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How to Learn a New Language

Do you want to learn a new language? or speed up the process of the new language you are learning?

Perhaps you should study a language so that you can communicate with it on a future vacation.

Or so you may take on more tasks at work.

Or so you may read your favorite literature in the original language.

Whatever your purpose for learning a new language, you can surely agree that acquiring it quickly would be ideal.

However, learning a language, particularly from scratch, seems to be everything but quick: you’ll have to master new syntax, recall vocabulary terms, practice speaking.

However, learning a new language does not have to be a time-consuming or unpleasant task. Although nothing can replace the time and effort required, you may learn a new foreign language quickly if you follow the appropriate method and commit yourself to the process.

If you follow these eight steps, you’ll be on your way to learning that new language quicker than you could have thought!

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Table of Contents

The Easiest Way to Learn a Language in 8 Easy Steps

1. Set language-learning objectives.

Setting objectives for what you want to accomplish is the first step in learning a new language quickly. This makes a lot of sense when you think about it. How can you know what you want to accomplish and assess your progress if you don’t establish goals?

Most of us are intimidated by the prospect of learning a new language. There are many terms to learn and several methods to study. Setting objectives helps you to concentrate your attention so you can stop thinking about the technicalities and get down to work.

According to research, those who establish the correct type of objectives are more likely to succeed.

To get the most out of your objectives, follow these guidelines:

Concentrate on precise, measurable results. Set specific objectives and concentrate on what you want to learn rather than how much time you want to spend studying. “This week, I’m going to acquire 30 Spanish vocabulary terms connected to shopping,” for example, is a nice aim.

Set short-term objectives. It’s beneficial to have a long-term goal—something you want to accomplish. Long-term ambitions, on the other hand, are too daunting to drive you on a daily basis. Divide your overall aim into smaller chunks and create smaller targets for each week or month.

Try something new (but not too much). Goals are most effective when they force you to push yourself. However, if they are excessively intimidating, they might demotivate you. Setting objectives with a variety of outcomes is an excellent method to get around this. For example, you may state, “I want to learn 30-50 new vocabulary words this week.” The lower number in this range makes the goal appear more feasible, while the greater number enables you to push yourself.

Make a list of your objectives. Writing out your objectives allows you to commit to them. Post your objectives somewhere visible, such as your bathroom mirror or the home screen of your smartphone.

2. Learn to say the “correct” words.

Languages contain an astounding quantity of words. For example, English contains between 600,000 and 1 million words.

Fortunately, you don’t need to acquire quite that many words to be fluent in a language. Consider this: the top 100 words account for over 50% of English language texts, while the top 1,000 words account for almost 90%!

By concentrating on learning these terms first, you may save time and rapidly enhance the quantity of material you comprehend.

3. Study wisely.

Using the greatest study strategies can help you memorize your language quicker.

Flashcards, for example, are an excellent tool to learn vocabulary terms. Flashcards enable you to concentrate on particular words and test yourself, which aids in the retention of new knowledge.

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Follow these methods to learn quickly while using flashcards:

Consider using electronic flashcards. Paper flashcards function just as well as they always have, but electronic flashcard solutions like Anki provide some significant advantages. You can easily carry big stacks of electronic flashcards on your smartphone or tablet, and you may use flashcards that others have produced and made public. These systems also employ spaced repetition to progressively increase the length of time between flashcard repeats and automatically modify the sequence of cards. Both of these methods assist you in learning more quickly and effectively.

Check out polyglot Olly Richards’ Conversations course to optimize your use of SRS applications and electronic flashcards. It’s meant to help you establish up practical, step-by-step procedures for learning your target language. Uncovered classes, which establish the fundamentals of certain languages such as Spanish, French, German, and Italian, may also provide more specialized assistance.

Before flipping over the card, try to guess the meaning of a word. Flashcards function best when used to test your memory, therefore don’t flip the cards too quickly. Make a guess even if you don’t know the term.

Learn the translations first, and then the new terms. When you see the English counterpart of a foreign word, it is simpler to learn the translation than it is to learn to utter the foreign word. Begin with memorizing the English translation of a foreign word written on the side of a flashcard. Later, flip the cards over and practice saying the foreign words as you see their English counterparts.

