Can You Really Master a Language in Just One Week?

29 Jun 2022


If you could have any super power in the world, what would it be?

For me, it would be the ability to converse in any language. Can you imagine how amazing that would be?!?

Of course, in reality, learning a new language is no easy feat. According to the Foreign Service Institute, it takes the average person 24-30 weeks of full-time study to reach a basic level of proficiency.

That number, of course, can vary depending on the person, how motivated they are to learn, and the difficulty level of the language.

But what if you could sit down and learn a language in just a week’s time? Impossible, right?

Apparently, it is possible!

According to this interesting article from aruma, back in 2005, a British man named Daniel Tammet was challenged with learning Icelandic (one of the world’s most notoriously difficult languages) in just a week.

At the time, Mr. Tammet already knew 10 different languages (English, Finnish, French, German, Lithuanian, Esperanto, Spanish, Romanian, Estonian, and Welsh), so he was up to the challenge.

After practicing for just one week with the help of an Icelandic language tutor, Mr. Tammet appeared on an Icelandic television program, where he was interviewed live in Icelandic. Not only was he able to understand the Icelandic reporters, but he was able to seamlessly respond to their questions.

In an interview done after the broadcast, one of the reporters who interviewed Mr. Tammet said that he was completely astonished by just how well Mr. Tammet was able to master the language in such a short time.

To see Mr. Tammet’s interview, and learn more about his incredible brain, check out this fascinating documentary, called Only Human.

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