date 2020.09.28  time 20:30  previews 2416
The Best Way to Learn a New Language You always wanted to learn a new language? You do not have the time or you do not know where to start? I love languages and I speak fluently 7 languages. I think you can have a lot of fun learning a new language and you do not need to spend years doing that to achieve good results. I decided to share my experience and I hope this helps other people who want to learn a new language.

Why would one need to learn a new language at all? Isn't it enough to communicate using your own language? Especially if one speaks English, that must be enough since most people nowadays speak English? Learning a new language is not only about the language itself. It can help you learn a lot of new things and it is a whole new way of thinking. Learning a language keeps your brain awake and develops your memory. You can learn a whole new culture. It can be very helpful when you want to visit another country. You can always get around with English, but knowing the local language can open you a lot of doors and bring you a lot better experience. Learning another language can also help you learn a lot of new things about your own language.

Do you want to learn French, Spanish, Portuguese, German or maybe Chinese? The world is full of languages and different cultures waiting for you to explore them. Here I will share a list of tips which can help you on your way to learn a new language.

1. Proper environment for learning a language.

It always helps to learn a language if you live in a country where this is a native language. However this is not a must and does not always help. I will later explain how you can create a perfect environment no matter where you live. Now I would like to mention some positive points about living abroad. I have lived in 5 different countries and besides having a lot of fun abroad that also helped me to learn a couple of languages. Imagine you walk on the street and you see signs in the language you are learning. You enter the shop, you hear the people speaking and you already catch some phrases. You need to say something at the cash desk and there you go you are already practising the language.

This can really help but is not a must. I have met also a lot of people living in a country already for more than 5 years and not being able to speak the local language at all. So don't think that simply living in a country will do some magic and you can learn the language just like that. You will always need to invest some time and efforts which we will discuss in the next point.

Now let's see how you can create a great environment for learning a new language. There are so many approaches that you can use to learn a language. Of course first you can learn some vocabulary and grammar the standard way with reading a textbook. You can do a lot of different things which will help you progress.

If you like playing games, make the settings to the language that you are learning. If you do not understand the menu just use a dictionary. At first it will slow you down but will gradually not be a problem and it will help you a lot. You can also set the menu of your phone in the foreign language.

If you watch a movie, why not watching a movie in the language that you learn? If you are not that advanced you can use subtitles and pause the movie to translate and understand everything properly.

Reading a book? Why not taking a book in the language you learn? Start with something simple. "The Little Prince" is my favourite book to learn languages with. It was always the first book I read when I start to learn a new language. You can also try some other simple texts like fairy tales.

Do you like listening to music? Let's look for some songs in the language you are learning. You can put a playlist in your mobile device and can always play it when being home or somewhere outside.

Doing that, the language will already be present in a lot of spheres of your life. It would be as if you are living in another country where the new language is always surrounding you. In the next points we will discuss also other small things you can do to go even further.

2. Learn the language fast. How much time and efforts you need to invest?

The time needed to learn a language is something that often makes one give up. However I can tell you that a language can be learned really fast. You do not need several years. You can start speaking a language in three months. Of course first you won't be fluent and won't be able to express yourself very well but the most important thing is that you can understand and speak the language already. That itself can help you for your further progress.

What do you need to do to learn the language fast. First I would like to express my personal opinion that most standard learning programs are very slow and boring. Students can study a foreign language in school 10 years and in the end not being able to speak at all. The study usually goes in so much details which you actually do not need. I will give just an example where a textbook focus on a vocabulary in a certain area and makes you learn hundreds of words for vegetables and fruits which you would never need. Just think of it, how often do you need to speak about eggplants with a foreigner? Instead you can focus on learning the very basic vocabulary which would enable you already to use the language.

Don't forget to learn grammar which is very important. You need grammar so you can speak properly. Start with simple areas and at first you can leave the advanced topics and just not use them in your speech. Be sure to at least read all areas of the grammar so you can properly understand when you read or listen.

Next point is very important for having success in short time without the need of a lot of time.

3. Being constant.

If you want to learn a language fast you do not need to spend whole days doing that. You just need to be constant so you do not forget what you learned the previous day. Learn every day. Like that your brain keeps working on this and is less likely to forget what you learned recently. You can sped 30 minutes to one hour a day. Just bring a small piece of your materials with yourself - i.e. the textbook you are currently reading, a playlist with songs or podcasts on your phone or a book in the language you are learning. Would be great if you can find some more time once in a while for example on weekends, so you can increase your progress.

4. Where to start?

First of all you need to know grammar. You can start with learning basic dictionary and rules of grammar. You can do that in the first couple of weeks then you can focus on building your vocabulary.

The most important thing is to start understanding the language. There is a clear path that you cannot avoid - reading, listening, writing, speaking. The easiest way to start with the language is reading. You can start working on your listening skills in parallel and learn to understand what you hear. Find audio or video podcasts which can help you progress fast. Then writing is the next level where you may find it difficult at the beginning but do not give up. The final step is learning to speak which can be the hardest because there you do not have a lot of time to thing, unlike when writing.

A language course can be a good idea but this also has some disadvantages. You waste time to reach the place where the course takes place and if it is a big group the process usually cannot focus on what you personally need to learn. An online course can save you some time of reaching the place. Getting a private teacher would be nice but it can be expensive. You can spare a lot of time and money with learning whenever you like and wherever you like.

If you do not have a teacher you can try to find someone and form a team to learn together. You can find someone who is native in the language which you are learning and who wants to learn your native language. You can help each other and make a good team. You can also find someone who is learning the same language and learn together.

5. Learning vocabulary.

Learning new words is always a burden and sometime can be quite hard. There is one thing that you can do to memorise words words easily. Try to relate a new word with a word that you already know - either in your own language or the language you are learning. In example book in my own language means a type of tree. I remember that when learning the new word and when I need to use this word and I cannot find it in my mind, it pops up that it is actually similar to the word for the tree and I can remember it easily. Building such associations is advice number one of most teachers for learning new words.

Another thing you can do is to write down the new words from the day on a piece of paper and always wear it with you. Like that you can learn or revise the words whenever you are in the public transport or somewhere waiting for a friend. Do not make a big list, rather try to focus on a small amount of words during the day. In the end you don't need to spend the whole day learning words. It is more important that you have progress and learn some words every day. Once in a while go through old words to revise them. If you do not use words they can be easily forgotten.

6. Practice.

Once you get a bit more advanced you need to start practising the language. Reading books, listening to music and watching movies is already a good way to practice. Find some podcasts and listen to them whenever you can. However it is very difficult to find someone to talk to especially if you are a beginner. Even if you live in a country where people are speaking the language it can be very difficult to make someone talk to you in the language. Usually people do not have patience to listen to someone who cannot speak the language at a good level. But how can you reach a good level if you cannot practice? As mentioned in one of the points before you can find a native speaker and form a team. Meet regularly or set online sessions to practice together.

Organising a trip in a country where the language is always a good idea if you are not already living in such a place. Either way when being on such a place try to practice as much as possible. If you are going in a shop to buy something think in advance what vocabulary you might be needing and revise some key words that can help you get around.

I will give you one last good tip for when you are in a country where everybody speaks the language you are learning. Try to meet as many people as you can. Try to talk to them in the language you learn. Many of them will not survive a lot and will probably switch to English, except if you are actually learning English. However there are very nice people who understand how hard it is to learn a new language and they really like to help. When you meet someone start speaking in the language you are learning. If you start speaking with someone in another common language later on switching back to the language where you feel less comfortable is not working very well.

I will stop here I hope this helps. If you have some further thoughts, tips or tricks to learn a new language please share them in the comments.

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