Quando uma língua não é o bastante!

Aprender uma língua nem sempre é o bastante. Mello Method vai te levar ao limite: inglês, espanhol, italiano, francês, polonês, hindi, mandarim, japonês, catalão, grego e holandês.

If you are a teacher or have a School we can Help you!

Mello Method is the perfect solution for you and your company. Você pode ser um licenciado do Mello Method e garatir o sucesso de seus alunos e seu sucesso funanceiro.

Sempre admirei Richard Simcott e Benny Lewis

Neste blog você encontrará dicas compiladas de minha experiência e de contatos com grandes poliglotas como Richard Simcott, Benny Lewis, Ziad Fazah entre outros.

Mis viajes por el mundo

Es siempre un placer aprender nuevas lenguas, pero aún más viajar y poder usarlas con la gente. Aquí aprenderás como viajar sin gastar tanto.

Not only a polyglot or a learner

I go beyond the theory, I run a language school and teach several languages there using Mello Method, because I trully believe that it works. And believe me: Mello Method works!!

sábado, 22 de dezembro de 2012

How long will I take? Is it difficult? And other common questions all of them answered at once.

You are not alone! 
It is absolutely incredible how people want to speak a foreign language. I meet a large amount of people who tell such a thing, but when I tell them the routine, they reply "wow, but this is not for me". So, let's see the most common questions and the answer:

- Can the learning process be painless? Yes, but longer.

- Can I learn a language just listening to music? No, not just by listening.

- Can I learn a language very quickly? Yes, in fact in a matter of months.

- Can I learn a language quickly just studying at a school twice a week? No, absolutely not. If you do not study at home you will only lose your time and money.

-Can I learn a language in three months? Yes, but you will need a stronger routine.

-How many hours of studying daily will I need to speak in three months? Over 6 daily hours.
But, if I have no time? You will NOT learn in three months.

-Is there any magic method? No, no method is perfect, the effectiveness will depend on many factors.

-Can I learn a language without going to the country where it is spoken? Yes, for sure, if anyone says you the opposite do not believe!!! A language can be perfectly learnt at any place.

-Will I speak like a native at the end of my studies? Well...This will depend on how big is your dedication, many people get this, if this is your aim, go and try it!!! I believe this is possible but not necessarily fundamental.

-How can I learn vocabulary? Well, the only way that works for me are the "Flashcards"

-Languages with different writing system are harder? No, the writing system has nothing to do with the difficulty of the language, other factors will be more important.

-Which is the hardest language to learn? Well, this will depend on many factors, the most important of them is your mother tongue and how large is its relation with your target language.

-What was the hardest language for you to learn? As Portuguese and Spanish are my native and second language, the hardest languages were the Russian, due to the declensions and Chinese due to the tones. But keep in mind: This was true for me and cannot be for you.

-Which of the four skills do you find the most difficult to master? Undoubtedly the listening, despite of what people believe speaking is one of the easiest skills to reach, all will depend on how well you can deal with information, but the listening is the only skill that is completely out of you and your control.

-How can one improve the listening? By listening a lot, but when I say "a lot" believe me, it is not only half an hour a day, that is at least two or three hours, even as a passive listening.

-Listening to music can help the general listening? No, no and no. Many people will disagree with me, but musics have different vocabulary and rhythm, you can have a fantastic listing for general language and terrible listing for music, and vice versa.

And how about films, by watching them will I improve my listening? Yes, for sure, but this will only work without the subtitles, the brain cannot put the attention in two things at the same time.

-How can I improve the writing? By writing.
How can I improve the reading? By reading.
How can I improve the speaking? By speaking and listening.

-I have no time, and no hurry, can I still learn a language? Yes, absolutely. If you are no hurried and want the language learning as "a process", you will find the learning languages  one of the best hobbies you have ever tried.

-As a hobby how many hours should I study? Ten minutes studying by your own every day, besides attending to a language class at least once (preferably twice) a week.

-And by doing this how long should I take? This is difficult to predict, because it will depend on many factors, but on the average 4 to 6 years. Do not think it is too much, it is a hobby, if you studied piano or paint this could take the whole life, couldn't you?

Which is better learning languages as a hobby or "in a hurry"? I learn them in a hurry, then as a hobby, because I reach the level B1 or B2 very quickly and after I enjoy the long process. By doing this, I have reach two goals at the same time, because I learn a new language and do not lose my hobby.

Wow, a lot of questions, aren't they?
Have you got any question?

sexta-feira, 14 de dezembro de 2012

Learning Arabic in Brazil in three months? If he can, anyone can!

