Some tips when leaning a new language


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Some tips when leaning a new language: 
1. Conversation, Conversation, Conversation. If there’s a “secret” or “hack” to learning a new language, it’s this: hours and hours of awkward and strenuous conversation with people better than you in that language-the reason is that language is something that needs to be processed, not memorized. 


2. Start with the 100 most common vocabulary words and then make sentences with them over and over again. Learn just enough grammar to be able to do this and do it until you feel pretty comfortable with all of them. 

3. Carry a pocket dictionary which can be downloaded on your phone, there was an immediate difference. Having it on your phone is great, because it takes two seconds to look something up in the middle of conversation. And because you’re using it in conversation, you’re that much more likely to recall it later. Even something that simple affected my conversations and ability to interact with locals a great deal. 

4. Keep practicing in your head. The other use for your dictionary is that you can practice while going about your day and not talking to anyone. Challenge yourself to think in the new language. We all have monologues running in our head, and typically they run in our native tongue. You can continue to practice and construct sentences and fake conversations in your head in a new language. In fact, this sort of visualization leads to much easier conversations when you actually have them. For instance, you can envision and practice a conversation about a topic you’re likely to have before you actually have it. You can begin to think about how you would describe your job and explain why you’re in the foreign country in the new language. Inevitably, those questions will come up and you’ll be ready to answer them. 

5. Be regular with your lessons as they are important for getting you from absolutely no ability in a language to being able to speak basic sentences and phrases within a few days time. They’re also good for teaching the fundamental vocabulary (words such as: the, I, you, eat, want, thanks, etc.) and grammar rules. 

6. When you learn a new word, try to use it a few times right away. When you stop and look up a new word in conversation, make a point to use it in the next two or three sentences you say. Language learning studies show that you need to hit a certain amount of repetitions of saying a word within one minute of learning it, one hour of learning it, one day, etc. Try to use it immediately a few times and then use it again later in the day. Chances are it’ll stick. 

7. TV shows, movies, newspapers and magazines are a good supplementation. But they should not be mistaken or replacements for legitimate practice. 

8. There will be a lot of ambiguity and miscommunication. Fact of the matter is that for many, many words, the translations are not direct. These subtle differences can add up, particularly in serious or emotional conversations. Intentions can be easily misconstrued. Nuanced conversations over important matters will likely require double the effort to nail down the exact meaning for each person than it would between two native speakers. No matter how good you are in your new language, you’re not likely to have a complete grasp over the slight intuitive differences between each word, phrase or idiom that a native speaker does without living in the country for years. 

9. These are the phases you go through. First, you’re able to speak a little and understand nothing. Then you’re able to understand far more than you speak. Then you become conversational, but it requires quite a bit of mental effort. After that, you’re able to speak and understand without conscious mental effort (i.e., you don’t have to translate words into your native tongue in your mind). Once you’re able to speak and listen without thinking about it, you’ll begin to actually think in the foreign language itself without effort. Once this happens, you’re really hitting a high level. 

10. Finally, find a way to make it fun. As with anything, if you’re going to stick to it, you have to find a way to make it fun. Find people you enjoy talking to. Go to events where you can practice while doing something fun.