When was the last time you tried something new? The old classic adage that we should try something new every day has never been more important in this era of lockdowns when we are all trapped inside.
Have you ever tried learning a language? It can be a great way to get yourself out of a rut and being productive. But what language should you choose and why is learning different languages so hard?
Here’s everything you need to know about how to learn a different language:
The first step you need to decide when embarking on learning a language is which one. There are so many languages in the world to choose from. You will want to play to your strengths.
Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese are all romance languages meaning they are very similar to each other and have Latin as their base. Learning either one of these means it would then be very easy to learn the other two.
German is another great choice but speaking requires a lot of action at the back of your throat and a desire to learn bigger more complex words. However, it is a gateway language into other Germanic languages.
The great thing about learning a European language is that they all use the Latin, Western-style alphabet so writing and reading are not too hard.
If you want a real challenge you might want to try your hand at Mandarin, after all, China is a great place to do business, and becoming a translator could earn you a lot of money. Japenese is also very popular with the younger generation who have fallen in love with their culture.
The purpose of learning foreign languages is also important. It is this that will motivate you every day to put in the effort and learn it, to keep going.
You might want to learn for business purposes, to enable you to deal with foreign business owners and do deals to make you rich. Hindi and Mandarin are both great languages to learn in this respect.
Or it might be because you intend to travel to those countries once we can all travel again and you want to make local friends. Perhaps you like boys or girls from Asia or South America and wish to pursue a meaningful relationship with them.
Write down what your purpose is before you begin the task of learning a new language and refer to this every day.
Study every day, don’t let anything distract you. If you struggle with this then set yourself reminders on your phone or on your computer. If these fail try placing sticky notes around your house.
When you study be sure to be quite careful as to the manor of what you study. Revise old material but also learn some new phrases. Don’t revise so much that you’re not learning anything new just to make yourself feel good. At the same time try not to study too many new phrases and words or you will overload yourself.
Remember studying is about listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Some traits will inevitability be better than others when you learn a foreign language but your revision needs to form a balance. What’s the point in only being able to read and write a language but not speak it, or visa-versa?
Try to ensure that all the activities you carry out improve all four aspects of learning a new language. For the speaking aspect, if you in the country where you are learning, go to the local market and try your hand at ordering what you want. Use your language as much as you can if you live abroad.
How to Learn a Different Language with Online Classes
The pandemic has put a stop to most face-to-face activities and sadly teaching is one of them. Luckily, online classes are often just as good as in-person classes.
There are many free classes and you might want to try these free online certificates as a starting place. But you might want to graduate further and take lessons with a professional private tutor or enroll at a university.
With everyone now teaching online you have a unique opportunity to find a teacher from a global pool that precisely meets your needs and budget. Search through websites like Fiver and UpWork or on specific private tutor marketplaces to find what you need.
Make Local Friends
Why learn a new language? To make new friends of course? And what’s the best way to make friends by learning a language? They are two sides of the coin. Ideally, you’d like to find a friend who is as fluent in English as you are whose native tongue is the language you are trying to learn.
Take them out for coffee at least once a week and when you speak together try to only speak the foreign languages you are trying to learn. Do something special with them every now and again that introduces you to a bit of your culture and a bit of theirs.
If you live in a state or a country that has implemented a lockdown you can try arranging a Zoom or Skype call with your friend to chat in the language you are striving to learn.
Patience Is the Key
If you want to learn a foreign language then you should remind yourself that it is difficult. You will not become fluent overnight.
But that shouldn’t stop you from putting in the work. Make local friends and take them for coffee to practice, study every day, and be aware of your flaws so that you can improve on them.
If you are interested in knowing more about how to learn a different language be sure to check out the rest of our site.