Salut,

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:

(Yes, podcasts weren’t very popular back then!)

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,

Hugo