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  • Mar 17, 2012
  • 07:48 PM

Experience: I can speak 50 languages

Alexander Arguelles / The Guardian
I'm often asked what the secret is, and whether some people have an aptitude for absorbing words and phrases. The truth is, predictably, it's down to endless hours of concentration – reading, studying and practising grammar, as well as my own technique called "shadowing", which involves walking briskly outdoors while listening to a recorded language and repeating it out loud.


  1. Alexander Arguelles wrote, “I’ve studied Esperanto, and although I can see the benefits of a world language, I do think the loss of so many quirks and colours would leave the world a less intriguing place. It would be like visiting a botanic garden where there was only one type of plant – that thought horrifies me.”

    Oh, dear! I’m afraid that he has missed the point completely. Esperanto was always intended as a second language for all, and not as a replacement for the world’s rich variety of national and ethnic languages. Esperanto was designed for use by people who, unlike Alexander Arguelles, find the successful learning of languages difficult.

    - Bill Chapman at 09:05 PM, Mar 17, 2012     Permalink

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