Practice makes perfect, but effective practice speeds up the process!

Some more excellent methods for incorporating new words alongside and beyond flashcards include:

Visualize and speak aloud. Visualize the new word you’re learning, envision the image it depicts, and pronounce it loudly. This allows you to link ideas and improves memory.

Gesture. When you perform physical activities while studying, your brain learns better. Use this to your advantage by gesticulating. To learn the German word Schuh (shoe), speak it while pretending to put on a shoe.

Use the phrase in your native tongue. It might be difficult to practice words in context while learning a new language since you haven’t yet learnt enough vocabulary to form complicated phrases. Simply use the term in your native language to get around this. If you’re studying the Spanish term casa (house), you may say, “I’m heading to my casa right now.”

Keyword strategy; Create a statement using the new word you’re learning, its meaning, plus a term from your home language that sounds similar. If you want to learn the Spanish word mesa (table), for example, you may think of an English term that sounds similar and make up a statement like, “My kitchen table is constantly a mess!” “Because “mess” and “mesa” sound so similar, this may help you recall the new term.

4. Begin utilizing the language throughout the day, every day.

It may be daunting to a newbie to attempt to utilize the language all day, but it is not as tough as it appears. There are several simple and even enjoyable methods to incorporate the language into your daily life.

To begin, take advantage of every opportunity to learn new terms. Take flashcards with you and study them on the train or bus (but not while driving!) or while waiting to meet a friend.

When you get bored of active learning, transition to passive learning by performing what you would typically do in your native language in your target language. Try viewing a film or TV program in your target language, or listening to radio broadcasts.

There are several web places where you may get interesting audio and video snippets. You may get additional native language programming on the internet by going to YouTube and searching for radio stations.

“How can I view a movie or listen to the radio when I just know a few words?” you may wonder.”

Don’t ignore your listening abilities, since listening to your target language may have a variety of benefits, including:

  • Getting used to the pace of the language
  • Learning to recognize and comprehend basic words.
  • Understanding utilizing simply context and a few cognates.
  • Maintaining motivation!

5. Seek out real-world experience.

Some of the finest learning occurs in real-life settings, especially when you are forced to utilize a foreign language.

Traveling or studying abroad is the most convenient approach to obtain real-world experience. Going overseas allows you to be surrounded by individuals who speak the language you wish to learn, many of whom do not speak your original language.

This is the preferred method of organizations such as the Peace Corps, which often puts persons with little or no understanding of a language in full immersion circumstances. Although such circumstances might be unpleasant, they give a powerful incentive to learn rapidly.

However, even if you do not go overseas, you may immerse yourself in real-life circumstances that will provide you with plenty of language practice. Consider the following alternatives:

Meet with a language partner once or twice a week. You may compensate your language partner for his or her time, or you could offer to trade one hour of practice in the language you wish to study for an hour of practice speaking English.

Join a discussion group. Many cities and schools provide conversation groups where language students may practice having casual dialogues in their target language on a regular basis.

Use a language partner or online tutoring source. Sites like Coeffee.com and My Language Exchange may connect you with individuals who speak the language you wish to learn. Even if you don’t meet them in person, you may practice real-life language skills by interacting online.

Volunteer in your city with immigrants. Look for volunteer opportunities on sites like VolunteerMatch or Idealist, or contact groups that support immigrants who speak the language you wish to learn directly.

Visit companies where the majority of the people speak your target language. Perhaps there is a Mexican restaurant nearby where you can have excellent cuisine while practicing your Spanish with the waiters or owners, or perhaps there is a grocery shop that provides goods to the local Chinese population where you can practice your Chinese.

6. Discover the culture.

Understanding a language entails more than just comprehending words on a page. It is critical to understand the culture and history linked with these terms.

Knowing anything about the history, current events, religious beliefs, and prevalent practices of a nation or culture may help you grasp a lot of what people say and do.

Researchers discovered that toddlers learn to read in a second language more effectively when they grasp the culture and background of the texts they read.

