Becoming a Polyglot: How to Become Multilingual

Mark Gordon Brown By Mark Gordon Brown, 15th Dec 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Languages

I have always been interested in languages and have tried at various times in my life to acquire the knowledge of many languages. It has been one of my personal dreams to become a polyglot. A polyglot is an extremely multilingual person. Learn some fun and easy ways to learn many languages.

Early Thoughts

The problem is that I just have not had to time to invest in memorization of list of words and phrases to achieve my goal, and anyhow learning such lists is not a very effective way of learning languages.

Additionally with the exception of some language classes taken in school and living for a for a few months in another culture I very rarely had the chances to actively practice the languages I have tried to acquire in an interactive way.

Thanks to modern technology that is all changing. It is finally possible to become a polyglot in the comfort of your own home in fun and easy ways. I have developed a strategy to cross becoming a polyglot off from my bucket list and I hope that it helps you as well.

Computer Programs

If you live in North America and watch late night television you most likely have seen the infomercials for Rosetta Stone Languages systems. In my opinion this is the best language system going out there. In Rosetta Stone you are taken visually and aurally on a journey of discovery in your new language in much the same way as you became aware of your native tongue. You start out with pictures and written words being presented while a native speaker says the words and you then choose which photo and word/sentence is correct in regards to what the speaker has said. Later in the program you progress to speaking and writing in the language. It corrects you if you are wrong and rewards you if you are right. This program trains you to think in the given languages and that is the only way that you can say you actually know a language.

Another computer language program is called Instant Immersion. It is much the same as Rosetta Stone , however overall the product line does not have as many individual languages as Rosetta Stone. Instant Immersion does have a program called Instant Immersion 36 Languages Deluxe that offers the would be polyglot access to a few languages that Rosetta Stone does not offer. I have considered getting this simply because it has the Zulu language on it and I would like to add a “Click Language” to my skills. The program only offers very basic knowledge of the 36 languages, but it is inexpensive and a nice addition to your polyglot toolbox. In my opinion it is better to invest in the Rosetta Stone versions for your initial study and only use Instant Immersion as a supplement.

Audio Instructions

The use of audio instruction in regards to learning languages via cassettes, CDs, or computer audio files (MP3s, WMA, OGG, iTunes) is best only used a supplement or enhancement to your study with programs like Rosetta Stone. Most of these only deal with the memorization of phrases that tourists would use and do not offer the option of thinking in the language in the way these software programs do. Their only benefit is that they can be listened to while driving in the car or exercising. In my opinion you are better off to learn a language via a program like Rosetta Stone and then listen to songs in the language you are learning instead of those very boring language memorization audio programs.

Television or Radio

Living in Canada, and having Shaw Direct, a Satellite Television Provider, I have access to many programs in various languages. If I wanted to spend the money I would have access to even more via foreign language packages they offer.

Presently without spending an additional cent I have access to programs in French, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Punjabi, Hindi, Spanish, and various Aboriginal Languages. I use this programming to my advantage in becoming a polyglot. I watch the television LOST in French quite often. In French it is called Perdus. I find that watching a show that I am familiar with in a language I am trying to acquire is very helpful. I also leave one French station on throughout the day as background noise from time to time which I also find helpful. The radio also also a place to find multilingual programming.

Reading Labels

Another benefit of living in Canada that aids in becoming multilingual and if you are trying to learn either French or English is that everything is bilingual here. I make it a practice everyday to spend a few minutes just reading product labels and comparing the phrasing. Many times it is not meaning the same thing because this or that phrase in not used in the other language. This trick has really helped me with gaining a knowledge of French. Many other countries have multilingual packaging or signs use them to your polyglotic benefit.

Look For Language Options on your DVD's or BlueRays

If you go to the set up section of many DVDs or Blurays some have the option of watching the feature in other languages and with or without subtitles. If you are learning one of the languages offered in this selection process you can use this to aid in your language instruction. If it is a movie that you have seen before all the better. Watch the feature in a few different languages (at different times of course) and this will help to go between these languages more easily.

Make your Brain a Language Sponge

It is possible to train you brain be more susceptible to learning languages. This is called Entrainment. There are various audio programs will aid you in this. The Human Plus Series from The Monroe Institute has many programs that aid in putting you in the right mind state to learn Languages. Kelly Howell's Holosync programs have many titles that would be beneficial as well. Paul Scheele's Paraliminal line also has many brain entrainment offerings that will aid in increased retention, such as his Photoreading program which is most likely the best for polyglot purposes. Look into these companies and see which one of their products would best suit your overall needs in regards to language retention.

If you are really serious about supercharging your ability to learn new languages one should invest in a good CES device. CES is Cranial Electrical Stimulation. These devices send mircocurrent stimulation to the brain usually via clips that are attached to the earlobes. These mircocurrents entrain the brain in different states of consciousness. The best brain state to learn languages is in a higher Delta state of 3.5 Hz. This is the state right between being awake and being asleep therefore the only way to access this state for the purposes of learning languages is via CES. If you use audio to access this state with plans of going to your computer to work with Rosetta Stone or some other program while in state forget it you will have most likely fallen asleep. A CES device allows you to hookup the earclips and access a 3.5 Hz Delta state while you are at your computer working with the language program of your choice.


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Bilingual, Bucket List, Ces, Cranial Electrical Stimulation, Education, Educational, English, French, Holosync, How To, Human Plus, Kelly Howell, Language, Learn, Monroe Institute, Multilingual, Paraliminal, Paul Scheele, Polyglot, Rosetta Stone Instant Immersion, Russian, Self Help, Software, Spanish, Television

Meet the author

author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
Raised in Michigan, I have a son who recently joined the Military. I am living in Canada with my wife where we have a hobby farm.

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author avatar Carol
15th Dec 2010 (#)

thanks for that Mark,very interesting

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author avatar Jerry Walch
15th Dec 2010 (#)

A very interesting and informative article Mark. Just one thing, check your title."Becoming a Polyglot: How to Make Become Multilingual" That "MAKE" doesn't make sense.

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author avatar R. Person
15th Dec 2010 (#)

very interesting
I've always been interested in languages

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author avatar christopheranton
15th Dec 2010 (#)

I've always intended spending a year
learning a language, and then
visiting the country where
it is spoken, but life hasnt worked out that way
yet. Thanks for a very interesting article Mark.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
16th Dec 2010 (#)

Title is fixed, thanks Jerry, I think the winter storm we are having here is freezing my mind.
I too would love to travel more christopher.... maybe soon.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
16th Dec 2010 (#)

I can understand the winter weather, Mark. I've woken up to subzero temperatures for four days in a row now. I had to battle frozen pipes in one of my wife's greenhouses a couple of mornings ago because the heat tape went legs up and the alarm never went off.

Happy Holidays from all of us up here on Walch's Mountain.

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author avatar Yvonnek
16th Dec 2010 (#)

nice tips

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author avatar hieroglyph
16th Dec 2010 (#)

Interesting focus Mark!

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author avatar Denise O
16th Dec 2010 (#)

I have always wondered if the Rosseta stone systems work.
Now I know they do.
I would love to be able to watch a foreign film and not have to worry about the subtitles.
Great info. Love the picture of you and the goat, nice.
Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
16th Dec 2010 (#)

Denise.. that's a hair sheep.. not a goat!

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author avatar James R. Coffey
17th Dec 2010 (#)

Language is inseparable from culture. When you learn a language, you learn about a people. A double benefit.

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author avatar LOVERME
18th Dec 2010 (#)

I NORMALLY don't read lengthy articles
but this is exceptional

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