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 • 17 630

  • Lucas Brito
    Lucas Brito Day ago

    Alright, I'm not a English native speaker, far from that. I can understand the most of words from a text, but it looks like that i can't still understand the spoken english, i've been playing video-games for years and they didn't have to much audio. I got started to listen to audio about two weeks ago. I know that my english is not perfect, but i guess i can communicate with someone without too much trouble.

    • Lucas Brito
      Lucas Brito Day ago

      If there's a mistake on this text, please, tell me what they are.

  • うさぎいンく

    Most of Japanese also have problems for learning English or other European languages.
    Absolutely, I am one of them.

  • Glenda Martínez

    Great job 👏👏👏👏 Thanks for sharing your Knowledge.

  • なーらんまや

    you are layer

  • Sunny Dela Cruz
    Sunny Dela Cruz Day ago

    Focus on the basic fundamental.

  • Bruno Bedeschi
    Bruno Bedeschi Day ago

    How many doss he speak?

  • Globe Trotter
    Globe Trotter Day ago

    Can a kid learn it that quickly? Probably quicker in all honesty.

  • Francisco Medrano

    you should start your speech telling the audience how many languages you speak, 5 or more, you got my attention, less than that I will not waste my time listen to this.

  • Sophia Truman
    Sophia Truman Day ago

    Great Talk! It was so well organized and delivered that I didn't miss a single point. These principles and actions are not only logical, but they work! I've shelved my many books and found a language parent whose English is improving as she teaches me Arabic! This method is pure, logical, and effective. Thank you so much for sharing this talk.

  • Kelvin #
    Kelvin # Day ago

    I learn Mandarin in six months. I'm now able to speak, write and read Chinese. It's really a beautiful language to learn with great opportunities attached to it considering one in six people speak this language. So I sincerely recommend this language to all of you

  • happyluckytax
    happyluckytax Day ago


  • Tariq Albreak
    Tariq Albreak Day ago

    That was great thanks so much. I’ve been in china for 6 months and still don’t know how to really communicate here now and I’m gonna practice these principles and I hope I can learn something ❤️

  • naha nandaka
    naha nandaka Day ago


  • Vu Dong Hai
    Vu Dong Hai Day ago

    If he said Vietnam is 30% mandarin and 30% cantonese. It's true in some way. But the Vietnamese they use their native language and fuse it with other languages to make their own language. It's hard to learn Vietnamese, my friend said. By this method at least it takes u 1 year. In normal way. It must be 4 or 5 years to speak fluently

  • Beijing Du Qiu
    Beijing Du Qiu Day ago

    My english is so poor

  • ななしです。


  • vinu balakrishnan

    What is the name of this great man

  • Hartmut Teuber
    Hartmut Teuber Day ago

    I will not it call fluent but a well-working competence of the non-native language that is learned under six months. Some gaps do persist. The native fluency is more than that. Also to consider is that there are different fluencies one has. Some are quite good in colloquial contexts, but still could not write (academic) essays or letters coherently well. Some could write academic treatises well, but are clumsy speaking in a bar with the common folk.

    • Hartmut Teuber
      Hartmut Teuber Day ago

      But Lonsdale's principles of language learning are still very good. I think I have used some of the principles he outlined in my teaching of American Sign Language.

  • Ahmed Amr
    Ahmed Amr Day ago

    Me you bed baby

  • 七夜優
    七夜優 Day ago +3

    I'm Japanese .
    However, Japanese is a language that hardly uses gestures .

  • Xgu Cha
    Xgu Cha Day ago

    I have problems to learn kanjis, i have not focus.

  • Clod Building Productions

    Sweet! Now I can learn Elvish within six months!

  • Renee Michaels
    Renee Michaels 2 days ago

    As a HOH (hard of hearing) person, I find it difficult to learn another language, especially subtle sounds, mushing words together. However, as Chris says, listen to rhythms, patterns, body language: exactly what I do in English. And immersing yourself listening. These concepts helps me greatly. Thank you!

  • Daniel Alberto Gonzalez Soriano


  • Addinaya Gracie Lee
    Addinaya Gracie Lee 2 days ago +3

    I can say "thank you" in 5 different language
    Thai - kha phun kha
    Japan - arigato guzaimasu
    Korea - kamsahamnida
    Filipino - salamat
    Spanish - Gracias

  • James
    James 2 days ago +1

    Tough crowd, so many laugh bombs dropped and not even a chuckle

  • Elias Miranda
    Elias Miranda 2 days ago +9

    Took two pages of notes... I’ll come back in 6 months hopefully fluent in Japanese.

    • man
      man Day ago +1

      Elias Miranda
      I support you from Japan.

  • Mizgin K
    Mizgin K 2 days ago

    Amazing but bad audience

  • Elias Miranda
    Elias Miranda 2 days ago

    What was principle #4??

    LIGHTDX 2 days ago

    Would like to know why the title and description is in spanish, but the video in english? o.o. Even if my level allows me undestand videos is still harder for me to learn new things in english.