Jimmy Mello (Brazilian Polyglot) & Benny Lewis (Irish Polyglot)
Last month I met with one of the greatest internet polyglots, Benny Lewis - The Irish Polyglot, he is famous for his polemic but full of precious tips web site, the Fluent in Three Months, maybe it is polemic because of the clamming that it is possible to speak fluently in three months, but if you knew the routing of this guy, you would certainly believe in his words and acts. In fact everyone with a great amount of dedication can learn in a hurry, there is no magic, but only hard work. During our informal meeting, Benny told me his experiences and adventures in the field of language learning, then I could definitively realise that he devotes his lifetime to his missions, and despite of the fact that he is not looking for perfection, he has a perfect Portuguese, because our meeting was entirely in Portuguese.
Benny, came to my city in in Brazil, Belo Horizonte, to learn Arabic, and the curious thing is that there is virtually no Arabic speaker in my city, and this called out my attention, but after a while I understood perfectly well Benny's aim, many people tend to believe that if you do not live or pass a long time in the country where the language is spoken you will never learn the foreign language, but Benny is trying to prove us, and will get, that this is not a real thing, it is just another myth in the field of foreign languages. You can learn any language, anywhere, the most important factors are YOU and YOUR HABITS. I have previously written an article about "stop complaining" , and it is exactly what I am going to tell you before finishing this article: stop complaining, if an Irish man can learn Arabic in Brazil, you can learn any language, anywhere at anytime, turn off your computer right now and STUDY!
Thanks Benny!

terça-feira, 11 de dezembro de 2012

Free Brazilian Portuguese course (Mp3 & Pdf)

These are the most important symbols of my country and city!

I created a small course to learn Brazilian Portuguese: 

I tried to put part of my methodology to teach foreign languages to people from all over the world This is just the pilot piece of the project, but you can try it and then tell me what you think about, my idea is to do a whole course free of charge, but for this freedbacks are important:

Pilot Lesson - 01 (mp3)
                                    01  (Pdf)* 
*(the pasword to open the file is jimmymello)

Follow the blog to keep the lessons updated -----> 

Some facts abou Portuguese Language:

Portuguese is spoken by about 250 million people in Portugal, Brazil, and other former Portuguese colonies. It is the eighth most spoken language and the third most spoken European language in the world (after English and Spanish). Portuguese is one of the five modern Romance languages, together with Spanish, French, Italian and Romanian. It was originated in what is now Galicia (Spain) and northern Portugal from the Latin spoken by Romanized Pre-Roman peoples of the Iberian Peninsula, about 2000 years ago. Standard Portuguese is established on the dialect of Lisbon. Dialectal distinction in Portugal is limited, but the difference between Brazilian and European Portuguese is far wide, including variations in phonology, verb conjugation, and syntax. The language you are going to learn in this course from Brazil.

*(the pasword to open the file is jimmymello)

Your feedback is very important!!!

sexta-feira, 16 de novembro de 2012

Overcoming your language barrier by posting your own video in the foreign language

One of the languages that I have been studying recently is the Russian Language, it is a really interesting and rich language, despite of its apparently difficulty. I have tried some short conversations over Skype, and definitively it is harder the listening than the speaking ability, so at this very moment even with some mistakes I decided to post this first video, just to show you the speaking abilities, after watching it i found out some declinations mistakes, but I preferred neither edit nor change it, so I simply add and opening and that's it, and you know what? just by doing a video and by posting it I felt more confident about it, I do not know how or why, and I really know that it can be some psychological thing, but it worked for me, so I am sure it will work for you. When you see yourself in a video is like if you were seeing a third person, so you let out of you all your prejudices and afraid to make any mistake. When you post a video this is like taking a load out of your mind. If you come across a foreigner speaking your mother tongue ad he/she committed a mistake would you think he/she is an idiot for not knowing properly the grammar or would you say he/she was a courageous person trying to be polite and learn your language? Obviously the second answer, so why do not you try right now to make your own video in the foreign language you are learning, and after that share it in your social network and here in the comments here in the blog, I am sure your friends and family will be amazed to see your improvement in the language, and you will be admired by them all, and above of all you will give your first step towards your real fluency. Let's do it, I challenge you! It is your opportunity to try something really worthy in your language learning process.

sexta-feira, 5 de outubro de 2012

Língua Terapia

Hello there,
The post of today is quite amazing:
Is there a step by step to learn a foreign language? What can a person do if he/she is not fit for languages?

