Free Language Learning Mini Series – Episode 1 –

I'm happy to share the first episode of a brand new language learning mini series Im putting together with David Mansaray, for those of you subscribed to my newsletter.  In this episode David and I talk about talent, and the part it plays in successful language learning.  The first episode is available for everyone to everyone, but if you want to hear the next episode you'll have to make sure you put your name and e-mail in the box below:

 David Mansaray: hello all and welcome to this mini-series designed to help you kick-start your language learning. My name is David Mansaray and I am today here with Luca Lampariello. What we are going to be doing is speaking about a very important topic, and that is..talent. We all know the discussion that has gone on for a long long time, with one side of the argument saying that you absolutely need talent to perform at the higher level of performance and the other side of the argument dictates or says that talent isn't something that is necessary and all about hard work, so Luca and I are going to explore this topic today and hopefully we can help you move forward with your language learning more efficiently, more smartly….and with more confidence. Ok so we are are going to jump right into it and the first topic of discussion is talent. What is talent exactly Luca in your opinion?

Luca Lampariello: talent is not just one thing, it is a combination of factors. Now, we are focusing on language learning but this is something general. By “combination of factors” I mean that it is not just the mere capacity of acquiring knowledge – some people do it faster, some do it slower – but it involves so many areas in life. In language learning, especially in language learning, it involves not only as I said before the capacity of acquiring new words, pronunciation, intonation, grammar patterns etc, but it is also the capacity of creating your own environment and creating possibilities in life. That makes a huge difference, especially when we talk about language learning, and hyperpolyglotism where a person has to speak and maintain a lot of languages. So the general attitude towards life, discipline, the capacity of creating opportunities in life, that makes a huge difference in the long run. And I consider that to be a part of talent as well.

David: So let's break this down into its components. When we are talking about talent and what it is exactly, what really trying to get at is the nature of talent. Is it something that gives you a competitive edge, is it something that makes everything easier, is it both, is it any of these things? What do you think Luca?

Luca: This is going to be a discussion so..David do you remember when you told me that you wanted to speak Spanish very well? And then you told me “I might not have talent for languages”, but then I know – cause I saw it first-hand – you ended up speaking Spanish well. Other people  who are are  maybe more talented, they might have more talent for acquiring accents or grammar patterns and rules but they speak worse than you. People tend to think that talent is something innate, something you were born with, but it is not necessarily true. Everybody was born in a certain way, but we were born to be made as well, you know? You were not born a polyglot, you become a polyglot.  You become and artist. It takes time. Everybody has a path in front of their eyes and it is up to them to decide what to do out of their lives, and talent to me also consists of making the right decisions and looking inside yourself . And telling yourself “”I know I can do this”, because as human beings we have enormous potential. To do anything we set our minds to.

David: Fantastic. You know, Luca, the way I define talent or refer to talent is as a “natural disposition of being good at something”. I like taking sports as an example. Recently I have been doing a lot of running, and at an elite level there is a certain “body physique” which is common to those who perform at the very best level. Very slim, they have little muscle, which makes them lighter when they are moving, and faster. And then you have sprinters. The infamous Hussein Bolt, you know. It has been said that you have to have certain things in place to be able to compete at that really high level. So I think that talent is something that does exist. I do believe that some people have something that allows them to do some some things easier. However, let's move on to the next topic. Does talent  really matter that much? The example of me with Spanish – I don't think I have talent at all but being able to achieve what I have achieved what I have achieved with little to no talent for language learning. The next question would be “does talent really matter in that case”?

Luca : Well, you first have to define your goals. Running like Hussein Bolt might not be easy for most people, but the real question that you have to ask yourself is: does talent matter to do what? Do you really want to run like Hussein Bolt, or do you really want to speak a language “perfectly”? Do you really want to do something at the elite level? What are your objectives? Speaking a language is to communicate with people. As simple as that. You do it to have a better life. So, if you define a precise goal and you tell yourself that that goal is to speak a language well, does talent matter? Not at all. You David speak your language as a native, I speak my own Italian as a native, and if you can speak your own native language well – no matter what language – anybody can learn as many languages as they want. So in this regard, talent doesn't matter at all. Proof of that is that even people who consider themselves not to be very talented learn a language well if they put their head to it. Everybody can learn a language well. So in language learning, does having talent matter? No, it doesn't matter. Talent is a small part of the whole process. If you have talent you might reach certain levels. You might be able to speak, say, 10,20 languages with a great accent, but it is not strictly necessary. So, first of all, the question should be: what do I want to accomplish? And secondly, “do I have talent”? It doesn't matter, because if you think “oh I have or don't have talent and other people speak better” , if they speak better, so what? So the real question should be “do I really want to do this? What do you want to accomplish? And talent in every field does play a role either when you are competing with other people. But in language learning there is really no point in competing with people because everybody is different, everybody has a different life, and everybody has different opportunities. So to answer your question “does talent matter?” I'd say “not that much”.

