How to learn any foreign language

Hi – I speak Italian, English, Spanish, I used to speak Lithuanian, Finnish, French, and I learned enough Russian and Japanese to speak with Taxi drivers and got free drinks at bar!
I am passionate about languages, and I found very effective tricks to learn a language really fast. Let’s define what learning a language is:

  1. Read in a foreign language
  2. Write in a foreign language
  3. Pass a grammar test
  4. Understand and communicate with people using a foreign language (Understand and Speak it)

I love the last 4th definition, to understand and communicate with people, and this is why I learn languages. To understand other people, and comunicate using the foreign language, even with making mistakes, but good enough for them to understand and not switch to English….

My journey into learning any language

Start with a few basic phrases

  • Hey
  • How are you
  • Would you like to dance with me
  • I want this / that
  • Would you marry me

I start by learning to understand and pronounce very basic phrases. This gives me a sense of the language, it’s musicality, the speed, pause, any new sound I should be aware of.

Speak with Tutors online

I immediately find online tutors I can ask questions and speak to. While in the beginning I need an intermediate language (normally english) by month 1 I only book tutors who can manage to keep the conversation in the new language for as long as possible. I don’t work with just one tutor, but I like to speak with different people using 25/30 min lessons. This way they are not bored of me, I am exposed to more accents, more variety, and I can repeat the same lesson several times in a day, to really master it.

  • iTalki is a great place for all languages
  • BaseLang is great for spanish
  • I don’t like to speak just with one, or to do longer 1h lessons. 30 min is plenty, in the beginning.
  • Repeat the same 30 min lesson for 4 times during the same day, and you will feel like a rock start at the end

My take on Grammar

I hate the grammar as the starting point, or the goal. For me the goal is not to speak properly, but to understand very fast, and learn how to communicate. The official way often has nothing to do how people speak on the street, as the street language is never the same as the official one. Instead of learning many verbs, I learn to use expessions such as I want to + verb, I have to + verb, so I limit the amount of grammar I need in the beginning.

  • Don’t focus on being polite
  • I want this / that
  • I want to + infinite
  • I have to + infinite (learn grammar structure where you don’t have to conjugate the verbs)
  • Yesterday / later / naturally

Consume a lot of content

I expose myself to content as fast as possible. I pick topics I am interested (low carbs diet, basketball, technology, travelling) and I go on youtube searching for that content in the target language. I don’t know anything about Macedonian, but from Google Translate you can find what to search, put that on YouTube, and you have unlimited material to consume. You already know the topic, what they are talking about, it makes it much easier to pick up phrase and expressions. And guess what – no matter the topic, 95% of the language is the same for every topic

Videos are great, because you can see what they are talking about. Once you get more advanced, audio is a great resource as you can consume audio when you drive, clean, cook, walk, exercise, etc.

  • RadioGarden to listen radios from everywhere in the world
  • Search for commercials, they are micro stories, with dialogues, easy to understand. When you listen to a local radio, you get expose to so many ads in the language you want to learn. They are the best!!!
  • Don’t buy books, get free samples of audiobooks and kindle books on Amazon. Start from books you already read
  • Movies, using subtitles. These are hard, you need to be a lot more advanced. Cartoons are another good option, but after a while I find them boring as I don’t really like the content.

Most of all, make it like a game, enjoy, and don’t be afraid of making mistakes.


The amount of hours you need to get decent are insane. I don’t recommend, unless you are maintaining a language, or don’t have time or the motivation to do the stuff above.

How to learn Spanish

Here is my video on how to learn Spanish in 60 days

    Me practicing Lithuanian with my friend Muezz


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