Gabriel Wyner: Languages and Language Progression
No polyglot blog is complete without a few demo videos, so I’m going to house them here. Enjoy!
Note 7/26/2022: Since I recorded these demos, I’ve created an app to help you learn a language with my proven 4-Step Method.
March 2013: A demo of Gabriel Wyner’s languages
(English) Hi, this is Gabe, from Towerofbabelfish.com. I’ve been asked for a demonstration of my languages, so here goes!
(German) In 2004, I studied German. I did it in Middlebury, VT twice. I studied there for two summer semesters, and then I moved to Vienna. I’ve lived here since 2007, so I can speak German pretty fluently.
(Italian) I studied Italian in Perugia. I did it in 6 weeks. My Italian isn’t bad, but it’s not good enough, because I love Italy, I love Italian culture, I love Italian food, and I want my Italian to be perfect, and it’s not. But I’ll come back, and I’ll learn more, and that’s it!
(French) My French…I learned French in 2010. It’s not bad. I took the DALF C2 exam. I didn’t pass it… I was missing 4 points, I think. So, at that time, I spoke at level C1. At the moment, I’m probably speaking at level B2 or something; I’ve forgotten a lot. I did most of it on my own, and I finished it up at Middlebury.
(Russian) I…speak…now…now…I can speak Russian. It’s really hard to switch languages! So, Russian is a very complex and interesting language. I think that…I don’t know, I like it very much. And that’s it!
(Hungarian) I speak a little Hungarian, but just a little.
(English) I’ve been learning Hungarian for the last two months. I know a lot of vocabulary, and not so much grammar – I’m just starting to pick up the grammar. But it’s not as bad as they say! You can learn Hungarian. It’s actually a pretty friendly language. I’m learning it to speak with my grandmother. She speaks a crazy number of languages and Hungarian was one of her native languages, and I never knew a word of it. So this is kind of an experiment.
That’s it! I hope this was interesting. I’ll be back with something more educational next time. Until next time!
Tip: Starting a new language? Check out these 11 tried-and-tested ways to accelerate your learning.
May 2013: How I got my French back (in French)
(French) Hello everyone! This is Gabriel Wyner, from TowerofBabelfish.com.
(English) And if you don’t speak French, there should be subtitles somewhere here.
(French) Today, I have a personal story and a language tip for you. The story: A few months ago, I was seized by panic due to my French. Why? I learned French in 2010 in 5 months, and it wasn’t bad. But after that, I did other things: I learned Russian, I started learning Hungarian this year…
And here comes the tip: If you want to refresh a language and you don’t want to work at it, watch television. It’s like magic.
And after these other languages and after 2.5 years, I forgot most of my French. For me, it was disastrous, not only because I’d like to retain my French forever, but because I’ve said quite publicly that I can speak French fluently, and I say that again in my book. So for me, forgetting French was a nightmare.
And I had nightmares: Someone comes up to me and publicly exposes me as a liar; it was terrible.
What to do?
At the time, I didn’t have time to re-learn French; I was in the process of writing a book and learning Hungarian, and also, I don’t like learning two languages at once. And here comes the tip: If you want to refresh a language and you don’t want to work at it, watch television. It’s like magic.
One month ago, I started watching the TV series 24 (dubbed in French, no subtitles) with Kiefer Sutherland. I watched 3 seasons, a few hours a day, and suddenly, my French came back.
It was a pleasure, it was simple…it was basically relaxation. It’s a perfect method. It’s not really a method for improving a language…it’s not bad, but it’s not really a “method.” But for refreshing something…to refresh a language that you’ve forgotten a bit, it’s perfect.
So, that was my tip! Thank you, and until next time.
Tip: A surefire way to refresh your language skills is to practice with a native speaker. Now, you can join a Live Coaching program to do just that. We have 13 languages and counting!
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