Well, in order to get the answer of this questions we have to discover first how people learn, but I am sure that you are not interested in such definition, specially because this is not an easy matter to discuss and besides it is too much academical and not really practical. People will try to convince you that to learn anything you have first to discover and establish a certain protocol, I am not absolutely convinced on this, but about one thing I am sure, it is that not everybody has the same natural skills, but I am also sure that they with some easy procedures everyone, yes, everyone can learn a language. I know people who are frustrated about how hard it is, and I also know that hundreds or even millions of people fail in learning a foreign language, but what is the problem? Can a person easily overcome this?
The answer is definitely, YES. People do not fail in learning a language, they fail in dealing with their personal problems, they fail in managing their own lives. If we look closely to the reasons we will see things like:
-I have no time;
-I am too old;
-I am so shy to speak to other person;
-I get frustrated easily;
-I am so anxious;
-I have a terrible memory;
-I think I am not good enough and will never be;
-I have failed before and I know I will fail again;
-My work consumes too much time and energy, so I have no energy to study;
-and so on.
As we could see, this are not linguistic problems, the fault for the lack of success is not lying on the language itself, it is lying on you, and on how well you deal with the world. Together with an other specialist in languages, teaching and therapies, I developed a new way of teaching languages, a way in which you will not only learn a language, but in which you will deal with the obstacles that are in your life, buy that you have only noticed in the language field. If there is an obstacle between you and your learning success, you only have to take it out for you to reach your aim. This method has been developed for more than 5 years, but only now it is ready to reach the world and show its real potential. It is called "Língua Terapia" which means something like "The therapy through the language", it is a protocol based on modern and ancient theories that when they are put together produces amazes results on people's lives, and together with it, a new language.
In the next posts I intend to show you some techniques that will help you, right there where you are to get the results we have been obtaining in our school.

sábado, 22 de setembro de 2012

Pimsleur and the Common European Framework

Some people do not understand what is "The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages", abbreviated as CEFR, to have a general idea it is a form of measurement of abilities in a foreign language, it has 6 (six) levels that go from the begginer to a proficient user. One of the main courses in the market of languages is Pimsleur, it claims that after its courses you can reach a certain level of proficiency, in this post we are going to check if it helps you in CEFR.
Let´s see if Pimsleur level 01 reaches at least A1 in CEFR:
A1Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases    Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases (after lesson 15)

Can introduce him/herself (lessons 01)

Can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives,
                                                                                         people he/she knows,
                                                                                          things he/she has.
Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help. (from lesson 10 up)

Let´s see if it reaches A2 as well:

A2Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.
Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance:
very basic personal and family information 
shopping (Lessons 04, 05, 06)
local geography (lessons 03, 04)
employment X

Can communicate in simple and routine tasks on familiar and routine matters.

Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background

As you can see, Pimsleur can for sure take you to A2 level even in the first level of it, as you know there are some diferences between Speaking a little, Fluency and Proficiency, all about this you can be found here.

quinta-feira, 9 de agosto de 2012


Fasulye, 51 years old, from Germany 
Fasulye is her internet name. she uses this name for her internet-activities such as writing her blog or making YouTube – videos. Her native language is German. Professionally, she has a background as a student of Law, Dutch and Romance Philology. And she has two professional office diplomas. So she is formally qualified to do officejobs where she can use her foreign languages skills, and as you are going to find out, she is highly skilled on them. Besides this her preference would be to do language – teaching. She has already teaching experience ingiving private language lessons to children and adults. Brazilian Polyglot has invited her to share experiences and give us some tips, and Fasulye accepted, I am sure you are going to enjoy quite a lot what you are abouty to read:

Brazilian Polyglot: I have some students inmy school who give the excuse that they are too old to learn a new language,and that they cannot learn anything beyond the basic. What is your opinionabout this?

Fasulye: Generally, there isno age limit for language learning. For me it looks like an “easy excuse” for not wanting to put enough work into the learning process. For me personally I see no difference in my learning capacity when I was 20-30 years old and now atthe age of 51. My advantage is of course that I have never stopped the learning process, so it was not difficult for me to obtain a professional language diploma as a foreign language correspondent for English and German at age 46.For example in my language course of Danish the oldest participant is 80 andother people in my class are around 60, so I have seen enough other people ofan advanced age besides me learning languages.
If you haven'tlearned a language after your school age and you are let's say 40, 50 or olderyou may need a bit more time to develop good study methods but there is really no hinderance why you can't learn a language succesfully.

BP: What is your family'sopinion about your love for languages? Was it always like that?

F: I am a singleperson, so you mean the family in which I was born. When I was a child of the elementary school age, we lived for 2 years in the United States, so I had tolearn my first foreign language English at the age of 7-8 years. When Iattended grammar school in Germany, my parents allowed me to participate in aschool language exchange with France and sent me twice to a holiday course for children in Great Britain. This was of course very helpful for my school languages French and English. As well my parents financed my second universitystudies of Romance Philology (Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese, Latin andPedagogics). Later in my adult life my own motivation and preservance to study several foreign languages was bigger than the support of my family for it. My personal wish would be to receive more family support for my life-long journey of foreign language learning.

BP: How many hours do you spend daily studying languages?

F: You have to differentiate between “studying languages” and “using languages”. In my case it makes much difference because I use my foreign languages all day long 7 days aweek, but my concentrated study sessions I do perhaps 2-3 times a week forlet's say 90 minutes. This additionally to attending my Danish language courseonce a week for 90 minutes. Plus vocabulary learning when I am sitting in thetram, in the train, in the doctor's waiting room or at the bus station using myA5 – handwritten vocabulary books. But using my languages all the time meansthat I have a polyglot lifestyle. So I do normal daily things like thinking,writing my shopping lists, using cooking recipes, writing letters and e-mailsor watching cable TV in Dutch, English and French. Especially foreign language thinking is a very important factor for me: It's cheap because it costs nothing and I can do it everywhere!