Take some time when you begin to learn a new language to learn about the culture of the people who speak that language. Don’t dismiss this as a waste of time, especially if it requires you to read and watch movies in your own language. It will be very beneficial to you and may even prevent you from making awkward and perhaps offensive blunders.

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7. Put yourself to the test.

Knowing you’re about to take an exam is a terrific approach to drive yourself to study more quickly.

Try to put yourself through little tests on a regular basis. Take practice exams or complete the tasks at the conclusion of each chapter if you’re studying from a textbook. You may also take online examinations or play online games. Online practice exams are available in almost every language, including French, Spanish, Japanese, and German.

Planning to take a standardized exam several months to a year after starting to study a new language may also help keep you motivated, and having the results can help you “prove” your language level to possible companies, schools, or even just yourself.

The ACTFL OPI exam is well-known and recognized in many language-learning groups. It assesses oral proficiency and assigns a score ranging from “Novice Low” to “Superior.”

Some languages have their own standardized exam, such as the JLPT for Japanese or the HSK for Chinese. Inquire with instructors or experts who are fluent in the language about the examinations they suggest.

8. Have a good time!

We learn best when we are having fun, therefore remember to make language learning enjoyable.

Playing games is a terrific way to learn while having fun. Games capitalize on our innate competitiveness and allow us to practice language skills even when we are weary.

You may also concentrate your study on items that interest you, such as a favorite activity.

If you like sewing, for example, learn sewing-related vocabulary in your target language, view instructional sewing videos, and converse with tailors who speak your target language.

Learn terminology used to describe political processes and immerse yourself in articles on political topics, films of political debates, and talk programs about current events if you’re studying French and interested in French politics.

Finally, establish friends who speak or are interested in studying your chosen language. Languages are not designed to be studied in isolation! Real-world social interactions and discussions are what make language learning enjoyable and rewarding.

Make an effort to converse with individuals and learn about their lives and cultures.

You may be amazed at how eager people are to share knowledge with you, and how fast you build long-lasting connections as a result.

 

 

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The Best Ways to Learn a New Language

Keep some of them in mind, and you’ll be able to discover an intense language program in no time!

1. Make New Pals

If your city has a community of people who speak the language you wish to learn, start attending events! Friendship is one of the finest methods to learn a foreign language and the simplest approach to get familiar with slang, accent, and mannerisms. You may casually converse with your pals at local cafés, pubs, and restaurants, gradually laying the groundwork for the language you wish to study. The benefit of establishing friends who speak the language (or are studying with you) is that you will be able to practice freely without feeling self-conscious or on the spot!

2. Elementary School Students

Do you remember pen pals? Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean you can’t join in the fun! Find an international pen buddy to swap language skills and information with. Edit each other’s letters (while maintaining what you both initially wrote) to ensure proper structure and spelling. You’ll assist each other in learning, your ability to write in a foreign language will improve tenfold, and you could even have someone to visit overseas when you’re ready to put those talents to use!

3. Watch a Film

Put on a foreign movie in another language — without subtitles if possible! — for those who wish to take advantage of one of the finest methods to learn a language from the comfort of their own home. Not only is this one of the finest methods to learn a foreign language, but you will also have a better understanding of the culture of that language! Keep a record of new vocabulary terms you hear and what you believe they mean if you don’t know enough of the language to turn off the subtitles. Later, look them up. Look, it’s fun to look up words! (Aside: If you feel ready and want to “level up” your language study, go to the movies and see a foreign film in public!)

A television screen in a living room

Cozy up and enjoy a popular film in a foreign language… subtitles or no subtitles!

4. Assume You’re at a Restaurant

Read a menu in your target language and choose a meal you’d have every day — then look it up. Your food selections’ names will linger with you! Plus, if you choose something that translates to “dog” or “sheep intestine,” you’ll know to avoid it while you’re overseas (unless those are your favorite foods). You’ll definitely have an appetite for both the cuisine and the language by the time you go overseas!

5. Look for Online Resources

The internet is an enchanted realm. Look no further if you’re seeking for the finest techniques to learn a foreign language! You can always rely on Google Translate, but why not use useful browser addons like Toucan?