David: Absolutely. And there is a quote that I want to share which is “hard work beats talent, when talent doesn't work”, and that really leads me to the next thing I want to talk about which is “can one develop talent?” And this is a tricky, sort of direction to go in because it is known that talent is something you are born with, a natural disposition to be good at certain things. However – and we have discussed it many times – as a language lover you know you have improved your process for learning languages over time and so I wanted to share with us, you told me how mathematics and physics has improved the way you process information and that has carried over to your language learning. So the reason I want to talk about this is that learning one thing or developing a skill in one area can then transfer to others and it can be difficult to identify whether it is really talent or hard work that you put over a long period of time that has actually contributed to your success, so could you maybe talk a little bit about mathematics, physics and what that has to your language learning?

Luca: That's an interesting question. Well, mathematics and physics..first of all when I went to university one of the very fist things that happened to me is..general physics was one of the first exams. So what happened was that I had just gotten out of “Liceo scientifico”, scientific High School, where you tend to study math more in depth and Latin as well. So I thought that since the first exams were about Mathematics I thought that I wouldn't have a problem with that but in the second semester was General Physics. Now the huge difference is that for the first time nobody in High School had told to tackle certain problems. In General Physics – that specific exam – you had to learn how to tackle certain problems. Now what I did is that I thought that by simply studying a lot, doing a lot of exercises in a mechanical way I would have passed the exam without a problem. Now when I went to the first exam I miserably failed. I came back home and I asked myself “what is wrong?” I had spent so many hours, did so many exercises. So I told myself that maybe I was not that talented for mathematics physics, and I was a little bit down. But then my father – when I came back home I showed him one of the problems that I had to tackle during the exam – he looked at me and said “think with your head”. That helped me a lot because when I came back home and after my father told me that, I realized that instead of just doing a lot of exercises I had to acquire an ability. I had to do just a few exercises to understand the general picture. So I started putting quality time on just a few exercises. I tried to “rack my brains” on these exercises, try to understand them, even spend an

hour on a problem if I couldn't solve it, and by doing so I just developed the capacity of tackling ANY problem, because being an engineer or getting a degree in Engineering is not just remembering mathematical formulas or acquiring general knowledge, it is about developing the capacity of tackling and solving problems, and this relates to language learning, because I understood that one of the best things that can happen to you is to develop – you know, “neuroplasticity” implies that working on a given set of a few problems allows you to generalize and tackle and grasp a lot of other elements. The language core is something like that; it is a capacity we acquire of understanding and tackling the general picture, to get a general framework. In Mathematics or physics, by doing a few exercises, by racking your brain on them allows you to develop the capacity of understanding and generalizing. I understood that at university. It is a way of “studying”, a way of “learning”, and I applied it to language learning, and that has changed a lot. So going back to the matter of talent, I think I was not born with that talent, but I was open enough to understand my limits and I developed that. You have to be open, when people point out your mistakes and you learn from that, that is a talent in itself, and it is part of the general picture. So, by studying Mathematics and Physics I learned a way of tackling things that helped me enormously in language learning as well.

David: Absolutely. So what has happened here is that you struggled to learn certain concepts and processes in Mathematics and by going through this process of struggle sort of got you used to it and because you got used to this process of struggle to achieve your goals you embraced this, “the” learning process. So if we take 2 language learners, an experienced language learner and a not so experienced language learner it is very easy to look at the other and say “hey he is doing it so easily, so effortlessly” and it is easy to forget that this person has been working at this task for such a long time, has picked up a lot of tricks, has acquired a “language learning fitness” so to say, along the way.