BP:  Being a polyglot demands too muchtime to maintain the languages, what is your strategy to maintain all of themupdated?

F: The more languages you speak the more time you need to keep them all up to date. With intermediate and advanced language levels it's easier to keep them fresh because you can usethese language for all kinds of activities. As I said I do language – cooking, write letters and e-mails, communicate in the internet in different langages, speak with people from different countries on Skype and so on. Only with the languages on the beginner level it is demanding because at that stage you needto do active study. So it's absolutely necessary to get beyond the beginnerlevel to pick up further languages.

BP: How do you choose a language tolearn that is under which criteria do you pick them to study?

F: My principle isthat I should have multiple reasons to choose one special language, one reasononly would not be enough. I find this necessary to get a stable motivation forstudy. So, if one of my reasons falls off, I will still keep on studying the new language. My newest target language is Danish and I chose Danish because I visited Danmark in 2001, I was born in Schleswig-Holstein near the Danishborder, I wanted to visit the Universala Esperanto Kongreso in Kopenhagen in2011 and there is a person on the HTLAL – language forum who inspires my Danish. Of course for different languages my reasons to choose them are also different. There is no “One criterium fits all” solution for my languagechoices.

BP: Among all the languages you havemastered till now, which do you think was the hardest to learn and which wasthe easiest and why?

F: I would adviseeveryone not to speak about “mastering a language” because I find thisexpression misleading. Language learners and polyglots speak differentlanguages on different levels. So do I! The language level of my Dutch is C2 (=the highest level) and my target language Danish is on the A1-A2 level. Myother languages are in-between. Let me begin with the easiest language: This is Esperanto with its typical phonetic pronounciation and simplified grammar structure. It took me three months of having private lessons twice a week to beable to speak it actively on an intermediate level. The most difficult studylanguages I found Ancient Greek and Russian with their different writing systemand their irregular grammar. I decided to drop both languages, the dead one because I had no use for it after finishing school and Russian because I foundit too difficult and there was no suitable language course offered for me atthe adult education center at that time. I should add that the difficulty of alanguage in general always depends on the native language of the speaker. Thereis no absolute language difficulty! For speakers with Portuguese as theirnative language it's easier to learn other Romance languages like French,Spanish or Italian than for me with German as my native language. But for me based on German it was easier to learn English and Dutch than it would be fornative speakers of Portuguese.

BP:  I have passed a time infront of myiPad watching your videos on You Tube, your videos are really very useful toeverybody, your attempt to help people with new books and methods is reallygood. I really think YouTube videos are a great tool for both sides, the one who makesthe videos learns a lot with those who watch them and vice versa. What is yourrelation with the camera? That is aren't you shy when you put a video there?

Fasulye working on her internet projects.
F: No, I am not at allcamera-shy, on the contrary I enjoy very much speaking to an invisible audiencewhile being filmed by a camera. When I make videos myself it's my choice to decidewhat I want to say and what I want to be shown in the picture. I get a lot of positive feedback from people from different countries who are watching myvideos. My geatest motivation to make these videos is to inspire other peopleand show them that language learning is something you should enjoy because it'sfun. Without making these videos I could only inspire my private friends in real life.

BP: I really know that the nextquestion I am about to ask is a little bit hard to have an accurate answer dueto the complexity of our studies, but let us try, how many languages do you know and speak? As we know, there are different levels of knowledge in the different skills.

F: I find it notprecise enough to describe my language skills with the terms “beginner”, “intermediate”and “advanced”. The CEFR – levels of the European Framework of Languages aremore precise and therefore better to use. So beginner = A1 or A2, intermediate= B1 or B2 and advanced = C1 or C2. A1 is the lowest and C2 is the highestlanguage level.

To know more about CEFR - Click to enlarge
My language-levels:
German: native
Dutch: C2
English: C1
French: B2
Italian: B2
Esperanto: B2
Spanish: B1-B2
Danish: A1-A2
Turkish: A1
Latin: only passiveB1

But I should clarify that any language levels are never static but they are developing constantly.Like other polyglots I try to keep ALL my languages active because I don't wantto “forget” languages. Especially with Latin this is very difficult because Ican't cook with Latin recipes, watch Latin TV or talk with people in Latin onSkype. Of course with living languages it's much easier to keep them active.

       BP: Sometimes theterm “speak” does not always mean that you can also “understand” the languageat the same level that you can speak. How do you overcome this,especially with languages that are not related to your native language like Spanish or Italian?

Language skills ingeneral can be devided into two active skills and into two passive skills. Theactive skills are speaking and writing and the passive skills are reading andlistening.

