Learn A New Language
Est-ce que tu parles français? ¿Hablas español? Unaongea kiswahili?
Have you ever had the desire to learn a new language? You’re not alone. It’s very common for people to speak more than one language these days. People are migrating to different countries all the time and many second and third generation children of migrants are born into bi-lingual families.
That’s all well and good, but what happens when you want to learn a language that you have no connection to? Learning a new language is difficult and some are harder to learn than others. That shouldn’t stop you from trying though, and it can be a whole lot of fun in the process. Before you start learning, here are 10 ways to learn a new language to get you started.
If there was ever a great excuse to travel, then learning a new language is the ultimate reason. What better way to learn a new language than to visit the country that speaks that language and learn from the locals? Sure, you’ll be fumbling with the words and phrases, but keep at it and you’ll learn the basics fast. Obviously, the longer you stay in the country, the more you can learn, but even a short visit can help. At the very least, it’s a great way to get started.
2. Focus On Fluency And Vocabulary
Learning a language is hard enough and too many teachers focus on grammar. While grammar is important, it can slow your progress down considerably. Learning the lingo and vocabulary is more important when you first start out and you can focus on grammar later. Listen to how native speakers converse with each other. More often than not, they are speaking in their local dialect and lingo, which is very different from the textbook language.
3. Listen To Podcasts
Podcasts are all the rage and there are dozens of Podcast apps to choose from and you can learn almost any language you can think of. The beauty of using a Podcast to learn a language is that you can listen to them anywhere, anytime.
4. Use An App
If Podcasts aren’t your thing, you can still use your gadgets to learn a new language. There are many apps you can use to learn any language of your choosing. Go for an app that offers practical exercises that include pronunciation with a focus on using the language in different situations. The beauty of using an app is that if you get bored with one app, you can delete it and move to another one.
5. Watch TV And Videos
Most people enjoy watching TV and with technological advances our viewing choices are endless. Instead of wasting your evenings watching meaningless shows, watch movies and TV shows in language of your choice with English subtitles. This makes it easier for you to understand what the actors are saying. You can also watch language learning videos over the internet to learn a specific dialogue.
6. Read, Read, Read
Reading is a great way to learn a new language and the best part is, you can choose a topic that interests you. Find an online magazine in the language you want to learn and pick an article. You can translate parts of the text and take it from there. Once you get good at reading articles, you can move on the books. Before you know it, you’ll be reading the text and translating the meaning in the same breath.
7. Find A Pen Pal
A few decades ago, it was really cool to have a pen pal in some far-off place and even better if that person lived in another country. With the internet, finding someone to correspond with is even easier. There are thousands of chat rooms you can join, or you can practice your new language skills by sending emails to business associates in other countries. Don’t worry about making mistakes in your writings. Native speakers make them too.
8. Immerse Yourself In A Foreign Culture
Learning languages can be a whole lot of fun because it is more about just the spoken word. You can enjoy the culinary delights, music, art and the customs of any country you choose. By immersing yourself in the culture of a particular country, you will first learn the correct terms for foods and other cultural aspects and forming a complete sentence will come a little easier in the long run.
9. Find A Teacher
One of the best ways to learn a language is from a native speaker of that language. Find a teacher in your area that teaches the language or maybe your local community center offers classes for certain languages. Don’t just look to adults though. sometimes the best teachers could be your friends’ kids. The language they speak is simpler, making it easier to get you started.
10. Use An Online Platform
If you can’t find a specific language teacher in your local area you can make use of an online language teaching platform. Most of the teachers on these online platforms are native speakers and many also have a teaching background. The biggest advantage of these platforms is that you can learn from the comfort of your own home via video chat so technically, you learn with a teacher face to face. You can also use the services of a number of teachers to help you understand different accents and dialects.
Before you get started learning a new language, you need to examine your reasons for learning. It may be so you can communicate with your business contacts, migrating or working abroad, or you may just want to travel and learning the local language will make it easier for you while you’re visiting.
The beauty of learning a new language is that you will learn part of the culture as well as the language. Once you learn one, you’ll probably want to learn another one. You’ll broaden your horizons and you may even make new friends in exotic places.