What else can you do online to learn a language? You may communicate with other language learners by participating in online chat groups, watching YouTube videos, and reading articles. The internet is ready to assist you in achieving your foreign language learning objectives!

6. Examine online courses (such as Lingodeer and Italki!)

LingoDeer is a website that offers online language lessons. LingoDeer will help you advance your language study. Select from Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, French, and more languages! Language instructors create their curriculum, and the app has a built-in flashcard feature. Furthermore, since learning a new language needs you to actually *say* it, LingoDeer offers tales for you to read and speak so you may improve your abilities faster! You may also try Italki, a language service that links you with language tutors online.

7. Educate Yourself

Small steps of concentrated investigation are the key to this one, which, although apparent, is one of the finest methods to learn a new language. Spend some time each day writing down a statement you’d want to learn how to utter in your target language. Look up each word/section and attempt to build the statement on your own. When you meet with your language partner, have them double-check your sentences. This is an excellent technique for keeping oneself in control. Setting tiny daily objectives can keep you going forward in your language learning journey!

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8. Disassemble it

No, we’re not talking about break dancing – unfortunately, those wild movements won’t help you learn a language (but everything is possible!). Instead, concentrate on vocabulary for one region or subject each week (for example, transportation or food items), and then move on to another the following week. This planned practice, like teaching oneself new phrases and passages, will make learning vocab and other critical terms more doable, and you’ll start to be able to group things together.

9. Tune in to the radio

Listening to a radio station in your target language in the vehicle, on a podcast, or online is similar to seeing a foreign movie. Try to see how much you can grasp, and jot down phrases that you recognize but do not understand so that you can look them up (Pro tip: listening to the news in another language is a fantastic and intensive method to start learning vocab and conversational patterns quickly!).

10. Travel Abroad!

One of the greatest methods to learn a foreign language is to go to a place where the language is spoken and live with a host family that does not speak your original language. You’ll be astounded at how much information you can transmit and how rapidly you can learn a language when you have no other choice. This intensive immersion program will have you speaking fluently in months. What could possibly be better? If you chose your nation well, you may even learn numerous languages!

 

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25 Golden Tips to Learn a New Language

1. Discussion, Discussion, Discussion

If there’s a “secret” or “hack” to learning a foreign language, it’s hours and hours of awkward and strenuous conversation with people who speak the language better than you.1 An hour of conversation (with corrections and a dictionary for reference) is equivalent to five hours in a classroom and ten hours with a language course on your own.

This is due to a number of factors. The first is motivation.2 No matter how amazing your study guide is, you’ll be significantly more involved and inspired to converse with a real person in front of you than you would with a book or audio program on your computer.

2. Under red curtains, a man and a woman converse.

The second reason is that language must be processed rather than remembered. I’m no linguist, but in my experience, gazing at and memorizing a word in a book or with flashcards 100 times just does not stay as well as being forced to use a term in conversation two or three times.3

I think this is because our brains prioritize memories that entail genuine human and social events, memories that are associated with emotions.

So, for example, if I look up the verb “to complain” and use it in a phrase with a new acquaintance, I’m likely to identify that term with that particular contact and discussion I was having with her. Whereas I can flashcard the same term 20 times and get it perfect every time, I haven’t truly practiced applying it. It has no meaning for me, thus it is unlikely to remain with me.

3. The intensity of study outweighs the length of study.

This means that learning a language four hours a day for two weeks will benefit you more than studying one hour a day for two months. This is one of the reasons why so many students fail language studies in school. It’s because they only study 3-4 hours a week and their lessons are sometimes separated by several days.

Language requires a great deal of repetition, as well as a consistent commitment and investment. It’s better to dedicate a specific period of your life, even if it’s only 1-2 weeks, and go all in, rather than half-assing it over the course of months or even years.

4. Classes are ineffective and waste time and money.

Overall, group sessions provide a very low return on investment of time and effort.

There are two issues. The first is that the class proceeds at the slowest student’s speed. The second is that learning a foreign language is a pretty personal process—everyone learns certain words or themes more easily than others, so a class will not be able to handle each student’s specific requirements as well or as quickly.