From my experienceit's easer to aquire passive language skills than active language skills. Thatmeans for example that I can understand a foreign language more easily thanthat I can speak it. I observe this with my new target languages: First I learn how to read, listen and understand them, but my speaking ability which is in mycase dependant on my thinking ability in the foreign language will developlater on. So people should not loose hope, if they find speaking a new language at the beginning very difficult. To overcome typical difficulties with a newlanguage in general I do a lot of listening and reading at the same time.Mostly, I use the audio CDs of my textbooks and workbooks and I espeically listen to dialogs while reading the texts. And it's important to do this very,very often to develop a good feeling for the sound and for the writing of thenew language. At the end you should be able to hear the sound of the newlanguage in your mind while reading texts in this language.

BP: We have in the market severallanguage courses like Assimil, Teach Yourself series, Hugo, Pimsleur, Rosetta Stone, Pons and so on. If you could chose just one of themwhich one would you choose and why?

F: Unfortunately, I am not the suitable person to answer this question as it is asked here because Iam not familiar with these these internationally used language programs basedon the English language because I buy my textbooks, workbooks and audio CDs inmy local bookstores here in Germany. Besides Assimil the here named language programs are not availble in Germany, so I stick to good quality language resources based on the German language. My favourite publishing house fortextbooks, workbooks and audio CDs is Hueber, for the bilingual dictionariesbased on German I prefer Langenscheidt and for the my verb tables and concisegrammars I prefer Pons.

         BP: As you told mebefore, your most recent language was Danish, that is a little bit similar to  German and Dutch, what is your strategy not to mix them up?

F: Indeed Danish issimilar because all three languages named here belong to the Germanic language group. But I don't mix these three languages up because I have a native levelin German and a near-native level in Dutch, so my language levels of these twoare too high to get them mixed with Danish. The danger to mix languages upwould occur, if I studied for example Danish and Swedish on both a beginnerlevel at the same time. My general advice is that, if you want to study two languages on the same beginner level, choose two languages which are significantly different. For example for two years I studied paralell Danish and Turkish, which have no linguistic relationship. If you want to study two closely related languages, it would be wise to have different language levelsin them or to be already fluent in both of them.

BP.  What will your next language be?And why?

F: This is of coursean intereresting question to ask! My current project is now “10 years of Danish” and I have almost 3 years of Danish studies behind me. So it it will take quite a lot of time until I will decide to choose a new target language. I see only two possible choices: Either I will pick up my studies of Turkishagain or I will start learning Portuguese from zero. My reasons for choosing Portuguese would be because it's a European language and I live in Europe andmy previous knowlede of Spanish grammar and vocabulary would make it for meeasier to learn. Should I study Portuguese, I would adapt the pronounciation of Portugal but I would also famliarize myself with Brazilian Portuguese.

BP: To finish, what message would you leave to those (like my mother) willing to learn a foreign language, but theythink themselves to be too old for this?
F: Your age is not a valid excuse for not learning a foreign language. An excellent motivation to learn a language and the amount of work you put into the learning project are essential. If you are really interested in the language, and if you study regularly, your age will not be of any hinderance. If you are 40 , 50, 60 oreven 70 it doesn't matter. Maybe you will have to practise more than the veryyoung people who have just left school, but that shouldn't at all discourage you. For me personally it means that I will just keep on studying my languagesfor the years to come as I did it in the years before. I will just stick to the methods which have worked for me well in the past and perhaps modernize something here and there, if new tools are availble such as an MP3 -player orthe internet, which were not availble for me 20 -30 years ago.
As readers of this interview, I wish you all good luck with your language studies!
To know more about Fasulye and see her videos check the links below:

domingo, 24 de junho de 2012

Is it possible to learn a language in 3 or 4 months?

People have been asking me about the real possibility to learn a language in a short period of time like 4 or even 3 months, but to give you the right and precise answer I will invite you to think carefully, and I will ask you another question, would you believe me if I said I studied a language and learnt it in 7 years? Probably you will believe, won't you?
So If you apply to a language course in a private school, how long will it take? According to their promises from 5 to 7 years, so let's take the average number of 6 years, people usually attend to such courses one hour (or 50 minutes) twice a week, 10 or 11 months a year, so the number of hours studied in language schools is about 480 hours.
So, it is mathematical accepted that with 480 hours a person can master a language, and with this in mind we can continue with the question titled in this post: is it possible to learn a language in 3 or 4 months?
Obviously not, if you study it only one hour twice a week, but absolutely yes, if you dedicate at least 5 to 6 hours daily to this. As you can really see, if you are really determined to learn a language and have time to do this it is totally possible learn it in 3 months, for this reason you should not be impressed if a polyglot claim that he can learn a language in this short time, providing he is immersing himself in the process.
The next question should be, is it easy? Well, to answer this question I will need other post, so soon I will speak about the easiness or difficulty about it.

quinta-feira, 24 de maio de 2012

Mello Method Books

I have written some teaching books for several languages, all of them are based on modern and traditional language concepts, but at the moment they are available only for schools.

sexta-feira, 11 de maio de 2012

How to choose a language school or Methods of self study

Stop looking at, start speaking!