  • Sheren Ahmed
    Sheren Ahmed 2 days ago +3

    Thank you Ahmad Abou Zaid (دروس أونلاين) for translating this video into Arabic. Good job. Allah bless you ^_^

  • coin paradise
    coin paradise 2 days ago


  • Liu Xiao
    Liu Xiao 2 days ago

    i see but i can’t find the language partner. i wanna be able to speak chinese and my gf is chinese but we can take communion in japanese (i’m japanese)

    NANAMIMARO 2 days ago +14

    "Language Parents" is why people who has partner from other country can lean second language faster

  • 许西汶
    许西汶 2 days ago

    I am always ashamed my English that I’ve learned for many years.And I don’t like to talk to people in English. I think I should feel confident firstly.

  • 许西汶
    许西汶 2 days ago

    I am always ashamed my English that I’ve learned for many years.And I don’t like to talk to people in English. I think I should feel confident firstly.

  • 標準偏差
    標準偏差 2 days ago +1

    I'm Japanese.I can’t speak English perfectly.This video motivates me!

  • IsaacSchu
    IsaacSchu 2 days ago

    Just hit 17 million views as I clicked

  • Kasemi Network
    Kasemi Network 2 days ago

    I need to learn in 4 months sooo

  • 孟庆喜
    孟庆喜 3 days ago +2

    “泡脑子”对于我这个Chinese speaker来讲都觉得新鲜

  • Nara Hussein
    Nara Hussein 3 days ago

    حدا يقلي متي تنزل الترجمة ☺️🤦🏻‍♀️

    • masimo oddo
      masimo oddo 2 days ago

      ايه اللي فكلامه محتاج ترجمه؟

  • Leonardo Gonzalez
    Leonardo Gonzalez 3 days ago +1

    I speak spanish, english, now my new goal is língua italiana, I can understand but I don't know to speak it

    • Leonardo Gonzalez
      Leonardo Gonzalez 2 days ago

      @L Nasmil find superholly's channel

    • L Nasmil
      L Nasmil 2 days ago +1

      Hi, I'm italian; italian is similar to spanish, so you can learn it easly. Pay attention to the false friends and some grammar rules...
      I want to learn english but I don't know how... I tried with watching english series with english subs, but it doesn't help me..

  • Singrid15 Emanuely
    Singrid15 Emanuely 3 days ago

    It was great! I'm a English Student and I'm learning by this Channel! I wanna be fluent in this language and my next step is to learn Spanish

  • hello it's me
    hello it's me 3 days ago

    Any native english speaker who wants to chat? I really need to learn english hahahag

    • Levi's sanitary headscarf
      Levi's sanitary headscarf 2 days ago +1

      @hello it's me @captainimagination that's my insta

    • hello it's me
      hello it's me 2 days ago

      @Levi's sanitary headscarf okay,write ur insta or something

    • Levi's sanitary headscarf
      Levi's sanitary headscarf 2 days ago +1

      I'm no native speaker, but i would probably rate my english a 7 and a half from 10. So sure i would chat with you 😂

  • Jeremy Daw
    Jeremy Daw 3 days ago +1

    I learned Thai and Indo 30 years ago, I had to to live there, now, everyone speaks english, learning languages other than english is just not a requirement.

  • Mia Bir
    Mia Bir 3 days ago +3

    Let your unconsciuos mind absorb the rules 👌👌, amazing advices

  • Golden Shark
    Golden Shark 3 days ago

    boca la concha de tu madre

  • aph bullshit
    aph bullshit 3 days ago

    This might be random but I think it’s interesting:
    My Nan is from the Netherlands, and came over to England when she was 17/18 ish, on her own, staying with the family of a friend she made on the train (I’m not sure how that works to be honest). Anyway, she’s lived here ever since, for over 60 years, got married, had a family, worked. She didn’t teach her kids Dutch as the teachers discouraged it (sad for me huh?), so apart from when she met family or on the phone, she rarely spoke much Dutch face to face. The other day she was telling me that she starts counting in Dutch, but her brain automatically switches to English after about ten, when she’s thinking it that is. I wonder if it’s because she had the basic numbers hammered into her head in the Netherlands as a child, but after spending all her time in England, she no longer needed all the other numbers like she did in English, for buying or mathematics. Her brain grew used to and more comfortable with English in a lot of situations. Crazy huh?

    QUDSIA AZIZ Satti 3 days ago

    very very motivational speech

  • Atya.homayoun Saraj
    Atya.homayoun Saraj 4 days ago +1

    But......what if you understand what they are saying but u cant speak?!!? Any tips for that?

