Episode 74: Learning Foreign Languages with Mark Pentleton


Welcome back to Episode #74 of The Daily Interaction podcast. Happy New Year 2013! How is the beginning of this year so far? I hope it’s been fantastic for you. Speaking of new beginnings, this episode kicks off our Interactive Interview Series where I interview people who have either improved their own communication skills so drastically that it has changed their lives – for the better of course! – or people who have contributed massively to the world of communication and for the rest of us. The interviews will air on every other podcast, and this is our first one!

The Daily Interaction 2013 Mantra: If you can communicate well enough, you can have everything you want in life!
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What does learning a new language “get you”? Why should you even bother? Fair questions that we tackle in this fun interview that was recorded at the Podcast Pavilion in Las Vegas during the NMX Conference early January.

Our first guest is someone that I have known for a long time but only through my ear buds! He has become a world-renowned language teacher primarily through podcasting and he has changed the way that I, along with millions of others, view, think about and learn foreign languages. His name is Mark Pentleton of Radio Lingua. You can find him on iTunes by typing Coffee Break [followed by your favorite language] such as Coffee Break French (my favorite). They are releasing German late January but already have over 30 podcasts covering languages from A to Z.


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Learning Foreign Languages with Mark – Interview Questions:

These are most of the interview questions that I asked Mark. Listen to the podcast for his brilliant insights on these topics:

1. Languages – I happen to love them. What would you say is the most compelling reason for learning a language?

2. When I was learning French in high school & college, I learned so much more than JUST French. I felt I learned about the people and the culture etc. Would you share some direct and indirect ways that learning a language improves our communications with the world?

3. How do we get inspired to learn and stick with a new language while living far away from the natives of that languages and also living in a culture that doesn’t encourage it or a lifestyle that doesn’t require it?

4. Mark, you are an experienced teacher of French and Spanish and also speak Italian and some Norwegian, Portuguese, German and Catalan. So do you believe there is a language talent “gene”? Or are all of us able to learn languages with the right tools and techniques?

5. People are always talking about learning a new language but they don’t seem to get around to it. What’s the one actionable step that we can give our listeners right now to get them started right away?

FYI: Reference used by Mark during Interview about studies on polyglots, multiple language speakers, was by Michael Erard.


Learning a foreign language is one thing and speaking it to a native speaker is another. Get confident to get up to someone whom you just met and have the courage to speak a few words that you know well in their native tongue. Check out my FREE 21-Step Confidence Building Series or sign up below for this FREE confidence course:

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  • http://getsimplifized.com Vanessa Hayes

    Loved the interview! I took a Spanish class a year ago and really enjoyed it but didn’t stick with with because I got busy with work and other life priorities. I was remotivated after listening to Mark…especially after he said don’t worry about trying to learn everything at once…just a little at a time with consistency. So, I checked out Coffee Break Spanish podcast and now try to listen to an episode when I workout or whenever I get a chance. I may not ever be fluent in Spanish but I’m still going to give it a chance! Thank you. BTW…I like the alternating solo and interview episodes you are now doing. Great work!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi Vanessa, if Mark can’t inspire us to learn languages, all hope is lost ;)!
      This was a very popular episode too and I am so very happy you enjoyed it and are now a listener of Coffee Break French … And thank you for the feedback on solo/interview alternate that means a lot and keeps me motivated!

    • Melly Deen

      Vanessa, I learned a little spanish in college and didn’t think again about picking it up until I went to Spain last year and I fell in love with it. I am particular though – I don’t want just any Spanish – The Spanish accent is the best one I think … now how to find a way to learn that? :)!

  • Melly Deen

    Absolutely LOVED the interview with Mark the linguist, polyglot, and super awesome guy! I’ve downloaded the 1-minute Turkish and Italian and wish they had FULL blow Turkish lessons – I am going there later this year and want to have more fluency…..

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Turkey you say? I am heading there too, Melly. I used to live there and am learning Turkish all over again too but like Mark said, it’s in there somewhere, all the learning I did way back when.

      I do wish they had more Turkish podcasts too, maybe something to send as feedback to Radio Lingua :)!

  • Cathy

    Hi Farnoosh, I’m really glad to happen upon your site. I was looking for info on Radio Lingua as I too have been learning with Coffee Break French. Mark has really inspired me to return to learning French which I had started and dropped at university. I’ve listened to 3 of your interviews and will surely share it around with other people. Love your mantra – If you can communicate well enough, you can have everything you want in life! Thanks! Cathy

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Bonjour Cathy, ca va? :)
      So so glad you are enjoying the podcast and thank you for taking the time to let me know here. The mantra is true – keep listening and we’ll prove it one episode at a time. :)

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