This week I have been organizing some of my books and I have found some "pearls", that are some old books from the last century, that I have been collecting since I was a child, because my dream is to establish museum of the foreign language in my city. It is really funny to observe how good were the old books, they could not have a great design and funny cartoons, but the content is undoubtedly further better then the majority we have available in the language market nowadays. Sometimes my pupils bring me the material they used in the former school, or with the former teacher, and I get astonished to realize how bad they are, and I can easily find out why the majority of learners who study in language centres seldom reach their goals, obviously the fault is not entirely on the books, but it is partly their fault, the language market is only interested in the money, they are not truly interested in the language, sometimes they do not know nothing about methodology and claim themselves experts.
People really do not know how to choose a foreign language school or teacher, they simply believe in their claims and empty words and apply for the course, but it is exactly for this reason that the "learningless process" starts, bad teacher, bad books, no methodology and a lot of money and time invested, year after year until the person gives up, and starts the belief of inability.
People have no idea how to choose self-teaching books not even language school or teacher, here I will share some tips:
How to choose a language School:
1-when you go to know the school or methodology, do not accept to go only to the basic lesson, ask them to watch an advanced lesson in order to be sure that the school does what it promises, if the students in that advanced group is not speaking in a flow, give up immediately of the school.
2- observe if they only have foreigners as teachers, in fact to be a native is not a symptom of ability to teach, sometimes a non native teacher, but with experience is far better than a native with NO experience in teaching.  Sometimes people insist in the need of a native speaker as a teacher, but knowledge is no use without ability to teach it.
3- if you decide to study by yourself the choice of the material is a critical part of the whole process, as it will be through it that you will learn the language, so you have to decide your form to learn the language. Some people prefer to learn by reading, others by listening, and some others by speaking. You can check on the Internet about various method available, for sure there are good reviews and specialist's opinion, as there are a lot of methods the only form to discover which one is the best for you is by discovering the way your brain prefers to learn, that is, if it prefers to learn by reading, listening, writing or doing, or even with some of those.
The language material marketing is really huge, we have material for all the tastes and wallets, some are free of charge and amazingly fantastic, some are incredibly expensive and ridiculously bad, in the bookshops we become doubtful in front of the large amount of
material, so how to overcome this problem? Many linguists, polyglots and experienced language learner have been trying a lot to evaluate the quality of materials, but we have never arrived in middle term, some love certain material while others hate the same ones.
So, I will suggest you the material I use to learn new languages, I promise in the future make a detailed review about such courses:
I particularly use the following:
Assimil Series (perfect for the step by step approach)
Colloquial Series (perfect for the grammar)
Teachyourself series (perfect for the grammar and activation system)
Pimsleur Audios (perfect for no-reading moments)
Michel Thomas audios and methodology on the whole (perfect for putting everything together and start speaking).
Lonely planet phrasebooks (perfect to have in your pocket all day long).

So, these are my favourite methods, not necessarily in this order, nowadays I am working in a challenge to try Pimsleur Method so you can check old posts to know more about it. Later on I will do reviews about the others.
Please, do not hesitate to post any comments, send me an email, or even vist my channel in youtube  

terça-feira, 8 de maio de 2012

Are you afraid of Hungarian Language?

Let's see some facts about Hungarian Language:
The Hungarian language is really interesting, but it is also a very dificult language to learn, as it has almost no conections with other languages I have previously studied, because most of the languages I have studied are from the German and Latim (Romance) families, and a few from slavic languages, so if I put them together I will not recognise not more than 25% of Hungarian, that is a language in complete darkness, see more details in the table below.

Origin of word roots in Hungarian[1]
Latin and Greek
Other known
[1] A nyelv és a nyelvek ("Language and languages"), edited by István Kenesei.
Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, 2004, ISBN 963-05-7959-6, p. 134)

I also found a blog that treated the difficulty of Hungarian, according to the blog Hungarian  is one os the 10th most difficult languages in the world:

The hardest languages to learn overall

Source:lexiophiles link here.
And now, will you join us in the challenge of learning Hungarian with Pimsleur?
I have been preparing a video to share what I have achieved so far, coming soon. 

quinta-feira, 26 de abril de 2012

Flascards for Hungharian and any other languge.

Have you ever heard about flash card ? 

According to the Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia :

"A flashcard or flash card is a set of cards bearing information, as words or numbers, on either or both sides, used in classroom drills or in private study. One writes a question on a card and an answer overleaf. Flashcards can bear vocabulary, historical dates, formulas or any subject matter that can be learned via a question and answer format. Flashcards are widely used as a learning drill to aid memorization by way of spaced repetition." 