  • y gさん
    y gさん 4 days ago


  • Omar Salgado
    Omar Salgado 4 days ago

    Vale madres. No puedo viajar para hacer lo que esté señor dice

  • IdAlm#kqly
    IdAlm#kqly 4 days ago

    I learn fast when I angry XD

  • Craftin Kate
    Craftin Kate 4 days ago

    Ahh, this 6 months time frame is typical clickbait from Ted Talks.... I’d like to meet anyone you became fluent in daily conversation in just six months. I agree with many of the strategies mentioned, it’s not likely that most people could become proficient in just six months though.

  • スティ非チェリオ


  • Md. Eyakub Ali
    Md. Eyakub Ali 4 days ago


  • naikyou
    naikyou 4 days ago

    This talk just reinforces my belief that maths is essentially a language.

    A lot of the actions necessary are things I've noticed while tutoring someone in statistics this semester. And people learn best if you behave like a "language parent", so to say. If the question is "Why can't I do it this way?", just let them calculate it and see that it's faulty. Same with adapting to their level. There's no point to using abstract solutions to simple problems, because they'd not be needing a tutor in the first place if that's their level of understanding.

    Imagination is a bit harder to use for higher level mathematics, but most of the concepts can still be condensed into single pictures/things.

    Pretty interesting topic to broaden my horizon.

  • 一纸锦
    一纸锦 4 days ago

  • Mason Qiu
    Mason Qiu 4 days ago


  • Your Conscience
    Your Conscience 4 days ago +2

    You can't learn a language in 6 months, unless "learning" means knowing enough to get by.

  • TheEnobis
    TheEnobis 5 days ago +20

    I feel like that guy was screaming at me the whole time - made the Ted talk quite uncomfortable

  • G D
    G D 5 days ago +1

    Btw Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute mile in 1954 not 1956.

  • Костя Лопунов

    It took me a month!!! to memorize how to say "hello" in Chinese! But hey! they understand me now when I greet them on the street!

  • Sunjida Nova
    Sunjida Nova 5 days ago

    I can speak Bengali and English fluently.

    • Fabio Soares
      Fabio Soares 5 days ago

      How did you learn?
      I'm from Brazil! I would like to learn English.

  • Juliana Prieto
    Juliana Prieto 5 days ago

    He rocks!

  • Gaby Iero
    Gaby Iero 5 days ago

    Listen to music in whatever language your learning, watch movies in language of choice, listen to podcasts while doing your everyday stuff, change your phone's default language to the one you're learning, learn all of the most common words used in said language, surround yourself with it!!! Maybe even tape words in said language to items around your house! Make it fun!

  • ものべいと
    ものべいと 5 days ago +2

    I am Japanese.(*´∀`*)ノ
    It is I think the most difficult to find Language Parent.
    How do you find someone who is interested in not being able to communicate?(˙˘˙*)?

    • Morris Skrzynecka
      Morris Skrzynecka 3 days ago

      @Tarsila Haydvogl me too. Woo i wanna join this group. If you guys want to learn together. I learn English and Japanese. はい!

    • Tarsila Haydvogl
      Tarsila Haydvogl 4 days ago

      I'm learning Nihongo, I would be honoured to be your language partner.

    • Mr human
      Mr human 4 days ago +2

      I have a big passion for learning Catalan. So one day I was practicing with my friend and there was a catalan speaking couple next to us, talking in Catalan of course. So I used what little I knew to interrupt them kindly and ask them a question.
      The trick is to find people like I have, that are immensely proud of their own language (not hard to find). Explain to them how beautiful/amazing/enticive their language is and stress how much you want to learn it.
      People have seen my genuine interest in their language and culture and therefore go out of their way (even when they don't understand anything I say) to help me learn.
      Just be sincere and ask someone if they don't mind meeting up once a week to hang with you. Offer to do different activities like cooking, watching movies, eating out, playing games, all while practicing language acquisition. It doesn't always have to be sitting down with a pencil and paper in hand and learning formally for an hour. That way you're brain doesn't get tired and they don't get tired of lack of communication if you can't speak that well.

    • Samuel Hernández
      Samuel Hernández 5 days ago +1

      Maybe if they're interested in learning your language, you could be partners. Apps like HelloTalk or Tandem work by this principle.
      Or it could be someone interested in helping. I enjoy helping people to learn Spanish (my mother tongue).
      I have a partner for learning Persian. It was easier to find than an English or Japanese partner (the other languages I'm learning and practicing) :)
      Just try it, you'll end up finding someone :D

  • Alejandro CaceresRosano

    Puras patrañas. Un charlatán.

  • Chris Fyffe
    Chris Fyffe 6 days ago

    This Ted talk just broke my mind free. Thank you so much!

  • Language Learner
    Language Learner 6 days ago

    He didnt really express what he wanted to, he made such presentation and first half spent in introduction. Meaning, relevance, yes now nobody is that naive to start a language from ABC. Start from conversational learning and start understanding a language through its food, television programs, movies. You really start learning fast. I am level 2 fluent in Turkish in just 2 months. It only takes your will power. If you really want to learn a language, you have to be actually interested in it, then automatically you start translating daily conversation in that language in your mind.