Luca: exactly. And if somebody asks me “I want to learn a language”, I say “don't waste time”. Start NOW, because language learning is a trial-and-error process, and the sooner you start, the sooner you will understand, you will face some problems and then you will solve them. And once you figure out how to face a problem, you will learn how to tackle other problems. And you will develop. You know, when it comes to talent, I think that in part you were born with it, but in part you develop it. I strongly believe in this, so the sooner you start, the better.

David: I also think it is important to acknowledge that talent comes in in different shapes and sizes, and it can be easy to confuse talent with something that has been developed. So what is the line? It is really blurry and not clear to me at least. If you develop a skill and work at it for 5 years, is it then talent if you didn't have it before? I am not sure. But one thing that I do want to say is that you know there are certain things that we can develop, we can make habits, and those in turn can jump-start the rest of our learning process. For example, I think something that is extremely useful for people is to develop the ability to recognize their weaknesses. When one is able to recognize their weakness, they are able to tackle the areas which they are really able to bring them to the next level, because I find that – you can tell me what you think about this Luca – I find that often when people struggle to go from one stage to another, it is not because they are not smart enough or strong enough, any of these things. It is because there is something that they haven't mastered yet, it is a weakness. It is difficult to go from intermediate to advanced if you are still struggling with basic things and being able to recognize what these things are and really target them to improve is a big skill you can say one has to develop to help them move forward. The last thing I will say on this particular point is that it takes a lot of courage and it is humbling, the learning process, when one says “you know what, I am not good at this, I really need to work at this”, when I am intermediate and I have been studying for 2 or 3 years, I need to go back and practice this, this particular aspect of the language perhaps, that is for beginners but if I want to move to the advanced stage I need to conquer that. And I think that one could say that it is a real gift, a real virtue to have this personality

trait, which is something we can all develop to take us to the next level. What do you think about that Luca?

Luca: Yes, exactly. It is a personality trait that one can develop. What I always say is that the psychological factor plays a huge role in language learning and I believe that if you learn how to know yourself and accept your limits and sum up the courage to change, it will help very much. In language learning there are mainly 3 phases, meaning, beginner, intermediate and advanced. Now, how do you understand when you find yourself in one or the other? How do you move on? Well, you have to look inside yourself. This is something that I did very many times. Now I understand the general learning process, I have a picture, so I more or less know what happens when I hit a plateau and get stuck for example. I don't know what we can call this, having talent, but it is more like a personality trait that you can develop. You have to think about – imagine a beautiful mountain, with snow on the top, and you have to reach the top. Now, the limit, or your objective, is actually the blue sky, meaning that everybody wants to speak a language fluently, everybody wants to reach a level where we can talk to people. Don't focus too much on the peak, just take it one step at a time. When we talk about talent and reaching our objectives in life, we have to know that one of the most important things that make people great – when you take a look at the great personalities in the history of human kind – is that I am pretty sure that these people – more than other people – are able to look into their own soul and understand their limits as well as their potential. When I say that everybody can speak a language I believe in it 100%. Everybody can speak a language well and talent doesn't matter, but the reason why a lot of people fail is that they don't believe in themselves. They think they do, but they don't. So, it is not so much about developing strategies, but it is more personal work on yourself that makes your soul I would say “flourish, thrive”, and that is also part of talent, but it is an external part of talent, it is something that you can develop in the course of life. So you have to embrace all the possibilities that life gives you and it does make a difference. When people say “well I am not intelligent enough”, well, intelligence has nothing to do with that. Everybody's got more or less – we are all intelligent enough to learn a language because we have learned our own. Our brain is a machine, which was conceived also to learn a language, so if when people fail it is a psychological factor; it is not a lack of talent. I am positive that the psychological is the most important factor in language learning, so when people tend to be convinced that they have no talent, this destroys their capacity to learn because our brain becomes resistant, it “resists” the language, resists the opportunities. So, to summarize, there is a part of talent, some people speak languages better for some reason, like other people do sports better, or they run faster, but that is not the point. The point is that you have to develop the capacity of understanding your limits and understanding your potential. And once you understand that, nothing can stop you and you can reach incredible results.

David: Fantastic, very motivational. I have one last question for you and I think that everybody listening would kill me if I didn't ask you is: Luca, do you think that you have talent?

