1. Know your motivation
This might sound obvious, but if you don’t have a good reason to learn a language, you are less likely to stay motivated over the long-run. Wanting to impress English-speakers with your French is not a very good reason — wanting to get to know a French person in their own language is another matter entirely. No matter your reason, once you’ve decided on a language, it’s crucial to commit:
“OK, I want to learn this and I’m therefore going to do as much as I can in this language, with this language and for this language.”
2. Find a partner
Matthew learned several languages together with his twin brother Michael (they tackled their first foreign language, Greek, when they were only eight years old!). Matthew and Michael, or the Super Polyglot Bros. as I’d like to now refer to them, gained their superpowers from good-ol’ healthy sibling rivalry:
“We were very motivated, and we still are. We push each other to really go for it. So if he realizes that I’m doing more than he is, he’ll get a bit jealous and then try and outdo me (maybe because he’s my twin) — and the other way round.”
Even if you can’t get a sibling to join you on your language adventure, finding some kind of partner will push both of you to always try just a little bit harder and stay with it.
“I think it’s a really great way of actually going about it. You have someone with whom you can speak, and that’s the idea behind learning a new language.”
3. Talk to yourself
When you have no one else to speak to, there’s nothing wrong with talking to yourself in a foreign language.
“It might sound really weird, but act