Language Mastery



The Language Mastery Show brings you interviews with the world's best language learners. The show is hosted by John Fotheringham, a linguist and author obsessed with making language learning as fun, accessible, and effective as possible for listeners. Each episode includes a long-form interview with a linguist, language expert, polyglot, innovative educator, or top language blogger, with just enough silliness and puns to keep things interesting. Topics include:The daily habits of successful language learners.The importance of psychology and attitude in language learning.Common language learning myths and misconceptions.The DOs and DONTs of effective language acquisition.The best language learning apps, sites, and resources available.How to have more fun in language learning.


  • LMS S4 E5 - Slow Chinese Founder Andrew Methven on Learning Chinese Through Chunks, News & Internet Slang

    22/04/2022 Duración: 38min

    Andrew Methven is the creator of Slow Chinese 每周漫闻, a weekly newsletter that helps Mandarin Chinese learners immerse themselves in authentic, colloquial language via interesting stories and news events handpicked from Chinese media, social media, and TV. Instead of learning the stilted and stuffy language of Chinese textbooks, Andrew's excellent newsletter trains you to understand the way people really speak and write the language today. In the interview, Andrew shares how he first fell in love with Chinese, differences between Mandarin between Mainland China and Taiwan, and his top tips for language learners. For show notes, visit

  • S4 E4 - Hack Chinese Founder Daniel Nalesnik on How to Master Mandarin & Find the Fun in Language Learning

    04/03/2022 Duración: 57min

    From full-time Mandarin immersion at Peking University and Shanghai's Fudan University to years of independent study online, Daniel Nalesnik has spent the last 13+ years on a mission to figure out the most fun and effective way to learn Mandarin Chinese.   The result? The creation of Hack Chinese, a powerful spaced repetition tool designed from the ground up just for Mandarin learners, unlike generic SRS apps that struggle to properly handle Chinese characters, tones, etc.   In our conversation, Daniel shares the lessons he's learned, what he would do differently if he started from scratch, and how new language learners can get started.   For show notes, visit  

  • S4 E3 – Author Scott H. Young on How to Apply His "Ultralearning" Principles in Language Learning

    30/01/2022 Duración: 01h11min

    Scott H. Young is a Canadian writer, programmer, entrepreneur, and metalearning expert. He is the author of the best-seller Ultralearning: Master Hard Skills, Outsmart the Competition, and Accelerate Your Career, and has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The BBC, Popular Mechanics, Business Insider, and LifeHacker.  He has applied and refined his principles in a number of accelerated learning challenges, from completing MIT’s 4-year undergraduate computer science curriculum in just 1 year, to spending a year abroad in 4 countries with no English allowed, to a one-month at-home challenge to learn Macedonian, his wife’s native language.  For more about Scott, visit  For show notes, visit

  • S4 E2 - Attitude > Aptitude

    15/01/2022 Duración: 07min

    In today's episode, I share three more tips for building the three foundations of mastery: 

  • S4 E1 - The 3 Foundations of Mastery

    09/01/2022 Duración: 07min

    Happy New Year! I hope your 2022 is off to a great start. In this first episode of the year, I would like to experiment with a new format. I have some exciting interviews lined up in the coming weeks, but I’d like to kick things off with a new segment called The 3 Foundations of Mastery.  If you already subscribe to my Language Mastery Monday newsletter, you will already be familiar with this framework. If not, what are you waiting for? Head over to to get expert tips and tools in your inbox each week. So what are the three foundations and why do they matter? Foundation 1 is Mastering Your Mind, which means conquering fears and self-limiting beliefs that are blocking your path to fluency. Foundation 2 is Mastering Your Day, which involves building better habits and learning more efficiently. Foundation 3 is Mastering Your Environment, which means creating your own immersion wherever you happen to live. One of the biggest lessons I have learned over the last 20 plus ye

  • AJATT’s Khatzumoto on How To Immerse Yourself in Japanese Anywhere in the World

    05/01/2021 Duración: 21min

    Note: This interview was originally recorded in 2010 as part of a collection of expert interviews included with my Japanese learning guide Master Japanese. This version includes excerpts from the complete interview, which is available as part of the Master Japanese Digital Package available  Khatzumoto is the man behind the popular Japanese learner blog All Japanese All the Time (or AJATT for short). While attending university in the United States, he figured out a way to immerse himself in Japanese language and culture nearly 24 hours a day. In an extremely short amount of time, he managed to reach an impressive level of fluency despite not living where the language was spoken and even without many of the learning tools and resources now readily available (he began his journey in 2004). 

