Photo: Jess Ivy, Creative Commons
Knowing how to speak another language can come in handy in many situations, not just vacations. It’s not as difficult as you think. There are some tips for learning a new language that can help you quickly pick it up.
Learning can be expensive but there are ways you can speak sentences in languages spoken in other countries without too much cost. It’s not easy but at the same time not hard either.
Having a Conversation
One of the best ways to pick up a new language is to speak to someone who speaks it better than you do. As little as one hour of speaking to someone who can correct you and a dictionary of one language to another can do wonders for you. This is equivalent to several hours in a class. The fact that you have one on one help with motivate you to learn. It’s even more motivating that studying from a book or listen to audio files.
Learning a new language is a process and not a memorization skill. You may not be able retain the information you memorize so this may lead to your efforts may be wasted. Having a conversation will stick with you much longer, especially if you remember what people say, related to the tips they give you and corrections they make.
Are Language Classes Worth the Investment?
Depending on your rate of learning, it may or may not work well. Usually, in a class, they move slow based on the abilities of the slowest pupil. You will learn much better on a one on one basis rather than in a classroom environment. Your personal needs are different since some words are easier than others to learn and remember. Being in a group environment, your personal needs will not be addressed at all or won’t be addressed until later.
Foreign Language Dictionary
There is nothing wrong is with using a translation dictionary. You can use it anytime you need it like at a restaurant or a neighborhood where there are many people when you need directions. Simply pull out your dictionary and translate as you need it. It can make a difference between being lost and then found. You speak the language and you retain what you have learned because you’re practicing it.
Practice Makes Perfect
Keep practicing even if there isn’t anyone there for one-on-one assistance. Try to make yourself think in the new language you are learning. Practice saying some of the words. Once you have learned grammar, you can practice saying sentences as well. Describe something that happened that day or what you want to do after work. When these questions come up, you can easily answer someone.
Audio and Internet Courses
In the beginning, you can use online information and also audio file for the first hundred words and to learn grammar. Then, as you get better, you won’t need them anymore. You can work on building up your conversational skills in any language. If you can master a couple of thousand words, you can easily speak the language in an understandable way. The online courses are a great way to increase your knowledge.
There are some instructors who don’t recommend using these textual or audio aids claiming they don’t benefit as much as practice does. They say that sitting with a book restricts you from understanding the meaning of the foreign words. You’re only copying what you think is what it should be. There is also a possibility of mispronouncing the words.
Learn Till You Can’t Hold Anymore
Studying it for an extensive amount of time will help you to learn it. It takes determination to finish it as well as a lot of time. Be persistent and study as much as you can for as long as you can. Keep practicing till you’re blue in the face and can’t handle anymore.
Why One-on-One Training is Best
Though this option is costly, you can get the attention you need to learn another language. You have someone that can guide you and fix your errors so you can learn from them. Find a good tutor who can work with you for a few hours on a daily basis and you’ll be on your way to quickly learning a new language. You won’t be fluent in it right away but with time, persistence and efforts, you will get there.
Not Finding a Tutor
Even if you can’t find a tutor to work with in real life, you can also find someone who can tutor you online using a communication tool such as Skype video. Consultations can be done this way to learn any language with a live person who can set an appointment for you at your convenience. You may also be able to find someone who will do a trade with you, for example, you teach someone your native language in return for them teaching you their language.
Practicing what You Learn
As soon as you learn something new, practice it over and over again. Make a new sentence with the new word and keep doing this repeatedly until it sinks in. Repetition will help it to stick with you.
Entertainment in Other Native Tongues
Another tip for learning a new language is to watch TV shows or movies in the language you’re trying to learn. Many shows and movies have English or other language subtitles so you can understand what the actors are saying. No, this isn’t a replacement for practicing or learning but just an aid to help you learn faster.
Don’t be Afraid to Communicate
If you’re at a store and the workers only speak one language, maybe there is someone else in the store, even a shopper that is bilingual, ask someone to help you. Most people are willing to help if you ask them too. There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking so don’t feel embarrassed about it. You can point to something or ask questions.
Being With Foreign Language Speaking People
Just because you’re learning a new tongue doesn’t mean you should sit there quietly with your mouth shut. Try to mix in with people besides just saying hi, how are you. Trying to communicate with people will make them feel warm towards you. They may even be able to help you learn to speak their language better.
A good idea is to visit the place where it is spoken. Then you’ll be forced to speak it and learn it whether you have a translation dictionary or not. Without this, you won’t be able to ask for directions, where you can get food or even use the personal facilities. Even shopping at a store will be difficult. Keep pushing yourself to do better and you will. Don’t give up.
Of course grammar is important but emphasize too much on it. Even though your grammar may be incorrect, people will still understand what you’re trying to say. In school, teachers emphasize this as well but sometimes it can get you down. Don’t worry about it and keep trying.
There are many other ways you can improve your foreign language skills including reading books with translations and making friends who speak it. Keep trying and you will succeed.