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 • 18 769

  • Sachin Kumar
    Sachin Kumar 3 hours ago

    how to even read Chinese?

  • woke demi
    woke demi 3 hours ago

    i have been wanting to learn portuguese. im going to listen to more songs in portuguese, i realy like anitta, and i am going to watch vlogs spoken in portuguese. i have some online friends that speak it so this will help too. this helps a lot, hopefully i can understand this language by july 2020, that is my goal.

  • Brad .M
    Brad .M 3 hours ago

    If you want fluency fast, get a long-haired dictionary. The rest is academic.

  • &
    & 7 hours ago

    Wow! It'll take me at least 6 months to understand what this fella said.

  • hosna hosna
    hosna hosna 9 hours ago


  • iulian calin
    iulian calin 13 hours ago

    he is right on all
    i learned German in 3 months after 6 months i could keep a conversation
    after 2 years i realized that the language is actually a bit hard because of the grammar, but i keep pushing harder to learn it and, now after 9 years i'm confident to speak it

  • eScential
    eScential Day ago

    How discouraging! I can't use my memory talent? And I have no access to all his requirements for learning.

  • Geraldine Gaggia
    Geraldine Gaggia Day ago +3

    I learn words from different languages by power of association. I use English and afrikaans and form pictures in my mind.

  • Daniel Bentley
    Daniel Bentley 2 days ago

    How many languages does this guy actually know?

    • Daniel Bentley
      Daniel Bentley Day ago

      @irongloves thank you, much appreciated

    • irongloves
      irongloves Day ago

      I followed him (Chris Lonsdale) years ago when he posted a video showing his Cantonese (Chinese) skills at a local market in Hong Kong. In the video he was asking to a local seller the price of some veggies etc. He was promoting his book (The Third Ear). Sadly the video has disappeared but I was amazed by his knowledge of Cantonese. Quite surely I know he speaks Cantonese and Mandarin, not sure if he speaks other languages, but that would not surprise me.

  • Guo Fangjie
    Guo Fangjie 2 days ago

    am I the only one noticing the map of China is in lack of Taiwan ?

  • M Boaz
    M Boaz 2 days ago

    You skipped Principle #4...Principle #3 is just a title

  • Everyone has an opinion

    Be fun to agree to meet with someone on a regular basis and each of you can't speak the others language, and you have to figure it out along the way. And you're not allowed to learn outside of meeting that person

  • Arunas
    Arunas 3 days ago

    Kto ponial sto govorit etot lektor, oni angliskij viucili i za 30 minut...

  • 杨贻柯
    杨贻柯 3 days ago

    There's a typo in principle 3

  • YourEnlightenedFriend


  • Rui Albano
    Rui Albano 3 days ago

    Six months? Impossible! To be really fluent you need a ten thousand words vocabulary. Too much words to learn, unless you have a photographic memory.

    • zkhrv_ ek
      zkhrv_ ek 2 days ago

      Maybe it’s possible when you’re doing nothing else but learning a language
      Most people just don’t have time studying daily, however, reading books and learning new words every day can improve your language really fast

    ALC ALC 3 days ago

    Wait, so squirrels fly now? I think glide is the word, not fly. I'm english is my second language. Enlighten me if I'm wrong about this.

    • CptDunsel
      CptDunsel 3 days ago

      You are correct that they glide. But they are called "flying squirrels" in ordinary speech. After all, they do travel by the principles of aerodynamics.

  • Fortune
    Fortune 3 days ago

    I know English n Spanish n learning french

  • Roberto Pisano
    Roberto Pisano 4 days ago +3

    Conversational abilities in 6 months? Very possible. Fluency? Only if your definition of fluency is generous.

  • panshu t
    panshu t 4 days ago


  • Pinoy Caregiver in Japan

    i agree with action #1 listening eventhough you dont understand the meaning of the words just sink it in you brain the rhythm, flow and the.intonation . but the on the others its just common sense

  • Kasia A.
    Kasia A. 5 days ago

    so now, teach me to draw like a pro

  • why ask why
    why ask why 5 days ago

    Gawd this guy just rambles on and not to the point!. Suffocating watching this dude.

  • Killian Dherment
    Killian Dherment 5 days ago

    I'm french and I'll be in China for 3.5months this year as developer trainee .Would I be able to learn Chinese in 3.5 months ? xD

  • Emily Bets
    Emily Bets 5 days ago +1

    This is my favorite topic and content to watch. ❤🤯🧐🌝🌞

  • gcal
    gcal 5 days ago

    The lecturer may have thought he was being helpful however i thought he was just being too aggressive. Way Way too aggressive

  • lou
    lou 5 days ago

    Immersion helps when you are really in immersion but if you keep speaking your native language in the new country you'll never learn anything

  • Manuel T
    Manuel T 6 days ago

    you don't begin work if you don't know how you will work.

  • Manuel T
    Manuel T 6 days ago

    easy! by a system!

  • L'effet balle de neige
    L'effet balle de neige 6 days ago +4

    This is the best TED talk I have never seen. Amazing conference! Il est excellent! Wow!

  • jose augusto pires de meneses

    Six months, if not living in the native country?

  • Allen Ellis
    Allen Ellis 6 days ago

    How to record special effects in Pro Tools

  • Daphne VB
    Daphne VB 6 days ago

    The “language deaf” thing is so true! When I first moved to the states I had a hard time understanding my English speaking friends in noisy environments, probably because my Dutch ears were deaf to English sounds.

