The Language Mastery Show

The Language Mastery Show

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Interviews with the World’s Best Language Learners


4x U.S. Memory Champion Nelson Dellis
Mar 24 • 64 min
Nelson Dellis is a memory athlete, 4-time U.S. Memory Champion, a Grandmaster of Memory, a high-altitude mountaineer, author, speaker, and all-around cool dude. He is now on a mission to reach conversational fluency in Dutch in just one year, applying all…
Author & Polyglot Olly Richards on Why You Should Learn Languages through Stories ― Part 2
Mar 17 • 66 min
Last week, I shared part one of my most recent chat with the inimitable Olly Richards, who first appeared on The Language Mastery Show back in in April 2014. Since that time, he’s gone on to build I Will Teach You a Language into one of the top language…
Author & Polyglot Olly Richards on Why You Should Learn Languages through Stories ― Part 1
Mar 10 • 77 min
Author, polyglot, and “langpreneur” Olly Richards from I Will Teach You a Language returns to the podcast six years after our first chat to share what new lessons he’s learned and how a high-altitude near death experience led him to the power of stories…
polyglot Jan van der Aa on How to Monetize Your Love of Languages as a “Langpreneur”
Feb 4 • 54 min
Jan van der Aa is a Brussels-based polyglot and entrepreneur from the Netherlands, the co-founder of the language learning site LanguageBoost, and the co-founder of Langpreneur, an event series and podcast dedicated to helping language lovers, teachers,…
Ari Smith (Xiaomanyc) on How to Learn Chinese Anywhere
Jan 20 • 45 min
Arieh Smith, a.k.a. Xiaomanyc (Xiǎomǎ, 小马), is a popular YouTuber who loves practicing Mandarin on the streets of New York and surprising unsuspecting native speakers. From 24-hour crash courses in new languages like Korean, to learning additional Chinese…
Jonty Yamisha: Circassian Language Activist, Accidental Polyglot & Founder of Optilingo
Jan 6 • 64 min
Jonty Yamisha is a language activist, an “accidental polyglot” in his own words, a “third-generation Circassian refugee,” and the founder of OptiLingo, an audio-based language app that uses “guided immersion” to help people reach fluency in foreign…
Michael & Ellen Robinson
Nov 4, 2019 • 54 min
Michael and Ellen Robins first met in 2004 while they were studying Spanish in Mexico. Though Ellen had intended not to spend time with any other native English speakers while abroad, Michael’s charm and sufficient command of the Spanish language were…
Actual Fluency Podcast Host Kris Broholm Returns — Part 2
Oct 28, 2019 • 61 min
In 2015, the Danish podcaster Kris Broholm joined me on the Language Mastery Show to talk about how discovering the polyglot community helped pull him out of depression and give his life direction. His podcast, Actual Fluency, is now one of the most…
Actual Fluency Podcast Host Kris Broholm Returns — Part 1
Oct 15, 2019 • 94 min
In 2015, the Danish podcaster Kris Broholm joined me on the Language Mastery Show to talk about how discovering the polyglot community helped pull him out of depression and give his life direction. His podcast, Actual Fluency, is now one of the most…
Ruben Adery
Oct 7, 2019 • 31 min
Ruben Adery is a pronunciation and dialect coach who helps language learners, actors, singers, etc. develop native-like foreign accents in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Hebrew, and Italian. I first met him at the 2019 Polyglot Gathering in Bratislava…
Ellen Jovin Returns!
