The Thinking of Speaking
Issue #17 September / October 2015
Review of Polyglot Workshops: Brazil
by Patrick Lencastre
September / October 2015 | 

Did you ever feel that you really want to learn a language, but something is blocking you?

If yes, then don't worry; it is completely normal to feel this way. But a few months ago, in Brazil, we had a Workshop that could change so many lives of language learners.

Jimmy Mello presenting to a group of listeners

The lectures were divided between three experts of languages: Alex Rawlings, the most multilingual student from UK in 2012, Richard Simcott, one of the most famous polyglots nowadays, from Speaking fluent, and the Brazilian Polyglot, Jimmy Mello, founder of the revolutionary Mello Method.

In case you don't know any of them, brace yourself and look them up because they will inspire your language learning process.

The first fear to beat: Don't hesitate to make mistakes!

Alex starts, telling us about to speak with confidence, but when we think about this topic, some people imagine that speaking with confidence means speaking without mistakes, like a native speaker, and that's a trap that can stop you!

As Alex said: Remember who you are. You _are_ an educated person, you know a lot of things. For example, you can be a doctor, a teacher, or anything else; you just don't know how to manage your target language perfectly.

The main reason why you don't speak that language is because you are not from that country! It is not an unusual thing, so stop watching native speakers like judges, because they are great teacher but if you be afraid of them, you will fail.

As I said during the event, "For me, when I see some foreign person trying to speak my mother language, I do not search for mistakes to put him down. Instead, I become happy, because this person is trying to learn my language and I do all my efforts to help him to learn _from_ their mistakes."

With these kind of thoughts in mind, next time you will speak with a native, remember just one thing: it is ok if I make mistakes, because I am a learner!

Alex told us an inspiring history. When he was in the university, studying German and Russian, they knew a lot of grammar but he couldn't speak, because every time he made a mistake he lost some points, and it is a way to develop the fear of making mistakes.

So, we all need to fight against it, because if you make them, you will learn, but if you are afraid and quit, you will not make mistakes, but you will never learn.

Dealing with Time

Well, there are a lot of people who always give excuses for themselves, like "I don't have time". They are right, they don't have a lot of free time.

Who says you need a lot of free time to learn a language?

Several participants meeting and talking

If you think you need more than 10 – 20 minutes to learn a language, I can show you that you are wrong.

Actually, not me, but my friend and "mentor" Jimmy Mello, the Brazilian Polyglot. Do you know him?

Well, he speaks more than 10 languages. So, he has a lot of free time, right?

Wrong! First, he is a teacher almost all day long. What else? He runs a weekly podcast, a weekly online TV, and he runs his own course of languages. I am not kidding. He could say: I'm done, I don't have time to learn more and still maintain my languages.

How does he do it? First, he keeps the level in each language he speaks, and he is learning Polish and Indonesian.

How many hours does he have in one day?!

The technique is: 10 minutes to each old language and 20 minutes to each new language. So, he has these minutes totally free? No!

One of his techniques is to use flashcards around his neck wherever he goes. He is also always listening to a podcast in another language.

In the moments of a day off, he learns while watching TV in another language with subtitles in a third language.

The point is not to have a lot of free time, the point is to use your time better.

Because of his techniques, I decided to start learning languages and in one year I learnt five. Now I am studying three more. So, I use his techniques and I can say that it works!

Finding Resources

Well, what kind of thing should I do to learn? Find time, lose the fear and now: change your mind. If you are sick and want some medication, then, the best doctor of the city shows you one, you should trust and take it, right?

So, Richard Simcott, a polyglot who speaks more than 40 languages, shares some tips and tricks and... some apps! Ah, awesome!

The first tip: do you watch news? Do you read newspaper? Forget it. Now you will do it in the language you want to practise.

How? Well, use the amazing app called _Euronews_, and then, the Chrome extension _Readlang_ and a lot of websites of news in different languages.

You should use _LingQ_ to improve your language and to make your conversational skills better, use the _HelloTalk_ app.

Practising at the Event

One of the best parts of the event is that you can start practising there! There were a lot of polyglots, a lot of language lovers, and the perfect opportunity to learn, to talk, and to make friends. In the end, the best part of learning languages is to make friends.

During the event, I could talk with a lot of interesting people, including my new friend Sarah, and now we are learning Romanian together in a 3 months challenge. It is all you need to learn. Be comfortable speaking and enjoy make new friends, to learn new cultures and as Jimmy always says, "Language learning will change your life".

My name is Patrick Lencastre, from Brazil and my passion for language started just 18 months ago, when I was monolingual. Now, using own methods and motivation, I learnt English and Spanish until fluency and German plus Russian until advanced. Now I study a lot of another languages and run my own site.

Parrot Time is always looking for guest writers, so if you are interested in writing for us or donating something you have written for your own blog, please contact us at We look forward to your contributions!

Pictures (Left to right, top to bottom):
The presenters: Alex Rawlings, Richard Simcott, and Jimmy Mello; Patrick and Alex; Richard, Patrick, and Jimmy; Sergio Rodrigues (translator for those who doesn't speak English), Alex, Richard, and Jimmy

Review of Polyglot Workshops: Brazil
Writer: Patrick Lencastre
All images are property of Jimmy Mello and are used here with permission.

All images are Copyright - CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Share Alike) by their respective owners, except for Petey, which is Public Domain (PD) or unless otherwise noted.


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