For example, since I had previously learnt Spanish, I found verb conjugations in Russian studies to be uncomplicated. However, one of my English classmates struggled a lot with them. As a consequence, I spent a significant portion of my class time waiting for him to catch up.

I also had a German classmate who was previously familiar with the instances, although I had no idea what they were. I’m sure he was waiting for me to figure it out as well. The bigger the class, the less efficient it will be. Anyone who has had to learn a foreign language in school and has forgotten everything can attest to this.

5. Understand Your Motivation for Learning a Language

It’s ridiculous to even have to say it, but understanding why you’re studying a foreign language is critical to mastering it.

Many individuals begin studying a language without knowing what they will do with it. And, predictably, they fail. You may know all the strategies of learning a language, but if you don’t understand why you’re doing it or how it will benefit your life, you’ll lose motivation and the learning will burn out like an engine out of steam.

Do you want to start a new life in another country? Are you studying a foreign language because you’re interested by the culture and want to jump right in? Are you planning a vacation to a foreign country and only want to order street food and tell the cab driver where you’re heading in the native language?

6. These are all excellent reasons to study a foreign language.

Yes, there are also awful ones. If you want to learn Russian only to impress that attractive Russian you met at the bar, or if you want to learn French to wow others and seem educated, I have terrible news for you.

Motivation is a difficult concept to grasp. For a short time, you may force yourself to study something tough. However, in the long run, you must see some tangible benefit from your efforts. You will eventually burn out if you do not do this.

7. Set Learning Objectives for Learning a Foreign Language

Language-learning objectives should be brief, clear, and readily quantifiable. Many of us begin language study by declaring, “I want to be proficient in Japanese in six months!” ”

The issue is, what exactly is fluency? In what manner are you fluent? A casual discussion? What about reading and writing? Are you discussing legal difficulties for your company?

Instead, it is preferable to identify specific targets. Begin by saying something like, “By the end of today, I will know how to greet and introduce myself.” In two days, I’ll learn how to ask someone what they do for a living and then explain what I do to them. I’ll know how to get food and escape famine by the end of the week.”

8. Master the 100 most frequent terms in X weeks/months.

Begin with the Top 100 Most Common Words.

Not every lexicon is made equal. Some provide a higher return on investment than others.4

For example, when I lived in Buenos Aires, I met a man who had spent months studying with Rosetta Stone (not recommended). I’d been working with a tutor on and off for a few weeks, but I was startled that after months of study and living there, he couldn’t follow even the most basic of discussions.

It turns out that most of the terminology he had been learning was for kitchen equipment, family members, clothes, and home rooms. But he had no clue what to say if he wanted to ask someone where they lived in town.

Begin with the 100 most frequent words and build phrases with them again and over. Learn just enough grammar to be able to accomplish this, and keep doing it until you’re comfortable with all of them.

9. Carry a Pocket Dictionary with you.

This made a far larger effect than I had anticipated.

When I lived in Spanish-speaking nations, I had an English-Spanish dictionary app on my phone at all times. During my first two weeks in Brazil, I was too lazy to download an English-Portuguese app. Despite understanding basic Portuguese, I suffered a lot in my talks throughout those two weeks.

There was an instant change once I downloaded the dictionary. It’s great to have it on your phone because it only takes two seconds to look something up in the middle of a conversation. And because you’re using it in context, you’re more likely to remember it later.

Even something as basic as this had a significant impact on my talks and ability to communicate with locals.

10. Continue to Mentally Practice the New Language

You can also use your dictionary to practice while going about your day and not talking to anyone.

Make an effort to think in the new language. We all have internal monologues that are usually in our native language. You may continue to practice and compose phrases and pretend conversations in a new language in your brain.

In fact, this type of visualization leads to much easier conversations when they occur.

For example, you may imagine and rehearse a discussion about a subject before you really have it. You might start to consider how you would define your work and explain why you are in a different nation in the new language.

Those inquiries will inevitably arise, and you will be prepared to respond.