Luca: I was sure you would ask me that, you were saving it for later! Well..I am Italian. In our culture when somebody asks you that, it is a very direct question and it is not always easy to answer. One can always find solutions or other ways to tackle this, to address your question. I would say that I do have talent for language learning, meaning I think I have a knack for accents and I pick up grammar patterns, but that is not what made me a polyglot. What really made me the person I am now is the personality trait that I have developed. I started believing in myself more and more. I thought, “I can do this”. If I hadn't developed this personality trait, whatever you want to call it, I don't think I would have reached this level. I do remember that when I was 20, I thought that I was very good at languages but then now I understand that my ..I can use my limits as weapons in this “war”, in this “battle”. So I believe that if I look at myself now, I would say that 85% of what I have comes from the opportunities that I myself created in life and a general attitude that I have and the fact I really started believing in me as a person, I figured out my “human potential”. So to answer your question whether I have talent for language learning or not, I think it would be crazy to say no, because I think I have some talent. If you look at the general picture there are quite a few people who speak a lot of languages, and I personally believe that in some regards I have something more than the average, but this doesn't make me any better, I am not proud of that. What I am proud of is that – I don't do it for the others, I do it for myself, I seek a better life – I know myself better. Languages helped me figure out my potential as a human being, and I am proud of that, you know? I do believe however that talent helped me foster this learning process because when something comes easier at the beginning – for example accents – this is one of the things that helped me the most, because when you talk to people after learning a language for 3,4 months and you just utter some sentences and people say “wow, you have a very good accent”, then you go back home and you hit the books because you want to learn more. So in part it helped, but it is a very tiny part compared to the whole.

David: it is a loop of motivation. You know one thing I really want to say before we close this conversation today is that Luca has said today that talent has helped him, and I know that many people that are going to be listening to this and they are going to say “oh, man, there is no hope for me” and forget about everything that we have said before. So I just want to reiterate what we have said before, and that is that talent is a natural disposition for being good at something, whatever it may be, but talent comes in many shapes and forms. There are also ways in which we can approach different challenges and tasks that can help us develop skills which can be mistaken as talen,t or that some may call “talent”. There is no way of knowing when you meet a person if they really developed the skill or if they are just like that. So I really want to make sure is that what people take away from this discussion today is that it is one line “talent doesn't matter”.

Luca: Exactly. And one more thing. We are like pianos. Look at yourself; think that everybody, each and each one of us is like a piano. You have to touch the right notes. I touched my note of accents, which motivated me, but I am sure that other people have amazing talents in other things, so when you try to learn a language you have to find something that really motivates you, you have to touch the “right notes”. Maybe you are very good at interacting with people, you go to university and you stumble upon a Chinese – let's suppose that you are learning Mandarin Chinese – and you touch one of your “notes” – you start “playing the piano” with that person, you touch the right note, and it motivates you. You are maybe passionate about Chinese history, or Chinese characters. Whatever makes you “glow”. That is an important thing. It doesn't have to be accents, it can be something else. It can be maybe that you are good at remembering things, Chinese quotes, you can use “chengyu”, 4 Chinese characters that you can use to surprise Chinese people. Now this is a very specific example, but in general think about what makes you “happy”, something that you do and makes you want to go home and hit the books. Has it ever happened that you did something that really motivated you? So for me it is accents because I love talking to people on the street. When I get this very positive feedback I can't wait to go back home and hit the books as I always say. This is something I have but once again other people have other amazing things and you have to find it. When you have a clear objective in mind – and in language learning it is almost always speaking a language fluently – it has to be channeled. What makes you tick, what makes you happy? What is it that you get so much satisfaction out of it? If you discover that, you are entering into a very positive loop of motivation that is going to help you incredibly because you don't even think about it anymore, you just want to spend time with that, you just want to do it. Motivation is a very complex thing happening in the brain, but if you get inside the loop then, bingo! You have won the war

David: Mmh, you have won the war. We'll leave it there, find your motivation, keep going and you will win the war. Thanks a lot Luca

Luca: Thank you David.

  • Ismael Orellanos says:

    That was such an amazing motivational interview , i really appreciate all what you are doing guys , it really helps me to solve so many doubts that come to my mind while i am in my language learning process.

  • Ritchie says:

    How encouraging this is! I understand the intent to encourage language learners regardless of innate gifting. You were very successful in doing so, demonstrating that motivation derived from beyond natural talent is the driving factor in language learning. I know that I am encouraged. Looking forward to try next session.