    • CptDunsel
      CptDunsel 3 days ago

      One of the things we are naturally "deaf" to in another language is the rhythm and word breaks. We write sentences with spaces between the words, but we don't speak them that way. Whatwereallydoisspeakalotmorelikethisandstringthesoundstogether. That's why speaking slowly and distinctly is so important when talking to a learner.
      You had to learn the rhythm to distinguish the words. Background noise increases the difficulty.

  • Luis Mata
    Luis Mata 6 days ago +25

    Excellent,I've just learned english by watching this video.

  • Ok Liy
    Ok Liy 6 days ago

    Why are there some bad reputations on this video? What is the reasons?

  • Richard Kaske
    Richard Kaske 6 days ago +1

    people in the back can you hear me clearly? Keep it simple - Berg

  • Le Piton
    Le Piton 6 days ago

    great eloquence but big belly...

  • Naruto Uzumaki
    Naruto Uzumaki 6 days ago

    I can only speak english and my country language clearly

  • Manju Roy
    Manju Roy 7 days ago +1

    Let me start today with French

  • 王宁
    王宁 7 days ago

    The China map in the first slide is wrong, pls change it with the right one. Thanks

  • Igor Sudorgin
    Igor Sudorgin 7 days ago

    It works! Now I speak my dogs language!!!

  • Zen Legacy
    Zen Legacy 7 days ago +1

    I'll apply this to learn Spanish lol anyone out there wanna be my language parent?😶🤣

    • Muhammet Salih
      Muhammet Salih Day ago

      @Zen Legacy Desde luego:)me encanta el español.Además,eres muy amable

    • Zen Legacy
      Zen Legacy Day ago

      @Muhammet Salih 🤣🤣 bien, que haces divertirte?

    • Muhammet Salih
      Muhammet Salih Day ago

      @Zen Legacy De nada,me gusta hablar contigo también y quiero hablar más!!!!Vamos

    • Zen Legacy
      Zen Legacy Day ago

      @Muhammet Salih Tengo el honor de hablar con usted amigo muchas gracias

    • Muhammet Salih
      Muhammet Salih Day ago

      @Zen Legacy necesito aprender también, lo mismo pienso.Puedo aprender contigo

  • Cpt Wouz
    Cpt Wouz 7 days ago

    2nd principle 3 is actually the 4th. So he has a mistake in his presentation.

  • Johnfuse
    Johnfuse 7 days ago +7

    Excuse me but where exactly can you buy a flying car?

  • hvac guy
    hvac guy 7 days ago

    Google translator is a must!

  • sally colon
    sally colon 7 days ago

    From a short experience, the easiest way is to be in the place where THAT LANGUAGE IS SPOKEN. As I live with the people in that place and listen to them talk while at the same time I struggle to talk in their LANGUAGE to communicate with them, I learned anyway.

  • Lets Build That App
    Lets Build That App 7 days ago

    I feel like he glossed over one important detail which is the fact that you should also have an interest in the language, not just making it relevant. If you don't find any enjoyment out of things like listening to the target language's music or tv shows, you wont have much that takes you to the next level.

  • Kirsch kern
    Kirsch kern 8 days ago +1

    Start at 5:50

  • mark mackenzie
    mark mackenzie 8 days ago

    Just what I needed 😁

  • zamberr
    zamberr 8 days ago

    if I watch 1k anime’s subbed, will I learn Japanese? hmm

  • Şeyda Yıldırım
    Şeyda Yıldırım 8 days ago

    Thank you sir

  • 東舘くみ子
    東舘くみ子 8 days ago

  • Tejo Singh
    Tejo Singh 8 days ago +31

    I can speak 9 languages and i am amazed, i was using your technique for learning them...

    • R E X
      R E X 3 days ago

      Really nibba ..and what those languages are?

    • Seth .Cartwright
      Seth .Cartwright 6 days ago

      @L'effet balle de neige For sure :) I actually feel like I have a really good process for learning a new language now. I just haven't applied it or tested it... so I guess you can say I don't have a good process, haha.

    • L'effet balle de neige
      L'effet balle de neige 6 days ago +1

      He is great!

    • L'effet balle de neige
      L'effet balle de neige 6 days ago +2

      @Seth .Cartwright Thanks for sharing that.

    • Seth .Cartwright
      Seth .Cartwright 8 days ago +8

      I am a native english speaker, and have learned Spanish through four years of school, and Chinese from one year living in China. Two completely different methods of learning a language, and I nearly came up with this same process in this video. You need to think about words from the other culture's perspective, not your own meaning/translation, you need to master the accent to be expressive and show emotion, and you need to learn the most basic phrases to communicate. This is what I did to learn Chinese and I was very, very good at it within a year. I also had students teach me Chinese every week and did exactly what he said. We talked about the words I wanted to learn, the sentences I created, and I mixed up the words I knew to create more sentences and phrases and words. When you learn this way, you can even stop practicing the language for a while, and when you start practicing again, you will remember almost everything.

  • スズキイチロー168


  • Lorena Florentina
    Lorena Florentina 8 days ago +2

    This guy reminds me of my asthmatic history teacher..but his speech is amazing

  • Grubby bum
    Grubby bum 9 days ago

    Use your face muscles in unique ways for the language you're learning.

  • sam liang
    sam liang 9 days ago


  • nimmy yousaf
    nimmy yousaf 9 days ago

    can u be a super saiyan😂

  • محمود صلاح الدين

    Very helpful and importent video, I than you very very very much.

  • Tom Olofsson
    Tom Olofsson 9 days ago