March 14, 2022

The power of learning a language with sentences

by Mateusz Wiącek

Learning a language by memorising sentences has been one of the most efficient ways to improve language skills for decades. It has been used by linguists and polyglots around the world, and I don’t really understand why it’s not yet widely adopted in schools. 

In this article I am going to prove the benefits of learning with sentences.

My name is Mateusz and I am one of the founders of Taalhammer. I have spent the last 30 years learning and teaching foreign languages, and I’ve seen that learning with sentences works exceptionally well, especially under certain conditions. 

The biggest secret

The biggest secret of learning this way is that your brain splits the sentences into smaller chunks so you can recall parts of them, swap words and combine them into new meanings, and most of the time it will be grammatically correct – even though you don’t always know the rules behind them. 

What’s new

This is nothing really new. People even use paper flashcards for it. 

But in Taalhammer we have done two things for you.

First, we have combined it with the Spaced Repetition algorithm, which is an extremely powerful memory technique.

It also turns out that you achieve even more spectacular results if you repeat very specific sentences, so we’ve also curated content for you to speed up language acquisition and we’ve added a couple more hacks and tricks to improve your performance even further.


Let me show you a little bit of our kitchen. I’ve extracted our users’ learning statistics from Taalhammer, and I will use good old spreadsheets here.

Based on a user’s learning behavior, our Spaced Repetition algorithm can precisely calculate when and how often you need to repeat a sentence in order to master it. 

Look at this “score” column. It indicates how well you’ve mastered an item.

  • Values above 8 mean that you usually know very well how to say it. 
  • Below 4 it will be very difficult to recall. 
  • Everything between 4 and 8 is a kind of grey area where you may or may not remember an item. 

Users’ success

Let’s have a look at items these users know very well.

All right, so we have 2321 sentences and 802 words, and it took him or her 172 hours to master these. Just imagine how many things you can express when you know so many sentences and words.

The next one has 1877 elements mastered within 144 hours.

We know that these students are able to recall these items immediately, even if you wake them up in the middle of the night!

It has worked like this for thousands of our users.
Try Taalhammer now

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