Become the Chameleon

Neuro-language coach Anthony Permaye, known as the Language Chameleon, teaches people how to make language learning part of daily life with his new book, How to Become Free and Successful Through Language Learning.

Sitting down to talk with Permaye about his book, I found out more about his background. Originally from the French Caribbean but raised in France, he is a neuro-language coach certified through Efficient Language Learning and is credited to be the only one working in China. When asked how he made it to Dongguan, he said it was a long story.

He studied in Shanghai for four years and Zhuhai and Hong Kong for a year. After his studies, he moved to London where he got a job in business development and construction. From there he was sent to Kenya.

“I managed to get an audience for what I do, which is teaching people how to learn languages… I realized I’m really good at that, and education is my thing, so I decided to get a job again in China, and I landed in Dongguan,” Permaye said.

The Language Chameleon is a movement created by Permaye to motivate people to learn a language, and his book covers the approach of how to learn. This is a follow up to his first book, The Language Chameleon: Studies Without Borders.

“It’s pushing people to understand that living a life without being able to speak foreign languages is not truly living a life,” he said.

Permaye discovered this method through trial and error and investing a lot of money into developing the right methods. He said the main question students asked him was ‘how do you learn a language.’ Through this he developed a method to identify the type of learner someone is and matches a study regimen with the right resources.

He said he wants to teach people how to camouflage themselves like a chameleon when it comes to learning a language and adapt to their environment.

Permaye has used these skills to be fluent in Chinese, English, French, Japanese and Spanish, as well as understand Italian, Korean, Portuguese and Vietnamese. He did not always have an ear for languages, and his interest started when he was 21 years old.

“It’s pushing people to understand that living a life without being able to speak foreign languages is not truly living a life,”

“I was always in the bottom three in my class for English, imagine. I was not good at English at all. When I moved to London around 21. I forced myself to speak English with English speakers…. I also got a British girlfriend and we were always fighting, and I could not win because my English was not good enough. I could win battles but not the war. So, it pushed me to get to that level of where I could draw with her,” he said.

He jokingly added that because he is fluent in or has a basic understanding of so many languages, that has become his party trick.

“When I get to a party when I meet a girl, I’m always going to ask her where she is from, and then what languages she can speak,” he said.

He has lived in more than 20 countries and realized people make the excuse to not learn a language because most speak English.

“I realized that many people use this excuse ‘oh, they speak English, so I don’t have to learn the language’. That was also one of the factors that pushed me to be who I am today—Language Chameleon—teaching people how to learn languages and motivating them to learn,” he said.

His future plans involve publication of his book in November. Next year he is pulling off a language stunt called 30 Dayz and will be locked in an apartment container. While locked in the container he will show it is possible to learn a language in 30 days from the comfort of your home. He is also working on a language learning documentary, where he will travel to 12 countries in 12 months and learn the language of each country, while taking part in a cultural challenge.