11. You’re Going to Say Some Stupid Things. Acceptance

I once told a group of people when I was initially studying Spanish that Americans put a lot of condoms in their cuisine. I later confessed to a female that basketball gets me hot. Yes, it’s going to happen. Believe me.

12. Determine Pronunciation Patterns

Based on Latin terms, all Latin-based languages will have similar pronunciation patterns.

For example, any English word that ends in “-tion” will nearly invariably finish in “-ción” in Spanish and “-ço” in Portuguese.

To utter Spanish words they don’t know, English speakers are known for simply adding “-o,” “-e,” or “-a” to the end of English nouns. Aside from preconceptions, it’s astonishing how frequently it’s right. “Destiny” becomes “destino,” “motive” becomes “motivo,” “part” becomes “parte,” and so on.

Case endings normally rhyme with one another in Russian, thus if you’re talking about a feminine noun (like “Zhen-shee-na”), you know that the adjectives and adverbs will usually rhyme with its ending (“krasee-vaya” as opposed to “krasee-vee”).

(The Mimic Approach is a language-learning method that emphasizes on pronunciation.)

13. For the first 100 words and basic grammar, use audio and online courses.

After then, they should only be used for reference purposes.

There are several study resources available (I suggest Benny Lewis’ Language Hacking classes, but there are many more). These courses are excellent for taking you from having no knowledge of a language to being able to speak basic sentences and phrases in a matter of days. They’re also useful for teaching the most basic vocabulary (words such as: the, I, you, eat, want, thanks, etc.).

14. There is no lack of language applications to choose from.

With the most popular being Babbel, Memrise, and Duolingo.

Each has its own set of flaws. There is no miracle drug that can provide you extraordinary linguistic talents. However, there is no question that you may utilize them to supplement your study. If anything, the crowd-sourced phrases Duolingo utilizes to teach you grammar and vocabulary will give hours of fun (as well as a glimpse into the thoughts of the people whose language you’re trying to learn).

15. force your self to speak and communicate in the language

But keep in mind that the best return on investment when learning a foreign language is forcing yourself to speak and communicate with others; if you’re sitting in your bedroom with a book or a software program, you’re not being forced to formulate meaning and significance in the new language on the spot.

Instead, you are encouraged to repeat and mimic thoughts and patterns that you have seen elsewhere in the materials. As previously said, I believe these are two distinct forms of learning, with one being significantly more successful than the other.

16. Focus on Becoming Conversational After the First 100 Words

According to studies, the most common 100 words in any language account for 50% of all spoken communication. The most frequently used 1,000 words account for 80% of all spoken communication. The most popular 3,000 words account for 99 percent of communication.6

In other words, there are some severe diminishing returns to acquiring greater vocabulary. I probably only know 500-1,000 words on Spanish, yet I never have to stop and look a word up in my phone during most conversations.

17. The core grammar should have you speaking simple phrases in a couple of days.

The first hundred words will go you a long way. Use them to get as familiar as possible with syntax, idioms, and slang, as well as to compose thoughts, jokes, and ideas in the new language on the go. Once you’re able to joke regularly in the new language, it’s a very solid clue that it’s time to extend your vocabulary.

Many individuals try to increase their vocabulary too rapidly and too soon. It’s a waste of time and effort since they’re still not comfortable with simple talks like where they’re from when learning economics or medical language. It’s illogical.

18. Aim for Brain Melt.

You know how, after doing a lot of mentally demanding work for hours on end, your brain simply feels like a lump of gravy?

When studying a foreign language, aim for that moment. You’re probably not maximizing your time or effort until you’ve reached the brain-gravy stage.

You’ll reach mind-melt within an hour or two at first. It may take a full night of hanging out with locals before it occurs later on. But when it does occur, it is a really nice thing.

19. Use the New Language on a Daily Basis

Unless you have superhuman powers, you will not become proficient in a language unless you use it often and regularly. And the easiest method to guarantee you reach both targets is to just utilize it on a regular basis.

Continue to have those internal dialogues. Go through the 100 new words and phrases you learnt so they stay.

Immerse yourself in the new language if possible. Changing the language of your browser or phone may throw you off for a few days, but it will get you acclimated to seeing the language in your everyday life. During your commute, listen to podcasts or the radio in your target language.

