Yes, yes, we get it. Learning a new language is challenging, frustrating and downright difficult. But, what is the point of learning something new which does not give you a sense of happiness? Innumerable theories, lectures, visuals and audios available on the internet can take out the fun from learning a foreign language. However, this should never be the case. Learning a new language must give you happiness, satisfaction and an eagerness to try out more languages. Maybe you could use some tips for learning a language that can add some fun to the mix.
Here we highlight eight creative tips for learning a language:
One word a day tips for learning a language
Everyone wants to learn new skills quickly. But, that shouldn’t be the case with learning a new language. Cramming is your worst enemy in this subject. Instead of memorising most words and sentences in a short time, try to choose one word or sentence in a day and memorise it.
To get you started, try the most useful phrases like:
- What is your name?
- Where is the nearest super market?
- What are your hobbies? My hobbies are cycling and reading a book.
Once you have chosen which phrase you would want to practise, try using it as many times as possible so the brain remembers it for future.
Making flash cards is also beneficial. This way, you can use words in different situations and repeat the process for different words as you go along.
Find recipes in their native language
What can be better than combining food and language? In this case, food can definitely satiate your hunger for authentic foreign cuisine and foreign languages.
Try to find recipes in foreign language will teach you about the local variations in the language and will make you enhance your reading skills apart from teaching you to make the most authentic of kimchi or Foie Gras!
Turn on closed captions on YouTube videos
YouTube has taken language learning to a new level. The site of full of videos in all earthly languages and gives a golden chance for a language learner to practise. This is one of the tips for learning a language that are very easy to apply.
Turning on closed captions on YouTube will turn off the English translations of videos. Hence, you can choose to watch your favorite video in the language you are learning.
Here is how it works: Click on the “CC” button alongside the video. Then, click on the gear icon next to the “CC” button to adjust the language. On the main screen, you can also slow down the speed of the video for a better listening experience.
Begin with pausing every or few sentences. Try to understand what has been said. If you are unable to understand, try playing the video again with English subtitles this time.
And voila! In no time you can become a pro at all those Telenovela series.
Change the language on your phone
Who doesn’t use their mobile phone more than any other electronic gadget? Well, while we spend so much of time with our phones, why not turn it into something more useful?
Change the language setting of your phone into the language you are learning. Therefore, the next time you wish to send a message or receive a message, it will be like a mini language test. With practise and time, you will increase your vocabulary of words in the foreign language. This is also part of the immersion technique, where everything you do is in the language you’re learning. To take it a step further, do the same to all your social media feeds. Add that to the list of tips for learning a new language!
Join groups of language learners
Language learning is fun when you are with people. There are various levels and rate at which people pick up a new language. Hence, joining language learning groups will help you improve your skill at a pace that you are comfortable with.
Bilingua is one such example. Bilingua helps you practise the language with a native speaker who is willing to help you out with the nuances of the language. Live text chats and videos on the app ensure that you learn from the best and eventually, be the best.
Reddit is the “to-go” place for language learners on the internet. Create an account and subscribe to the “subreddits” where you can speak or study your target language. The most advantageous factor of joining Reddit is the fact that user’s comment and upvote and downvote most useful comments. Apart from getting help from people who study or speak the same language, you will also find a wide array of gifs, memes, and pictures. These not only add fun and humour to the learning process but also provide a brief glimpse of how native people are, culturally.
Listen to foreign music
Listening to music is one of the most fun tips for learning a language. Your ears will tune in to the beat while your brain gets to work learning and memorising new words. Listening to the radio in your target language will help you in several ways. You can improve upon your pronunciation, learn local dialects, slang, and of course, can widen your knowledge about local music stars! If you do not understand a word or a phrase, write it down and look it up later. Slowly, you will begin to understand the local accent and culture.
What is a better way to learn a new language than to travel to that country? Often, people who visit foreign countries invariably pick up on some of the most useful phrases like “Where is the museum?” or “How do I reach the train station?”. The basic greetings and essential replies are also a part of this kind of practise.
Travelling will not only ensure that you pick up the language but will give you a detailed insight on the culture, history, demography and society of the country. This can act as not just a tip for learning a language, but also as an immensely enriching experience.
With so many options at your disposal, language learning should never be boring. Try out these creative tips for learning a language and enter the magical world of multilingualism. No matter which language you choose to learn, it is always a great way to connect with people across the globe. Language learning is all about trial and error, but it should never be dull. So, embrace the linguistic adventure ahead of you, experiment with various language learning tips and add another language to your skill list!
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Also published on Medium.