Language Learning Made Simple - The MezzoGuild Podcast

Are you learning a foreign language (or want to)? Get the best and most unique advice and tips from Donovan Nagel, author of the well-known blog 'The Mezzofanti Guild - Language Learning Made Simple'. Also check out Talk In Arabic, a sister project.

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Helping You Learn Foreign Languages SIMPLY With Tips, Strategies And More From Language Immersion Veteran, Donovan Nagel
ūüá¨ūüáß English
last modified
2019-07-19 12:57
last episode published
2019-05-21 18:10
publication frequency
27.19 days
The Mezzofanti Guild author  
Donovan Nagel owner  
Number of Episodes
Detail page
Education Language Courses



Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors

9 Actionable Steps For Better Language Learning

Read more here: In this episode, I share 9 actionable steps you can take right now that will guarantee you better language learning. --- For inexpensive language tutors, teachers and conversation par...
The Mezzofanti Guild author

How To Stay Relevant As A Language Learning Blogger In 2019

Read more: In this episode, I talk about language learning blogging, how it's all changing and how to stay relevant in 2019. This is a follow-up to my guide:

Egyptian Arabic: Easy Stories With English Translations Now Available

Order it here: Read more: The first paperback edition of our new series called Egyptian Arabic: Easy Stories With English Translations is up now on Amazon. It consists of ...
The Mezzofanti Guild author

How To Learn Languages Like A Child

  Read more here: In this episode, I talk about my son and his language development, and how as adults we can learn in much the same way. We have advantages as adults in many ways but the idea tha...
The Mezzofanti Guild author

How Do (Can) We Maintain Multiple Cultural Identities?

Read more here: In this episode, I reflect on the personal challenge and pain I've experienced assimilating into various cultures and then having to leave. Language maintenance is easy - cultural identity ma...
The Mezzofanti Guild author

The Simple Difference Between Language Fluency And Proficiency

Read my update here: In this episode, I reflect on the difference between language fluency and proficiency. --- For inexpensive tutors, teachers and conversation partners, I use italki: https://www.mezzog...

How My 1 Year Old Son’s Language Learning Is Reaffirming My Own Approach

Read my update here: In this episode, I talk about my 1 year old son's language development and how the observations I've made can apply to natural adult language acquisition.   --- For inexpen...

Koine (NT) Greek Is Only Difficult Because Of The Way It's Taught (+ How To Fix It)

Read my update here: In this episode, I share more about my current approach to learning Koine (New Testament) Greek. I offer suggestions for how seminaries and colleges can improve on teaching it.   --...
The Mezzofanti Guild author

Does Learning Koine Greek Benefit Modern Greek (Or Vice-Versa)?

Read my update here: In this episode, I share a bit about my own personal goal for 2018 to learn Koine and Modern Greek simultaneously. To what extent do they benefit each other? We'll see.   --- For...

Learning Arabic With Iraqi And Syrian Refugees In Jordan

Read my update here: See the project we're working on here: In this episode, I share more specifics on our time in Jordan and our time working with the Iraqi and Syr...
The Mezzofanti Guild author

How Traveling With A Family Has Improved My Language Immersion

Read my update here: See the project we're working on here: In this episode, I share an update from our time in Jordan and some observations from doing our first...
The Mezzofanti Guild author

7 Excellent Foreign Language Career Ideas

Read my full article here: Read my guide for language learning blogging here: In this episode, I share some of the best foreign language caree...

8 Important Things To Do On A Language Immersion Trip

Read my full article here: In this episode, I share some important advice for anyone wanting or planning to go on a language immersion trip abroad in order to get the most ou...

How Aussie English Came To Be And Why I Love It

Read my full article here: In this episode, I talk about the different types of Australian English, how they came about and why it's the best variety of English on earth (clear bias!...

Why I Don't Recommend The Michel Thomas Method

Read my full article here: In this episode, I share the results of my detailed review and analysis of the Michel Thomas Method (Total and Perfect Arabic specifically). Overall I don't recommend it and her...

How To Improve A Language When You're At A High Level

In this episode, I walk you through how I continue to work on improving foreign languages when I'm already at a high level. I share some examples from my own journey with Arabic. Read my full article here:

How Chunking Can Improve Your Language Learning

In this episode I talk a bit more about my 'chunking' technique which I argue is a far more natural way to learn to speak a foreign language than traditional grammar study. I share a simple example from my time in Egypt as a new learner of Arabic. Read...

