New interview with polyglot Luca

Hi! I’ve just posted a new interview I recorded with the great polyglot Luca Lampariello. We spoke for about 1.5 hours and we discuss some interesting points regarding language learning.

I think the language learners here at lingq will really appreciate - just follow this link:

I hope you don’t mind me sharing.


David, thanks for sharing the link to the interview with Luca and special thanks for having interviewed him.


domo arigato xD

Oh wow! I thought the polyglot podcast died out! Glad to know that it is still going!

Thanks, David! I enjoyed it very much.

Phenomenal. I’m listening to it right now. What impresses me most about Luca is not just his language achievements (as incredible as they are), but the fact that he also has a background in mathematics, having studied and worked in electronic engineering. I wonder if a facility with numbers and an ability to think mathematically allow him to more easily intuit different grammatical structures. Not so much because there are similarities, but rather because mathematics would help to make the brain more flexible in dealing with problem solving and the like. It would be interesting to know what he thinks about that.

Perhaps there is something to that Chris. While I am quicker at picking up grammar than the ‘standard average language learner’ (you know what I mean), I still find my strengths are in listening comprehension and pronunciation. I’m a musician at heart. However, I’m terrible in arithmetic let alone math.

I tend to think that a ‘skill’ in one area leads to a lesser burden in another. So, having very few problems with the sound side of languages, perhaps that leaves the mind freer to concentrate on the other sides. Luca seems to go about pronunciation in a very ‘mathematical’ way.

Anyway, just some thoughts from me.

I have just listened to Richard and will not listen to Luca (while cleaning up the kitchen after dinner). I enjoyed the Richard interview a great deal. Richard has a lot of wise things to say, and David is a great interviewer. I will be talking to Richard this Sunday, certainly in English, on the subject of language learning, and perhaps in Russian on some other subject. Let me know if there are things you would like to hear us talk about.

I would love to hear the story of Richard’s Spanish, since it’s one of the languages he apparently speaks the best. His accent and command of that language is staggering. It would be very interesting to know if there were any specific things he did to get his accent as close to a native Andalusian as he has. It’s just remarkable!!

Given his modesty, humble nature and his more long term approach to language learning I’d really like to know what he thinks about a fluent in three months and speak from day one approach, but maybe that is not for public consumption.

Friedemann, perhaps he’d tell people to find better things to do than bring up a particular person in EVERY BLOODY THREAD!!!

Seriously, I’m tired of it… stop turning these forums from a nice place to discuss language learning into yet another idiotic language forum. Keep the Benny crap to the Benny thread.

You may not have noticed, but I was referring to an approach, not a person.


another suggestion, try to make it a longer interview, I really liked the format of the Luca interview that David did. For me it does not have to be a video, an audio only is just fine.

“Given his modesty, humble nature and his more long term approach to language learning…”

As opposed to the guy who uses the approach… right? Does this poorly hidden series of attacks on character need to be called ‘discussion on approach’? It’s obvious what it is.

Both Luca and Richard stop me from becoming depressed with my plodding progress in language learning. They are both very honest about having worked at languages for a couple of decades, for hours a day every day. Whenever I feel that my progress is miserable, I just have to think of Luca saying he spends two years of intensive deliberate effort on a language to reach a level he is comfortable with. This helps me realise that I still have plenty of time, there is no rush, and I shouldn’t expect miracles nor become glum that my progress is slow. That is, Luca and Richard help me realise that it is perfectly fine to be normal, and that with time and effort the results do come. Without them, I would have given up long ago.


When I started to learn english I had a very fast progress, in 3 months I understood a lot of things reading and listening , I’m talking about articles,news, however I’m using the same method to learn german and I don’t have any remarkable progress in german and I don’t know why!!!

The same method, spending the same time, doing the same things…

But I don’t worry about it I just keep studying hard cause I like…

@ BrazilianPolyglot,

Same here, though I am not a polyglot. I started with Spanish from English, then I tackled Modern Greek. Now I am learning German.

I think that the difference with German from English or Spanish is for two reasons:

  1. Spanish, Portuguese and English share a lot of words in their vocabularies. German also shares a lot of words with English, but the relationship is not as easy to perceive at first.

  2. German grammar structure is a little more complicated than Spanish or Portuguese, and much more complicated than English.

Have you heard of languages being compared to musical instruments? English is a piano language because it is easy work with at the beginning. Its difficulties become apparent later, when one starts to realise that there are many idiomatic aspects of correct use of the language.

Spanish, for me was difficult at first because of all the many verb forms. I think of it as a guitar language or maybe a flute language. It became much easier for me when I had all the standard constructions sort of under control. At this point I could read many newspaper articles and books without having to look up lots of words in a dictionary. I could also talk with native speakers reasonably well.

Modern Greek to me is a violin language. I made lots of errors at first. I have not got too much past the beginner level, though I can understand newspaper articles if I am sure of the context. My conversation ability is still fairly limited. Getting back to Greek is my next project.

German I think is a clarinet language. A bit more complicated than a flute language and with difficulties all along the way. I am finding that after 15 months with LingQ and concentrating largely on German in my spare time, I can read lots of stuff by importing into LingQ and making many LingQs. I am starting to think a little in the language and can pronounce sentences in a way that I think would be comprehensible to a native speaker. I have tried speaking a little to German speakers with some success. I enjoy listening in to other people’s conversations and can put in a few words now and then.

I am a bit different from you in that my approach to German has been different from the way I learned Spanish. With Spanish I took a course at university and read and listened a lot on the side. With German I am simply listening and reading lots on LingQ, importing articles from the WW Web, listening to podcasts and so forth. I have covered an enormous amount of material and am absorbing structure of sentences and vocabulary as I go.

I am living in Ethiopia teaching chemistry in English. I have had limited success with Amharic. I cannot type it on my Mac computer and using the very limited dictionary that is available, is very difficult because the beginnings of the verbs change with gender tense and because I have few recordings with text. Is this all this simply an excuse for not getting on with it?

Good on you, for keeping on going. I like the German learning also very much. Many thanks Vera, and others who contribute the wonderful material we have in the LingQ library.

By the way, I am making lots of discoveries in German. What a wonderful adventure it is to learn this amazing language!

“You may not have noticed, but I was referring to an approach, not a person.”

I noticed the wording you used and your were precisely referring to one person, in particular. You can back peddle with that explanation all you want, but it’s obvious what you were going for.


If anyone here is a moderator it is me, and I only get upset at spamming, vulgarity or aggressive insults directed at other members of the forum. Everyone should feel free to make whatever comments they want to make. Imyirtseshem, it is not for you to tell people on this forum what to stop saying.

BTW, hrhenry, backpedal…