I am an addicted to the flashcards, I cannot imagine my language studies without a set of flash cards, no matter what language or method I am studying with, flashcard is a compulsory element, so as an extra help for my Pimsleur Hungarian lessons, I prepared a set of flashcards for the first 3 lessons, the most difficult for a beginner with no previous knowledge. 

Set of free pdf flashcard for the Hungarian lessons:
Lesson 01 - pdf
Lesson 02 - pdf  Lesson 03 - pdf

Cut your flashcards and fold them.

Pile and organise them.

Mantain them organised in bags
and study them.
Rules to Use Pimsler (by the producers):In order to gain the full benefits from the Pimsleur Language Programs, stick to the guidelines below.
  • Choose a quiet place where you can practice without interruption and a time of day when your mind is most alert and your body least fatigued. You might study in your car, listening to the program while you commute or travel.
  • Once you've started the program, simply follow the tutor's instructions.
  • Speak out loud when directed by the tutor and answer questions. There will be pauses after every instruction, giving you time to reply. It is essential to your progress that you speak out in a normal conversational voice when asked to respond. Your active participation in thinking and speaking is required for your success in mastering this course. After your response, a confirmation will be provided as reinforcement.
  • Do not have a paper and pen nearby during the lessons, and do not refer to dictionaries or other books. The Pimsleur Method works with the language-learning portion of your mind, requiring language to be processed in its spoken form. You will only interrupt the learning process if you try to write the words you hear.
  • Complete the lesson units in strict consecutive order-don't skip around!
  • Try your best to work through only one particular lesson (30 minutes long) each and every day. Dr. Pimsleur's research shows 30 minutes to be the optimum period for learning language, after which the mind loses its ability to retain new information. Although you should do no more than one particular lesson per day, you can repeat the same lesson unit any time during the day.
  • If you are responding correctly about eighty percent of the time, then you're ready to proceed to the next lesson on the following day. It is important to keep moving forward, but also not to set unreasonable standards of perfection that will keep you from progressing, which is why we recommend the eighty percent figure as a guide.
  • If you do not feel comfortable moving on to the next lesson, simply repeat the lesson. Daily contact with the language is critical to successful learning. As long as one lesson is completed each day, even if it is repeated, you will be making progress!

sexta-feira, 20 de abril de 2012

More resources to learn Hungarian: FSI Hungarian

Since I have started to study Hungarian with Pimsleur Method (more about this can be found here), I have been looking for more resources to use after finishing Pimsleur, because it has only one level, it was when I came across an old method produced by the Foreign Service Institute, I have heard about this method before, I have even studied one of its books before, but the Hungarian course is absolutely amazing. A friend of mine has lent it to me, and I put it on the table and thanked him, but he insisted that I should look at the book quickly, but I told him that the aim of my studies is to see how good is Pimsleur and that I had no interest in the language itself, but he insisted that even with this in mind I should check the book. Wow! for my surprise the book taught somethings I had learned with Pimsleur, so I put the audio and I became astonished on how the course was conduced, you can really learn the language almost effortlessly, the book does most of the work for you. It has a terrible design, and a boring audio style, but it is what every method should be. I will continue my study with Pimsleur Hungrian, but I will try to resist to not check at times FSI course.
You can find out more about FSI courses in Internet or even in shops like Amazon, there are several versions of them, and they are available in many languages, unfortunately not all with the same quality as the one found in Hungarian.

domingo, 15 de abril de 2012

How about learning Hungarian?

Photo: Jimmy in front of Hungarian Institute in Paris
The photo  was taken in front of  Hungarian
Institute in Paris.
I have been reading a blog and watching the videos of a great English polyglot,his name is Richard Simcott, he decided to test the real efficiency of a very famous method called Pimsleur (see the link to his chalenge here), this method has helped me a lot with some languages that I speak, so I am personally a fan of this method, but I have never used it with languages I have no previous knowledge of even interest, Richard proposed a challenge of thirty days to examine the efficiency of this method, and what gained my attention was the fact that I have no interest in the selected language, that is hungarian, and I have never read or even heard this language before. So I decided by myself to get into this challenge as well and see how important is the inner wish to learn a new language.
Sometimes in this blog and in my lessons with my students I am in the habit of emphasizing  the fact that you need to be motivated, but now I realised that motivation is important but it has nothing to do with passion for the language itself, in this case Hungarian, that is if I really put all my efforts to learn something even without liking it I CAN really learn it. Richard wants to check the efficiency of the method itself, but as I believe in the method I want to check the factors: motivation and desire for a language in particular.
I will try to answer the following questions during the next 30 days:
1) Shall I be able to learn a language and speak it without  any interest in it, if I put all my "obsession" in learning it?
2)Is the method effective because of the method itself or because of other factors? 
Maybe together with Richard's conclusion (please check his website to keep updated) we can examine how far can Pimsleur take us in its first level, and other backgrounds in learning a foreign language.