How To Start Learning Arabic

In this episode, I talk about how I originally learned Arabic over a decade ago and how I'd do it differently if I had the chance to start all over again. This advice will benefit you if you're considering learning Arabic yourself. Read my full article...

How To Stop Anxiety When Speaking A Foreign Language

In this episode, I discuss performance anxiety and how it affects me with regard to learning languages. I also offer strategies to overcome it. Check it out here:  

How Different Is Moroccan From Other Arabic Dialects?

In this episode, I discuss in detail some of the differences that Moroccan and other Maghrebi dialects have from the more popular Arabic varieties like Egyptian and Levantine. Check it out here: Visit Talk In ...

Can You Replicate Overseas Language Immersion At Home?

In this episode, I share the results of an experiment I did to replicate overseas language immersion at home over Skype. Check it out here: Get a free Skype lesson in almost any language here: http://...

Has Language Learning App Innovation Already Peaked?

In this episode, I discuss web and mobile app innovation for language learning and the negative effect that technology is having on skill acquisition. Has language learning innovation peaked already? Share your opinion here:

Why I Will Never Learn Esperanto

In this controversial episode, I respond to frequent questions I've received about the constructed language Esperanto: Is it worth learning? What are the benefits of being able to speak it? Will it help me learn another language? Check it out here and ...

Is There Such A Thing As A Hard Language?

In this episode, I respond to the question "Is there such a thing as a hard language?" with an anecdote from my time in Korea going between Korean, Irish and French. Check it out here:

How To Find The Motivation To Learn A Language

You may have heard at some point that there are two types of motivation ‚Äď extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic is motivation that we get from our environment. That‚Äôs extrinsic motivation. Then there‚Äôs intrinsic motivation. This is the motivation that com...

How To Learn A Language With Hard Grammar Easily

How do you take a language with notoriously difficult grammar and learn it easily (Russian for example)? In this episode, I explain how I do it and how you can do it too. Check it out here:

The One Thing You Can't BS In Language Learning

In this episode, I share the one thing that you can't BS in language learning: listening comprehension. It can't be faked and here's why. Check it out here:

Visual-Spatial Language Learning

In this episode, I share my experience as a visual-spatial language learner - how I discovered it and how I've adjusted my learning strategy as a result. Check it out here:

Please... No More Intellectual World Fixers

In this episode, I break my 'no-politics rule' and discuss the rampant intellectual classism that's causing so many problems around the world. Particularly in relation to #Brexit. Check it out here:

How Important Is Reading In Language Learning? Not Very. Here's Why...

In today's episode, I explain why reading is a waste of time for people wanting to learn to speak a foreign language. I also share ways in which it can indeed be beneficial once fluency is already reached. Check it out here:

How To Get Beyond Intermediate Language Learning Plateaus

Hitting language learning plateaus can be frustrating. Really frustrating. We all experience them at some point - usually at an intermediate level. There are simple ways to beat them however. Check it out:

11 Characteristics Of Damn Good Language Learners

Like successful people in all areas of life, there are certain identifiable traits or characteristics of great language learnings and polyglots. In this episode, I outline 11 of those for you. Check it out here:

How My Language Learning Was Transformed By 2300 Year Old Wisdom

When I started learning languages, I was a total failure. I failed Greek and Hebrew in college miserably. But everything changed for me thanks to a tiny but profound piece of ancient wisdom. In this episode, I share that story. Check it out here: http:...

How To Become A Freelance Translator And Make Money On The Road

Ever thought about becoming a freelance translator so you can earn a living while travelling? I did it myself. In this episode I explain how I got into it, what it takes and I dispel some of the misconceptions about what translation entails. Check it o...

You Don't Need To Study Grammar To Learn To Speak A Language

Language education all over the world has been failing to produce fluent speakers of foreign languages. The reason? They teach languages backward by emphasizing a grammar-first approach which is totally unnatural and ineffective. In this episode I expl...

Balanced And Honest Review Of The Assimil Series

In this episode, I give an in-depth and very honest review of the Assimil Method and series for language learning. Visit the blog post to share your thoughts:

Welcome to The Mezzofanti Guild

Welcome to the very first podcast episode of The Mezzofanti Guild | Language Learning Made Simple ( In this episode, I give a simple introduction of who I am, what my site is all about and importantly, who the great Cardinal Guiseppe Me...