Let’s continue the story I started yesterday.
I was telling you that I used to hate learning languages.
But everything changed the day I discovered a parallel dimension.
Let me remind you of the context: it’s 2016, I live in Warsaw and I’m trying to learn Polish.
I’ve memorized the 1,000 most commonly used vocabulary words, and the main grammar rules (plus all their exceptions!).
In theory, I have an intermediate level.
But in practice, I still feel like a beginner.
When I’m in front of Polish people, I find it impossible to communicate with them.
Firstly, because I don’t understand them (they’re always using words that aren’t on my list!).
Secondly, because I’m so afraid of making mistakes that I prefer to keep my mouth shut 🤐.
In other words, I’m blocked, as I was in English for many years.
One day, I come across a mysterious application on my iPhone:
I open it and, out of curiosity, I search for the word “Polish”.
In the results, there’s a podcast called “Real Polish”.
First surprise, I can understand the episode titles.
I see one entitled “Nasz mózg jest leniwy” (Our brain is lazy).
I press the ▶️ button
… and I enter a parallel dimension 🌀
In this dimension, there’s a man, Piotr, speaking in Polish.
Nothing unusual so far.
But what’s extremely strange is that I understand Piotr! (Not everything of course, but enough to keep listening).
And the things he’s talking about are fascinating, so fascinating that at times I forget he’s speaking in Polish!
I’ll remember for the rest of my life the impression I had that day.
I realized that yes, I could understand Polish.
After this discovery, I spent dozens of hours with Piotr in this parallel dimension.
I made more progress in a few weeks than in my first two years of learning.
Not only was I able to understand Poles better in the real world (not just Piotr), I also found the courage to speak to them!
Phrases came to me naturally, as if Piotr were whispering them in my ear.
I no longer needed to “learn” Polish, because Polish was now part of my life.
After this experience, I wanted to open the doors of this parallel dimension to my students.
But I couldn’t find a podcast like Piotr’s in French.
So I started my own.
In April 2017, I published the first episode of the Cottongue podcast, which later became innerFrench.
I knew this format had worked for me, but I didn’t know if it would be as successful with my students.
I soon realized that it would.
People from all over the world entered this parallel dimension, a dimension where they could finally understand French:
Today, the innerFrench podcast has been downloaded over 17 million times!
Sure, it’s flattering for my ego.
But I know that the real reason for this success is the method that Piotr, I and more and more language teachers are using.
In my next e-mail, I’ll explain how and why it works.
I’ll see you tomorrow,