How do I follow Pimsleur Method?
As I mentioned before I have already used Pimsleur, so I am familiar with its procedures, thus I simply follow its instruction, that is listen to one lesson a day and answer when it is required to do so, out loud. When I have an available extra time I do the lesson again on the same day, and I usually do not use other method while doing Pimsleur.

How about the reading?
When you get at a particular lesson the audio will ask you to read the accompanied booklet to have a contact with the written language as well.
Obviously, as I said before, I am obsessive for the language learning itself so during the studying period I listen to musics and podcasts, read books, watch tv program everything in the target language, but not other methods because I prefer to know a course content quite well and completely than just a part of many others, but I use several authentic material to improve the contact.

Do you want do get into the challenge as well?
Be free to do it, we started it on 15th of Abril 2012.

Where can you know more about this method and buy it?
Sites like ebay (mercadolivre, mercadolibre) sell second hand Original Pimsleur courses, or you can go to the offical site by clicking here to know more and buy the course direct with them, keep in mind that we have no conections with the producers of this course and no money transaction is involved in this challenge, it is just a free initiative to help other language learners to choose material.

How can you follow the challenge?
Simply by visting this website (add it to your favourites), or at my twitter or facebook.

In a short time I will post somethings and some extra material I am producing, like flashcards to help me (and maybe you) in this process.  

terça-feira, 20 de março de 2012

Stop complaining! Study!

Sometimes we realise that some people learn faster, speak better, and even have a perfect pronunciation than others,  but you have to be be sure that this has much more to do with dedication (obsession) than talent, there is no such a thing of talented (gifted) person to learn a foreign language, everything that exist behind a fluent person is a great obsession and hard work.
When you start learning a foreign language you should start free of prejudice, any language is any language, the right attitude is open your mind to acquire new pieces of information, there is no such a thing of difficult language, what we have are languages from different families, if you speak Portuguese you can easily learn Spanish or even Italian, the same is true if you speak German so Dutch will not represent a great difficulty, even Russian is not so difficult if you speak Ukrainian or even Polish. So, stop giving the excuse that the language X or Y is very difficult, the problem is not the language you are learning, but how big is your determination to learn it.
Best wishes,
Jimmy Mello

quinta-feira, 15 de março de 2012

Brazilian Polyglot

quarta-feira, 14 de março de 2012

Fluency in the listening

Fluency in the listening. 

Today we are going to speak about the importance of the listening, and much more than this, the listening fluency. Yes, you have read right, there is a kind of fluency in the listening ability.
The listening ability is when the native speaker do not need to change or modify the way he talks, in other words is when the listening ability has accommodated in your brain, and you can understand nearly every single word the native speaks to you, as I like to say: speak is easier than listening, because when you are speaking you have the total control of your knowledge, in other words you can easily choose what you want and can speak, when you have the word in the conversation you can build the conversation according to what you know, but you have no control over what the other person wants to say.
Ok, supposing you are already convinced that the listening is the most difficult (and one of the most important) ability in the process of learning a language, so how to overcome it?
Well, unfortunately I have no magic formula to do this, but the only scientific way is by being exposed to the language as much as you can, even if you cannot travel to other countries you can "listen fluently",just by following my step-by-step:

1st step: choose the material for you to listen, it can be either a podcast or even fairly tales (my favourite way to train the listening), this moment is the crucial moment, some people tend to choose one or two audios, but you need at least 7 audios per week, that is you should listen at least 1 everyday, or even repeat one twice. You must be exposed to the foreign audio from half to 2 hours a day, if you are really determined (or what I recommend, you should be obsessed) in your mission you will for sure find time to do it, you can do on the way home, in the gym, before sleeping, just after waking up, that is, it is up to you, but the fact is that you should no, you MUST listen something at least 30 minutes every day.

Data about the 1st step: listen even without understanding any single word, the language needs time to accommodate in your mind, you will notice that after a time of exposure your ear will be able to differ the sounds easily, and you will be able to understand some things, but when I say the language needs time it does not mean magic, you have to follow to the next step. 

2nd step: attend to a course, remember that even listening every day, you have to study the language either by yourself, with a teacher or at a language centre, at least twice a week, this is the form you will learn the vocabulary, the structure and even sometimes the necessary grammar points that will help you to improve your abilities.

3rd step: when you are able to understand over 40% choose a story, preferably a fairy tale, and tell it to someone ( to the teacher, to a friend, to a native speaker, or to yourself in the lack of one of the previous), the act of telling the tale will reinforce your listening ability and will improve quite a lot your speaking ability, you have to to this at least twice a week.

4th step- DO EVERYTHING YOU HAVE JUST LEARNT, some people like to learn new tips, but instead of putting in practice they keep with their old and useless habits, and after continue complaining about how difficult is learning a foreign language.

Keep in touch!
Best wishes,
Jimmy Mello