Simple technique to improve your ability to learn foreign languages

Sometimes people ask me about the techniques that I use to learn foreign languages. In the last weeks I was preparing a small article in English with my thoughts on language learning. I hope to publish it here soon. Today I would like to give you one small exercise that would accelerate your ability to learn foreign language patterns, but before that I want to quote John Grinder, one of the co-creators of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP):

So, when you learn another language... Strictly speaking, no two languages are translatable. You can't translate from another language into your own. You can certainly operate in one and in the other. But straight translation, no. It's not real. So if all you are offered is a cubicle and a pair of earphones, you are driven to translate. That's the most effective way to not learn.

What you need is a separate reality. What you need is a state which is so dissociated from English, or whatever languages you speak, that when you hear that language - your native language - spoken externally, or you trigger an internal auditory loop in yourself in English, it sounds like gibberish. If you can do that, then you can create a place for this new world to grow, because initially it's very fragile.

There is a strong tendency, especially for us westerners, to fall back on understanding. Confusion is a state to be escaped from. I mean that's really a travesty. Confusion is an indication — you are about to learn something and to stay with it. I mean, if you weren't confused, you wouldn't be learning anything new. If all you were doing were pigeon-holing new experiences into old categories, all you are doing is making more concrete the perceptual biases, the distortions, which you have found useful in the past.

The technique that I want to give you will help you enter into this special state (by the way, in NLP they call it high performance state). It is called Alphabet game. Click on the link to read the instructions and play this game online right now!

Tags: language learning