AFP 31 – Leszek Trybała: The young polyglot revolution

Today I have a very special guest. Leszek is a 17-year old who impressed me greatly whenever I would open the Memrise leaderboards. He would routinely get 10 times as many points as me in a month, which would indicate a very high level of activity. He's also fascinating because he is part of the young polyglot revolution, where teenagers start learning languages very early and do so very successfully. Another example of this is Tim Doner, who everybody probably knows by now.

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Leszek (on the Left) with Alex Rawlings

In the interview Leszek passionately shares his vision for learning languages, along with his very intense methods of perfecting himself. For example: He often records himself speaking in order to perfect his accent and was very affected when I told him I could sense a bit of Swedish in his English accent.

That shows an incredible commitment and passion to learning languages that older people easily could learn something from, right after my talk with Leszek I instantly jumped on Memrise to try and improve my terrible score for the week 🙂

The Episode

Show Notes

In this episode you will hear about:

  • Leszek's language learning upbringing
  • How being competitive is motivating him to work harder
  • Just how much time he spends on learning languages
  • How many languages he learns at once
  • How he perfects his accent
  • His special technique for improving rhytmic patterns
  • And much more!

Resources mentioned in the Episode

Note: I've removed most of the resources from this section, as I always had Anki/Memrise etc. here every week. Now I will only put resources here that are very exclusive to the episode. For any other resource please go to the resource page for more information.

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  • Alex

    I know Leszek 😀

  • Ian

    How do i follow you guys on memrise?

  • Ian

    Thanks a lot Chris!! Have you checked out the “game” called Influent? It’s pretty much an interactive vocabulary game, and they have it in Russian. Maybe you could do a review on it or even get one of the creators on your show haha. Thanks again

    • Chris Broholm

      I have checked it out, but to me it is a totally flawed concept. Vocabulary acquisition for me is already a game via Memrise or Anki (whichever you prefer) and I find the idea of ‘playing’ a game to learn words, very reminiscent of my childhood and the early dos-games that tried to teach me words and maths.

      I think language learning games are super cool, but why make a vocabulary building game? With the gaming platform the focus should be on sentences, phrases and pseudo-immersion, not just going around in an apartment and “exploring” the names for everyday objects.