Only language learning formula that you will need

Edo Sadikovic
Edo writes
Published in
3 min readJul 14, 2014


To live truly new place, I like to visit an old barbershop, shave and listen to good anecdotes.

Barbershop is a frequent place with a good old shaving technique and space where you can hear well-narrated stories. This brings me into daily life of locals and shows me the joy of travel.

Unfortunately, it usually works if you speak a local language. This is what you need:

In Casablanca, Morocco. I was learning the basics of Arabic. All my phrases were written on the back of Ryanair boarding pass.

While traveling, I am using one simple formula for learning new languages. In my case, this is a highly effective method that brings a lot of fun. Here comes the formula:


Ask — Find a local person who speaks your language and ask a favor to translate for you a couple of the most important phrases that you are planning to use that day. This person could be seated next to you on the plane, or someone that you will meet in the coffee shop. [TIP] Before meeting the person prepare the list of the words or phrases that you want to learn on that day. It will be much faster.

Write — Use 1 sheet of paper per day where it can fit as much as possible phrases. A small piece of paper will give you the psychological advantages to memorize everything faster and it is more practical to carry-on in the pocket.

Use30 — Use at least 30 times per day each phrase or a combination of the words while speaking on various occasions with the locals (in the shop, on the street, on the train). Be open to correction and feedback. Scratch one line every time you use a certain sentence. Like this, you will create a gaming effect and you will enjoy even more.

My friend Mario tried this method in Barcelona. He even used it on the beach and according to him, this formula works very well, especially as the ice-breaker for meeting new people (see the photo).

Barcelona —Mario practicing Spanish by using USE30 formula with the girls he just meet. Another half of pic: His notes on the one paper. Apologies for low-quality image.

I even created an online course on becoming fluent in Spanish on a basic level and it works like crazy. Here is the sneak peek of the course:

Screenshot from the course where students will use space and not the time to learn Spanish. By using the learning method from this course anyone will be able to memorize at least 1200 words (and learn how to express any idea in Spanish).

If you have interesting tips about learning a new language or if you tried USE30 formula, please share your experience here in the comments.

co-founder of Sende, rural coworking space in Spain