  • Ritchie says:

    Correction: I am looking forward to the next session.

  • Stanislaw says:

    Encouraging and true. I confirm this being 73. Being at 17, I did not believe that I can learn mathematics, physics, or German. Than I was lucky to have good masters teaching me electronic engineering and I have myself found the methods of learning languages, similar to advised by you now in the computer and internet epoch.

  • Ioana says:

    Hey guys, many many thanks for your help. This conversation of yours couldn’t have being more inspiring than it is.
    And I would like to underline that you are totally right, we have to identify ourselves with the language.
    I confess you that I have leant Spanish watching soap opera with subtitle. I use to watch those kind of serials when I was living in Romania couple of years ago.
    I can tale you, I have got a mexican accent because the soap opera were Mexican ones which was a great fun for my Spanish friends.
    Beginning with next year I will start writing and reading lessons as well.
    I have learnt Spanish without realise how easy can be to get the language by watching those serials.
    If you brings you joy and fun in you language lessons, the thinks are the 10 time more easier.
    Good luck!!
    And now I am back to my Spanish lessons. There’s no time to loose;)

  • lingholic says:

    This is pure gold! I absolutely loved this interview. I love the way you define talent Luca.

    “…the general attitude towards life, discipline, the capacity of creating opportunities in life, that makes a huge difference in the long run. And I consider that to be a part of talent as well.”

    “when you take a look at the great personalities in the history of human kind – is that I am pretty sure that these people – more than other people – are able to look into their own soul and understand their limits as well as their potential.”

    I couldn’t agree more!

  • Ruggero says:

    It’s great for Learning the English

  • James says:

    Great stuff!

    P.S. I think you guys mean Usain Bolt, rather than Hussein Bolt…..

  • In my opinion talent is very important to learn new languages. In my exeperience with learning english. I am learning english since 2002 and the skill is not so good as I wanted, but I am missing an internetional experince a lot. So big advice- travel and talk to other people.

  • Matteo says:

    Ciao, Luca. Mi chiamo Matteo, sono italiano come te (a quanto pare 🙂 ) e vorrei imparare ed apprendere molte lingue come te, sia europee, che non. Solo mi chiedo ma come hai fatto ad impararle da solo? Intendo dire: sì, lo so che le hai apprese “on your own”, ma con quali strumenti, grazie a che cosa? Evidentemente non hai seguito corsi di alcun genere; io ho provato a fare dei corsi online su dei vari siti ma non mi sono piaciuti tanto (a parte il fatto del pagamento) sia per come erano strutturati sia per il fatto che più nozioni grammaticali insegnavano vocaboli. Potresti spiegarmi (non dico il tuo metodo, probabilmente ognuno ha il suo credo, che sia migliore o peggiore, anche se chiaramente se sia di un certo metodo che funziona, e come hai fatto te per esempio in un video si può condividere , lo si può usare) come hai fatto per arrivare ad un livello così avanzato di apprendimento?

    • admin says:

      Caro Matteo,

      il mio modo di imparare si è raffinato con il tempo, ma è rimasto sostanzialmente lo stesso: all’inizio uso un corso di autoapprendimento (ASSIMIL è il mio preferito ma ce ne sono tanti validi sul mercato) e dopo un periodo di “training” in cui con una tecnica di traduzione bidirezioale acquisisco/assorbo il contenuto del libro – cioè acquisisco la capacità di “assemblare i pezzi” aggiungo quantità a qualità usando siti come LingQ in cui scarico materiale più “naturale”, ma soprattutto comincio ad interagire con madrelingua e con la cultura che una certa lingua rappresenta e veicola (attraverso libri, documentari, film). Ci sono 2 cose importanti da dire:

      1) non importa il libro o materiale che usi ma come lo usi
      2) le lingue sono strumenti “vivi” e “viventi”, e si apprendono realmente attraverso il contatto con altri esseri umani e la cultura che hanno: usa bene qualche libro poi esci dalla tua zona di conforto e comincia a respirare, a vivere le lingue che vuoi imparare.

      Spero che questi consigli ti siano di aiuto


  • matteo says:

    *se si sa

  • Tylor Myers says:

    Excellent post!

    Thank you for providing us with a transcript. Looking forward to the rest of the series!