  • Polyglot Lindie Botes on How To Master Japanese, Korean & Chinese Through Self-Guided Immersion

    29/12/2020 Duración: 01h05min

    Lindie Botes is a polyglot, YouTuber, blogger, and UI/UX designer on a mission to master 12+ languages, including Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and more. She is originally from South Africa, but has lived all over the world and now calls Singapore home. Though she loves foreign languages, she sees them not as an end but as a means to break down the barriers that otherwise divide us. 

  • Matt vs. Japan on How To Master Japanese Through Immersion

    21/12/2020 Duración: 02h01min

    Matt is the creator of the popular Matt vs. Japan YouTube channel and the co-founder of Refold: The Roadmap to True Fluency, where he shares the methods he used to reach near native-like fluency in Japanese in just 5 years. I am a big fan of his immersion-based approach to language learning (which aligns well with the approach I share in Master Japanese), his mission to create a more streamlined path to fluency, and his commitment to giving Japanese language learners the tips and tools they need to succeed. 

  • Amanda Hsiung-Blodgett on How To Master Mandarin Chinese Through Play

    15/12/2020 Duración: 01h21min

    Amanda Hsiung-Blodgett (a.k.a. “Miss Panda”) is an intercultural language consultant and trainer, the author of Let’s Learn Mandarin Chinese with Miss Panda! and First Mandarin Sounds: an Awesome Chinese Word Book, and the host of the Playful Chinese podcast. I love her approach to language learning, especially her emphasis on play and having fun. As she puts it eloquently, "Playing is learning. Learning is playing." 

  • Skritter CEO Jake Gill on How to Level Up Your Mandarin & Learn to Write Chinese Characters the "Write" Way

    17/11/2020 Duración: 01h08min

    Jake Gill (高健) is a Chinese educator, former "Teaching Chinese as a Second Language" graduate student, and the CEO of Skritter, an innovative language learning app that helps Japanese and Chinese learners master characters through active production (i.e. writing on the screen) instead of passive recognition.  In the interview, we talk about how and why he learned Mandarin Chinese, why traditional language classes won't get you fluent in a language, what he would do differently if he were to start learning Mandarin over again, the limitations of app-based learning and following "the golden path," the importance of following your passion and curiosity in languages, how to learn to write Chinese characters the "write" way, Jake's current language learning routines and favorite resources, and the importance of daily habits and focusing on process over outcome. If you'd like to try Skritter, use the code LANGUAGEMASTERY at checkout to get 10% off. 

  • Sam the Japanese Translator on How to Master Japanese & Break Into the Translation Industry

    10/11/2020 Duración: 02h10min

    Do you live and breath languages? Do you want to make a good living using and refining your language skills every day? Then professional translation might be just the ticket. In today's episode, I chat with my friend Sam, who is a professional Japanese translator and one of the best non-native Japanese speakers I know. We talk about how he learned Japanese, how he broke into the translation industry, and his tips for doing the same.  

  • Mandarin Blueprint Founders Luke & Phil on How to Master Chinese Characters, Tones & More

    12/10/2020 Duración: 01h35min

    If you have a burning desire to learn Mandarin Chinese but feel overwhelmed at the very thought, then today’s podcast is a must-listen episode for you. Yes, to the uninitiated, Chinese characters look like a random pile of squiggly lines. True, the wrong tones could lead to you inadvertently calling someone's mother a horse! But don't let this scare you away, because today’s guests, Phil Crimmins and Luke Neale, have created an innovative language course called the Mandarin Blueprint designed to take these worries away. 

  • Polyglot & Applied Linguist Stuart Jay Raj on How To Leverage Your Languages Skills in Business

    04/09/2020 Duración: 01h17min

    Stuart Jay Raj is an Australian polyglot, applied linguist, author, musician, and cross-cultural business consultant based in Thailand. He has presented at two TEDx events (once in English and once in Mandarin), and is the author of Cracking Thai Fundamentals: A Thai Operating System for the Mind.   In addition to teaching and writing extensively on effective language acquisition, he has also applied his impressive language skills as a multilingual facilitator in various specialized industries (including aerospace, oil and gas, hospitality, and cyber security) and as the co-host of a Thai travel show called Neua Chan Phan Plaek (เหนือชั้น 1000 แปลก) that explosured fascinating people, places, and things around the world via local languages. Stuart holds a degree in Cognitive and Applied Linguistics from Griffith University, and speaks over 15 languages, including Thai, Lao, Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, Indonesian / Malay, Spanish, Italian, Danish, Hindi, Vietnamese, Burmese, and various other Asian langu

  • Polyglot, Language Coach & Course Creator Nick Godwin on How To Learn Conversational Japanese Through “Nominikeeshon” & Doing What Matters

    28/08/2020 Duración: 01h31min

    Nick Godwin is a British polyglot, English language coach, and course creator living in Tokyo, Japan. He specializes in helping advanced English learners break through plateaus and helping beginning Japanese learners to communicate through by focusing on practical skills that matter. In addition to running the English language learning site ByLingua, he also helped develop the popular story-based course Japanese Uncovered, and recently launched a blog that blends his love of language, learning, and intentional living called Minimalinguist. 

