Top 7 TED Talks All Language Learners Should Watch

It’s all too easy to give up on something when it becomes difficult. It can become impossible to see the light at the end of the tunnel, especially when you are trying to complete a particularly long and arduous task.

For language learners, the struggle is often too great and the majority of aspiring polyglots give up early on.

To help you cross over the hardest bit of that hill, we’ve put together a list of the best speeches for language learners. They will inspire you, teach you the methods of success, and motivate you to push through and succeed.

Take a look! :


Fluent in 3 months

Benny Lewis

Key take away: “Language talent” is irrelevant

This video is extremely relatable for anyone who feels they are ‘just not good at languages’. He proves that anyone can learn a language if you change your perspective.

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One Simple Method to Learn Any Language

Scott Young & Vat Jaiswal

Key take away: Just don’t speak your native language

It seems too simple to be true, but these two polyglots show how they learnt a language in a short amount of time, simply by committing to not speaking English at all during their time abroad (or if you can’t travel, see from 12:26).

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Learning a Language Will Change your Life for Good

Christopher McCormick

Key take away: Languages expand your mind in every way

Beyond the many practical benefits of knowing more than one language, this speaker explains how it can make you a better person to explore these foreign elements, language being the embodiment of culture and history.

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How to feel like the Incredible Hulk

Tim Ferriss

Key take away: Apply your capabilities to your fears

If you need inspiration in general, this is the video for you. From 6:34, he talks specifically about language learning, but the entire talk gives you the mindset that anything is possible if you face your fears head on.

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Can you learn the hardest language in the world?

Irina Pravet

Key take away: Believing you can is the first step

Using her experience of learning Finnish, this speaker deconstructs what stops you from learning a language: You.

She explains that your abilities are not the determining factor in learning; they only decide how you do something, not if you can. She also explains how your personality can be transformed by understanding others through language.

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Breaking the language barrier

Tim Doner

Key take away: We need language because it is everywhere

This young polyglot talks about the joys of learning other languages but more importantly, from 12:50 onwards, he delves into how important languages really are, even if you don’t notice it in everyday life.

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The most important language you will EVER learn

Poet Ali 

Key lesson: We speak more languages than we realise

This video is slightly more abstract, but the speaker is very passionate and helps you understand that language is much more than just speech. Communication is the key.

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Are you feeling inspired to pick up that dictionary and get learning? We hope you find this page useful if you ever need a motivational pick-up for your languages again!

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