What does it mean to be a polyglot?

What does it mean to be a Polyglot? By definition, a polyglot is somebody who can speak several languages fluently.
Last week we were lucky enough to attend an event in Berlin that gathered together more than 200 polyglots from all around the world.

YES! They can speak an amazing number of languages.
Some of them more than 10.
Some of them more than 20.
Some of them, more than 30.
Some of them, they can’t even remember how many languages they can speak or understand.

Claudio was there and he was amazed: he could not tell if most of them were italians or just foreigners speaking italian like a native.

How does anybody learn 30 languages?

Polyglots don’t use traditional methods and approaches to learn a language. They do not learn it at school.
Every polyglot has a different approach. The main difference is Active vs Passive. Should you start by speaking or by reading?
They all use both approaches, just at different stages.
They start from what works for them, because the most important thing, when you learn languages, is to get positive reinforcements from the environment.


If you are introvert, speaking from day one won’t be good for you, it won’t feel natural. If you try to speak with natives too early it won’t feel right. Memorizing lists of words and reading is what keeps you motivated.

On the other hand, if you are very social and you don’t mind role playing and acting, the role of the “stupid tourist” could be fun and it will be easy to try out the few phrases you know.

All you need is positive feedbacks for your ego.

Check how much Russian you can speak after only 3 days of studying it

…but there is ONE SKILL all polyglots share…

A polyglot connects with strangers very easily: talking with a polyglot feels like talking with an old friend.
A polyglot is very good at adapting. To learn a language you need to start so many conversations – you learn very fast how to connect, read people, understand situations and interpret body language.

…more coming soon…

In the next week we will go into the details sharing with you some of the lectures we attended and interviews with the most influential people in the language learning community.

PS: during the workshop, Bliu Bliu was mentioned by 3 speakers

Fail Until You Make It

Finally on Tedx Claudio’s talk: Fail Until You Make it
Subtitle: did you know that 36 = 18+18 ???

In this talk Claudio speaks about Bliu Bliu. But most important, he shares the path to get where Bliu Bliu is today.

2:00 Filters your can apply to your life
2:20 18 + 18 = 36
4:00 How to talk with a girl
4:50 Don’t protect yourself from stress
5:20 Dancing
5:58 Comfort Zone
6:20 Moving to Lithuania
7:20 Fear? It’s ok
7:50 Bliu Bliu
9:50 60.552
10:28 Do your best, forget the rest
10.50 Fail It, Until You Make It
11:16 The secret of success, success, sucKcess
12:00 Fire
12:20 Life is not perfect – it’s like an adventure
12:40 Rabbit Holes

“Maybe I will start this on monday, or one day, when I will be ready”
That day, that you are going to be ready, it never comes.
Because that day, my friends, is today.

Can you speak a language after 3 days?

Have you ever tried to speak a language after studying it for only 3 days?
Well, if you did not…Claudio did it for you.

Claudio is experimenting with the Russian language and decided to speak with a native after only 3 days of studying the language by himself with an audio course. Here the results

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Foreign Language Syndrome

Have you ever wished just to fall asleep and wake up knowing a new language just like that- without too much effort? Are you being sceptic and thinking “it’s unreal” or “it’s impossible”? The world is full of surprises…

Foreign Language Syndrome


According to scientists, after injuries different parts of human brains can assume responsibility for other. In some cases  (illness or accident) brain becomes confused which leads to unexpected damages. Foreign Language Syndrome is example of it. Have you ever heard the story that people woke up after coma speaking completely different language from their native?

People who had FLS

To make it clear. Bliu Bliu tried to look for some examples. To start with, the first time foreign language syndrome was mentioned is 1907. After that it was announced more and more cases. In 2010 Croatian teenager woke up after coma speaking just German language and no longer her native Croatian. Moreover, in 2012 Australian teenager could speak fluent Mandarin and in 2013 American man woke up speaking Swedish.

This syndrome last different timing but important is this – sometimes we try to study language hard and it seems impossible… Don’t you think that brain is somehow stopping you?


Choose few words you want to work on

Practicing with Natives #03

Summer arrived in Vilnius and we decided to practice Lithuanian language outside. Join us for a walk in the city center of beautiful Vilnius.

Vilnius City Center

3 elements we focused on:
1. Set the timer for 10 minutes (to take away the pressure)
2. Pick a topic (Vilnius + Summer)
3. Use a list of words I wanted to practice/learn (square, tower, castle, building)

Choose few words you want to work on

If you have a clear topic in mind it’s easy to talk for 10 minutes. We covered that in the previous episode.
Even better if you give to the Native a list of words you want to practice, so he/she knows where to go to push your boundaries and help you learning.

Vilnius and Summer


Before pressing “Rec” we agreed on words we were going to talk about.
Topics was summer and Vilnius and we tried to make sure I would practice some specific words.

Practicing with Natives

Watch the video if you speak Lithuanian or you want to check my progress.

0:00 Short intro in English and I start the time: 10 minutes of “pain”
3:00 When Greta asked me “what was this” – pointing at the statue – I didn’t know what to say. Maybe because I don’t know the word for statue (statula). I would have liked her to tell me what that was before asking me.
4:00 We talked about grammar
9:50 The flag incident. Greta asked me what colours are in the Lithuanian Flag. And ups, I said them in the wrong order, like a tourist. For sure I need to study the name of the colour.

