Linguisticator - a Clugstonist approach?

Has anyone checked out this guy?

He claims to speak a number of modern and ancient languages fluently, and to have some very high academic credentials - including a formal study of Linguistics (way to go, Mr Clugston! :-D)

He runs an online course which claims to teach people how to become fluent in a language very quickly the way a “linguist” (in the Clugstonist sense of the word) would do so - by “taking it apart”, etc…

If this approach really works, he could be another possible trainer for the Arguelles Polyglot Academy…

“… and can learn a new language to fluency in only a few months.” – Yep, I’ll believe it when I see it.

Are there testimonials?
Yes! Please view them here. →
Sorry, the page that you are looking for does not exist.

Will it be easy?
No. Language learning takes work …

Will this make me fluent?
No. IT cannot make YOU fluent—only YOU can make YOU fluent.

Do you have a money-back guarantee?
Yes! … BUT: If you buy it and get lazy, that’s your problem.

It’s interesting how he says his method is the only that can take you to a high fluency level, yet so many people have learned languages to a high fluency level before it came around.

My take on the “linguisticator”: I think he may possibly have one or two interesting things to say, but I am skeptical about whether it is even remotely worth what he’s charging. (I doubt whether he has any real magic tricks up his sleeve…)

Here is the actual testimonials page:

I signed up for his free trial (no credit card involved, so I don’t have to worry about being scammed) It gives you access to about 1 hour 45 minutes of video of him describing some general linguistic terms such as “aspect” and “register” and how to understand them according to whatever language you are learning, memory techniques (he is a fan of mnemonics), prioritizing your vocabulary acquisition, filler words (how natives say “um” in their language), conversational connectors, etc, and he talks a fair bit about observing body language and what native speakers do with their hands, so you can imitate them.

His basic advise is to spend 15 to 20 minutes every day doing his special techniques to internalize the grammatical structure of the language, while spending the rest of your time doing listening activities and the like for vocabulary acquisition (pretty much the idea behind Barry Farber’s “How to Learn Any Language” book).

I’m sure there is mor to the system, but this is what I got solely based off of his trial period videos. I do like the way he presents his material, and since he no longer sells it as a $300 lump sum, but instead has various subscription models, I may subscribe for a month to watch the rest of his vids. I am not sure how much of the material will be new, but I do like the way he presents the grammar concepts, and for $30 (one month basic subscription) blowing through all the videos on a saturday afternoon may be a fun task.

As far as his potential to be one of Prof. Arguelles’s professors, here is his self described linguistic background: “I completed my BA summa cum laude and valedictorian at age 19 from UMBC double majoring in English and Modern Languages and Linguistics, concentrating in German. I went on to complete an MPhil with distinction at the University of Cambridge in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, then began an MA/PhD at Cornell University in the Medieval Studies program, where I focused on Germanic literature and linguistics (Germanic Philology). I passed my comps after two years, receiving an MA, then defended my dissertation and completed my PhD a year and a half later, receiving my doctorate at the age of 23. While at Cornell, I studied not just Germanic languages, but also Latin, Classical Japanese, and Classical Chinese. Japanese was my first foreign language.”_

@Odiernod: “…His basic advise is to spend 15 to 20 minutes every day doing his special techniques to internalize the grammatical structure of the language”

Hmm…okay…but that strikes me as the kind of thing that could be a lot easier said than done…

How exactly do you internalize the grammatical structure of (for example) Czech?

Are we talking about rote-learning of declension models, I wonder? That could require some hardcore brain-workouts!

(In fairness to him, he does say that his methods aren’t for softies, I guess…)

He’s definitely an interesting guy, who has a lot to say on many different topics pertaining to learning. I’m currently browsing through his earlier videos and watching his “Study Skillz” series… But as far as “Linguisticator” is concerned, I agree with JayB. Plus I don’t really like the name. Sounds too agressive for me. I’m not going to rip new languages apart :wink: (just joking)

"Are we talking about rote-learning of declension models, I wonder? That could require some hardcore brain-workouts! "

No clue, that part isn’t included in his free trial

ad odiernod: Wow, that sounds really impressive. He seems to be a highly-qualified person. As for his “language course”, I’d love to hear him speak a language he learnt with his technique. Maybe he does that in one of his videos. At the end of the day, we will all still have to invest a lot of time and effort into learning languages. That we all can learn any language spoken on this planet is not really news to me.

But if he has some valid tips on how to take a short-cut or make sure we use a more structured approach that helps to save time while making the learning process an enjoyable experience, he might indeed have something to offer I might be interested in.

I’ll try to check out his site this weekend. In any case, thanks for the detailed information :slight_smile:

ad JayB: I just had a whale of a time with some charming English ladies at the gala dinner here at the conference and my accent started to change again :wink:


I reckon we should do a swap here: you take those English ladies to dinner, and I’ll invite some Austrian ladies to lunch in return! ;-p

As regards, the “linguisticator”, I’ve decided to sign up for a free trial with him - I’ll be interested to see what he has to say.

(He certainly seems to have some extremely impressive academic credentials!)

I’m browsing through his website now and what I think is following:

He might have his credentials (PhD etc., sounds impressive), but some of his claims sound to me like “hacking a language in 3 months” or “cracking the code of any language”. I’ve got the impression I’ve heard it all before when I was reading a certain blog for people wanting to get fluent fast. What knowledge or experience could he have that we are unable to achieve without his help? Is it worth that much money? I’m sceptical - since I’ve been studying three languages so far and I think I’m quite successful, maybe I’ve already cracked the code myself and should sell a course like this, too? Not a bad idea…

now I do understand what clugston is trying to do, لعمى

Viking Languages Destruction Art
Language Gladiator Fighting System
Comhrac Bas (“Teangeolaiocht” version)

I see what you mean, Customic - it is a bit like a higher IQ version of Bennyism…! :smiley:

Having listened to his free-trial videos, I must take back what I have written. I seem to agree with him on a lot of aspects - in fact I may have been using his approach for learning Turkish without having realised it and that might be the very reason why I’m quite successful with it (at least so far).

I’m not saying such approach will work for everyone (again, I’m a grammar freak in case you’ve forgotten), but it certainly works for me. He made me realise that I should do what works best for ME and in this case, however quirky it will sound for most of you, it’s grammar analysis, in other words, parsing :wink: But… each to his own :wink:

The first couple of free videos from the “Linguisticator” offer a decent enough explanation in layman’s terms of noun class and verbal tense/aspect.

The others seemed kind of humdrum. In fairness to him, one would have to see all the videos to reach a firm conclusion. But my impression, based on the free stuff, is that this would be of use only to real virgin-linguists.

(Once you’ve learned one or two foreign languages to a high level, you kind of know the ropes, IMO.)

Too bad… I would have bought this if only because I’m curious and because I think linguistics is an interesting subject, but it seems like you need a credit card in order to buy it. The trial videos were pretty nice though.

Is it not odd to be trying to sell something to a target audience that he is so obviously and deliberately alienating?

He is constantly insulting to people who are genuinely interested in languages but are not linquists. Surely are they not his potential and prospective customers? Very intelligent approach. Not.

Marianne: The title of the thread may be a bit misleading, Linguisticator is not Clugston’s product, it is being made and sold by a different linguist, who designed it to allow average language learners to learn a language the way a linguist would. Clugston has nothing to do with it.

Yeah, Odiernod is right - Clugston has (so far as we know) absolutely nothing to do with this website.

My question was whether it was based on a ‘Clugstonist’ (i.e. Clugston-like) approach to language learning?