Is Hypnosis for Language Learning Really a Thing?

Like the idea of learning a language while sleeping, the basic premise behind using hypnosis to learn a language is to ease the learning process.

Most language learning hypnosis focuses on using audio programs in a new context. Rather than being asked to actively participate, you’re usually asked to relax, which makes hypnosis a low-stress technique you may want to try.

But what exactly is hypnosis? Why should you try it? What resources are available for hypnosis for language learning? And, perhaps most importantly, does it actually work?

We’ll guide you through all you need to know about using hypnosis to learn a language.


What Exactly Is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis has not always enjoyed a great reputation. It’s sometimes considered a parlor trick. Worse still, some people fear its potential to shape their minds without their control. However, the possibility of shaping minds is exactly why hypnosis is so popular.

The American Psychological Association (APA) calls hypnosis a “therapeutic technique.” Usually, a professional will help you enter a relaxed state before providing suggestions that are meant to shape your thoughts and behaviors. The idea is that with a relaxed mind, people are more open to suggestion and can therefore be influenced to make positive changes.

You’re probably mostly familiar with hypnosis for its use in things like quitting smoking and weight loss. Indeed, there are more studies on the use of hypnosis for these purposes, though results are mixed.

In summation, hypnosis is definitely not just a parlor trick, and it could offer many real-world benefits. While there’s not enough evidence to be certain of these benefits for language learning or anything else, hypnosis might still be worth a try.

6 Resources That May Help You Learn a Language with Hypnosis

Note: Some of the video resources below may not be recommended for those with certain medical conditions, like epilepsy, so make sure to check whether a particular resource is safe for you before using it.

1. Hypnoledge

Hypnoledge is an app specifically built for the purpose of language learning under hypnosis. It’s possible to select various languages, voices and the length of the session.

There are currently six languages available: English, Italian, Spanish, German, Mandarin and French. There are also four levels within each language: basics, beginner, intermediate and expert. The level is selected after you complete a language test. 

The app says that it’s meant to help you pick up language similar to when you were a child. For this reason, there is not much translation offered so that you can learn directly in the target language.

Each lesson also focuses on a particular grammar rule. After you’ve listened to the lesson, you complete a set of exercises that include images and sounds to help you commit the language to memory. After that, there are revision exercises so that you can practice later on as well. 

It’s possible to do a 14-day free trial and then afterwards it’s €19.99 per month. 

2. Boost Hypnosis — Self-Hypnosis for Language Learning

Boost Hypnosis is the business of Oliver M. James, a certified hypnotist. Although his main focus is his sessions with clients, on his website, you can find an audio course that you can purchase for about $22 specifically for language learning.

It focuses on reducing fear surrounding speaking and anxiety before exams, interviews or even public speaking in that language. It’s also meant to reduce stress in general surrounding language learning to help you retain what the new information.

The course is roughly 30 minutes long. It includes an introduction to hypnosis and three things you need to do before trying self-hypnosis. After that, there is the self-hypnosis audio, plus extra PDF materials to supplement the whole process.

Of course, if you prefer, you can also do the sessions with Oliver either online or face-to-face in Brussels. Be aware that a set of three sessions costs over $400 after a free 20-minute consultation. 

3. Hypnosis for Easier Language Learning

This Hypnosis for Easier Language Learning video has over 100,000 views on YouTube. 

This video is meant to help language learners by increasing their drive to learn a language. Since learning a language takes time and determination, staying motivated can be challenging for language learners.

The video features a spinning spiral image as the narrator talks you into a relaxed state. Then, the narrator encourages you to learn a language, assuring you that you enjoy it and you’re great at it. Even if the hypnosis itself doesn’t work for you, the video could certainly act as a helpful pep talk.

4. Become Fluent In Any Language! — Subliminal Visualization

The title may be a bit of a mouthful, but this video by SuccessSubliminals might be just what you’re looking for.

This video uses subliminal positive affirmations. The audio is somewhat jumbled, so you won’t hear these affirmations on a conscious level. However, the video description also provides a list of these affirmations that you may want to repeat or write down.

Affirmations are meant to give you confidence, so this video might help give you the confidence you need to continue forward on your road to fluency.

5. Hypnosis for Learning a New Language with Oxanna Choma

In this video from the Cara Institute for Advanced Hypnosis, the hypnotist appears on camera and speaks slowly and calmly to help lull you into a relaxed state. She also uses the well-known swinging watch technique for a bit to further relax you.

Once the session really heats up, it focuses primarily on motivation and visualization. The hypnotist makes statements intended to help you feel more motivated to study a language and use your skills.

She also encourages you to visualize using your skills, which could serve as a useful reminder of why you’re actually learning a language in the first place.

6. 368 Sounds & Noises Co.

The 368 Sounds & Noises Co. YouTube channel offers a number of hypnosis videos, including three intended to help you learn specific languages. These videos claim to use “binaural beats,” which is a type of sound that some claim can manipulate brain waves, though studies haven’t proven this.

Learn Chinese with HypnosisLearn Japanese with Hypnosis and Learn Spanish with Hypnosis all have the same basic format. Images appear while a song plays. You cannot consciously hear what message is being given—presumably, it’s buried within the audio.

Each video also contains images. Learn Chinese with Hypnosis displays a yin-yang symbol and occasional messages to drive you forward. Learn Japanese with Hypnosis displays an older version of the Japanese flag along with some Japanese characters and images of Japan. Learn Spanish with Hypnosis shows the yin-yang symbol, some Spanish words and occasional motivational messages.

Why Try Hypnosis for Language Learning?

While there are not enough studies to support hypnosis as an effective language learning technique, some limited studies are optimistic about the possibility that hypnosis could still be beneficial. For instance, some research suggests improvements in spelling and pronunciation. And any possible advantage is inherently appealing!

Plus, some hypnosis programs aim to increase confidence. Confidence is important for language learning since you need to have enough confidence to try. While there’s little research to show whether hypnosis can actually improve confidence, everyone could use a cheerleader!

In general, resources for hypnosis language learning don’t actually claim to be able to teach you a language in its entirety, but as hypnosis is a laid-back and relaxed method by nature, it’s easy to combine with resources that more thoroughly target a language like FluentU.

FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

P.S. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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Trying new learning techniques can help you experiment to see what works for you. Anyone can end up in a language learning rut. Trying a new and different technique like hypnosis might be just the thing you need to see your target language in a new light.

While the jury is out on whether or not hypnosis is actually an effective language learning technique, it might be worth trying.

Anything that could possibly improve your fluency is worth a shot!

And One More Thing...

If you dig the idea of learning on your own time from the comfort of your smart device with real-life authentic language content, you'll love using FluentU.

With FluentU, you'll learn real languages—as they're spoken by native speakers. FluentU has a wide variety of videos as you can see here:

FluentU has interactive captions that let you tap on any word to see an image, definition, audio and useful examples. Now native language content is within reach with interactive transcripts.

Didn't catch something? Go back and listen again. Missed a word? Hover your mouse over the subtitles to instantly view definitions.

You can learn all the vocabulary in any video with FluentU's "learn mode." Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.

And FluentU always keeps track of vocabulary that you’re learning. It gives you extra practice with difficult words—and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. You get a truly personalized experience.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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