Sep 27, 2019 • 42 min
I am pleased to welcome back my first repeat guest on the podcast: the author, teacher, and grammar guru Ellen Jovin. A lot has happened since our first chat over five years ago, including travels all over the United States discussing the inner workings…
Katie Harris
Aug 31, 2019 • 57 min
Katie Harris is the founder of Joy of Languages, a site dedicated to helping make language learning a joy instead of a chore. She was bored to tears with languages in school, but eventually figured out a more fun, effective approach to language learning…
Gabriel Gelman
Aug 23, 2019 • 59 min
Gabriel Gelman is the founder of Sprachheld, a popular language learning website for Germans learning foreign languages (and―as an added bonus―non-Germans learning German as a foreign language). On the site, Gabriel shares useful language learning tips…
Elisa Polese
Aug 16, 2019 • 57 min
Elisa Polese is an Italian polyglot known for teaching multiple languages at once (up to ten languages at a time!), including Arabic, Catalan, Dutch, Italian, English, Esperanto, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. In addition…
Dr. Gareth Popkins
Aug 9, 2019 • 51 min
Dr. Gareth Popkins is a lawyer, historian, and former English and Welsh teacher who is fluent in German, Russian, and Welsh, advanced in French, conversational in Hungarian, Finnish, Italian, Portuguese, and Basque, and now hard at work on Japanese. We…
Inés Ruiz
Aug 4, 2019 • 55 min
Inés Ruiz is an award-winning entrepreneur, a former Spanish teacher at Cambridge University, and now the founder and CEO of Medita Spanish, the world’s first language and meditation app. By integrating mediation and mindfulness practices, she hopes to…
Gretchen McCulloch
Jul 26, 2019 • 52 min
Gretchen McCulloch is an internet linguist, the “Resident Linguist” at WIRED Magazine (Best. Title. Ever!), the co-host of the Lingthusiasm podcast, and the author of the new book Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language, a smart, loving,…
Polyglot & language hacker Benny Lewis on how to get conversationally fluent in 3 months (Rebroadcast)
Jul 19, 2019 • 46 min
Benny Lewis is a fun-loving blogger, YouTuber, author, language hacker, and technomad from Ireland (hence his nickname “Irish Polyglot”). He is the creator of the most popular language learning site in the world as of writing, Fluentin3Months.com, and has…
Shannon Kennedy
Jul 12, 2019 • 40 min
Shannon Kennedy is a language lover, traveler, musician, and writer. She has written extensively for Fluent in 3 Months and Drops, and is also the Language Encourager and Community Manager for the Add1Challenge. In 2018, she co-hosted the inaugural Women…
Lindsay McMahon
Jun 28, 2019 • 35 min
Lindsay McMahon is the co-founder of All Ears English, a podcast and site dedicated to helping people learn natural English in a fun, relaxed way by focusing on “connection, not perfection.” The show, co-hosted by Lindsay (“The English Adventurer”),…
Lýdia Machová
Jun 21, 2019 • 36 min
Lýdia Machová, PhD is a polyglot, language mentor, interpreter, TED speaker, the former head organizer of the Polyglot Gathering in Bratislava, and the founder of Language Mentoring, a site that shows people how to learn any language by themselves. Her…
Tamara Marie
May 31, 2019 • 61 min
Tamara Marie is a language coach and the founder of Spanish Con Salsa, a site and podcast that help you learn Spanish through through music, travel, and cultural immersion. In the interview, we discuss: 1) Why high school Spanish probably won’t prepare…
John Dinkel
May 24, 2019 • 29 min
John Dinkel is the CEO and founder of Manga Sensei, an online education company that teaches Japanese through fun, effective, modern mediums, including a weekly comic series, a daily 5-minute podcast (the #1 Japanese language podcast on Spotify), and a…
Sara Maria Hasbun
May 4, 2019 • 68 min
Sara Maria Hasbun, a.k.a. Miss Linguistic, is a polyglot, translator, linguist, and the Managing Director of Meridian Linguistics. She speaks Spanish, French, Mandarin, Korean, American Sign Language, Nicaraguan Sign Language, and Indonesian, and has also…
Idahosa Ness
Apr 26, 2019 • 43 min
Idahosa Ness is an accomplished polyglot, world traveler, musician, and the founder The Mimic Method, which helps language learners adopt more native-like pronunciation through the power of listening, phonetics, and mimicry. For show notes, visit…
Claude Cartaginese
Apr 19, 2019 • 30 min
Claude Cartaginese is one of the kindest guys you will meet in the language learning blogosphere, and I really appreciate all he has done to encourage language learners, gather advice from the world’s best learners, and share his infectious enthusiasm for…
Gabriel Wyner
Apr 12, 2019 • 42 min
Gabriel Wyner is a polyglot, former opera singer, the author of the book Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It, and the creator of the new Fluent Forever app, the most funded app in crowdfunding history. I highly recommend his…
Polyglot Mike Campbell on how he mastered Mandarin, the power of proper pronunciation & why he launched Glossika
Apr 5, 2019 • 93 min
In this episode of the Language Mastery Show, I catch up with my old friend Mike Campbell, the founder of Glossika. A lot has changed in the seven years since we last spoke at a Starbucks in Taipei, Taiwan, and it was fun to learn more about the…
Lindsay Williams
Mar 29, 2019 • 59 min
Lindsay Williams has been hooked on languages ever since childhood when she got a taste of French—and the free croissants that accompanied the class! Since then, she’s gone on to learn Spanish, Italian, Mandarin Chinese, German, Dutch, Portuguese,…
Mattias Ribbing
Nov 29, 2016
