“A different language is a different vision of life.”- Federico Fellini
Learning a new language in the pluralistic world of today opens up a myriad of opportunities for you; interacting with different cultures, education and job opportunities, and the list goes on. Whatever your rationale behind learning a new language is, here are our top 4 tips to help you learn a new language quickly,
Know the ‘Why’
Understand your motivation. Make the ‘why’ strong. If your reason for learning a language is strong enough, you will go back to it, even if you lack motivation, or if you’ve had a period of relative separation from the language. If you started learning Spanish after watching La casa de papel (or Money Heist), re-watch it to get back your groove! Keep revisiting the reason for learning the language- be it anime, K-pop, or something a bit more niche- and learning a new language becomes worth it.
In addition to this, keep your final goal in mind. Why do you want to learn this particular language? Do you intend to visit the country as a tourist and want to experience more than just the very obvious tourist destinations? Perhaps you wish to live in the country for an extended period of time, delving deep into their culture, traditions, and customs, or maybe you want to work as a translator, or tourist guide for people who speak that language? Answering these questions will make you realise your final goal in your mind and will ensure that you stick to your guns even when you feel like giving up.
Study, study, study!
No one starts out fluent in a language. Regular, consistent studying of a language will make sure that you make significant progress over time. Learning a new language is hard work, and like with anything else, you will want to stop when you hit the smallest snag. What matters though, is making sure that no matter how much motivation you lack, you dedicate fifteen minutes at the very least to study the language every day, with no distractions. Keeping up a schedule can help to build a habit- studying at a particular time each day, that is- and once it’s a habit, you’re halfway there already!
Apart from this dedicated study time, you can start consuming content in the form of television shows, radio, films, and videos in that language. Passive listening to any kind of content in that language will make sure that it starts to sound familiar and no longer foreign. This also ties back to revisiting the reason why you started learning the language.
Set short-term goals
While keeping an eye at your final goal (becoming fluent in your chosen language) is important, it is just as important to set and accomplish short-term goals to make sure that steady progress is made. For instance, decide that you will learn ten new words in that language every day, and in a month, you will learn to use the words you learnt in sentences. Your short-range goal could even be to learn the lyrics of a song in that language while understanding the meaning, watching a movie in that language sans subtitles, or even holding a face-to-face conversation with a fluent speaker, anything that helps you grasp the language faster.
It might even help if you have someone who is learning the same language at the same time as you are. A language partner will help you reach your short-term goals and it is always easier to talk to someone who is at the same language level as you are. Our advice: grab a language buddy!
Another useful tip is to note down words that you might actually use in daily conversations; you might use the word ‘happiness’ or ‘happy’ a lot in your target language, but perhaps not much of ‘fertilize’. Prioritize the words that you use most often. The more you use the words, the easier it is to retain them in your long-term vocabulary.
Talk, walk, and immerse yourself in the language and culture
If the language is relatively new to you, it might seem intimidating to start talking to people who are either native speakers, or are fluent in it. But, if you wait too long, you will never feel comfortable in the language that you have devoted so much time to. The Language Network (TLN) offers courses that are easy to understand, dynamic, and in small groups, so that talking in a new language is not intimidating, but rather a fun and wholesome experience. Book a free demo session with us today!
Just learning the language and watching television shows is not enough. You need to immerse yourself into the culture; read travelogues by journalists, try to understand the politics, look at how they celebrate festivals, peculiarities in their culture, similarities and differences between your culture and theirs, the food, the music, the geography, everything! This might sound like a bit much to take in, and frankly speaking, it is, but it is definitely worth it.
The recommendation here is not to throw yourself into the deep end and start trying to read as much as you can at once, but rather to slowly get more information about the country of origin of the language that you are learning. This will build interest in the language further and also help you understand the subtleties and nuances that might be otherwise missed from just purely studying the language.
The best way to learn a language is to actually live where that language is spoken for an extended period of time. Speaking and practising the language in a variety of situations everyday ensure quick grasping and fluency. It is then easier to understand the culture and habits of the people by observing it at close proximity. But we understand that staying in a country abroad for a very long time is not always plausible.
So, the next best alternative is to find a language class that suits your needs, provides classes at your leisure, in smaller groups, and is there to guide you through exams that can be taken in the language you are learning. The Language Network is an option that will definitely work for you if you have a paucity of free time, but still want to learn a new language for advancement in your career or any other reason. But always remember, learning a new language can only be useful if you are actually learning; you must push yourself to actively spend time studying on your own, and persevere to get to a place where you can call yourself fluent in the language. There are several benefits to learning a new language, but most importantly, you get to interact with a whole new set of people who have their own unique thoughts, dreams, and hopes, learn about them in their native tongue, and also see the same old world anew through the lens of a new language.
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” -Nelson Mandela
Did you find our tips helpful? Let us know in the comment section if you liked our tips and tell us how your experience of learning a new language was.
Good luck to all those pursuing their love for languages and persistently learning, even when it gets difficult; you’ve got this!