Leaning languages has got to be my favourite thing in the world. I am by no mean a polyglot-yet! However I’m currently mastering French and Portuguese and I’ve picked up bits and pieces of a handful of other languages on my travels! While it’s certainly not easy to master a new language, it’s also not as hard as people think. If you’re dedicated and motivated you could be speaking like a local in just a few months!
Today I’m bringing you my top tips for learning a new language-and no, you are not too old to learn a new language! I took French for 8 years in school and learned less than I did in the last 8 months on my own; so don’t think you need to enroll in any expensive classes to master a language either! You can be just as successful self coaching yourself through language learning as you can in a classroom. All it takes is a little bit of motivation, a lot of dedication, and lots and lots of practice! And just in case you’re a stickler for specifics…here are a few more tips to get you started towards multilingualism.
Be Passionate About the Language
Make sure you’re studying the language for the right reasons; because you love the language and the culture. If you’re trying to learn a language just to impress people or add another language to your list, you won’t be successful. In order to really succeed in becoming fluent you need to be passionate about the language you’re learning.
Especially free technology! There are plenty of free apps in the app store that you can easily download onto your smart phone to practice your language wherever you are. Some of my favorites are Duolingo and busuu.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
Practice really does make perfect , so it’s important to be practicing your new language every change you get. If you’ve got five minutes in between meetings, pull out your phone and practice on one of the apps, or if you’ve got a bit more time, try practicing saying some popular phrases or memorizing common words.
If you never make any mistakes then you’re not trying! Making mistakes is the only way you can properly learn anything. You should be happy when you’re making mistakes because it means you’re making progress.
Set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time Bound)
You can expect to be fluent in just a few weeks. It’s going to take time, so it’s important to be patient and set attainable goals that are challenging, but not impossible. Setting outrageous goals will only give you unrealistic expectations and set you up for disappointment and frustration.
Start Incorporating the Language into your Everyday Life
So you can’t just pack up and move to France for a few months; that doesn’t mean you can’t fully immerse yourself in your new language from the comfort of your own home! As you get more comfortable with the language you can start doing little things to make the language part of your everyday life. One of the first things I did was to change the language on my iPhone to French. Most of us don’t even pay attention to what were clicking really says since it’s all just a memorized reflex. Changing the language on my phone made me pay more attention and learn words I never would’ve encountered otherwise. You can also start making the language part of your everyday life by watching your favourite movies in the language or try listening to music from that language.
Start Speaking with other People
Once again, you don’t need to head abroad to talk to native speakers. You’d be surprised how many people within your local community are fluent in many languages; you just need to find them! Research cultural groups in your area and pay them a visit to weed out some conversation partners.
The most important word you’ll need abroad…
how to say “cheers” in these languages:
French – à votre santé
Portuguese – saúde
German – prost
Korean – geonbae
Italian – saluti
Czech – na zdraví
Turkish – şerefe
Russian – ypa
Arabic – fi sihtik
Chinese – gānbēi
Sweedish – skål