You want to become a master in learning new languages, maybe German, Russian, French, Spanish, Italian or maybe some not so popular language, but you always seem to be struggling when you are learning a new language.
In this article, we will debunk and show you the best tips on how to learn a new language.
Remove all the myths
People keep trying to make these modern myths and stories about languages, and say things like ‘ohh, this language is very difficult, you can not learn that language, that language is not for you, this language is not beautiful why would you even want to hear it’
These are stories from people who have tried or not even attempted to learn a language and have not succeeded. They have given up, most likely from the start, and have not been serious about language learning. So, why would you believe these stories? Of course, some languages will be harder to some people, the same would be easier to some other people, some languages have a more complex structure and need more time and attention.
However, does language complexity make the language more difficult?
Well, if you love to learn the language that you want to learn, no matter how complex it is, it just means that you have to devote more attention and time to it, and that is not equal to difficult. Any language will be difficult if you do not have the passion to learn it if you do not have the devotion to learning it. Then of course it will be difficult! And learning a language is not a small thing, it needs time, it cannot be learned with great fluency in one week(actually it can, only one person has achieved this – Watch it here – https://youtu.be/w-TJxI-WUMs?t=41m40s )
A language, no matter how complicated it is, it will not be difficult if you do not have a bad opinion about it and instead you have a positive mindset and attitude toward learning that language, it will be challenging, but also joyful, fun and an amazing experience.
Learn how to Unlearn
This might sound a bit weird at first, but you have to learn how to unlearn. What does this even mean? Well, you have your native language, and maybe some other language that you have learned, and you know, and now, you want to learn a completely new language. This new language that you are going to want to learn, will have new rules, new vocabulary, new grammar, new everything, and therefore, you have to learn how to unlearn the things that you think you know. For example, your native language is English, and you are trying to learn German, although they both come from the Germanic languages and have some small similarities, don’t let those things confuse you, don’t try to find all the similarities that the German and English have, because then you are going to try to learn German with a mindset that it has similar grammar to the English, and you are going to think that you know what you are learning, but after learning it with that mindset, you will just get more confused.
So, learn how to unlearn, learn how to learn the new language without the influence of the languages that you already know. I know this probably sounds a bit confusing, but if you have this in mind, and you learn the new language as a completely new language without trying to find all the similarities, you will save yourself a lot of time and you won’t bang your head against the wall thinking ‘why does this go here? In my language, it is not like this’. Well, it is because it is a completely different language. : )
Immerse yourself in the Language
Immersion is a great way to learn a language, but one of the most common questions and concerns in how do you immerse yourself in a language if you don’t live in a country where it is spoken.
Well, there is a way. 🙂 Of Course, living in a country where it is spoken is the best immersion method, but when you cannot do that, do the second best thing that you can, and it is really simple.
Step 1: Start listening to music in the language you are learning. Youtube will help you with these, find some bends in that language, and then you will have millions of suggestions from YouTube with songs in that language
Step 2: put stickers on all of the things that you have in the language that you are learning.
Step 3: Greet all of your friends, even people whom you do not know in the language you are learning, this might also be fun for your friends, ‘cos they will learn a few words. : )
Step 4: Find people that speak that language and only speak in the language you are both learning while talking. This is an amazing learning experience, and I highly recommend it. For example, I am learning German, and I found out that people in some stores speak German, now I only go in those stores, and I speak only in German with them. I also, learn English, and I am speaking on my Youtube channels, talk to my English friends, write for English blogs and many other things.
Step 5: Find people on the Internet that are willing to learn with you and learn together.
Step 6: Change your apps in the language you are learning. Change your operating system in the language you are learning, change your facebook, twitter and any other app that you are using in the language you are learning.
Step 7: For book lovers, get new books in the language you are learning and start reading them, if you are just a beginner, get some children’s books that are super easy and start with those. When getting children’s book, you can just get electronic versions from Amazon, so you do not have to wait for them and make space for them at home. : )
Step 8: Start/try reading news and articles in the language you are learning. The app Duolingo is great for this; there is an immersion method where you can read and translate news and articles from many different languages.
Step 9: Make Flashcards with new words. Whenever you encounter new words, make flash cards for them and carry them around with you, so when you are traveling, you can review them when you have nothing else to do.
