‘Level up’ your Languages!
So what is ‘leveling up’ when applied to language learning?
The term ‘leveling up’ with respect to language learning was coined by prolific YouTube polyglot, Moses McCormick. Moses shoots videos where he approaches complete strangers and starts chatting to them. Once he makes the stranger feel comfortable with his approach, he then establishes their native language and switches into that language even if he does not only speak it fluently.
“When I’m out ‘leveling up’ it feels like I’m actually playing an RPG game, but in real life!”
Moses McCormick describing how he feels when he ‘levels up’
“Do you know what time this place closes?”
‘Leveling up’ fits into a multilingual travel philosophy perfectly. If you are traveling, it is even more socially normal to ask the kind of questions that Moses and Benny discussed in their second video above. When I am traveling, I take advantage of the many opportunities to interact with local people and other tourists in their native languages. In the video below, you’ll see how YouTube polyglot, Jan Van der Aa and I used ten different languages on a trip through Romania, Moldova and Ukraine. This was even though only two of the languages (Romanian and Russian) are normally spoken by locals in the cities we visited.
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”
Nelson Mandela, Nobel Peace Prize recipient and first post-Apartheid president of South Africa