  • Hyperpolyglot Richard Simcott on How He Juggles So Many Languages & Chooses Which Language To Learn Next

    25/08/2020 Duración: 01h07min

    Richard Simcott is a "hyperpolyglot" who speaks over a dozen languages fluently and many dozen to various levels; a feat that led HarperCollins to name him one of Britain's most multilingual people.  He is also the co-founder of the Polyglot Conference, an annual event that brings together polyglots, linguists, and lovers of language from all over the world (the event will be online this year from October 16 to 25, 2020).  He returns to the Language Mastery Show six years after our first conversation to talk about how he juggles so many languages, the "minimum effective dose" required to move a language project forward, and how he chooses which languages to pursue. He is a fountain of language learning wisdom and I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did! 

  • Magnetic Memory Method Founder Anthony Metivier on How To Remember Words, Chinese Characters, Tones, and Beyond

    11/08/2020 Duración: 01h29min

    Anthony Metivier is the founder of the Magnetic Memory Method, the host of the Magnetic Memory Method Podcast, and the creator of the Magnetic Memory Masterclass.  He has refined his memory techniques learning a number of languages, including Biblical Hebrew, German, Mandarin Chinese, and Sanskrit, and has gone on to teach thousands of learners how to maximize their memories and create unforgettable associations. I like that his approach combines proven ancient principles with modern brain research, while focusing on practical application (e.g. remembering foreign language vocabulary) instead of impressive but ultimately useless memory feats (e.g. memorizing decks of cards or long strings of numbers).   Anthony is a truly fascinating man with a wide range of interests and insights, and I think you will get a lot out of our conversation. 

  • Author Nick Velasquez on How To Master Any Skill, Learn Japanese, and Remember More of What You Read

    28/07/2020 Duración: 01h19min

    Nick Velasquez is the author of the new book Learn, Improve, Master: How to Develop Any Skill and Excel at It. In the interview, we discuss the core principles, strategies, and tools you can use to master any anything, may it be reaching conversational fluency in Japanese or remembering more of what you read. &nbsp

  • Nihongo Creator Chris Vasselli on How To Learn Japanese Through Anime, Manga, Video Games & Harry Potter

    21/07/2020 Duración: 58min

    Chris Vasselli is a programmer, passionate Japanese learner, and the creator of the Nihongo iOS app, my go-to Japanese dictionary and reading tool for authentic Japanese content. In the interview, we discuss, 1) his language learning journey, 2) how to acquire Japanese the fun, natural, immersive way, and 3) why you shouldn't fear the Japanese writing system. 

  • The Top 7 Lessons I've Learned from 50 of the World's Best Language Learners

    13/07/2020 Duración: 01h04min

    I first started The Language Mastery Show in 2009 as a short-term experiment. My initial goals were:  ① To test drive the new medium of podcasting.  ② To serve and empower independent language learners.  ③ To have a good excuse to meet some of my linguistic heroes.  Now eleven years later, I am happy to say that the podcast has exceeded all initial expectations. I've reached hundreds of thousands of people, interviewed 50 of the world's best language learners, and befriended many in real life.  Before kicking off Season 3 of The Language Mastery Show next week, I wanted to go back and highlight some of my favorite lessons from the amazing guests that have shared their time and wisdom with us over the years, including polyglots, hyperpolyglots, linguistics, professors, teachers, and passionate enthusiasts. I've learned countless lessons on how to make my own language learning more fun and effective along the way, and I hope you have gleaned some useful strategies, methods, and res

  • 4x U.S. Memory Champion Nelson Dellis on Why & How He Is Learning Dutch in Just One Year

    24/03/2020 Duración: 01h04min

    Nelson Dellis is a memory athlete, 4-time U.S. Memory Champion, a Grandmaster of Memory, a high-altitude mountaineer, author, speaker, and all-around cool dude. He is now on a mission to reach conversational fluency in Dutch in just one year, applying all the memory techniques, mnemonics, and visualization strategies he used to train for memory championships. 

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