Marco Camilo — From Language Mastery to The Afterlife: A Conversation on Biological Systems, Purpose, & Happiness (#39)

Listen on Spotify | Listen on Apple | Watch on YouTube

The best professors are the ones that know how to play with your mind.

Marco Camilo

This conversation is riveting, informative, practical, and profound. Approach with an open mind.

Today I’m joined by Marco Camilo (@_marcocamilo). Marco Camilo is a polyglot and professor of languages from Germany. Besides English, he can speak French, German, Russian, German, Italian, and counting. He’s a deep thinker well-equipped to handle conversations on complex topics.

We spent 75% of this nearly 3-hour conversation on language learning. Later, we talk about Christianity, faith, God, wisdom, and the meaning of it all.


Marco’s Blog – Great resources on language learning and productivity

Marco on Twitter – Regular Tweets on language learning tips

In this episode we cover…

  • Marco can play piano (6:00)
  • Are there techniques from learning an instrument that overlap with learning a language? (10:00)
  • Slow practice (13:00)
  • How should one start learning a language? (17:00)
  • “I’ve been learning foreign languages since I was 4.” (23:00)
  • How much time should we spend studying a language everyday? (25:00)
  • What are the best methods for learning a language? (30:00)
  • Native languages are learned implicitly. Foreign languages are learned explicitly (35:00)
  • Debunking the ‘Learning Styles’ theory (43:00)
  • How to think (and overthink) in a foreign language (48:00)
  • How does Marco structure his language classes? (55:00)
  • What stops most people from learning a language? (59:00)
  • Picking a language learning textbook that doesn’t suck (1:08:00)
  • What to do when stuck with a textbook that sucks (1:22:00)
  • Languages are a living, biological system (1:28:00)
  • Creating sentences and phrases in a foreign language (1:38:00)
  • What is Marco Camilo reading? (1:50:00)
  • Stoicism, God, Christianity, and faith: Is there an afterlife? (1:55:00)
  • How does Marco Camilo adds meaning to his life? (2:05:00)
  • Meditation, secular or otherwise (2:15:00)
  • What does it mean to have a relationship with a higher power? (2:18:00)
  • The symbolic meaning of Jesus dying on the cross (2:30:00)
  • Read from all sources (2:34:00)
  • Tips for learning Japanese (use a bilingual dictionary) (2:37:00)
  • Parting words (2:39:00)


The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle

The Feynman Technique

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

The Bible

The Bhagavad Gita

The JLPT – Japanese-Language Proficiency Test

Genki: An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese

The four stages of competence


Please enjoy!

Cheers, and here’s to your good health.

Listen on Spotify | Listen on Apple | Watch on YouTube

Does The Penguin Latte Podcast remind you of fresh presents on Christmas morning? If so, please consider leaving a review on Apple Podcasts/iTunes. It takes all of 60 seconds (61 if you’re feeling extra spicy). Reviews make the podcast 1% better. If 500 of you leave reviews, the podcast gets 500% better. Plus, I love reading all of your juicy comments. Thanks!

This episode is brought to you (and powered) by Flow State Coffee! My buddy Greg Frontiero started a company that sells products designed to put you in that groovy sensation called Flow. His first product, Flow State Coffee, is some of the best coffee I’ve tasted. Plus, it doesn’t make you feel like you’re about to have a heart attack after drinking 6 cups of it (I’ve tried).,c_limit,f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/

Use this link to buy a bag with code PAUL automatically applied for a discount.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s