  • Tommaso says:

    These “Mini Series” are inspiring, priceless,, a great gift for many of us.
    I’m deeply thankful!

  • Rasi says:

    terrific !
    Please, please, please show that in the school classrooms..
    I agree with Luca, it is not talent, it’s only your real power..
    I’m 48, I’ve never studied English in my life. I’m living in London for earning a life for two years… I know that my way is still long but always repeat me: Yes, I can do it!

  • Andreas says:

    Very inspiring and pure motivation, thanks!!! Keep on doing guys!

  • Foz says:

    I really loved your first mini series and it does give ةث dose of encouragement. I wish that I learn Spainsh language , and for your information whenever I fell down on my process of myself studying I just open your great website just to fill myself with your words. Thank you so much and good luck of what you are doing.

  • Michael says:

    Nice interview!

    Is this the place to put my name and email to watch the next episode? 🙂

  • Ritchie says:

    It is very encouraging to know that talent isn’t the most important factor in language learning. Very encouraging session! Thank you for these informative and helpful posts.

  • DAMIEN says:

    Great inerview! Very inspirationnal! As u said in one interview, the point is to be consistent…. No need to buy tons of material if u give up after a few days, and right, “why do i want to learn this language” is the QUESTION ? I wouldnt call it a “Hamlet” question cause there’s an answer… As u pointed out once about romanian, u gave up cause u had no motivation anymore and it makes sense… would u agree if I say the psycholgical aspect represents 75% of the whole process? Keep up the good work, Luca!

  • David says:

    Very interesting Interview. I want to listen to Part 2, however I don’t have the password, even though I am subscribed. Is this an issue or is it intentional?

  • Andy Roberts says:

    I especially like the advice near the end that we should be thinking less about our final goal of fluency and more about achieving the next step in our language learning process. This is why I divide my language-learning into steps: honeymoon phase (using fun ways to introduce myself to the language without pressure, such as music or podcasts), then learning the foundations (grammar and basic vocabulary with courses such as Michel Thomas, Pimsleur, and Living Language), next talking to myself in the language, after that developing my listening skills, then lots of conversation practice, and finally using the language (for example, recording a YouTube video series in the language on some topic or watching university lectures in the language). This approach helps me to see constant improvement in one skill or another while still working within my limited study time per day, and keeps me motivated.

  • nilaa says:

    Very interesting blog post there, well written and thought out. Have you seen the following Kickstarter campaign? Looks very very interesting for anyone who’s learning a language

  • sachin padti says:

    Great post there 🙂 BTW. if you’re learning a language you don’t want to miss out on the rewards these guys are offering for pledging on their project, check it out:

  • Listening listening and listening. It’s the KEY.


  • Lusiyo says:

    Muchas gracias,Luca y David sois ejemplos a seguir

  • Oh! What a great tips to learning new language. Always i love to read article like this. You done a great job for us and feeling happy to read it. Thanks!

  • Simi Silva says:

    Thank you Luca and David! This was extremely motivational, and has encouraged me to keep learning my target language (Hindi). Loved your comment Luca on how “our brain is a machine, which was conceived also to learn a language, so if when people fail it is a psychological factor; it is not a lack of talent.” Makes a huge difference on how people view “why” they fail.

    Keep up the great job guys!

  • njoikiki mapunda says:

    Hi Luca and David,
    I highly motivated to continuing learning English language, i realized that in learning language i will know many things; look at this discussion for example i know the word talent and personal trait, this discussion is very enjoyment. Keep it up you guys, thanks

  • Soares says:

    I really liked this interview.
    Beyond encourage us ,gave us some necessary tools to practicing our listening and understanding of the language .

    Thank you very much! Guys.

  • Kamil says:

    Hello Luca!
    It was really motivational article for me! I’m just on intermediate level in English (my tongue language is Polish), and I need a kick to go ahead. I’m not gonna give up, because I agree with you.. one thing, one factor, I must find that.. At that time, I will be the happiest man in the world. I’m not sure, maybe that is because about one month ago I started learn Italian language. But feel it’s not that. I don’t want to create some ideology about it. I just like to use foreign language. It’s fantastic feeling ;-). Thank you Luca. You made me even more motivated to keep my travel with languages further and to give from myself even more effort. Grazie mille. Buonafortuna! 😉

  • elena says:

    Wonderful motivation article, giving the tracks how to achieve our goals – any kind of goals we do have. Perheps to learn new language 😉 Great guys!