20. View YouTube videos in the language you want to learn.

Many foreign-language videos will have English subtitles. You can even watch them sans subtitles if you’re feeling brave! The Internet is your ally. Allow it to assist you in melting your brain every day.

“How Do You Spell X?”

” Is Possibly the Most Important Sentence You Can Learn

21. Learn it early and often.

One-on-one tutoring is the most effective and efficient use of time.

Depending on the language and culture, it is also the most costly use of time.

But, if you have the money, hiring a good instructor and sitting with him or her for a few hours every day is the quickest method I’ve discovered to learn a foreign language.

22. Be friends with someone Who Doesn’t Speak Your Native Language

A few weeks of two hours a day with a tutor in Brazil brought me to at least an acceptable conversational level—that is, I could be friends with someone who spoke no English and keep conversation throughout the night without embarrassing myself.

In that vein…

Be friends with someone Who Doesn’t Speak Your Native Language and Doesn’t Speak the Target Language

Discuss investment and incentive. In a month, you’ll be proficient. Best of all, if you irritate them or do something incorrectly, you can claim that it was lost in translation.

If you can’t find a cute person who will put up with you, look for a language buddy online.

There are many places where foreigners who wish to learn English may exchange practice time in their native language for practice in yours.

Winning Combination: Facebook Chat + Google Translate

Seriously, technology is incredible.

23. When you learn a new word, try to use it as soon as possible.

When you pause in conversation to look up a new term, make a point of using it in the following two or three phrases.

Language learning studies suggest that you must pronounce a word a particular number of times within one minute of learning it, one hour of knowing it, one day, and so on.8

Try using it a couple times right away, then again later in the day. It’s likely to stick.

TV shows, movies, newspapers, and magazines are all excellent supplements.

However, they should not be misconstrued for or used in lieu of genuine practice.

When I was learning Spanish, I made it a point to see a number of movies each week and read one article from El Pas every day. It was beneficial in terms of keeping me fresh, but I don’t feel it was as beneficial as my time spent conversing.

24. Most people are helpful; allow them to assist you.

Ask random individuals for assistance if you’re in a foreign nation and making a total fool of yourself attempting to purchase anything at the grocery store. Ask how to say something by pointing to it. Pose questions to them.

Most individuals are polite and eager to assist you. Learning a second language is not for those who are bashful.

There will be a great deal of uncertainty and miscommunication.

The truth is that many, many terms do not have exact translations.

These little distinctions might build up, especially in important or emotional interactions. Intentions are readily misinterpreted. Nuanced talks about critical issues will almost certainly demand twice as much work to nail down the precise meaning for each participant as they would for two native speakers.

Without living in the nation for years, no matter how proficient you are at your new language, you are unlikely to have a thorough grasp on the subtle intuitive distinctions between each word, phrase, or idiom that a native speaker does.

To begin, you may talk a bit but comprehend nothing. Then you can comprehend considerably more than you can say. Then you become conversant, but it takes a lot of mental work. After that, you can speak and comprehend without conscious mental effort (i.e., you don’t have to mentally translate words into your own language).

When you can speak and listen without thinking about it, you’ll be able to think in the foreign language without even trying. When this occurs, you’ve reached a new level.

And what about the last level? The ability to follow a discussion amongst a big number of native speakers is the last piece of the jigsaw to fall into place, believe it or not. It was, at least, for me.

When that occurs, and you’re able to enter and exit the discussion at will, you’re pretty well set. After that, there isn’t much further to do until you live in the nation for at least a year or two and become completely fluent.

25. Finally, find a way to make it enjoyable.

If you’re going to remain with it, you have to find a method to make it enjoyable.

Find folks with whom you love conversing. Attend activities where you may practice while having fun. If you simply sit in a classroom with a book, you’re going to burn out shortly.

Discuss personal issues that are important to you. Learn about the person you’re speaking with. Make it personal, a life experience, or you’ll be in for a lengthy, unpleasant process that will most likely result in you forgetting all you learned.

And there you have it, my friends, my 25 suggestions for properly learning a new language. Now go learn something new.

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