـة✅ لـتـكـبـيـر الـقـضـيـب
    وأنــا أبـشـركـم😉 أنــي حـصـلـت عـلـى الــطــريــقــة الأصـح👍 والـمـنـاسـبـة👍 وهــتــشــكــرنــي بــعــديــهــا
    تـواصـل مــعــي وأنـا بـشـرح لــك ســر الــوصــفــة الـواتـسـاب *00212645752301*📲

    • ks a
      ks a 4 days ago

      كل زق

  • zdcyclops1 lickley
    zdcyclops1 lickley 4 days ago

    I'm 67 years old US born and raised and I'm still working on english.

    • Ambi Cahira
      Ambi Cahira 4 days ago

      I get told this soooo often so you are very much not alone! But if you genuinely want to build grammar and vocabulary then read publisher-published (not self published) books, trust me! Starting to read in English was so incredibly hard but it helped me so much. The editors are grammar nazis at their best! And once you pay attention to it you can almost start to see the correctness almost like an artform because it starts to look like a perfectly cut cake when it's done right on top of a comfortable flow. Some books though are like chewing gravel. It feels quite nice though that all the hard work I put in has become "Oops I forgot that you aren't American!" And it is my favorite compliment. 💜

  • ben1011386
    ben1011386 4 days ago


  • WolfishRacer676
    WolfishRacer676 4 days ago +7

    I want to learn french so I can talk to my friend in front of my other friends so they don't know what we are saying LOL

  • Sergei Leshchinsky
    Sergei Leshchinsky 5 days ago

    What he's talking about is "learn language to the state you can survive there". It's simple enough. True. Anyone can explain himself using gestures and 15 word.
    Learning language to become effective, fluent, truly applicable to work or (even harder) casual environment of native-speakers is waaaaay longer and harder path. I'm not even mentioning that perfecting pronunciation and grammar would take years and even than no success guarantee.
    I've been learning english for several years before passing IELTS and immigrating to Canada. 10 years on using it every day at work I still strongly believe that language is the biggest career blocker for me (into management, where eloquence is half the success) and pretty sure I'll never be able to say "I'm happy with my english" or "I don't feel restrained with by my english" . Sad truth.
    Ps: learning one foreign language strongly facilitates learning more languages of the same group though. I picked up decent german (just for fun) fairly quickly.

  • Iemo Me
    Iemo Me 5 days ago

    Aller Anfang ist schwer...

  • Michael Griffiths
    Michael Griffiths 6 days ago

    ---king brilliant Ted. Ill try it. I already do some. Ill try to fit in the rest. learning thai.

  • tondefdom
    tondefdom 7 days ago +10

    He definitely learned how to sell at some point in his life

  • ぶどう狩り
    ぶどう狩り 7 days ago


  • Priyadarshan Nag
    Priyadarshan Nag 7 days ago

    Physiological training is a good career 👍🏻

  • Rhoxe .C
    Rhoxe .C 8 days ago +6

    I want to learn Japanese, after watching this I will work harder and watch more animes

    HOSTEL LINDA 8 days ago


  • Agees Ansar
    Agees Ansar 8 days ago

    Content starts at 7:00

  • Phillip Dow
    Phillip Dow 9 days ago +7

    I'm a little disappointed to hear that the sleep hypnosis thing doesn't work.

    • ZeusHelios
      ZeusHelios 4 days ago

      @LeahTheUnicorn Can’t fly Sorry I mixed up sleep learning to learning something just before going to bed which I know does work. I've never used sleep learning but I think I'll give it a try.

    • LeahTheUnicorn Can’t fly
      LeahTheUnicorn Can’t fly 6 days ago

      ZeusHelios did you learn a lot?

    • ZeusHelios
      ZeusHelios 6 days ago

      From my experience it does works. Try it and find out for your self

  • Joe Duke
    Joe Duke 9 days ago

    I'm fluent in 12 different languages and dialects in them... oh, you mean human languages?
    Boring, 'dead languages' are a waste of time. Only English is expanding at a rate that is useful.

  • Jeferly Giraffe
    Jeferly Giraffe 9 days ago

    I got a language speaking ad before this video

  • BananaTimeZ
    BananaTimeZ 9 days ago +1

    i got an ad saying it could learn me any language in 6 weeks

  • Jesse Li
    Jesse Li 9 days ago

    You are bulshite, I learned English 4years and I still have trouble on speaking,writing and professor area listening

  • sid ahmed belarbi
    sid ahmed belarbi 9 days ago

    New words boost my understanding of the things around me. Help me to draw the big picture. And sound filters is the most important work I heard today.

  • rosa fraga
    rosa fraga 9 days ago

    Cachondo el tiooo... en seis meses dices jajajajajajjaja

  • Timo Brown
    Timo Brown 9 days ago

    I dont think this audience understand English

  • 刘大锤
    刘大锤 9 days ago


  • KnowJesusKnowPeace
    KnowJesusKnowPeace 9 days ago +5

    Notice carefully that he never demonstrates whatever Chinese he actually knows.

    • Vladislav Grigoriev
      Vladislav Grigoriev 6 days ago

      And any god doesn't demonstrate itself, as I know) Not an abuse, just a notice

  • Al Bundy
    Al Bundy 10 days ago

    I fell asleep

  • mahesh palliyara
    mahesh palliyara 10 days ago

    I speak malayalam, Tamil, English and Hindi

  • Markus v.k
    Markus v.k 10 days ago +1

    Suddenly I got fluent in Mandarin through this video. Conichiva. Joke, nice ideas...

  • sunil 24
    sunil 24 10 days ago

    I have to learn Chinese give me some advise

  • Maurice W
    Maurice W 10 days ago +1

    Can I speak Japanese fluently by just watching Anime?

    • Ambi Cahira
      Ambi Cahira 4 days ago

      Yes and no. You can learn a lot but you don't learn to sound natural. :)

  • 「ᴋᴏʀᴇᴋᴏ」

    Even Japanese bet

  • Amia991 A
    Amia991 A 11 days ago

    I am come over here in USA two years and ten month ago l didn't speak english more than basic things.. now l must learn more ... l hope that l will find the way...