    I think in there is a kind of misunderstanding which usually happens in time of education, when we were kids. We were told -we were taught- how to do things, how to do them “right” or “well”. Intention was to transmit the knowledge; however, sometimes the message we got back was that, after all, doing mistakes is not permitted, that we are not able, or talented enaugh to dedicate ourselves to this or that activity. So step by step we gave up with trying, with experience new things. Slowly, year after year, we got the habit not to try anything new. We stop even to think we can! You have shown it is’nt exactly that way ..great guys!

    I’ve found that the method I use to start to do – to learn – something new is pretty important (in order to save time and energy, to preserve motivation, pleasure of doing and so on)…but it’s a bundle with everything else, my experience, personality, goals – exactly what you are saying here! Great Luca!

  • nathalie says:

    Bonjour, Luca
    Tes conseils me sont très précieux, ma motivation est à son plus haut niveau.
    Merci pour tout

  • zelica says:


    I going to try in English

    Thanks for this amazing interview , talent is achievement of yourself. I used to think that all people could be able to speak different languages might have a linguistic heritage. I was wrong because no matter who you are , we all have this possibilty to learm several languages. Once, i tried to learn Chinese by myself , i failed in addition to be disappointing. Right now, i have changed my strategy thanks to yours advises.

    Muchas gracias


  • Luciana Araujo says:

    Oi Luca! Realmente é uma ótima entrevista e inclusive uma grande oportunidade de desenvolver o idioma com esses podcasts. Eu comprei o seu curso ” master any language” e estou muito feliz por isso, pois você descreve com muita objetividade tudo o que interessante fazermos para aprender um idioma. Agradeço demais por todos os seus videos, dicas e palestras. Você é uma grande inspiração para mim e acredito que para muitos também!! Muito sucesso!!! Luciana.

  • sarah says:

    Thank you both,for doing what you do!

  • mai says:

    i’m sorry, i only see the transcript. where’s the conversation?

  • Valentina says:

    ciao luca!
    ti scrivo in italiano per essere certa di potermi spiegare senza troppi giri di parole.
    ho ventitrè anni e dopo essere stata in erasmus in polonia per un anno ho avuto questo fantastico colpo di fulmine per le lingue.
    leggendo il tuo blog, i tuoi consigli e le tue teorie linguistiche e mnemoniche, che tra l’altro mi hanno fatta riflettere tantissimo, mi sono resa conto di come io, personalmente, approccio e gestisco le lingue.
    sono italiana madrelingua e mia madre, da quando sono piccola, mi ha fatta studiare inglese giocando, per tantissimi anni, da quando ne ho due.
    il risultato di questo è il non aver mai studiato inglese sui libri, perchè anche se non ti so dire il corrispondente italiano di ogni verbo o di ogni phrasal verb, per esempio, ho comunque letto e ascoltato tantissimo inglese, quindi sono in grado di gestire testi su praticamente ogni argomento. il problema sta nel fatto che, per quanto io possa parlare di tutto, commetto errori di cui non mi accorgo, dovuti dal fatto che non ho basi grammaticali schematiche e il mio training intuitivo intensivo, dopo i dodici anni si è interrotto.
    poi nel corso degli anni, senza troppa continuità ho approcciato altre lingue, un po’ per caso o per necessità, e mi sono accorta di non riuscire a cambiare repentinamente lingua con la stessa persona.
    per esempio, se sono abituata a parlare in spagnolo con X, se poi X finisce per trovarsi in un gruppo internazionale in cui l’unica lingua in comune è l’inglese, fatico a rispondere ad X, in quell’ambito, in inglese, anche se tutti gli altri usano solo quella lingua. quando guardo X mi sorge spontaneo lo spagnolo e faccio figure barbine in cui sembra io voglia escludere gli altri dalla conversazione.
    questa è l’unica situazione in cui penso avere un minimo di talento e dimestichezza possa servire a decidere più o meno spontaneamente per la lingua giusta al momento giusto.
    da alcuni mesi mi sono avvicinata al turco, di cui mi sono follemente innamorata, ma è una lingua ostica, seppure abbia diversi pro. è la prima lingua basata sui suffissi che mi metto a studiare e parlare e capire il parlato per me è ancora praticamente impossibile, essendo così lontano dalla struttura delle altre lingue che conosco.
    cosa ne pensi?
    ne approfitto anche per farti tantissimi complimenti, sei un esempio, un tuo video al giorno mi carica come una molla e sto facendo dello studio delle lingue uno dei main obiettivi futuri 🙂

  • Ivan says:

    I couldn’t find the video, only the transcript, could you help me?