It’s fun how I see the flag every day and I could not recall the colour, in Lithuanian. Sorry Lithuanians, sorry Dalia!

Tricky Questions

The lesson here is that when practicing a language it’s fun to ask tricky questions but it might not help in the long run. I did not feel good for screwing so badly, but maybe it was just about the flag!

Getting to know the Level…

So far I spoke with Greta for only 25 minutes. She is learning my level and she is starting to get to know better what she can ask me and what she can’t. We will see how long before we can have more like a “talk show” and not a monologue like a radio program.

Novella – How I learned Lithuanian language in 6 months

Stories about Learning Languages
At Bliu Bliu we love to talk about languages. From today we will start interviewing people to know their stories, how did they learn, what’s their secrets or why they are stuck…

Today we invited Novella. She is Italian, came to Lithuania last winter to teach the Italian language and she learned Lithuanian by accident, just because nobody in Alytus – the small town she was living – could speak English.
She never studied in a class: find out in the video how she managed!

[yeah, the volume could be higher, we will work on it next time]

01:04 Tell us why you moved to Lithuania
07:49 Let’s talk about languages
10:48 Latin and Lithuanian, similar grammar
13:10 Was more helpful to teach italian or to go to the market?
14:50 Step by step
16:20 Be annoying
16:40 How to make sure they will not talk in english to you
17:30 Focus on communicate, not on learning the language
18:00 Advices for students
19:00 How to look at natives when they speak to you
20:20 Old people…they have interesting stories
22:00 Funny spanish story
22:45 Do Mistakes
23:10 In Life, you don’t need Genitive
23:40 Closing

Show Notes

Comenius Project:


Italų kultūros institutas Vilniuje

Funny Translations In Other Languages

It’s Video-Friday. Today we talk about Funny Translations

As an Italian who lived in in Finland, I can tell you that Katso doesn’t mean look :)

Add a comment if you know more funny translations

Who is a Polygot?

Do you know who is a Polyglot?
A Polyglot is somebody who speaks several languages fluently. It’s hard to say how many languages you need to consider yourself a Polyglot – maybe two is enough, or three – if you can speak twelve or more then you are a hyperpolyglot.

Polyglot Gathering in Berlin

Last year Bliu Bliu was invited to take part in the Polyglot Gathering/Conference in Berlin where Polyglots from all around the world will meet for 5 days to discuss about – guess what – languages.

Bliu Bliu will be there networking with the most interesting people in the language learning community. They do not only speak several languages, they teach languages using new methods – not considered academically valid – that obviously work!.

Benny Lewis

Benny Lewis is one of the most known Polyglot. Not for the number of languages he knows (an impressive number anyway) but for his attitude, his famous blog and his philosophy of Speaking From Day 1.
Benny believes that you can become fluent in any language in 3 months.
He constantly starts new language adventure proving that you don’t even need to live in a country to learn its language.

Many of the Polyglots in this video will be at the Conference in Berlin

Benny was a great inspiration when we started Bliu Bliu and we even posted on his forum the main points of Bliu Bliu, even not knowing the name or what kind of adventure .

The Future of Learning

Being part of this community is an honour, helping shaping the future of language learning.
We cannot wait to be in Berlin to share with you tips and tricks by the SuperStars.

For now, take a look at this: The 9 Habits of Highly Effective Polyglots

Pick a Topic when talking with Natives

Hi everybody
today at Bliu Bliu we are experimenting again with connecting students and natives.
Lots of people are afraid of practicing the language they are studying, so we want to explore how to make language practice smooth.
Vilius Claudio

Pick Topics beforehand

It really helps to pick the topics you are going to talk about.
You can pick something you are passionate about and discuss it beforehand in English so that you know what the conversation is going to be about.
Knowing a topic and being passionate about it will make your language practice way easier.

Food and Football

Greta suggested to talk about the World Cup but Claudio doesn’t really like football, so we decided to pick a second topic: food.
In the video we start talking about food (and italians love food) and in the last seconds we briefly talk about the World Cup. You can see how easy is for Claudio to talk as he is really passionate about food.
We accidentally started to talk about drinking that wasn’t planned and you can see some struggle.

All the people working at the bar were quite surprised to realize how much Claudio can speak in Lithuanian, as he normally speaks in English.

10 Minutes with Claudio

Here the 10 minutes. Greta is native Lithuanian, Claudio Italian trying to learn Lithuanian.
If you don’t speak LT, enjoy the body language.

4:48 I wanted to say lots of animals but I said a lot of onions. UPS
8:20 I can’t remember how to say Nature

Thank you Coffee Inn for the location

All Languages in the FIFA World Cup 2014

We are all from different places but when it comes to Olympic games or World Cups we are all together.
This month, in Brazil, will start the World Cup of…is it soccer? is it football?
Talking about cultures: we even call this sport with different names depending if you are in US/UK or Italy.

This diversity of language and culture will remain all the way through the month of June right through July 13th, when the World Cup finals will take place. Throughout this competition, individuals from around the world will watch and cheer for their teams to win. The fervor generated by soccer simply cannot be matched.

And here is a link if you are curious on how to say World Cup in 36 languages.
By the way, we have 105 on Bliu Bliu, maybe you can help us with the 69 languages missing?