Mattias Ribbing is a Swedish author, lecturer, and Grandmaster of Memory. I had the pleasure of meeting him at the 2016 Bulletproof Conference and was blown away by his highly effective methods and positive attitude. Contrary to what most people would…
Kerstin Hammes
May 8, 2015
Kerstin Hammes is the outspoken author of the Fluent Language blog, Fluency Made Achievable, and The Vocab Cookbook. She is a native German speaker, but has reached a native level of fluency in English, and abilities in a number of additional languages,…
Kris Broholm
Apr 10, 2015
In today’s show, I talk with Kris Broholm of Actual Fluency, an excellent podcast and blog boasting an impressive number of interviews with brilliant language experts, zany polyglots, etc. (over 50 episodes as of writing), including many of my heroes and…
Luca Lampariello
Feb 27, 2015
In today’s show, I chat with the man, the legend, the one and only, Italian polyglot Luca Lampariello. Over the past 20 years, Luca has reached a very high level in 9 foreign languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Swedish, Russian, Dutch,…
Aaron Myers
Feb 20, 2015
Aaron Myers is the man behind The Everyday Language Learner, a wonderful blog that aims to help the average Joe (and John, and Rosemary, and…okay, you get the idea) learn a foreign language in fun, effective, efficient way. Above all else, Aaron strives…
Donovan Nagel
Jan 30, 2015
Donovan Nagel is an Applied Linguistics graduate hailing from rural Queensland, Australia (the amazing soundscape you hear in the background of our interview) and the man behind the language learning site and community, The Mezzofanti Guild, and the…
Kevin Morehouse
Jan 23, 2015
Kevin Morehouse is the man behind LanguageHero.co, a site dedicated to helping language learners start their journey, find allies, and stay the course. Kevin is a certified Italian teacher and soon to be certified in Spanish as well. In our interview,…
British Hyperpolyglot Richard Simcott Shares the Strategies & Mindset He’s Used to Learn More than 16 Languages
Jan 16, 2015
Richard Simcott is an accomplished British hyperpolyglot based in Skopje, North Macedonia. He has actively studied more than 50 languages to date, and works in 14 of them on a regular basis! His impressive linguistic feats have led HarperCollins to call…
Polyglot & language hacker Benny Lewis on how to get conversationally fluent in 3 months
Dec 10, 2014
Benny Lewis is a fun-loving blogger, YouTuber, author, language hacker, and technomad from Ireland (hence his nickname “Irish Polyglot”). He is the creator of the most popular language learning site in the world as of writing, Fluentin3Months.com, and has…
Ellen Jovin
Aug 7, 2014
Ellen Jovin is variously described as a “linguaphile,” a “language-crazed writer,” a “grammar freak,” a “former freelance writer,” and a professional trainer specializing in communication skills. On the first of July in 2009, Ellen began an impressive…
Olly Richards
Apr 16, 2014
With seven languages under his linguistic belt and an academic background in Applied Linguistics, Olly Richards of I Will Teach You a Language has proven that he can both talk the talk and walk the walk. His infectious passion for all things language is a…
Keith Brooks
Mar 31, 2014
Keith Brooks is the man behind Pardon My Norwegian, a site dedicated to “everything cool from Norway from the eyes of a Kentuckian.” Prior to “marrying” the Norwegian language, Keith sampled a number of a potential languages in a project called 37…
Susanna Zaraysky
Mar 1, 2014
Susanna Zaraysky is a self-proclaimed “language geek,” a speaker of 7 languages, and the author of Language is Music: Over 100 Fun & Easy Tips to Learn Foreign Languages. She has been featured on CBS, BBC Radio, CNN, NBC, and Univision, and now thanks to…
Paulino Brener
Dec 29, 2011
Paulino Brener is an educator, performer, social media manager, and one of the few people I know who has managed to successfully blend all of his passions (foreign languages, teaching, crafts, social media, and performance arts) into one. All while…
Jason West
Dec 29, 2011
In my interview with Jason West, the creator of English Out There, we discuss the weaknesses of traditional English schools, methodologies, and materials, and how his approach aims to overcome them. I especially enjoyed his effective, no-nonsense approach…
Arkady Zilberman
May 26, 2011
Arkady Zilberman is the creator of Language Bridge and a former simultaneous interpreter in Russia. He focuses on overcoming what is perhaps the greatest impediment to adult foreign language learning success: cross-translation to and from one’s native…
Randy Hunt
Jun 24, 2010
Randy Hunt is on a mission to learn a new language fluently every year. His current project is Italian, with Lithuanian as a side-project saved for weekend fun. Randy has his language-learning head screwed on tightly, and I firmly agree with his…
Dr. Orlando Kelm
Dec 5, 2009 • 14 min
In his own words, Dr. Orlando Kelm is “a lucky guy” professionally. Not only does he get to spend his time with two languages (Spanish and Portuguese), but he is also the Associate Director of Business Language Education for the UT Center for…
Steve Kaufmann
Jul 13, 2009 • 13 min
With 11 languages under his belt, Steve Kaufmann is an extremely accomplished language learner. His extensive language learning wisdom in shared in his book titled The Way of the Linguist: A Language Learning Odyssey and his online language learning…
Antonio Graceffo, The Monk From Brooklyn
May 6, 2009 • 13 min
Author, linguist, and fighter Antonio Graceffo “pulls no punches” (pun intended) when sharing his views on how to learn a foreign language effectively. His language learning wisdom stems from formal training as an interpreter and translator at Germany’s…