Today we talk with polyglot, blogger and languages teacher – Chris Broholm.
Chris shares with us not only his secrets on how to learn a language in fast and efficient way, but also he tells us about the challenges he faces during the process.
Who are you and where have you lived in the last 12 months
I’m Chris, a 26 year old Dane who has been living in Denmark for most of my life.
What languages do you speak?
I speak comfortably in English, Danish and German and I’m adding Russian and Esperanto this year.
Languages are just a hobby or you make money out of them?
Learning them is definitely a hobby, but I do teach people Danish via iTalki.
Tell us something about your First Time.
First time I knew I liked languages was when, in English, I found an idiom in the dictionary and successfully memorised it to impress my teacher at the time.
I think it was “In for a penny – in for a pound!“
Any terrible experience? Like a language you could not learn and you gave up…
I gave up on French in school, but not because it was difficult. I simply gave up because I was not bothered by languages at the time.
I’d much rather spend my time procrastinating and going to parties. I hope to return to it again soon.
What about an “easy” experience
I’m about a month into Esperanto and it is definitely an easy experience. All the vocabulary can be related to languages I know and the structure is very logical and simple. Also 100% phonetic, which I appreciate.
Why languages and not…..
I’m diving into languages because languages can be used for anything. You don’t do languages for the sake of the language itself, you do it so that you can use it. For me that is communicating with native speakers or for later job opportunities or hobbies. I love video games and one of the most popular ones has a huge Russian community, which is a big reason for me to learn Russian. Maybe one day I can work with one of the big companies to provide translation or interpretation services at big competitions or events.
Do you have a mentor? Does anybody inspire you?
I have tons of mentors, all my language learning friends on Facebook and Skype all inspire me to work harder. I have mentors for individual languages as well and I’m sure I would never be so far I am today without them.
Do you have a secret weapon to learn languages?
Yes! My blog! By blogging about my experience to the same audience, I get a much higher level of accountability (and thus motivation) to work harder.
Can you share with us your language learning routine?
Initial phase – getting acquainted, touristy phrases: Here I’ll find simple audio courses, my favourite being Michel Thomas and simply get my feet wet in the language. This is also where I will look for the basic phrases and write a script (My name is, I’m x old, I live in etc.)
Once I have a basic understanding of the language I will start a grammar book and also begin vocabulary building with Memrise.
Once I’ve built up a reasonable vocabulary I will start exploring in native texts either in print or using software like Bliu Bliu. This is also generally the point where I think it’s a good time to hire a tutor from iTalki or somewhere else who can correct any mistakes or help you with any grammar you don’t quite understand.
That’s basically it, and obviously try to write/speak with native speakers of the language as much as possible all through the procedure.
Do you try to read/watch content at your level? Is it easy to find?
Yes, I’ve downloaded some films and my local library has “easy reader” for Russian, so I can get introduced to reading Russian without too much difficulty.
Have you already used Bliu Bliu? :)
Yes and I’m a big fan. The way you feed me content that I mostly understand, gives me wins in language learning that motivate me to work harder.
Your final words: share anything you want with our passionate community of language lovers.
Remember to make language learning your own, don’t let anyone else try and tell you what to do, and just enjoy the journey – It’s a great one! If you want language learning advice or inspiration you can check out my blog: http://actualfluency.com where I also host my actual fluency podcast, which is my weekly language learning show to inspire and motivate.