Learning Telugu the easy way

Learning means to build connections – bridges between the new thing you just discovered and something you already know. This is how our brain works. It builds connections.

Have you ever wondered why children learn a new language so easily when they come to a foreign country, while we grown-ups usually struggle with that for years?

Did you notice that these children never run around with long lists of vocabulary, eyes closed, reciting these words?

How do they do that?

The best answer is: They learn it the natural way. They learn the language by experiencing what is happening around them while at the same time hearing the sound of the words – thus making the connections. It is the simplest and most fun way to learn. Trying to remember long lists of vocabulary is the hard way and has some severe drawbacks as described earlier.

So, why don't we go on doing it just like that? Well, there is something we have in favor of the little ones, something that we do not have to learn all over again – which would be boring. A child, while learning a new language, has to develop its whole being. There are many steps on the way from a child to an adult. Learning the language is the smaller part here. So our advantage is that we have done that already. We have an understanding of abstract concepts (like "to be honest" for example), we have our character developed. We do not have to do that again, we just have to connect all these experiences with a new sound called “Telugu”.

This way of learning a new language was developed by Vera F. Birkenbihl in last 25 years, a well known author and management trainer from Germany. She conducted seminars for some of the largest companies in the world and worked together with the German government to reform the way children are educated in language and other skills. The method was well tested over the last two decades and there are several great books, CDs, and DVDs available.

The 4 steps of learning a new language

So the 4 steps are:

  • Step 1: Understanding the meaning of the words

  • Step 2: active listening

  • Step 3: passive listening

  • Step 4: further learning activities

What you have done in the example before was one step out of these four, the step of active listening. It is an important step, but to really lern the language in a long term you need to complete all four. So let us walk through these steps in a little more detail and see what they mean. Here comes Step 1...


Oh, cool!

There is an Indian woman who speaks only Telugu (just a very, very small amount of English) I might be marrying by next year. I think I might get some first hand practice with the language then. This course can help me get a good handle on the language. Need to make more time for study and practice!

Be cool to have trilingual kids- I know Spanish semi-fluently.


The system appears to be systematic and good.
For an immediate crash course , just to converse with my people ,I need assistance
I speak English,Hindi, tamil,Malayalam, Punjabi, Gorkhali and Marathi, last two only "a just handle type"
Can you pls make some suggestion?
Col Vijay

For Hindi, you might wish to

For Hindi, you might wish to look into Rosetta Stone. You get good immersion. The only downfall it leans more on intuition rather than active thinking. I also wish to learn other Indian languages (Hindi, Gujarati, Punjabi, and perhaps Marathi). I studied Hindi a bit, and still plan on working on it (some of the text grammar, namely "Beginner's Hindi Script", by Ruprt Snell has helped a bit (rather enjoyable reading, in my opinion) matter of fact, there seems to be enough similarities in how at least a category of Indian languages are structured, I think taking this Telugu course (considering the nice way it is structured, a good balance of natural immersion and teaching how to read, write, and grammar), might make learning other Indian languages easier.

Check out Amazon.com, many small distribution companies go through them for business. I bought a couple Marathi books and one Punjabi a few years ago. Many cell used books (so far from my experience, very good quality for used books) at very good prices.

I am guessing learning Telugu might be a little easier for me for some reason. I do admire the beauty of the way it is written, I keep looking at it, and wrote it a little, and it is very nice indeed.

As for "crash course" the only way really to do much is to immerse yourself as much as possible, plus practice and study on your own. If you just want to listen and speak, then focus on the audio part of what you find, and dive into culture immersion full force in trying to learn words and phrases from Indians you meet. You will mess up, but that is part of learning... think of kids making mistakes on how they talk, we will do the same thing with new languages.

Sad to say, other Indian languages do not get as much attention as Hindi does. I hope in the near future, more sites like this Telugu one will come.

I would still recommend to follow the tutorials

I would still recommend to follow the tutorials, since they help you to get a good feeling for the language in a view weeks. If you are looking for a personal teacher please take a look at this site.

Good luck