  • ChecMark says:

    Maybe I am too slow but I do not understand the whole discussion of “talent”. To me you are either smart enough and motivated enough to learn a language or you are not. In my case I spent months in Ecuador and Panama. I learned enough Spanish to get by but I was never fluent by any means. Now I have met the love of my life who I intend to marry next year. She does not speak a word of English so I could not possibly be more motivated to become fluent in Spanish. My challenge is do I learn the correct grammar because, frankly, I tried this in Panama and it was a disaster or do I try to learn “conversational” Spanish? My fiance is very forgiving of my poor Spanish and we manage to talk for hours despite my limitations. I use the example that if she were learning English and said “I go car now” is that grammatically correct? No, but do I understand what she meant? Certainly. Can I survive with the same limitations on my Spanish? I don’t know and I would very much appreciate any advice. Gracias!

  • Russell Canupp says:

    I am a retired musician (guitar). One day I knew I was stuck and not moving forward with my ability to grow on the axe. I talked to a friend of mine who is a spectacular trumpet player. He really focuses on practice as a meditation. I asked him how to pick a street to go down when there are millions. He spoke of watching other trumpet players who are continuously playing with numerous techniques but never seem to go anywhere. “Just pick one technique and go with it”, he said. We can approach any instrument in 10,000 ways, however trying all 10,000 will do nothing but bog you down. And understand this, life is a journey, it’s not about getting there. Many people quite because they do not understand their learning process and keep changing. As an English teacher (ESL), I am finding that I am more of a leader, a coach, responsible for showing the student how they learn best and sticking with it. Talent is a word that was brought about as a cop-out. Kids are great, they are not scared of embarrassing themselves. We adults have built walls that block our learning. One must be a kid again; when this happens the wall comes down. One does not move forward without a setback. Russell

  • cri says:

    It is a very motivational speech. I am been studying English for years and years without big results. I restarted since last September because now English is fundamental for my job. I cross my fingers that with this motivation I can improve the language and became more fluent.
    Thanks for the advises !!!!!!!!!!

  • Andjel says:

    I do not believe in talent, I believe only in the work
    Thank you very much! Guys.
    Hvala puno momci !

  • Hanane Zen says:

    so helpful to improve language skills.
    thanks a lot.

  • Hazel G says:

    Thanks for the video.The video was very informative yet had a realistic approach towards learning languages.Extremely motivational,5 stars to your video,***** 👍

  • Andy Aguilar says:

    it was very motivational, I believe that if you have talent you´ll achieve a little bit faster your goals but that´s not an excuse because as you said luca,, Everybody can learn a language!!!

  • Derek Wang says:

    I think talent is something you really develop during the learning process. Motivation, especially the motivation loop, that matters the most.

  • irene arnanz says:

    I admire and want to be contaminated by this generosity and humility of yours. Unfortunately, it is rare to find people who wish to everybody his same achievements by telling them his is not better. Even more, sharing tricks and epiphanies that had cost you so much effort. All the people I can think of that have this attitude are remarkable human beings, and with that comes fulfillment and happiness. A wonderful example to follow.

  • Nieves Romero says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I feel really motivated now.. I agree talent is important but not at the point of being strictly necessary. As humans, we were born with the capacity of developing skills. Even when predisposition is an inner aspect, we also have the ability to develop, and conquer things such as languages. I always thought that and now, I strongly believe in it.
    Thanks Luca.

  • Kağan Kuşoğlu says:

    Can you make the tab “Sign up HERE” stable, because I can hardly concentrate the text.

  • Benjamin Puškáš says:

    Hi, on the top of this dialogue, i can´t sign in, why is that? It tells me the website doesnt exist or something like that…

  • Ola says:

    for more than 20 years I’ve been telling everybody that I hadn’t language talent. now I see it was just excuse. I had bad organisation, to long breaks between lessons, lack of learning system and orderly work, low motivation and completly lack of self-confidence. thanks for opening my eyes and constant motivation.

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