My name is Idahosa (pronounced ee-DOW-ssah) Ness and I am the founder of The Mimic Method.
Currently, I speak five languages fluently – Spanish, French, Portuguese, German and Mandarin Chinese.
In each one, people have mistaken me before for a native speaker (but for Chinese it only works on the phone).
The secret to my language learning success is my focus on “Learning by Ear.” My primary focus is on the sounds. how to hear them, and how to pronounce them. Once I master the sounds, I pick up new words and phrases by mimicking people in conversation.
The Mimic Method is the name of the unique approach I used to learn six foreign languages (and counting). What makes this approach different from all the others is the focus on two things:
Focus #1: Real Human Connection
Successful language learners care less about the language and more about the people who actually speak it.
- Maria doesn’t care about the rules of conjugation, she just wants the locals to take her to all the underground night spots in Paris.
- Charles doesn’t care about memorizing flash cards, he just wants his Dominican neighbors to invite him to their barbecues.
- Johann doesn’t care about Chinese calligraphy, he just wants his new Chinese in-laws to accept him into the family.
Most language learning programs neglect the human element and focus too much on rules, conventions, and test scores. What they don’t realize is that language is merely a tool for human beings to connect with one another.
Therefore, your success as a language learner shouldn’t be based on the accuracy of your spelling and grammar; it should be based on the quality of your connections with the native speakers.
Currently, there is a divide between you and the speakers of other languages. This divide is preventing you from connecting with those people in a meaningful way.
In my experience as a language learner and teacher, I’ve found that the key to crossing the language divide is to focusing on sound, which is why the second thing that differentiates The Mimic Method is:
Focus #2: Language Learning “By Ear”
Most language learning programs focus on reading and writing, but human beings connect most intimately through listening and speaking. So you shouldn’t learn a language with your eyes, you should learn it with your ears. The first step to learning a language by ear is mastering its pronunciation. When you can “mimic” anything a native speaker says with a near perfect accent, you can acquire the language rapidly through lots of conversations.
Before I created The Mimic Method, however, there were virtually no user-friendly resources or structured techniques for training pronunciation. The only way to train pronunciation was to study dense phonetic materials and analyze speech recordings – and ain’t nobody got time for dat!
That’s why I founded a company (also called “The Mimic Method”) with a singular purpose: Make it simple for people to learn languages by ear.
I started by focusing on the underdeveloped niche of pronunciation and accent training with my Flow Series courses. Since I launched my first course, thousands of people have gone through our programs. We are now growing a reputation as the best program for pronunciation training. But we don’t plan on stopping with just pronunciation courses. In the coming years, we plan to develop an entire suite of products to help people go from having zero knowledge of a language to being conversational fluent using just their ears and mouth.
Ultimately, our mission is to help as many individuals as we can cross the language barrier and build meaningful relationships with the people on the other side.
I try to capture the essence of The Mimic Method in the video below, where I rap in 8 different languages.
Do you want to join us in our mission?