Step 10: This one is for TV/movie fans. Instead of watching television in your language, go online and watch television in the language you are learning, or if you are a big movie fan, watch your favorite movies in the language you are learning. I am a big anime fan, so when I started learning German I started watching Pokemon and Dragonball in German, then I watched a lot of German movies, and I discovered that Germany had an awesome Movie scene. : )
A couple of tips about these methods.
Do not rely only on these ten steps, find other immersion tactics that will work for you, there are many, I included here just some of the immersion techniques that I am using.
It is also crucial to concentrate on the language when you are doing this. For example when you are watching a movie or using your apps, learn all the words, memorize them, and you will learn a lot with this immersion method fast. Of course, it will be a bit challenging in the start because you will not know many words, but just give this method a bit time, and it will soon become fun. : )
Use awesome apps for language learning
Duolingo – I recommend Duolingo to every language learner there is because it is a free app, and it is the best app for learning a new language. Very highly recommended, and use it every day for at least 15-20 minutes, if you can more spend more time on this app.
Memrise is also an amazing app that I highly recommend; it is the best app for learning new words and phrases.
Get books for learning languages. Start with level one, move upward on the levels and learn these books, you will need all of that material when you are taking the tests for getting a certification.
Learn all the grammar and rules of a language
This is crucial, it is probably one of the most avoided things when learning a language, but it is also one of the most important, if you learn your grammar and the rules of a language you will learn it much faster. I suggest learning it 50-50, spend half of your time in the beginning for learning the rules of a language and half the time on learning vocabulary and all of the other things + the immersion method are not included in this percentage. After you get a good feel for the grammar and rules, spend more time on words and a bit less time on grammar. : )
You do not need a mentor to learn a language
My native language is Macedonian, and I speak other 6 languages, some fluently, and in some I am not so fluent, but I have not had a mentor or a teacher for any of the languages that I have learned, and you do not need one also.
Many people say that they can’t afford a teacher and that they cannot afford this or that material for language learning, but nowadays it is actually free to learn a language, and I think that you can learn better when learning by yourself then learning with some random teacher.
Some teachers are fantastic, and can speed up your learning, but they are a rare species and are usually very, very expensive.
Do not try to do all at once
This is critical, do not try to implement all of these tips at once. Bookmark this article and start using these tips one by one, maybe add one new thing to your learning schedule every week, every other week or once a month. This is important because if you try to do everything at once, you are going to end up doing nothing and feeling disappointed.
Do not worry about mistakes
You will make many mistakes, and do not worry about them, but also challenge yourself to learn from them and to get better at it next time. Also, do not be shy to speak to people in the language you are learning, they won’t make fun of you if you make mistakes, and even if they do, who cares, you are learning, they are not, you are millions of steps ahead of them, by being brave and immersing yourself and learning.
It takes time
Remember that it takes time to learn a new language, and the beginning is usually always the most challenging, so challenge yourself and become an awesome multilingual person. It takes years to achieve perfect fluency, don’t wait for that fluency, talk in the language as much as possible. I have an accent in all of the languages that I know, I am learning English for more than 15 years, since I was five, and when I am talking I do not have a British or American accent, and a native speaker will notice it, but do I care, not really, because I know more languages than most people do. : )
Learn by Teaching
Another fantastic way to learn a new language is by teaching it. Everything you learn teach it, to someone else who wants to learn. You can learn something new and then teach it to your friends, learn some difficult words and explain it to your friends or someone else, or on a video for youtube. This is a very, very effective way of learning, because you are learning, recalling the information and then teaching it to another person and then that person gives you an opinion, feedback and this is a great way to learn and plus you are helping other by doing this, so it’s a really win win situation. I am constantly using this method to learn German and I am teaching things that I learn on my Youtube channel. I quickly create a video, teach a short lesson and that helps me to learn important things.
You can check out my Youtube channel where I teach German, and if you are interested in learning German you can subscribe to my channel. : )
What are you waiting for, start learning a new language now, it is awesome, challenge your brain, improve your memory become an awesome multilingual person. It is an awesome skill to know many languages, and the more you know, the better you get at it and the more appreciated it is in all aspects of life. You can earn more by knowing more languages, you can impress the opposite sex by knowing more languages, and you can travel wherever you want and understand people from all around the globe.
If you missed the previous link to my channel -> Click here